In Mali, a coup d’état involving the military took place, during which President Ibrahim Keita was deposed, as was Prime Minister Boubou Cissé.
The military announced a three-year transition period to form a civilian government. According to an ECOWAS report from August 23, the State is now headed by a representative of the armed forces and the Government will be composed mainly of military personnel. During the transition period, it is proposed that the foundations of the state be reviewed.
The opposition – “Movement of June 5 — Rally of Patriotic Forces,” – with the support of Imam Mahmoud Diсko, has a strong reputation in Mali at the moment.
On the eve of the coup in June and July, there was a wave of protests of people dissatisfied with the situation in the country, particularly over issues related to the economy, security and political corruption. The trigger was the Constitutional Court’s decision to cancel parliamentary election results at a number of polling stations, which Keita used for the majority of them.
As we wrote earlier, there are three key factors that triggered the coup:
– Corruption and poor economic conditions in the country.
– Drug trafficking scandals in Mali in which major officials have been involved
– the Chief of the Presidential Security Service being dismissed on the evening of August 17.
The situation in Mali is closely linked to the overall geopolitical situation in the region. France is active in the Sahel and Mali is key among its African priorities. France provides 80% of its electricity production from nuclear power, and only 50% of this demand comes from uranium produced through AREVA in Niger. Gold, uranium and possible oil resources of Mali are important for France, but the main thing is the ability to control the whole Sahel zone. That is why Paris is so concerned about the dramatic changes in the country, given that Keita was a convenient and obedient president to the West.
There is a high probability that other countries, especially Mali’s neighbors Burkina Faso and Niger, which are already linked in the Sahel’s geopolitics, will face negative consequences.
Former US vice president Joe Biden officially agreed to become a presidential candidate from the Democratic Party. Biden also announced that Senator Kamala Harris would be his campaign partner.
Biden said that as president he would serve “equally diligently” all Americans – both his supporters and those who do not support him. In his speech, he criticized the current head of state Donald Trump, criticising his management of the coronavirus in the United States.
“It’s with great honor and humility that I accept this nomination for president of the United States,” Biden said from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. “It’s time for us, for we the people to come together.”
Earlier we wrote about Biden’s future were he to be elected. According to opinion polls, the former vice president is still ahead of Trump, which means that his probability of winning the presidential election in November 2020 is high.
We also wrote earlier about Biden’s likely foreign policy team.
Both Biden and Harris share many common positions which correspond to the positions of the Democratic Party establishment and its globalist sponsors.
As we noted earlier, this approach can be characterized as a return to the position of liberal internationalism and liberal interventionism in the spirit of the Barack Obama and Bill Clinton administrations. If Biden wins, the US will almost certainly return to interventions on different continents, hiding behind criticisms of political opponents as dictators, disguising imperialism as a quest for human rights, and so on. In support of this approach, Biden has promised to increase funding for non-governmental organizations operating in other countries.
The CEC of Belarus announced the final results of the elections. The incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko – 80.1%, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya – 10.1%. Against all – 4.59%.
The headquarters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya did not recognize the preliminary results voiced by the CEC (at that time similar final data were voiced), after which Tikhanovskaya left Belarus and went to Lithuania.
On August 9, after the polling stations were closed, protesters began to take to the streets of Belarusian towns. The rallies continued in the following days as well. On August 12, Minsk authorities assessed the damage from the riots at around 500,000 Belarusian rubles.
Apart from internal destabilization, a number of sharp statements about non-recognition of elections by leaders of foreign countries and promises to support the Belarusian opposition followed.
During the diplomatic tensions, the matter almost came to a military conflict: the Belarusian Ministry of Defense announced a provocation by Lithuania: according to their data, on the evening of August 23, a probe of eight balloons with anti-state symbols was launched, and in Lithuania they said that an Mi-24 helicopter had invaded the country’s airspace. The situation heated up relations between neighbors, especially with Poland. In western Belarus, troops began a military exercise to test resistance to a possible invasion. Poland, as well as the Czech Republic and Lithuania, were directly involved in the attempt to topple the Belarusian authorities, while a number of countries were ready to present their own vision of the situation in Belarus, which Minsk perceived as an external intervention.
The situation in Belarus should be understood first of all in the broad geopolitical context of the confrontation between the West and Russia, given that Belarus remains the last buffer zone friendly to Moscow. NATO’s policy of advancing eastward continues in that territory, and if successful, the Western bloc could strengthen itself right along Russia’s borders. Meanwhile, the wave of protests in Belarus could be used to rock the protest sentiment in Russia itself.
In summary, external forces are taking advantage of the situation to slow down the integration of Belarus into the Russian orbit, as well as to prevent the growth of Chinese influence there (given how successfully Beijing is spreading its influence on different continents).
UWI will publish material related to these events shortly.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Fatih drilling ship discovered a large natural gas field in Turkish territorial waters in the Black Sea. Specialists note that there are at least 320 billion cubic meters, and Erdogan himself added that this is only part of the source. He emphasized that the discovery gives Turkey confidence in the future.
The Turkish leader promises not to stop until his country turns from an energy importer into an exporter.
The gas situation also affects the geopolitical power of Turkey in the region. Turkey will be able to start gas production in the Black Sea and this may reduce its dependence on gas exports from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan. According to Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, this could reduce the country’s budget deficit.
Gas geopolitics is extremely important for Ankara, which is why Turkey is actively exploring gas fields not only in the Black Sea but also in the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean production takes place simultaneously with political agreements in the region (first of all, the agreement with Libya) under the Mavi Vatan concept – not only in economic interests but also for security, against the background of confrontation with Greece and the EU.
Ceasefire in Libya
On August 21, the GNA declared a ceasefire in the ongoing civil war in Libya. The government stressed the need for a demilitarized zone in Sirte and al-Jufra to prevent “foreign intervention” and to stop interference by mercenaries. The GNA also announced the suspension of all military operations in the republic. The GNA called for presidential and parliamentary elections in the republic next March.
In addition, the statement stresses the need to resume the production and export of Libyan oil. According to the GNA, revenues from the sale of raw materials should be transferred to the account of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) of Libya in a foreign bank.