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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Monday 07th of March 2022
 
Morning
Africa

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If reserves can be negated overnight, are they even reserves? @DoombergT
Law & Politics


How many other countries must hedge against the possibility of similar sanctions? 

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A Wizard of Oz moment
World Of Finance



The last time inflation was here, February 1982 - the Fed Funds Rate was 15%. @Convertbond
Dartmouth economist and former Fed adviser Andrew Levin says the Fed needs to get rates to a neutral setting within a year or so, and that the means getting the Fed Funds rates up to 4% or 5%
Its a Wizard of Oz moment 
This is ‘’Voodoo Economics’’ and we have reached the point when the curtain was lifted in the Wizard of Oz and the Wizard revealed to be ‘’an ordinary conman from Omaha who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and powerful”’’ 

The Curtain has been lifted and Mr. Powell has now arrived at his Volcker moment 
Friday's action and next immediate sessions might afford us the greatest macro trading opportunity to reset shorts in the US 10 and Ultra Bond. 

We can look across all G7 Bonds because this is a Super Bubble that is going to burst big. There is no way out now.
There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. 
There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign. Paul Tudor-Jones
Its the End of the Bull market obviously. 
The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop

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The warm glow from the alleyway yesterday evening. I pressed my nose up against the window, to watch the people inside laughing and having fun. @London_W4
Misc.

These became known as the “halcyon days,” 
http://bit.ly/2omFBYu

Wikipedia has an article on: halcyon days and it reads thus,
From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx.
When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers).
When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs.
These became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successfuL

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Don DeLillo wrote Everything is barely weeks. Everything is days. We have minutes to live. The Way we live now #COVID19
Misc.


It certainly is a new c21st that we find ourselves in. There is a luminous and Fairy Tale feel to life in quarantine and as you know most fairy tales have an oftentimes dark and dangerous and unspoken undercurrent. I sit in my study and its as if my hearing is sharpened. I hear the Breeze, birdsong, Nature in its many forms and the urban background noise which was once the constant accompaniment to daily life has entirely retreated. The Nights are dark, the stars are bright 

There is a Passage in V.S Naipaul's A Bend in the River

“Going home at night! It wasn't often that I was on the river at night. I never liked it. I never felt in control. In the darkness of river and forest you could be sure only of what you could see — and even on a moonlight night you couldn't see much. When you made a noise — dipped a paddle in the water — you heard yourself as though you were another person. The river and the forest were like presences, and much more powerful than you. You felt unprotected, an intruder ... You felt the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was always there.You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.” ― V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

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Putin, on a no-fly zone: @RealPepeEscobar
Law & Politics


"That very second, we will view them as participants of the military conflict, and it would not matter what members of an alliance or group they are".

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SITREP Day 10: Many analysts are predicting an imminent defeat of the Russian military. In reality, Russia is on the verge of annihilating the bulk of the Ukrainian army. @ClintEhrlich
Law & Politics


The people denying this are gaslighting you.

The Charge of the Light Brigade
https://bit.ly/3rMUq79

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
 “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, 
Theirs not to reason why, 
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.

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As a result, the cauldron is now in place. Encirclement is complete. @ClintEhrlich
Law & Politics

Russia is creating humanitarian corridors to clear civilians from the area. 
It will soon have a free hand to use heavy weapons against the trapped UA defenders.

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Putin is not crazy and the Russian invasion is not failing. The West’s delusions about this war – and its failure to understand the enemy – will prevent it from saving Ukraine @bopanc
Law & Politics


"Putin is not crazy and the Russian invasion is not failing. The West’s delusions about this war – and its failure to understand the enemy – will prevent it from saving Ukraine...Believing Russia’s assault is going poorly may make us feel better but is at odds with the facts."

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Putin is not crazy and the Russian invasion is not failing. The West’s delusions about this war – and its failure to understand the enemy – will prevent it from saving Ukraine @FDD @billroggio
Law & Politics


Wishful thinking has the upper hand in the battle to shape Western perceptions of the war in Ukraine.
Sympathy for the outnumbered and outgunned defenders of Kyiv has led to the exaggeration of Russian setbacks, misunderstanding of Russian strategy, and even baseless claims from amateur psychoanalysts that Putin has lost his mind.
A more sober analysis shows that Russia may have sought a knockout blow, but always had well-laid plans for follow-on assaults if its initial moves proved insufficient.
The world has underestimated Putin before and those mistakes have led, in part, to this tragedy in Ukraine.
We must be clear-eyed now that the war is underway.
Yet even the professionals at the Pentagon are letting sympathy cloud their judgement.
Just two days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Department of Defense briefers were quick to claim that failing to take Kyiv in the opening days of the war amounted to a serious setback.
DoD briefers implied that Russia’s offensive was well behind schedule or had even failed because the capital had not fallen.
But U.S. leaders should have learned to restrain their hopes after their catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Once again, U.S. and Western officials are falling into the trap of failing to understand the enemy and his objectives.
Allegedly, Putin believed that the Ukrainian government would collapse once Russian troops crossed the frontier and pushed to Kyiv, and that the operation has failed because the Ukrainian government remains in place.
Putin certainly hoped for a swift victory, but he clearly was not relying on his opening salvo as the only plan for success.
Rather, the Russian military was prepared to take the country by force if a swift decapitation strike fell short.
This kind of plan should be familiar to Americans who remember the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In the first hours of the war, the U.S. Air Force launched its ‘shock and awe’ campaign in an attempt to kill Saddam Hussein and other key leaders and bring down the government.

Saddam survived, but the U.S. military was fully prepared to follow up with a ground assault.
A look at the Russian military offensive demonstrates there was a plan for a full-scale invasion, which Russia is now executing.

Conventional, mechanized warfare is a time and resource consuming enterprise, and an operation of this scope isn’t cobbled together in days.
The Russian offensive is taking place on four separate fronts. On a fifth front, in eastern Ukraine, which Putin declared independent last week, Russian forces are tying down Ukrainian troops that are needed elsewhere.
The bulk of the Russian forces are advancing southward from Belarus to Kyiv.
Russian advance forces, including air, mobile and reconnaissance troops, have been engaged with Ukrainian troops outside of Kyiv since the start of the war.
A massive column of Russian troops, estimated at over 40 miles long, is just 20 miles north of Kyiv, and is likely assembling to surround the capital.
If Russian forces can take Kyiv and push southward to link up with forces on the Crimean front, thus splitting Ukraine in two, it would be a major blow to the Zelensky government.
What matters more than a handful of setbacks is that Russian forces have pushed 70 miles into contested terrain in less than a week and are on the outskirts of the capital.
This is not a sign of a disorganized, poorly assembled, and failed offensive.
The southward push from Belarus to Kyiv is supported by another Russian column, launched from the east in the vicinity of Kursk.
If this column can link up with Russian troops near Kyiv, it will envelop Ukrainian forces in most of Chernihiv and Sumy provinces, depriving the Ukrainian military of much needed soldiers and war material needed elsewhere, and cutting off the government from two northern provinces.
Further east, Russian forces have launched a broad offensive aimed at Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, which is now under siege.
In the south, Russian forces, supported by amphibious assaults from the Sea of Azov, have poured into Ukraine from Crimea.
On this front, Russian forces have branched out along two main axes, one northwest along the Pivdennyi Buh River, and another northeast along the coast and inland towards the Donbas region, which Russia declared independent shortly before the invasion.
If Russian columns from either southern front can link up with forces further north, they would cut off many Ukrainian troops from reinforcement—one of the two columns has already advanced roughly 160 miles.
Russian generals have often chosen to bypass towns and cities that are putting up stiff opposition and isolating them to deal with later.
There are reports that Russian forces have escalated attacks on civilians, particularly in Kharkiv.
At the moment, the artillery and rocket attacks there have been limited, perhaps to send a message to the citizens as a warning of what may come.
Putin appears to want to take Ukraine intact, but will not hesitate to increase the level of brutality if needed.
The systematic nature of the Russian assault is at odds with speculation that Putin has lost control of his senses.
Nobody knows for sure, but Putin’s actions appear to be that of a cold and calculating adversary.
Dismissing his decision to invade Ukraine as a form of madness is effectively an excuse to ignore Putin’s likely motivations and future actions.
Strategically, Putin’s advance on Ukraine began well over a decade ago, when he invaded and Balkanized Georgia by recognizing the Kremlin’s puppet regimes in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In 2014, Putin occupied and annexed the strategic Ukrainian region of Crimea, which served as a launchpad for the current invasion.
Putin paid little price for either action.
The United States and Europe imposed limited sanctions but continued to engage with him on the Iranian nuclear deal and other top issues.
Today, Putin has calculated that taking Ukraine by force is in his and Russia’s interest.
He no doubt anticipated that the West would impose diplomatic and economic sanctions, which U.S. and European leaders threatened beforehand.
Putin may have miscalculated Ukrainian resistance and the intensity of the West’s opposition, but it doesn’t mean he is crazy, or didn’t consider the possibilities and chose to invade regardless.
It remains to be seen if Putin’s plan will succeed or fail, but what is clear is that there was a plan to invade Ukraine in force, and that plan has been executed since day one.
Ukrainian troops are putting up a valiant fight facing long odds and difficult conditions. Russia holds most if not all of the advantages.
It can, and has, attacked Ukraine from three different directions. The Russian military holds a decided advantage in manpower, as well as air, naval and armor superiority.
It has vast resources to draw on. While Ukraine has the support of much of the international community, which is providing weapons, Ukraine is fighting alone.
Believing Russia’s assault is going poorly may make us feel better but is at odds with the facts.
We cannot help Ukraine if we cannot be honest about its predicament.
Bill Roggio is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and editor of FDD’s Long war Journal. 

From 1991 to 1997, Roggio served as a signalman and infantryman in the U.S. Army and New Jersey National Guard. Follow him on Twitter @billroggio. 

FDD is a nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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Quaalude level delusion
World Of Finance

Is simply quaalude level [Quaaludes ‘’to promote relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These properties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect’’].delusion

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NATO Expansion Eastward @Convertbond
World Of Finance

2020: Macedonia
2017: Montenegro
2009: Albania
2009: Croatia
2004: Slovenia
2004: Bulgaria 
2004: Romania
2004: Slovakia 
2004: Lithuania
2004: Latvia
1999: Hungary 
1999: Czech Republic 
1999: Poland
1991: Iron Curtain Collapsed - USSR

*Riskmgmt

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Is This Russian Propaganda? Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix @caitoz
Law & Politics




We're risking a very fast, very radioactive World War 3 to defend the "democracy" of a nation whose government bans opposition parties, imprisons political opponents, shuts down opposition media, and takes all its orders from Washington due to a US-backed coup in 2014.
"Defending Ukrainian democracy" makes as much sense as "Defending Mongolian seaports".

The powers responsible for destroying Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen are the same powers we're trusting to carefully navigate extremely delicate nuclear brinkmanship escalations without ending the world.
"Relax, nobody's gonna start a nuclear war" is a belief that is premised upon the assumption that the empire which laid waste those nations, while destroying our environment and making everyone crazy and miserable, is competent enough to walk that precarious and unpredictable tightrope.

I keep getting comments like "You're saying we just can't strike Russia AT ALL, just because they have nukes??"
Yes. Fxxking duh. What are you an idiot? What the fxxk is wrong with people? Did everyone forget what nuclear weapons are? Did schools stop teaching this or something?

You can't fix a problem you don't understand. And right now with Ukraine the entire western political/media class is pouring a tremendous amount of energy into keeping people from understanding the problem.


If they were telling us the truth about Russia they wouldn't be censoring Russian media.

Kinda odd how defending freedom and democracy requires such copious amounts of censorship.

Don't worry, I'm sure all those socialist and antiwar Americans that were platformed by RT America can just get jobs criticizing the murderousness and corruption of their government in the free press of the western mainstream media.

I wonder if we should be concerned that the entire western world is propagandizing and censoring like it’s on war footing?

Socialists and anti-imperialists should never accept platforms on Russian media to get heard. They should wait until a respectable western mainstream outlet agrees to platform them, and keep waiting, and waiting, and just keep on waiting until we all die in a nuclear holocaust.

People tend to overestimate the power of the US war machine and underestimate the power of the US propaganda machine.

Remember when US officials kept saying "We're not trying to start a war, we're trying to prevent one" while refusing to make reasonable low-cost concessions that would have prevented a war, then, when war started, launched operations which serve the long-term goals of US hegemony?

Russia gets control of Kyiv with this war, while the US gets international consensus for unprecedented economic warfare and support for NATO, plus giving Moscow another Afghanistan. NATO powers could have prevented this war but chose to egg it on instead. Looks like a classic sacrifice a pawn to get the queen move.

Choose one:
A) It's a coincidence that we were bombarded by hysterical anti-Russia narratives for five years before this started.
B) Bogus Russia scandals were cooked up by US intelligence to start manufacturing consent for a confrontation with Russia to preserve US unipolar hegemony.

It would bring a lot of clarity for a lot of people if we replaced the term "no-fly zone" with "Directly Attack the Russian Military Zone".

"Whataboutism" is a common misspelling of "Damning evidence that western powers are lying about their motives and values."

Yes, Smart Internet Person, I love Vladimir Putin. Can't possibly be that I'm criticizing the known wrongdoings of the mightiest power structure in the world, it's that I fell in love with some random government official on the other side of the planet and want to suck his cxxk.
It's not like the US or its allies have ever done anything wrong, so they couldn't possibly have done anything to give rise to our current situation, therefore it must be that I'm just kookoo for Putin Puffs. We're very good thinkers, you and I. Let's go watch cartoons.

Of course I am aware that Vladimir Putin is no girl scout. That's why I've been warning for years that the west's refusal to pursue detente could lead us to nuclear war. There'd be nothing to worry about if the guy was a cuddly wuddly snugglepoo.

Having a sxxt fit about someone criticizing the most powerful empire of all time for actions which led to a fxxking war is a great way to let everyone know you have an infantile worldview and a piss weak argument. If you say you hate this war but get upset when people talk about the known ways the US-centralized empire helped cause it, then your interest is not in peace, nor in freedom, nor in truth, but in loyalty to that empire.

Learn more and think harder about the role NATO powers have played in starting this war.

Learn more and think harder about what sanctions are and what they do to people.
Learn more and think harder about what nuclear war is and what might cause it.

Whenever I talk about the frightening escalation in censorship and propaganda we're seeing in the west I get people telling me that Russia is censoring and propagandizing even worse. Like "We're a bit better than Russia!" is a sane response to this assault on truth and freedom.
If you feel the need to restrict and manipulate people's speech, even if what they're saying is true, then your actions aren't based on truth. They're based on something else, like geostrategic conquest.
Everything the empire says it opposes Russia for is a lie. Everything the empire criticizes Russia for are things the empire itself does. Everything we're told is on the line in this showdown — freedom, democracy, truth, justice — are things the empire has been actively stomping out.

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BREAKING: BBC Russian appears to be blocked in Russia @spectatorindex
Law & Politics


The End of the World is a Concept Without a Future.


The Charge of the Light Brigade
https://bit.ly/3rMUq79

The Charge of the Light Brigade BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

 “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!” Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, 
Theirs not to reason why, 
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.

Ukraine is simply quaalude level delusion
We exist in a Tripolar World and the West appears to be inviting its own triangulation

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.092725
Dollar Index 98.509
Japan Yen 114.815
Swiss Franc 0.9163
Pound 1.32295
Aussie 0.737115
India Rupee 76.4128
South Korea Won 1216.925 
Brazil Real 5.0641457
Egypt Pound 15.695178 
South Africa Rand 15.45954

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Euro dips below $1.09, down as much as 3.3% this week, biggest fall in two years. @ReutersJamie
World Currencies

A 3.3% weekly fall would be among 18 biggest falls ever. They include:

1 at onset of covid pandemic
6 in euro debt crisis (2010-12)
3 during GFC (2008-09)
2 in 2000 (during 30% slump from launch)

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Governments across Africa are reviewing ties with Moscow as the international crisis over its Ukraine invasion deepens @Africa_Conf
Africa

 


Africa is not directly concerned by the Russia-Ukraine war, yet the African Union and a few member states have made their views known loudly, in contrast with their sotto voce response to conflicts in Ethiopia, South Sudan or Congo-Kinshasa.
At the UN Security Council, Kenya's Ambassador Martin Kimani made a vibrant speech on the respect of territorial integrity and national sovereignty, reminiscent of statements of the Organisation of the African Union six decades ago. 

Gabon and Ghana, the two other African members of the Security Council, supported Kenya's stance (Dispatches 28/2/22, Moscow and Washington step up diplomatic fight over Ukraine war). 
Russia took some further hits at the UN General Assembly when 25 African states voted for it to 'immediately withdraw all its forces' from Ukraine; 16 abstained; and six didn't register a vote

a less emphatic type of abstention; only Eritrea voted against the resolution. On 25 February, the African Union called for Russia to respect Uktraine's territorial integrity. 
Among African citizens, these statements did not raise much enthusiasm, especially in those circles that see the old colonial powers interfering in the internal affairs of African states. 

Two other important African states stayed silent and abstained at the UN General Assembly: Ethiopia and Algeria, partly because of their important and historical links to Moscow. 
Issues raised by the war go well beyond the diplomatic arena. There are at least three serious concerns that should be addressed, especially if the military dimension of the Ukrainian crisis escalates.
First, there are about 80,000 Africans (mostly students) in Ukraine who need a safe haven. 

Those figures are an educated guess as few African countries have an embassy in Kyiv. 

Most of them are declared as students, which often was the easiest way to get a residence permit. 
Morocco, Nigeria and Ghana have the most students. Most of them were rushing to the Polish border, where they met obstruction and racism at times. 

There were several incidents in which African students were stopped from crossing into Poland but interventions from Brussels and African embassies in Warsaw seemed to have resolved many of the problems.
Heavy costs
The costs for African states of the international sanctions on Russia, raises a trickier issue, especially after last month's AU-European Union summit in Brussels 
For instance, the price of a barrel of oil had risen to over US$110 by 1 March, a week after the invasion and multiple sanctions on Russia. 

Energy is going to be more expensive for many countries in Africa, except a few oil producers that are going to make a lot of money from the crisis. 
More concerning still are food prices, already rising steeply in many countries. 

African countries (mainly Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya and South Africa) imported agricultural products worth $4 billion from Russia in 2020 (90% being wheat and 6% sunflower oil). 

Ukraine exported agricultural products worth $2.9bn to Africa in 2020: the two main items were wheat (48%) and maize (31%). 

Prices in 2021 were already rocketing due largely to the Covid-19 pandemic and a long drought in parts of the continent. 

The EU will come under pressure to respond to the indirect effects of its sanctions on Russia; already, many European politicians are worried about the cost of the sanctions for their own country. 

For the EU to offer financial aid now would be a shrewd move to counter Moscow's continental ambitions. 
Russia also has deeper and some troubled relations with several African states. 

Some will review their policy and assess the costs and benefits of standing alongside Moscow in the light of the Ukraine war (AC Vol 63 No 2, Moscow guns for African gold). 

The junta in Sudan has clearly tried to use this crisis to send a message to the West, with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti' and a ministerial delegation led by the minister of finance, Jibril Ibrahim, travelling to Moscow just before Russian troops entered Ukraine. 
By not postponing their trip, their intention was twofold. They first showed Vladimir Putin that they deserved greater consideration and support for confirming their friendship when Moscow is increasingly isolated. 

Such a stance is not contradictory with their other diplomatic alignments. 

Egypt is an important trading partner for Russia (food products as well as weaponry) and the United Arab Emirates abstained alongside China at the UNSC on a resolution condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Sudan's junta also wants to make clear to Western diplomats that it has ended the civilian era, and that the country is moving on with this new regime led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan. 

This is what Jibril Ibrahim has been saying from the very first day of the coup. 

Hemeti set off to Moscow just as the UN special envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, publishes the results of his consultation on relaunching the transition to civil rule. 

It was an attempt by Hemeti, with Moscow as the backdrop, to show that Perthes and the UN were irrelevant. Others in the junta have been less vociferous about Khartoum's ties to Moscow. 
Sudan's economy has gone into a nosedive, following the October coup and end of Western support and debt relief. 

Exports have crashed, as has the Sudanese pound. Given the sanctions hit on Russia's, Moscow's capacity to help its military allies in Sudan looks very limited in the short term. 

But further on, Russia wants to set up its planned naval logistics hub at Port Sudan, a plan which Hemeti hailed as a great success on his trip.
Mali has been extremely cautious on the Ukraine war despite a few fake pro-Russian statements. 

Bamako's foreign ministry published a statement promising to help rescue Malian residents in Ukraine. 

A meeting requested by the European Union and national ambassadors represented in Bamako has been postponed. 

Malian officials keep repeating that Bamako should not be held prisoner of conflicts between great powers which have no roots and consequences on Mali (AC Vol 62 No 23, Bamako and Moscow defy Paris). 
Guinea's new junta declared its neutrality on the war between Ukraine and Russia. 
Some tweets suggested  that the Central African Republic (CAR) had recognised the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk but presidenntial spokesman Albert Mokpeme Yaloké denied that any decision had been taken. 
A key question is the future of the Wagner Group's security operations in Africa. 

Some reports claim that Wagner had sent hundreds of its operatives currently in CAR to Kyiv to kill the Ukrainian President and decapitate his government. 

Accurate or imaginary, such allegations show the growing importance Wagner wields in Africa.
The two locations Russia could use as a military hub for its Africa policy are Libya and Sudan. 

Although the UN arms embargo is not really respected by different international actors, any leniency towards Russia is over. Libya is too contested to be used as a Russian base for now. 
Instead Moscow officials have been focusing on the Port Sudan naval logistics project. 

It is likely that Burhan, under pressure from Hemeti, finally endorses a deal that also will help him solve some tensions within the Sudan Armed Forces – should the deal unlock some major contracts and resources. 

Under it, Sudan could take a greater role in Russia's new security architecture in Africa. 
It is going to strengthen dynamics that were already in play. 

For instance, Hemeti froze his relations with those CAR armed groups leaders who were settled in Khartoum and very recently moved troops to the border to stop rebels crossing into CAR with new equipment and fresh recruits.

The connection with Chadian rebels is going to grow, even at the cost of Hemeti's business interests in Niger. 
United States President Barack Obama used to describe Russia as a regional power, a characterisation that infuriated President Putin. 

By starting a European war and attracted the coordinated opprobrium of the West, Putin may have re-established Russia as a power of global concern because of its land mass and nuclear weapons

Its economy was just marginally bigger than Italy's before Moscow invaded Ukraine, but could shrink rapidly due to sanctions and the cost of the invasion. 

If Putin survives the current turmoil, he will also have firmly re-established Russia's ties with China, this time as the junior partner. 

For Africa's older leaders, this new world order could start to look deceptively similar to the one that held sway until 1989. 

But the priority of most governments will be to mitigate the economic fall-out from Europe's biggest war for over 70 years.

 

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How Putin revived Moscow's reach @Africa_Conf
Africa

Gas pipelines, mining deals and military business powered post-Cold War relations but now they are at a turning point again

President Vladimir Putin's first visit to Africa in 2006 launched Moscow's renewed push for economic and security ties with the continent. Its success was celebrated at the October 2019 Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi, which 50 African countries and 43 heads of state attended. Although many of Russia's promises have exceeded the country's ability to deliver, strong ties have developed between Africa and Russia over the past decade and a half.

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28 OCT 19 :: From Russia with Love
Africa



“Our African agenda is positive and future-oriented. We do not ally with someone against someone else, and we strongly oppose any geopolitical games involving Africa.”

“Russia regards Africa as an important and active participant in the emerging polycentric archi- tecture of the world order and an ally in protecting international law against attempts to undermine it,” said Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov back in November 2018.


“This is not accidental, as Africa increasingly becomes a continent of opportunities''
‘’These opportunities include natural resources, infrastructure development and increasing consumer demand from a growing population'' Putin specified.
But, he said, Russia was going to be a different kind of superpower, one that does not engage in “pressure, intimidation and blackmail” to “exploit” sovereign African governments.

“Our African agenda is positive and future-oriented. We do not ally with someone against someone else, and we strongly oppose any geopolitical games involving Africa.”
Putin’s linguistics is an art form and I imagine he buttressed the above points by discreetly showing his visitors a photo of a dead Gaddafi and maybe he dwelled a little on the bottle and then a Photo of a spritely Bashar Assad and would surely not even have had to ask the question; what’s the difference?

Between 2006 and 2018 Russia’s trade with Africa increased by 335 per cent, more than both China’s and India’s according to the Espresso Economist.

Russia is now Africa’s leading supplier of arms. 

According to Swedish think tank SIPRI, between 2012 & 2016 Russia had become largest supplier of arms to Africa, accounting for 35 percent of arms exports to the region, way ahead of China (17 per cent), the United States (9.6 per cent), and France (6.9 per cent).

Exports of Russian-made weapons and military hardware to Africa amount currently to $4.6 billion annually, with a contract portfolio worth over $50 billion. 

The Russian arms trade with Africa doubled compared with 2012.

Russia’s clout on African soil runs on many tracks, and its expansion is geared primarily towards hybrid activities.
In Moscow’s offer for Africa are mercenaries, military equipment, mining investments, nuclear power plants, and railway connections.
“Russia regards Africa as an important and active participant in the emerging polycentric architecture of the world order and an ally in protecting international law against attempts to undermine it,” said Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov back in November 2018.

Recently we have seen Russian interventions in the Central African Republic (CAR. In July this year, a three-minute animated video appeared on YouTube. Called Lionbear, the cartoon was aimed at children and told the story of a brave but beleaguered Central African lion, who was fighting a losing battle against a pack of hungry hyenas. Luckily the lion had a friend who came to the rescue — the strong Russian bear. The bear fights off the hyenas brings peace to the land and everyone lives happily ever after.The video was produced by Lobaye Invest, a Russian mining company with links to the Wagner Group. Lobaye runs a radio station in the CAR, and orga- nised a Miss CAR pageant. But, as a CNN investigation reported this year, Lobaye also funds the 250 Russian mercenaries who are stationed in the country.
“The dividend for Lobaye Invest: generous concessions to explore for diamonds and gold in a country rich in mineral wealth,” it reported. 

The Russian mercenaries are officially there to train the CAR’s national army.
But their activities in the country are shrouded in secrecy, and when three Russian journalists traveled there to investigate they were murdered.[Mail and Guardian Simon Allison] 

I would argue Putin’s timing is exquisite and optimal and his Model has an exponential ROI. 

Russia’s clout on African soil runs on many tracks, and its expansion is geared primarily towards hybrid activities. 

In Moscow’s offer for Africa are mercenaries, mili- tary equipment, mining investments, nuclear power plants, and railway connections.
Andrew Korybko writes Moscow invaluably fills the much-needed niche of providing its partners there with “Democratic Security”, or in other words, the cost-effective and low-commitment capabilities needed to thwart colour revolutions and resol- ve unconventional Wars (collectively referred to as Hybrid War).
To simplify, Russia’s “political technologists” have reportedly devised bespoke solutions for confronting incipient and ongoing color revolutions, just like its private military contractors (PMCs) have supposedly done the same when it comes to ending insurgencies.

Once we look through the Optics of two nuclear-capable supersonic bombers belonging to the Russian Air Force landing in Pretoria for the aircraft’s first-ever landing on the African continent and, according to an embassy official, only the second country in which it has made a public appearance outside of Russia.
The first was Venezuela. Then we need to see this move for what it is. It is meaningful.
Putin has created a hybrid model with an exponential ROI. I would imagine he is on speed dial.

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Schisms in the junta are widening @Africa_Conf
Africa


General Burhan's alliance with a powerful militia and rebels is unravelling as he faces coup plots and street protests

After seizing total power, the ruling generals are facing an increasingly determined and resourceful civilian opposition and are struggling to keep rival armed factions on-side as the country's economy goes into freefall. 

Complicating matters is the mutual distrust trust between the junta leader General Abdel Fattah al Burhan and his deputy Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo 'Hemeti'.

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President Tshisekedi's move against his intelligence chief François Beya was about consolidating power, not thwarting a coup plot @Africa_Conf
Africa


Three weeks after President Félix Tshisekedi ordered the arrest of his senior security advisor François Beya for plotting a coup, a shroud of silence still surrounds the affair. Beya had managed relations with former President Joseph Kabila and his family, and the president's move carries risks. Beya's ties with the Kabila clan remain close.

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Ethiopia's central bank awaits PM's decision to appoint a Director General to establish the #capital_market authority The authority will license the 🇪🇹 Securities Exchange in which the govt. will have a 25% share. @PatrickHeinisc1
Africa

Ethiopia's central bank awaits PM's decision to appoint a Director General to establish the #capital_market authority (to be finalized in the current FY). The authority will license the 🇪🇹 Securities Exchange in which the govt. will have a 25% share. 

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Oil discoveries made by @TotalEnergies and @Shell off the arid coastline of Namibia could be among the biggest in Africa. @markets
Africa


But the companies may have to hurry to develop the giant deposits, known in the industry as “elephants.’’

TotalEnergies SE made a “significant” oil discovery off the coast of Namibia, three weeks after Shell Plc announced a find off the southwest African nation.
Explorers have drilled more than a dozen wells in the area in search of oil and gas. 

The potential opening of a new basin
The light oil and associated gas found at Total’s Venus well in the Orange Basin is “very promising,” Kevin McLachlan, the company’s senior vice president of exploration, said Thursday. 

The well found about 84 meters (276 feet) of “net oil pay,” according to a statement.

“Venus could be an extraordinary find for Namibia,” said Liam Yates, a senior analyst at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Based on the information available, 

“the scale could be enormous,” potentially requiring a multi-vessel development to exploit the full resource, he said.
Shell announced a discovery off Namibia on Feb. 4 and is studying the results with a view to conducting further exploration. 

Oil finds off Africa have been few and far between in recent years, with exploration activity dropping to a single rig in 2020 as the global pandemic took hold. 

While the rig count has partially recovered, it’s still around half what it was before the crisis, according to Baker Hughes data.
TotalEnergies has a 40% interest in Block 2913B and is the operator. Qatar Petroleum holds 30%, Impact Oil & Gas 20% and National Petroleum Co. of Namibia 10%.

 The French company also has blocks where the Orange Basin extends into South Africa.

The deposits could hold over 3 billion barrels of recoverable oil, worth more than $300 billion at current prices. 

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Key Market Indicators Market capitalization rose by 4.3% @ouma_timothy
N.S.E General

Share Price Indices 

NASI,  rose by 4.3%
NSE  20  rose by 0.1%
NSE 25  rose by 2.1%

Market capitalization rose by 4.3%

Equity turnover rose by 22.2%

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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March 2022
 
 
 
 
 
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