Friday, July 20, 2018

Black Radicalism’s Complex Relationship with Japanese Empire
By Mohammed Elnaiem

Black intellectuals in the U.S.—from W. E. B. Du Bois to Marcus Garvey—had strong and divergent opinions on Japanese Empire.

September 1905. Japan had just become the first Asian power to defeat a European Empire with the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War. For more than a year, the Japanese Empire and Tsarist Russia had been vying for control over Korea and Manchuria. On September 5th, Japan forced a Russian retreat, sending shockwaves across the intellectual sphere of black America and the colonial world. As Bill V. Mullen of Purdue University eloquently notes in his 2016 book, W.E.B. Du Bois: Revolutionary Across the Color Line, Du Bois was so moved that he declared: “The magic of the word ‘white’ is already broken.” Du Bois was convinced that “the awakening of the yellow races is certain… the awakening of the brown and black races will follow in time.”

For anti-colonial intellectuals and black activists in the U.S., the Japanese victory presented a moment of realization: If, with the right strategy, European colonialists could be forced to retreat from far east Asia, why couldn’t they be forced to leave the Caribbean and Africa?

By the time World War I began, Du Bois would write a seminal essay, “The African Roots of War,” wherein he would ask why African workers and laborers would participate in a war they couldn’t understand. Why, he wondered, would “Africans, Indians and other colonial subjects” fight for the sole aim of “the exploitation of the wealth of the world mainly outside the European circle of nations?” He demanded that they take inspiration from “the awakened Japanese.”

By the end of World War I, African American and Japanese intellectuals would develop a transpacific camaraderie.

For Du Bois and his contemporaries, the Japanese victory proved that the empire could be a fulcrum for the colored peoples of the world, a means by which European expansion could be dislodged. But what a paradox this was: The Japanese empire, which sought nothing but the occupation of Korea, Manchuria, and if possible, the whole Far East, was being cheered on by self-identified anti-colonial intellectuals.

Regardless, Japan cast its spell on black consciousness, and by the end of World War I, African American and Japanese intellectuals would develop a transpacific camaraderie. African Americans would praise Japanese diplomacy, and Japanese intellectuals—left-wing or right-wing—would condemn Jim Crow. To understand this relationship, one must look to Paris.

The Paris Peace Conference & the End of WWI

To conclude the first World War, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson laid out a structure that would inspire the UN decades later. In Paris, he announced his fourteen points for a new world order built on peace and self-determination of oppressed peoples. He called it the League of Nations.

Meanwhile, in the States, the lynching of blacks went unanswered and segregation continued unabated. A liberal abroad, and a so-called pragmatist at home, Wilson was seen as hypocritical by many of the black-left intelligentsia. In fact, William Monroe Trotter—an eminent voice against segregation in the early twentieth century, and a man who once campaigned for Wilson’s presidency—became one of his greatest foes.

Trotter gained nationwide infamy after being kicked out of the White House for challenging Wilson. He had been invited to speak on civil rights issues, but challenged the president on racial segregation among federal employees. Trotter called this segregation humiliating. Wilson responded firmly, exclaiming, “Your tone, sir, offends me.” Trotter was subsequently expelled from the premises.

From then on, Trotter made it his mission to embarrass Wilson on the global stage. When Wilson declared his plan to espouse his “fourteen points” for a global, post-war order at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Trotter not only proposed a fifteenth point for racial equality, but travelled to Paris to protest and ensure its inclusion in the negotiations.

A. Phillip Randolph, a pioneer of the civil rights movement, sought to highlight the symbolism of Trotter’s actions. As Yuichiro Onishi, an African Americanist at the University of Minnesota notes, in a March 1919 issue of The Messenger, Randolph remarked that:

William Monroe Trotter has caught the point and gone to Europe to embarrass the President of the United States, who has been making hypocritical professions about democracy in the United States which has not existed and does not exist.

Trotter wanted to use his presence as a weapon to demonstrate Washington’s failure to reconcile Jim Crow laws with the liberal principles that Wilson espoused abroad. It was an ingenious, albeit unprepared, plan: Trotter arrived too late.

At the time, Japanese politicians seemed to be watching U.S. race relations closely. It could have been coincidental or it could it have been intentional, but Baron Nobuaki Makino, a senior diplomat in the Japanese government and the principal delegate for the Empire, proposed Japan’s “racial equality bill” at the meeting to found the League of Nations. Japan only said that all nations were equal, but this seemingly offended Wilson (and the leaders of Australia and the UK). The proposal was immediately struck down.

Was it love? Solidarity? Or a pragmatic way to highlight the hypocrisy of the United States?
The symbolic value of these actions nonetheless reignited African American intellectual admiration for Japan. Fumiko Sakashita, a professor at Ritsumeikan University in Japan, shows how Japanese intellectuals were humbled by this. One Pan-Asian, and self-described “right-wing literary,” Kametaro Mitsukawa, hyperbolically asked why “black people exhibit the portrait of our baron Nobuaki Makino alongside that of the liberator Abraham Lincoln on the walls of their houses?” A correspondent in Chicago, Sei Kawashima, told his readers that “Japan’s proposal of abolishing racial discrimination at the peace conference… gave black people a great psychological impact at that time.”

That it did. Marcus Garvey, a leading nationalist and Pan-Africanist who advocated for African Americans to return to Africa, was so impassioned that he believed that after the Great War, “the next war will be between the Negroes and the whites unless our demands for justice are recognized… With Japan to fight with us, we can win such a war.”

Japan’s newfound interest in African American affairs only blossomed. As Sakashita notes, Fumimaro Konoe, a delegate at the Paris Peace Conference and future prime minister of Japan, wrote in his book that “black rage against white persecutions and insults” were at an all-time high. Fusae Ichikawa, a Japanese woman suffragist, wrote an article about the struggle of black women, which she saw first hand after touring the country with the NAACP. She called it a “disgrace to civilization.” It’s not entirely clear why Japanese thinkers glanced across the Pacific with such concern for the U.S.’s blacks. Was it love? Solidarity? Or a pragmatic way to highlight the hypocrisy of the United States?

Even in Paris, Onishi argues, Japan won German concessions in Shantung China, and demanded control in the Marshalls, the Marianas, and the Carolines. “Reference to lynching,” Onishi writes “served as one of the best rhetorical defences of Japan’s imperialist policy.” Whatever the intentions of Japanese intellectuals may have been, in other words, the Japanese government found this preoccupation useful and even promoted it.

Some black intellectuals caught on to this, and suspicion arose. “A word of warning, however, to the unsuspecting,” wrote A. Phillip Randolph and Chandler Owen in 1919. “The smug and oily Japanese diplomats are no different from Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George or Orlando. They care nothing for even the Japanese people and at this very same moment are suppressing and oppressing mercilessly the people of Korea and forcing hard bargains upon unfortunate China.”

Garvey’s followers disagreed, seeing Japan as a source of messianic salvation.

Decades later, during World War II, when Japan began to steer towards the direction of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, an African American ambivalence would develop towards Tokyo. As described by Kenneth C. Barnes, a professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas, there were on the one hand the Neo-Garveyites, those who infused his belief of an apocalyptic race war with religious, redemptive overtones. You could find them in the unlikeliest of places; as black sharecroppers in rural Mississippi County, Arkansas, for instance. On the other hand, there were the liberals, socialists, and mainstream black intellectuals who compared Jim Crow at home to Japanese repression abroad, reminding Washington that, at least in their view, the U.S. was the very monster it was fighting.

Japan in the Axis & a Divided Black Diaspora
In 1921, in the small community of Nodena in Misissippi County, Arkansas, a man was lynched. Henry Lowry was a forty-year-old black sharecropper. A mob of six hundred people poured gasoline over his body and set it ablaze atop a bonfire. Perhaps it was the only way to die with dignity, or maybe he wanted to end the misery, but Lowry grabbed the first pieces of hot coal he could find and swallowed them.

The event was traumatic for the blacks of Mississippi County. One in five residents of the county was black. Many of them were enraged, and many became susceptible to the oratory of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant who called for black self-reliance, economic independence, and a military alliance among blacks and Japanese against white power. Not long after Lowry was lynched, eight chapters of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Garvey’s organization, were formed in Mississippi County.

By 1934, the influence of the UNIA had already made its mark on the sharecroppers, and many were devout followers. In that year, a Filipino man who was honourably discharged from the Navy showed up in Mississippi County, Arkansas, one day. He was a former member of the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World, an organisation linked to the UNIA that tried to organize blacks to commit treason and support Japan in the war effort.

His real name was Policarpio Manansala, but he went by the name Ashima Takis. He was Filipino but faked a Japanese accent. Manansala had thousands of followers in the rural south. In his study on Mississipi county, Barnes recounts the story of how Takis attracted a Filipino-Mexican couple and a black man. They were arrested after giving a speech contending that “this country could be taken over entirely by the colored races” if they united with Japan. They did their time, but managed to evade the prosecutor’s recommendation that they be arrested for anarchy and an alleged plot to overthrow the government. They got off easier than most.

In fact, during the second world war, hundreds of African Americans were arrested on charges of sedition, including Elijah Muhammed, the mentor of Malcolm X and the spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam. One article in the Times Daily, dated August 19, 1942, talked about Robert Jordan, a “West Indian negro,” and four others who were arrested on a sedition conspiracy indictment due to their role in an Ethiopian Pacific movement which envisioned “a coalition of Africa and Japan in an Axis-dominated world.” The four leaders in charge were arrested amid a lecture they gave to hundreds of African Americans in a Harlem hall.

But this approach was not the only one. Others sought to resist black oppression through another discourse. Particularly after the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan became a rhetorical target for the African American elite, Sakashita notes. Insofar as Japan was an ally of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, it needed to be critiqued in the “war against Hitlerism at home, and Hitlerism abroad.” Just as liberals and socialists criticized the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps set up by the United States government—asking, as one George Schuyler did, if “this may be a prelude to our own fate”—they took the opportunity to remind the U.S. that its condemnations of Japan were warranted, although hypocritical.

One cartoon featured in the Baltimore Afro-American put this prevailing sentiment the best. As Sakashita reconstructs it, it shows “a grinning Hitler and smiling slant-eyes Japanese soldiers witness hanging and burning… [a] lynching.” The cartoon didn’t stop short of marshalling the very American patriotism that the U.S. used in its war effort to say that the U.S. was complicit in fascism at home. For some blacks, even in the latter half of the twentieth century, Japan remained as “leader of the darker races.” For others, it was a wartime enemy. What is for certain is that Imperial Japan was a preoccupation of the black radical imagination.
Statement of the African National Congress on the Centenary Anniversary of the Birth of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
18 July 2018

"A HERO FOR ALL TIMES"

The African National Congress along with millions of men, women and children across the globe, celebrates the Centenary since the birth of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Six years after he left this earth, his legacy lives on and grows from strength to strength.

Shaped by the country of his birth, running wild as a child on the rolling hills of Transkei, yet conscious of his responsibilities to look after his family's cattle; every stage of his life has lessons for all of us.

Thus Rolihlahla Mandela, with Oliver Tambo, Albertina Sisulu, Anton Lembede, Ashley Mda, and Walter Sisulu showed us that every generation must and can define their mission when they formed the ANC Youth League at Fort Hare in 1943.

Mandela's generation organized and mobilised young people, students and workers across the country; they studied the problems of the South African people, learned from other countries and developed the 1949 Programme of Action, that transformed the ANC to pose a formidable challenge to the Nats programme of grand Apartheid.

Nelson Mandela led from the front, as volunteer in chief in the defiance campaign, leading our people to defy laws that continued to relegate them to second and third-class citizens in the land of their birth. He was part of the generation that gave us the Freedom Charter, with its pledge that South Africa belongs to all who live in it; that the wealth shall be shared amongst all, and that the land shall belong to those who work it.

When peaceful means of protest were no longer available to our people, Rolihlahla once again led from the front, mustering arguments for the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He was tasked by the ANC leadership, together with Joe Slovo, to form the first MK high command, and underwent training in Ethiopia and Algeria, before returning home.

When hundreds of ANC leadership were detained and accused of Treason, he was there. In the defense, Madiba spoke about the moral authority of the struggle for national liberation that him and his colleagues and thousands of South Africans stood for.

As he was sentenced to life imprisonment with fellow Rivonia trialists, he vowed that their sacrifice would not be in vain and became the symbol of the intensification of the struggle against apartheid - inspiring young generations and the mass movements of 1976 and the Young lions of the 1980s.

Mandela led the negotiations from the front, and ensured that all South Africans, black and white, have a foundation to build, on after the devastation of apartheid colonialism. He led this process of rebuilding as the first President of a democratic South Africa. As he said in his inauguration statement on 10 May 1994: "We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace."

On his watch as President, he presided over the dismantling of apartheid institutions in government and introduced such programmes as free health care to pregnant women and children under the age of 6; the expanded public works programme; housing for the poor, in order to lay the foundation for a better life for all South Africans. It was also on his watch that we saw the adoption of our Constitution in 1996 as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process.

As he handed over the baton, Madiba said to his final Joint session of Parliament on 26th March 1999:
"I count myself fortunate that, amongst that generation, history permitted me to take part in South Africa's transition from that period into the new era whose foundation we have been laying together. I hope that decades from now, when history is written, the role of that generation will be appreciated, and that I will not be found wanting against the measure of their fortitude and vision"

As we today celebrate this 100 years of his birth, we can indeed confirm that Madiba's fortitude and vision, has not been found wanting.

ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

Enquiries:
Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson
071 623 4975
South Africa Auto Industry in Bid to Fight Off U.S Tariffs
Reuters 

An alliance of auto manufacturers and dealers in the United States is undertaking a major effort to oppose the tariff plans launched by U.S. President Donald Trump, with South Africa also adding its voice of opposition at a U.S. Commerce Department hearing.

Over the last decade, exports of vehicles made in South Africa have reached as high as two billion U.S. dollars each year. This was made possible by the duty-free benefits of a U.S. initiative known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), but a proposed 25-percent tariff on U.S. imports threatens to now wipe out that advantage.

Since Trump came to office last January, exports of South African-made vehicles and parts have started to fall into decline. German car-giant BMW, which has a major manufacturing plant in the Rosslyn suburb of Pretoria, just ended the manufacture and export of its “3 Series” sedans to the U.S. port of Baltimore, where up until recently it was sending 166,000 each year.

I don't know what demand in America will be for South African goods in six months, 12 months. So what I might do is not make an investment, not commit to a purchase, and ultimately this brings this global economic recovery that we've been experiencing to a grinding halt, potentially. People are nervous about that.

Economist Anirban Basu says Trump’s combative approach is undermining confidence.

“I don’t know what demand in America will be for South African goods in six months, 12 months. So what I might do is not make an investment, not commit to a purchase, and ultimately this brings this global economic recovery that we’ve been experiencing to a grinding halt, potentially. People are nervous about that. Stock markets around the world are nervous about that. And that’s not good for a port,” said Basu, who is also chairman and CEO of the Sage Policy Group, an economic and policy consulting firm based in Baltimore.

Baltimore’s deep water port provides a perfect location to roll off massive cargoes of finished vehicles, meaning new tariffs could jeopardize growth and investment in the United States as well as South Africa.

As for other major car makers, Ford is still sending 8,500 cargo van engines each year from a facility in Struandale, near the South African coastline, while Mercedes-Benz is still exporting from the city of East London on the Eastern Cape.

But experts believe the recent uncertainty means South Africa should shift away from the American market, including economist and former U.S. trade official Sherman Robinson.

“Deepen your relationships with East and Southeast Asia and with the EU, they are your major markets now. In the short run, it’s very expensive, it’s costly to adjust. And so you probably do whatever you can to minimize the shock. But [in] long run you need to be planning to diversify,” said Robinson, who serves as a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for international economics in ‎Washington, D.C..

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers which represents many foreign and domestic brands is strongly urging Trump to abandon the tariff plan, warning it will threaten jobs, raise costs for consumers and undermine the U.S.’ global competitiveness.
Kabila Mute on Political Future in Address to DRC Lawmakers
Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban
Africa News

President Joseph Kabila has refused to make clear pronouncements on his political future as leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Speaking in an address to a joint sitting of the country’s legislature, Kabila whose legal tenure of office expired in December 2016 failed to address the issue of whether he was interested in continuing as president.

His over 40-minutes address to lawmakers focused largely on internal issues like security, the economy, unemployment and development plans executed under his presidency. He also touched on the DRC’s repositioning in regional and global diplomacy.

Most political watchers had expected him to make clear statements on his political involvement in a country that is heading to the polls in December 2018. He, however, stated that the elections would take place.

Opposition parties have long claimed that despite the expiration of his term two years ago, Kabila has plans of seeking a third term in office – which provision is not existent in the current constitution.

Top regime officials – Kabila spokesperson Lambert Mende and Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala, are on record to have said that Kabila will oversee elections and step down once a successor is elected.

Kinshasa has repeatedly used the lack of security and lack of a credible voters register to postpone elections. The December 2018 date has the full backing of the international community even though the opposition have expressed concerns over the process so far.
Djibouti Seeks UN to Help Resolve Border Dispute With Eritrea
Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban
Africa News

Djibouti is seeking the assistance of the United Nations (U.N.) to resolve a border dispute with neighbouring Eritrea.

The tiny Horn of Africa nation’s ambassador to the U.N. Mohamed Siad Doualeh in a letter to the Security Council said they wanted help with international mediation with Eritrea.

Portions of the letter said Djibouti needs U.N. intervention “with the aim of facilitating an agreement between them upon a mutually acceptable means of peaceful dispute settlement,” stressing that they wanted international settlement or arbitration that would be legally binding.

Eritrean forces continue to occupy Djiboutian territory, prisoners of war remain unaccounted for, threats of force continue to emanate from the Eritrean side and the risk of violent confrontation is once again high.

The disputed land in question is the Dumeira mountain and Dumeira island which Djibouti claims is being illegally occupied by Eritrea.

“Eritrean forces continue to occupy Djiboutian territory, prisoners of war remain unaccounted for, threats of force continue to emanate from the Eritrean side and the risk of violent confrontation is once again high,” Doualeh said stressing that the requested settlement will help avoid any escalation of the crisis.

An arms embargo imposed on Eritrea since 2009 was chiefly to do with its alleged support for Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab but also because of its agression against Djibouti and refusal to enter any form of mediation over the disputed regions.

The last time tensions between the two came to the fore was in June 2017 when Qatar withdrew its peacekeeping force in the area at the height of the Gulf Crisis.

Eritrea has been in the news recently over the peace deal it entered into with neighbouring Ethiopia after two decades of severed ties and hostility over a border ruling. Addis Ababa through PM Abiy accepted to respect the 2002 border ruling and by that agreed to restore all ties with Eritrea.

Abiy signed a five-point end of war agreement with Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki during a historic visit to Asmara. Afwerki reciprocated the gesture with a three-day visit to Addis Ababa.
Victory of Socialist Revolution, Establishment of Socialist System
The socialist revolution and construction in the DPRK were an arduous struggle to resolve lots of new theoretical and practical issues by local efforts.

In the wake of the fulfilment of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal democratic revolution after liberation, the DPRK switched over to the socialist revolution. It did not put up the socialist slogan in the postwar days, but made preparations for the socialist revolution as it partially transformed the relations of production along socialist lines.

With a deep insight into the situation at the time when the subjective and objective conditions matured for putting up the slogan in the north of Korea after the war, Kim Il Sung published Every Effort for the Country’s Reunification and Independence and for Socialist Construction in the Northern Half of Korea, theses on the character and tasks of the Korean revolution, in April 1955.

The theses referred to the need for the DPRK to further advance the revolution and switch to the socialist revolution in order to achieve the nationwide victory of the revolution.

They set it as the general task of laying the foundations of socialism to establish the undivided sway of socialist relations of production in towns and countryside by transforming the small commodity and capitalist economic forms and to lay the foundations of socialist industrialization by developing the productivity of the country.

The April theses were a great programme of Juche-oriented socialist revolution and construction which solemnly declared the revolutionary stand of the DPRK to advance by holding aloft the banner of Korean-style socialism.

The DPRK set agricultural cooperativization as a primary task in accelerating the socialist revolution in earnest.

By relying on the existing theories and experiences of foreign countries, it was unthinkable to cooperativize agriculture in the DPRK after the war since everything was reduced to ashes.

But the DPRK saw the condition for realizing agricultural cooperativization quite differently. It found an essential prerequisite for agricultural cooperativization not in whether the rural economy is equipped with modern technology, but in whether the cooperativization arises as a vital need of farmers and whether the internal forces to undertake it are available.

Proceeding from the specific conditions of the country after the war, the DPRK put forward the policy of carrying out the socialist transformation of the economic form of agriculture, prior to the technical reconstruction of the rural economy.

The class policy was set as to firmly rely on poor peasants, strengthening the alliance with the middle peasants and restricting and gradually remoulding the rich farmers in conducting the agricultural cooperativization movement.

The agricultural cooperatives, which were formed on an experimental basis, displayed their superiority from the first year of their formation with the positive support and assistance of the state, and the agricultural cooperativization movement entered the stage of mass movement in 1955.

The movement was proceeded smoothly and at a fast pace and 80.9 percent of all the rural households joined the cooperatives at the close of 1956. It was rounded off in the DPRK in August 1958.

The completion of agricultural cooperativization was another historic victory achieved in resolving the problem of peasants and agriculture.

The successful cooperativization eradicated the source of exploitation and oppression in the countryside and turned farmers from peasant proprietors into socialist agricultural workers, masters of large-scale collective economy.

Meanwhile, the socialist transformation of capitalist trade and industry was carried on in an original way. According to preceding theories and experiences, the capitalist trade and industry had been regarded as the object of expropriation in the stage of the socialist revolution since it was an economic form sweating working people.

As the capitalist traders and manufacturers recognized the correctness of the government’s policy of cooperativization and fully accepted and supported it, there was no need to expropriate their property and eliminate them. Moreover, the non-comprador capitalists in the DPRK played an important part in a new Korea building after liberation and took part in the struggle for victory in the war and most of the tradesmen and manufacturers were running businesses while taking part in productive labour.

In view of such a situation the government set forth a policy of transforming the capitalist tradesmen and industrialists along socialist lines without confiscating them.

In transforming them on socialist lines, it ensured that the voluntary principle was strictly maintained, they were admitted into different forms of cooperatives according to their will and all of them were transformed into socialist workers by closely combining the transformation of economic forms with the reforming of men.

Considering that the tradesmen were not accustomed to labour, cooperatives specializing in marketing were formed first to gradually develop them into the ones conducting both production and marketing and finally into the producers’ cooperatives mainly dealing with production.

In the period, the government trusted the cooperative members who had been tradesmen and manufacturers as lasting companions of the revolution, not temporary ones, and led them to enjoy a fulfilling life.

Thus, the socialist transformation of handicrafts and capitalist trade and industry was carried out comparatively smoothly in a matter of 4 to 5 years, concurrently with agricultural cooperativization.

Thanks to the socialist transformation of the relations of production, the DPRK achieved a historic victory in the socialist revolution, which meant the establishment of a most advanced socialist system which is free from exploitation and oppression and which the Korean people had long desired.

The establishment of the socialist system in the DPRK is the brilliant fruition of President Kim Il Sung’s original policy of socialist transformation and wise leadership.

In September 1958, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly conferred the title of DPRK Labour Hero on him as he led the socialist revolution and construction to victory.

By Jong Sun Bok PT
Japan Should Have Will to Redeem Its Past
At recent talks with the director-general of IAEA, Japanese Foreign Minister Kono said "the Japanese government is willing to bear the primary cost necessary for inspecting the nuclear facilities of the DPRK and support the work of IAEA."

Prime Minister Abe had talked about Japan's "willingness to bear the cost for the denuclearization of north Korea" in June last.

What the politicians of an island country uttered are so mean and crude.

They should be called charlatans rather than politicians as they seek to poke their nose into the issue of the Korean peninsula with a petty amount of money out of their sly calculation to get profits.

As mentioned several times, Japan has neither face nor qualification to take part in the settlement of the Korean peninsula issue.

Japan is censured worldwide for having gone against the trend of the times by persisting in its hostile moves against the DPRK.

Such a country is impudently talking about "support" and "bearing of cost"—a sly trick to conceal its awful idea of not wanting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

Japan still remains unchanged in its base way of thinking that money can resolve everything.

Showing off its purse, Japan is talking about "international contribution" and "contribution to global peace". Behind the scene it steps up overseas expansion of its "Self-Defense Forces'" and even seeks to emerge a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Japan says it redeemed its sinful past with a meagre amount of money, denying its crime-woven history of aggression and plunder against other countries and nations, a history stained with their blood.

Typical of such examples was that Japan cooked up the "agreement" with south Korea in 1965 and the "agreement" on the issue of sexual slavery for the imperial Japanese army in 2015 by bribing traitor Park Chung-hee and the Park Geun Hye clique.

Such crooked political dealing might work in the past, but it can never work now that peace, reconciliation and international confidence are prioritized.

Japan is a shameless country which has not yet repented of its past crimes, to say nothing of apology and reparation, although 73 years have passed since its defeat.

Its rubbish about "willingness to bear cost" only infuriates the Korean people.

Japan had better have the will to redeem its past, instead of talking such nonsense about "willingness."

It is obliged to honestly apologize for its colonial rule over Korea and inhuman crimes against Koreans in the last century and redeem its past sincerely. This is just what it should do now.
Attempted Military Coup of Conservatives in South Korea Blasted
It was recently revealed in south Korea that the Defence Security Command planned a military coup in March last year with the impeachment of Park Geun Hye just ahead, arousing anger among people from all walks of life.

A document, worked out by the command at the instruction of the Blue House at that time, deals with the action program for the military coup such as declaration of "garrison law" and "martial law" and the phased dispatch of troops and even a person to seize administrative and judicial system to cope with the massive struggle to be escalated in case of the rejection of the bill on the impeachment of Park Geun Hye.

This was an attempt at the barbarous armed suppression of peaceful candlelight demonstrators, a scheme for military coup. It fully betrays the reactionary nature of the Park Geun Hye group of traitors who left no stone unturned to keep the dictatorial rule and power.

In particular, the plan contained a proposal to justify their military coup under the pretext of "threat from the north", which shocks the public at home and abroad.

It is not a secret that all the successive conservative regimes found a way out in the fiction of "threat from the north" and resorted to a reckless campaign of "eliminating the forces following the north," whenever they were driven into a tight corner.

Typical of such examples are the May 16 Military Coup by traitor Park Chung-Hee who suppressed the righteous struggle of the people for independence, democracy and reunification at the point of bayonet, spreading the fiction of "threat of southward invasion" and "the north's involvement" and the Kwangju bloodbath by the Chun Doo Hwan military gangsters.

The south Korean people are shocked to think that had the plot of the Park Geun Hye group come true, the dark era of Yushin dictatorship and the bloodbath would have been repeated, and there would have been no such climate of peace and unity as today.

The reality clearly proves that the ghost of military coup and dictatorship is never thrown into the grave of history but still hovers over the south Korean people, seeking for a chance.

The conservatives, now at the deathbed, openly betray their ambition to come back to power so as to ruthlessly suppress the progressive forces.

The riffraff of "Liberal Korea Party" are zealously defending the attempted military coup, claiming that "there is no trace of the coup" and it is the duty of the military authorities to cope with possible contingency". Their last-ditch efforts bring to light their dirty colours as accomplice.

The military coup failed in the attempt but the conservative traitors never give it up.

South Koreans from all walks of life should fight it out for the liquidation of the deep-seated evils so as to ostracize the conservative group of traitors, including the LKP at their last gasp.

They should preserve peace on the Korean peninsula by the concerted efforts of the nation.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Talks Between Senior Officials of Korean and Philippine Parties
Ri Su Yong, member of the Political Bureau and vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, had a talk with Lutgardo Barbo, vice-president of the PDP LABAN, in Pyongyang on July 18.

Present there from the WPK side were Ryu Myong Son, deputy department director of the WPK Central Committee, and officials concerned and members of a delegation of the PDP LABAN from the opposite side.

Both sides informed each other of their party activities and had an exchange of views on further developing the relations between the two parties.

Signed at the end of the talks was an agreement on cooperation between the two parties.
Tracing Back into History
At present we live in the cutting-age era creating something new day after day. On the contrary, some people are tracing back into history.

They are the members of the archaeological excavation party of the Korean Central History Museum. They have so far unearthed lots of historical sites and relics while exploring high and low mountains, valleys and fields.

It was when they tried to excavate mural tombs dating back to Koguryo (277 BC–AD 668). In order to discover more Koguryo murals regarded as valuable cultural heritage, they went to Taesong District, Pyongyang, thinking that they might discover new Koguryo murals in the area where some Koguryo mural tombs had been already excavated.

They looked round every nook and corner of the area time and again. And they would repeat the survey of the places, which they previously did, on their backward journey. They did not ignore even a blade of grass and a single stone. In the course of this they discovered pieces of a mural.

At last they managed to find out another Koguryo mural tomb in Taesong-dong. Though there was not a mound and ceiling, pictures of four deities were painted on the walls of the tomb and all-gold accessories like a necklace were unearthed.

And one day they were informed that a resident in Thaesong-ri, Kangso District in Nampho City, discovered some painted pieces of stone. They soon embarked on the excavation. At last they unearthed a tomb that was confirmed as that of the 9th King Michon of Koguryo.

Once they searched Samsok District, Pyongyang, for more than ten days. But they could never get a clue. Having given up their plan, they decided to return. And they dropped in at a dwelling house to ask for some water to drink. When the elderly head of the house came out with a bowl of water, a member of the excavation party asked him, “Are there any unregistered historic sites and relics here in this area?”

The elderly man replied that there was something like a grave on the hill behind his house.

Soon they followed him to the place where they discovered a mural tomb on the east slope of the hill called Mt. Chongryong two kilometres northeast of the seat of Jangsuwon-dong. Though much of its mound had slid away, its shape remained intact. Its walls were seriously broken, but a picture of the mythological turtle—the one symbolizing the God of the North—drawn on the north wall was still in the original state.

In the course of arranging the floor, they found out lots of mural pieces and bier traces. Some murals from the period of Koguryo had been already unearthed in the area, including the Sasin (Four-Deity) Tomb in Honam-ri.

The excavation of the mural tomb considered to date back to the mid-5th century after Koguryo moved its capital to Pyongyang, made it possible to prove that the area is the place where Koguryo mural tombs are concentrated, and helped increase the archaeological data capable of disclosing how the pictures of four deities emerged and changed.

The excavation team also unearthed metal types in Manwoltae, Kaesong City, a site of a royal palace in the period of Koryo (918–1392). On the basis of the fact that a single metal type on display in the Korean Central History Museum had been discovered around the Manwoltae area by a boy in Kaesong, they surveyed the area and found out another metal type in 2015 and four more in 2016.

By surveying the South Gate of Kaesong in cooperation with the French School of Asian Studies, they clarified the city’s history of development. They are very glad and shed tears of pleasure when they unearthed even a little piece of ancient tile or porcelain.

They say, “Today or tomorrow is inconceivable apart from yesterday. We take greatest pride in providing materials of history which can show people wisdom and talent of our nation.”
DPRK: Bringing Up Personnel Talented in Theory and Practice
The Phyongsong University of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry has produced many inventors and winners of the scientific research prize. It is attributable to the devoted efforts made by teachers of the university.

The university is putting emphasis on bringing all the students to be personnel talented both in theory and practice, in keeping with its mission as a hub of training talents in the field of veterinary science and animal husbandry. The main method of improving the cognitive faculty of students is to combine the contents of basic subjects with specialized training.

For example, in teaching mathematics a large proportion is occupied by teaching the amounts of daily feeding of animals, the ensuring of relevant mineral contents, and business management directed to maximizing the production of fodder grass. It encourages the students to learn developing programs for measuring the amount of assorted feed, supporting diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases and others. As a result, the students’ zeal for studying basic and specialized subjects leads to their improved scholastic attainments.

Observation of animals is also one of the major teaching processes. The animal shed with scores of animals like deer, musk deer and pheasant provides a good space for the students to constantly improve their application abilities. The university has a veterinary clinical demonstration laboratory, a laboratory for analyzing the general contents of assorted feed, hatching practice laboratory, several other laboratories and a general practice room where all elements are put on a scientific, practical and modern footing so that the students can learn the overall development of animal husbandry in the country. Here the students read scientific and technical data materials related with raising animals and conduct different experiments and practices, consolidating the knowledge they have learned.

Many teachers have become Model Teachers and won certificates of registration of new teaching methods by developing and introducing superior teaching methods with the students’ abilities improving. Thanks to the teachers’ devoted efforts, the university has achieved great successes. From 2012 the students from the university have ranked among the top three at the national university students’ programming contest each year, and won silver prize at the 41st ACM-ICPC Asia Regional Contest Pyongyang Site 2016 in November 2016. In recent years the university has been estimated highly at the national sci-tech festivals, and won a prize at the 2nd national university students’ online mathematics contest.

The students of the university are striving to contribute to the economic development of the country and the improvement of the people’s living standards.
Zimbabwe Expresses Gratitude to COMESA
19 JUL, 2018 - 00:07 
Prosper Ndlovu in Lusaka, Zambia
Zimbabwe Herald

ZIMBABWE’S new political dispensation is grateful for the support it continues to receive from regional leaders and is geared towards holding free, fair and transparent elections this month-end, Minister of Presidential Affairs in charge of Monitoring and Implementation Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said yesterday.

The minister, who is representing President Mnangagwa who could not attend the 20th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Heads of States Summit underway here, said Harare was committed to meeting its obligations and playing its part as a member of the trading bloc towards fulfilment of the regional economic integration agenda.

“Zimbabwe is now under a new political dispensation.

“The transition which took place in Zimbabwe in November 2017, was peaceful, orderly and within the tenets of the supreme law of the land.

“In that respect, I would like to thank you, your excellences for the tremendous support and generosity that you so generously extend to the people and Government of Zimbabwe during this period,” he said.

“Zimbabwe is committed to meeting its obligations as a member of Comesa and advancing the broader regional integration drive.”

The minister said the campaign trail in Zimbabwe ahead of elections was going on smoothly despite the isolated bombing incident that occurred in Bulawayo a few weeks ago.

“Campaigning is going on peacefully. This is despite the unfortunate explosion at a zanu-pf rally on the 23th of June 2018, which claimed lives of two people,” he said.

“However, I wish to say that the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to and has put in place measures to ensure a free, fair and peaceful and credible and non-violent election.”

Minister Mumbengegwi also said Zimbabwe was grateful and honoured to receive the Comesa pre-election assessment and observation missions to participate in monitoring the election process.

“Zimbabwe greatly appreciates that Comesa responded positively to the invitation to observe elections,” he said.

Turning to the summit programme, Cde Mumbengegwi commended the leadership of Madagascar as chair of Comesa Authority over the past 18 months as well as the Comesa Secretariat for their diligence in preparing the documents for consideration by delegates.

He applauded host Zambia for ensuring conducive environment for the hosting of the summit. This year’s summit runs under the theme: “Comesa: Towards Digital economic Integration”.

Minister Mumbengegwi also paid tribute to outgoing Comesa secretary-general Mr Sindiso Ngwenya for a job well done after he served the bloc for more than 34 years and was at its helm for the last 10 years.

Mr Ngwenya is a Zimbabwean-born technocrat with vast experience in economics and regional integration issues.
Increasing Intra-regional Trade on Spotlight…as Comesa Policy Organs Meet Ahead of Heads of States 
By Southern Times
Jul 16, 2018
Prosper Ndlovu

POLICY organs’ meetings for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are underway in Lusaka, Zambia ahead of the Ministerial dialogue this weekend and the 20th Heads of States and Governments Summit scheduled for 18-19 July.

Zambia’s Acting Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Matthew Nkhuwa, officially opened the 38th Inter-Governmental Committee meeting, the first pre-summit policy organs’ engagement that was held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre between Tuesday andThursday.   

The Inter-Governmental Committee is responsible for the development of COMESA programmes and action plans pertaining to regional integration and will review reports on the implementation of regional integration programmes and make recommendations to the Council of Ministers that will meet on 14 – 15 July 2018.

Delegations from 17 out of the 19 COMESA States are attended the Inter-Governmental Committee meeting, which brought together, principal/permanent secretaries drawn from a multiplicity of departments and ministries to discuss and review the implementation of regional integration programmes and activities. These included the DR Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Libya, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In his address, Nkhuwa, noted that since the establishment of the COMESA Free Trade Area in 2000, Intra-COMESA total exports has increased from US$1,5 billion in the year 2000 to reach US$9,6 billion in 2015.

“Several COMESA countries recorded notable positive growths in their 2016 global exports, these include Djibouti (204%), Comoros (109%), Uganda and Madagascar (10%), Sudan (8%) and Burundi (6%). Regarding imports, COMESA countries that recorded growths in their 2016 global imports were Seychelles (62%), Djibouti (57%), Sudan (2%) and Ethiopia (1%),” he said.

However, he indicated a slight decline of US$1,6 billion was recorded in 2016 due to among other factors, drought, which affected most of the countries especially in Eastern Africa. The minister observed that COMESA has been focusing on continuing to build consensus of the member states concerning outstanding Customs Union and trade facilitation instruments as well as facilitating the process of harmonisation and domestication of the Custom Union instruments.

This, he said, has resulted in increased alignment by member states of the

Customs Union instruments.”

Outgoing COMESA secretary general, Mr Sindiso Ngwenya, said the benefits of integration programmes and regional investment within the bloc were manifested by the growth of their economies.

“With the launch of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in March 2018, a new stimulus for integrating the continent has been unleashed,” Ngwenya said. “We have always viewed the COMESA Free Trade Area (FTA) and the launch of the Tripartite FTA in 2015 as fast- tracks to the continental FTA.”

Earlier, development partners including the European Union, the USA, France, the International Organization for Migration and the African Development Bank addressed the delegates. Head of EU Delegation to Zambia, Ambassador Alessandro Mariani, underscored the EU’s commitment to continue working with COMESA to this effect to promote regional integration.

French Ambassador Sylvain Berger assured delegates that France remains convinced that COMESA has a critical role to play in the fight against climate change as well as helping COMESA member states to implement the Paris Agreement.

Ambassador Daniel Foote of the United States of America said COMESA and Africa must trade with itself more to catalyze the development of its economies by tackling constraints that impede trade and investment. He further noted that US Government share a common vision with COMESA of a region that enjoys greater prosperity, higher living standards.

 IOM programme officer Ms Nomagugu Ncube, representing the IOM regional director, said her organisation will provide technical support under “COMESA Cross Border Trade Initiative: Facilitating small-scale trade across borders.” This follows the signing of the umbrella agreement between the European Union and COMESA for this programme in June 2018.

This year’s Summit is running under the theme: COMESA: Towards Digital Economic Integration. The focus is on establishing seamless processes across the COMESA region to enable ease of doing business/trade among member States and thus contribute to enhancing regional integration.
Namibia Mourns Death of First Foreign Affairs Minister
By Editor
14 July 2018   |   5:13 pm

The Namibian government has announced the passing of one of Africa’s finest diplomats, Namibia’s first Foreign Minister and former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab

“With a profound sense of sadness, the President of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency, Dr. Hage G. Geingob announced today, 14 July 2018, the passing of “a friend, a comrade and giant of the Namibian struggle for liberation”, Dr. Theo-­‐Ben Gurirab,” the Namibian presidency said in a statement.

President Geingob said the death of Gurirab, whom he described as one of the leading architects of Namibia’s diplomacy, marked the end of “a rich chapter” in Namibian history.

Moreover, the President said that the exceptional work of Gurirab in service of the liberation movement, SWAPO and the Namibian people shall be cherished forever.

Geingob, who visited family earlier today to console and to express condolences, said the funeral arrangements shall be announced in due course.
'Gurirab An Architect of Namibia's Diplomacy'
2018-07-16
by Ndanki Kahiurika and Theresia Tjihenuna
Namibian

SIX months after celebrating his 80th birthday, one of Namibia's longest-serving politicians Theo-Ben Gurirab died at a Windhoek hospital on Saturday.

President Hage Geingob on Saturday said without Gurirab as one of the leading architects of Namibia's diplomacy, a more prosperous chapter is closing.

“The exceptional work of comrade Gurirab in service of the liberation movement, Swapo, and the Namibian people shall be cherished forever,” he stated.

Later on Saturday, Geingob visited the family at their Klein Windhoek home to comfort them and offer condolences.

Founding President Sam Nujoma was among those who visited the Gurirab home to express condolences to his widow, Joan Guriras.

Others included the Namibia Media Trust's Gwen Lister, Swanu's president Cornelius Iijambo, Alpheus !Naruseb and Bience Gawanas.

Vice president Nangolo Mbumba, who yesterday said Gurirab's death was saddening, credited the diplomat for helping him get elevated to a ministerial position.

“I will miss him. He pushed me to hold talks with the South Africans at Walvis Bay. That was how I was recognised for my role and promoted as a minister in the government,” he said.

Mbumba described Gurirab as a man who “loved his country”, and who demonstrated his patriotism by his active involvement in United Nations Resolution 435 that eventually opened the doors for Namibia's independence.

“He was a patriot. He knew the United Nations in and out, and studied international relations to ensure peace between Namibia and other countries, and was well-known and respected in diplomatic circles. We had hoped to have him with us a little longer, but we have to move on and continue,” he added.

Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi yesterday said he arrived too late at the hospital after he heard of Gurirab's illness.

“On Saturday lunch time, when I heard that my old comrade was getting weaker, I drove to the hospital to see him. Sadly, I arrived just after he had left us, but I was able to pay my respects to him, to his wife, Joan, their two sons, and members of the immediate family. My wife and I wish Joan, their children and grandchildren, strength at this most difficult time,” he said.

Katjavivi said President Geingob had rightly stated that a rich chapter of the country's history is closing.

He noted that Gurirab's contribution to Namibia was immense, adding that condolence messages and tributes are pouring in from around the country and the world, including messages from the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Gabriela Cuevas.

Katjavivi said the nation would be informed about funeral arrangements in due course.

Former president of Swanu Usutuaije Maamberua described Gurirab as a jovial, fearless and fair individual, even when it came to dealing with opposition parties.

“I remember when he was still the Speaker, I had whispered to him that Swanu was not an opposition party, but a government in waiting. That was back in 2010. Later on, he would always address us as such. This signified how jovial he was, and how fair. We will sorely miss him,” said Maamberua.

The outgoing leader of opposition party Nudo, Asser Mbai, described Gurirab as a man of in-depth knowledge, fairness and diplomacy.

“I had great respect for him, and in the few times that I had met him, he oozed diplomacy and being genuine. These attributes set him apart from any of our leaders. We have truly lost a great man, who can never be replaced,” said Mbai.

Cuban ambassador to Namibia, Giraldo Mazola, told NBC on Saturday that Gurirab was a pillar and icon of the liberation struggle, and that his legacy should serve as an example and inspiration to Namibians, especially the younger generation.

Gurirab, Mazola said, was the first Namibian he met when he served as Swapo secretary for external relations.

Sports deputy minister Agnes Tjongarero described Gurirab as a silent giant, a man of few words but whose wisdom was unfathomable.

“When he enters the room, everybody will notice because he was a sort of silent giant. He was a determined individual and his words when he spoke carried so much weight,” said Tjongarero.

PDM parliamentarian Elma Dienda said she will remember Gurirab as her hero and mentor, who always gave opportunities for young politicians to grow.

“I was only 38-years-old when I joined parliament. As a Speaker, he sometimes took me with him when he was touring overseas as an opportunity for me to learn, and it is because of him I am able to stand on my own feet as a politician.

“It did not matter which party you belonged to, he wanted young people to grow in politics and implement what they have learned,” she said.

Former Prime Minister Nahas Angula said he will remember Gurirab not only as a politician, but as as an elder brother. “He was family to me.

When I got married in New York in 1978, he acted on behalf of my parents and hosted my wedding. His wife, Joan baked a cake and we were joined by Martti Ahtisaari and many more,” he said.

Angula said that as a politician, Gurirab was his mentor and guide.

“As a Swapo representative, he introduced me to the UN system. Back home, he became the first foreign affairs minister, and I became minister of education. Together, we formed the national education institutions,” he said.

He added that they formed the pan-African Centre for the Study of African Society in 2015. “I met him a few weeks ago, and discussed some of the developmental issues regarding the centre.

He was sharp, although his legs could not carry him any longer. He was my hero, and I hope fellow Namibians will also see him as a hero,” he said. Angula said that he drove from his village to Windhoek on Saturday to visit Gurirab in hospital, but was informed he had already passed on.

Former youth league secretary Elijah Ngurare said the Theo-Ben Gurirab he knew and worked with was a true friend of the young generation. Ngurare also said Gurirab was approachable, and not flamboyant.

“He always condescended to our level. He would call to advise, and he would call to encourage. His vision was a Namibia that is vibrant, united and where its people, especially young people, have ample opportunity for growth socially, economically and academically,” Ngurare said.

Family spokesperson Tsudao Gurirab said the family committee would be meeting to decide on funeral arrangements, which will be finalised once the government has decided what kind of burial the deceased will receive. Gurirab is survived by his wife, Joan, and four children.
Gurirab’s Work Must Console Us All
July 18, 2018035
Dr Tobie Aupindi
New Era Namibia

To Madame Joan Guriras, the children Dantago, Hagane and the rest of the family of the late Theo-Ben Gurirab and to the entire SWAPO Party. I am truly saddened, as I join the rest of the world in mourning the passing of Cde Gurirab, a true hero of the Namibian liberation struggle and stalwart of Swapo.

As Namibians we must be consoled by the dedicated work of the late Gurirab, because his struggle was our struggle and his triumph was our triumph. Eventually, Namibia gaining independence, peace, democracy and our quest to achieving prosperity for all is and will always be part of the legacy of the late Cde Gurirab.

When the news of his passing came in, I could not believe it. Because it was just on 5 June 2018 that we were sitting with this great giant in the Swapo politburo meeting. From the moment he walked in the meeting, there was some kind of aura around him. As he walked in, Dr Hage Geingob, the president of the republic and of the Swapo Party, applauded him and other stalwarts for being committed to the work of Swapo, like attending politburo meetings and other party activities.

Today, as the news of his passing is travelling across the Namibian nation and the world over, I am overcame with a lot of emotions as I travel back in time, to the era of the liberation struggle when we were refugees living in the camps in Angola and later on in Congo.

It was Swapo stalwarts such as the late Cde Gurirab who inspired us to stay strong whenever they visited the Swapo camps deep in the mountainous bushes.

Eventually, he continued to provide me with encouragements, advices and wisdom when he was prime minister too. Ironically, the late Cde Gurirab will always say whenever another hero had fallen that “we do not mourn heroes, but we celebrate the life they lived”.

Gurirab’s life has always been about commitment, dedication and giving. His life and sacrifices should remind us of the much work that still need to be done in order for Namibia to realise our developmental objectives. He stood unwavering through the test of time to see that freedom and justice were achieved.

I would like to pay my homage to this liberator who together with many others weathered the storms in foreign lands to fight for the liberation of Namibia. I would like to encourage the Namibian youth that more work still needs to be done in order to consolidate the gains of our independence.

Issues like lands redistribution, first class education system, proper housing for all and economic empowerment still need to be perfected in order for our people to benefit. So being part of the current Swapo leadership, we will continue to foster economic policies and implementation strategies that will improve the socio-economic emancipation of our people. Rest in peace my dear Comrade Senior.

* Dr Tobie Ocean Aupindi is a member of the political bureau of the central committee of the ruling Swapo Party.
Surprise Angolan Hyperinflation Hits Shoprite
18 JULY 2018 - 15:07
ANN CROTTY

Hyperinflation in Angola dragged down Shoprite’s full-year revenue, sending the share price down as much as 6.5% on Wednesday.

Africa’s largest food retailer reported a 3.3% increase in sales to R145.6bn for the 12 months to June, with very high and increasing inflation as well as a 50% currency devaluation since January hitting its previously strong Angolan business.

In the 2017 financial year, Angola, where Shoprite has 30 supermarkets, accounted for the largest share of non-South African sales. Non-South African supermarkets accounted for 13% of the group’s trading profit.

Last year Shoprite said Angola, where it had purchased a distribution centre to improve supply chain efficiencies, offered significant growth potential despite concerns about currency depreciation.

The country’s official inflation rate fell to 20.3% year on year in June from 20.7% in May, according to Bloomberg data.

Retail analyst Syd Vianello said investors were spooked by news of hyperinflation in Angola. "There was no sign of it in the first-half results," said Vianello, adding that no other South African company doing business in Angola, such as Nampak, had alerted investors to the problem.

"With hyperinflation you might as well deconsolidate the results of the Angolan business," said Vianello, describing the difficulties of tracking values in a hyperinflationary environment.

Shoprite’s non-SA performance highlighted the difficulties of operating in countries that are driven by resource prices and volatile exchange rates, Vianello said. "The situation can turn around quickly, they’ve just got to ride it out."

Shoprite’s share price recovered to close 3.73% lower at R212.30.

Shoprite said if Angola were excluded, the non-SA supermarkets achieved a 3% increase in sales. This is a dramatic turnaround from the 32.3% turnover reported by non-SA supermarkets in the previous financial year.

Asief Mohamed, chief investment officer at Aeon Investment Management, said Shoprite’s traditionally strong performance in the rest of Africa, particularly in Angola, had supported a high rating for the group. Wednesday’s operational update highlighting difficulties in the non-SA businesses meant a review of that high rating was inevitable.

Shoprite said excluding Angola, the group managed to increase turnover by 5.5%.

"The group’s internal inflation decreased from 7.3% in the previous year to only 0.5% for the current year."

The group’s core business, supermarkets in SA, achieved 5.7% sales growth with internal inflation dropping to 0.3% from 5.9% the previous year.

"Taking into account internal inflation, the improved real turnover growth combined with positive volume and customer growth reflects a strong underlying performance," the group said in its results.

Mohamed said if new store openings were excluded, the like-for-like sales growth was probably around 3%-3.6% in SA.

"It’s not that good but the economy is in a very difficult space at the moment. All consumers are under pressure and the benefits from previous hikes in social grant payments are no longer available, as government has not been able to afford more increases," said Mohamed.

Vianello said Shoprite had done well given the tough trading conditions and had outperformed its South African competitors such as Pick n Pay and Woolworths.

At the release of the interim results in February, Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht said the South African performance had been boosted by the continued success of the focus on Checkers’ high-end consumers.

crottya@businesslive.co.za
Islamic Body Condemns Terrorist Attack in Tunisia
2018-07-09 06:00:01

RABAT, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) strongly condemned Tunisia's terrorist attacks on Sunday that killed at least nine.

The ISESCO affirmed its solidarity with Tunisia in the face of terrorism, it said in a statement.

At least nine members of Tunisia's security forces were killed on Sunday by a group of terrorists in a border security station in northwest Jendouba province, confirmed the interior ministry.

According to the ministry, the nine victims were from the National Guard. Eight of them were killed on the spot and one died of heavy injuries later.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Algeria Condemns Terrorist Attack in Tunisia
2018-07-09 05:14:51|Editor: mym

ALGIERS, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Algeria on Sunday condemned the terrorist attack that killed at least nine Tunisian security officers, and expressed its solidarity with Tunisian authorities in their fight against the scourge of terrorism.

"Algeria strongly condemns the terrorist attack that targeted Sunday a patrol of the Tunisian National Guard in the province of Jendouba," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Abdelaziz Benali Cherif was quoted as saying by APS news agency.

He expressed condolences to the families of the security officers, the Tunisian government and the Tunisian people.

"We express our full solidarity with Tunisia, and we remain convinced that the heinous and blind terrorism can never destabilize this brotherly country to combat and defeat this scourge," he concluded.

Tunisia on Sunday witnessed the deadliest terrorist attack for over two years when a mine exploded at the passage of their patrol in the province of Jendouba near the border with Algeria, local media reported.

The source added that when the mine exploded, terrorists opened fire on the patrol, before running away.

The latest major attack in the country dates back to March 2016, when terrorists raided security facilities in Ben Guerdane near the border with Libya, killing 13 National Guard officers and 7 civilians.

Security cooperation has always been at the heart of the Algerian-Tunisian relations, amid the increasing terrorist threat on their shared borderline.

To effectively respond to the upsurge of terrorist acts throughout the Maghreb and Sahel region, the two countries have strengthen their intelligence and military operations.
Algeria Issues Postage Stamp in Honor of Mandela
2018-07-19 03:34:45|Editor: yan

ALGIERS, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Algeria on Wednesday issued a new and unified African postage stamp to commemorate the centenary of the birth of anti-apartheid icon, the South African late leader, Nelson Mandela.

Both Minister of Post, Telecommunications, Technology and Digitalization, Imene Houda Feraoun, and Foreign Minister, Abdelkader Messahel, attended the ceremony of issuing the postage stamp, which was held at the Museum of the History of Post and Telecommunications at the "Grand Post" in the capital Algiers.

The idea of issuing a unified postage stamp was initiated at the 37th ordinary session of Pan-African Postal Union (PAPU) held in Algiers in April, to pay tribute to Mandela, who devoted his life to combat apartheid in South Africa.

Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison to defend his cause, passed away in 2013. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, before he became the first South African president in the same year.

Algerie Post is also due to issue a stamp bearing the logo "Al-Quds, eternal capital of Palestine" on November 15, which will coincide with the anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Palestine in Algeria in 1988.
Africa's Largest Trading Bloc Appoints New Secretary-General
2018-07-19 03:09:41|Editor: yan

LUSAKA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Africa's largest trading bloc, on Wednesday announced a new secretary-general.

Chileshe Kapwepwe, a former deputy minister of finance from 2008 to 2011 in the Zambian government, was announced as the new secretary-general during the 20th Heads of State and Government Summit in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.

She succeeds Zimbabwe's Sindiso Ngwenya who has stepped down and becomes the first female to head Africa's biggest trading bloc.

Kapwepwe, who is also the chairperson of Zambia's revenue agency, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), served as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Alternate Executive Director for its Africa Group One Constituency from 2012 and is an accountant by profession.

With 21 members following the admission of Tunisia and Somalia, COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing the Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981.
Libya's Deputy Head of Presidential Council Resigns
2018-07-19 06:20:33|Editor: yan

TRIPOLI, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Fathi al-Majbari, deputy head of the Libyan presidential council of the UN-backed government, resigned on Wednesday evening, local TV reported.

"I announce my resignation from my position and from the Government of National Accord (GNA). I call on the patriotic ministers to resign as well," al-Majbari told local TV channel Libya al-Hadath.

"Tripoli is under the rule of the militias, and we have tried to reform but failed. It is not a city suitable for political action and needs real treatment," he said.

Al-Majbari added that the government is unable to provide security for the people.

"Unfortunately, the militias control the financial resources, and what is happening within the GNA is a play," he said.

Al-Majbari, who is close to the eastern-based army commander, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, was almost kidnapped in June when gunmen attacked his residence in the capital Tripoli.

The attack wounded two of his bodyguards, before he managed to mysteriously escape to the Tunisian capital.

The kidnapping came hours after he announced support for Haftar's handing over of oil ports to the eastern-based interim government's oil corporation instead of the Tripoli-based UN-backed government's oil corporation.

Al-Majbari is the third member of the presidential council to resign.

The Presidential Council of the GNA was formed based on the UN-sponsored political agreement signed in Morocco later in 2015 by the Libya parties in order to end the state of political division.

The council consists of nine members: president, five deputies and three ministers of state.

Despite the signed agreement, Libya remains politically divided between two governments in the east and the west, both competing for legitimacy.
Libya Calls for Unified International Position to End Political Division
2018-07-19 06:20:34|Editor: yan

TRIPOLI, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Fayez Serraj on Wednesday called for a "unified international position" to end the state of political division in the country.

Serraj made his remarks during a meeting with ambassadors of the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Russia and China, the UN envoy and the representative of the European Union to Libya, in Tunisia, according to a statement issued by the prime minister's information office later on Wednesday.

"Whenever we take a step towards reconciliation, we are faced with those who bring us backwards," Serraj said, pointing out that the recent Paris meeting on Libya was "the latest attempt for consensus, to which international attitudes varied."

"Some of those who participated in the conference took advantage of this disparity to renounce their decisions and escape from their obligations. There are also those who seriously violated their decisions, such as what happened in the port ports," he added.

"The political division wouldn't have continued if the obstructers were faced with a firm, decisive unified international position," Serraj said, saying that "negative interference from regional and international countries extend the current state, and the obstructers rely on the contradiction of those positions."

He pointed out that some countries "take sides with some parties to the conflict, and some even provide some of those parties with arms despite the arms embargo."

"Patience is beginning to wear thin against the slackness of the international community, which has lost much of its credibility in the Libyan street for its policy of double standards sometimes," Serraj said.

Despite signing a UN-sponsored peace agreement by the Libyan parties later in 2015, Libya remains politically divided between two governments in the east and the west, both competing for legitimacy.

France hosted in May a meeting on Libya with the participation of different Libyan parties to end the political crisis in the country.

The parties agreed to hold and commit themselves to "credible" presidential and parliamentary elections slated for Dec. 10.
Kenya's Jubilee Party Can Borrow Lessons from China: Official
2018-07-15 03:00:34|Editor: mym

NAIROBI, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Secretary general of Kenya's ruling Jubilee Party said Kenya is keen to borrow lessons from the Communist Party of China (CPC) in a forum held in Nairobi on Saturday.

Raphael Tuju said that CPC has been able to unite a country of more than 1.3 billion people so that socio-economic development can take place, and his party is keen to borrow lessons from that.

The secretary general said to strengthen itself, the Jubilee Party is exploring possibilities of establishing a party school to inculcate a culture of discipline among party members.

He also noted that Jubilee is prioritizing enhancing its fight against corruption in order to eliminate wastage of public resources.

Hu Jianhua, executive deputy head of the Party School of the CPC Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee, said political parties need to raise party disciple among party officials so that they do not lose focus on the goal to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.

"From my personal understanding and experience, ruling parties should ensure party members adhere to code and conduct of party so that the country can achieve prosperity," Hu said during a training forum for Jubilee Party by the CPC.

Kenya's ruling party said it is using the forum to gain knowledge on how to strengthen the party to ensure its long-term survival.
Arms Embargo Not Conducive to Peace in South Sudan: Chinese Envoy
2018-07-14 07:27:00|Editor: mym

UNITED NATIONS, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The introduction of an arms embargo on South Sudan is not conducive to the political process in the country, said China's permanent representative to the United Nations on Friday.

The African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development -- two major mediators in South Sudan, have indicated that additional punitive measures are not advisable. The Security Council must listen to them, said Ma Zhaoxu, the Chinese ambassador.

"Sanctions serve only as a means, not an end. Any measure by the council must be conducive to the political settlement of certain issues."

The South Sudan political process has achieved positive and recognized progress. It shows that all parties in South Sudan have the will to pursue peace and resolve issues through political channels, he said.

In today's context, the Security Council must play its constructive role and continue to support the mediation efforts of regional players, said Ma. "While they are working hard, we must hold our confidence and keep up our patience so as to jointly facilitate the political process in South Sudan."

Although the draft was modified to accommodate the views of China and several other council members, it still insists on imposing an arms embargo, which could lead to further escalation, he said. That's why China abstained in the voting, said the ambassador.

China has been supporting the peace process in South Sudan and will continue to do so, he said.

The Security Council on Friday adopted the U.S.-drafted resolution to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan in addition to current sanctions, till May 31, 2019.

The resolution won nine votes in favor, the minimum requirement for adoption. China and five other council members abstained.
Xi Congratulates Groundbreaking Ceremony of Julius Nyerere Leadership School
2018-07-16 22:08:22|Editor: Yurou

BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Monday congratulated the groundbreaking ceremony of Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Tanzania.

In a congratulatory message, Xi said that on the occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Julius Nyerere Leadership School co-founded by the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania, the African National Congress of South Africa, the Mozambique Liberation Front Party and the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the SWAPO Party of Namibia and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, he extended his warm congratulations on behalf of the CPC as well as in his own name.

Xi said that the six parties in southern Africa are the important forces to lead the national liberation and economic construction in their respective countries.

Jointly building Julius Nyerere Leadership School is an important move for the six parties to strengthen their self-construction and improve their governing capacity and will play an active role in promoting the development and progress of their respective countries, Xi said.

For a long time, Xi added, the CPC has maintained a traditional friendship with the six parties, which has played an important and strategic guiding role for the development of China's bilateral ties with the six countries, respectively.

The CPC is willing to take this opportunity to enhance exchanges with political parties in Africa including the six parties and learn from each other, so as to jointly promote the construction of a closer community with a shared future for China and Africa and make contributions to advancing the lofty cause of peace and development for mankind, Xi said.