RICHARD ALI – Nigeria's Strategy and Boko Haram: Any End in Sight? – The Elephant
The Nigerian government must achieve an understanding of the conflict and of Boko Haram to avoid eventual state collapse, with catastrophic implications for West Africa and the continent.
On the 29th of November 2020, 43 rice farmers had their throats slit by Boko Haram terrorists at Zabamari in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state. Following this attack, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity blamed the deceased for not having received clearance from the military to harvest their crops. The military stated that though they had defeated Boko Haram, terrorists remained embedded in local communities and there was little they could do when civilians refused to provide intelligence. President Buhari issued his usual response, the operative phrase being that he “condemned the killing of our hardworking farmers”.
2020 was not done with showing just how precarious Nigerian state stability is. On the 11th of December last year, More than 300 students were kidnapped from their government school at Kankara, a two-hour drive from President Buhari’s hometown where he was vacationing at the time. Boko Haram claimed responsibility; the government denied this. Eventually, the students were released in a still obscure deal involving the Fulani ethnic Miyetti Allah group which has been accused of fomenting the Boko Haram-unrelated farmer-herdsmen crisis in central Nigeria. The Nigerian government then engaged in a shameful and ridiculous attempt to spin this fiasco.
In response, activists have trended the hashtags #ZabamariMassacre #FreeKankaraBoys #SackBuhari and #SecureNorth. Viewed through any one of several internal security lenses, the brutal, clear-eyed reality is that Nigeria is a scene of carnage and chaos related—directly or not—to the challenge posed by Boko Haram.
Successive governments have been hobbled by this Islamist sect which started a campaign of terror in 2009. Well over 37,000 people have been killed, with millions displaced to Internally Displaced Persons’ and refugee camps. The conflict is internationalised, localised as it is around Lake Chad which Nigeria shares with three French-speaking countries—Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The threat profile of Boko Haram that is unfolding in these hyper-connected times is far more scalable than any 20th century conflict. Ending the Boko Haram conflict is crucial to shoring up state stability in Nigeria and West Africa. Yet, Nigeria’s strategic engagement with this existential problem leaves much to be desired and is a cause for concern.
At the centre of all conflict resolution approaches is identifying the conflict and, in the case of Boko Haram, this remains blurry. What is clear is that the conflict was kick-started by the murder of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Muhammad Yusuf, by officers of the Nigerian state. A charismatic preacher and adherent of Salafi revanchist ideology, Yusuf had taken over leadership of the group in 2002 and quickly gathered an immense local following. He then lent his popularity to local politicians uncertain of their legitimacy, until he fell out with them, leading to his death in 2009. The sect then came to be led by the choleric and belligerent Abubakar Shekau, who would go on to plug his group into the international jihadi mainstream with a 2015 pledge to al-Baghdadi’s then territorial Islamic State (IS). It now comprises an indeterminate number of factions sharing a narrative that the secular Nigerian state ought to be replaced with an Islamist one, and a willingness to exact an appalling human cost on soft targets and security forces alike. In these axioms, Boko Haram has been single-minded.
Georgetown University professor Jacob Zenn provides compelling research on Boko Haram in his 2020 book Unmasking Boko Haram: Exploring Global Jihad in Nigeria. Zenn’s thesis sets out and explores Islamist jihadism as an international network of ideas within which Boko Haram has positioned itself, even if its initial concerns were far more localised. At the centre of this network of ideas is Saudi Arabia’s decades-long project to balance out Iranian influence by indoctrinating moderate Muslim clerics and making generous petrodollar grants to spread the Kingdom’s ultraconservative Wahhabi Islam. While Mohamed bin Salman continues to try to scale down his country’s polarisation of the Middle East through rapprochement with Israel, for example, nothing is likely to be done by the Kingdom to scale back the effect of decades of state support for fundamentalist Islam and virulent extremism in Africa.
This fundamentalism underscored al-Qaeda, which exerted extremist influence on regions farther away, changing Islam forever in societies like the heterogeneous and heterodox ones of Nigeria, which found themselves faced with a new crisis of identity, of political economy, and of state stability. That there will be no help from the Saud who opened the basket of vipers is a given. That defeating Boko Haram requires a holistic, all-of-government strategic engagement by the government of Nigeria is obvious. That Nigeria’s state apparatus is currently engaged in chasing after indicators while disregarding the larger syndrome, is a reality rooted in an absence of a common understanding of the Boko Haram problem.
The importance of Dr Jacob Zenn’s Unmasking Boko Haram lies in its methodology for clarifying the Boko Haram reality. Zenn comes to his analysis from a position of expertise in jihadism and Boko Haram, facility with Hausa and Arabic languages and familiarity with the interconnections between points in the African web of armed non-state actors ranging from AQIM to al-Shabaab. To this he adds copious amounts of research stretching back fifty years, organising this in demonstrably objective ways. His expertise, rigour and creativity weave a narrative of Boko Haram’s early influence by bin Laden’s deputies in Sudan and the general context, tracing a line of international influences—including by the Shia—that created its peculiar syncretism. Unmasking then sets out the conflict between Boko Haram and mainstream Salafi scholarship, and the fracturing of the group into several factions, giving detailed descriptions of ideological differences. I do not expect that the government of Nigeria will adopt Zenn’s conclusions but there can be no doubt that a common understanding of the Boko Haram group is needed and that, eleven years on, it remains lacking.
The first thing to be exploded is the idea that Boko Haram’s actions, reprehensible as they are, are senseless. Boko Haram’s foundational dissent against mainstream Western ideas—such as Darwinism, allegiance to a secular state, mixed-gender education, for example—in favour of Sharia and the supremacy of the Quran are not particularly special. Revivalist movements within religions, especially Islam, Christianity and Judaism, are commonplace. The group should thus be approached as a sociological attempt to recalibrate society, no different from any of the other -isms academics, intellectuals and ideologues foment, even if misguided. This done, the underlying logic—one which devalues human life and disregards social cooperation and diversity—can be contradicted by floating counter-ideologies or changing society to accommodate or undercut the raison d’être of groups like Boko Haram.
Thought to have been founded in 1995, Boko Haram is rooted in a Borno-based jihadist community whose leaders had spent time abroad—particularly in the Sudan and Saudi Arabia—from the 90s right up to 9/11 and believed that postcolonial states were illegitimate. It merged with Saudi-backed Salafi groups which seek to emulate Arab Muslims of the 7th century, are strictly literalist in terms of Islamic tenets—thus rejecting all “innovation”—and believe that there exists a universal Islamic brotherhood of faith to which all else is in opposition. The synthesis of these two strands of ideology led to the defining character of Boko Haram—the certainty that they can declare other Muslims as apostates and wage violence against them and against non-Muslims who are, of course, infidels, precisely because they are either secular or simply non-Muslim.
Abubakar Shekau’s leadership of the sect would go on to fully test this minting of new apostates while designating infidels very broadly. He soon turned on the Salafi groups when it was clear they had no stomach for actual violence and had opted for state capture—by participating in politics—instead. The Salafi groups retaliated by mobilising what state resources they had under their influence against Boko Haram, which responded in kind. This, of course, was happening against the backdrop of Saudi backpedaling of Salafi association with jihadists following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Saudis had greatly incentivised local Salafis following the Gulf War in 1990-1991—a period proximate to the coming to the fore of foreign-exposed or foreign-influenced local jihadists, such as the founders of Boko Haram. This is the loop within which the insurgency exists.
An examination of the Nigerian government’s strategic response to Boko Haram starts from it failing at its primary role as a state, which is providing people-centred development through managing identity and guaranteeing the security of its citizens. Today, the northeast has a 76 per cent poverty rate, with its quality of life and internally generated revenue profiles placing it amongst the poorest regions in the world. All this was achieved over decades of neglect and public sector corruption, precisely the sort of boko behavior Boko Haram uses to argue for a return to simpler times from fourteen centuries ago.
Nigeria’s initial reaction to Boko Haram absolutely ignored the interrelated local socioeconomic factors and the international environment that shaped the sect. Hence the assumption that the extrajudicial killing of Mohammed Yusuf would put paid to the sect, which turned out to be grossly incorrect. The initial response also seemed ignorant of the prior twenty years of evolution of armed non-state actors such as al-Qaeda employing a diffused command and control structure which has been described as “cell-like” and more sophisticated than hierarchical state structures. The Nigerian Police, widely known for human rights abuses and thought of as both incompetent and corrupt, quickly proved inadequate in addressing the insurgency and the military was drafted in for what was essentially an internal security issue.
The earliest military response included blanket arrests and disappearances which alienated local communities in the northeast and guaranteed little cooperation. These actions in fact gained sympathy for the insurgents, who soon began to seize territory. Determined military pushback has now seen the insurgency evolve into a low-intensity conflict with control of some territory routinely changing hands at the cost of military and civilian lives. Attacks have been frequent, especially by the ISWA (Islamic State of West Africa) faction of Boko Haram. A 2019 shift in military strategy saw the creation of “super-camps” and garrison towns which had the effect of leaving the countryside to the insurgents. In these territories, Boko Haram factions have proceeded to levy taxes and duties on economic activity, such as farming and harvesting. It is instructive that Abubakar Shekau, in claiming responsibility for the killing of the rice farmers in Zabamari, said it was done in revenge against the farmers for having arrested an insurgent and cooperated with the military.
It is quite clear that the Nigerian government’s response has not been proactive and preemptive, and has failed to emphasise building intelligence networks with local community buy-in that can disrupt Boko Haram. Nor has it denied Boko Haram factions the ability to recruit and replenish their ranks. The terror unleashed by Boko Haram results from these failures and the insurgents’ demonstrated ability to finance themselves.
It is over a decade since the Boko Haram insurgency started and the lack of strategic coherence on the part of the government of Nigeria is of great concern. Beyond documents and statements, proof of strategy is action and results.
It is important to go back to the drawing board and this starts with the government of Nigeria achieving a common understanding of the conflict and the opposing party—Boko Haram. This is a blind spot that researchers such as the American Dr Jacob Zenn amply illuminate, alongside the thinking of Nigerian academics and researchers who have done rigorous work on Boko Haram. The danger with not doing this is that the conflict will continue, with the usual victims of terror suffering in horrific ways, and after a decade or two, the state will collapse not because it could not save itself and regenerate its vitality, and definitely not because of a superior enemy, but simply out of sheer inertia. This would have catastrophic implications for West Africa and the continent at large.
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Richard Ali, Nigerian lawyer, novelist, poet and expert on issues of internal security, particularly counterterrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE). He currently maintains a column on internal security issues at Daily Nigerian.
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Research suggests that the links are overstated, especially compared to Africa’s voting patterns with other council members.
Over the past two decades, Russia has aimed to re-establish itself as a world power. A key way to achieve this has been through its permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In recent years, Russia’s posturing on several international conflicts has increasingly divided the UNSC, causing a degree of paralysis that hasn’t occurred since the Cold War.
At the same time, questions have arisen about how A3 members – the annually elected grouping of African states – coordinate positions among themselves, and with respect to the interests of the five permanent UNSC members (the P5). In particular, are certain African members becoming more aligned to Russia’s positions on the council?
These questions have been promoted, for example, by South Africa’s vote against the United States (US)-sponsored draft resolution on Venezuela that Russia and China vetoed in February 2019.
To understand these dynamics, a recent study by SAIIA and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) examined voting patterns between the A3 and Russia. An assessment of all votes cast by UNSC members between 2014 and 2020 found that most resolutions were still approved unanimously, with close to 95% of all votes cast in favour of any tabled resolution.
So the institutional ‘paralysis’ that many council observers refer to, while still considerable, applies to a few debates in which council members disagree. These divisions were seen most sharply in discussions relating to Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine and the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
The SAIIA–ISS research found that Russia consistently stood out above other council members in its willingness to veto or abstain from tabled resolutions. It abstained from 45 votes and cast 20 vetoes between 2014 and 2020.
Russia especially opposed positions led by the other permanent member states – ‘loudly’ disagreeing with stances put forward by France, the United Kingdom and the US. This dissent is usually based on its criticism of the West’s apparent attempts to ‘monopolise the truth’ and over what constitutes human rights. Russia also enjoys a convenient (but passive) alliance with China, which shares similar grievances over Western-dominated approaches to global conflicts.
In contrast to Russia, the A3 seldom voted against any draft resolutions tabled between 2014 and 2020, preferring instead to abstain on contentious issues. An example is the controversial 2018 US-sponsored draft resolution on Palestine.
Russia stands out in terms of its willingness to veto or abstain from tabled UNSC resolutions
As divisions have deepened among the P5, African countries on the UNSC have increasingly relied on collective positions among themselves and those aligned to the African Union (AU). This has given Africa greater agency in global multilateral processes that directly affect conflicts and crises on the continent.
A similar approach has been taken in recent years by all 10 non-permanent members (E10). These efforts paid off considerably on specific council discussions, such as allowing greater humanitarian access to Syria. But the coordination and coherence of E10 positions have again waned somewhat since 2018.
More consistent UNSC positions by the A3 have given African states greater leverage to engage with other council members. The risks of not doing so were revealed in December 2018 when A3 members disagreed on a common approach to the thorny issue of financing for AU-led peace support operations. The fallout can still be seen today. Recent attempts to revitalise negotiations have only managed to expose lingering divides between New York and Addis Ababa.
The SAIIA–ISS study found little evidence of a growing alignment or greater coordination between the A3 and Russia, based on their voting patterns from 2014-2020. The coincidence of ‘in favour’ votes between the A3 and Russia declined year-on-year, falling to 72% in 2020 compared to 91% in 2014. The overlap in A3 votes ‘in favour’ with the US, UK and France by contrast, ranged from 91% to 93% in 2020.
There are also extremely few cases in which the A3 collectively abstained or voted against draft resolutions in line with Russia’s position. Between 2014 and 2020, on only one occasion did an A3 member vote against a draft resolution that Russia vetoed (South Africa’s 2019 Venezuela vote).
These findings show that the relationship between Russia and the A3 on the UNSC is relatively uncoordinated, especially compared to A3 votes in relation to other permanent members. While the SAIIA–ISS study didn’t delve into the content and substance of resolution-specific negotiations, the alignment between Russia and the A3 during the 2014-20 period was very weak.
Arguments that certain A3 members are becoming more aligned to Russian interests on the UNSC don’t hold for the African group as a collective. Russia’s ‘loud dissenter’ role on the council may well continue, but to succeed, it needs more significant support from other members, including the A3. Based on the SAIIA–ISS research results, that seems unlikely.
This article was originally published by the The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), an independent public policy think tank advancing a well governed, peaceful, economically sustainable and globally engaged Africa.
Will Ethiopia’s civil war blow up its dream of a single state, and in the process, blow up Western notions of statebuilding?
April 2018, Abiy Ahmed was sworn in as Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and in 2019 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for resolving the long-standing border conflict with neighboring Eritrea. However, since November 2020 when he ordered the military to violently quell an opposition movement in Tigray, a region along the northern border, his international standing and domestic popularity have significantly declined. Now, Ethiopia faces the prospect of splintering.
Prior to Abiy’s election, the government of Ethiopia had been dominated by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which had effectively ruled the country since 1991 when they joined forces with other armed groups to overthrow the previous government. After Abiy came to power—he had organized the victorious Prosperity Party out of many ethnic-based parties to oust the Tigrayans—the TPLF quit the government and its leadership returned to Tigray where it focused on consolidating its authority in the region, and curtailing the influence of the Ethiopian government and military.
In August 2020, previously scheduled elections throughout Ethiopia were postponed ostensibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the TPLF considered this a betrayal and held its own elections that the central government deemed illegitimate. This, coupled with the TPLF’s seizure of military bases in Tigray, pushed tensions between Abiy and the TPLF over the brink and shortly thereafter Abiy sent the Ethiopian army to Tigray leading to a large-scale armed conflict.
The war has produced a mounting humanitarian crisis in Tigray, with aid workers struggling to bring in more assistance, especially food. The central government, however, has opposed this as it believes it sustains the TPLF. Since July, only 686 aid trucks in total have entered Tigray—far less than the 100 a day needed to avert famine—and none since October 18. Furthermore, there are few aid personnel on the ground to facilitate delivery and distribution. In August, Ethiopia halted operations by the Dutch branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Norwegian Refugee Council. The UN has also reduced its staff from 530 to around 220. On September 30, the Ethiopian government announced the expulsion of seven senior UN officials, including the country heads of UNICEF and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. On November 9, 16 other UN personnel were detained by the government. Currently only about 1,200 humanitarian workers (including the UN) remain in Tigray. Moreover, violence against aid workers has also undermined relief efforts; 23 have been killed in Tigray so far. Currently, despite 5.2 million people in need (over 90% of the population in Tigray) and about 1.7 million displaced, only about 10% of the aid required has been delivered.
As worrisome as the situation in Tigray is, also of concern is that the war appears to be metastasizing—more armed actors are entering the conflict and the areas being fought over are expanding. Earlier this year, the government deployed militias from the Amhara region and allowed intervention from forces in neighboring Eritrea. But, the course of the conflict turned in late June 2021 when the TPLF dealt a severe blow to the central government by retaking Mekelle, the capital of Tigray. Shortly thereafter, Abiy appeared to realize he had overreached in attacking Tigray and unilaterally declared a ceasefire. Yet, the TPLF has continued to fight, first pushing out Ethiopian forces from the remaining parts of Tigray, and then turning their attention southwards toward the central government.
Much like the 1991 campaign that toppled Mengistu Haile Mariam’s government, the TPLF has made alliances with other armed opposition groups, and last week a new group emerged, the United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces. In addition to Tigrayan forces, it also includes the Oromo Liberation Army, the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front, Agaw Democratic Movement, Benishagul People’s Liberation Movement, Gambella Peoples Liberation Army, Global Klimant People Right and Justice Movement/Kimant Democratic Party, Sidama National Liberation Front and Somali State Resistance. This coalition has indicated that its main aim is to preserve the 1995 constitution that ensures federalism and the right to self-determination.
On November 3, Tigrayan forces captured Dessie and Kombolcha (two towns on the road to Addis Ababa—only about 160 miles northeast of the city) and are now positioned to attack the capital. In response the Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency and encouraged citizens to take up arms to defend the capital. Will backfire from Abiy’s failed political-military strategy blow up the status quo of single-state Ethiopia?
Aside from the urgent humanitarian conditions, lurking in the background is the issue of who is responsible. If Abiy is deposed and survives, there will surely be calls to put him on trial for war crimes. This demand will partly be for revenge, but also to obscure that atrocities have been committed by all parties in this conflict. According to a recently concluded joint investigation by the UN and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission of conduct during the conflict in the period of November 2020 to June 2021, the government as well as forces from Tigray and Amhara have committed abuses, such as torture, rape, and civilian killings. Although reports like this are welcome, they overlook the impact of colonialism, its intentionally provocative and fraught political geographies, and the political cycles of its legacies. The constructions of many postcolonial states have been wedded at birth to difficult mixes of ethnic groups whose identities were purposefully politicized in a “divide-and-conquer” strategy, thereby creating weakness that allowed European domination.
Although ethnicity is not inherently destiny, these problematic dynamics are playing out once again in Ethiopia, a country with more than 80 different ethnic groups and a population of over 100 million. Since the formal dissolution of colonies, arms sales and proxies have been a staple of influence. Several countries have sold millions in arms to Ethiopia, which has contributed to the violence. In the past five years about $92 million worth of arms have come from Russia ($69 million), the US ($10 million), Israel ($4 million), China ($4 million), France ($2 million), and Germany ($2 million).
The digital frontier is another space for expressing influence and as disclosed in the recent Facebook Papers, the armed conflict in Ethiopia has likely been hastened by social media postings by various militia groups intent on inciting ethnic violence, though no action was taken by Facebook to stop this practice. Therefore, beyond Abiy’s gambit, this situation underscores that the colonial project has backfired and is blowing up Western notions of statebuilding. Abiy should be held to account for instigating this round of violence, and other armed actors should likewise be prosecuted for perpetrating atrocities. But regardless of these legal cases or who rules Ethiopia, will anyone be accountable for configuring these volatile circumstances?
This post is from a partnership between Africa Is a Country and The Elephant. We will be publishing a series of posts from their site once a week.
In a speech which outlines the Global South’s vision and red lines for COP26, Leon Dulce calls for putting people before profit, working towards achieving ‘Real Zero’ and making developed polluter nations pay for the climate crisis.
Good evening comrades and colleagues! We thank everyone for coming together in this meeting of hearts and minds of those deeply committed in the global struggle for climate justice.
As we approach the crucial climate talks, and to cue our discussion on what are the non-negotiables of the exploited, dispossessed and oppressed peoples of the Global South, I will lay down four red lines that hopefully capture the dividing lines we have drawn up between the common future we want, and what the UN Special Rapporteur Professor Phillip Alston calls an emerging ‘Climate Apartheid.’
First, we must assert that People and Planet must be put first over Profit. COP 26, like all global intergovernmental gatherings, is an agora dominated by the powerful advanced capitalist countries and corporate lobbies. Yesterday, news broke of a massive document leak revealing countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Australia lobbying the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to water down recommendations for carbon cuts and climate finance in their authoritative scientific reports.
It is not surprising that these powerful interests are trying to dominate the climate talks, and consequently marginalize the already marginalized voices of the most climate vulnerable peoples and communities in the most vulnerable nations of the world. Indeed, COP26 reflects the realities that we are in a global economic and political system of imperialism that cannot refrain from plundering the world’s natural resources and exploiting the people’s labor or else it will collapse.
The silencing of grassroots voices in the talks is just the tip of the iceberg of impunity we face as we struggle to demand climate justice. Down in the frontlines, many environmental defenders and activists are permanently silenced for holding the line against the relentless march of corporations and their collaborationist governments. Killings of defenders have doubled over the past decade, and the frontlines of biodiversity and climate such as Colombia and the Philippines are the hotspots of these killings.
And so we will collectively act to hold governments of nations to account to their social contracts with their peoples—public interest dictates they should commit to prioritizing the people’s needs, which includes ensuring our economies operate within the limits of our planet’s limits, and ensuring that people’s inalienable rights to a clean and healthy environment are upheld. They should also recognize that people on the ground have the most valid solutions to the climate crisis, from indigenous and community conserved areas to land cultivation areas and community based renewable energy systems.
Second, at COP26 we will demand Real Zero, not Net Zero. This means we will reject the various false climate solutions being peddled by governments and corporations that try to delay the urgent need to stop the climate crisis at its source.
We are expecting new and old proposals of the supposed ways to work-around the fundamental solution of cutting down on the consumption of fossil fuels. Some are proposing technological solutions such as carbon capture and storage plants in Timor Leste, and even a decades-old nuclear power plant here in the Philippines. Some are even branded as supposedly ‘nature-based’ such as REDD plantations across Asia and Latin America.
False solutions try to hide what science and justice has already demonstrated—that what we need are deep, drastic, and binding emissions cuts from the advanced capitalist countries and carbon major companies. Please, stop changing the topic.
Third, we will push back on the downplaying of the common but differentiated responsibilities in addressing the climate crisis by demanding a just transition anchored on the historic injustices the Global South has experienced at the hands of Developed Nations.
And this is not only referring to the biggest contributors to historic greenhouse gas emissions—there is little or no talk to historic injustices of ‘resource curses and traps’, the neocolonial subjugation of economies resulting in chronic poverty and, consequently, climate vulnerability. For instance, much of the Philippines’ forest loss was from the United States’ colonial timber industry.
Their imposition of structural adjustment programs and onerous loans have shackled our economy at their mercy. Even in present times when we experience the climate and ecological crises alongside the pandemic crisis, we are still forced to service the resulting debts from these impositions instead of funding a just and green economic recovery that could have been an opportunity to address these intersecting crises. Even UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for debt reliefs amidst the protracted COVID crisis.
Lastly, we will assert that polluter and plunderer countries and economies must pay. We will demand just compensation for the loss and damages of climate-impacted nations and peoples. We will demand developed nations to commit to the climate finance targets recommended in the latest IPCC reports.
There is a lot of talk of pushing for Green New Deal stimulus packages in the Global North, but what we need to start talking about is a global people’s Green New Deal from the climate disruptors to the climate disrupted—from the Global North to the Global South.
Anticipating the limits and expected failings of the COP26 negotiations, these red lines must be fought both inside but most especially outside the climate talks if we are to win back this world from corporate capture and imperialist domination. We call on our fellow advocates, activists, and defenders to join us in the series of initiatives organized under the banner of the Southern People’s Action on COP26 or SPAC26, notably in mobilizing on November 6 declared by climate justice movements as a Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, and on November 9, a rallying point inside the COP26 green zone where we will explore visions from the ground of the world we want to create.
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