‘Saudis shoot themselves in the foot bringing Qatar, Yemen, Syria & Iraq closer to Iran’

'Saudis shoot themselves in the foot bringing Qatar, Yemen, Syria & Iraq closer to Iran'
The Saudi regime has become so erratic that it turned against Qatar, one of the few regimes that have an identical ideology, and therefore brought Qatar closer to Iran, says professor of politics at Tehran University Seyed Mohammad Marandi.

Saudi Arabia has decided to suspend all dialogue with Qatar after Qatari media was accused of misreporting on phone conversations between the Emir of Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s defense minister.

Previously, US President Donald Trump urged the Gulf States to unite against Iran and expressed his willingness to act as a mediator between Doha and Riyadh.

However, in June, Trump alleged that Qatar was a sponsor of terrorism when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE first cut diplomatic and transport links with the Gulf nation.

RT: President Trump claims that the Qatar crisis is easy to solve. Why is it so hard to get the sides – Qatar and Saudi Arabia – to the negotiating table?

Seyed Mohammad Marandi: I think the most important problem is the Saud family itself and Mohammad bin Salman in particular. He is very young, he was born a billionaire. He has yes men surrounding him. He has created a mess, not just in his relationship with Qatar that we see this problem. He invaded Yemen. He has been killing the Yemeni people. His air force has been bombing hospitals, funerals, weddings, schools, and innocent civilians for almost three years now with Western support, with the US support both under Obama and Trump. And to no avail; he has lost the war effectively. He has been spreading Wahhabi extremism – he, his father, and the regime before his father have been spreading extremism n Syria, in Iraq, and across the world. Wahhabism is something the Saudis export.

What is extraordinary is that the Saudi regime has become so erratic and unpredictable that now it has turned against one of the few regimes that has an identical ideology… Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the two countries that explicitly declare themselves to be Wahhabi… It is not just an issue of sectarianism, the Saudis are even turning against Wahhabis like themselves. I don’t think the US will have an easy task in bringing these countries together. And even if they do, I don’t think the Qataris are going to trust the Saudis in the future. And Trump himself is not considered to be a very reliable partner, as the Republican Party has just discovered themselves.

The present dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UAE is difficult to understand because it seems to be totally artificial, it doesn’t seem to have any reality behind it at all. As for President Trump’s offer to mediate, don’t forget he was asked at a press conference after the formal statements have been made, by journalists, whether he supported Kuwaiti mediation. And he said, “Yes, we do support Kuwaiti mediation.” And then he couldn’t resist adding, “I would be very ready to mediate myself if that would be useful.” I am not surprised that he said that. Maybe it is helpful. Any world leader might have said the same thing.– Oliver Miles, former UK ambassador to Libya

RT: The crisis boils down to Qatar’s alleged terrorist links with Iran. Are there any new developments on that front?

SMM: The Iranian-Qatari relationship has never been severed despite the Saudi pressure. And in fact, the Saudis have failed to disrupt the relationship between Iran and other countries, such as Oman. The Saudis, on the other hand, are putting enormous pressure on Kuwait to distance itself from Iran. But in the case of Qatar, I think it backfired. They went way too far by trying to humiliate the country and take away its sovereignty. The Qataris, which were blockaded not only by Saudi Arabia but its allies like the UAE and Bahrain from the land and the sea and air… they were preventing food from getting in. And the only way forward for Qatar was to turn to Iran. And of course, the Iranians felt that they had an obligation to support the Qataris. And this is something that the Saudis have been doing for a long time: the Iranian relationship with the people of Yemen has evolved, improved, and they have grown closer to each other because of the Saudi invasion of the country. The same is true with what the Saudis and their allies did in Syria and Iraq: they basically brought these countries closer to Iran because these countries saw the Saudis’ Wahhabi extremist ideology, which Al-Qaeda and ISIS and Boko Haram are linked to, as a threat to their existence, and they moved to Iran which they saw as a very reliable partner. That is, basically, the Saudis who have been shooting themselves in the foot time after time.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Courtesy, RT

SHOCKING CONFESSION!!! I Have Contacts And Links With Boko Haram – APC Senator Breaks Down In Tears, Implicates Former Vice President

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Former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, on Tuesday, asked a Federal High Court, in Abuja, to quash the alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram case against him, because he has no case to answer in the matter.

Ndume, who accepted that he had contact with the Boko Haram sect, however, said that he got the contact when he was appointed into the Presidential Committee on Security Matters, to negotiate for peace with the terrorists.

Insisting that the charges against him were unjust, the Senator explained that the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, and the then Director-General of the Department of State Security Services, DSS, were aware of the said contact with Boko Haram.

However, the Federal Government told the court that Ndume has to defend himself, because its witnesses have proved that he had information on the sect, which he refused to disclose to government.

Recall, that Ndume who is under suspension at the Senate, has since 2011, been on trial on a four-count charge bordering on allegations of supporting the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group, leveled against him by the Federal Government.

However, the Lawmaker in a no-case submission filed before Justice Gabriel Kolawole, through his Counsel, Ricky Tarfa, argued that the Federal Government has been unable to establish a prima facie case against him, or linked him with the said crime.

He insisted that the charges leveled against him have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt as required by law, at the end of the prosecution’s case.

Tarfa, Ndume’s Counsel argued: “Clearly, from the totality of the evidence adduced by the prosecution, there is no ingredient of the charges proved as required by law.

“The analysis of the mobile phones seized from the defendant and subjected to forensic examination by the prosecution, did not reveal any offence committed.”

Based on the above argument, Counsel to Ndume, prayed the court to strike out the charges against the Senator, because no prima facie case has been established against him, to warrant his going to defend himself.

Nonetheless, the Prosecution Counsel, Grace Okafor, contended Ndume’s prayer, and urged the court to mandate him to open his defence in the charges against him.

Okafor told the court that Ndume has a case to answer, since the government’s witnesses have effectively linked him with the crime.

According to the Prosecutor’s Lawyer, the charge against Ndume borders on his failure to disclose material information to security agents on Boko Haram, and rendering support to the terrorist group.

She further argued that Ndume had in his own statement tendered and admitted in court, confirmed that he has enormous information on Boko Haram, which he never disclosed to government.

Okafor said: “His admission that he was a member of the Presidential Committee on Security Matters, also corroborates the evidence of the prosecution, that he had volume of information on the terrorists group, which he refused to give to the government.

“The volume of information found on him was revealing, and warranted his being charged to court.

“Let the point be made here that witnesses of the government have by one way or the other, linked the charge against the defendant, and this court as an impartial court, should order the defendant to open defence on the charges against him. It is even in the interest of the defendant and justice, that this case be heard on its own merit, instead of upholding the no-case submission.”

Nigerian forces conduct unauthorized search of UN main base

Nigerian forces raided the UN’s compound in Maiduguri, the epicenter of a conflict with Islamist group Boko Haram. The search could hurt the already fragile relationship between the military and the world body.

Nigeria UN Camp in Maiduguri (Getty Images/AFP/S. Heunis)

The Nigerian military conducted what the UN called an unauthorized search of its main operating base in the country’s northeast in the early hours of Friday.

“Members of the Nigerian security forces entered a United Nations base for humanitarian workers in Maiduguri … without authorization,” said Samantha Newport, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “The United Nations is extremely concerned that these actions could be detrimental to the delivery of lifesaving aid to the millions of vulnerable people in the northeast of Nigeria.”

The objective of the search was not immediately known but an internal UN memo seen by AFP news agency suggested that the Nigerian forces might have been searching for Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

The raids followed rumors that the Boko Haram chief was hiding in the compound known as the “Red Roof.”

“Information about Shekau’s presence in the Red Roof was already being spread yesterday on social media,” said the document, that AFP said was apparently issued by the UN’s Department of Safety.

The memo ordered the UN staff in Maiduguri to work from home, fearing demonstrations against the organization and other foreign groups active in the area.

A UN source told AFP that such searches are illegal under international law and risk raising suspicions about the organization’s work.

 Nigeria UN Camp in Maiduguri The conflict with Boko Haram has left two million homeless

Nigeria’s theater commander for the conflict with Boko Haram, Ibrahim Attahiru, told Reuters news agency he did not know the reason for the raid on the UN compound.

The almost decade-old insurgency led by the jihadists has driven at least 2 million people from their homes and left almost 7 million in need humanitarian assistance.

Throughout the conflict, the army has been accused of human rights violations including unlawful detention, sexual abuse and extrajudicial killings.

ap/msh (AFP, Reuters)

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Nigeria: Military Determined to Wipe Out Remnants of Boko Haram – Minister

Photo: Daily Trust

Army.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Monday reaffirmed the determination of the military to completely wipe out remnants of Boko Haram in the the country.

Dan-Ali gave the assurance during an award presentation by the Borno chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) at the NUJ’s Combined Press Week in Maiduguri.

Dan-Ali was presented with a Platinum Award of Honour by Gov. Kashim Shettima on behalf of the NUJ for the military’s efforts at restoring peace in the North-East.

“I am really happy and honoured to be in Borno once again and to receive an award for my ministry.

“I want to thank the organisers of the programme for recognising the efforts of my ministry toward restoring peace and unity in Borno in particular and Nigeria in general.

“Let me use this opportunity to condole the Borno State Government on the sad incident of July 25 at Magumeri where oil exploration teams were ambushed along with the Military.

“Civilian Joint Task Force, University staff and some oil workers were killed, while some were held in Boko Haram captivity.

“I want to assure that this won’t bring any setbacks to our troops as we are determined more than ever before to completely clear the remnants of Boko Haram in our nation.

“I have ordered the Ministry of Defence to carry out thorough investigation on the attack to establish if there is a possibility of the locals and the insurgents who perpetrated the attack.

“Provision of security is not only the responsibility of the military and other security agencies, rather it is a collective responsibility of all.

“Therefore, all stakeholders must play an important role.

“I also want to extend our appreciation to the NUJ Borno Chapter for its unbiased report on the campaign against Boko Haram.

“Your sense of patriotism and commitment has contributed immensely to the successes of the war against insurgency.

“However, despite all the successes recorded, the negative reports from some media organisations is highly uncharitable and unpatriotic. These negative reports have really dampened the morale of our fighting troops.

“We, therefore, urged the media to emulate the journalists reporting professionally in Borno. They must rise up and place the unity of Nigeria above all parochial sentiments.

“I, will, therefore make a passionate call to religious clerics and political leaders to intervene in establishing dialogue with the aggrieved parties to enable us to bring peace to our nation,” Dan-Ali said.

The President of the NUJ, Abdulwaheed Odusile, commended the military for restoring relative peace in the North-East.

“I was in Maiduguri in September 2016, when I went back, I told my friends that I stayed out until 1 a.m. and they couldn’t believe me.

“What we have been doing in Borno shows that we are patriotic and determined to keep the peace,” Odusile said. (NAN)

Nigeria

Boko Haram Kills 31 Fishermen in Lake ChadGovernor Kashim Shettima of Borno on Tuesday confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents had killed 31 fishermen at Baga in… Read more »

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In Nigeria, Barking Dogs Foiled a Boko Haram Suicide Attack on a Hospital

Newsweek

 Conor Gaffey,Newsweek Mon, Aug 7 7:58 AM PDT

Boko Haram kill 31 fishermen in Nigeria

World

 AFP 19 hours ago

Terrorism and Food Security: The Looming man-made Famine in Nigeria

 

With the end of the ongoing war with Boko Haram still nowhere in sight, the least the world expects of Nigerian leaders is to maintain a united front with a view to ensuring that the developmental objectives of the economy remains on track. Recent developments, especially as it affects food security in this embattled West African nation, may tend towards a man-made famine situation, if everything possible is not done to halt that tendency.

For about the third year now, a new face of terror has swept through the length and breadth of Nigeria; especially the middle-belt area, consisting of Benue and Plateau states, and the Eastern, Western and South-South states of Cross River, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Edo states.

Photo published for Fulani herdsman sentenced to 2 years imprisonment in Ekiti » YNaija

Known variously as the ‘’Janjaweed’’ militia, ‘’the sons of Futa Jalon’’, and ‘’Fulani herdsmen’’ by most Nigerians, these herdsmen who drive their cattle all the way from the Savannah north to the middle-belt and southern states where lush green grass for cattle can be found, are a new brand of cattle breeders who are armed with AK 47 rifles, and who go about pillaging, raping, killing and destroying whole villages and farms under the pretext that farmers resist their access to grass (feed) for their cattle.

There were stirrings of what was about to come during the electioneering period of 2014-2015, before the Presidential election which ushered in the government of General Muhammadu Buhari. Initially, skirmishes between farmers and cattle herdsmen were limited to the Benue/Plateau area where the Fulani settlers had been on the necks of the indigenous people, intent on taking over their land, resulting in deaths and destruction of properties, and at times, whole villages.  All this while, grazing in most of the southern states were restricted to the highways beyond villages, and there were no reasons whatsoever for clashes. The problem, for most southerners got closer home just before the advent of the Buhari administration; clashes ensued; people were slaughtered as they tried to resist the armed Fulani herdsmen.

With the advent of the Buhari government, the problem degenerated into something worse; the Obi of Ubulu-Ukwu in Aniocha-North local government area was abducted and killed by some Fulani herdsmen who had invaded in the guise of finding food for their cattle. In the Western Yoruba area, Fulani militant herdsmen invaded the farm of former Secretary of the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, killed some of his farmhands, and abducted him. It took the intervention of agents of the Federal government before he was released.

From Enugu state in the east, to the farthest flung villages in the west, nowhere is sacrosanct to the Fulani herdsmen; they stampede their cattle from place to place; trampling and pillaging as they move through schools, villages, and what have you, and any resistance was silenced with shots from ready rifles and machetes. Along the roads to Abuja from both the East and the West, the said Fulani herdsmen wreak havoc; using their cattle to block the highway, and then killing and pillaging passengers of vehicles who were forced to stop.

 

This reporter had a personal experience of what is going on all over the country; which our leaders have preferred to ignore by playing the ostrich. I travelled to my village in Delta State for the funeral obsequies of a prominent son of the village in January, and took some time to visit my undeveloped land. In place of the economic and plantain trees we had spent some funds planting over time, what I saw was plain wasteland. In addition, I observed that the whole area had been subjected to rampant burning; the whole swath of land, as far as the eye could see, was similarly burnt. I was later meant to understand that those herdsmen deliberately set fire to whole lands; farmsteads in which farmers left standing, dry okra, maize, yam and other plants that were meant to be seed for the next planting season; for purposes of ensuring that grass/weed would grow in their stead unhindered on such land, for their cattle, and that trapped and burnt animals like rabbits, antelopes etc. would become ready source of meat for them.

As I shook my head in unbelief at the carnage on my land which stared me in the face, and started the long walk to the remnant of the once tarred road which connected my town to the next town, I felt a prompting to take one last look at the land, and that was the exact time these all-white herd of cattle came into view, ghost-like as they entered into and marched through my land. I beat a hasty retreat for fear of becoming part of the murderous Janjaweed militants’ statistics.

By the time I got back to the village and narrated what I encountered, I was heralded with tales of rapes, shootings and slaughter which had gone on all over the place. It was unbelievable that such atrocities could be allowed to go on in any country in the 21st Century. In most towns and villages I learnt, no one goes to farm alone anymore; women were routinely raped when alone and even in pairs without male company, and men were simply shot for no reason whatsoever. It is simply shameful. It was while I was ruminating on the implications of all I had seen and heard that I saw the following video on the menace Fulani herdsmen and their cattle have become in Edo State.

 

video

It was while thinking about the implications on food security for the economy, of the actions of the Fulani herdsmen that it dawned on me that we are most likely, as a nation, heading towards a period of prolonged famine. The situation was made worse by the fact that firstly, our own Federal Government, to all intents and purposes, seems to be ranking the interest of those armed herdsmen, most of whom are non-Nigerians above the interest of bona fide Nigerians. Secondly, and in retrospect, it would seem that the armed cattlemen are merely acting out a script. How come, one must ask, hasn’t the government devised a way to disarm those cattle bandits who are armed with assault rifles illegally?

Secondly, as anyone who is interested in what is currently happening in Nigeria would know, the problem of the Fulani herdsmen has led to the writing of the National Grazing Reserve Council Bill. From a post authored by one Dr. Austin Monye, the would-be Law seeks to create a council to be chaired by a chairman to be appointed by the President. The council shall have the power to appropriate any land anywhere within Nigeria and pay whatever compensation it deems fit; not the value of the land.

The appropriated land shall be assigned to herdsmen who shall use same for grazing purposes. If the former owner of the appropriated land wishes to challenge the appropriation; if he feels that the council wrongly appropriated his land, then he could go to court to challenge the said appropriation. Before he goes to court, the appropriated must first of all notify the Federal Attorney General who must consent to the action before the appropriated can sue. If the Attorney General refuses to give his consent, the appropriated has lost his land forever. When passed, the law shall apply to every parcel of land in Nigeria, making it superior to the Land Use Act.

Moreover, in order to be entitled to any form of compensation, one must have and present proof of ownership such as survey plan, Deed of Ownership, Deed of Conveyance, etc.

According to Dr. Monye, ”that Bill is a deliberate attempt to take our lands and hand them over to to Fulani cattlemen since only the Fulanis rear cattle in Nigeria. That law, when passed, shall fulfil the directive of Uthman Dan Fodio and other northern leaders to take over other parts of Nigeria.”

He concluded: ”That law will destroy Nigeria. All over the world, ranches are established and used to rear cattle. The farmers buy land and put their cattle there. There is no country where the land of citizens are compulsorily acquired for the purposes of cattle grazing, and given free of any charge to the rich cattle owners. This is evil, and designed to favour the Fulanis where the President comes from. We must resist the passage of that bill into law to save Nigeria, and to protect our future generations. We must defend our land and protect our children.”