See my general position on Wikileaks here. Briefly, now that the information is out there I feel it’s worth discussing it. To that end, I thought a (partial) roundup of what leaked cables say about different African countries might be useful.
- Miami Herald: “From the Saudi-Yemen border to lawless Somalia and the north-central African desert, the U.S. military is more engaged in armed conflicts in the Muslim world than the U.S. government openly acknowledges, according to cables released by the WikiLeaks website.”
- VOA interviews Liesl Louw-Vaudran of South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies and looks at the impact of the cable leaks in Nigeria, Kenya, Libya, and across the continent. Louw-Vaudran says, “I think many Africans are a little bit disgusted, a little bit shocked, at the sort of flippant way that these American diplomats are talking about, ultimately, African heads of state.”
- BBC: “Cables from a senior American official in Nigeria describe China as ‘aggressive and pernicious’, and that ‘China is in Africa primarily for China’. However, the memo goes on to say the US does not consider China a military, security or intelligence threat.” What about an economic threat? More here.
- Radio Netherlands Worldwide has its own roundup here, and Christian Science Monitor‘s Scott Baldauf looks at the implications for Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
- NPR: “Among the cables in this week’s dump of WikiLeaks documents are memos concerning shipments of arms through Kenya to Sudan. The cables suggest that the U-S turned a blind eye to the situation until Somali pirates brought it to public attention by seizing a tanker carrying 32 Soviet-made Ukrainian tanks, apparently bound for Sudan’s south.” Kenya’s Daily Nation has more on the arms shipments from Kenya to South Sudan.
- Reuters: “One [cable] said Egypt had lobbied for a delay in the referendum for South Sudan’s independence.”
- All Africa: “Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told top visiting American officials before elections in May this year that he would ‘crush… with our full force’ opposition leaders who ‘violated the laws of Ethiopia,’ according to a diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks.”
- The Guardian: “US ambassador portrays [Eritrean President] Isaias Afwerki as part menace, part weirdo.”
- Reuters: “U.S. drugmaker Pfizer hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against Nigeria’s attorney general to convince him to drop legal action against the company over a drug trial involving children, the Guardian newspaper reported, citing U.S. diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks.” BBC: “Pfizer has dismissed as “preposterous” reports that it hired investigators to uncover evidence of corruption against a former Nigerian attorney general.”
- CNN: “Royal Dutch Shell has people in ‘all the relevant ministries’ in the Nigerian government and has access to ‘everything being done in those ministries,’ according to leaked diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks and posted on the website of the British newspaper The Guardian on Thursday.” Business Week has Shell’s denial. Al Jazeera English has a video report.
Do you see any patterns? Any surprises? Let us know.