Sunday, October 02, 2011

News roundup of "arab spring" news not being reported

While it is true that the situation in Syria and Libya is getting a lot of coverage, people forget other aspects of what is going on in the Arab World. That is not to minimize what is going on, as war could seem likely with Syria, as america could use the pretext of it's ambassador being attacked to go to war as it has done before, and I don't find it coincidental that an opposition council was created so soon after this incident. Also notice what is going in Libya, as Africa is not only harboring Qaddafi's family but assisting him, as they realize the true western backed nature of the rebels.
interesting enough it is not being reported that Tunisia acquired 6 german Albatross class Corvettes, which are the equal of the israeli saar class, right before the uprisings, and that Lurssen stopped the sale of the 3 Nakhoda Ragam class FFG's to Algeria around the time of the uprisings in that country. Those two pieces of military news not being reported show there is more going on than people just pissed off at their government.
Peter Khan Zendran


Syria opposition launches national council
APBy ZEINA KARAM - Associated Press | AP – 1 hr 49 mins ago


BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian dissidents on Sunday formally established a broad-based national council designed to overthrow President Bashar Assad's regime, which they accused of pushing the country to the brink of civil war. Syrians took to the streets in celebration, singing and dancing.

In a restive northern area, meanwhile, gunmen killed the 21-year-old son of Syria's top Sunni Muslim cleric in an ambush, the state-run news agency reported. The cleric, Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, is considered a close supporter of Assad's regime and has echoed its claims that the unrest in Syria is the result of a foreign conspiracy.

The announcement of the Syrian National Council at a news conference in Istanbul appeared to be the most serious step yet to unify a deeply fragmented opposition. It follows five days of intense battles between the Syrian military and army defectors in the country's central region that raised the specter of all-out armed conflict.

Prominent Syrian opposition figure Bourhan Ghalioun, who read out the founding statement of the SNC at the news conference in Istanbul, accused the regime of fomenting sectarian strife in Syria to maintain its grip on power.

"I think that this (Assad) regime has completely lost the world's trust," he said. "The world is waiting for a united Syrian (opposition) that can provide the alternative to this regime, so that they can recognize it," he added.

"The council denounces the (regime's) policy of sectarian incitement ... which threatens national unity and is pushing the country to the brink of civil war," he said.

Syria's volatile sectarian divide means that an armed conflict could rapidly escalate in scale and brutality. The Assad regime is dominated by the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, but the country is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim.

The opposition movement has until now focused on peaceful demonstrations, although recently some protesters have been reported to have taken up arms to defend themselves against military attacks. Army defectors have also been fighting government troops.

Sunday's killing of the mufti's son took place in the Saraqeb region of the restive northern Idlib province as he left the university where he studied. He was shot in the chest and kidney and died later of his injuries. The news report gave no details on who might have been behind the killing.

In forming a national council, the Syrians are following in the footsteps of Libyan rebels, who formed a National Transitional Council during the uprising that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The Libyan council won international recognition and has now become the main governing body that runs the country.

Groups of Syrians poured into the streets in southern and central regions of the country to celebrate the announcement.

Although the mass demonstrations in Syria have shaken one of the most authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, the opposition has made no major gains in recent months. It holds no territory and still has no clear leadership.

The Syrian opposition consists of a variety of groups with differing ideologies, including Islamists and secularists, and there have been many meetings of dissidents claiming to represent Syria's popular uprising since it erupted seven months ago. But the new council is the broadest umbrella movement of revolutionary forces formed so far.

A group of Syrian activists had declared the preliminary formation of the council last month, but its structure and goals, and a founding statement signed by major opposition factions, had not been announced until this conference.

The SNC announced in Istanbul appears to have received the recognition of the largest Syrian opposition factions.

Members said it includes representatives from the Damascus Declaration grouping, a pro-democracy network based in the capital; the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic political party banned in the country; various Kurdish factions; and the grass-roots Local Coordination Committees, which have led protests across the country; as well as other independent and tribal figures.

Istanbul conference spokesman Ghalioun said one major benefit of the council to the Syrian opposition would be to provide a single body with which other countries could coordinate. He urged Syrians everywhere to support it and said it would be a vehicle for democratic change.

The council's statement said it categorically rejects any foreign intervention or military operations to bring down Assad's regime but called on the international community to "protect the Syrian people" from "the declared war and massacres being committed against them by the regime."

It said that protesters should continue to use "peaceful means" to topple the Syrian leader.

The organizers have not named a leader for the national council, but appeared to give a leading role to Ghalioun, a respected and popular opposition figure who is also a scholar of contemporary oriental studies at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Syria's uprising began in mid-March amid a wave of anti-government protests in the Arab world that have so far toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Assad has reacted with deadly force that the U.N. estimates has left some 2,700 people dead.

In other developments Sunday, a state-run Syrian newspaper warned U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford against meddling in Syrian affairs if he wants to avoid more "rotten egg" attacks in the future. The Al Baath newspaper, a mouthpiece of the Syrian regime, accused Ford of supporting armed anti-government groups in Syria and said he should expect further "unpleasant treatment" as long as his country meddles in Syrian affairs.

Supporters of Assad pelted Ford with eggs on Thursday as he visited Hassan Abdul-Azim, an opposition figure in Damascus.

The Obama administration summoned Syria's ambassador in Washington to hear formal U.S. condemnation of the assault.

The government said it retook control of the rebellious central town of Rastan Sunday after hunting down "armed terrorists" holed up inside. But the fighting there highlighted the increasingly militarized nature of an uprising started months ago by peaceful protesters.

Syrian activists say the fighting in Rastan had pitted the Syrian military against hundreds of army defectors who sided with anti-regime protesters. It was among the worst clashes in the uprising.

___

Zeina Karam can be reached on http://twitter.com/zkaram


Gadhafi son denies Interpol allegations
APBy KIM GAMEL - Associated Press | AP – 2 hrs 1 min ago



TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi's son, al-Saadi, denied allegations of corruption and intimidation and called Interpol's decision to put him on the equivalent of its most-wanted list political, according to an email sent Sunday.

Al-Saadi Gadhafi is under house arrest in Libyan neighbor Niger, where he fled after Tripoli fell to revolutionary forces. His father and two of his brothers are in hiding, presumably inside Libya, as fighting between revolutionary forces and Gadhafi's loyalists continues on three fronts.

Al-Saadi "regrets the issue of a red notice by Interpol and strenuously denies the charges made against him," an email forwarded to The Associated Press said.

Interpol issued a red notice for al-Saadi last week based on accusations he misappropriated property and engaged in "armed intimidation" when he headed the Libyan Football Federation. He also was a special forces commander and is the subject of U.N. sanctions for commanding military units involved in repression of demonstrations.

The international police agency said the notice was issued in response to a request by the Libya's National Transitional Council, which has assumed leadership of the North African nation. Niger, which borders Libya on the south and long benefited from Gadhafi's largesse, has said it would study the question.

In the email, al-Saadi called the Interpol notice a "clear political decision to recognize the de jure authority of the National Transitional Council taken without appropriate regard to the current absence of a functioning, effective and fair system of justice in Libya."

It said al-Saadi "worked tirelessly to promote football in Libya, priding himself on the fact that Libya was formerly selected to host the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations." It added that Gadhafi's son "continues to call on all sides to seek a negotiated and peaceful resolution to the present conflict."

The South African Football Association has signed an agreement with Libya's post-Gadhafi football federation to host the 2013 African Cup of Nations, while Libya will stage the 2017 games.

The email was relayed to the AP on Sunday by defense attorney Nick Kaufman, who has been involved in a number of international criminal cases. Kaufman said he was contacted by an intermediary he identified as al-Saadi's press secretary, Jackie Frazier.

Al-Saadi fled to Niger in mid-September along with several other regime loyalists, including some generals.

Interpol also has issued red notices for Moammar Gadhafi and his son Seif al-Islam upon request by the Hague-based International Criminal Court. Both men have been charged with crimes against humanity.

Interpol had urged authorities in Niger and surrounding countries — and those with direct flights to Niger — to watch out for and arrest Gadhafi "with a view to returning him to Libya" for prosecution.

Interpol's red notices are the highest-level alerts they can issue to their member countries. The notices do not force countries to turn over suspects but strongly urge them to, and countries who ignore such notices can come under pressure from the international community.

Gadhafi's eight adult children have played influential roles in Libya, from commanding an elite military unit to controlling the oil sector. Al-Saadi, 38, headed the Libyan Football Federation, and at one point played in Italy's professional league but spent most of his time on the bench.

Another Gadhafi son is with his daughter Aisha and wife in neighboring Algeria — along with other family members — while Khamis Gadhafi, who led the Khamis Brigade that fought in the west, was reportedly killed in battle, although that was never confirmed.

Libya's new rulers have gained control of most of the country, but revolutionary forces still face fierce resistance in Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, Bani Walid and pockets in the southern desert. NATO recent extended its mission, although the top U.S. commander for Africa said Saturday that the military mission is largely complete.

Army Gen. Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command said that the National Transitional Council and its forces should be in "reasonable control" of population centers before the end of the NATO mission, dubbed Unified Protector. And he said they are close to that now.


http://articles.janes.com/articles/Janes-Defence-Weekly-2005/Tunisian-Navy-boosts-its-capabilities.html
Tunisian Navy boosts its capabilities, MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA


The Tunisian Navy is set to augment its capabilities with the acquisition of a further four surplus German Navy Albatros-class (Type 143B) missile fast attack craft, under a EUR33 million (USD40.3 million) agreement.


An initial two Type 143Bs, S-65 Sperber and S-66 Greif were delivered to the Tunisian Navy in June. The second batch, consisting of S-63 Geier and S-68 Seeadler, is currently on its way to Tunis and will be officially handed over to the navy on 29 September. The last two vessels, S-69 Habicht and S-70 Kormoran, are scheduled to enter Tunisian Navy service on 13 December.


http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Business_1/How_Lurssen_Wooed_Brunei.shtml
How Lurssen Wooed Brunei
By Intelligence Online 04/06/2009
Jun 15, 2009 - 7:44:53 AM

Like car owners, governments insist that somebody take old equipment off their hands before buying new armaments. Complicated to set up, such deals nonetheless help suppliers to win contracts. The three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) that Germany’s Lurssen yard is about to deliver to the Royal Brunei Navy were sold in return for the Germans helping Brunei get rid of three slightly older ships. Brunei initially contracted Britain’s GEC-Marconi in 1998 to deliver three OPVs. Bought out by BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions, GEC delivered the Nakhoda Ragam in 2003 and the Bendahara Sakam and Jerambak in 2004. The three patrol boats were equipped with VL Seawolf and MM40 Exocet Block 2 missiles made by MBDA. But Brunei refused to take delivery of the vessels on the grounds they didn’t correspond to specifications that had been negotiated with the British group. Lurssen then stepped in to offer to take them off Brunei’s hands and re-sell them in return for a contract with Brunei for a similar number of ships. Through its affiliate Global Naval Systems, Lurssen offered the British-built patrol vessels to several Gulf countries but didn’t find buyers. Finally, it got Algeria to acquire them last year. The proceeds from the sale of GEC’s ships to Algeria will be partly deducted from the price of the three new vessels for Brunei.

Like car owners, governments insist that somebody take old equipment off their hands before buying new armaments. Complicated to set up, such deals nonetheless help suppliers to win contracts. The three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) that Germany’s Lurssen yard is about to deliver to the Royal Brunei Navy were sold in return for the Germans helping Brunei get rid of three slightly older ships. Brunei initially contracted Britain’s GEC-Marconi in 1998 to deliver three OPVs. Bought out by BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions, GEC delivered the Nakhoda Ragam in 2003 and the Bendahara Sakam and Jerambak in 2004. The three patrol boats were equipped with VL Seawolf and MM40 Exocet Block 2 missiles made by MBDA. But Brunei refused to take delivery of the vessels on the grounds they didn’t correspond to specifications that had been negotiated with the British group. Lurssen then stepped in to offer to take them off Brunei’s hands and re-sell them in return for a contract with Brunei for a similar number of ships. Through its affiliate Global Naval Systems, Lurssen offered the British-built patrol vessels to several Gulf countries but didn’t find buyers. Finally, it got Algeria to acquire them last year. The proceeds from the sale of GEC’s ships to Algeria will be partly deducted from the price of the three new vessels for Brunei.

Source:Ocnus.net 2009

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