An intelligence file on the North African revolutions of 2011
Aljazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al Hiwar TV play a crucial role for the West in shifting the values and culture of the region.
The BBC World Service is to receive a "significant" sum of money from the US government to help combat the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China. In what the BBC said is the first deal of its kind, an agreement is expected to be signed later this month that will see US state department money – understood to be a low six-figure sum – given to the [BBC] World Service to invest in developing anti-jamming technology and software. The funding is also expected to be used to educate people in countries with state censorship in how to circumnavigate the blocking of internet and TV services. - The Guardian
10 November 2002
British intelligence paid large sums of money to an al-Qaeda cell in Libya in a doomed attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadaffi in 1996 and thwarted early attempts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.
The latest claims of MI6 involvement with Libya's fearsome Islamic Fighting Group, which is connected to one of bin Laden's trusted lieutenants, will be embarrassing to the Government, which described similar claims by renegade MI5 officer David Shayler as 'pure fantasy'.
The allegations have emerged in the book Forbidden Truth , published in America by two French intelligence experts who reveal that the first Interpol arrest warrant for bin Laden was issued by Libya in March 1998
United Nations project in Libya -- Libya is a rich country with the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. A group of international consulting firms, mainly from the USA and the UK were invited to diagnose the situation. NEDB was among their suggestions to modernize the whole Libyan economy. The objective behind establishing the NEDB is to present a vision for the whole economy to help guide it in the right direction. NEDB has been authorized by the Libyan government to be in charge of the whole development program for the entire country amounting to about 150 billion Libyan Dinars. NEDB’s lesson will be a good one to follow for any developing country. NEDB is having a great deal of political support from the upper echelons of the Libyan government, and this a basic prerequisite for success in any similar situation.
This project received an award from The African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM). This Award recognizes organizational achievement in the public sector and is supported through the partnership between AAPAM and the Governance and Institutional Development Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The London School of Economics -- The London School of Economics struck a deal to train hundreds of “future leaders” of Libya, according to leaked diplomatic cables. The cables, which record a briefing for US diplomats by the Libyan National Economic Development Board (NEDB), state: “The NEDB is co-operating with the UK Government and the London School of Economics among other UK institutions, on an exchange programme to send 400 ‘future leaders’ of Libya for leadership and management training. Eventually, [an official of NEDB] explained, 250 additional Libyan ‘future leaders’ would also be trained in Libya.”
The NEDB was created in 2007 by the General People's Committee (GPC) - equivalent of Prime Minister's cabinet - to implement the recommendations of a report authored by the Monitor Group analyzing Libya's development needs. The report - the result of an initiative spear-headed by Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi - recommended that Libya diversify its economy beyond the hydrocarbons sector and move towards a market-based economy. One of the NEDB's most ambitious programs entails creating a system to monitor and evaluate the Libyan National Development Program, which encompasses more than 11,000 projects. Through the Strategic Management of the Development Program (SMDP), the NEDB is developing an integrated macro-management system, with the assistance of Ernst and Young and the UN Development Program. Hoderi explained that the NEDB's work in the education sector began at the most basic level - through primary education reform. He said that the NEDB was working with experts from Singapore to design a new program for managing the primary education system and to incorporate a Singaporean model for education reform. Beyond primary education, Elmozogi described several NEDB efforts to improve the quality of professional training in Libya, particularly for public sector employees, including "future leaders," diplomats, judges, and local and municipal government officials. In the first program, the NEDB is cooperating with the UK government and the London School of Economics (Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi's alma mater), among other UK institutions, on an exchange program to send 400 "future leaders" of Libya for leadership and management training. Eventually, Elmozogi explained, 250 additional Libyan "future leaders" would also be trained in Libya. Likewise, the NEDB is working with universities in the United States (Michigan State and elsewhere), the UK, and France to manage exchange programs for 90 young Libyan diplomats (30 Libyan diplomats are currently being trained in each country). Hoderi responded positively to Emboffs' suggestions that Libyan diplomats in the United States coordinate a site visit to the National Foreign Affairs Training Center. Elmozogi said that the NEDB had also sent 70 Libyan judges to the UK to study English language and international law.
-- source wikileaks embassy cables
May 2011 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, long focused on promoting democracy in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union through loans to business, is likely to extend its mandate to North Africa as part of a push by Europe and the United States to help countries in the region.
The bank, based in London and financed by 61 nations including the United States, will begin amending its bylaws on Saturday to allow expansion across the Mediterranean, probably beginning with Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. The bank’s board of governors is holding its annual meeting on Friday and Saturday in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
The expansion of the bank’s operations follows a call in April by Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, for institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to do more to support a transition to democracy in the Middle East.
“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks will be essential, just as they were in support of Eastern and Central Europe’s transition two decades ago,” Mr. Geithner said on April 16. President Obama pledged on Thursday to provide debt relief and aid to the region in a speech on the Middle East delivered in Washington.
May 2011 Group of Eight leaders promised $20 billion in aid to new Arab democracies on Friday when they met in France to endorse a programme aimed at fostering changes sweeping North Africa and the Middle East.
World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick on Tuesday announced up to $6bn in new support over the next two years for Egypt and Tunisia linked to progress by the two post-revolutionary countries to modernize their economies.
The external financing needs of oil-importing countries in the Middle East and North Africa will exceed $160 billion over the next three years and donor countries must step in to help, the International Monetary Fund has said. In a report to the Group of Eight meeting in Deauville, France, the IMF urged G8 industrial nations and rich Arab partners to develop an action plan that lays out what help they could provide countries in need.
Tony Blair has urged the West to develop a coherent strategy across the Middle East as the Arab spring continues. Speaking to Sarah Montague he called for the adoption of "a plan for change that is as much economic and social as it is political". "We have to be players in this, we can't just be spectators," he said.
The Arab Spring has brought a newfound sense of purpose to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), a six-member club of mostly Sunni oil-exporting Arab monarchies. Despite regular declarations of brotherly love at expensive summits, the GCC's plans for further integration have been hampered for years by political tensions between the member states. As recently as January, tensions flared between Oman and the UAE after the discovery of an alleged Emirati spy ring infiltrating the Omani government. Despite a shared fear of Iranian power, the GCC rarely seemed an effective or cohesive foreign policy player.
Now, however, the GCC is making a marked display of unity and is seeking to project itself as a regional actor in four very different initiatives... Can the GCC sustain this newfound activism and invent a new regional role?
- Jane Kinninmont, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham house
9 July 2011
South Sudan has officially become Africa's newest nation after parliament speaker James Wani Igga proclaimed the fledgling's state independence in the capital Juba on Saturday splitting the continent's largest country in two.
The parliament speaker said that as a "strategic priority", South Sudan would seek admission to the United Nations, the African Union, the east African bloc, Igad, and other international bodies.
"We are conscious of the numerous challenges that the new country will face going forward and they must develop strong institutions to guide them," Mr Ian Bannon, the acting World Bank country director for Sudan, told journalists in Nairobi on Wednesday.
Mr Bannon said the institution had set up a $75 million trust fund to be administered around health care, infrastructure and employment."This fund will be made available to South Sudan in the first few months after independence," explained Mr Bannon.
The country has applied for membership to the bank and this is expected to be ratified in about six months.Once ratified, the country will be eligible for additional funding and support from the bank and its agencies.
The “humanitarian” intervention introduced to save lives believed to be threatened was in fact a political intervention introduced to bring about regime change. -Richard Haas, President CFR