BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW | | russische-foederationindienbrasiliensuedafrika

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Own report) - The EU and the USA are having little success in inducing friendly nations to join their sanctions against Russia. Following a visit by the EU's Foreign Policy Representative, Federica Mogherini, Ankara announced, Monday, Turkey will not support these measures, but rather continue its cooperation with Moscow. In India, as well, one hears in the lead-up to Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit - which begins today - that cooperation will be continued, because of common interests, for example to defuse Cold War-like tensions. India, along with other countries previously particularly close to the West - such as South Africa and Brazil - have a differentiated view of the Ukrainian conflict, a view, which does not exclude the West's role. For example, in the Indian debate, "the argument that Russia had re-drawn internationally recognized borders in Europe," is not taken seriously - after all, the West had done the same in destroying Yugoslavia, according to a report by the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation. A Norwegian think tank notes that Brazilian foreign policy makers are no longer inclined to remain silent on western countries' human rights violations, while loudly criticizing those of others. Observers find that the world "order" under western domination is beginning to crumble. more…

BERLIN/PRETORIA | | suedafrika

BERLIN/PRETORIA (Own report) - Twenty years after South Africa held its first free elections (April 27, 1994), German corporations have definitively eluded demands to pay damages to the victims of the apartheid regime, they had supported. Whereas, a court in New York ruled last week that lawsuits against two US companies, for complicity in apartheid's institutions of repression, cannot be thrown out, similar lawsuits brought against German companies have been dismissed. The German government had also intervened in favor of dismissal of the reparations lawsuits. West German companies had been a mainstay of support for the apartheid regime. Daimler, for example, was "a vital partner of the South African war industry," according to an international anti-apartheid activist. West German companies had even expanded their businesses, when companies from other western countries were beginning to withdraw due to mounting international pressure. In South Africa, German companies have been able to maintain their strong standing, established also through collaboration with the apartheid regime, even after the collapse of the system of apartheid. The social legacy of apartheid, which these companies help maintain, characterizes the South African society to this day, confirmed the long-time managing executive of the West German Anti-Apartheid Movement, Ingeborg Wick, in her conversation with german-foreign-policy.com. more…

PRETORIA/BERLIN | | suedafrika

PRETORIA/BERLIN (Own report) - Federal German authorities provided the apartheid regime of South Africa incriminating documents for a political trial against Nelson Mandela and others. This has become known through research of Bonn's South Africa policy. According to this information, West German authorities provided documents originating in the proceedings to ban the KPD to a South African diplomat and offered the support of Germany's domestic intelligence service. This was to help prepare a trial aimed at neutralizing the political resistance to the racist regime in Pretoria. Nelson Mandela, who died last week, and is now being praised by Berlin, was also affected. On the one hand, Bonn's objective was to help apartheid to remain in power, because it was considered a reliable pro-western partner, and on the other, to maintain special West German influence, which has also provided German companies lucrative business. In fact, German companies remained among the apartheid regime's most loyal supporters - to the end. During Mandela's incarceration, companies in West Germany supplied South Africa's military and police with helicopters to carry out surveillance of protests. They were equipped with devices to identify activists, many of whom were from Mandela's political entourage. more…

PRETORIA/BERLIN | | suedafrika

PRETORIA/BERLIN (Own report) - Government advisors in Berlin are recommending that measures be taken to stabilize South Africa's domestic situation. The democratic market economic order must be consolidated and processes of social disintegration combated, warns a recent study published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Otherwise South Africa's utility for the German economy will be as insecure as that country's role as a junior partner for German foreign policy. The gap between the poor and the rich could lead to a "radicalization" of the governing party and prompt it to make serious "encroachments into the market economy, particularly in regards to the right to private property." This must be thwarted through government programs to enhance job opportunities for the lower social strata or even through means of foreign cultural policy. Several of the SWP's proposals are already being implemented by the so-called German development policy. Berlin, for example, is supporting administrative reforms through which the poverty-stricken part of the population will have better prospects. Other projects have been implemented specifically in South Africa's preparation for the World Cup, but serve also long-term German interests. more…

PRETORIA/BERLIN | | suedafrika

PRETORIA/BERLIN (Own report) - In view of the German South African cooperation in the preparation of the upcoming World Cup, German government advisors are contemplating South Africa’s importance for German foreign policy. According to a recently published study by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), South Africa has "without any doubt the potential" to impose its hegemony on sub-Saharan Africa and Germany has considerable influence on that country. Both factors enable Germany to use Pretoria as a stabilizing force, influencing African developments to the advantage of German interests. But this should be undertaken carefully, because the opinion that "South Africa is representing Western interests" is already widespread in Africa. SWP recommends countering South Africa’s strivings for cooperation with other countries of the southern hemisphere, at the expense of its cooperation with the EU and USA, by further developing the already close military cooperation and the security measures implemented jointly on the African continent. more…

BERLIN/PRETORIA | | suedafrika

BERLIN/PRETORIA (Own report) - The German Navy and Air Force have been carrying out since Monday their largest non-NATO maneuver of the year in South Africa. This maneuver, entitled "Good Hope IV" taking place close to Cape Town, is the fourth of its kind to be held together with the navy and air force of South Africa. The objective is to enable the two countries to coordinate military operations and will, this year, also include firing guided missiles, including air-to-ground missiles, such as those used by Germany in the aggression on Yugoslavia. South Africa seeks to be recognized as the stabilizing power for Africa. Berlin seeks to exploit this ambition and with Pretoria's help acquire new possibilities of control in Africa south of the Sahara. Their joint activities are benefiting not only from the generally close relationship between the two countries, but also from the fact that South Africa disposes of a large quantity of German-produced war material. In the current maneuver that simulates joint interventions in Africa, the navies of both nations will be operating warships produced in German dockyards. The maneuver is due to last until March 15. more…

PRETORIA/BERLIN | | suedafrika

PRETORIA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is using the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa, to strengthen its influence over the South African police and military. During her stay in Pretoria last weekend, the German Chancellor acknowledged that not only German firms are hoping to profit from the billions in investments for this major event. German police have already begun instructing South African security forces for this huge sports spectacle. The Air Force is also involved, sharing with South African officers their "experience" from the 2006 soccer world championships in Germany. At the time, the German defense minister initiated preparations for fighter planes of the German Air Force (Bundeswehr) to illegally shoot down hijacked passenger liners. The exertion of influence on the police and military is part of a long term effort to set up Pretoria as a stabilizing factor for western interests in Africa - if necessary also militarily. This is why, Germany and the EU have been delivering military equipment to South Africa for years, causing the South African disarmament efforts of the 1990s to end in failure. more…

Around Africa

PORT HARCOURT/PRETORIA/MOGADISHU | | nigeriasuedafrika

PORT HARCOURT/PRETORIA/MOGADISHU (Own report) - A NATO naval unit's trip around Africa is preparing the alliance's new military operations. The German Navy is also a participant. The military expedition of the "Standing NATO Maritime Group 1" (SNMG-1), that is already in progress, is qualified as historical by the alliance. Military maneuvers with African armies are planned, alongside the reconnaissance of African territorial waters. Rather than "exercises", the SNMG-1 announces it will carry out nondescript "presence operations" for several crisis regions, which are but partially covered by parliamentary mandates. NATO declares that these measures are in preparation for the security of mercantile trade routes and oil transports on the open seas. It has been negotiating with several European oil companies about intervening to protect production sites in Nigeria, the first stopover of this NATO operation. The Indian Ocean and the Red Sea are also viewed as possible theatres of intervention. more…