To prevent the disappearance of Lake Chad, an old controversial project exhumed

Avoiding the disappearance of Lake Chad: the urgency is very real, and to face it, experts gathered at his bedside exhumed Transaqua, a megaproject imagined in the 80s and controversial, which consists of filling the immense Dried oasis

The idea, particularly ambitious, is to dig a 2.600 km canal from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), then across the Central African Republic, to the freshwater lake.

Transaqua has been for the last three days at the heart of a conference organized by the Nigerian government and Unesco, which brought together dozens of experts and diplomats in Abuja.

Lake Chad – Straddling Cameroon, Niger , Nigeria and Chad – has for some years been synonymous with Boko Haram, whose jihadist insurgency ravaged the region.

But climate change and the very poor management of water resources have caused a considerable decline. The lake has lost 90% of its surface area in 40 years.

The 40 million people living around and on the lake are among the poorest in the world, the UN estimates that a quarter of them need

The jihadi group took advantage of this vulnerability to recruit thousands of farmers and fishermen cut off from their livelihoods and set up rear bases on the islands of the lake.

– ' Unacceptable '-

 Fishermen prepare their nets on Lake Chad on March 30, 2015, near the village of Guite, Chad. (AFP / Archives - PHILIPPE DESMAZES)

Fishermen prepare their nets on Lake Chad on March 30, 2015, near the village of Guite, Chad. (AFP / Archives – PHILIPPE DESMAZES)

The Transaqua project, devised in 1982 by the Italian consulting and engineering firm Bonifica, involves immense technical and financial challenges, and never came into being. [19659002ButthearrivalofaChinesepartnerthePowerConstructionCorporationofChina(PowerChina)whichsignedanagreementin2017withthecompanybehindtheprojecthasrecentlyrevivedhopesandcriticismaroundtheproject

For its supporters, Transaqua is the only way to cope with the current humanitarian and environmental crisis.

"The transfer of water between the different basins (hydrographic) is not an option but a necessity" said Sanusi Abdullahi, executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, which oversees the use of water and natural resources.

"We are faced with the possibility that Lake Chad will disappear and it would be catastrophic for the whole the African continent. "

Little information has filtered out about the agreement that binds the Italian firm today to the giant PowerChina, except that the latter was commissioned to conduct a feasibility study.

" We We are working on projects here and we want to take on social responsibility, "PowerChina engineer Ziping Huang said.

– Duty of Cooperation –

But the project, which by one estimate could cost up to $ 14 billion dollars (11.5 billion euros), raises strong resistance in Kinshasa.

The transfer of Congolese waters to Lake Chad is "unacceptable", responded to the phone the senator of an opposition party, Modeste Mutinga, author of the book "The water war at the door of the DRC." ​​

This would amount to "disrupting the flow of the Congo River with consequences for ecosystems in the DRC," he explained. AFP. "We must not seek to solve a problem in a corner and create here in DR Congo."

Same reaction in the MP for the majority Bavon N'Sa Mputu Elima, former Minister of the Environment, for whom "We must solve the problems in the Lake Chad Basin: the misuse of water by Chadian farmers, increase the water quality of the rivers that feed this lake with water by the maintenance of the banks."

 A Chadian police boat patrols Lake Chad, straddling Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad on January 25, 2015. (AFP / Archives - SIA KAMBOU)

A Chadian police patrol boat on Lake Chad, straddling Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad, on January 25, 2015. (AFP / Archives – SIA KAMBOU)

The technical and security challenges involved in a project like Transaqua are also discouraging. The gigantic canal should cross several countries with changing geography and entangled in chronic instability.

In addition to the Boko Haram fighters established around Lake Chad, the Central African Republic, in particular, is devastated by years of war and the abuses of groups armed forces that control vast areas.

And even if time is running out at the rate at which the waters of the lake are disappearing, Ziping Huang, of PowerChina, recognizes that launching such a project with the security situation that prevails today in the The region is "beyond the imagination of our company."

Remains another difficulty: to co-operate the four countries bordering the lake. "These countries must cooperate if they want to face these transnational risks, there is simply no other way to do it," said Florian Krampe, of the Institute's climate change and risk program. Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

"The question is, are the institutions ready?"

US Forces Force Prevent ISIS Up, Number 30 Thousand

The US-led military coalition is reportedly in the process of setting up a border security force in northern Syria. The 30,000-strong force has the task of preventing the rise of radical groups Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Spokesperson for the US-led coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said that as the fight against ISIS, the US-led coalition and its allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces (19459011), on Monday (15/1/2018) SDF) began to shift focus to border security.

"There is a final destination for a final army of about 30 thousand personnel," Dillon told AFP . Half of that amount will be filled by trained SDF soldiers.

"There are about 230 individuals currently undergoing training in border security forces, it is an inaugural class," he added.

Dillon asserted, the establishment of this border security force is part of a broad strategy 'to prevent the rise of ISIS'. "With the battle against ISIS, as the remaining (ISIS) pockets continue to diminish, we know that does not mean the end for Daesh (Arabic ISIS name)." We must make sure that there is security that can be upheld, "Dillon told AFP. .

SDF manages to drive ISIS out of the northeastern Syria region it once controlled. In battle with ISIS, SDF gets air support from a US-led coalition. The SDF also received other assistance in the form of special armaments and military advisers from the US coalition.

SDF personnel, mostly Kurdish and Arab descendants in Syria, now control the northern border region of Syria. It is known that Syria is directly adjacent to Turkey in the north. The news of the formation of border troops is reaping a strong reaction from Turkey, which on Sunday called it an effort to 'legitimize terrorist organizations'.

During this time, Turkey is strongly opposed to SDF whose personnel are dominated by members of the Kurdi People's Protection Unit YPG), which has been designated as a terrorist group by the Turkish government.

In a separate statement, high-ranking SDF officials for media affairs Mustefa Bali confirmed the establishment of the Syrian border security forces. He also stated the training had begun. "We are transitioning to a new phase in coordination between our side and the international coalition." The vast areas and liberated cities need someone to protect them, "said Bali to AFP .

Spoken by Bali, this border security force unit will be deployed along the Syrian-Turkish border and the territory bordering the territory controlled by Syrian regime forces.

(nvc / ita)

I Will Sign Law to Prevent Immigrants Deported

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday told members of Congress that he would sign any bill they agreed to protect hundreds of thousands of teenage immigrants from deportation and to improve security along the southern border with Mexico. 19659002] During an extraordinary meeting at the White House broadcast on television, Trump said comprehensive immigration reforms could be addressed later. He said he was still convinced that the boundary wall needed to be built at least as long as 3200 kilometers of the American border and Mexico, but Trump seemed to back down from previous demands for the construction of the wall to be funded soon.

"If you reach an agreement, I will sign it," Trump said.

A statement from a White House spokesman stated "President Donald J. Trump has just completed a successful bipartisan and bicameral meeting on immigration reform.

In their previous closed meeting, they reached an agreement to negotiate important legislation that needed to be reformed in four major areas: border security, chain migration, lottery visas and DACA policies "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals".

The American leader said MPs should first protect around 800 thousands of young immigrants not to be deported having previously taken their parents to America illegally, mostly from Mexico and the countries of Central America. Trump last year concluded the DACA program championed by President Barack Obama, who protected the men from deportation, but gave until March 5 to Congress to consider the issue.

Trump usually sends journalists, photographers and cameramen out from the meeting room after making a brief statement, but on Tuesday he allowed reporters to witness his meeting with members of Congress for 45 minutes. [em/ii]

The White House Is Trying to Prevent the Issuance of an Abusive Book of Trump

For the second day in a row, a White House spokesman will have to answer a lot of reporters' questions on Thursday about an upcoming book, which illustrates the chaotic first year of President Donald Trump's government.

" Most people in America probably will not care about the book full of lies, "said spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. He mentions a book titled "Fire and Fury" 336 pages long, Michael Wolff's writing as "garbage" and something that a "dismissed employee sells."

The dismissed employee is Steve Bannon , who heads Trump's election campaign ahead of elections in 2016. He is also the White House's chief strategist in the first seven months of Trump's reign.

A Trump President's lawyer on Thursday tried to prevent the publication of the book because it said it contained many things that were harassing and discrediting. 19659002] Lawyer Charles Harder has told Wolff and his publisher to stop selling the book, which was originally scheduled to begin next Tuesday. But Wolff said Thursday it will go on sale in bookstores this Friday, four days earlier than planned.

Charles Harder said he and his team are investigating "false statements and unfounded "aimed at Trump in the book. Wolff's writer says his book is based on the 200 interviews he held during the Trump election campaign and after Trump entered the White House a year ago.

Yesterday Harder also sent a letter to Bannon to stop making statements that damaged both Trump and his family.

The most controversial part of the book "Fire and Fury" is Bannon's statement that Trump's eldest son, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort have committed "betrayal" and "unpatriotic" for holding meetings with Russian officials during the election campaign The Trump's son said he wanted to meet the Russians earlier because of a promise to be given material that would harm Trump's campaign rival Hillary Clinton.

Hours after the quote from the book appeared, Trump said on Wednesday, "Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or the presidency I. When fired, he (Bannon) not only lost his job, but he also lost his memory. "[ii]

US Secretary of State Expects Diplomacy to Prevent North Korea's Nuclear Threats

Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson on Tuesday showed a different tone regarding North Korea. He said that America is ready to hold its first meeting with Pyongyang "without pre-requisites." But the US diplomat chief also said there needs to be a quiet period, with no nuclear tests and additional missiles before the talks can begin in earnest.

Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson seems to revive hope for a diplomatic solution to the impasse with North Korea over the country's nuclear program and missile tests. The statement was made in a speech at a forum on Korea at the Atlantic Council, a research institute in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

"We are ready to talk whenever North Korea wants to speak, and we are ready to hold the first meeting without prerequisites. we meet and let's talk about anything if we want We can talk about the preferred form of meeting, "said Rex Tillerson.

North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests in recent months, including in late November Pyongyang claims that the American mainland is now within range of its missiles, raising fears of a possible nuclear war disaster on the Korean peninsula Tillerson said that talks can only begin once the missile test is halted.

"If there is a requirement for talks then it is worth noting that it will be difficult talking, if in the middle of the conversation they decide to mengu ji try another device; it would be difficult to negotiate if in the middle of the conversation, they decided to fire the missiles again. So, I think they clearly understand that if we are going to speak, we must have a quiet period, "he explained.

Although he chose what he called" peaceful pressure, "Tillerson said that harsh sanctions and other acts could only succeed because the American military is fully prepared to act if diplomacy fails. He also acknowledged that China has taken steps to prepare for the entry of North Korean refugee masses in the event of "instability" in North Korea.

For years, China's policy towards North Korea has been prioritized to maintain stability in the country. Beijing fears the collapse of the Pyongyang regime will lead to the entry of North Korean refugees. Media reports say China's Changbai District government is now building refugee camps in preparation for North Korean migrants fleeing the possibility of a crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Hours after Tillerson's Foreign Minister's statement put aside the offer of talks without pre-conditions

"The President's view of North Korea has not changed," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "North Korea acts rashly not only against Japan, China and South Korea but also for the whole world North Korea's actions are bad for any country and certainly not good for North Korea," he added.

At United Nations -Bangsa, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told reporters that his visit to Pyongyang last week was "constructive and productive."

He met Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Vice Foreign Minister Mr. Myong Guk Feltman that he did not ask for a meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Feltman said that he urged them to signal Pyongyang's readiness to consider willingness to discuss possible negotiations but did not get commitment from those North Korean officials. [lt/uh]