Daily Archives: March 10, 2020

DHL Global Forwarding forms Arabian Cluster to focus on Growth Prospects in the Region

Expands presence to Saudi Arabia; team to be led by DHL (https://www.DHL.com) veteran, Sue Donoghue; Industry veteran, Firas Sukkar takes on role of Country Manager in Kuwait.

DHL Global Forwarding, the leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services, has formed an Arabian Cluster (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq), to further capitalize on the region’s growth prospects by synergizing resources and expertise. Sue Donoghue is Country Manager in Saudi Arabia and will also oversee operations in Bahrain, while Firas Sukkar will be the Country Manager in Kuwait and also manage operations in Iraq. Both of them will report to Moustafa Elbanhawi, CEO Arab Cluster, who is also Head of Industrial Projects and Business Development in Middle East amp; Africa.

Moustafa Elbanhawi, CEO Arab Cluster, DHL Global Forwarding said, The Middle East is an important region for our network. Arecent World Bank report(http://bit.ly/333QtOF) commendedfour Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for having implemented the most number of reforms to ease international trade. These include improvements to Jeddah Port’s infrastructure and new electronic clearance systems at Kuwait’s borders —to help the region’s economic wheel turn faster.rdquo;

Putting in place the right leaders is crucial to deliver best business results for our customers. With the regional and technical expertise Sue and Firas bring, it will further strengthen our business and tap on growth opportunities.rdquo;

Sue Donoghue appointed as Country Manager to oversee operations in Saudi Arabia — the latest addition to the DHL Global Forwarding network

An industry veteran who has been with DHL for 14 years, Sue first joined the business as Head of Industrial Projects in London back in 2006. From there, she progressed to Global Business Process Manager leading major industrial projects in the petrochemical, mining and construction sectors. A skilled operations and project manager, she moved to Saudi Arabia in 2017 to become its Project Director, before being promoted to Managing Director of DGF Saudi Arabia in 2019.

Sue Donoghue, Country Manager for Saudi Arabia, DHL Global Forwarding, said, We have made the strategic decision to set up a team based in Saudi Arabia we see immense opportunities, a result of a remarkable economic transformation in the wake of Saudi Vision 2030(http://bit.ly/2Q3CMKl). I’m confident in our team’s ability to raise customer excellence to new heights even as we explore increasingly innovative service offerings for the Kingdom.rdquo;

Firas Sukkar officially assumes role of Country Manager in Kuwait

Firas joined DHL Global Forwarding in January this year, bringing with him decades of experience working with various companies based in Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait. With a successful track record of supporting operational excellence, profitability and growth, his expertise lies in executive leadership, freight management and customs brokerage. He also holds a Master of Science in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Robert Kennedy College and Salford Business School, United Kingdom.

Firas Sukkar, Country Manager for Kuwait, DHL Global Forwarding, said, It is an exciting time to be in Kuwait, especially at a time when the country’s economy moves towards diversification and expected to take an upswing, thanks to the completion of government infrastructure projects(http://bit.ly/2TSWsSg). We are committed to grow our business here, by maintaining strong networks with our partners to leverage new opportunities in this dynamic marketplace.rdquo;

Source: Behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.Media Contact

Mozambique Opposition Party Wants ‘State of War Declaration’ in Restive North

WASHINGTON – A major opposition party in Mozambique has called on the government to declare a state of war in the northern part of the country, where an Islamist insurgency has been going on for several years.

Daviz Simango, president of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), the third largest party in the country, said that such a move would mobilize the international community to provide assistance to the Mozambican government in its fight against armed Islamist groups in Cabo Delgado province.

“It is important for the government to declare war in Cabo Delgado, so that the population receives humanitarian aid and the international community helps Mozambique to fight evildoers,” the Mozambican O País newspaper quoted Simango as saying Monday.

Since 2017, the Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado province has been the target of terror attacks claimed by Islamist militants, some of which are affiliated with the Islamic State terror group.

Such attacks in the region have killed at least 500 people, while hundreds of homes have been destroyed or burned down by militants, according to rights groups.

At least 28 attacks have been carried out in Cabo Delgado since the beginning of 2020, the U.N. says. The violence has also displaced more than 100,000 people throughout the province, UNHCR said.


The party’s recent call for the declaration of war in Cabo Delgado has sparked debate among experts, with some believing it would harm Mozambique’s image abroad.

“Nobody would like to invest in a war zone,” said Tomas Vieira Mario, a legal analyst based in Maputo.

“If this happens, it would be a bad move as the government is trying to bring more investors to the region,” he told VOA.

In recent years, Mozambique has been seeking to increase foreign investment in gas-rich Cabo Delgado and other parts of the country.

Several multinational oil and gas companies have shown interest in investing in new exploration projects in Mozambique. But foreign companies have asked the Mozambican government to increase its military presence in the restive Cabo Delgado.

It is not clear whether the government would consider the opposition’s proposal to declare a state of war in northern Mozambique.

“It’s not a decision that should be taken easily since there are legal implications,” analyst Mario said, adding that “it would require the constitutional court to change the current mandate from local insurgency to a state of war.”

Other experts, however, believe that embracing the idea could be an effective measure to combat Islamist insurgents in the north.

“If the government was to declare a state of war, the military would be mobilized to get involved in the conflict in Cabo Delgado,” Jose Machicame, a Mozambican political analyst, told VOA.

Only local police and security forces are engaged in combatting militant threats, he said.

International support

Last week, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said his government will not rest until stability returns to Cabo Delgado. But to do so, he said support from the international community would be essential.

Some experts stress that Mozambican armed forces have been facing challenges in providing adequate security in northern Mozambique.

“President Nyusi and his new Mozambique government have finally acknowledged the need for international support as the insurgency worsens in Cabo Delgado,” said Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at Chatham House.

“Experimentation with several private military companies in 2019 had poor results and demonstrated the need for urgent reform of the Mozambican armed and security forces and better training,” he told VOA.

But other analysts, like Emilia Columbo, a senior Africa researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, think the government should look for new ways to benefit from any possible international assistance.

“International assistance would be effective if the Mozambican military, local police and community are all engaged to find a solution to the conflict,” she told VOA.

U.S. officials have expressed similar views in the past.

“The United States and other regional and international partners have been engaged in helping the [Mozambican] government develop a holistic security, community engagement and communication approach,” Stephanie Amadeo, director of the Office of Southern African Affairs at the U.S. State Department, said last June during a speech at CSIS.

Source: Voice of America

Islamic State, Al-Qaida ‘On the March’ in Africa

Western-backed efforts to counter terror groups across Africa are falling short, increasing the chances one or more affiliates of Islamic State or al-Qaida could try to carve out their own caliphate on the continent, according to the latest assessment by a top U.S. commander.

The stark warning, shared with lawmakers Tuesday, builds on previous intelligence showing Africa-based groups have been growing more ambitious and more capable, with some increasingly bent on targeting the West.

“Western and international and African efforts there are not getting the job done,” Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, told lawmakers regarding developments in West Africa and the Sahel.

“ISIS and al-Qaida are on the march,” he said, using an acronym for Islamic State. “If ISIS can carve out a new caliphate, or al-Qaida can, they will do it.”

U.S. officials warn that many of the IS and al-Qaida affiliates have already grown so strong that Africa Command has been forced to shift its strategy to trying to contain the groups rather than to degrade their capabilities.

Much of the attention has focused on the IS affiliates, buoyed by publicity from a steady stream of attacks on Nigerian government forces and others in the region.

“We’re seeing increased activity by ISIS affiliates in West Africa, East Africa,” State Department counterterrorism coordinator, Ambassador Nathan Sales, said late last month. “The ISIS brand lives on.”

But military officials warn it is the increased activity by al-Qaida affiliates in West Africa that is their biggest cause for concern.

“They want to eventually establish a caliphate,” Brig. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, commander of Special Operations Command Africa, recently told the Combating Terrorism Center Sentinel.

“They’re quietly establishing their connections,” he said. “We’ve seen them intermarry into the local tribes. We’ve seen them become very entrenched in local politics and do this very quietly. But they know if they’re too public about their intentions, or if they raise the flag over some city, that will draw the attention of the West.”

Making matters more complicated, U.S. military and intelligence officials say they see an increasing willingness by al-Qaida and IS affiliates to collaborate.

One United Nations official said such cooperation was one of the factors behind a “devastating surge” that saw 4,000 civilians killed in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger last January.

There are also concerns in East Africa, where the U.S. has focused increased firepower on al-Shabab in Somalia.

“The (al-Shabab) threat has been higher in the last few months than it was eight months ago when I first got to AFRICOM,” Townsend told reporters Tuesday after the hearing. “They aspire to attack Americans wherever they find us, to include the homeland.”

However, some U.S. allies are pushing back, agreeing that while the long-term concerns are real, the immediate threat is overstated.

“In the short term, the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa are unlikely to replace the Middle East and Afghanistan as regions from which the main threat to Europe emanates,” one European Union security official recently told VOA.

That type of sentiment may be making it more difficult for the U.S. to persuade some European partners to put more resources into the counterterror fight at a time when the Pentagon is looking at reducing its military footprint.

The U.S. has about 6,000 troops in Africa, but officials are in the middle of a review that could reduce that number by perhaps 10% or more over the next few years.

“The Sahel is principally a CT (counterterror) mission,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during a trip to Europe last month. “I’m not looking to put more troops in that fight.”

Instead, the U.S. and France, which has been leading the counterterror fight in West Africa with about 5,100 troops, have been pressuring other European countries to increase their military contributions.

“We’re not a lead partner in any of that. We’re a supporting player,” Townsend told reporters. “We, the world, need to do something about that.”

Source: Voice of America