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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 02nd of December 2020

« N'attendez pas le Jugement dernier. Il a lieu tous les jours. » Albert Camus @coherence_e

“Don't wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day. " Albert Camus

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The Wuhan files Leaked documents reveal China's mishandling of the early stages of Covid-19 @CNN
Law & Politics

London — A group of frontline medical workers, likely exhausted, stand huddled together on a video-conference call as China's most powerful man raises his hand in greeting. 

It is February 10 in Beijing and President Xi Jinping, who for weeks has been absent from public view, is addressing hospital staff in the city of Wuhan as they battle to contain the spread of a still officially unnamed novel coronavirus.

From a secure room about 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) from the epicenter, Xi expressed his condolences to those who have died in the outbreak. 

He urged greater public communication, as around the world concerns mounted about the potential threat posed by the new disease.

That same day, Chinese authorities reported 2,478 new confirmed cases -- raising the total global number to more than 40,000, with fewer than 400 cases occurring outside of mainland China. 

Yet CNN can now reveal how official documents circulated internally show that this was only part of the picture.

In a report marked "internal document, please keep confidential," local health authorities in the province of Hubei, where the virus was first detected, list a total of 5,918 newly detected cases on February 10, more than double the official public number of confirmed cases, breaking down the total into a variety of subcategories

This larger figure was never fully revealed at that time, as China's accounting system seemed, in the tumult of the early weeks of the pandemic, to downplay the severity of the outbreak.

The previously undisclosed figure is among a string of revelations contained within 117 pages of leaked documents from the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, shared with and verified by CNN.

Taken together, the documents amount to the most significant leak from inside China since the beginning of the pandemic and provide the first clear window into what local authorities knew internally and when.

The Chinese government has steadfastly rejected accusations made by the United States and other Western governments that it deliberately concealed information relating to the virus, maintaining that it has been upfront since the beginning of the outbreak. 

However, though the documents provide no evidence of a deliberate attempt to obfuscate findings, they do reveal numerous inconsistencies in what authorities believed to be happening and what was revealed to the public.

The documents, which cover an incomplete period between October 2019 and April this year, reveal what appears to be an inflexible health care system constrained by top-down bureaucracy and rigid procedures that were ill-equipped to deal with the emerging crisis

At several critical moments in the early phase of the pandemic, the documents show evidence of clear missteps and point to a pattern of institutional failings.

One of the more striking data points concerns the slowness with which local Covid-19 patients were diagnosed. 

Even as authorities in Hubei presented their handling of the initial outbreak to the public as efficient and transparent, the documents show that local health officials were reliant on flawed testing and reporting mechanisms. 

A report in the documents from early March says the average time between the onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis was 23.3 days, which experts have told CNN would have significantly hampered steps to both monitor and combat the disease.

China has staunchly defended its handling of the outbreak. 

At a news conference on June 7, China's State Council released a White Paper saying the Chinese government had always published information related to the epidemic in a "timely, open and transparent fashion."

"While making an all-out effort to contain the virus, China has also acted with a keen sense of responsibility to humanity, its people, posterity, and the international community. 

It has provided information on Covid-19 in a thoroughly professional and efficient way. It has released authoritative and detailed information as early as possible on a regular basis, thus effectively responding to public concern and building public consensus," says the White Paper.

CNN has reached out to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and National Health Commission, as well as Hubei's Health Commission, which oversees the provincial CDC, for comment on the findings disclosed in the documents, but received no response.

Health experts said the documents laid bare why what China knew in the early months mattered.

"It was clear they did make mistakes -- and not just mistakes that happen when you're dealing with a novel virus -- also bureaucratic and politically-motivated errors in how they handled it," said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, who has written extensively on public health in China. 

"These had global consequences. You can never guarantee 100% transparency. It's not just about any intentional cover-up, you are also constrained with by technology and other issues with a novel virus. But even if they had been 100% transparent, that would not stop the Trump administration downplaying the seriousness of it. It would probably not have stopped this developing into a pandemic."

Tuesday, December 1, marks one year since the first known patient showed symptoms of the disease in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, according to a key study in the Lancet medical journal.

At the same time that the virus is believed to have first emerged, the documents show another health crisis was unfolding: Hubei was dealing with a significant influenza outbreak. 

It caused cases to rise to 20 times the level recorded the previous year, the documents show, placing enormous levels of additional stress on an already stretched health care system.

The influenza "epidemic," as officials noted in the document, was not only present in Wuhan in December, but was greatest in the neighboring cities of Yichang and Xianning. 

It remains unclear what impact or connection the influenza spike had on the Covid-19 outbreak. 

And while there is no suggestion in the documents the two parallel crises are linked, information regarding the magnitude of Hubei's influenza spike has still yet to be made public.

The leaked revelations come as pressure builds from the US and the European Union on China to fully cooperate with a World Health Organization inquiry into the origins of the virus that has since spread to every corner of the globe, infecting more than 60 million people and killing 1.46 million.

But, so far, access for international experts to hospital medical records and raw data in Hubei has been limited, with the WHO saying last week they had "reassurances from our Chinese government colleagues that a trip to the field" would be granted as part of their investigation.

The files were presented to CNN by a whistleblower who requested anonymity. They said they worked inside the Chinese healthcare system, and were a patriot motivated to expose a truth that had been censored, and honor colleagues who had also spoken out. 

It is unclear how the documents were obtained or why specific papers were selected.

The documents have been verified by six independent experts who examined the veracity of their content on behalf of CNN. 

One expert with close ties to China reported seeing some of the reports during confidential research earlier this year. 

A European security official with knowledge of Chinese internal documents and procedures also confirmed to CNN that the files were genuine.

Metadata from the files seen by CNN contains the names of serving CDC officials as modifiers and authors. The metadata creation dates align with the content of the documents. Digital forensic analysis was also performed to test their computer code against their purported origins.

Sarah Morris, from the Digital Forensics Unit at Britain's Cranfield University, said there was no evidence the data had been tampered with or was misleading.

 She added the older files looked like they had been used repeatedly over a long period of time. 

"It's almost like a mini file system," she said. "So, it's got lots of room for deleted stuff, for old things. That's a really good sign [of authenticity]."

The documents show a wide-range of data on two specific days, February 10 and March 7, that is often at odds with what officials said publicly at the time. 

This discrepancy was likely due to a combination of a highly dysfunctional reporting system and a recurrent instinct to suppress bad news, said analysts. 

These documents show the full extent of what officials knew, but chose not to spell out to the public.

On February 10, when China reported 2,478 new confirmed cases nationwide, the documents show Hubei actually circulated a different total of 5,918 newly reported cases

The internal number is divided into subcategories, providing an insight into the full scope of Hubei's diagnosis methodology at the time.

"Confirmed cases" number 2,345, "clinically diagnosed cases" 1,772, and "suspected cases" 1,796.

The strict and limiting criteria led ultimately to misleading figures, said analysts. 

"A lot of the suspected cases there should have been included with the confirmed cases," said Huang, from the Council on Foreign Relations, who reviewed the documents and found them to be authentic.

"The numbers they were giving out were conservative, and this reflects how confusing, complex and chaotic the situation was," he added.

That month, Hubei officials presented a daily number of "confirmed cases," and then included later in their statements "suspected cases," without specifying the number of seriously ill patients who had been diagnosed by doctors as being "clinically diagnosed." 

Often in nationwide tolls, officials would give the daily new "confirmed" cases, and provide a running tally for the entire pandemic of "suspected cases," also into which it seems the "clinically diagnosed" were added. 

This use of a broad "suspected case" tally effectively downplayed the severity of patients who doctors had seen and determined were infected, according to stringent criteria, experts said.

William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, said the Chinese approach was conservative, and the data "would have been presented in a different way had US epidemiologists been there to assist."

He said Chinese officials "seemed actually to minimize the impact of the epidemic at any moment in time. 

To include patients who were suspected of having the infection obviously would have expanded the size of outbreak and would have given, I think, a truer appreciation of the nature of the infection and its size."

Protocols for coronavirus diagnosis, published by China's National Health Commission in late January, told doctors to label a case "suspected" if a patient had contact history with known cases, and a fever and pneumonia symptoms, and to elevate the case to "clinically diagnosed" if those symptoms were confirmed by an X-ray or CT scan. 

A case would only be "confirmed" if polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or genetic sequencing tests came back positive.

Andrew Mertha, director of the China Studies Program at John Hopkins University, said officials might have been motivated to "lowball" numbers to disguise under-funding and preparedness issues in local health care bodies like the provincial CDC.

According to Mertha, the documents, which he reviewed and considered authentic, seemed to be organized so as to allow senior officials to paint whatever picture they wished.

"You are giving them all the options there without putting somebody in an explicitly embarrassing position -- giving them both the anvil or the life-raft to then choose from."

Chinese officials did soon improve the reporting system, placing the "clinically diagnosed" cases into the "confirmed" category by mid-February. 

Top health and provincial officials in Hubei were also removed from their positions at that time, who would have been ultimately responsible for the reporting. 

Furthermore, wider and improved testing meant "suspected" cases could be clarified quicker and featured less in reporting. 

Separately, China's diagnostic criteria have been criticized by health experts for their continued, public decision to not count asymptomatic cases.

Death tolls listed in the documents reveal the starkest discrepancies. On March 7, the total death toll in Hubei since the beginning of the outbreak stood at 2,986, but in the internal report it is listed as 3,456, including 2,675 confirmed deaths, 647 "clinically diagnosed" deaths, and 126 "suspected" case deaths.

Dali Yang, who has extensively studied the outbreak's origins, said that in February numbers "still mattered because of global perceptions."

"They were still hoping it was like 2003, and like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) would be eventually contained, and everything can go back to normal," added Yang, who is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. 

He pointed to the February 7 call between presidents Trump and Xi. "I think that's also the (wishful) impression that Trump got -- that this is going to disappear."

The documents, however, are by no means clear cut. On two occasions, the public death numbers are narrowly over reported, with the internal figures indicating single-digit discrepancies of five and one, respectively.

On other occasions, the data provides glimpses of new information but without vital context. 

Even though China has never revealed the total number of Covid-19 cases in 2019, a graph in one document appears to suggest a much higher number had been detected. 

In the bottom left hand column of the graph marked 2019 the number of "confirmed cases" and "clinically diagnosed" cases appears to reach around 200 altogether. The documents do not elaborate further. 

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The Wuhan files Leaked documents reveal China's mishandling of the early stages of Covid-19 @CNN [continued]
Law & Politics

To date, the clearest indication of how many cases were detected in 2019 is the 44 "cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause)" that Chinese authorities reported to the WHO for the period of the pandemic up to January 3, 2020.

Testing was inaccurate from the start, the documents said, and led to a reporting system with weeks long delays in diagnosing new cases. 

Experts said that meant most of the daily figures that informed the government response risked being inaccurate or dated.

On January 10, one of the documents reveals how during an audit of testing facilities, officials reported that the SARS testing kits that were being used to diagnose the new virus were ineffective, regularly giving false negatives. 

It also indicated that poor levels of personal protective equipment meant that virus samples had to be made inactive before testing.

The high false-negative rate exposed a series of problems China would take weeks to rectify. 

According to reports in Chinese state media in early February, Hubei health experts had expressed frustration with the accuracy of nucleic acid tests. 

Nucleic acid tests work by detecting the virus' genetic code, and were thought to be more effective at detecting the infection, particularly in the early stages.

However, the tests carried out at that time resulted in only a 30% to 50% positive rate, among already confirmed cases, according to officials quoted in state media. 

In order to avoid "false negative" results, health officials began to test suspected cases repeatedly.

By early February, laboratories in Hubei had capacity to test more than 10,000 people a day, according to state media reports. To cope with the high volume, officials decided to begin incorporating other clinical diagnosis methods, such as CT scans. 

This led to the creation of category referred to internally as "clinically diagnosed cases." 

It was not until mid-February that the clinically diagnosed cases were added to the confirmed case numbers.

Other, yet graver issues noted in the documents were raised by health experts.

In the first months of the outbreak, the average time required to process a case -- from the patient experiencing symptoms (onset) to being confirmed diagnosed was 23.3 days.

The persistent delay would likely have made it much harder to direct public health interventions, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

"You're looking at data that's three weeks old and trying to make a decision for today," he said.

The report notes that, by March 7, the system had much improved, with over 80% of the new confirmed cases diagnosed that day being recorded in the system that same day.

Multiple experts described the time lag as extraordinary, even when factoring in the initial difficulties faced by authorities.

"That adds another layer of understanding as to why some of the numbers that came out from the higher levels of government probably were off," said Schaffner from Vanderbilt University. 

"In the United States, Britain, France and Germany, there's always a lag. You don't know instantaneously. But 23 days is a long time."

Early warning system hampered

A lack of preparedness is reflected throughout the documents, sections of which are highly critical in their internal assessment of the government's support for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention operations in Hubei.

The report characterizes the Hubei CDC as underfunded, lacking the right testing equipment, and with unmotivated staff who were often felt ignored in China's vast bureaucracy.

The documents include an internal audit, which forensic analysis shows was written in October 2019, before the pandemic began.

More than a month before the first cases are believed to have emerged, the review continues to urge the health authorities to "rigorously find the weak link in the work of disease control, actively analyze and make up for the shortcomings."

The CDC internal report complains over an absence of operational funding from the Hubei provincial government and notes the staffing budget is 29% short of its annual target.

After the outbreak, Chinese officials swiftly moved to assess the problems. Yet more than four months after the virus was first identified, major issues continued to hamper disease control efforts in key areas, the documents show.

The report also highlights the CDC's peripheral role in investigating the initial outbreak, noting that staff were constrained by official processes and their expertise not fully utilized. 

Rather than taking a lead, the report suggests CDC staff were resigned to "passively" completing the task issued by superiors.

Officials were also faced with a lumbering and unresponsive IT network, known as the China Infectious Disease Direct Reporting System, according to state media, installed at cost of $167 million after the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Theoretically, the system was supposed to enable regional hospitals and CDCs to directly report infectious diseases to a centrally managed system. 

This would then allow the data to be shared instantly with CDCs and relevant health departments nationwide. 

In reality, it was slow to log into, one audit said, and many other bureaucratic procedural restrictions hampered rapid data recording and gathering.

According to Huang, from the Council on Foreign Relations, the report belies China's claim to have massively invested in disease control and prevention after the 2003 SARS outbreak.

"If you look at the local level, the picture is not as rosy as the government had claimed," he said.

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With social media posts about the #coronavirus being censored in #China here‘s a bit of cool protest art going around...@StephenMcDonell

If you look closely here you'll see references to #China's tech companies Huawei, Wechat (微信), Alibaba etc. Also 和谐 hexie over the eyes means "harmony" (from former Pres Hu catchphrase). In China if you've been censored you've been "harmonised".

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They now turn to rule over the people by means of what could be dubbed “big data totalitarianism” and “WeChat terror.” @ChinaFile #COVID19 Xu Zhangrun
Law & Politics

To put it another way, a breakthrough originating from the periphery may augur once more [as it did in the 1890s, the 1910s, the 1940s and again in the 1980s] a moment that favors a push towards meaningful constitutional and legal rule in China.

That‘s right, we, We the People, for [as I have previously said] how can we let ourselves ―survive no better than swine; fawn upon the power-holders like curs; and live in vile filth like maggots‖?!

As I write these words I reflect on my own situation which also dramatically changed in 2018 [when the author published his famous anti-Xi Jeremiad]. For having raised my voice then, I was punished for ―speech crimes.‖

Thereafter, I was suspended from my job as a university lecturer and cashiered as a professor, reduced to a minor academic rank. I was placed under investigation by my employer, Tsinghua University; my freedoms have been curtailed ever since.

Writing as I do herein, I can now all too easily predict that I will be subjected to new punishments; indeed, this may well even be the last piece I write. But that is not for me to say.

Confronted by this Great Virus, as all of us are right now, I feel as though a vast chasm has opened up before us all and I feel compelled to speak out yet again. There is no refuge from this viral reality and I cannot remain silent

you will all be no better than fields of garlic chives, giving yourselves up to being harvested by the blade of power, time and time again. @ChinaFile #COVID19 

[ “garlic chives,” Allium tuberosum, often used as a metaphor to describe an endlessly renewable resource.]

What is thriving, however, is all that ridiculous ―Red Culture and the nauseating adulation that the system heaps on itself via shameless pro-Party hacks who chirrup hosannahs at every turn @ChinaFile #COVID19

A polity that is blatantly incapable of treating its own people properly can hardly be expected to treat rest of the world well 

Such places will only be able to find their assumed pulchritude reflected back at them in mirror of their imperial self-regard

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“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” ― Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19
Law & Politics

“There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.”

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. ”

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@Nature must provide the scientific community with the first draft of Latinne et al. (2020) dated back in October 2019 @franciscodeasis

VIW must open the books, provide further details, share the samples and give full sequencing of 7896-clade viruses

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A6/ Latinne et al. (2020) was submitted to @Nature for review on October 6th, 2019. @franciscodeasis

There is a pre-print on May 31st, 2020, which is essentially the same as the final paper, but there must be a previous version for obvious reasons

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However, after sequencing the full genome for RaTG13 the lab’s sample of the virus disintegrated, he said. “I think they tried to culture it but they were unable to, so that sample, I think, has gone.”

According to Daszak, the mine sample had been stored in Wuhan for six years. Its scientists “went back to that sample in 2020, in early January or maybe even at the end of last year, I don’t know. They tried to get full genome sequencing, which is important to find out the whole diversity of the viral genome.”

However, after sequencing the full genome for RaTG13 the lab’s sample of the virus disintegrated, he said. “I think they tried to culture it but they were unable to, so that sample, I think, has gone.”

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Turning hope into reality @OECD Economic Outlook, December 2020 #EconomicOutlook
World Of Finance

Vaccination campaigns, concerted health policies and government financial support are expected to lift global GDP by 4.2% in 2021 after a fall of 4.2% this year. 

The recovery would be stronger if vaccines are rolled out fast, boosting confidence and lowering uncertainty.

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There is no V shaped recovery coming in 2021. Thats just a Fantasy.
World Of Finance

"As a consequence of decades of economic mismanagement, sequential resuscitations and constant bailouts—most especially during the past three years—vast portions of the global economy have mutated into a ‘zombified’ state." @mtmalinen

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.2072

Dollar Index 91.177

Japan Yen 104.46

Swiss Franc 0.899555

Pound 1.3414

Aussie 0.73745

India Rupee 73.6295

South Korea Won 1100.53

Brazil Real 5.2064

Egypt Pound 15.657

South Africa Rand 15.2674

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The top contenders in the #vaccine race have logged wildly different share price moves over the past month: @CNBCJulianna

Moderna +128% 

Pfizer +12%

BioNTech +43%

AstraZeneca +2%

Novavax +69%

Want to better understand why? It goes beyond efficacy. And beyond #COVID19. 

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No-one has ever produced a safe and effective vaccine against a coronavirus. Birger Sørensen, Angus Dalgleish & Andres Susrud

What if, as I fear, there will never be a vaccine. I was involved in the early stages of identifying the HIV virus as the cause of Aids. 

I remember drugs companies back then saying there would be a vaccine within around 18 months. Some 37 years on, we are still waiting. Prof ANGUS DALGLEISH @MailOnline

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CoViD19-ΛFЯICΛ: Actives: 274 535 (-2129) @NCoVAfrica

Confirmed: 2 174 183 (+ 10693) Actives: 274 535 (-2129) Deaths: 51 995 (+ 270) Recoveries: 1 846 103 (+ 12552)

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Turning to Africa The Spinning Top

So far Africa has dodged the Virus from a medical perspective though it remains in my view a slow burning Fuse and we all know by now ''viruses exhibit non-linear and exponential characteristics'

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COVID-19 in Tanzania Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 in Tanzania @CDCgov

Travelers should avoid all travel to Tanzania.

Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

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Last 6 days VERY Concerning in Uganda for #COVID19 - See red in the chart @MichaelDDavisJr/

Positivity % Rate (Positive cases vs. testing average over previous 7 days)

25 Oct:  5.5%

29 Oct:  8.1%

24 Nov:  10.2%

29 Nov:  17.0%

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Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Trades His @NobelPrize for Civil War @bopinion @ghoshworld

We may be long past holding laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize to its lofty standards — the cruel cynicism of Henry Kissinger and open bigotry of Aung San Suu Kyi are just two instances of honorees behaving dishonorably — but Abiy Ahmed’s belly flop from the pedestal is nonetheless remarkable. 

In less than a year since his uplift in Oslo, Ethiopia’s prime minister has embroiled his country in a civil war and brought the Horn of Africa to the edge of chaos.

If Abiy cannot pull back from the precipice, his confrontation with the leadership of the northern region of Tigray will reverse the gains from years of growth and investment that have made Ethiopia’s economy the envy of the continent.

Long-simmering tensions between the central government and the Tigrayans, a minority ethnic group that once dominated Ethiopian politics, have boiled over. 

In early November, Abiy ordered government forces to attack the restive northern region of Tigray, blaming its leaders for a strike on an army base.

As the fighting has escalated, Abiy and Debretsion Gebremichael, president of the Tigray region, have painted themselves into opposite corners. 

The prime minister has vowed not to stand down his forces until all weapons in Tigrayan hands have been destroyed. 

He is resisting international calls for mediation. Debretsion has boasted that his fighters, thought to be 250,000-strong, “cannot be beaten.”

For all his promises of a swift victory, Abiy now faces a protracted civil war that could suck in other ethnic groups — or, to quote from his acceptance speech in Oslo last December, “brothers slaughtering brothers on the battlefield.”

The death toll is in the hundreds and rising fast. There have been reports of war crimes against non-Tigrayans in the north, and political score-settling against Tigrayans in Addis Ababa. 

United Nations officials warn that “the risk of atrocity crimes” is growing.

The conflict has already spilled over Ethiopia’s borders, and thousands have fled the fighting into neighboring Sudan. 

Debretsion has accused another neighbor, Eritrea, of joining forces with the Ethiopian military, and has launched rockets at the Eritrean capital of Asmara.

There are also dangerous consequences for a third neighbor: To strengthen his forces against the Tigrayans, Abiy has withdrawn thousands of Ethiopian peacekeepers from Somalia, where they were fighting an Islamist insurgency. 

This diversion comes even as the Trump administration is contemplating a drawdown of forces from Somalia.

Hopes for stability and prosperity in the Horn of Africa rest substantially on Ethiopia’s ability to maintain internal equilibrium, keep peace with its neighbors and act as the region’s economic engine

The first of these challenges was always going to be the hardest. Abiy’s appointment in 2018 ended three decades of rule by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. (The prime minister is from the Oromo, the largest ethnic group.)

It was inevitable that Abiy’s political and economic reforms would reduce Tigrayan influence, and just as inevitable that the northerners would receive this poorly. 

But they are not the only ethnic group feeling hard done by: The Amhara and Somali — second- and third-largest — have grievances of their own. 

And over the summer, Oromo anger over the murder of a popular singer led to violence.

The prime minister responded by imposing authoritarian restrictions and jailing political opponents and journalists. 

Whether general elections, scheduled for late August but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, would have deepened the ethno-political divide or given Abiy a national mandate to rule is an open question.

The Tigrayans went ahead with regional elections, which Addis Ababa dismissed as invalid. 

But the high turnout gave the regional government more credibility than the prime minister can muster, and it strengthened Tigrayan demands for greater autonomy — a direct challenge to Abiy, who wants greater authority for the central government.

With other regions closely following the outcome of the confrontation, the prime minister will be loath to show leniency. 

Reports suggest his government has sacked or suspended scores of Tigrayans from positions in the bureaucracy and military. 

This purging will likely deepen the northerners’ determination to fight on, and force the Nobel laureate even further into ignobleness.

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@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

Ethiopia which was once the Poster child of the African Renaissance now has a Nobel Prize Winner whom I am reliably informed

PM Abiy His inner war cabinet includes Evangelicals who are counseling him he is "doing Christ's work"; that his faith is being "tested". @RAbdiAnalyst

@PMEthiopia has launched an unwinnable War on Tigray Province.

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Ethiopia's TPLF forces 'regrouping outside Tigray capital' BBC

Fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have been seen trying to re-group outside the city of Mekelle – just days after losing the state capital.

That’s according to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – who just days earlier had declared the conflict over.

The head of the TPLF said his forces would fight on, indicating the conflict might not be completely over.

Prime Minister Abiy claims that the TPLF fighters who fled Mekelle are in his sight.

“We saw them from the situation room around Hagere Selam, a town 50 km [31 miles] away from the state capital," he told lawmakers.

He said the federal army didn’t attack because the retreating TPLF fighters had their families and "abducted soldiers" with them.

The head of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael, denied he was in the area, but admitted that his troops were close by.

Earlier, he said the TPLF would fight on as long as the federal troops – which he called "invaders" – were in their land.

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Kenya: cracks appearing in the #FX interbank market @StanbicKE via @my_tradesignals
Kenyan Economy

"Since the end of Jun, two FX rates have been developing in the market; one being official CBK rate for $USDKES and the other being actual/executable FX interbank rate."

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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December 2020

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