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Wednesday, 23rd June 2021
9:15:10pm

Opinion

Articles that reflect opinion

The Association of Indigenous Peoples of Taimyr has addressed to the Barents Observer, a Norwegian Internet edition demanding apologies from Pavel Sulyandziga, the head of the Batani Foundation for his statements published by this media.

The letter states that “Sulyandziga insults the indigenous residents of Taimyr, our communities, as well as the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North on the Taimyr Peninsular in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.”
On March 14, 2021, the Barents Observer published an article titled, “Indigenous peoples call on Nornickel's global partners to demand environmental action” describing the call by the Batani Foundation and other organizations working to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and the environment to international banking and credit institutions, as well as to buyers of metals produced by Norilsk Nickel, in particular the BASF corporation.
The Association of Indigenous Peoples of Taimyr believes that the Batani Foundation and other signatories have no right to speak on behalf of Taimyr residents. “We do not know what projects the Batani Foundation and its chairman are involved in. We are sure that he should not make public statements about Taimyr and the indigenous residents of the area without knowing us and not communicating with us. We did not elect Mr. Sulyandziga as our representative the way we elect heads of our communities and chairpersons of associations. Taimyr and the indigenous residents of Taimyr are beyond the competence of Mr. Sulyandziga,” says the letter of the organization representing more than 10,000 inhabitants of the peninsula.
“We consider offensive the accusations of Mr. Sulyandziga against the indigenous peoples of Taimyr that some companies bribe us, pay for loyalty and force us to paint a rosy picture,” say Taimyr residents defending their rights.
Community members objectively assess their relationship with the company: “The relationship with Norilsk Nickel, with which we have lived and worked for 85 years, did not always suit us. There were problems, but we solved them together. After the diesel oil spill, we see positive changes in policy and approaches to interaction with the indigenous minorities of Taimyr." As an example, the letter cites an agreement between Norilsk Nickel and the associations of the indigenous minorities of Russia, the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Taimyr on a five-year development program for 2 billion rubles, “which includes funds for the construction of new houses in the villages, for transport means, for the development of community crafts, and for assessment of commercial resources, fish and deer.” According to the Taimyr community members, “the Coordination Council of Indigenous Peoples established under the leadership of the Norilsk Combine will monitor and determine how efficiently the allocated funds will be used. We expect to plan the development of the community economy and the infrastructure of the villages in team with the company.” The letter also mentions the first ABC book of the Entsy language, created with the financial assistance of Norilsk Nickel, as well as the Entsy written language and grammar developed by the Siberian Federal University.
“We consider it natural to cooperate with big business for the sake of preserving the culture, languages, crafts, and traditional nature management of the Nenets, Dolgans, Nganasans, Evenks, and Enets living on the Taimyr Peninsular. Funding by a large company of projects for the development of everyday life, crafts, and culture of the indigenous peoples and payment of compensation is a generally accepted world practice, and this does not mean that someone buys someone else's loyalty or soul,” the letter says.
In their letter, the Taimyr community members ask the Barents Observer, being an authoritative edition, “to take into account the opinion of the indigenous people of Taimyr, the chairpersons of the communities, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North on the Taimyr Peninsular in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and not allow people who are not related to our land, insult us and substitute their opinion for ours, talk about the fictitious problems of Taimyr, ignoring what is really important.”
“We are protesting against using us, the indigenous peoples of Taimyr, in someone’s political and commercial games,” Grigory Dyukarev, head of the Taimyr Indigenous Peoples Association said.
 

The decline of Angola, from being Africa’s top crude producer five years ago to barely pumping more than war-torn Libya today, shows the heavy toll of a slump in oil-industry investment. 

The nation’s production has fallen by more than a third since 2015, when international oil companies started slashing investment in response to a plunge in crude prices. Despite government efforts to stimulate activity, just a handful of drilling rigs now work in the deep Atlantic waters that hold the country’s greatest resources. 

The situation could worsen as Big Oil makes another round of deep spending cuts, raising the possibility that Nigeria -- another key OPEC member -- could also suffer Angola’s fate. That would have consequences both for the oil market, which needs more supply from the cartel in the coming years, and the economic stability of a region that’s dependent on petroleum revenue. 

“It’s a struggle for West Africa to compete” when investment is scarce, said Gail Anderson, principal analyst for West Africa upstream oil and gas at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. in Edinburgh. When returns are compared to other oil provinces, “Nigeria doesn’t stack up, nor does Angola.” 

Spending Hold

Angola's oil sector shows the aftermath of peak investment

Angola’s oil production figures tell a bleak picture, especially for a economy that’s heavily dependent on petroleum exports. Crude output has held at a 15-year low of just below 1.2 million barrels a day since November, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Even Libya, where the oil industry has been crippled by a decade-long civil war, pumped more crude than Angola in December.

The seeds of this decline were sown in 2014, when surging U.S. shale production caused a price slump. As Brent crude fell from above $100 a barrel to less than $30 within a couple of years, international oil companies slashed spending around the world. 

Deep production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies eventually spurred a rebound in prices, but offshore drilling in West Africa recovered far more slowly. Then the coronavirus pandemic triggered another deep plunge in oil prices, leaving just a single drillship operating in the waters off Nigeria and Angola by the middle of 2020, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc.

“Exploration investments in Angola had been on decline since the 2014 downfall,” said Siva Prasad, senior upstream analyst at Rystad Energy AS. Some subsequent offshore projects by Eni SpA and Total SE kept the stream from drying up completely, but the global pandemic and market downturn “forced almost every oil and gas corporation to return its operations and spending plans back to the drawing board.”

Our Fault

Angola has tried to slow the decline through a broad effort including auctions of new drilling areas and the restructuring of state-owned oil company Sonangol.

The government negotiated with companies to see if they could squeeze “a little bit more” from existing fields, according to Angolan Minister of Resources and Petroleum Diamantino Pedro Azevedo. Even with that effort, the country is targeting average production of 1.22 million barrels a day for 2021, which would mean it is unable to enjoy the benefits of a higher OPEC+ output quota as the cartel opens the taps later this year.

“It’s our fault that we haven’t invested more in operations, haven’t invested more in Sonangol capabilities, haven’t invested more in refining,” Azevedo said at a press briefing in January. 

Angola is largely dependent on deep-water fields, where the natural decline in output is typically faster than onshore. Without constant investment to improve oil-recovery rates or tap additional reservoirs, production can drop rapidly.

In Nigeria, about two-thirds of production comes from shallow-water and onshore fields, where output had recovered prior to the Covid-19 pandemic as unrest in oil-producing areas eased. 

The country cut production sharply last year as part of the OPEC+ deal. Crude shipments last month fell to the lowest level in four years and output was below 1.5 million barrels a day. That’s less than half of the longstanding target it planned to reach in 2023, and deep-water drilling could potentially be “the engine of growth” for Nigeria in the years ahead, according to Wood Mackenzie’s Anderson. 

Oil prices have mostly recovered from the historic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with Brent crude rising above $65 a barrel in London. When major companies do start to spend again, fiscal terms will be crucial in determining whether Nigeria can boost investment, or share the fate of Angola.

But Nigeria increased the royalty for deep water in 2019. Companies including Total, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. have voiced concerns that the long-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill could deter investment.

“The problem for Angola is that there deep water production was already maturing and steeply declining and improved fiscal terms are not going to change the overall picture,” Anderson said. “Nigeria on the other hand has more choice and clearly could produce more if it got the fiscal and regulatory framework right.”

-Bloomberg

More than 700,000 leaked documents were made public a year ago by Rui Pinto, a Portuguese hacker and whistleblower who is currently under house arrest in his home country. They included emails, contracts and memos proving how, for years, the eldest daughter of Angola's longtime President Jose Eduardo dos Santos enriched herself with illegal business practices, corruption and nepotism. Her fortune was at times estimated at more than $3 billion (€2.5 billion).

People in Angola had known for a while that things were not as they should be, said Alexandre Neto Solombe. "Then, all of a sudden, shocking things came to light: real documents, evidence. That really shook us up," the Angolan journalist and political analyst added.

Surprisingly to Angolans, the government and the country's state media did not keep the scandal under wraps. "Angolan state television took up the issue and even attached great importance to the matter — that was new for many Angolans," Solombe said.

Kleptocracy with international backing

The leaked documents, made available to the International Network of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in January 2020, showed that Isabel dos Santos' international billion-dollar business had been conducted through a network of more than 400 companies and front companies in 41 countries, many based in tax havens like Malta, Cyprus, Mauritius and Hong Kong.

The dos Santos clan apparently wanted to move money from Angola's lucrative oil, diamond and mobile phone businesses out of the country on a grand scale. Isabel dos Santos could always count on the help of banks, consultants and law firms in Europe, especially in Portugal, once Angola's colonial master, where she held stakes in countless companies and corporations — including in the banking, energy and telecommunications sectors.

 German banks were involved, too: A subsidiary of the German KfW development bank, for instance, granted the Sodiba beverage company a €50 million loan. It was clear even then that Sodiba was part of the empire run by the president's daughter and that the intermediary Angolan bank, a partly state-owned company, answered to the president.

"Luanda Leaks is an example of how elites in countries of the Global South enrich themselves and how they can count on foreign help to divert this money, hide it in tax havens, launder it and reinvest it," said Daniel Düster, a journalist and co-author of the Paradise Watch — Luanda Leaks report published by the Bonn-based Information Center on Southern Africa (ISSA).

Witchhunt against the dos Santos clan?

Isabel dos Santos had already fallen out of favor in Angola before the Luanda Leaks scandal broke — back in 2017 when her father handed over power to Joao Lourenco after almost 40 years in office. Lourenco pledged that he would fight nepotism and corruption, and that same year he dismissed Isabel dos Santos as head of the Sonangol state oil company, a post her father had installed her in just a year earlier.

The Luanda Leaks papers proved Lourenco was on the right track, as they showed how Isabel dos Santos transferred $58 million from Sonangol to a consulting firm in Dubai the morning after her dismissal — reason enough for the Angolan judiciary to freeze Isabel dos Santos' assets and accounts in Angola. Courts in Portugal and the Netherlands also ordered the freezing of accounts of the former president's daughter.

Isabel dos Santos adamantly rejects any accusations made against her in connection with Luanda Leaks, saying they are groundless and presenting herself as the victim of an orchestrated attack by the current president.

Angola under Lourenco

Shortly after the Luanda Leaks documents were published, DW spoke to President Lourenco about the fact that he was once part of the very government that for decades covered up the machinations of the dos Santos clan.

"I was actually involved in power for many years under my predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos, among other things as a minister," Lourenco conceded in the exclusive interview. "I was also part of the system." He argued that was precisely why he was the right person to bring about change — because he knew the system from the inside.

Angolans, meanwhile, have begun to doubt the president's integrity in the face of a series of corruption scandals involving his government. The head of the presidential office and several ministers are facing allegations of corruption. Cristina Dias Lourenco, the president's daughter, was also under pressure for being instated in lucrative state positions. So far, none of these cases has been consistently prosecuted.

Is Isabel dos Santos on her way back?

In social media, Isabel dos Santos has repeatedly described the Luanda Leaks allegations as "politically motivated." She has made it clear she does not rule out returning to Angola from London to run as a presidential candidate in the elections scheduled for 2022.

She might even stand a chance, according to observers. People's anger at Isabel dos Santos has faded, said Solombe. "It has given way to anger at the current rulers." Most people in Angola have one main problem and that is hunger, the journalist said. "Hunger has wiped out whatever enthusiasm there was a year ago."

It doesn't seem Europe has learned a lesson from the leaks, either, said Düster. Without regulation, "there will always be people like Isabel dos Santos who will find the loopholes in the system to launder money and evade taxes."

 -DW

Abiy and his Amhara supporters are in the ascendancy - but Ethiopia’s future is by no means assured. Nominally in an effort to restore law and order, the federal government led by Ethiopia’s peace prize-winning premier is engaged in a brutal conflict with the defiant erstwhile leaders of Tigray region. 

Tens of thousands of refugees have fled, militias have hacked civilians to death, and an unknown number of lives have been lost. Despite Abiy Ahmed’s quick-win claims, he has plunged the country into what is likely to be a prolonged civil war that may exacerbate others and even tear the country apart.

Late on 3 November, with the world glued to the U.S.’s electoral theatrics, Abiy said Tigray’s forces attacked the military, and he adapted the Powell Doctrine for limited war. He informed Ethiopians that he sent federal forces in with clear, limited, and achievable objectives to restore the rule of law and constitutional order.

While sudden, the outbreak of full-blown conflict did not surprise observers of Ethiopian politics. The long-simmering tensions between the premier and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) were there for all to see. The parties had openly prepared their forces for armed confrontation. The question is, why has Ethiopia returned to war to settle political disagreements?

Mismanaged transition

Two years ago, a popular uprising, mainly in Oromia and Amhara regions, brought the country to the brink of collapse. To avoid the Ethiopian state’s disintegration, the reform architects agreed for the transition-to-democracy to be led by the ruling party itself, with new faces taking the helm. Hence, from the outset, it was apparent that the change would be nothing but ‘old wine in a new bottle’.

“Reform from within” was preferred to “revolution” to avoid a state collapse since TPLF controlled the national intelligence, military, and various state apparatus. Hence, if “revolution” was chosen, the architects, such as Jawar Mohammed, believed, it would have proved to be bloody, tearing apart Ethiopia.

However, the premier failed to reconcile and reintegrate the Tigrayan political, security, and economic elites into the ruling structure, and thus they felt disenfranchised and targeted.

Hence, the trust deficit between the federal government and Tigrayan elites complicated the fragile relationship, embroiling the country in armed conflict. Is that all? No. Reasons abound. The trust deficit between the federal government and TPLF boils down to two crucial factors: power and ideology. Both Abiy and TPLF want to shape Ethiopia’s future but they have clashing visions – hence, the power struggle.

Although the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was a coalition of four parties, the TPLF, representing under 10 per cent of the Ethiopian population, had been in the driving seat since 1991. Unwilling to accept its new junior status in Ethiopian politics, the party embarked on an attempt to discredit Abiy.

According to the government, TPLF undermined Abiy’s rule, incited conflict and peddled hatred, conducted regional elections (for right or wrong), and, more importantly, showed interest in reclaiming the power they lost in the name of championing a federalism they had trampled upon. Abiy, perhaps convinced by his mother’s prophesy, was also in pursuit of power at all costs. Naturally, they clashed.

The following Amharic adage captures the situation:

“ሊሆን የማይችል ነው ሁለት ጌታ ከቤት፤

አንዱ ተሸንፎ ካላለ አቤት አቤት!”

“No possibility, under the same roof,

Housing dual powers, being led by masters

Unless one defeated and a subject he becomes.”

The second contradiction stems from the type of government system. Again, there exist two irreconcilable camps:

1 – ‘MEGA Camp’: the right wing

The right-wing group, primarily drawn from the Amhara and urban elites, wants to bring back a centralist system. They consider the current system as the mother of all political problems and the cause of its instability. Abiy, especially after losing his Oromo nationalist credentials, subscribes to this camp, and both are associated with the “Make Ethiopia Great Again” “የኢትዮጵያ ከፍታ” slogan.

MEGA is for Abiy a means to an end: his self-aggrandizement. For other elites, MEGA is a return to yesteryear, to Ethiopia’s cultural and political monopolization by Amhara. Ethiopia’s continuity, unity, and stability depend on cleansing it from TPLF and its political legacies, meaning the ethno-federal system.

2 – ‘Make Ethiopia a Real Federal State Camp’: the federalists

The federalist group, favoured by nine out of the ten regional states, firmly supports the current federal arrangement that gives regional governments autonomous power. When Amhara elites shout the MEGA slogan, federalist forces hear “Make Ethiopia Amhara Again.”

Members of this camp trace Ethiopia’s political quagmire to its imperial roots and see the constitution and the federal system as right for establishing Ethiopia as a democratic state since most Ethiopians never attained full citizenry status under past systems due to formal discrimination. They see a call to past “greatness” by the right-wing camp as an invitation to renewed servitude and dispossession. For them, Ethiopia’s stability, unity, and continuity depend on the full implementation of the constitution and the federal system.

Abiy tacks right

Abiy went through two phases since coming to power. In the first, he was the champion of Oromo nationalism. “Oromo not only knows how to lead a nation but also how to build it. Together, we can build East Africa and the entire Africa. No force on earth can stop us (from doing this),” said Abiy, speaking to his Oromo comrades in Jimma on  18 March 2019.

Hence, Oromo elites started to think of themselves as the saviours of not only Ethiopia but also the Horn. The troubled Horn of Africa will heal by “Kushitic” panacea, the Oromo elites asserted.

But alas, their hopes were dashed quickly following the killing of the famous singer Hachalu Hundessa and Jawar Mohammed’s arrest, a heavyweight politician who challenged Abiy’s leadership of the transition. Oromo elites are now among Abiy’s fiercest critics, costing some their lives and others their freedom.

Displaced from the Oromo camp by politicians with better nationalist credentials such as Lemma Megersa and Jawar, Abiy pitched up in the right-wing camp. He embraced the pan-Ethiopian agenda and tipped the balance of power in favour of the anti-multinational federalists, starting his second phase.

To this end, Abiy established the Prosperity Party (PP)  in 2019 by dissolving three ex-EPRDF parties and five allied parties ruling the so-called “developing” states. The death of EPRDF, established by TPLF largely to do its bidding, sealed the end of TPLF hegemony.

One might also argue that Abiy has not joined any of the camps but has his own agenda. For instance, as the Amhara inherited the Tigrayan thesis of Ethiopianism and wrote their antithesis, similarly, the Oromos synthesize the modern-day Ethiopia of the Menelik II mold. Maybe Abiy is infusing new Oromo energy into the synthesis again so that what Oromos lost could be reclaimed, mutating Ethiopia into a new Oromo-tinged kaleidoscope.

Why crush TPLF?

Unsatisfied with prominent Oromo politicians’ jailing, the right-wing camp eyed their most significant prize—to crush the TPLF, a force behind the federalist camp. Three motivations stand out.

Control of contested lands

The Amhara thought it was an opportune time to re-control contested areas they lost to TPLF in the last three decades: Raya and Welkait. This Amharic expression aptly describes their intent

“ተከዜ አፋፍ ላይ ካልሰራኹኝ ቤቴን

እኔም አልተወለድኩ መሀን ናት እናቴ”  (Equivalent poetic translation could be as follows)

Until built by all means,

My house towering on Tekezze hills,

Higher up, till standing on its cliffs,

Consider I, never been born,

Appraise my mother arid and barren.

Erasing TPLF and its legacies

The Ethiopian ethno-federal constitution is the key target of Amhara elites. For them, TPLF introduced it to undo the nation-building project of their ancestors, pit Amhara against other nationalities, and sow the seeds for the undoing of the country.

Return to glory

The Amhara elites are determined to avenge the humiliation they suffered at the hands of the TPLF and its cronies for the last three decades and take their ‘rightful’ position in Ethiopia’s politics.

A replay of 1979?

Who thought Abiy would survive after imprisoning Jawar? And after taking on his biggest threat, the TPLF? Now, it seems a rerun of 1979 with Abiy taking Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s role. Colonel Mengistu emerged victorious from both internal and external threats against his rule. However, the initial victory did not save Mengistu from his final defeat; and it prolonged Ethiopians’ misery.

Similarly, Abiy and Ethiopia’s future has not been sealed by the federal control of Mekelle, nor by the capture and killing of TPLF leaders. Instead, it all depends on how Abiy plays the emerging multi-dimensional chess game, taking into consideration:

  • the interests of the West that does not want a failed state in Ethiopia
  • forging an alliance with Eritrea, thus amalgamating the military and intelligence machinations of both countries decimating the pro-TPLF forces, and;
  • building it on empowering the Oromo alliance under the Shewa Oromo mould. This approach will either prolong his reign or hasten his demise—with the possibility of both Ethiopia’s integration or disintegration.

Potential Scenarios

Ethiopia’s ideal case would be to bravely look at the facts and for the warring political tribes to reach a consensus before the 5 June election. That is, however, unlikely given the current context.

Instead, below are the three most likely scenarios for Ethiopia’s future under Abiy:

PP and new party-state

Abiy’s government will manage internal rivalries and mitigate external pressure. The election will take place amid high security and some turmoil, especially in Oromia, Tigray, and Southern Nations. Opposition parties will likely share around a quarter of federal seats to make the election plausible and enhance the government’s legitimacy.

However, there is also now the likely non-participation of the main Oromo opposition parties. If this happens, the legitimacy of the state suffers a big dent.

Regardless, with any kind of majority, Prosperity Party would probably attempt to negotiate a new federal arrangement not based on ethnicity so that the empire state of Ethiopia shall continue with the ‘right’ amount of change and continuity.

Expansion of civil war

The second scenario would emerge alongside genuine regional state power. The shift of power from the north to south Ethiopia would contribute to the early retirement of the Abyssinian empire. 

Another factor pushing this scenario is the Amhara reaction to incidents. The Amhara, the self-proclaimed custodians of Ethiopia’s empire state, are nervous, for instance, about the existence of paramilitary security forces that they think empower regions to defy the central government. But if there is federal overreach in this area, it could well cause a violent and destabilizing backlash.

More so, Amharas, unlike other major ethnic groups, live in all parts of Ethiopia. Emotions stemming from the targeting killings of Amharas in other regions, if not tamed, would re-energize other groups’ grievances, pushing the country closer to widespread civil war.  We can see this playing out in Benishangul-Gumuz already. Further instability may also be prompted by the sorry state of the Ethiopian economy, with youth unemployment rising even pre-pandemic.

State of Emergency

An internal power struggle coupled with external pressures from Sudan and Egypt may develop into a wider regional war that urges the country to proclaim another national State of Emergency (SoE), leading to the incumbent’s continuation for an unspecified time.

The risk here is unbearably high. However, the war would be an excellent chance for Abiy to stay in power and crush remaining opponents.

The result of this would be unpredictable but has comparable opportunities for disintegration and unity. For instance, what if the army takes control to ‘save’ the country from collapse, as happened in Egypt in 2013?

On January 11, as a result of a tragic accident Kurt Willy Oddekalv, the world renowned ecologist and activist, died. He  was the founder and head of the Norwegian Environmental Protection Organisation (Norges Miljøvern Forbund) and the environmental organization Green Warriors of Norway.

On Monday evening, while walking on ice on Lake Bahusvatnet near Bergen, Norway, Kurt Oddekalv died while walking through ice, local police said dryly in a press release.

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway: "It was a very sad message to receive. I want to send my condolences to the family. Kurten was a clear environmentalist who spoke out so everyone heard it, and I have had many discussions with him for over 30 years. His commitment was genuine, and he worked tirelessly for the causes and ideas he believed in. Oddekalv was controversial, but there is no doubt that the environmental movement has lost a clear voice." 

Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister of Climate and Environment: "We have received sad news. Oddekalv has a lifelong environmental commitment. He is a non-traditional type who has caused a lot of controversy, but his commitment to nature is tireless."

Timofey Surovtsev, head of the POMOR Center for Environmental Monitoring in the Barents Region: "This is an absolutely irreplaceable loss! Loss for the entire global environmental movement! We met 3 years ago, and for me Kurt was a kind of Thor Heyerdahl - daring, uncompromising, often shocking, for 30 years he was a formidable and dangerous environmental warrior for the Norwegian government! In his determined struggle for the cleanliness of the environment, Kurt steadily went to his goal and opened for us all the new unique qualities that we tried to learn from him."

Kurt Willie Oddekalv, 63, was trained as a carpenter. He began his activist career at the Association for Nature Conservation, but was expelled from it due to internal disagreements. It was then, in 1993, that he founded his own organization, the Norwegian Environmental Protection Organisation.

He was a very inconvenient as a critic on the Norwegian environmental agenda. Norwegian businessmen threatened him with violence. He was feared and at the same time respected by Norwegian officials. The leader of the Environmental Protection Union of Norway, Kurt Oddekalv, spent millions of dollars to save the ecosystem of the northern seas. 

"Kurt was a powerful fighter and warrior. He was a serious opponent of the Norwegian government, which, in his opinion, made a lot of decisions that harmed the country's ecology," says Timofey Surovtsev, head of the Pomor Center for Environmental Consulting and Monitoring. "Lately he went on strike against wind energy facilities, which, in his opinion, caused enormous damage to the environment. He was outraged by the mines, which were allowed to dump waste into the fjords; a mass of heavy metals went into the water."

Kurt was a controversial environmental activist and repeatedly performed tricks on the brink of the law: he defiantly blew up cars at the embassies of producing countries, sprayed milk mixtures on fish farms, picketed Norwegian mines, for which he had been several times arrested and fined.

One of his main ecological battles is the rise from the bottom of the Norwegian sea of ​​a German submarine, which was liquidated by the Allies in February 1945. As it turned out much later, the submarine was carrying a deadly cargo to Japan - tons of mercury, which now rest at a depth of 150 meters and pose a catastrophic threat to the entire marine North. Oddekalv insisted that the submarine, along with the dangerous cargo, must be lifted before it was too late.

"We keep pointing out to Russia that it has a lot of waste and emissions and it must remove it. But the incidents with the waste ore and the mercury boat show what problems Norway has. Russia can say: we are your neighbors, deal with your garbage cans," said the Norwegian ecologist.

Among the issues that brought fame toKurt Oddekalv are the fight against pesticides in agriculture, the revolt against wind energy, opposition to Norwegian and international mining companies that dump toxic waste into the fjords, and raising awareness of the Norwegian aquaculture industry, saying that it "grows poisoned salmon".

He was an anti-salmon campaigner, thus causing big businessmen big problems. He blamed the government for allowing the toxic waste of the Nussir Copper Mine to be dumped into the national reserve where wild salmon spawn, thereby poisoning its population with heavy metals. Norway is one of the few countries in the world where you can officially dump all industrial waste in the sea. In general, Oddekalv frankly interfered with very many, experts say.

“This is a number of corporations - for instance, the aquaculture business, which brings in about two to three billion euros. This is the second most profitable business after mining. Do you understand how much money is at stake? He fought these farms, and this infuriated the fish lobby. Anything could have happened …, " says Timofey Surovtsev.

In recent years, they all clearly attempted to ruin him but did not secceed. He seemed impossible to break. But ... Why Kurt, who knows the area like no one else, decided to walk on thin ice, apparently, will remain a mystery.

-ETE

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