Africa Regime Change

The crocodiles of Pyongyang: A remembrance of Zimbabwe & thoughts on the fall of tyrants

The man who terminated the 37-year misrule of Robert Mugabe last week and then took his job is a general named Emmerson Mnangagwa with a history as ominous as his nickname: “the Crocodile.” Long one of Mugabe’s most ruthless cronies, Mnangagwa’s resume includes leading Zimbabwe’s feared Central Intelligence Organization and dispatching the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to Matabeleland …

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Africa Arms Trafficking Human Trafficking Sanctions

CNN, UN Panel raise the pressure on Namibia over North Korea sanctions violations

Namibia (or as some refer to it locally, Nambia) has long been one of Africa’s worst violators of UN sanctions against North Korea, including by hosting an arms factory run by Mansudae Overseas Projects Group, in violation of an arms embargo that has been in effect since the adoption of UNSCR 1718 in 2006. It …

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Africa Diplomacy Human Trafficking Sanctions

Yun Byung-se, The Indispensable Man

Park Geun-hye, the cautious triangulatrix who belatedly became South Korea’s most subversive (to North Korea) president for two decades, is all but gone, and almost everyone in South Korea is applauding. None, however, have applauded with as much enthusiasm as those on South Korea’s far left, who fill a spectrum between anti-anti-North Korean and violently …

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Africa Europe Human Trafficking

Treasury fires a broadside at Kim Jong-un’s slave labor racket

This blog has promoted the outstanding investigative work and legal analysis of the Leiden Asia Center in exposing North Korea’s rental of forced labor to European shipyards and construction companies, under unsafe and exploitative conditions. That work, ably led by Remco Breuker, yielded this Vice documentary and reports filled with actionable information.  Recently, Breuker wrote a …

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Africa Arms Trafficking Sanctions

Angola is playing fast and loose with North Korea sanctions

Like its neighbor, Namibia, Angola aligned with the Soviet block during the Cold War. The Angolan government and the Namibian rebel movement, the South West Africa Peoples’ Organization or SWAPO, received military assistance from Cuba, which had up to 60,000 soldiers near Angola’s border with Namibia during a vicious set of guerrilla wars in the …

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Africa Sanctions Southeast Asia

Sanctions Diplomacy: Yesterday Uganda, today Namibia, tomorrow Cambodia

Earlier this week, when a senior Namibian official who had defended her government’s military cooperation with North Korea showed up in Pyongyang, I conceded that she could be there to terminate that cooperation, but didn’t assess that possibility as very likely. But yesterday, the Namibian government announced it was ending its joint projects with North …

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"United" Nations Africa Sanctions

Namibia’s prohibited arms deal with N. Korea triggers mandatory sanctions under U.S. law.

Namibia is a beautiful desert country with a turbulent history. Some years ago, when I worked in South Africa, I flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town, took a bus across the border to Keetnamshoop, and hitch-hiked to the isolated town of Lüderitz, which sits where the barren dunes of the Namib Desert spill into the …

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Africa Interviews Refugees WTF?

Global Outrage as African Animals Are Treated Like North Korean Human Beings

It’s not just elephants that Zimbabwe is capturing and shipping to North Korea: Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe has ordered that two of every animal species in the Hwange National Park be sent to North Korea as a gift to that country’s leader, Kim Jong Il. [Johannesburg Times] Conservationists say the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, …

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Africa WTF?

Can you say, “kokiri kalbi?”

This is the cutest picture I could find. Two baby elephants intended as a gift to North Korea are unlikely to survive the journey by air, Zimbabwean conservationists said Thursday. The independent Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said the 18-month-old elephants were being held in pens in the western Hwange National Park, along with pairs of …

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