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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Donald Trump is said to have considered using the military to enforce a second term during a chaotic meeting in the Oval Office on Friday @thetimes
Law & Politics

President Trump considered martial law to try to overturn Joe Biden’s victory, according to several accounts.

The possibility of using the military to enforce a second term is said to have been emphatically rebuffed by many of his closest advisers, but the fact that it was raised in a chaotic Oval Office meeting on Friday marks a new, severe turn in his attempts to defy his defeat.

Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn, two of Mr Trump’s most passionate public advocates, were at the meeting. Ms Powell, 65, is a lawyer who has led many of the failed court attempts to allege voter fraud . 

Her elaborate conspiracy theories — for example that Hugo Chávez, the former Venezuelan president who died in 2013, was part of a plot to swindle Mr Trump out of his victory — caused the rest of the president’s legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, to cut ties with her last month.

Mr Flynn, 61, a former general, lasted 22 days as Mr Trump’s national security adviser before being brought down in a scandal about contacts with the Russian ambassador. 

He pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI before firing his lawyer, hiring Ms Powell and trying to retract his plea. Mr Trump pardoned him last month.

At the meeting Mr Trump discussed naming Ms Powell as a special counsel overseeing an investigation into voter fraud, The New York Times reported. 

He also asked if he could give her security clearances to help her challenges. 

His advisers, including Mr Giuliani, pushed back against the martial law idea and suggested instead seizing voting machines to investigate fraud. 

The homeland security department said that it did not have the authority to do this. 

The ideas were also “aggressively” opposed by Mark Meadows, Mr Trump’s chief of staff, and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel.

The meeting “became raucous and involved people shouting”, the newspaper said, with Ms Powell accusing the president’s advisers of being “quitters”.

Martial law was previously suggested by Ms Powell and Mr Flynn. 

Appearing last week on Newsmax, a news channel popular with Trump supporters, Mr Flynn said that Mr Trump “could take military capabilities and he could place those in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states”. 

He said that martial law was nothing new and had been imposed 64 times.

Mitt Romney, a former presidential candidate, said that the meeting was “sad” and “embarrassing”. 

He told CNN: “The president could right now be writing the last chapter of this administration with a victory lap with regard to the vaccine . . . Instead he’s leaving Washington with a whole series of conspiracy theories and things that are so nutty and loopy that people are shaking their head.”

A feud between Melania Trump and her stepdaughter Ivanka has returned to the spotlight after a former aide to the first lady claimed that she referred to Mr Trump’s eldest daughter and her husband Jared Kushner as “snakes”.

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09-NOV-2020 :: The Spinning Top
Law & Politics

The demise of the Reality TV Star turned seriously vaudeville with Mr. Giulani mounting the last stand from the Four Seasons Total Landscaping next to Fantasy Island Adult Books across the street from the Delaware Valley Cremation Center.

Some Folks seem convinced that the Prophet of Populism Donald J. Trump is going to lead his 70m Disciples into some major 5th generational chess moves but surely just as likely is an Unfolding psychological breakdown played out in front of our eyes on TV like Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of Salesman

“You can't eat the orange and throw the peel away - a man is not a piece of fruit.”“If personal meaning, in this cheer leader society, lies in success, then failure must threaten identity itself.”

I’m tired to the death. The flute has faded away. He sits on the bed beside her, a little numb. I couldn’t make it. I just couldn’t make it, Linda.

Counterintuitively, The Trump Vladislav Surkov Talking Points which of course always feature George Soros are strangely ineffective and a little like a receding tide.

“My take on Trump is that he is an inevitable creation of this unreal normal world,” Adam Curtis says. 

“Politics has become a pantomime or vaudeville in that it creates waves of anger rather than argument. Maybe people like Trump are successful simply because they fuel that anger, in the echo chambers of the internet.”

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New variant - named VUI-202012/01 new strain results in people having a much bigger viral load.

it is up to 70% more transmissible.

―They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

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This is the NERVTAG paper in full which was presented to PM on Friday. @SamCoatesSky

It’s a grim and challenging document - a variant which spreads faster, could massively raise the R and there is so much we don’t know all laid bare here

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19-OCT-2020 :: Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent
World Of Finance

"What is your general approach, in view of the mounting chaos in the country at the moment?" and replied:

Well, that's a judgment that you are making. I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you're taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don't think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.

The next day's edition of The Sun headlined its story "Crisis? What crisis?"

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Here we go round the prickly pear The Hollow Men T.S. ELIOT

Here we go round the prickly pear

Prickly pear prickly pear

Here we go round the prickly pear

At five o’clock in the morning.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

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Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 2 Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher

Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher,

vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

A generation goes, and a generation comes,

but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises, and the sun goes down,

and hastens[b] to the place where it rises.

What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said,

“See, this is new”?

It has been already

in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance

of later things[d] yet to be

among those who come after.

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At Banque Havilland, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Was Known as ‘The Boss’ @business

Financier David Rowland, who used Britain’s Prince Andrew as an unofficial door opener, has another close relationship with a member of royalty. 

This one lives in the Middle East, and executives at Rowland’s Banque Havilland referred to him as “the Boss.”

A trove of emails, documents and legal filings reviewed by Bloomberg News, as well as interviews with former insiders, reveal the extent of the services Rowland and his private bank provided to one of its biggest customers, Mohammed bin Zayed, better known as MBZ, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. 

Some of the work went beyond financial advice. It included scouting for deals in Zimbabwe, setting up a company to buy the image rights of players on the Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City Football Club and helping place the bank’s chairman at the time on the board of Human Rights Watch after it published reports critical of the Persian Gulf country.

None was as brazen, though, as a 2017 plan devised by the bank for an assault on the financial markets of Qatar, a country that had just been blockaded by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain for allegedly sponsoring terrorism.

“Control the yield curve, decide the future,” read one of five mission statements featured in a presentation prepared by a former Banque Havilland analyst that called for a coordinated attack to deplete Qatar’s foreign-exchange reserves and pauperize its government.

One of Rowland’s sons, a senior executive at the Luxembourg-based bank, emailed the plan to Will Tricks, who had swapped a career in the U.K.’s foreign intelligence service MI6 for a job advising MBZ. 

Tricks, who acted as a go-between for the Rowlands, was paid as a contractor by Banque Havilland. 

The presentation found its way to the UAE’s ambassador to the U.S., who stored it on his computer under “Rowland Banque Havilland.”

That’s where hackers found it. They leaked the document to the Intercept, which wrote about it in November 2017. 

Last year, Qatar sued Banque Havilland in London, accusing it of orchestrating a campaign that cost the country more than $40 billion to shore up its banks and defend its currency peg against the U.S. dollar. 

While the lawsuit has received attention in the media, the extent of other work Banque Havilland did on behalf of MBZ hasn’t been previously reported. Nor has the role of Tricks.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported in November that Banque Havilland is facing a criminal investigation in Luxembourg for, among other things, its dealings with the family of another head of state, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. It has also had communications with regulators in Luxembourg and the U.K. about the Qatar plan, one of its lawyers told Bloomberg earlier this year.

The bank has said in court filings that the presentation wasn’t a war plan but a risk-management strategy to protect UAE holdings of Qatari bonds, drawn up after an August 2017 meeting in London between David Rowland and the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. 

The bank said it created the scenario months after the start of what Qatar alleges was an attack on its financial system and that it didn’t carry out any of the proposed steps or do anything illegal. 

“Banque Havilland firmly denies any allegations of wrongdoing or improper conduct made by the State of Qatar,” a spokesman for the bank said in an emailed statement. “The bank was not part of any conspiracy against Qatar and rejects all of Qatar’s claims.”

Devising a plan for economic sabotage, whether implemented or not, is beyond the remit of most private banks. But Banque Havilland is no ordinary financial institution. 

The firm specialized in doing things others might balk at, the documents and emails show. 

Its clients included kleptocrats and alleged criminals in corruption hotspots including Nigeria and Azerbaijan. 

Its owners solicited business in sanctioned countries such as North Korea and Zimbabwe.

Not all of its clients were pariahs, and none was as important as MBZ, people with knowledge of the matter say. 

The crown prince, 59, is one of the Arab world’s most powerful leaders. 

A graduate of Britain’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he commands one of the best-equipped armies in the region and has waged wars in Yemen, Libya and Somalia. 

He’s not as well-known as his protégé and neighbor Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince. And he isn’t president of the UAE, a title held by a half-brother.

But leaked U.S. diplomatic cables describe MBZ as a “key decision maker.” He helped broker talks in the Seychelles between incoming President Donald Trump’s team and an envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin after the 2016 election, according to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report. 

He played a role in getting Trump to back the Qatar blockade, and he made headlines this year by establishing diplomatic ties with Israel.

Rowland, 75, got to know MBZ in the 1990s, according to court filings, but how their paths first crossed isn’t clear. 

The son of a scrap-metal dealer from South London, Rowland left school at 16. He made a fortune buying and selling real estate before moving onto shipping, timber and chemical companies and establishing a family office to manage his wealth and investments for his friends.

After Rowland bought the Luxembourg arm of collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing in 2009, renaming it Banque Havilland, MBZ became one of its biggest clients

He had $38 million on account in 2012, according to an internal document seen by Bloomberg News that described his family as “key to the bank and its shareholder’s network.”

Tricks also got special treatment. When he wanted to buy a 1.1 million-pound ($1.5 million) house in southwest England in 2010, Banque Havilland gave him a 1.2 million-pound mortgage—an unusual move for a bank that rarely provided financing greater than the value of what it was secured against, according to two former insiders. 

“Although this is not in the scope of our credit guidelines this is something we would like to do,” Jonathan Rowland, another son of David Rowland and the bank’s co-CEO at the time, wrote in an email to a senior executive. “Will is the right-hand man of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and an important person for the family and business in general.”

The Banque Havilland spokesman said he couldn’t comment on whether specific individuals held accounts or received loans, citing confidentiality laws. 

Jonathan Rowland didn’t answer questions put to him by Bloomberg News. David Rowland and Tricks didn’t respond to emails and texts. T

he Abu Dhabi government media office didn’t respond to an email seeking comment, and calls and texts to a representative there weren’t answered.

When MBZ wanted to develop a foothold in southern Africa’s commodities market in 2011, Tricks worked with the Rowlands on sourcing potential investments, documents and emails show. 

They picked Zimbabwe as a hub for the region, but there was a problem. The country was subject to U.S. and European Union sanctions that banned dealings with President Robert Mugabe’s inner circle and many of its state-owned companies. 

Tricks passed on advice about setting up a trust in Abu Dhabi for any Zimbabwe deals to hide the identities of investors from the U.S. Treasury Department, which oversees sanctions enforcement, the emails show.

Still, Jonathan Rowland was concerned about keeping the family’s involvement under wraps. 

“We should be ultra careful about any Media reporting of our visit,” he wrote to Tricks that July, before traveling with his father to Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. “Can this be dealt with beforehand?”

In Harare, the Rowlands discussed investing as much as $200 million with the country’s mining minister, Obert Mpofu, documents show, even though he was subject to an EU asset freeze and visa ban. 

A briefing note written by Tricks referred to rumors that he was “corrupt.” After the trip, David Rowland wrote a note to Mpofu saying he was “very encouraged by the investment opportunities available in Zimbabwe and the potential the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Rowland Family have to form solid Government to Government bilateral agreements in the mining sector.”

The Rowlands returned to Zimbabwe at least one more time to look at possible investments, including one in state-owned gold refiner Fidelity Printers & Refiners

It’s not clear what, if anything, became of those deals, but the UAE is now a major trading partner with the country despite continuing U.S. sanctions, and it opened an embassy there in 2019.

David Rowland and former Banque Havilland Chairman Graham Robeson both have ties to Britain’s Conservative Party. Rowland was one of Prime Minister David Cameron’s biggest backers in the 2010 election and has given his party more than 6 million pounds. 

Robeson, who stepped down as chairman in 2018, has been a fundraiser for the Tories, and the queen honored him for his political work with a 2015 Order of the British Empire award. 

The month after he was elected, on his way back from Afghanistan, Cameron stopped in Abu Dhabi and met with the crown prince and other UAE leaders.

Rowland has donated 465,000 pounds since 2010 to the Conservative Middle East Council, a group that sends delegations of lawmakers to the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries to meet with government leaders, public records show. 

A person who went on one of the trips said the UAE visit was overseen by Tricks. The group’s former director, Leo Docherty, got a 10,000-pound contribution from Rowland when he ran for parliament in 2017. 

Since he was elected, Docherty has been a vocal supporter of the UAE and Saudi Arabia and visited those countries three times in his first nine months in office, according to parliamentary records. 

A spokesman for the council declined to comment, and Docherty didn’t respond to emails and phone calls.

Rowland also gave $2 million to Human Rights Watch after the group criticized the UAE in 2011 for the arrest and harassment of activists—including Ahmed Mansoor, one of its own members—during the Arab Spring uprisings. 

The gift was made through Rowland’s newly established 66 Humanitarian Foundation, which said it was committed to defending human rights in the Middle East.

Robeson, the foundation’s chairman, was elected to the Human Rights Watch board a few months later, in April 2012. He was named to the advocacy group’s Middle East and North Africa advisory committee. 

“We have been given the complete list of projects currently being undertaken by Human Rights Watch in the Middle East and North Africa,” Robeson wrote soon after joining the board, in a memo he emailed to Jonathan Rowland that he asked him to share with his father. 

Robeson also said he’d been given detailed notes of a meeting between the group and Britain’s then-Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell, along with other private briefings.

Just how important this information was to MBZ was highlighted that August when David Rowland emailed Jonathan, referring to Robeson by his initials: 

“GJR is very important in the HRW and Tory thing for the Boss and it is in our interests for it to work.” 

The following month Rowland’s foundation pledged an additional $930,000 to the watchdog group to be spent on projects in the Middle East.

The foundation appears to have had no other purpose than making the Human Rights Watch donations. It was registered in Guernsey after the first gift and wound down when Robeson left the board in 2016. 

Its website contained spelling mistakes and had an “under construction” banner as late as that year, when it was shut down. 

It listed no other partnerships beyond the one with Human Rights Watch, and internet searches show no trace of any other charitable activity.

Emma Daly, a spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch in New York, said the organization vetted Robeson at the time he was being considered for the board and couldn’t find any conflicts. 

She said the group didn’t know about Rowland’s or the bank’s connections to MBZ. Its most recent report on the country noted that, “Despite declaring 2019 the ‘Year of Tolerance,’ United Arab Emirates rulers showed no tolerance for any manner of peaceful dissent.”

Daly said that Robeson “had no role in the planning, design or execution of our work, and we pulled no punches in condemning the UAE’s appalling human rights record before, during or after his tenure with us.” 

She said Robeson, who had remained a member of the group’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights committee, was asked to step down from that role last month after Bloomberg Businessweek published an article about the bank. Robeson declined to comment.

The Rowlands were on hand again in 2012 offering some financial footwork to the Abu Dhabi owners of Britain’s Manchester City Football Club. 

The Union of European Football Associations had banned clubs from spending more than they earned, which threatened to derail Manchester City’s expansion plans. 

The club, bought by a half-brother of MBZ in 2008, had spent about 390 million pounds on new players since then and lost 300 million pounds in the two years before the cap went into effect.

Working with Tricks, the Rowlands set up a company that paid the club a one-time fee of 24.5 million pounds for the players’ image rights and assumed the 12-million-pound cost of compensating them for their marketing appearances. 

Behind the scenes, Abu Dhabi reimbursed the Rowlands.

But the plan didn’t pass muster with UEFA, which in 2015 wrote to the club asking it to take back more than 10 million pounds in image-rights payments a year, Reuters reported in 2018 after reviewing documents known as the “Football Leaks.” 

UEFA didn’t say in the letter that Manchester City had intended to evade its rules or deceive it, according to Reuters, and the governing body didn’t accuse the club of wrongdoing. Spokespersons for Manchester City and UEFA declined to comment.

Robeson was in court in London in March when lawyers representing Qatar accused the bank of leading a financial attack on the country. 

Dressed in a smartly tailored suit and tie, with a battered Louis Vuitton attaché case on the floor by his chair, Robeson sat at the back of the room as the lawyers said Banque Havilland executives had been “caught with their pants down” when the existence of the plan was revealed.

The presentation is now a key part of the case in which Qatar accuses the bank of orchestrating an illegal UAE-backed campaign to create false impressions about the country’s stability. The UAE is not a defendant. 

The plan called for setting up an offshore vehicle into which the UAE would transfer its holdings of Qatari debt before buying more of the securities. 

The fund would also purchase foreign-exchange derivatives linked to the Qatari riyal and buy enough insurance on its bonds—a barometer of a country’s creditworthiness—to “move the price sufficiently to make it newsworthy.” 

Working with an affiliated party, it would then flood the market with the bonds to create the impression of panicked selling. 

The presentation also described a public relations drive to “add more fuel to the fire” and suggest Qatar might be struggling to access U.S. dollars.

Within weeks of the plan being sent to Tricks, the riyal—under pressure since the beginning of the blockade in June 2017—went into freefall and hit a record low. 

The yield on Qatar’s 10-year bonds also soared, as did the cost of insuring the country’s debt against default. 

The currency didn’t recover until November of that year, after the Intercept reported on the Banque Havilland plan.

The bank’s lawyers said in an April filing that the presentation was sent to Tricks, a paid consultant to the bank at the time, that he hadn’t forwarded it to anyone and that the plan was never implemented. 

They didn’t address how it ended up in the UAE ambassador’s inbox. Another court hearing is scheduled for next year.

Meanwhile, the Rowlands still have friends in Abu Dhabi. In April, they transferred ownership of Blackfish Capital, their family office in the U.K., to an investment company based in the emirate run by Barclay Rowland, another son of David’s. 

The family’s private jet, flight records show, flew to Abu Dhabi at least 10 times last year, one of its most frequent destinations.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ

Euro 1.2210

Dollar Index 90.208

Japan Yen 103.42

Swiss Franc 0.8866

Pound 1.3428

Aussie 0.7552

India Rupee 73.918

South Korea Won 1107.64

Brazil Real 5.1225

Egypt Pound 15.6905

South Africa Rand 14.6937

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CoViD19-ΛFЯICΛ: Confirmed: 2 509 132 (+ 18364) Actives: 339 736 (+ 4772) @NCoVAfrica


Confirmed: 2 509 132 (+ 18364)

Actives: 339 736 (+ 4772)

Deaths: 59 115 (+ 344)

Recoveries: 2 108 641 (+ 13248)

According to @NCoVAfrica Peak Daily Infections was 24th July 2020 and 20,873


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Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 77 days @ReutersGraphics

a slow burning Fuse and we all know by now ''viruses exhibit non-linear and exponential characteristics'

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Update: #COVID19 in #SouthAfrica 21 December 2020 Test positivity continues to increase and approaching 25% again @rid1tweets

• New cases = 8 789

• New tests = 35 844

• Daily test positivity = 24.5% 

• New deaths reported = 216

• Active cases = 109 458

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'Slaughtered like chickens': Eritrea heavily involved in Tigray conflict, say eyewitnesses
Law & Politics

In early December, Ethiopian state television broadcast something unexpected: a fiery exchange between civilians in Shire, in the northern Tigray region, and Ethiopian soldiers, who had recently arrived in the area.

To the surprise of viewers used to wartime propaganda, the Tigrayan elders spoke in vivid detail of the horrors that had befallen the town since the outbreak of war between the federal government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the region’s longstanding ruling party, which was ousted from the state capital of Mekelle in late November.

Residents had been “slaughtered like chicken”, the elders said, their corpses abandoned to be “eaten by hyenas”. 

They also spoke of rampant looting and vandalism: “All government assets have been destroyed and looted,” said one.

Perhaps most revealing, however, was the implication that those responsible for the carnage were not Ethiopian federal troops, but outsiders. 

“You need to solve this problem immediately,” said an elder addressing the generals and newly appointed Tigray president, Mulu Nega. 

“How can institutions that should serve the government of the day be allowed to be destroyed and looted by hooligans who do not have Ethiopian values in them?”

Thousands are thought to have been killed, civilians among them, and nearly 50,000 people have fled to Sudan since Ethiopia’s Tigray war began on 4 November. 

Pitched battles involving tanks and fighter jets – as well as militia from Amhara, which borders Tigray to the south – have flattened villages and emptied towns.

But according to eyewitnesses, aid workers and diplomats, the fighting has also involved many thousands of soldiers from neighbouring Eritrea, suggesting that what the Ethiopian government calls a “law enforcement operation” bears the hallmarks of a regional conflict.

Abiy and Eritrea’s president, Isaias Afwerki, share a common enemy in the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopia’s federal government for nearly three decades before Abiy took office in 2018. 

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a bloody war between 1998 and 2000, which claimed an estimated 100,000 lives.

Earlier this month the former president of Tigray, Debretsion Gebremichael, accused Eritrean forces of mass looting. 

Before that he alleged Tigrayan forces were fending off Eritrean divisions on several fronts. 

The TPLF has claimed responsibility for one of three missile strikes on Eritrea since the war began, arguing it had acted in self-defence since the airport in Asmara, the capital, which was hit by at least two rockets in the strike, had been used to launch attacks.

Refugees crossing into Sudan have also made similar claims, telling reporters and aid workers that artillery shells that hit towns in western Tigray had come from Eritrea. 

But confirmation has been complicated by the lack of access for outsiders, including media, and the cutting off of communications to the region. 

Phone lines were restored in parts of Tigray this month, but there is still no internet.

Abiy has denied all allegations, and told the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, on 9 December that he could guarantee no Eritrean troops had entered Ethiopian territory.

However, his government does acknowledge that Ethiopian troops who escaped to Eritrea at the start of the war were aided by Eritreans who fed, clothed and armed them before they returned to the fight in Tigray.

“The Eritrean people are not only our brothers,” Abiy told parliament last month. “They have also shown us practically that they are friends who stood by our side on a tough day.”

But diplomatic sources have backed accusations that Eritrean soldiers have been actively involved in combat inside Tigray. 

Reuters, which interviewed several unidentified diplomats in the region and a US official, revealed earlier this month that the US government believed Eritrean soldiers had crossed into Ethiopian territory in mid-November via three northern border towns: Zalambessa, Rama and Badme.

A spokesperson for the US state department later confirmed the details, marking a shift among US officials, who have previously praised Eritrea for its “restraint”. 

“We are aware of credible reports of Eritrean military involvement in Tigray and view this as a grave development,” said the spokesperson. “We urge that any such troops be withdrawn immediately.”

“In the lingo of the state department that means they have intercepts, satellites and maybe even human intelligence as well,” a top EU diplomat in the region told the Guardian. 

“From everything we’ve been told it is incontrovertible they [Eritrean troops] are involved. It’s absolutely clear.”

Mesfin Hagos, a former Eritrean defence minister turned opposition figure, said in an article for online publication African Arguments, that Isaias had deployed four mechanised divisions, seven infantry divisions and a commando brigade, citing sources in the defence ministry among others.

Wallelegn, a Tigrayan working in Shire when the war began who later escaped to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, told the Guardian that the “Eritreans were really leading the Ethiopian forces in the area”.

“Their uniform is different and they are relatively old and skinny compared with the Ethiopian defence forces,” he said. 

“In the early days of their arrival to Shire they were looting, randomly shooting, mainly youngsters, and burning factories.”

He added: “At first the Ethiopian forces were emotional, and were not doing much to stop the attacks. But later on they started to take charge [and impose order].”

Tigray is also home to around 100,000 refugees from Eritrea, many of whom have fled indefinite national service and military conscription. 

When the war began they were caught in the middle and cut off from relief supplies.

A humanitarian worker in Shire told the Guardian that many refugees in Hitsats camp fled as soon as troops from Eritrea arrived in the vicinity on 19 November. 

According to the source, the approaching “north force” – a reference to Eritrean troops crossing the border from the north – armed refugees before looting property, slaughtering livestock and burning crops.

A senior UN official told the Guardian they had received similar allegations, including of the killing of three security guards employed by the UN at Hitsats camp who tried to prevent the abduction of refugees, and the forced conscription of refugees to fight alongside the Eritrean army.

On 11 December, the head of the UN refugee agency said it had received an “overwhelming” number of reports of Eritrean refugees in Tigray being killed, abducted or forcibly returned to Eritrea over the past month. 

That same day Ethiopian authorities started putting Eritrean refugees in Addis Ababa on buses and returning them to Tigray against their will. 

The Ethiopian government said it was “safely returning” refugees to camps where there would be access to “service delivery systems” in order to process their cases.

In recent days, according to a refugee based in Adi Harush camp, south of Hitsats, Eritrean soldiers accompanied by Ethiopian troops have patrolled the camp on the hunt for individuals. 

“They were searching name-by-name and home-to-home. Their main target seems to be opposition members,” said the refugee, who asked for anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Eritrean state television, the only broadcast media in the country, has made no mention of the conflict in Ethiopia since it began, Eritreans living in Asmara say. 

President Isaias has not uttered a word in public in response to the missiles fired at Asmara last month.

Nor has his minister of information, Yemane Gebremeskel, whose office building narrowly escaped a rocket strike on 13 November. 

Eritrea’s foreign minister, Osman Saleh Mohammed, acknowledged the war but denied any involvement. “We are not part of the conflict,” he told Reuters last month.

Ethiopian officials, meanwhile, have accused the TPLF of manufacturing fake Eritrean uniforms to falsely implicate their neighbours, and insist that the conflict remains an exclusively internal affair.

Meron Estefanos, director of the Eritrean Initiative on Refugee Rights, notes that not all allegations involving Eritreans are plausible. 

She told the Guardian that while some refugees and prominent opposition figures living in Ethiopia had certainly been forcibly returned to Eritrea, estimates of several thousand abductees are improbable.

But as for the broader claims of Eritrean involvement, she said: “People inside Eritrea know exactly what is going on.

“I am sick and tired of the fact that, no matter how many Eritreans say that Eritrean troops are in Tigray, it is not confirmed until a foreign diplomat says it is.”

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A communal grave for victims of an alleged massacre in Mai Kadra. Photograph: Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images


Some smell roses. I smell gunpowder. The Horn is not stabilising. The Horn is a tinderbox. @RAbdiAnalyst

@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.

I wrote this in 2 JUL 18 :: :Ethiopia Rising

I recalled watching the Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi order on a night of a full moon in Konya, Turkey. 

 It’s all about speed and velocity. Paul Virilio terms it ‘dromology’, which he defined as the “science (or logic) of speed“. 

He notes that the speed at which something happens may change its essential nature, and that which moves with speed quickly comes to dominate that which is slower.

“Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation.”

Virilio argues that the traditional feudal fortified city disappeared because of the increasing sophistication of weapons and possibilities for warfare. 

For Virilio, the concept of siege warfare became rather a war of movement.

Abiy Ahmed has moved at lightning speed, the old guard is like ‘’the traditional feudal fortified city’’.


However, It is Debretsion who has the 'dromology'' advantage and that is why 

@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.

The question now is whether the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front can sustain a prolonged guerrilla war @TheEconomist

Or alternatively @TheEconomist whether @PMEthiopia can sustain an occupation given that one suspects there are equally restive regions

The fugitive leader of Ethiopia’s defiant Tigray region on Monday called on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “stop the madness” and withdraw troops

The fight is about self-determination of the region of around 6 million people, the Tigray leader said, and it “will continue until the invaders are out.” 

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer

Turning to Africa The Spinning Top

Democracy from Tanzania to Zimbabwe to Cameroon has been shredded.

We are getting closer and closer to the Virilian Tipping Point

“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street''

Political leadership in most cases completely gerontocratic will use violence to cling onto Power but any Early Warning System would be warning a Tsunami is coming

10 NOV 14 : African youth demographic {many characterise this as a 'demographic dividend"} - which for Beautiful Blaise turned into a demographic terminator

Martin Aglo, a law student from Benin, told Reuters: “After the Arab Spring, this is the Black Spring”.We need to ask ourselves; how many people can incumbent shoot stone cold dead in such a situation – 100, 1,000, 10,000?

This is another point: there is a threshold beyond which the incumbent can’t go. Where that threshold lies will be discovered in the throes of the event.

The Event is no longer over the Horizon.


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As Somalia-Kenya tensions heat up, Turkey-Kenya relations will come more into focus | Turkey has no commercial leverage over Kenya @michaeltanchum
Law & Politics

Turkey # 20 import market (Kenya buys) - $190 million

Turkey # 52 export market (what Kenya sells) - only $13 million

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In the last 5 financial years, Homeboyz Entertainment has made Kshs. 20.2 million in profit from Kshs. 1.66 BILLION in turnover (lost money in 3/5 years). @MihrThakar
N.S.E General

Notably, Kshs. 16.6 million in minimum tax would be payable on that turnover under the new tax regime, coming forth in 2021.

Interesting Excerpts from their Information Memorandum @mistergitau

•Listing is by introduction; it’s not an IPO

•Has 63.2M shares priced at KES 4.66 per share; Market Cap 290.318M

•Homeboyz Entertainment Does not Own 


 , but they share mgt & directors

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

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