Tag Archive | Sudan

U.N. Report Confirms the Obvious: Reveals 3 Nations Producing Most Refugees Were Targets of U.S. Intervention*

U.N. Report Confirms the Obvious: Reveals 3 Nations Producing Most Refugees Were Targets of U.S. Intervention*

A U.N. report has shown that more than 65 million people were forced to leave their home countries last year, becoming refugees due to deadly conflict. The top nations from which refugees fled have one thing in common, they were all targets of U.S. intervention.

By Whitney Webb

Afghan refugee Rasoul Nazari, 15, holds his 10-month-old nephew Imran after crossing the border between Hungary and Austria in Nickelsdorf, Austria. (AP/Muhammed Muheisen)

A United Nations report has shed light on the world’s burgeoning crisis of displaced peoples, finding that a record 65.6 million were forced to vacate their homes in 2016 alone. More than half of them were minors.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which drafted the report, put the figure into perspective, stating that increasing conflict and persecution worldwide have led to “one person being displaced every three seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.”

U.N. High Commissioner Filippo Grandi called the figure “unacceptable” and called for “solidarity and a common purpose in preventing and resolving the crisis.”

However, what the U.N. report failed to mention was the role of U.S. foreign intervention, indirect or direct, in fomenting the conflicts responsible for producing most of the world’s refugees.

According to the report, three of the nations producing the highest number of refugees are Syria (12 million refugees created in 2016), Afghanistan (4.7 million) and Iraq (4.2 million).

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are known to be the direct result of U.S. military invasions in the early 2000s, as well as the U.S.’ ongoing occupation of those nations. Decades after invading both countries, the U.S.’ destabilizing military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has continued to increase in recent years, with the Trump administration most recently announcing plans to send thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan in the coming months. It is worth noting that each U.S. soldier in Afghanistan costs U.S. taxpayers $2.1 million.

While the U.S. has yet to directly invade Syria, the U.S. role in the conflict is clear and Syria’s destabilization and the overthrow of its current regime have long been planned by the U.S. government. The U.S. and its allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia, have consistently funded “rebel” groups that have not only perpetuated the Syrian conflict for six long years, but have also committed atrocity after atrocity targeting civilians in Syrian cities, towns, and communities – a major factor in convincing Syrians to leave their homes.

The report ranks Colombia as the world’s second-largest producer of refugees, with 7.7 million Colombians displaced in 2016. Like Syria, the U.S. has not directly invaded Colombia, but is known to have extensively funded paramilitary groups, also known as “death squads,” in the country since the 1980s, when then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan declared a “war on drugs” in Colombia.

U.S. efforts have long helped fuel the civil war between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and pro-government, U.S.-funded paramilitary groups. This conflict has lasted for more than half a century.

In 2000, then-President Bill Clinton’s administration funded the disastrous “Plan Colombia” with $4 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds, ostensibly to fight drug trafficking and insurgents. Almost all of this money was used to fund the Colombian military and its weapon purchases. “Plan Colombia” ultimately intensified armed violence, military deployments, human rights abuses by the Colombian military, and – of course – the internal displacement of Colombians. The legacy of U.S. policy in Colombia and its continuing support of the nation’s right-wing, neo-liberal regime have ensured that the chaos continues into the present.

Clinton ran on Plan Colombia and its sponsoring right wing death squads. https://t.co/yoE56yQLzP

— Tailfoot McWalshy (@BuglegsMcWalshy) March 10, 2017

In addition to the above, U.S foreign policy is also to blame for the conflict in South Sudan, where the UN report found was home to the fastest-growing displacement of people in the world. In 2011, the U.S. pushed South Sudan to secede from Sudan, as South Sudan holds the vast majority of Sudan’s oil reserves — the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. The U.S.’ push for the creation of an independent South Sudan dislodged Chinese claims to Sudanese oil, as the Chinese had previously signed oil contracts with the (now Northern) Sudanese government.

But when nation-building efforts went awry and civil war broke out just two years later, some analysts suggested that the conflict only started when South Sudan’s president began to cozy up to China. According to the UN report, approximately 3.3 million people in South Sudan have fled their homes since the war began.

Grandi has called on the world’s nations to help prevent and resolve the global refugee crisis. But he would also do well to point out the common cause uniting many of the world’s worst conflicts – the U.S. military-industrial complex’s insatiable lust for conquest, power and profit.

Source*

Related Topics:

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

Trump To Continue Bankrupting The U.S. Through Foreign Wars*

Chinese Billionaire Says U.S. Wasted Trillions on Wars and Wall Street and Forgot about their Citizens*

Massive Sandstorm Sweeps through Khartoum, Sudan*

Massive Sandstorm Sweeps through Khartoum, Sudan*

A massive sandstorm swept through the Sudanese capital Khartoum on June 1, 2017, turning day into night and burying several homes.

The storm has brought vast amounts of sand and dust into the city, burying several homes and severely limiting visibility, CGTN reported.

“Ecosystems and natural resources in the country have been deteriorating due to climate change. Water supplies are scarce and severe droughts are common. After years of desertification, the country’s rich biodiversity is under threat and drought has hindered the fight against hunger,” the paper said.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.N. to Send 4,000 Soldiers to South Sudan despite Govt. Opposition*

Rothschilds and Glencore South Sudan Oil Grab

Sudan Seizes “Anonymous ” GM Soybean Shipment*

US and UK Second Stage of Re- Colonizing South Sudan*

Sudanese Pilgrim Regains Eyesight in Prophet’s (SAWS) Mosque*

“I came so close to taking my own life again, that I knew it was time to change things”

“I came so close to taking my own life again, that I knew it was time to change things”

My name is Khadija Abdelhamid.

I want to share my story, so if you’re reading this and you’re feeling suicidal, you want to give up, confused about your current stage in life or even if you’re looking for something to inspire you to get up and achieve greatness then this is for you. My story is simple, but my journey was hard.

I moved to the U.K. with my mother from Sudan in 1997, and my father was already in London. I was six years old and I didn’t speak a word of English. I remember barely being able to read or speak my own mother tongue, Arabic, and I was already being expected to pick up a new language, so I demanded from my parents to send me on the first flight back to Sudan.

I hated the idea of moving away from my family and everything that was familiar to me but eventually I had to get used to it and a few months later, I started going to school. I remember my first day in school like it was yesterday; it was the most unpleasant memory. We were all sat on the carpet floor whilst my teacher was taking the register and I really needed to use the toilet, but I didn’t know how to communicate it to my teacher in English, so I ended up urinating on the carpet.

The whole class found out and they made sure to not let me forget it. Nobody wanted to hang around with me, so I was always alone during playtime and lunchtime and this went on for a few months. My mum’s friend then decided to give me English lessons 3 or 4 days a week at home and I slowly started to learn English and I felt a bit more confident in school. Whilst I was learning to speak English, my teacher introduced me to a girl named Hanin from Libya; she translated for me every lesson and to this day, I am absolutely grateful for all she did for me.

I left primary school in 2002 and started secondary school. I then left secondary school in 2006 and everything between those four years of my life is the reason why I am here sharing my story with you. Secondary school was one of the most difficult, painful and worst years of my life and I’m not over exaggerating. My first day in secondary school reminded me of when I first started primary school or when I first to moved to London, it was being in that whole new environment and not knowing anyone, again.

My life in secondary took a dramatic change when I decided to attempt committing suicide in year 10. I tried to take my life in several ways, jumping off a train platform (I was tempted but never did it), cutting my wrists and I even burnt my hands. I would cut my wrists almost everyday and today I’m lucky that I didn’t damage a major nerve. I would burn my hands with matchsticks and I’m blessed I don’t have any scars left to this day. I eventually reached a point when I was in year 10 and I felt there was too much pressure from home and school and my grades weren’t really giving me hope either.

Secondary school was hell on earth for me for different reasons, one of which was that I was constantly bullied. I was bullied by some of my teachers (emotional bullying) and one particular student (physical bullying). My teachers would remind me everyday that I “wouldn’t amount to much’’ or that I “wouldn’t get far in life,’’ but I refused to believe them because they based my intellect on my grades, rather than my potential. As I said before, self-belief is everything.

When I left secondary school, I left with one GCSE and no 6th Form or College was going to accept me because I had failed my GCSEs. My secondary school had their own 6th Form, so they allowed me to do BTEC courses and from there, I went to study A-Levels. A few months into my A-Level course and my depression reached its peak and I decided to turn to self-harm again because I was being bullied (emotionally) by a group of girls who called themselves ‘Angels and Devils.’ My depression eventually made me lose motivation, so I failed my A-Levels completely. I got a few U’s, a couple of D’s and an X grade, and to this day, I don’t know what that means.

I finished my A-Levels in 2010 and two years later, I had nothing going for me – I didn’t even have a job. I remember one day, something triggered me and I was home alone at the time. I was having the worst anxiety attack and I thought to myself I couldn’t take this any longer. I came so close to taking my life again that my heart started beating with fear. It was from that fear that I ran to my GP and signed up for counselling.

I was seen within the next 24 hours. I took counselling for six weeks and at the end of my sixth session, my counsellor told me I showed no sign of self-harm or suicidal thoughts so she recommended for me to either take anti-depressants or to take further counselling, but I refused both. She then told me to work on my self-esteem and I felt that was the safest suggestion, so I decided to try it out. I left her office that day and made a promise to myself that one day, I would be successful, significant and become an inspiration to others. I had to start my life from the beginning so I decided to sign up for college and taking my counsellor’s advice on board, I started working on my self-esteem. I was on YouTube one day and I came across a motivational speaker called Eric Thomas and through him, I discovered personal development.

Eric Thomas inspired me to reinvent my life. I then started my own YouTube Channel called Dose Of Inspiration in 2016 where I motivated and inspired young people to follow their dreams and from the same platform, I also share my own life lessons and experiences. I called my channel Dose Of Inspiration because it was the ‘’doses’’ of personal development that helped me, rather than the anti-depressants. Last year April, I released a spoken word poem about my journey with Mental Health on my YouTube Channel called “Dear Depression.” The video reached 95 countries in 6 days. I then gained media attention and did interviews with The Huffington Post, BBC, The Independent, Reuters TV, Islam Channel, British Muslim TV and Ahlulbayt TV.

Today, I am an entrepreneur, a public speaker, a YouTuber, a spoken word artist and most importantly, I am a mental health activist. I recently started organising my own networking events for young people in London to empower and encourage young people to follow their dreams, regardless of their current background, circumstances, environment or skills. I want to provide them with the support I never had growing up when I was in secondary school and college. My event was called ‘Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Dreams’ and in November 2016, I won an award for being the most active young person in the community throughout London.

I want you to remember you are very, very special and there isn’t anybody in this world that could ever replace you, your talents and most importantly, your story. Your story is your armour, your strength and your message to the world and you should never ever allow someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.

I never did.

I remember reading somewhere that the difference between school and life is that school teaches us a lesson and then gives us the test, but life gives us the test and then teaches us the lesson. Also, did I mention that I finally graduated in 2016? I graduated with a 2:1 degree despite failing in secondary school and having no A-Levels. It took me six years to graduate and four college failures to get into University so never, ever, ever give up and always strive to be the somebody nobody thought you could be.

I believe that we all have the capacity to achieve our goals and dreams if we decide to take that first step of self-belief. Self-belief is the key to ultimate success, it’s the foundation and whatever we decide to plant for our foundation we will eventually reap what we sowed.

Source*

Related Topics:

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

U.N. to Send 4,000 Soldiers to South Sudan despite Govt. Opposition*

100+ Year Old Took up Running to Beat Depression Wins the Fastest 100M*

Politics as Therapy: They want us to be just Sick Enough not to Fight Back*

Antidepressants Change the Functionality of the Brain*

Laughter the Best Medicine in Depressing Times

Common Sense from ‘Experts’ on Post-Natal Depression

The Effects of Fluoride on Consciousness and the Will to Act*

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

Imminent Starvation Resulting from U.S. Led Wars: U.N. Officials Warn of Worst Famine Crisis Since World War II*

By Patrick Martin

More than 20 million people face imminent starvation in four countries, United Nations officials warned over the weekend, the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II. All four countries—Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria—are wracked by civil wars in which the U.S. government is implicated in funding and arming one of the contending sides.

U.N. emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien gave a report to the U.N. Security Council Friday detailing the conditions in the four countries, and the UN issued published further materials on the crisis Saturday, seeking to raise $4.4 billion in contributions for emergency relief before the end of March. So far, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, only $90 million has been pledged, barely two percent of the total needed.

As outlined by U.N. officials, the populations most immediately at risk number 7.3 million in Yemen, 2.9 million in Somalia, 5 million in South Sudan, and 5.1 million in Nigeria, for a total of 20.3 million. The number of children suffering symptoms of acute malnutrition is estimated at 462,000 in Yemen, 185,000 in Somalia, 270,000 in South Sudan, and 450,000 in Nigeria, for a total of nearly 1.4 million.

While adverse weather conditions, particularly drought, are a contributing factor in the humanitarian disasters, the primary cause is civil war, in which each side is using food supplies as a weapon, deliberately starving the population of the “enemy.”

U.S.-backed forces are guilty of such war crimes in all four countries, and it is American imperialism, the principal backer of the Saudi intervention in Yemen and the government forces in Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, which is principally responsible for the danger of famine and the growing danger of a colossal humanitarian disaster.

The worst-hit country is Yemen, where U.S.-armed and directed military units from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf monarchies are at war with Houthi rebels who overthrew the U.S.-installed president two years ago. Some 19 million people, two-thirds of the country’s population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The Saudi forces, which fight alongside Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, control the country’s major ports, including Aden and Hodeida, and are backed by U.S. Navy units in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in imposing a blockade on the region controlled by the Houthis in the west and north of the country.

U.S. forces operations range throughout the country, with drone missile strikes and occasional raids, like the disastrous attack on a village at the end of January in which at least 30 Yemeni civilians were killed, many of them small children, and one U.S. Special Forces soldier was shot to death.

In Somalia, the protracted civil war between the U.S.-backed government in Mogadishu and Al Shabab militias, who control most of the country’s south, has laid waste to a country which already suffered a devastating famine in 2011, and has been ravaged by civil war for most the past quarter-century.

At least half the country’s population, more than six million people, is in need of humanitarian aid, according to U.N. estimates. Drought conditions have killed off much of the country’s animal population. In Somalia, too, U.S. military units continue to operate, carrying out Special Forces raids and drone missile strikes. There is also an extensive spillover of Somali refugees into neighboring Kenya, where another 2.7 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.

The civil war in South Sudan is a conflict between rival tribal factions of a U.S.-backed regime that was created through Washington’s intervention into a long-running civil war in Sudan. After a U.S.-brokered treaty and a referendum approving separation, South Sudan was established as a newly independent state in 2011.

Tribal conflicts within the new state have been exacerbated by drought, extreme poverty, and the struggle to control the country’s oil reserves, its one significant natural resource, which is largely exported through neighboring Sudan to China. The country is landlocked, making transport of emergency food supplies more difficult.

The crisis in South Sudan was said to be the most acute of the four countries where famine alerts were being sounded, with some 40% of the population facing starvation. Last month, U.N. officials declared a full-scale famine alert for 100,000 people in South Sudan. A cholera epidemic has also been reported.

The famine crisis in Nigeria is likewise the byproduct of warfare, this time between the Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram and the government of Nigeria, which has military support from the US and Britain. The focal point of this conflict has been the Lake Chad region, where Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger share borders. This is the most densely populated and fertile of the four areas threatened with famine.

A recent offensive by Nigerian government forces pushed backed Boko Haram and uncovered the extent of the suffering among the local population in the region, where food supplies were cut off as part of the U.S.-backed military campaign.

U.S. military forces range throughout the Sahel region, the vast area on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert which encompasses much of western Africa. The armed forces of French and German imperialism are also active in former French colonies like Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as further south, in the Central African Republic.

According to the U.N. reports, the humanitarian disaster in Yemen has accelerated in recent months. The number of Yemenis in immediate danger of starvation jumped from four million to seven million in the past month. One child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from a preventable disease.

When the U.N. humanitarian chief’s mission was in Yemen last week, it was able to secure safe passage for the first truckload of humanitarian supplies to the besieged city of Taiz, the country’s third largest, which has been blockaded for the past seven months.

The debate on O’Brien’s report to the UN Security Council featured one hypocritical statement after another by imperialist powers like the US, Britain, France, Japan and Italy, as well as by China and Russia, all bemoaning the suffering, but all concealing the real cause of the deepening crisis.

Typical were the remarks of the U.S. representative, Michele Sison, who declared,

 “Every member of the Security Council should be outraged that the world was confronting famine in the year 2017. Famine is a man-made problem with a man-made solution.”

She called on the parties engaged in fighting in the four countries to “prioritize access to civilians” and “not obstruct aid”—although that is exactly what the U.S.-backed forces are doing, particularly in Yemen, and to a lesser extent in the other three countries.

The U.N. report does not cover other humanitarian crises also classified by the World Food Program as “level three,” the most serious, including Iraq, Syria, Central African Republic and the Philippines (the first three due to civil war, the last due to the impact of several Pacific typhoons). Nor does it cover the devastating civil conflict in Libya or Afghanistan, ravaged by nearly 40 years of continuous warfare.

Nor does it review the worldwide total of people in acute need of food assistance, estimated at 70 million in 45 countries, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. This figure is up 40 percent since 2015, as a result of escalating civil wars, drought and other climate-driven events, and rising food prices.

The World Food Program experienced a shortfall in contributions of nearly one-third in 2016, receiving only $5.9 billion from donors towards a total outlay of $8.6 billion, forcing the agency to cut rations for refugees in Kenya and Uganda. Total unfunded humanitarian aid appeals came to $10.7 billion in 2016, larger than the combined total of such appeals in 2012.

While these sums are gargantuan in terms of the need, they are a drop in the bucket compared to the resources squandered by the major powers on war and militarism. The total deficit in humanitarian aid amounts to less than three days’ worth of global military spending. The $4.4 billion in aid sought for the famine crisis is half of what the US Pentagon spends in a typical week.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. World Population Control Programme Revealed Creates War and Famine*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

US-Saudi Man-Made Famine Threatens 20 Million Yemenis*

Hundreds Dying from Hunger as Severe Drought Grips Somalia*

Starvation Is an Imperial Resource for Britain*

Indigenous Australians being Starved by their Occupiers*

Fallujah’s Residents Starving, Murdered, Besieged by U.S. Backed Government Forces and ISIS*

 

 

 

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

LA Judge Issues Most Sweeping Order Yet against Trump Immigration Ban

By Susan Seager

A Los Angeles federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of part of President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee ban. This order may be the most sweeping order yet against Trump’s executive action.

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ordered the federal government late Tuesday to allow the 28 Yemeni-American plaintiffs in the new lawsuit to be granted entry to the United States on the grounds that they obtained valid visas overseas and were unlawfully blocked from entering the United States.

Unlike the previous federal court orders that appeared to focus on mandating the release of detained travelers who already arrived at U.S. airports,  Birotte’s order requires federal officials to allow persons from the seven banned countries to come to the United States even though they are still overseas, so long as they have valid U.S. immigration visas.

Birotte, the former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, is the sixth federal judge to issue an order freezing part of Trump’s travel ban. This new case is Mohammed v. United States.

Birotte’s order was broadly worded and not restricting to helping the plaintiffs.

Not only did Birotte block federal officials “from … removing, detaining, or blocking the entry of Plaintiffs,” but the judge also froze the removal, detention and blocking the entry of “any other person from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with a valid immigrant visa.”

Judge Birotte also ordered the federal government “to IMMEDIATELY inform all relevant airport, airline, and other authorities at Los Angeles International Airport and International Airport in Djibouti that [the Yemeni] Plaintiffs are permitted to travel to the United States on their valid immigrant visas.”

The lawsuit and related filings were filed Tuesday under seal. The plaintiffs are 28 Yemeni-Americans, including United States citizens living here and family members who remained behind in Yemen but had received immigrant visas to come to the U.S., according to a newspaper report.

Before Birotte issued his order,  judges in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Boston, Seattle and Alexandria, Virginia issued different temporary injunctions restraining federal enforcement of parts of  Trump’s travel ban last weekend, although the other orders dealt with immigrants who had already arrived in the United States, not those  stranded overseas.

Trump’s executive order blocks citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from coming to the U.S. for at least 90 days, bans refugees for 120 days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely. No new travel or immigration visas are being given to people from these countries.

When the refugee ban is lifted, Trump’s order says that the United States will give preference to minority religions in the seven Muslim-majority countries, and Trump told the Christian Broadcasting Network that his executive order would give priority to Christians.  “So we are going to help them,” he said of Christians in the Middle East.

Judge Birotte’s order did not order the federal government to issue new immigration visas, but requires the government to honor “valid immigration visas” issued before Trump’s executive order. The order does not apply to refugees or those with tourist visas.

Under Birotte’s order, government officials apparently can no longer instruct airlines and border officials outside the United States to block immigrants from the seven countries from boarding airplanes to the United States even though those immigrants had obtained valid visas before Trump’s order.

In the Los Angeles lawsuit, the Yemeni families argued Trump’s order violates their right to due process, unlawfully targets Muslims based on their religion in violation of the First Amendment, among other constitutional arguments.

The plaintiffs had left war-torn Yemen and obtained their U.S. immigration visas in the nearby country of Djibouti, Africa, after completing the U.S.’s vetting process and before Trump issued his executive order, but were blocked from leaving Africa.

Birotte instructed government attorneys to file written arguments defending the executive order and both sides to appear at a Feb. 10 hearing.

Source*

Related Topics:

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Congress Just Passed Part of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan in the Budget Bill*

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Jewish Members of Trump Administration Might Explain a Few Things*

Giving Thanks for a Nation of Migrants, Refugees, and Immigrants*

Native American Council offers Amnesty to 220 million Undocumented Whites*

When the Sahara was Green*

When the Sahara was Green*

Researchers Peter deMenocal and Jessica Tierney examine a core of marine sediments taken off the coast of West Africa. The two used that and other marine cores to figure out the Sahara’s climate 25,000 years into the past. (Photo: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

Researchers Peter deMenocal and Jessica Tierney examine a core of marine sediments taken off the coast of West Africa. The two used that and other marine cores to figure out the Sahara’s climate 25,000 years into the past. (Photo: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

A UA-led team has identified the climate pattern that generated a “Green Sahara” from 5,000 to 11,000 years ago. The region had 10 times the rainfall it does today.

The Sahara Desert extends eastward from the Atlantic Ocean some 3,000 miles to the Nile River and the Red Sea, and southward from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Mediterranean shores more than 1,000 miles to the savannah called the Sahel. More than 16 times the size of France, the Sahara Desert blankets nearly all of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Niger; the southern half of Tunisia; and the northern parts of Mali, Chad and Sudan. Image credit: NASA’s MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)

The Sahara Desert extends eastward from the Atlantic Ocean some 3,000 miles to the Nile River and the Red Sea, and southward from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Mediterranean shores more than 1,000 miles to the savannah called the Sahel. More than 16 times the size of France, the Sahara Desert blankets nearly all of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Niger; the southern half of Tunisia; and the northern parts of Mali, Chad and Sudan. Image credit: NASA’s MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)

The Sahara Desert extends eastward from the Atlantic Ocean some 3,000 miles to the Nile River and the Red Sea, and southward from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and the Mediterranean shores more than 1,000 miles to the savannah called the Sahel. More than 16 times the size of France, the Sahara Desert blankets nearly all of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Niger; the southern half of Tunisia; and the northern parts of Mali, Chad and Sudan. Image credit: NASA’s MODIS instrument (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)

By Mari N. Jensen

Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year “Green Sahara” period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research led by a UA geoscientist.

What is now the Sahara Desert was the home to ‘hunter-gatherers’ who made their living off the animals and plants that lived in the region’s savannahs and wooded grasslands 5,000 to 11,000 years ago.

“It was 10 times as wet as today,” said lead author Jessica Tierney of the University of Arizona. Annual rainfall in the Sahara now ranges from about 4 inches to less than 1 inch (100 to 35 mm).

Although other research had already identified the existence of the Green Sahara period, Tierney and her colleagues are the first to compile a continuous record of the region’s rainfall going 25,000 years into the past.

The team’s paper, “Rainfall regimes of the Green Sahara,” was scheduled for publication in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday.

The multi-corer device being lowered into the ocean takes eight one-foot cores from the seafloor. Scientists analyze such cores for clues to the climate of the past several thousand years. (Photo: Peter deMenocal)

The multi-corer device being lowered into the ocean takes eight one-foot cores from the seafloor. Scientists analyze such cores for clues to the climate of the past several thousand years. (Photo: Peter deMenocal)

Archaeological evidence shows humans occupied much of the Sahara during the wet period, but left for about a thousand years around 8,000 years ago — the middle of the Green Sahara period.

Other investigators have suggested the Sahara became drier at the time people left, but the evidence was not conclusive, said Tierney, a UA associate professor of geosciences.

Her team’s continuous rainfall record shows a thousand-year period about 8,000 years ago when the Sahara became drier. That drier period coincides with when people left, she said.

“It looks like this thousand-year dry period caused people to leave,” Tierney said.

“What’s interesting is the people who came back after the dry period were different — most raised cattle. That dry period separates two different cultures. Our record provides a climate context for this change in occupation and lifestyle in the western Sahara.”

Tierney and her colleagues also used their rainfall record to suggest ways current climate models can better replicate the Sahara’s ancient climate and therefore improve projections of future climate.

Tierney’s co-authors are Francesco Pausata of Stockholm University in Sweden and Peter deMenocal of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Swedish Research Council funded the research.

Researchers had long known the Sahara was much greener in the past, but how much of the Sahara was wetter and how much wetter was not well understood, Tierney said. Although scientists can learn about past climate by examining ancient lake sediments, in the Sahara the lakes dried up long ago and their sediments have blown away.

Instead of lake sediments, Tierney and her colleagues used cores of marine sediments taken off the coast of West Africa at four different sites. Because the cores were taken over a north-south distance of about 800 miles (1,300 km) — from offshore Cape Ghir, Morocco, to the northwestern corner of Mauritania — the cores revealed both the ancient rainfall patterns and the areal extent of the Green Sahara.

In terrestrial plants, the chemical composition of a leaf’s wax changes depending on how dry or wet the climate was when the plant was growing. Leaf wax also washes into the ocean and can be preserved in the marine sediments that are laid down year after year.

“The waxes record the climate conditions on land,” Tierney said.

By analyzing the leaf wax from ancient marine sediments, the team determined the region’s past rainfall patterns and also gathered clues about what types of plants were growing.

The team also wanted to know whether the conditions on land interacted with the atmosphere to affect climate, because most of the current climate models don’t simulate the Green Sahara period well, she said.

The amount of solar radiation the Earth receives during the Northern Hemisphere summer depends on where the Earth’s “wobble,” known as precession, is in its 23,000-year cycle.

At the beginning of the Green Sahara, the Northern Hemisphere was closer to the sun during summer. Warmer summers strengthened the West African monsoon and delivered more rain. Toward the end of the Green Sahara, the Northern Hemisphere was farther from the sun and the West African monsoon was weaker.

There’s a feedback between vegetation, dust and rainfall, Tierney said. Right now the Sahara Desert is the planet’s biggest source of dust — but a vegetated Sahara would produce much less dust.

Co-author Francesco Pausata added additional factors — more vegetation and less dust — to a climate model. His changes improved how well the model replicated the amount of rainfall during the Green Sahara and dry periods.

“Getting a better handle on the important influence of the vegetation and dust feedback will help us simulate future climate change in the Sahara and Sahel,” Tierney said.

Source*

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Hidden Human History*

Biblical Garden of Eden Discovered in Iraq’s Marshes?*

Rujm el-Hirri: The Stonehenge of Syria

Looted Palmyra Treasures Discovered in Geneva Warehouse*

Olmecs: The People behind the Long Count were not Mayans*

Secret History of the British People*

The Genocide of the Peoples of Europe*

Erasing a People from History: Australian Pygmies*

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DNA study Proves Indigenous Australians Date Back 50,000 yrs*

DNA Testing Proves Genealogy of indigenous Americans is One of the Most Unique in the World*

U.N. to Send 4,000 Soldiers to South Sudan despite Govt. Opposition*

U.N. to Send 4,000 Soldiers to South Sudan despite Govt. Opposition*

By Jim W. Dean

By Thomas Mattingly, with Press TV

Editor’s Note:  The Sudan-South Sudan struggle seems like one that will compete historically with some if the European ones like the Thirty Year’s War, the kind where the civilians suffer disproportionately.

This increase in the U.N. forces over the objection of the country is showing quite a turn in events. Usually these Africa wars are “allowed” to drag on to keep the region destabilized as a disincentive for major resource extraction investment.

The continent itself is sitting on an ocean of oil, which would keep oil prices tanked for over a 100 years if the production was brought on line. Paying for Boko Haram’s guns, ammo and satellite phones is a much cheaper way for the big commodity concerns to maintain their profit margins, which they surely intend to do, by hook or by crook.

Sudan seems to be reaching a tipping point and PressTV has picked up another VT talent with Thomas Mattingly, one of those quiet behind the scenes people who have been on the ground with some of these faraway conflicts and involved with advising the governments.

Thomas was part of the VT team that we took Syria a few weeks before the Russian air campaign got cranked up full bore. He was also with us when the Grand Mufti invited us by for our last visit of that trip.

We live in an age where too many try to do it all at long distance, but where there is no substitute for boots on the ground where you can build the personal relationships to get hard, realistic input from those who are in the middle of these disputes, day in and day outJim W. Dean]

Endless war – for those who can least afford it

 

The United Nations Security Council has approved a resolution for the deployment of an additional 4000 troops to South Sudan.

The U.S.-drafted resolution was adopted with 11 votes in favour and four abstentions by Russia, China, Egypt and Venezuela. The more robust resolution allows peacekeepers more power. South Sudan has rejected the U.N. resolution and says it will not cooperate with the United Nations.

It had earlier agreed to accept the extra troops as a separate force from the regional Ee-GAD bloc, but not under the mandate of the United Nations. The government’s position raises the possibility of clashes between blue helmets and the country’s armed forces. The resolution threatens to impose an arms embargo if the government blocks the deployment.

Commentator:  Thomas J. Mattingly
Former consultant to the U.S. legal representative for the government of Sudan

Source*

Related Topics:

Sudan’s Oilgate

Oh Bashir, the Sudanese Stand Up to Be Counted*

Rothschilds’ Glencore South Sudan Oil Grab

Sudan Seizes “Anonymous ” GM Soybean Shipment*

Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi to Rebalkanize Resource-rich Great Lake’s Region*