CABO DELGADO: A Lesson for Kavango East

We spent most of our Sunday debating with people who were happy that Cabo Delgado is in turmoil because they thought they had caught us in a lie.

The same happened to the situation were *Recon-Africa* is drilling oil in the Kavango basin, many Namibians are happy about this fortunate development but forgetting the unfortunate situation that may turn against the very citizens themselves.

This is after Mr Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare wrote an article on the 8th of March 2020, bragging about how the Zimbabwean and Mozambican allied expeditionary force, had wiped out the *Ansar Al Sunna Islamic Militants* in Cabo Delgado, in just two months. So when many heard of the latest attacks in that area weeks later, they thought that they had caught him in a lie, failing to appreciate that the key to understanding this issue, is allowing those with a bit of insight to speak, having knowledge of geo-politics, understanding US Petrol Dollar policy, paying attention to detail and not listening blindly to the *#SaddamHasWMDs* Western media._

Therefore, it is very important for local people to tell their own stories of their own situation. We need People from Mozambique and Namibia to tell their own stories about the oil development in their own country.

Our story starts in 2011, when an Italian company called *Eni,* discovered 450 billion cubic metres of gas reserves off the coast of Mozambique. This was the biggest natural gas discovery in Southern Africa, and after further exploration by another American company, reserve estimates have been bumped up by another 30%.

Immediately, there was a scramble by companies from all over the world, to get into Mozambique. As a response, *Total,* a French oil company pledged to invest $15bil in a gas to oil plant, to exploit the resource.

*Shell Oil* is currently constructing a $20 billion project, while a French and Japanese company have made similar investments. However, the problem facing Mozambique is, after expropriating Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian oil fields, and increasing fracking at home, the United States is no longer a net importer of oil and oil products. They are now one of the biggest producers of the commodity. Along with that, four of the seven sisters of oil, which contribute greatly to US GDP are US companies.

So, for the country to fully benefit from its fossil fuel bounty, it needs to maintain healthy oil prices by keeping a tight grip on oil supplies, to control oil prices as *De Beers* does with diamonds. By so doing, they can also enforce the sale of global oil in US dollars, to maintain demand and value of the dollar. This is known as the *Petrol-Dollar.*

This is the same situation in Namibia at *Kavango Belt,* in the region called *Kavango East * were an Canadian company *Recon-Africa* is busy with exploration and drilling of oil. Therefore, Namibia need to prepare its house in order to invite their local experts in the oil industry to advice the Government with better options and what modalities are needed to have the industry under control.

To maintain its Petrol Dollar – a monopoly on the price of oil and the currency oil is traded in since the 1970s oil crisis- the US has bought OPEC’s biggest producers Saudi Arabia and the UAE, by supplying them with vast amounts of military equipment, while overlooking their atrocious human rights records.

In turn, the Saudis and Emiratis use their power in OPEC to dictate oil production quotas and prices to other nations who can’t afford a price war with the giants. This may sound so far fetched, but in fact it is nearby and can happen to Namibia or the neighboring countries.

Another common method, is destabilising non-aligned oil rich nations by sanctions, civil wars and where necessary, invasions to take over their oil fields and then establishing military bases in those countries, to secure the oil for America.

This is something we saw done to Libya, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan where the 1 milion barrel per day, *Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI)* pipeline is being planned._

Right now, Nigeria is facing Boko Haram, Iran and Russia are under US-EU sanctions because they are non-aligned to the US, while the Taoudeni basin in the Sahara has been destabilised by Fulani terrorists and is now dotted with US and French military bases.

Venezuela is under stringent sanctions that have killed no less than sixty thousand people, while the Berlin Conference allies have tried to orchestrate an invasion, which was foiled by an aggressive Venezuelan counter-propaganda campaign.

In Namibia we know that they are allied to 🇨🇳 China and Russia 🇷🇺 and those are some of the biggest players in the gas and oil industry in the world. As we speak the Western media has started to engage the community that are not happy with the exploration of oil in Kavango East region, claiming that they were not consulted properly and that the oil will destroy their their fields, that they do not know where to go if the oil is found and is commercially viable for international trade through OPEC.

The Western Super power is where they are going to penetrate from, by funding this community that are not happy to continue revolting about the development of oil in Kavango East region and all hell will break loose.

In Sudan and Chad, the Chinese have discovered vast amounts of oil but the region continues to face instability and coups caused by the US and France. Coming closer to home, the East African region of Kenya and Somalia is being terrorised by the so-called *Al Shabaab*, yet each of those countries have various US military bases around them that are failing to end this terrorism.

This is a very case study for the Namibian government to study from and compare notes on how they will have to manage their situation, when we know that the USA and our neighboring countries, such as Botswana, have a very good relationship through their bilateral relationship and foreign policy of which we don’t see such between Namibia and Botswana. Looking at what happened in the Zambezi region were civilians are being shot at every time when they want to go for fishing. Therefore, for USA to use Botswana base to control the Kavango oil opportunities is something that must not be ignored unless they are given the complete right to extract, refine and sell it.

So, with the discovery of gas in Mozambique, we saw the sudden emergence of disgruntled Muslim youth in the country, uncharacteristically taking up arms, rising up against their own communities and demanding jobs in the oil fields of Cabo Delgado.

What can stop the same from happening to our youths of Kavango East? Youths who are disgruntled by lack of employment, to be influenced and take arms by claiming they are being sidelined from the oil spinoff and all job opportunities in the oil industry?

We shall see opportunities given to other children such as those of liberation struggle/freedom fighters’ kids! If we are not careful as a nation in Namibia, the situation at Cabo Delgado will emerge itself in Kavango East through the Kavango basin.

Initially, these rebels operated more like gangsters, using violence against civilians to extort support for their movement. It was only in 2019, when their attacks became more targeted at security forces, that the Mozambican government approached Russian and South African private armies alongside SADC, for assistance. We know this situation happened in Namibia in the same region when Unita bandits were attacking civilians.

As a result, we also know how rebels operate and we don’t want the same history to repeat itself after the discovery of oil. Reason Cabo Delgado is under terrorists attack is because of the similar discovery made in that region.

Oil and gas discovery in the Kavango could risk a rebirth of Unita as Quando Cubango Province houses many ex rebels who are marinated in abject poverty, but still have access to assault rifles, and anyone wishing to destabilise the Kavango can make use of them. It’s the same thing that’s happening in Mozambique now. War mongers creating chaos to necessitate military contractors\mercenaries permanent presence there so that exploitation happens without any government’s involvement, and indigenous people become worse off than they were before. So Namibia should really think of the above.

From 2019 into 2020, Mozambique appealed to the AU for military aid, but it was not forthcoming. Eventually in September 2020, the US Trump administration asked the Zimbabwean government to play a role in Mozambique.

The Zimbabwean government responded by asking Trump to consider removing sanctions in exchange. Without really knowing what was agreed between Zimbabwe and the Trump administration, a month later, Zimbabwe sent a reconnaissance team to assess the situation in northern Mozambique.

By mid December 2020, one of our sources began to talk of the area being deployed by about 3,000 other soldiers to Mozambique, as part of an Allied expeditionary force of Mozambicans and Zimbabweans.

Unlike the first Mozambican war, we are told that this time, Zimbabwe was not only focused on honouring a military alliance agreement with a neighbour or just protecting the Beira Corridor, but they were also intent on getting rewarded for their assistance. So claims are that promises of oil, were part of this deployment agreement.

The December deployment was surrounded by secrecy and it is alleged that Zimbabwean soldiers were being integrated into Mozambican military structures to fight as Mozambican soldiers. Something we have not been able to confirm from independent senior army officials.

Initial assessments in Mozambique identified the rebels as *Ansar Al Sunna,* an organic grouping with no ties to any of the well-known regular Muslim terrorist groups. They were not well-equipped, as they were using old weapons from the Mozambican civil war. Their level of organisation was rated as amateurish at best, and their strategy was mainly sporadic guerrilla style hit-and-run attacks on civilians for food.

However, that’s how rebels start anywhere in the oil, diamonds and gold countries: they start as inexperienced but later they get foreign assistance to destabilise the country for their own fortunes.

As a result of this reduced risk assessment, we are told by sources, that the Zimbabwean contingent was eventually reduced to 1,300 from the 3,000 men. The men left behind were adamant that dealing with the insurgents would be simple, once they broke civilian support for the rebels.

The Zimbabweans are said to have quickly implemented the Russian scorched earth doctrine used against dissidents in Gukurahundi, to close off community support for insurgents.

The approach, tailored to deal with religious fundamentalists or fish-in-water guerrilla tactics, involves security forces embarking on an integrated campaign to prevent civilians from supporting terrorists, even if they are family. The campaign is based on integrating soldiers into the community, gaining the trust of the communities by re-education drives, intelligence gathering, soldiers protecting villagers from retribution and attacks from terrorists.

Where communities are stubborn and continue to support terrorists who cause pain in the community, a more heavy handed approach is used to break the spirit and will of recalcitrant who support insurgents.

As can be expected, a lot of Russian textbook spirit breaking took place in Cabo Delgado to quickly destroy the fundamentalism by terrorists and their family members.

By mid-February 2021, the tactic had worked and we began to hear reports that *Ansar Al Sunna* had began fleeing north into Malawi and Tanzania because it was becoming difficult for them to operate in Cabo Delgado.

In a short order, refugees began to return alongside business people and tourists like the South Africans caught up in a hotel in the region. After its own risk assessment, just three days later, *Shell* announced that it will commence construction on its $20bil project in the area.

How could corporations of the calibre of Shell and hotel chains have decided that it was safe to resume operations, if the terrorists were not under control, as the Western media is trying to make us believe?

Much debate remains around the methods used to deal with civilians who support insurgents, with many soldiers on the ground feeling that the Geneva Convention is clear that civilians who assist military combatants with the intent of giving them an advantage in a war, are a threat to security forces and thus lose their civilian protections and can be engaged as military targets.

While that principle is not in dispute, the departure of others believe that civilians who support militants in a war, must be arrested and tried in civilian courts for such crimes. However, consensus is that this is not practical on the ground in Africa because there are often not enough resources in an insurgency to arrest, imprison, feed, process, docket and secure civilians or terrorists, and still continue the job of saving communities from terror attacks.

Nevertheless, within the celebrations of defeating the insurgents, we are told that reports began to reach the UN, that war crimes were committed against the terrorists, their women and children.

The US and EU, took keen interest in pushing the AU to investigate these crimes, but the AU was ambivalent, as their only concern is having less conflict on the continent.

The US is then said to have approached the Mozambican government directly, and asked for Mozambique to allow US instructors to come in and train their soldiers on human counter insurgency. Quite an oxymoron, considering that the *International Criminal Court (ICC)* is currently investigating US war crimes in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq). Namibia must be ready to be approached if the oil situation turns out to be favourable and start to cause instability within the region and the African continent.

They are said to have also asked Mozambique to allow UN peacekeepers to take over the job in Cabo Delgado. Although the Mozambicans were reluctant, the threat of the UN investigating the claims of crimes against humanity, were used to apply pressure.

As part of the conditions, Zimbabwean soldiers were to be debriefed and released and the US and UN (the US’s private army) would take over. This is something the US has done before, when they pressured the UN to cancel a UN mission involving Zimbabwean soldiers in Sudan.

The Zimbabweans refused to leave because they felt civilians would be left exposed to warlord attacks, if they left without securing them. The UN immediately cut support, leaving the troops stranded. At that point, the Ugandan government stepped in to support those soldiers with food and arms until their mission was done.

Since the US and Mozambican government meeting, we are told that the 1,300 Zimbabwean soldiers have since returned to Zimbabwe, and as soon as they returned, South African and Western media went on overdrive, talking about the untenable situation in Cabo Delgado, yet it was secure when the Zimbabweans left.

What is not making sense is how hotels are open, oil companies are investing, construction is resuming and foreign visitors are moving into the area that is meant to be in ISIS hands.

Why would hotels be open under these kind of conditions and why would foreign companies at risk of liability claims, not evacuate staff, unless Cabo Delgado had indeed been secured as claimed by our sources? As we speak foreign investors has started to flock to Namibia to invest there, in a waiting mood when the Oil is ready for commercial purposes.

Another thing is all along, rebels that were in the area were known as Ansar Al Sunna, but now we are hearing that the Saudi funded *Al Shabaab,* which is active in Kenya and Somalia where the United States has military bases, is now in Mozambique.

When we asked our sources, they said that Ansar Al Sunna were on the run, but the new rebels who undertook the latest strikes since Zimbabwe left, are not the same rebels but better armed, much more organized, more experienced and well-funded terrorists.

This leaves the question as to what is really going on in Cabo Delgado?

1. Firstly, we have to acknowledge that these types of terrorist activities seem to replicate themselves wherever a third world nation finds oil, wherever the US wants to establish a base or where the US have military presence in Africa, who is next, if not Namibia at Kavango basin in Kavango West region?

2. It would seem that in line with US Petrol Dollar and foreign policy, the US have a vested interest in controlling Mozambican gas, to regulate supply and maintain prices for the profits of their gas companies, the same can replicate itself in Namibia.

3. Since Trump reached out to Zimbabwe, it looks like the Biden administration (Biden is one of the sponsors of Zimbabwe’s ZDERA sanctions) wants to ensure that Zimbabwe does not get access to oil in Mozambique, as US sanctions on any country are centered on restricting access to oil and US dollars to pay for oil.

4. Finally, as with all other places where the US control oil, chances are they are also considering establishing a permanent presence (a US base) to secure the resource. And as Rutendo wrote in a previous installment -where Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique meet- we have a small little area called *Kanyemba,* where Zimbabwe is said to have vast uranium deposits._

Alongside that area is *Muzarabani,* which is said to also hold some of the largest inland deposits of gas and potentially oil, outside the Taoudeni Basin._

Rumors are that the US has been negotiating with the Zimbabwean government for rights to develop a huge city and US military base there, to close out the Russians and Chinese. However, sources say that the Zimbabwean government has not been forthcoming. Is this not taking place somewhere in Namibia?

So, now the suspicion is that the US is using terrorists to try and pressure the two countries [Zimbabwe and Mozambique], to give up control of their fossil fuels and uranium, with the intention of establishing a permanent presence [military base] in a strategic location in any of the two states._

This is why the media of South Africa, alongside its Western partners, has jumped onto making a loud noise about Cabo Delgado, yet they were quiet since December when Zimbabwe was doing it’s job there and corporate civilians were free to travel to the region in safety and in Namibia the British government media known as Sky news they were just making noise about *Recon-Africa* doing oil drilling in Namibia Kavango East and now CNN just air the same story and is just to attract the international sympathetic community to rally behind the community that are oppressed and disenfranchised of their land and resources. It starts like that always everywhere around the world.

It seems like this is another elaborate US false flag to pave way for US presence in the region. However, the problem is once the US army come into a region, they never leave, turmoil ensues, they cause more false flags using Islamic terrorists and destabilise the region to advance US foreign policy. We must start paying attention to alternative sources of information and not Western media.

By: Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare of ZUAUWS, Alberto Mbusz and Vetaruhe Kandorozu of Namibia Omipanda Village and retired politician.

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