Eritrea: Got the Dutch Disease Yet?  by Zekre Lebona  on 26 March 2015

 

Potential patient (photo: Bill Ross/Corbis)

The state of Eritrea, which became an independent nation more than 20 years ago; depended for its survival on the remittance money from the huge diaspora and foreign aid; until the rupture of relations and military conflict with Ethiopia in 1998. In order to survive the sudden de-coupling of its economy with the huge economy of its neighbor; and maintain the punishing cost of war; the state mobilized a large percentage of the adult bodied population, and resources of the country for war; war economy has therefore become a permanent feature.

However, a large amount of money from gold and other metals has since overtaken; the dwindling flow of remittance money from some of the disgruntled diaspora. Has Eritrea succumbed to the “Dutch Disease, or Resource Curse” phenomenon; as many countries of the Third World and particularly Africa had been? It probably didn’t; confounding many economists. Eritrea may likely remain immune from it for a longer period of time. What factors made it “escape” from it?

War economy   

Countries that succumb to the Dutch Disease suffer from the sudden availability of hard currency; which has a deleterious effect on the manufacturing and export sector. Awash with hard currency, the local currency will increase its value; putting many of the goods produced domestically in unfair competition with the rest of the world. Awash with hard currency, regimes often spend large amount of money on social services; which had been neglected for years. This policy often results in the indirect-diversion of labor to the sector; leading to massive inflation. Venezuela is an excellent example.

Eritrea, however, doesn’t seem to keep any significant amount of its mine-generating hard currency in the central bank. It depends on the informal economy with little transparency to its budget and debt accrued over the years. The recent scandal on the close to 700 million dollars stashed away in a Swiss bank is a good illustration. That may not be the entire amount money kept hidden in foreign institutions. Is this money a “sovereign wealth”; money kept for hard times and the future generations as Norway, Australia, Canada do? It’s most unlikely for the countries mentioned are democracies. In addition, Eritrea, is not a welfare state notwithstanding the jargon on justice.

Outsourcing welfare

Eritrea’s expenditure on social services is extremely small compared to its huge expenditure on its military; estimated by some in several hundred thousand. It has outsourced the upkeep of its significant percentage of its population to the huge diaspora; who hate as they may seem the regime, would not refrain from sending money to their relatives. The inflation that ensues is not from any major expenditure on social services by the regime, however. Unemployed people, including hundreds of thousands of people in the army, who earn only about 2 dollars a day; depend for their livelihood on this sector. The state of Eritrea has other important uncanny methods of keeping itself from the Dutch Disease.

The United Nations, human rights organization, and others have lately been reporting on the systemic use of thousands of people; graduates from the Eritrean National Service work for free or pittance for the government in the civil sector, the party owned farms and factories, and business entities run by army generals. Like a vacuum machine, the state sucks most of the able bodied people in the land into its war economy; leaving them little agency to manage their lives. Prior to their being corralled by the state; the large majority were teen age students; and the rest unemployed, underemployed people; subsisting on donations from people living abroad.

There was no manufacturing sector to begin with in Eritrea; having endured a thirty years the factories from the past were in ruins; with little chance for recovery. More alarmingly, the command economy had a stranglehold on the private sector leaving neither capital nor labor for its existence. In other words; a large majority of the people had no job or were partially employed for years. The regime’s panacea for this was a massive militarization; not even sparing the millions of poor farmers eking a poor existence.  The highly glorified “self-sufficient” economy of Eritrea is nothing but a thorough war economy.

In sum, the purpose of this article is to encourage economists and development experts to explore the lethal effect of revenues from precious commodities by a totalitarian state. In comparison with the ravages of the state such as Eritrea’s, the lot of millions of people living under a Dutch Disease, or Resource curse is much humane and tolerable. Arguably, humanitarian emergencies of the magnitude, which exists in Eritrea; rarely happens in countries afflicted with the Dutch Disease.

Middle East | News Analysis |​​NYT Now A Policy Puzzle of U.S. Goals and Alliances in the Middle East By MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICKMARCH 26, 2015

A Policy Puzzle of U.S. Goals and Alliances in the Middle East – NYTimes.com

Middle East | News Analysis |​​NYT Now A Policy Puzzle of U.S. Goals and Alliances in the Middle East By MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICKMARCH 26, 2015

Boston Marathon Bombing: Tale of the Gun BOSTON — Mar 25, 2015, 12:55 PM ET By MICHELE McPHEE

PHOTO: Evidence presented against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing case included this Ruger 9mm pistol, allegedly used by the Tsarnaev brothers days after the marathon attack.

Evidence presented against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing case included this Ruger 9mm pistol, allegedly used by the Tsarnaev brothers days after the marathon attack.

The gun’s serial number was “obliterated” by the time U.S. law enforcement got to it, but federal investigators were able to forensically “raise” the numbers and trace its purchase to a gun store more than three years ago and 100 miles from Boston.

In November 2011, Los Angeles native Danny Sun Jr. bought the 9mm Ruger P95 at a Cabela’s hunting and fishing store in South Portland, Maine as part of a “multi-gun” purchase, law enforcement officials and a Cabela manager told ABC News. Sun Jr. later told police that at some point over the next year, he gave the weapon to Biniam “Icy” Tsegai.

When Tsegai, an Eritrean immigrant, received the gun, federal prosecutors in Maine said he and others were the target of a multi-agency federal investigation into crack dealing out of Portland hotel rooms. Tsegai would plead guilty to drug charges in 2014.

But back in 2012, Tsegai handed the gun off to 21-year-old Merhawi “Howie” Berhe, according to recent testimony from Stephen Silva, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s “best friend.” Berhe is also Eritrean and was arrested in South Portland on a burglary charge last year, according to a police log. It remains unclear how Berhe, a Cambridge, Mass. resident, knewTsegai. An attorney for Berhe declined to discuss specifics of his case with ABC News and an attorney for Tsegai did not respond to request for comment.

PHOTO: Evidence presented against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing case included this Ruger 9mm pistol, found in the aftermath of a firefight Tsarnaev and his brother had with police days after the marathon bombing. 

 

Department of Justice

 

 

PHOTO: Evidence presented against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing case included this Ruger 9mm pistol, found in the aftermath of a firefight Tsarnaev and his brother had with police days after the marathon bombing.

 

Silva testified that he then took the gun from Berhe, who he said was “a friend of mine from my neighborhood.”

“He asked me if I could do him a favor and hold down a firearm for him because he needed to get it out of his house,” Silva testified, adding that Berhe’s “mother had searched his room.”

Berhe was charged earlier this month possessing a firearm with an “obliterated” serial number, presumably the same one he gave to Silva and would eventually end up in Tsarnaev’s hands. Berhe has pleaded not guilty and was released on $10,000 bond on March 17, the same day Silva outlined from the witness stand in Tsarnaev’s trial how the gun made it from a ceiling panel in his apartment where it was secreted in a tube sock, to the accused marathon bombers.

Silva described the gun as “black…looked a little rusty…the serial number was obliterated on a silver panel and it said ‘P95’ on top slide and it also says Ruger on the side of the gun.”

While he had it, Silva decided to make use of the gun himself, he said, and ripped off buyers in a drug deal in Cambridge, Mass. later in 2012.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly first saw the gun after Silva brought it to a New Year’s Eve party that same year. Tsarnaev asked about borrowing the gun, Silva testified, but Silva didn’t get around to giving it to him until February 2013. Silva testified that Tsarnaev wanted the gun to “rip some URI students,” presumably referring to the University of Rhode Island, which is close to his college dorm at University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth. Tsarnaev also demanded bullets, asking Silva for the “food for the dog,” Silva said.

 

PHOTO: Evidence presented against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing case included this 9mm ammunition, allegedly used by the Tsarnaev brothers in the days after the marathon attack. 

Department of Justice

 

PHOTO: Evidence presented against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing case included this 9mm ammunition, allegedly used by the Tsarnaev brothers in the days after the marathon attack.

 

Over the next few weeks, Silva said he was annoyed with Tsarnaev because he refused to return the gun, always “coming up with excuses,” up until the first week of April when he last saw Tsarnaev and allegedly sold him marijuana.

The Marathon bombs exploded on April 15, 2013 and three days later, MIT police officer Sean Collier was murdered in his patrol car, allegedly with six bullets fired from the Ruger. Tsarnaev’s attorney Judy Clarke admitted in her opening arguments that the Tsarnaev brothers were responsible for the 27-year-old officer’s murder. Prosecutors said Collier was shot three times in the head and three times in the hand, by the Tsarnaev brothers, though it’s unclear which one pulled the trigger.

A short time after Collier’s death, Tamerlan knocked on the window of a young businessman Dun Meng and pointed the Ruger at his head several times during a harrowing carjacking and robbery, Meng testified. Meng was able to escape when the brothers stopped at a gas station.

 

Boston Marathon Bombing - ABC News infographic 

ABC News

 

Boston Marathon Bombing – ABC News infographic

 

A few miles and hours later after Meng escaped, the Tsarnaevs became pinned in by police and engaged in a firefight. Police say Tamerlan fired the Ruger until it was empty and then threw the handgun at the officers. Massachusetts State Police Lt David Cahill testified on Tuesday that the Ruger was fired 56 times in Watertown during the Tsarnaevs’ crime spree.

Tamerlan died after being shot in the firefight, and then run over by his brother as Dzhokhar fled the scene, according to witness testimony. Dzhokhar managed to elude capture for 16 hours before being pulled off a dry-docked boat in Watertown backyard.

The Ruger was recovered at the scene of the firefight in Watertown and now serves as a key piece of evidence in the trial against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts related to the bombing, Collier’s murder, and the businessman’s carjacking.

Boston Marathon Bombing Tale of the Gun

 

ወጽዓ ደቂ-ኣንስትዮን መበገሲኡን – ቀዳማይ ክፋል By assenna on March 24, 2015

Sudan_women

ወጽዓ ደቂ-ኣንስትዮን መበገሲኡን

ቀዳማይ ክፋል

ደቂ-ሰባት ከም ሓደ ዓይነት ዘርኢ መጠን፡- ከምቶም ኩሎም ሂወት ዘለዎም ፍጡራት ብኽልተ ጾታ ማለት ብኣንስታውን ተባዕታውን ጽምዶ ዝቖሙ ባህርያዊ ፈልሲ ምኻኖም መብርሂ ዘድልዮ ኣይኮነን። የግዳስ ናብ ሓደ መብርሂ ዘድልዮ መንገዲ ዘእትወና ኣምር ብምኻኑ እዩ። እዞም ምስሎም ክልተ ሂወቶም ግን ብሓደ መጥመሪ ዝተወደነ ሕ/ሰብኣዊ ቡቕሎ፡ ከልተ ገጽ ናይ ሓደ ቅርሺ ከንሶም፡ ከምቲ ዝጠመየ ዝብእስ ቁስሉ እንተበልዐ ዝተዓንገለ ይመስሎ ዝብሃል፡ እቲ ሓደ ክፋል ናይዚ ሕ/ሰብዊ ቡቕሎ፡ ናይ ኣካያድነታዊ ስልጣን ተቖጻጺሩ፡ ነቲ ባህርያዊ ክውንነት  ክኸድዖ ጀመረ። ንካላኣይ ሸነኹ (መዋድንቱ) ዓሚጹን ጎዲኡን ሓደ ጎኑ ጥራይ ከህጥር ህርዲግ ኣብ ምባል ኣተወ። እዚ ሸነኽ፡ ቃንዛ ናይ ዝተጎዘዘ ጎድኑ ንኸይስመዖን ከየቕልበሉን ብጭካነ ዝወሰነ፡ ኣብ ናይ ጥልመትን ነብሰ ርመሳን ዘንብር መርሆ ክኽተል ዝመረጸ ሸነኽ ኮነ።

ይኹን እምበር፡ እዚ ክልቲኡ ጾታ ኣብ ምቋምን ምቕጻልን ናይ ሓደ ሕብረተሰብ ምዕሩይ ትዕድልት ሓላፍነት ዘለዎ ምኻኑ ብታኣምር ዘይዝለል ባህርያዊ ሓቂ’ዩ። በዚ መጠን ክረአ ከሎ ኣምብኣር ግደ ደቅ-ኣንስትዮ ኣብ ኩሉ ከይዲ ምዕባለ ሕ/ሰብ  ወሳኒ ኣካል ምኻኑ እዩ። እቲ ባህርያዊ ሓቂ እዚ ከንሱ ግን፡ እቲ ብዘይ ህላወ ደቅ ኣንስትዮ ህላወኡ ዝብቕዕ ክፋል ሕ/ሰብ፡ ንኹሉ መሰላተን ገፊፉ ሃብታም ጸጋታተን፡ ኣፍራይ ብልሓታተን፡ ከልምሶ ተቓለሰ። ከምቲ ልዒሉ ዝተገልጸ ግን ሓደ ካብዞም ክልተ መጻምዲ ምስ ዘይህሉ እቲ ካላኣይ ክህሉ ባህርያዊ ከምዘይኮነ፡ በቲ ንዐኦም ዝፈጠረ ዝተሰርዐ ሕጊ ምኻኑ ርዱእ’ኳ እንተኾነ፡ እዚ ብፍላጥ ሓደ ዓዩን ዘንቆረ ፍርቂ ሓንጎሉ ዘመሽመሸ ሸነኽ፡ ዓቢ ናይ ምምዛንን ምስትውዓልን ተኽእሎኡ ስለዝቐተለ፡ በቲ ዝተገድዐ ኣካሉ መሪሑን ሰሪሑን ምሉእ ሕ/ሰብ ከዕግብ ድማ ስለ ዘይክል፡ ጸገማቱ ክሽፍን ዎትሩ ኣብ ዓመጽን ዓፈናን ጥራይዩ ዝምርኮስ። እቲ ናቱ ጸገም ናብ ካልእ ከጸግዕን ከድርዕን ድማ፡ ናይ ደቅ-ኣንስትዮ ኩሉንትናዊ መሰላተን ገፊፉ ከብቕዕ፡ ተምሊሱ ነዐአን ኣካለ-ጎደሎ ገይሩ ብምስራዕ ከም ሓደ ዓቢ ጸገምን ከቢድ ሸኽሚ ናይ ሕ/ሰብ ጌርካ ከም ዝቑጸራ ገይሩወን’ዩ።

ስለዝኾነ ድማዩ ሕ/ሰብ ዓለምና በዞም ነቲ ፍርቂ ኣካሎም ብኣረሜናዊ ጭካነ ጨፍሊቖም፡ በቲ ፍርቂ ጎደሎ ዝኾነ ስንኩል (ሃንድካብድ) ኣተሓሳስበኦምን ተግባሮምን ኣህዛብ ኣብ ከቢድ ህውከትን መከራን ዘቒቶም የሳቕይዎ ዘለዉ።

ወጽዓ ደቂ-ኣንስትዮ ዝጀመረሉ፡- በቲ ንመሰረታዊ መሰላት ደቅሰባት ገፊፉ ዝረግጽ፡ ብኣረሜናዊ ስርዓት ዝፍለጥ ንሓይሊ ከም እንኮን መተካእታ ዘይብሉ ሕጊ ገይሩ ብምቕራጽ፡ ዝገዝእ ዝነበረ ስርዓተ ዓመጽን ዓፈናን፡ ስርዓተ ጊላነትዩ።

ኣብቲ ቅድሚኡ ዝነበረ ፈላሚ ሕ/ሰብኣዊ ስርዓተ ምዕባለ፡ ደቂ ሰባት ብሓባር ሰሪሖም ብርትዓውነት ተኻፊሎም፡ ድኹማቶምን ጽጉማቶም ሓንጊሮም ሓብሒቦም ዝጎዓዝሉ ዝነበሩ እዋን፡ ከም ሓደ ዘርኢ መጠን ካብ ዝተፈላለዩ ሓደገኛታት እንስሳን ባህርያዊ ተጻብኦታት ተጠርኒፎም እናተኸላኸሉ ተሓቓቒፎም ብሰላም ይካየዱ ከምዝነበሩ ይፈለጥ። እዚ እዋን’ዚ ዘመነ ፍልመ-ዴሳዊ እናታዊ ስርዓተ ምዕባለ ተባሂሉ ድማ ይጽዋዕ።

ግዜ እናኸደ፡ መልክዕ ናብራ መቐይሮ (ለውጥ) ክጎዛጎዝ ጀመረ። መንፈስ ብሕታውነትን ናይ ብሕቲ ዋንነትን እናደፈኣ መጸሞ፡ እቶም ሓያላት ነቶሞ ድኽም ዝበሉ እናዓምረሩ ኣብ ትሕቲ ምሉእ ቁጽጽሮም ኣእተውዎም። በዚ ኣቢሉ ድማ እቲ ሰላምን ምትሕልላይን ምትሕብሓብ ዝሰፈኖ ስርዓተ ሓባርነት ተሳዕረ።

ስለዚ ድማ እቶም ብሰላም ናብረኦም ዝመርሑ ዝነብሩ ህዝብታት፡ ጥሪቶም ንብረቶም መሬቶም ኩሉ መሰላትም ብሓያላት ተዘሚቶም ኣብ ትሕቲ ምሉእ ዋንነት ጎይቶት ኣተዉ። ጊሎት ድማ ተሰምዩ፡ ጎይቶት ሓይሎም ዝያዳ ንምድልዳል ግዝኣቶም ንምስፍሕፋሕ ዝኣክል፡ ካለኦት ከምኣቶም እኩባትን ዱልዱላትን ክወሩ ንጊሎት ከም ናይ ውግእ ሓይሊ (ሰራዊት)ን ካልእን ይግልገሉሎም ነበሩ። ዝበዝሑ ጊሎት ዝወነነ ዝሓየለን ዝሰፍሐ ግዝኣት ይህልዎ ምንባሩ ይፍለጥ።

እቲ ዘመን፡ ዘመን ሓይሊ ስለ ዝኾነ ኩሉ ሕይል ዝበለ ብዓቕሙ ነቶም ድኽም ዝበሉ ክቆጻጸሮምን ክውንኖምን ባህርያዊ ኮነ። ቀንዲ ካብዞም ኣብ ዘበነ ሓያላት ድኹማት ዝቑጸሩ፡ ሕጂ‘ውን ገና ዘይትረፈ ዘሎ፡ ደቂ-ኣንስትዮን ቆልዑትን እዮም። ብዚ ምኽንያት ብኻልኦት ክውነኑን ክርገጹን ግድን ነይሩ።

ኣብቲ እዋን፡ ጊሎት ብምሎኦም ነቲ ዝገዝኦም ዝነበረ ወናኒኦም ጎይታ ብሓባር ከገልግሉ ከለዉ፡ እተን ደቂ ኣንስትዮ ግን ኣብ ሓደ እዋን ንኽልተ ዝተፈላለየ ደረጃታት ዘለዎም ጎይቶት ማለት ንጎይታ ቁጽሪ ሓደን፡ ጎይታ ቁጽሪ ክልተን ንድርብ ጎይቶት የገልግላን ይግዛኣን። እቲ ጎይታ ቁጽሪ ሓደ፡ ዝዓበየን ንኹሎም ብማዕረ ዝገዝእን ክኸውን ከሎ፡ እቲ ጎይታ ቑጽሪ ክልተ ድማ እቲ  ናይ ገዛ (መናብርቲ) ማለትዩ። ስለዚ ኣብ ደገ ሓቢሮም ንዝዓበየ ጎይታ ከገልግሉ ውዒሎም  ናብ መንበሪኦም ምስተመልሱ ድማ፡ ወየ ነታ መናብርቱ “ሰበይቱ”ን ቆልዑትን ጎይታ ዝኾነ ናይ ገዛ ገዛኢ፡ ስራሕ ውዒሉ ከዕርፍ ስለ ዘለዎ፡ እታ ናቱ ውንንቲ ዝኾነት ጊልኡ፡ እግሩ ሓጺባ ተሳሊማ ኢድ ነሲኣ መግቡን ኩሉ ጠለባቱን ድሕሪ ምምላኣ፡ ንወየ መሕደሪኣ ዝኾነ ጥሕና እኽሊ (ቀለብ)ን ካልእን ከተዳሉ ኣብ ድሕሪ መጥሓን መለንቀጢ መሬት ይወግሓ።

መዋእላት ሓሊፉ ስርዓተ ጊላነት ብመስፍንነት ተተኪኡ እቲ ወዲ ተባዕታይ ብተዋፋራይ ክጽዋዕ ከሎ፡ እታ ጓል ኣንስተይቲ ግን ብጊላኣ ተረፈት።

ጎይታ ገቢቱዎ ዝጸንሐ ምሬት፡ ተካኢኡ መስፍን ካብቲ ዝለመዐ መሬት ዝኣኽሎ ኣትሪፉ፡ እቶም ተዋፋሮ ሕርሽኡ ኣልሚዖ ዘሪኦም ሓፊሶም ኣጻፊፎም ክእክብሉ፡ ካብቲ ዘየድልዮ ረቂቕ መሬት ዓስቦም ቃጸዓሎም።

ተዋፋሮ ወላ’ካ ዝተዋህቦም ምሬት እኹል እንተዘይኮነ፡ ፈሓሒሮም ፎጋፊጎም ከከም ዓቕሞም ዝነባበሩላ ናይ ሕርሻን ቦታን፡ ናይ መጠሲ መሬት ክውንኑ ከለዉ ደቂ ኣንስትዮ ግን በታ ኣብ ዘመነ ጊላነት ዝተዘመትኣ ብዝተምትኣ ከዳ ኣብ ባዶ ኢደን ተረፋ። ስለዚ ደቂ-ኣንስትዮ ኣብቲ ብዘበነ ጊላነት ዝተበየነለን ናይ ዓመጽን ኣረሜናዊ ግፍዒ ብይን፡ ገና ክሳዕ ሕጂ ብእኡ ክግዛኣ ተፈርደለን።

ክቕጽልዩ

                  ኑርያ ሑሴን

EU Hopes to Curb Exodus from Eritrea Through Development Aid

Rescued migrants disembark from an Italian Coast Guard ship in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, southern Italy, March 4, 2015.

Rescued migrants disembark from an Italian Coast Guard ship in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, southern Italy, March 4, 2015.

Reuters
The European Union said on Tuesday it hopes development aid to Eritrea will stem a growing exodus of Eritreans attempting the dangerous journey to Europe to claim asylum there.Eritrea is now the second largest source of migrants to arrive in Italy by boat, after Syria. The highly perilous crossing of the Mediterranean on overcrowded, rickety boats claimed around 3,000 lives last year.

The United Nations and rights groups say poor human rights conditions in Eritrea are to blame for the outflow of people.

Some have called for measures against the government. Asmara denies the charges.

Neven Mimica, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, told Reuters in Addis Ababa that the EU would try to address social and economic exclusion in migrants’ countries of origin in a bid to halt the crisis.

The number migrants are rising sharply. During the first two months of 2015, arrivals to the EU via Italy were up 43 percent versus the same period of 2014.

“In that context in Eritrea, we see that we need to assist such processes that would be beneficial for the overall advancing of the human rights and democracy framework, but also that would address the long-term development needs,” Mimica said.

The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR says the number of Eritrean asylum seekers in Europe tripled to nearly 37,000 in the first 10 months of 2014, of whom 34,000 came by sea.

Earlier this month, an interim report of a U.N. investigation said Eritrea was ignoring human rights laws and exerting pervasive state control and ruthless repression on the population.

According to EU diplomats, Brussels is planning a multi-million-euro development package that Eritrea will be allowed to spend on energy and other sectors.

The EU approved a major aid package for Eritrea in 2007, worth 122 million euros ($130 million) in aid over a six-year period.

Eritrea declared independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and remains at loggerheads with Addis Ababa, the United States’ main regional ally.

($1 = 0.9108 euros)

U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen collapses as country descends into chaos

BY JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS AND KEN DILANIAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS  March 24, 2015 at 11:10 AM EDT  | Updated: Mar 24, 2015 at 1:17 PM

People look inside a damaged mosque after Friday's suicide bomb attack in Sanaa March 22, 2015. Suicide bombers killed at least 137 worshippers and wounded hundreds more during Friday prayers at two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, in coordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State. Photo by Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters

WASHINGTON — Once hailed by President Barack Obama as a model for fighting extremism, the U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen has all but collapsed as the country descends into chaos, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials.Operations against militants have been scaled back dramatically amid the fall of the American-backed government and the evacuation of U.S. personnel. What had been consistent pressure on Yemen’s dangerous al-Qaida affiliate has been eased, the officials say, and a safe haven exists for the development of an offshoot of the Islamic State group.

It’s a swift and striking transformation for an anti-terror campaign Obama heralded just six months ago as the template for efforts to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The shift has left Obama open to criticism that he failed to anticipate the risks of a light footprint strategy that aims to put fragile governments and beleaguered local security forces, not the U.S. military, at the forefront.

In response, administration officials argue that the U.S. has no choice but to rely on proxies in the terror fight if it wants to avoid American ground troops becoming bogged down as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet Barbara Bodine, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, said even the most optimistic regional experts did not share Obama’s view in the fall that the Yemen campaign was a model of success.

“It was being defined in terms of what we were doing to develop local forces and use drones and counter the immediate and real security threat,” said Bodine, now director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. “But what we hadn’t done, certainly had not done visibly enough, was get at the economic and governance issues that were driving the problem.”

Since September, Houthi rebels linked to Iran have ousted President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi and dissolved the parliament. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has been affiliated with some of the most serious attempted attacks on the U.S. since 9/11, has sought to exploit the chaos. Last month, the U.S. shuttered its embassy in the capital of Sanaa, and over the weekend the remainder of American military personnel withdrew from the south of the country.

“Certainly, repositioning our forces out of Yemen will make our fight against AQAP more difficult. There is no question about that,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Tuesday.

Former CIA director Michael Hayden told Congress that U.S. intelligence relationships in Yemen “will erode over time because of our lack of physical presence in the county.”

Since Obama took office, the U.S. has poured millions of dollars into efforts to stabilize Yemen’s government and boost its security forces. Under Hadi, U.S.-trained Yemeni troops were mounting regular raids to kill and capture al Qaida militants, punctuated by occasional CIA drone strikes aimed at senior figures.

The strategy has been guided by the central tenets of Obama’s philosophy for fighting extremists overseas: targeting extremists from the air, bolstering the capacity of foreign governments and avoiding putting large numbers of U.S. military personnel on the ground in dangerous countries.

“It is the model that we’re going to have to work with, because the alternative would be massive U.S. deployments in perpetuity, which would create its own blowback and cause probably more problems than it would potentially solve,” Obama said in January as the situation in Yemen deteriorated.

Now, virtually all of the Yemeni troops that had worked with the U.S. are engaged on one side or another of a three-pronged political struggle between the remnants of the Hadi government, supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Houthi faction, U.S. officials say. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak by name about sensitive intelligence assessments.

CIA drone strikes will continue, the officials said, but there will be fewer of them. The agency’s ability to collect intelligence on the ground in Yemen, while not completely gone, is much diminished. There have been just four U.S. drone strikes reported in Yemen this year, according to Long War Journal, a web site that tracks the attacks. That is about half the pace that last year resulted in 23 strikes over 12 months.

What’s less clear is whether AQAP will be able to take advantage of the situation to renew its active plotting against Western aviation. The group has successfully put three bombs on American-bound jets, none of which exploded. In 2012, the CIA, along with British and Saudi intelligence services, used a double agent to obtain a new design by AQAP’s master bomb maker of a device made to slip past airport security.

On Capitol Hill, there was bipartisan concern about the intelligence gap that could be created by the tumult in Yemen and the withdrawal of American personnel.

“Good intelligence stops plots against the homeland,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, the Texas Republican who chairs the Homeland Security Committee. “Without that intelligence, we cannot effectively stop it.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the drawdown of the American presence “does diminish our visibility into what’s going on there and given the concerns about what we have about AQAP and their bomb-making prowess, that’s a concern.”

Nevsun Provides Further Update on Operations VANCOUVER, March 22, 2015 /CNW/

VANCOUVER, March 22, 2015 /CNW/ – Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSUNews) (NYSE MKT:NSU) (Nevsun or the Company) reports that the repairs to the mechanical issue with the ball mill, previously reported on March 13, 2015, are ongoing and the Bisha plant remains on-track for re-start later this week.  While there was an act of vandalism at the Bisha plant late last week, there was no significant impact to operations and no personnel were harmed.

The equipment supplier Thyssen-Krupp AG, who had mobilized to site, have nearly completed replacement of the ball mill gear box bearings and re-installation of the gearbox is imminent.  During the outage, some additional preventative plant maintenance that was scheduled for Q2 2015 was accelerated and ore mining was switched to waste mining to facilitate ongoing strip requirements.

The Bisha Mine experienced an act of vandalism on March 20during the nightshift in which minor damages were sustained to the base of the tailings thickener, resulting in the release of water into the plant area. The required repairs and cleanup from the incident were minor and are incorporated into the plant re-start later this week. Additional safeguards have been adopted to ensure site and personnel safety and security while the Eritrean and mine security forces undertake an investigation.

About Nevsun Resources Ltd.

Nevsun Resources Ltd. is a Vancouver-based mining company with an operating mine in Eritrea.  Nevsun’s 60%-owned Bisha Mine ranks as one of the highest grade open pit copper mines in the world.  Nevsun has a strong balance sheet and future cash flows to grow shareholder value through exploration at Bisha and acquisition of additional mining assets.

Forward Looking Statements

The above contains forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimated,” “potential,” “possible” and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions or results “will,” “may,” “could” or “should” occur or be achieved.  Forward-looking statements are statements concerning the Company’s current beliefs, plans and expectations about the future including but not limited to commercial production, future production of copper and related cash flows and are inherently uncertain. The actual achievements of the Company or other future events or conditions may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, without limitation, the risks that: (i) activities or the mine operations are disrupted or suspended due to acts of god, internal conflicts in the country of Eritrea, unforeseen government actions or other events; (ii) the Company experiences the loss of key personnel; (iii) the Company’s operations or exploration activities are adversely affected by other political or military, or terrorist activities; (iv) the Company becomes involved in any material disputes with any of its key business partners, suppliers or customers; (v) the Company is subjected to any hostile takeover or other unsolicited attempts to acquire control of the Company; (vi) the Company incurs unanticipated power interruptions or failures due to electrical circuit failures or other repairs to the plant or inadequate fuel quality required to effectively operate power generators for the plant or otherwise, (vii) the Company experiences shipping delays for equipment or replacement parts that are required to complete repairs at the copper plant that could impact mining operations; or (viii) are associated with the speculative nature of exploration activities, periodic interruptions to exploration, failure of drilling, processing and mining equipment, the interpretation of drill results and the estimation of mineral resources and reserves, changes to exploration and project plans and parameters and other risks are more fully described in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, which is incorporated herein by reference.  The Company’s forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made and the Company assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements in the future, except as required by law.  For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements.

Further information concerning risks and uncertainties associated with these forward-looking statements and our business can be found in our Annual Information Form for the year endedDecember 31, 2014, which is available on the Company’s website (www.nevsun.com), filed under our profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on EDGAR (www.sec.gov) under cover of Form 40-F

NEVSUN RESOURCES LTD.,

“Cliff T. Davis”

Cliff T. Davis
President & Chief Executive Officer

SOURCE Nevsun Resources Ltd.