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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Wednesday 11th of August 2021

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7 JAN 13 :: On the Road

The Nairobi-Mombasa road arrows ‘into immensities and is ‘impossible-to- believe.’ It retains a near mystical hold on my imagination and connects me to my childhood and beyond.

This time we were swarmed by doves near Emali which was breathtaking. There is still the eerie and deserted very Oscar Niemeyer building which might have been a petrol station with a restaurant. 

We stopped at Makindu which is like being teleported to Amritsar and on New Years day was packed to the rafters.
We always stop at Mackinnon road where there is a shrine which houses the tomb of Seyyid Baghali, a Punjabi foreman at the time of the building of the railway who was renowned for his strength. 

3. And this time we took ourselves to Vipingo and Watamu. In Vipingo,I was introduced to a pristine beach which is accessed via a ladder as if you were descending from the real world into another. 

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Arturo sat alone at a table, accompanied only by his ghosts, staring at his last tequila as if a shipwreck of Homeric proportions were occurring in the bottom of the glass ROBERTO BOLAÑO Amulet

I followed them: I saw them go down Bucareli to Reforma with a spring in their step and then cross Reforma without waiting for the lights to change, their long hair blowing in the excess wind that funnels down Reforma at that hour of the night, turning it into a transparent tube or an elongated lung exhaling the city's imaginary breath. 

Then we walked down the Avenida Guerrero; they weren't stepping so lightly any more, and I wasn't feeling too enthusiastic either. 

Guerrero, at that time of night, is more like a cemetery than an avenue, not a cemetery in 1974 or in 1968, or 1975, but a cemetery in the year 2666, a forgotten cemetery under the eyelid of a corpse or an unborn child, bathed in the dispassionate fluids of an eye that tried so hard to forget one particular thing that it ended up forgetting everything else.

by which I mean that the urban version of the Grijalva, flowing in the night, was in every respect a damned river, a river of the damned, ferrying corpses and corpses-to-be, black automobiles that appeared, vanished, and then reappeared, the same ones or their silent, demented echoes, as if the river of Hell were circular, which, now I come to think of it, is probably the case.

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VIDEO: People are fleeing Afghanistan's provinces for the capital #Kabul as fighting escalates @AFP
Law & Politics

VIDEO: People are fleeing Afghanistan's provinces for the capital #Kabul as fighting escalates, with the Taliban seizing a sixth city on Monday following a weekend blitz across the north of the country 

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All roads lead to the Battle for Kabul @asiatimesonline
Law & Politics

The ever-elusive Afghan “peace” process negotiations re-start this Wednesday in Doha via the extended troika – the US, Russia, China and Pakistan. 

The contrast with the accumulated facts on the ground could not be starker.
In a coordinated blitzkrieg, the Taliban have subdued no less than six Afghan provincial capitals in only four days. 

The central administration in Kabul will have a hard time defending its stability in Doha.
It gets worse. Ominously, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has all but buried the Doha process. 

He’s already betting on civil war – from the weaponization of civilians in the main cities to widespread bribing of regional warlords, with the intent of building a “coalition of the willing” to fight the Taliban.  
The capture of Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, was a major Taliban coup. Zaranj is the gateway for India’s access to Afghanistan and further on to Central Asia via the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).
India paid for the construction of the highway linking the port of Chabahar in Iran – the key hub of India’s faltering version of the New Silk Roads – to Zaranj. 

At stake here is a vital Iran-Afghanistan border crossing cum Southwest/Central Asia transportation corridor. 

Yet now the Taliban control trade on the Afghan side. And Tehran has just closed the Iranian side. No one knows what happens next. 

The Taliban are meticulously implementing a strategic master plan. There’s no smoking gun, yet – but highly informed outside help – Pakistani ISI intel? – is plausible.
First, they conquer the countryside – a virtually done deal in at least 85% of the territory. Then they control the key border checkpoints, as with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Spin Boldak with Balochistan in Pakistan

Finally, it’s all about encircling and methodically taking provincial capitals – that’s where we are now.
The final act will be the Battle for Kabul. This may plausibly happen as early as September, in a warped “celebration” of the 20 years of 9/11 and the American bombing of 1996-2001 Talibanistan.  
That strategic blitzkrieg
What’s going on across the north is even more astonishing than in the southwest. 

The Taliban have conquered Sheberghan, a heavily Uzbek-influenced area, and took no time to spread images of fighters in stolen garb posing in front of the now-occupied Dostum Palace. 

Notoriously vicious warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum happens to be the current Afghan vice-president.

The Taliban’s big splash was to enter Kunduz, which is still not completely subdued. 

Kunduz is very important strategically. With 370,000 people and quite close to the Tajik border, it’s the main hub of northeast Afghanistan. 

Kabul government forces have simply fled. All prisoners were released from local jails. Roads are blocked. 

That’s significant because Kunduz is at the crossroads of two important corridors – to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. And crucially, it’s also a crossroads of corridors used to export opium and heroin.
The Bundeswehr used to occupy a military base near Kunduz airport, now housing the 217th Afghan Army corps. That’s where the few remaining Afghan government forces have retreated.
The Taliban are now bent on besieging the historically legendary Mazar-i-Sharif, the big northern city, even more important than Kunduz. Mazar-i-Sharif is the capital of Balkh province. The top local warlord, for decades, has been Atta Mohammad Noor, who I met 20 years ago.

He’s now vowing to defend “his” city “until the last drop of my blood.” That, in itself, spells out a major civil war scenario.   

The Taliban endgame here is to establish a west-east axis from Sheberghan to Kunduz and the also captured Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province, via Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province, and parallel to the northern borders with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
If that happens, we’re talking about an irreversible, logistical game-changer, with virtually the whole north escaping from the control of Kabul. No way the Taliban will “negotiate” this win – in Doha or anywhere else.     

An extra astonishing fact is that all these areas do not feature a Pashtun majority, unlike Kandahar in the south and Lashkar Gah in the southwest, where the Taliban are still fighting to establish complete control.   

The Taliban’s control over almost all international border crossings yielding customs revenue leads to serious questions about what happens next to the drug business.

Will the Taliban again interdict opium production – like the late Mullah Omar did in the early 2000s? A strong possibility is that distribution will not be allowed inside Afghanistan.

After all, export profits can only benefit Taliban weaponization – against future American and NATO “interference.” And Afghan farmers may earn much more with opium poppy cultivation than with other crops.
NATO’s abject failure in Afghanistan is visible in every aspect. In the past, Americans used military bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The Bundeswehr used the base in Termez, Uzbekistan, for years.  
Termez is now used for Russian and Uzbek joint maneuvers. And the Russians left their base in Kyrgzstan to conduct joint maneuvers in Tajikistan. 

The whole security apparatus in the neighboring Central Asian “stans” is being coordinated by Russia.  
China’s main security priority, meanwhile, is to prevent future jihadi incursions in Xinjiang, which involve extremely hard mountain crossings from Afghanistan to Tajikistan and then to a no man’s land in the Wakhan corridor. 

Beijing’s electronic surveillance is tracking anything that moves in this part of the roof of the world.  
This Chinese think tank analysis shows how the moving chessboard is being tracked. 

The Chinese are perfectly aware of the “military pressure on Kabul” running in parallel to the Taliban diplomatic offensive, but prefer to stress their “posing as an aggressive force ready to take over the regime.”
Chinese realpolitik also recognizes that “the United States and other countries will not easily give up the operation in Afghanistan for many years, and will not be willing to let Afghanistan become the sphere of influence of other countries.”
This leads to characteristic Chinese foreign policy caution, with practically an advice for the Taliban not to “be too big,” and try “to replace the Ghani government in one fell swoop.”  
How to prevent a civil war
So is Doha DOA? Extended troika players are doing what they can to salvage it. 

There are rumors of feverish “consultations” with the members of the Taliban political office based in Qatar and with the Kabul negotiators.
The starter will be a meeting this Tuesday of the US, Russia, Afghanistan’s neighbors and the UN. 

Yet even before that, the Taliban political office spokesman, Naeem Wardak, has accused Washington of interfering in internal Afghan affairs.  
Pakistan is part of the extended troika. Pakistani media is all-out involved in stressing how Islamabad’s leverage over the Taliban “is now limited.” 

An example is made of how the Taliban shut the key border crossing in Spin Boldak – actually a smuggling haven – demanding Pakistan ease visa restrictions for Afghans.
Now that is a real nest of vipers issue. Most old school Taliban leaders are based in Pakistan’s Balochistan and supervise what goes in and out of the border from a safe distance, in Quetta.    
Extra trouble for the extended troika is the absence of Iran and India at the negotiating table. Both have key interests in Afghanistan, especially when it comes to its hopefully new peaceful role as a transit hub for Central-South Asia connectivity.
Moscow from the start wanted Tehran and New Delhi to be part of the extended troika. Impossible. Iran never sits on the same table with the US, and vice-versa. That’s the case now in Vienna, during the JCPOA negotiations, where they “communicate” via the Europeans.
New Delhi for its part refuses to sit on the same table with the Taliban, which it sees as a terrorist Pakistani proxy.   

There’s a possibility that Iran and India may be getting their act together, and that would include even a closely connected position on the Afghan drama.

When Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar attended President Ebrahim Raisi’s inauguration last week in Tehran, they insisted on “close cooperation and coordination” also on Afghanistan.
What this would imply in the near future is increased Indian investment in the INSTC and the India-Iran-Afghanistan New Silk Road corridor. Yet that’s not going to happen with the Taliban controlling Zaranj.  
Beijing for its part is focused on increasing its connectivity with Iran via what could be described as a Persian-colored corridor incorporating Tajikistan and Afghanistan. That will depend, once again, on the degree of Taliban control.
But Beijing can count on an embarrassment of riches: Plan A, after all, is an extended China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with Afghanistan annexed, whoever is in power in Kabul.  
What’s clear is that the extended troika will not be shaping the most intricate details of the future of Eurasia integration. That will be up to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes Russia, China, Pakistan, India, the Central Asian “stans” and Iran and Afghanistan as current observers and future full-members.  
So the time has come for the SCO’s ultimate test: how to pull off a near-impossible power-sharing deal in Kabul and prevent a devastating civil war, complete with imperial B-52 bombing.   

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Global cases continue their zig zag path. @video4me

Infections have been accelerating for 6 weeks now 

''viruses exhibit non-linear and exponential characteristics''

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Nations w/ high COVID19 avg 2wk case/day increase @jmlukens

Azerbaijan: 264%
Japan: 223%
Morocco: 208%
Israel: 176%
Eswatini: 158%
Canada: 152%
Ghana: 121%
Lebanon: 109%
US: 109%
Pakistan: 91%

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A number of well-vaccinated places have entered this list, which underscores the need for caution even when vaccinated. @fibke

Today the relative viral loads in the Delta variant infections are 1260 times higher than the 19A/19B strains infections

Far from ebbing, the virus has gained virulence

Certainly, the Vaccine has mitigated Mortality but lets see for how long because in a hyperconnected World just about everyone has to be vaccinated for the World to reach Herd Immunity. Its just not going to happen.

So, my Point is this, our Attention span is short and Many Folks seem to feel we are in the final Act of the COVID-19 Play. I would be limit short that particular narrative.

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Ex-Dallas Fed Pres. Richard Fisher put it: “We injected monetary heroin into the system.” @ClarkiiStomias
World Of Finance

Now the only systemic outcomes are withdrawal (asset destruction) or overdose (currency destruction), either of which would lead to the system’s death.
However, there are many discordant notes.
Firstly consider

I remain very bullish Long term G7 Bonds. 

09-MAY-2021 ::  The Lotos-eaters However, I am resetting my target Yield to 1.25% now.


I believe we are now headed to < than 1% $TNX

"positive US real yields for any length of time would likely set off debt crises around the world" - DB @zerohedge

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1709
Dollar Index 93.149
Japan Yen 110.73
Swiss Franc 0.9237
Pound 1.3822
Aussie 0.7332
India Rupee 74.48
South Korea Won 1157.03
Brazil Real 5.19
Egypt Pound 15.7055
South Africa Rand 14.844

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‘We haven’t been spared, we’re just not counting’: Sudan’s hidden Covid death toll @Telegraph

Many African commentators slammed the prophecies of doom, saying that they were at best misinformed and at worst based on racist stereotypes of the continent as a dark, diseased place incapable of looking after itself. 

“[The projections] were embedded in a shallow understanding of the continent, and a rush to make headlines,” Dr John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Telegraph in October. 
But 18 months on from Africa’s first case, a far more confusing and insidious reality is beginning to emerge in some big countries like Sudan. 
“To say that we as the African continent have been spared the worst is a myth. We’re swimming in these myths. We haven’t been spared the worst. We’re just not counting,” says Dr Dahab.  

“To be counted as a Covid-19 statistic, you need to be rich. You need to be relatively wealthy to be seen. If you’re poor you die, you suffocate unseen.”

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Deaths from #COVID19 in Africa are surging. The average daily number of confirmed deaths hit 1,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. @ONECampaign

Confirmed deaths from the virus have increased by 80% in the past four weeks, driven by the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant. 

In Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, six people are dying per day and the positivity rate of those being tested has increased eightfold in the last month. Lagos’ governor said “the situation at hand should rightly alarm all of us.”

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19-JUL-2021 :: Now lets turn to Africa. lets look at the Virus first

"Over the past month, #Africa recorded an additional 1 million cases. This is the shortest time it’s taken so far to add one million cases." Dr @MoetiTshidi #COVID19 @WHOAFRO
"Comparatively, it took around three months to move from 4 million to 5 million cases." - Dr @MoetiTshidi #COVID19

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Africa is currently reporting a million new infections about every 26 days @ReutersGraphics

9 countries are still at the peak of their infection curve.

Morocco, CAR, Burundi, Botswana, Reunion, Eswatini at peak Mauritania 98% Ghana 95% Guinea 91% Kenya 88% 

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To this day, the natural reservoir of Marburg is unknown. Marburg lives somewhere in the shadow of Mt. Elgon. Crisis in the Hot Zone Lessons from an outbreak of Ebola. Richard Preston

The first known emergence of a filovirus happened in August, 1967, in Marburg, Germany. 

A shipment of green monkeys from Uganda had arrived in Frankfurt. Green-monkey kidney cells are useful for the production of vaccines, and these monkeys were going to be killed for their kidneys. 

Most of the monkeys were trucked from Frankfurt to a factory in Marburg that produced serum and vaccines, while a few monkeys from the same shipment stayed in Frankfurt, and a few others went to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. 

The first person known to be infected with the virus—the index case—was a man known as Klaus F., an animal-care technician at the serum factory in Marburg. 

He broke with fever and rash on August 8th, and died two weeks later.
So little is known about the Marburg agent that only one book has been published about it, “Marburg Virus Disease,” edited by G. A. Martini and R. Siegert. 

In it we learn: The monkey-keeper heinrich p. came back from his holiday on August 13th 1967 and did his job of killing monkeys from August 14th-23rd.
The first symptoms appeared on August 21st. The laboratory assistant renate l. broke a test-tube that was to be sterilized, which had contained infected material, on August 28th, and fell ill on September 4th 1967.
And so on. Thirty-one laboratory workers acquired the disease; seven died. In other words, the case-fatality rate of Marburg virus in hospitalized patients was twenty-two per cent. That was terrifying.
Yellow fever, which is considered a lethal virus, kills only five per cent of the infected once they reach a hospital.
Marburg began with a splitting headache, focussed behind the eyes and temples. 

That was followed by a fever. The characteristic diagnostic sign was a red speckled rash over the body which blistered into a sea of tiny white bubbles. 

“Most of the patients showed a sullen, slightly aggressive, or negativistic behavior,” Martini wrote. “Two patients [had] a feeling as if they were lying on crumbs.” 

One became deranged and psychotic. These mental signs were caused by the virus’s having damaged the brain. 

The patient Hans O.-V. showed no signs of mental change, but he suffered a sudden, acute fall of blood pressure and died. 

At autopsy, his brain was found to be laced with hemorrhages, and there was a massive, fatal hemorrhage at the center. 

In Frankfurt, an animal attendant known as B. developed a high fever and eventually began bleeding from his mouth, nose, and gastrointestinal tract. 

He was given whole-blood transfusions, but then he developed uncontrollable hemorrhages at the sites of the I.V. punctures. 

He died with blood running from his mouth and his nipples. All the survivors lost their hair. During convalescence, the skin peeled off their faces, hands, feet, and genitals. 

It was a small, frightening emergence.
Marburg virus looks like rope, or it rolls up into the rings that resemble Cheerios. 

Virologists had never seen a ring-shaped virus, and couldn’t figure out how to classify it. They thought that it might be a type of rabies. 

The rabies particle is shaped like a bullet, and if you stretch a bullet it becomes a rod, and the rod can be bent into a doughnut: Marburg. They started calling Marburg “stretched rabies.”
But it is not related to rabies. The question was: What is the virus’s natural history? In what animal or insect does Marburg hide? Marburg evidently does not circulate in monkeys. 

Monkeys die quickly of the disease, and if they were the reservoir, Marburg wouldn’t wipe them out. 

The monkey’s immune system would have learned to attack the virus, and the virus itself would have become better adapted to living in monkeys without killing them, since it is in the virus’s best interest to let the host survive. 

The Marburg monkeys had been collected in Uganda by native trappers—apparently in forested habitat to the west of Mt. Elgon, an extinct volcano that straddles the border between Uganda and Kenya.
Teams of epidemiologists combed Uganda, and especially the western slopes of Mt. Elgon, looking for some animal or insect that harbored Marburg virus; they found nothing.

In 1980, a French engineer who was employed by the Nzoia Sugar Company at a factory in Kenya within sight of Mt. Elgon developed Marburg and died. 

He was an amateur naturalist who spent time camping and hiking around Mt. Elgon, and he had recently visited a cavern on the Kenyan side of the mountain which was known as Kitum Cave

It wasn’t clear where the Frenchman had picked up the virus, whether at the sugar factory or outdoors. 

Then, in the late summer of 1987, a Danish boy whose name will be given here as Peter Cardinal visited the Kenyan side of Mt. Elgon with his parents—the Cardinals were tourists—and the boy broke with Marburg and died

Epidemiologists at usamriid became interested in the cases, and they traced the movements of the French engineer and the Danish boy in the days before their illnesses and deaths. 

The result was weird. The paths of the French engineer and the Danish boy had crossed only once—in Kitum Cave.  Peter Cardinal had gone inside Kitum Cave

As for the Ugandan trappers who had collected the original Marburg monkeys, they might have poached them from the Kenyan side of Mt. Elgon. Those monkeys might have lived near Kitum Cave, and might even have occasionally visited the cave. 

Mt. Elgon is a huge, eroded volcanic massif, fifty miles across—one of the largest volcanoes in East Africa. Kitum Cave is one of a number of caverns that penetrate Mt. Elgon at an altitude of around eight thousand feet and open their mouths in a deep forest of podo trees, African junipers, African olives, and camphors

Kitum Cave descends into tight passages and underground pools that extend an unknown distance back into Mt. Elgon. The volcanic rock within Kitum Cave is permeated with mineral salts. 

Elephants go inside the cave to root out chunks of salty rock with their tusks and chew on them. Water buffalo also visit the cave to lick the rocks, and they may be followed into the cave by leopards. Fruit bats and insect-eating bats roost in the cave, filling the air with a sour smell. 

The animals drop their dung in the cave—an enclosed airspace—and they attract biting flies and carry ticks and mites. 

The volcanic rock contains petrified logs, the remains of trees that were enveloped in lava, and the logs are filled with sharp crystals. Peter Cardinal may have handled crystals inside the cave and scratched his hands

Possibly the crystals were tainted with animal urine or the remains of an insect. 

The Army keeps some of Peter Cardinal’s tissues frozen in cryovials, and the Cardinal strain is viciously hot. It kills guinea pigs like flies. 

In February, 1988, a few months after Peter Cardinal died, the Army sent a team of epidemiologists to Kitum Cave. The team wore Racal suits inside the cave. A Racal is a lightweight pressurized suit with a filtered air supply, used for hot operations in the field. 

There is no vaccine for Marburg, and the Army people had come to believe that the virus could be spread through the air. 

Near and inside the cave they set out, in cages, guinea pigs and primates—baboons, green monkeys, and Sykes’ monkeys—and they surrounded the cages with electrified wire to discourage predators. 

The guinea pigs and monkeys were sentinel animals, like canaries in a coal mine: they were placed there in the theory or the hope that some of them would develop Marburg. 

With the help of Kenyan naturalists, the Army team trapped as many different kinds of wild mammals as they could find, including rodents, rock hyraxes, and bats, and drew blood from them. 

They collected insects. Some local people, the il-Kony, had lived in some of the caves. 

A Kenyan doctor from the Kenya Medical Research Institute, in Nairobi, drew blood from these people and took their medical histories. 

At the far end of Kitum Cave, where it disappears in pools of water, the Army team found a population of sand flies. They mashed some flies and tested them for Marburg. The expedition was a dry hole. 

The sentinel animals remained healthy, and the blood and tissue samples from the mammals, insects, arthropods, and local people showed no obvious signs of Marburg. 

To this day, the natural reservoir of Marburg is unknown. Marburg lives somewhere in the shadow of Mt. Elgon

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Mount Elgon is one of the hidden gems of Kenya. Sitting on the Ugandan border 100 kilometres north of Lake Victoria, it is home to a very special population of elephants. 

Currently numbering about 100 individuals, this population was hit hard by ivory poaching in the 1980s and 90s. Now Born Free is supporting KWS to ensure their protection.
So, why is this population so special? Many land-living herbivores experience 'salt hunger'. Their diet of plants does not supply them with enough minerals (e.g. sodium), so they seek these out in any digestible form that they can find. 

In many places this leads to animals congregating at salt licks. On Mount Elgon, however, the only natural source of salt is more obscure - it is found in deep, natural caves in the side of the mountain. 

Herds of elephant enter these caves,  and walk as far as 150 metres into the pitch darkness to find a salt seam in the rock. 

They then excavate the mineral-rich rock with their tusks, chipping off rough chunks and eating them as a vital dietary supplement. 

This is a unique behaviour, known only from this tiny population.
Mount Elgon is the eighth highest mountain in Africa and has the largest base area of any free-standing volcano in the world.
The elephants on the mountain are Savannah Elephants (Loxodonta africana africana), not the forest elephants of West & Central Africa
The most frequently visited cave in Mt Elgon is called Kitum ('Place of Ceremonies' in Masai) and it stretches for 160m into the mountain.
As well as the extraordinary elephants, Elgon is home to colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, leopard, giant forest hog, bushbuck, eland, buffalo, duiker, and golden cat.

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Turning to Africa

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

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9-JUL-2021 :: His Army has been defeated and now he is sending conscripts to slaughter whilst his Adversaries are fighting for their existence.

In the Horn of Africa the Prime Minister of Ethiopia who cloaked his messianic zeal in the language of Mandela 1994 is unlikely to last more than twelve months.

His Army has been defeated and now he is sending conscripts to slaughter whilst his Adversaries are fighting for their existence. 

The Contagion will surely boomerang as far as Asmara and destabilise the Horn of Africa for the forseeable future.
If I could I would be limit short the Ethiopian Birr [It trades at 60 to the $ on the black market]

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“Ethiopia is an empire,” says Norwegian professor Kjetil Tronvoll. “And in empire theory, there are clear phases of an empire of growth, consolidation and decline.” @BritishGQ @swilliamsjourno

“Empire traditions have been weakened decade by decade. And we are approaching, possibly, the final days or the fall of the empire of Ethiopia.”

Abiy has nowhere to go. In March he said TPLF fighters had dispersed “like flour in the winds” and in May he designated the TPLF a terrorist organisation. 
“There’s absolutely zero chance of Abiy or [Afwerki] doing a deal with the TPLF,” a former Western military official told me. 
“For [Afwerki], it’s totally unacceptable. For Abiy, it would collapse him, because he’s vilified the TPLF for everything they’ve done, to the point that if he were to say, ‘Now we would have to do a deal with the TPLF,’ the rest of Ethiopia would say, ‘Fxxk off.’”

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The national mobilization and war recruitment have the echoes of the final days of the Derg regime. @AwashPost H/T @rhaplord

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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"Unless there is a dramatic change soon, Ethiopia could be on a path to state failure," said Mr @Dibjir @BBCWorld

"Five years ago the Ethiopian army was the most powerful in the region. The fact it couldn't secure Tigray shows how the situation has deteriorated."

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Zambian authorities are methodically going through the playbook for stealing this Thursday's election. @AfricaACSS

There is every reason to expect President Lungu to announce victory, but there will be little reason to believe it.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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August 2021

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