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A Bayraktar TB2 drone is equipped with ASELSAN's CATS and electro-optic reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting system, and Roketsan's MAM-L smart ammunition, Tekirdağ, Turkey, Nov. 6, 2020. (AA Photo) 

Turkey-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were once again deemed worthy of international comment, this time by the French media, which seems to be closely following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ongoing tour in Africa.

A report by French daily Le Figaro entitled “Erdoğan strengthens his presence in Africa,” said that the Turkish president has noticed that the “Western colonial powers” had lost interest in Africa in the early 2000s, and that Turkey has begun to increase its presence in “Muslim African countries” such as Somalia and Libya.

It also stated that the national airline, Turkish Airlines (THY), is the only major airline company that has direct flights to Somali’s capital Mogadishu – where the West had carried out military operations between 1992 and 1994.

The possible sale of Turkish UAVs to Angola was discussed during Erdoğan’s visit on Monday, while similar talks are also expected to be held during his trip to Nigeria, the report noted. The Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is the obvious choice, since it has already proven itself on the battlefield.

The report underlined that this particular UAV – either operated by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) or the countries that purchased it – neutralized senior PKK terrorist Ismail Özden in Iraq. As part of a joint operation launched with the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the Turkish military killed Özden, code-named Mam Zeki, in the Sinjar region on Aug. 15, 2018. 

The UAVs were also used against putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar and Russian mercenaries in Libya, defeated Bashar Assad's regime in Syria’s Idlib province and ensured Azerbaijan's victory over Armenian occupation forces during the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, it noted.

Le Figaro's report dubbed the Turkish UAVs as a “dream weapon,” stressing that they are 20 times cheaper than warplanes and do not endanger the lives of its pilots.

“They have become a vector of Turkish influence in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. It is the influence that Erdoğan cleverly develops without engaging in conflict with countries more powerful than him, such as the United States, China and Russia. But he is not afraid to challenge less powerful countries like France. (Erdoğan) won the arm wrestling against France off the Libyan coast in June 2020,” it said.

The report also questioned how and why French industry lagged behind the U.S. and Israel and “even Turkey” in UAV production.

A historical reading of the French defense industry shows why. The first combat drone project was in 2008, but was canceled. Then a collaborative project was started between France, Germany, Italy and Spain, but expects the drone to make its maiden flight in 2028, 14 years after the Bayraktar TB2.

The report stated that Turkey once again framed its relations with Africa through an economic lens, which enables relations to also cover security issues.

Separately, French state radio RFI stated that Erdoğan wanted to strengthen his relations with Africa by visiting Angola, Nigeria and Togo, and that the economy was one of the aspects of the strategic partnership between Turkey and Africa.

It said that Turkey sells UCAVs to Ethiopia, Tunisia and Morocco, and those products “are cheaper than their Western counterparts and better quality than the Chinese ones.”

Angola sought Turkish UAVs

President Erdoğan on Monday, during his visit to the country, said Angola has requested to acquire Turkish-made combat drones, noting that the latest talks also included covered armored carriers.

Angola’s initial request for UAVs and UCAVs was made during President Joao Lourenco’s visit to Turkey three months ago.

Just last week, Turkey was reported to have expanded the export of its renowned drones by negotiating deals with Morocco and Ethiopia.

This was followed by a statement from Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, who on Friday said Turkey had presented options to the United Kingdom, which is “very interested” in buying Turkish-made armed drones.

Ukraine and Turkey’s NATO partner Poland have also ordered armed drones, which military experts say are cheaper than market rivals made in Israel, China and the U.S. Daily Sabah

Gunmen stormed a market in Nigeria and opened fire in 'every direction' killing at least 30 on Sunday evening. 

The assault, from a suspected criminal gang, started during a weekly market in Goronyo, northern Nigeria, Sokoto Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said in a statement.

Gunmen surrounded and entered the market while it was full of shoppers and traders on Sunday evening before opening fire 'sporadically' on onlookers, spraying the crowd with bullets, witnesses said.  

A regional government spokesperson said the death toll was not yet confirmed but was believed to be '30 something'. However, a local resident said there at least 60 bodies at Goronyo General Hospital mortuary.

Heavily armed gangs known locally as bandits have terrorised northwest and central Nigeria for years, raiding and looting villages, but attacks have become even more violent in recent months. 

The gangs have no known ideological agenda but operate in an area where concerns are growing of jihadist inroads. 

'We're not sure of the [death toll] figure. But it is 30 something,' Sokoto's government spokesman Muhammad Bello said in a statement.

'It was a market day and there were many traders,' Bello told AFP by phone. 

But Iliyasu Abba, a local resident and trader, told Reuters that there were 60 bodies at Goronyo General Hospital mortuary, while others sustained injuries while escaping.

'The gunmen stormed the market as it was crowded with shoppers and traders,' he said.

The men were 'shooting sporadically on us after they surrounded the market firing at every direction killing people.'

A regional government spokesperson said the death toll was not yet confirmed but was believed to be '30 something'
A regional government spokesperson said the death toll was not yet confirmed but was believed to be '30 something' 

Abba said the gunmen had at least initially overpowered police who tried to intervene.

Police spokesman Sanusi Abubakar also confirmed that bandits attacked Goronyo late on Sunday, but did not comment on claims gunmen overpowered officers. 

'Our sercurity operatives are there to conduct investigations,' Abubakar said, without giving details. 

Phone networks in the area have been suspended for weeks to disrupt the gangs' operations, making information-gathering tricky.


A gang raided another village market on October 8, in Sabon Birni district near the border with Niger, killing 19 people.

Since last month, Nigerian troops have been conducting air and ground operations on bandit camps in neighbouring Zamfara state.

The government ordered shut all telephone and internet services in the whole of Zamfara state in early September, a blackout later extended to parts of Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states as military operations intensified.  

The government ordered shut all telephone and internet services in the whole of Zamfara state in early September, a blackout later extended to parts of Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states as military operations intensified (pictured, soldiers near the Chad-Nigeria border)
The government ordered shut all telephone and internet services in the whole of Zamfara state in early September, a blackout later extended to parts of Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states as military operations intensified (pictured, soldiers near the Chad-Nigeria border)

Officials in Sokoto are worried that bandits are relocating to the state as a result of operations in Zamfara.

'We're faced and bedevilled by many security challenges in our own area here, particularly banditry, kidnapping and other associated crimes,' wrote Bello, on behalf of the state governor.

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, he said, had requested 'the presence of more forces in the state and the deployment of more resources'.

Last month 17 Nigerian security personnel were killed when gunmen attacked their base in Sabon Birni, an assault the military blamed on Islamic State-aligned jihadists. 

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, he said, had requested 'the presence of more forces in the state and the deployment of more resources'
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, he said, had requested 'the presence of more forces in the state and the deployment of more resources'

Violence has spiralled in recent months across the northwest, forcing thousands of already vulnerable people to flee their homes in a situation that aid agencies fear risks becoming a humanitarian crisis.

Since January 2020, about 50,000 people fled from their homes in the northwest alone, according to the International Organization for Migration.

And more than 80,000 additional people have fled to neighbouring Niger over the past two years.

Increasingly, bandits have turned to mass kidnapping and have kidnapped hundreds of schoolchildren since December. Most have been freed or released after ransom but dozens are still being held.

The violence is just one challenge facing Nigeria's security forces, who are also battling a 12-year jihadist insurgency in the northeast that has killed more than 40,000 people.  By LAUREN LEWIS FOR MAILONLINE and WIRES, Mail Online 

Photo Courtesy ISS

The AU should do more to pre-empt coups by sanctioning bad governance and attempts by presidents to extend their terms. Coups used to be the method of choice in Africa for changing governments, with over 90 occurring between 1951 and mid-2020. During those years, only 30 incumbent leaders were peacefully removed from power by their political opponents in elections.

And in that time, just 28 heads of state voluntarily left office after serving their legally allowed number of terms as president, says Issaka Souaré, Director of the Sahel and West Africa Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

In 2000, the propensity for staging coups – there had been 15 in the previous decade – worried the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) enough to adopt the Lomé Declaration. In a radical departure from the OAU’s firm policy of turning a blind eye to member states’ ‘internal affairs’, it decreed that any member taking power through an ‘unconstitutional change of government’ would be suspended. In practice, this referred to military coups.

After replacing the OAU, the African Union (AU) has exercised that power of suspension 14 times since 2003. After the Lomé Declaration, the incidence of coups steadily declined from 15 in the previous decade (1991 to 2000) to eight in the decade after, and five between 2011 and 2020. The extent to which the declaration played a role in this reduction is unclear, considering that the trend suddenly seemed to reverse last year.

The African Union has exercised its power of suspension in relation to coups 14 times since 2003

In fewer than 13 months from 18 August 2020, four coups have occurred. Two happened in Mali (August 2020 and May 2021), one in Chad (May 2021) and one in Guinea last month. This prompted the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) to tackle the question: Are coups back in Africa? in a seminar this week.

Answering it would require a crystal ball, but the discussion suggested that although the long-term trend was positive, coups could be here to stay. What might help prevent that would be better responses from AU, regional bodies, and international partners to coups and other forms of unconstitutional change of government. And most importantly to what Souaré and other participants labelled ‘UPP’ – the unconstitutional preservation of power.

The first step in tightening up the Lomé Declaration – and matching instruments in the regional economic communities (RECs) – is to apply the measures consistently across different countries, said ISS Senior Research Consultant David Zounmenou.

He cited the sharp difference in approach towards Mali and Chad. The former was suspended from the AU and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) after the 2020 and 2021 coups. In contrast, Chad was allowed to remain in the AU pending a transition to elections and civilian rule.

The AU and ECOWAS lifted their suspension of Mali a few weeks after August 2020 when the heads of a new civilian transitional administration – vetted by coup leader Assimi Goïta – were announced. Goïta’s toppling of those same civilian leaders in May this year suggested the AU and ECOWAS had misjudged Goïta’s commitment to truly civilian rule. As Zounmenou said, if military leaders see they can seize power with impunity, there’s likely to be a proliferation of coups. Goïta’s coup in May suggested the AU and ECOWAS had misjudged his commitment to civilian rule in Mali

Kwesi Aning, Director of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, suggested that optimism around the declining rate of coups this century needed to be treated with caution. He said forecasts should account for a ‘teeming democratic sea … of frustrated, uneducated, barely educated, unemployed and increasingly unemployable youths … who see the possibilities of their participation in the domestic governing of their countries truncated by people who want to stay in power.’

The feelings of the disenchanted were clear when they lined the streets of Conakry in Guinea to applaud Colonel Mamady Doumbouya after he toppled Alpha Condé last month. Similar scenes of popular jubilation greeted Mali’s Colonel Goïta in Bamako last year after he ousted Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

Aning agreed that the AU, RECs and others could help discourage coups by targeting incumbents who cling to power beyond their terms. Condé was a prime example of the consequences of the ‘unconstitutional preservation of power’. He forced through an unwelcome constitutional change in 2019 to rescind the two-presidential term limit, at the cost of many protesters’ lives.

Doumbouya cited this as one of the main reasons for the coup. As Souaré observed, we have no way of knowing if that was Doumbouya’s true motive but the possibility should be removed, not only for its own sake but as a plausible pretext for coups. The AU and RECs should sanction the ‘unconstitutional preservation of power’ to help prevent coups

Andrews Atta-Asamoah, Head of the ISS’ African Peace and Security Governance programme, noted that the Lomé Declaration went further than military coups and other violent power seizures as a trigger for suspension from the AU. An unconstitutional change of government could also include ‘the refusal by an incumbent government to relinquish power to the winning party after free, fair and regular elections.’

And he noted that the AU’s 2009 Ezulwini Framework for enhancing implementation of the Lomé Declaration’s measures against unconstitutional changes of government had gone further still. It stipulated that ‘the constitution shall not be manipulated in order to hold onto power against the will of the people’ and granted the African Court of Justice and Human Rights the jurisdiction to prosecute coup makers.

Atta-Asamoah felt the AU should be commended as a ‘norm entrepreneur’ for establishing the principle that coups were bad. Nonetheless, the frameworks for preventing unconstitutional changes of government were not really working because they were reactive, not preventive, he said.

So instead of addressing the grievances that sparked the coup, the AU and RECs’ post facto interventions often pitted them ‘against the overwhelming will of the people in the street’, especially when the AU and RECs insisted on restoring the old regime.

Perhaps the root causes of coups run too deep within a country for any external actor to influence much. But to the extent that they can, the AU and RECs should use their power preventively, focusing more on sanctioning ‘unconstitutional preservation of power’ and other undemocratic behaviour to try to pre-empt coups. By Peter Fabricius. ISS Consultant


A man masquerading as an engineer at Safaricom will be arraigned in court this morning, for vandalising the company’s telecommunication worth over Sh2 million.

Police say that Lenny Ng’ang’a while posing as an engineer on maintenance duty, gained access to a transmitter station in Murang’a. 

Reports indicate that he deceived the guard who noticed his unusual behaviour.

Acting on suspicion, the security guard notified the area police who arrived at the scene immediately.


“Police presence prompted the suspect to flee from the scene in a Suzuki Alto towards Sabasaba area in Murang’a,” the police say.

Minutes into the chase, the police caught up with him, forcing him to surrender. 

Upon arrest, the officers managed to recover the telecommunication equipment, which is suspected to have been vandalised. By Winfrey Owino, The Standard

Priti Patel, appearing on the Andrew Marr show, spoke about concerns that Covid lockdowns may have fuelled radicalisation

Britain’s intelligence agencies have warned ministers of a potential new wave of terrorist attacks carried out by “bedroom radicals” bred during lockdown.

Officials believe the country is facing a new threat from “lone wolf” terrorists who were radicalised online while spending months at home, The Telegraph understands.

It comes as investigators seek to establish whether the 25-year-old suspect in the killing of Sir David Amess had been radicalised during the long months of the pandemic. 

One security source said: “Counter-terror police and MI5 have been concerned for some time that once we emerged out of lockdown there would be more people out on the streets and more targets for the terrorists.

“Combined with the fact that lots of young people have been spending so much time online, it makes for a very worrying mix and there is a real concern about the possible rise of the bedroom radicals.”

On Sunday night police were continuing to question 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali, a British national of Somali heritage, on suspicion of murdering Sir David, the Tory MP, in a knife attack on Friday.

Over the weekend it emerged that Mr Ali had previously been referred to the Government’s counter-extremism programme, Prevent, but was not on MI5’s terror watchlist.

It has raised fresh questions over the effectiveness of Prevent, which is currently the subject of an ongoing review.

Investigators now believe the suspect may have considered killing other MPs, the Telegraph understands.

Police believe Sir David was not specifically targeted by his alleged terrorist killer but is believed to have been picked as part of plot to murder any MP.

Counter-terror police had initially thought the Right-wing Tory politician had been selected because of his values, views or religion. But it is now feared he was stabbed to death simply because he happened to respond to his alleged killer’s request for a face-to-face appointment as part of an indiscriminate attack on democracy.

It is understood the suspect had booked an appointment to see the MP at his regular Friday surgery a week before the attack.

The development came as Sir David’s devastated family issued a statement in which they said they were “absolutely broken” by his murder.

They called for unity rather than division in the wake of his “cruel and violent” death.

The family of Sir David Amess called for tolerance and togetherness in the wake of his killing
The family of Sir David Amess called for tolerance and togetherness in the wake of his killing

The statement read: “We ask people to set aside their differences and show kindness and love to all. This is the only way forward. Set aside hatred and work towards togetherness.

“Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand.”

It was reported on Sunday night it was believed Ali was "radicalised" after watching extremist videos on YouTube and became "obsessed" with the hate preacher Anjem Choudary, sources told The Sun.

The Telegraph has learned that the suspect in custody was seen using his phone moments after the attack.

Police are said to be investigating whether he made a recording in order to take credit for the attack or was sending a message or posted material online after the fatal stabbing.

This alleged activity, which was seen by witnesses, is understood to be at the centre of why the police labelled the attack a “terrorist incident”.

Investigators were over the weekend trying to work out who the suspect had been in contact with in the run-up to Friday to better understand his alleged motives.

Meanwhile, three properties in London, connected to the man in custody, were being searched, including his former family home in Croydon, where his mother and siblings still live, and a property in Bounds Green, where his father resides.

Detectives were also at a flat in Kentish Town in north London, where Mr Ali had been living most recently.

A police search team enters the most recent address of Ali Harbi Ali, in Kentish Town, north London
A police search team enters the most recent address of Ali Harbi Ali, in Kentish Town, north London

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, spoke about concerns that Covid lockdowns may have fuelled radicalisation and the threat of lone wolf attacks.

Asked about the issue on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, Ms Patel said: “It’s a really important point actually, it really is. Coronavirus, pandemic, people being locked down at home, online, etcetera.

“But what I would say, to put this into perspective, we have the best security and intelligence agencies in the world.

“I can’t sit and share with you [but] I know how they worked throughout the pandemic. I know the work that they do in terms of watching individuals – subjects of interest, tracking behaviours, monitoring anybody of interest.”

Priti Patel said Britain's security services were 'tracking behaviours, monitoring anybody of interest'
Priti Patel said Britain's security services were 'tracking behaviours, monitoring anybody of interest'

Security chiefs are understood to be concerned after months of lockdown left millions of younger people marooned at home, with many spending hours online, often unsupervised.

With schools, sports clubs and youth facilities also closed, there was little opportunity for the usual support networks to spot worrying signs of radicalisation and alert the authorities.

It is feared extremists around the world will now seek to activate their online recruits and encourage them to carry out terror strikes across the UK.

Focus on effectiveness of Prevent

The review of the Prevent programme has been running all year and is expected to be nearing its conclusion, though a publication date for conclusions is yet to be named.

William Shawcross, who chaired the Charity Commission between 2012 and 2018, is leading the work after being made the independent reviewer in January.

The review is said to be a top-to-bottom look at how the program is working, with Sir William tasked with writing a report for the Home Office that contains “recommendations on improvements”.

Robert Buckland, the former justice secretary, used his first broadcast interview since being sacked from the role in the reshuffle last month to call for a more “joined up” approach to Prevent.

Mr Buckland told Times Radio: “I very much hope that when it comes to community supervision and community involvement with people like this particular individual, that it is much more joined-up between health services, education, whatever it might be, who have had some involvement with that individual in the past.

“And I think that that element of being joined-up is what we really need to work on urgently.”

Asked how agencies could work more closely, Mr Buckland said: “There may be records or information from schools or colleges or from the health service which can tell us much more about individuals and their activities.

“I think we need to join this up much more effectively because what we’re talking about here is community prevention.

“We’ve got to make sure that every arm of the state is absolutely working together in order to understand as much as possible about these individuals.” By /Yahoo News

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