Tanzania: Truth Knowledge And The History Of This Great Nation

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA FACT BOOK)

 

Tanzania

Introduction Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous status and popular opposition have led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers’ claims of voting irregularities.
History Tanzania as it exists today consists of the union of what was once Tanganyika and the islands of Zanzibar. Formerly a German colony from the 1880s through 1919, the post-World War 1 accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate (except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi).

British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence. At the forefront of the transition was Julius Nyerere, a former schoolteacher and intellectual who entered politics in the early 1950s. In 1953 he was elected president of Tanganyika African Association (TAA), a civic organization dominated by civil servants, that he had helped found while a student at Makerere University. In 1954 he transformed TAA into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU’s main objective was to achieve national sovereignty for Tanganyika. A campaign to register new members was launched, and within a year TANU had become the leading political organisation in the country. Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961.

Soon after independence, Nyerere’s first presidency took a turn to the Left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to Pan-African Socialism, social solidarity, collective sacrifice and “ujamaa” (familyhood). After the Declaration, banks were nationalised as were many large industries.

After the leftist Zanzibar Revolution overthrowing the Sultan in neighboring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on April 26, 1964. The union of the two, hitherto separate, regions was controversial among many Zanzibaris (even those sympathetic to the revolution) but was accepted by both the Nyerere government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar owing to shared political values and goals.

After the fall of commodity prices and the sharp spike of oil prices in the late 1970s, Tanzania’s economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania also aligned with Communist China, seeking Chinese aid in Tanzania’s socialist endeavor. The Chinese were quick to comply, but with the catch that all projects be completed by imported Chinese labor. This was coupled with the fact that Tanzanians’ forced relocation onto collective farms greatly disrupted agricultural efficiency and output. As a result of forced relocation, Tanzania turned from a nation of struggling sustenance farmers into a nation of starving collective farmers. The 1980s left the country in disarray as economic turmoil shook the commitments to social justice and it began to appear as if the project of socialism was a lost cause. Although it was a deeply unpopular decision, the Tanzanian government agreed to accept conditional loans from the International Monetary Fund in the mid 1980s and undergo “Structural Adjustment”, which amounted in concrete terms to a large-scale liquidation of the public sector (rather large by African standards), and deregulation of financial and agricultural markets. Educational as well as health services, however modest they may have been under the previous model of development, were not spared from cuts required by IMF conditionalities.

From the mid 1980s through the early 1990s Tanzania’s GDP grew modestly, although Human Development Indexes fell and poverty indicators increased.

Geography Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique
Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S, 35 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 945,087 sq km
land: 886,037 sq km
water: 59,050 sq km
note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar
Area – comparative: slightly larger than twice the size of California
Land boundaries: total: 3,861 km
border countries: Burundi 451 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 459 km, Kenya 769 km, Malawi 475 km, Mozambique 756 km, Rwanda 217 km, Uganda 396 km, Zambia 338 km
Coastline: 1,424 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands
Terrain: plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kilimanjaro 5,895 m
Natural resources: hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel
Land use: arable land: 4.23%
permanent crops: 1.16%
other: 94.61% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,840 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 91 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 5.18 cu km/yr (10%/0%/89%)
per capita: 135 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: flooding on the central plateau during the rainy season; drought
Environment – current issues: soil degradation; deforestation; desertification; destruction of coral reefs threatens marine habitats; recent droughts affected marginal agriculture; wildlife threatened by illegal hunting and trade, especially for ivory
Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: Kilimanjaro is highest point in Africa; bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world’s second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika (the world’s second deepest) in the west, and Lake Nyasa in the southwest
Politics Tanzania’s president and National Assembly members are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for five-year terms. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government’s leader in the National Assembly. The president selects his cabinet from among National Assembly members. The Constitution also empowers him to nominate ten non-elected members of Parliament, who also are eligible to become cabinet members. Elections for president and all National Assembly seats were held in December 2005.

The unicameral National Assembly elected in 2000 has 295 members. These 295 members include the Attorney General, five members elected from the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the Parliament, the special women’s seats which are made up of 20% of the seats that a given party has in the House, 181 constituent seats of members of Parliament from the mainland, and 50 seats from Zanzibar. Also in the list are forty-eight appointed for women and the seats for the 10 nominated members of Parliament. At present, the ruling CCM holds about 93% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters.

Zanzibar’s House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are currently seventy-six members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, including fifty elected by the people, ten appointed by the president of Zanzibar, five ex officio members, and an attorney general appointed by the president. In May 2002, the government increased the number of special seats allocated to women from ten to fifteen, which will increase the number of House of Representatives members to eighty-one. Ostensibly, Zanzibar’s House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government as long as it does not involve union-designated matters. The terms of office for Zanzibar’s president and House of Representatives also are five years. The semiautonomous relationship between Zanzibar and the union is a relatively unusual system of government.

Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Appeal is from the primary courts through the district courts, resident magistrate courts, to the high courts, and Court of Appeals. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice, except those for the Court of Appeals and the High Court who are appointed by the president. The Zanzibari court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeals of the union. A commercial court was established in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.

People Population: 40,213,160
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.5% (male 8,763,471/female 8,719,198)
15-64 years: 53.7% (male 10,638,666/female 10,947,190)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 502,368/female 642,269) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 17.8 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 18.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.072% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 35.12 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 12.92 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 70.46 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 77.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 63.19 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 51.45 years
male: 50.06 years
female: 52.88 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.62 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 8.8% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.6 million (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 160,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2008)
Nationality: noun: Tanzanian(s)
adjective: Tanzanian
Ethnic groups: mainland – African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar – Arab, African, mixed Arab and African
Religions: mainland – Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar – more than 99% Muslim
Languages: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages
note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic
total population: 69.4%
male: 77.5%
female: 62.2% (2002 census)
Education expenditures: 2.2% of GDP (1999)
Government Country name: conventional long form: United Republic of Tanzania
conventional short form: Tanzania
local long form: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania
local short form: Tanzania
former: United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Dar es Salaam
geographic coordinates: 6 48 S, 39 17 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: legislative offices have been transferred to Dodoma, which is planned as the new national capital; the National Assembly now meets there on a regular basis
Administrative divisions: 26 regions; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kagera, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Lindi, Manyara, Mara, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mtwara, Mwanza, Pemba North, Pemba South, Pwani, Rukwa, Ruvuma, Shinyanga, Singida, Tabora, Tanga, Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North, Zanzibar Urban/West
Independence: 26 April 1964; Tanganyika became independent 9 December 1961 (from UK-administered UN trusteeship); Zanzibar became independent 19 December 1963 (from UK); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; renamed United Republic of Tanzania 29 October 1964
National holiday: Union Day (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), 26 April (1964)
Constitution: 25 April 1977; major revisions October 1984
Legal system: based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts limited to matters of interpretation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Jakaya KIKWETE (since 21 December 2005); Vice President Dr. Ali Mohammed SHEIN (since 5 July 2001); note – the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jakaya KIKWETE (since 21 December 2005); Vice President Dr. Ali Mohammed SHEIN (since 5 July 2001)
note: Zanzibar elects a president who is head of government for matters internal to Zanzibar; Amani Abeid KARUME was reelected to that office on 30 October 2005
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by popular vote for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 14 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2010); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Jakaya KIKWETE elected president; percent of vote – Jakaya KIKWETE 80.3%, Ibrahim LIPUMBA 11.7%, Freeman MBOWE 5.9%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Bunge (274 seats; 232 members elected by popular vote, 37 allocated to women nominated by the president, 5 to members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives; to serve five-year terms); note – in addition to enacting laws that apply to the entire United Republic of Tanzania, the Assembly enacts laws that apply only to the mainland; Zanzibar has its own House of Representatives to make laws especially for Zanzibar (the Zanzibar House of Representatives has 50 seats elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 14 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2010)
election results: National Assembly – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – CCM 206, CUF 19, CHADEMA 5, other 2, women appointed by the president 37, Zanzibar representatives 5 Zanzibar House of Representatives – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – CCM 30, CUF 19; 1 seat was nullified with a rerun to take place soon
Judicial branch: Permanent Commission of Enquiry (official ombudsman); Court of Appeal (consists of a chief justice and four judges); High Court (consists of a Jaji Kiongozi and 29 judges appointed by the president; holds regular sessions in all regions); District Courts; Primary Courts (limited jurisdiction and appeals can be made to the higher courts)
Political parties and leaders: Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Party of Democracy and Development) or CHADEMA [Bob MAKANI]; Chama Cha Mapinduzi or CCM (Revolutionary Party) [Jakaya Mrisho KIKWETE]; Civic United Front or CUF [Ibrahim LIPUMBA]; Democratic Party [Christopher MTIKLA] (unregistered); Tanzania Labor Party or TLP [Augustine Lyatonga MREME]; United Democratic Party or UDP [John CHEYO]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Economic and Social Research Foundation or ESRF; Free Zanzibar; Tanzania Media Women’s Association or TAMWA
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, C, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-6, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ombeni Yohana SEFUE
chancery: 2139 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6125
FAX: [1] (202) 797-7408
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mark GREEN
embassy: 686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani, Dar es Salaam
mailing address: P. O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam
telephone: [255] (22) 266-8001
FAX: [255] (22) 266-8238, 266-8373
Flag description: divided diagonally by a yellow-edged black band from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is blue
Culture The music of Tanzania stretches from traditional African music to the string-based taarab to a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers names are Abbasi Mzee, Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group.

Internationally known traditional artists are Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose and Tatu Nane.

Tanzania has its own distinct African rumba music where names of artists/groups like Tabora Jazz, Western Jazz Band, Morogoro Jazz, Volcano Jazz, Simba Wanyika,Remmy Ongala, Ndala Kasheba, NUTA JAZZ, ATOMIC JAZZ, DDC Mlimani Park, Afro 70 & Patrick Balisidya, Sunburst, Tatu Nane and Orchestra Makassy must be mentioned in the history of Tanzanian music.

Tanzania has many writers. The list of writers’ names includes well known writers such as Godfrey Mwakikagile, Mohamed Said, Prof. Joseph Mbele, Juma Volter Mwapachu, Prof. Issa Shivji, Jenerali Twaha Ulimwengu, Prof. Penina Mlama, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Adam Shafi, Dr. Malima M.P Bundala and Shaaban Robert.

Tanzania has remarkable position in art. Two styles became world known: Tingatinga and Makonde. Tingatinga are the popular African paintings painted with enamel paints on canvas. Usually the motives are animals and flowers in colourful and repetitive design. The style was started by Mr. Edward Saidi Tingatinga born in South Tanzania. Later he moved to Dar Es Salaam. Since his death in 1972 the Tingatinga style expanded both in Tanzania and worldwide. Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania (and Mozambique) and a modern sculpture style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree. Tanzania is also a birthplace of one of the most famous African artists – George Lilanga.

Economy Economy – overview: Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods. The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania’s out-of-date economic infrastructure and to alleviate poverty. Long-term growth through 2005 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals led by gold. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Continued donor assistance and solid macroeconomic policies supported real GDP growth of nearly 7% in 2007.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $51.07 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $16.18 billion (2007 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 7.3% (2007 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $1,300 (2007 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 42.5%
industry: 18.9%
services: 38.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 20.04 million (2007 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: 36% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 26.9% (2000)
Distribution of family income – Gini index: 34.6 (2000)
Investment (gross fixed): 23.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $3.561 billion
expenditures: $3.594 billion (2007 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 July – 30 June
Public debt: 19.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 16.4% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 16.03% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: $2.263 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $2.885 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $2.25 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture – products: coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats
Industries: agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine); diamond, gold, and iron mining, salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products, fertilizer
Industrial production growth rate: 9.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity – production: 2.682 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – consumption: 2.225 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity – imports: 123 million kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity – production by source: fossil fuel: 18.9%
hydro: 81.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Oil – production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil – consumption: 27,270 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil – exports: 0 bbl/day (2005)
Oil – imports: 26,760 bbl/day (2005)
Oil – proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas – production: 146 million cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 146 million cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 6.513 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.856 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $2.227 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports – commodities: gold, coffee, cashew nuts, manufactures, cotton
Exports – partners: China 10.3%, India 9.7%, Netherlands 6.5%, Germany 6.3%, UAE 4.9% (2007)
Imports: $4.861 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports – commodities: consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial raw materials, crude oil
Imports – partners: China 12%, Kenya 8%, South Africa 7.7%, India 6.9%, UAE 5.9% (2007)
Economic aid – recipient: $1.505 billion (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt – external: $4.382 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $587.9 million (2005)
Currency (code): Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Currency code: TZS
Exchange rates: Tanzanian shillings (TZS) per US dollar – 1,255 (2007), 1,251.9 (2006), 1,128.93 (2005), 1,089.33 (2004), 1,038.42 (2003)
Communications Telephones – main lines in use: 165,013 (2008)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 9.358 million (2008)
Telephone system: general assessment: telecommunications services are inadequate; system operating below capacity and being modernized for better service; small aperture terminal (VSAT) system under construction
domestic: fixed-line telephone network inadequate with less than 1 connection per 100 persons; mobile-cellular service, aided by multiple providers, is increasing; trunk service provided by open-wire, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and fiber-optic cable; some links being made digital
international: country code – 255; satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 11, shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios: 8.8 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 3 (1999)
Televisions: 103,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .tz
Internet hosts: 24,271 (2008)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 6 (2000)
Internet users: 400,000 (2007)
Transportation Airports: 124 (2007)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Airports – with unpaved runways: total: 114
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 63
under 914 m: 34 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 287 km; oil 891 km (2007)
Railways: total: 3,690 km
narrow gauge: 969 km 1.067-m gauge; 2,721 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 78,891 km
paved: 6,808 km
unpaved: 72,083 km (2003)
Waterways: Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa principal avenues of commerce with neighboring countries; rivers not navigable (2005)
Merchant marine: total: 9
by type: cargo 1, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 4
registered in other countries: 1 (Honduras 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals: Dar es Salaam
Transportation – note: the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the Indian Ocean are high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen
Military Military branches: Tanzanian People’s Defense Force (Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania, JWTZ): Army, Naval Wing (includes Coast Guard), Air Defense Command (includes Air Wing), National Service (2007)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2007)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 9,108,177 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 5,278,833 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 478,812
female: 479,557 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures: 0.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes – international: Tanzania still hosts more than a half-million refugees, more than any other African country, mainly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite the international community’s efforts at repatriation; disputes with Malawi over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and the meandering Songwe River remain dormant
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 352,640 (Burundi); 127,973 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2007)
Illicit drugs: growing role in transshipment of Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for South African, European, and US markets and of South Asian methaqualone bound for southern Africa; money laundering remains a problem

Perverted Humanitarianism: The Neocon Case for Arming Ukraine

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘THE RUSSIA INSIDER’) (THIS IS AN INTERESTING READ FROM A RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT POINT OF VIEW)

Perverted Humanitarianism: The Neocon Case for Arming Ukraine

Here in the West, our leaders firmly believe that chaos is theirs to create and control, collateral damage be damned

Sat, Mar 21, 2015 | 2227 24

For Nuland, the more guns the better
For Nuland, the more guns the better

This article originally appeared at Letters from Globistan


Despite the coordinated efforts of Russia, Germany, and France to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine, the United States has remained steadfast in its opposing policy objectives as it fans the flames of war in the name of humanitarianism and democracy. Since the provision of “non-lethal aid” have failed to defeat the Novorussian rebels, American lawmakers such as John McCain have predictably worked themselves into a lather, contorting words and facts to justify their itch for openly arming Ukraine. Neocon policy wonks acted quickly in lockstep to spin the Ukraine debacle and contain public fallout, and in the process, established a convoluted narrative that polluted the meaning of the vaunted principles they claim to uphold.

The Elusive Nature Of An Alleged Invasion

In her statement to Congress on March 4, 2015, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland stopped beating around the bush and publicly accused Russia of invading Ukraine. However, other officials prefer to be coy with their terminology, opting for vague allegations instead. Pentagon spokesman Major James Bridle has described the crisis as a “serious military escalation” and a “blatant violation of international law”. In contrast, American UN Ambassador Samantha Power resisted the urge to specifically define the crisis, but has cautioned that continued Russian intervention “could be viewed as an invasion”.

Verbal gymnastics aside, the evidence provided for the alleged invasion so far have been less than compelling. Released satellite photos of Russian troops appear grainy, nondescript, and underwhelming, despite the mainstream media’s assertions to the contrary. In Munich, Ukrainian president and oligarch-in-chief Petro Poroshenko presented a handful of Russian passports as “damning” evidence to the international media. Less than impressed with the “bombshell revelations”, the Russian Foreign Ministry requested copies of the passports, which they have yet to receive. In another recent snafu, it was discovered that Senator Jim Inhofe’s “exclusive photographic evidence” of Russian military aggression had been recycled from the 2008 conflict in South Ossetia, Georgia. In an attempt to deflect the embarrassing oversight, Inhofe passed the buck and pointed the finger at the Ukrainian MPs, who in turn denied any wrongdoing or mischaracterization on their part.Regrettably, tortured semantics and flimsy evidence won’t be enough to discredit the government hawks. Fortunately for the warmongers and desktop warriors in power, the absence of proof does not logically confirm the absence of guilt. Given the relative ease in selling the Iraq War to the American public, persuading the masses of Russia’s alleged invasion should be a piece of cake.

Screw Diplomacy! Why Might Is Right No Matter What Those Pantywaists Say

Now that the Neocons have successfully established the “fact” of Russian aggression, the next step is to justify lethal aid to Ukraine by repackaging it as a humanitarian mission. Wesley Clark, retired General of the US Army and NATO commander, penned a criminally dishonest column on USA Today exhorting the public to “remember Rwanda” and to “arm Ukraine”. The column correctly assumes the ignorance of the typical reader, neglecting to mention the true American role behind the Rwandan genocide and the destructive bombing of the former Yugoslavia. In a brazen example of rhetorical misdirection, Clark uses past war atrocities committed in RwandaSerbia, and Bosnia to advocate for the arming of Ukraine, reinforcing the toxic assumption that diplomacy can’t work without using military force:

“In the old days of the post-Cold War world, the U.S. learned the hard way that when we could make a difference, we should. In Rwanda, we didn’t, and 800,000 died. In Bosnia, we tarried, and more than 100,000 died and 2 million were displaced before we acted. It’s time to take those lessons and now act in Ukraine.

“In the Balkans in 1991, we let the Europeans lead with diplomacy to halt Serb aggression disguised as ethnic conflict. Diplomacy failed. We supported the Europeans when they asked for United Nations peacekeepers, from Britain, France, Sweden and even Bangladesh. That also failed. Only when the U.S. took the lead and applied military power to reinforce diplomacy did we halt the conflict. And we did succeed in ending it with minimal expense and without losing a single soldier.” -Wesley ClarkWhy did diplomacy fail? What was the cause of the conflict? When such obvious, underlying questions remain unanswered, it deceptively leads to the conclusion that America could have saved more lives if it weren’t for those pesky international laws and the naïve insistence on diplomacy. Salient details such as institutional hypocrisy, sabotage, and CIA involvement are conveniently edited out, casting America as the reluctant knight in shining armor for the world’s ungrateful victims.

Regime Change Remains A Top Objective

In somewhat refreshing candor, Casey Michel of the New Republic cuts to the chase and lays out the real benefits of escalation, which are raising the financial and human costs for Russia:

“The point of increasing arms to Ukraine is not, as Bloomberg’s editorial board claimed, to simply “escalat[e] a fight that it’s almost certain to lose.” Nor is the aim to deter any form of immediate Russian retreat. The point, rather, is to inflict more casualties than the Russian government is willing to stomach…

“Like the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 and the First Chechen War, the Kremlin sparked fighting in Ukraine hoping for a small, victorious war—something to drum up support for a stagnant, morally exhausted regime whose citizens were finally grasping its political bankruptcy. So long as the war remains external, Russians can support it. But when the costs come home—as they will with increased arms support for Ukrainian forces—Russians will turn (italics mine).” -Casey MichelThe possible effects of escalation on the number of Ukrainian casualties aren’t even worthy of mention, as Michel seems overly preoccupied with the perceived costs to Russia’s economy, armed forces, and political stability. Who cares if sending arms results in more dead Ukrainians? If it results in more dead Russians and a revolt against the Putin administration, then of course it’s totally worth it.

Is Military Escalation A Forgone Conclusion?

The Obama Administration continues to be non-committal about providing lethal aid while sending 600 paratroopers to train the Ukrainian military. Meanwhile, the fear mongering in Europe continues unabated: Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, made a serious proposal to create a transnational EU army to defend Europe against Russia. Even with Germany’s support, the idea remains controversial—UK Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the proposal as redundant, stating that NATO already exists to protect European security. There are also legitimate concerns regarding loss of national autonomy, mismanagement, and budget-busting inefficiency. Still, such considerations are small potatoes compared to the abstract threat of Russian military aggression.

Here in the West, our leaders firmly believe that chaos is theirs to create and control, collateral damage be damned. As Michel correctly observed, war is easy to support as long as it remains external and abstract. But when the illusion of control crumbles, as they always do—once the costs come to our shores, will we finally be the next ones to turn?

Trump Was Right to Strike Syria

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT AND THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Opinion

Trump Was Right to Strike Syria

President Trump’s air strikes against Syria were of dubious legality. They were hypocritical. They may have had political motivations.

But most of all, they were right.

I’m deeply suspicious of Trump’s policies and competence, but this is a case where he is right and Barack Obama was wrong. Indeed, many of us believe that Obama’s worst foreign policy mistake was his passivity in Syria.

But Trump changed US policy 180 degrees after compelling photos emerged of children gassed in Syria. Should a president’s decisions about war really depend on the photos taken?

Here’s why I believe he was right.

Since the horrors of mustard gas during World War I a century ago, one of the world’s more successful international norms has been a taboo on the use of chemical weapons. We all have an interest in reinforcing that norm, so this is not just about Syria but also about deterring the next dictator from turning to sarin.

For an overstretched military, poison gas is a convenient way to terrify and subdue a population. That’s why Saddam Hussein used gas on Kurds in 1988, and why Bashar al-Assad has used gas against his own people in Syria. The best way for the world to change the calculus is to show that use of chemical weapons carries a special price — such as a military strike on an airbase.

Paradoxically, Assad may have used chemical weapons because he perceived a green light from the Trump administration. In recent days, Rex Tillerson, Sean Spicer and Nikki Haley all suggested that it was no longer American policy to push for the removal of Assad, and that may have emboldened him to open the chemical weapons toolbox. That mistake made it doubly important for Trump to show that neither Assad nor any leader can get away with using weapons of mass destruction.

Look, for a Syrian child, it doesn’t matter much whether death comes from a barrel bomb, a mortar shell, a bullet, or a nerve agent. I hope Trump will also show more interest in stopping all slaughter of Syrians — but it’s still important to defend the norm against chemical weapons (the United States undermined that norm after Saddam’s gas attack by falsely suggesting that Iran was to blame).

Critics note that Trump’s air strikes don’t have clear legal grounding. But Bill Clinton’s 1999 intervention to prevent genocide in Kosovo was also of uncertain legality, and thank God for it. Clinton has said that his greatest foreign policy mistake was not intervening in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide; any such intervention also would have been of unclear legality — and the right thing to do.

There are risks ahead, of Russia or Syria targeting American aircraft or of Iran seeking revenge against Americans in Iraq. War plans rarely survive the first shot, and military interventions are easier to begin than to end. But as long as we don’t seek to topple Assad militarily, everybody has an interest in avoiding an escalation.

Many of my fellow progressives viscerally oppose any use of force, but I think that’s a mistake. I was against the Iraq war, but some military interventions save lives. The no fly zone over northern Iraq in the 1990s is one example, and so are the British intervention in Sierra Leone and French intervention in Mali. It’s prudent to be suspicious of military interventions, but imprudent to reject any use of force categorically.

Want proof that military interventions in the Middle East can work? In 2014, Obama ordered air strikes near the Syria-Iraq border against ISIS as it was attacking members of the Yazidi minority. Those US strikes saved many thousands of Yazidi lives, although they came too late to save thousands more who were killed or kidnapped as slaves.

In Syria, the crucial question is what comes next.

There’s some bold talk among politicians about ousting Assad from Syria. Really? People have been counting on Assad’s fall for six years now, and he’s as entrenched as ever.

Moreover, if this was a one-time strike then the larger slaughter in Syria will continue indefinitely. But I’m hoping that the administration may use it as a tool to push for a ceasefire.

The New York Times

Another African President Decides To Become A King/Dictator In The Congo?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘THE GUARDIAN’ NEWS AGENCY)

The Observer view on Congo and the failure of democracy in Africa

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the latest country disintegrating because a leader wants to hang on to power
Joseph Kabila promised not to seek a third term as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Joseph Kabila promised not to seek a third term as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photograph: Reuters

Two decades ago, the Democratic Republic of Congo, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest country, was engulfed in what became known as Africa’s Great War, a conflict that drew in half-a-dozen neighboring countries and raged for five years from 1998.

The conflict and its aftermath cost the lives of an estimated 5.4 million people, mainly from starvation and disease. This epic disaster was largely ignored outside Africa, even though it was the developed world’s insatiable demand for the DRC’s mineral riches that helped to fuel it.

The war was halted, in part, by the introduction of a new constitution and a democratic system of governance, replacing decades of Mobutu Sese Seko’s brutal dictatorship. In 2006 Joseph Kabila was confirmed as DRC president by popular vote, although the fairness of the election was widely disputed. In 2011 he was re-elected. Again, the results were hotly contested. A key factor in their acceptance was his pledge to honour the constitution and refrain from seeking a third term.

The DRC’s next presidential election is due next month. It isn’t going to happen. A court last week upheld a request by the election commission that the poll be postponed, ostensibly because voter rolls are incomplete. A “national dialogue” by the ruling coalition and involving fringe parties and civic groups, but boycotted by the main opposition and Catholic church, also agreed a delay until at least April 2018. In effect, Kabila and his security force backers have compromised the constitution and the judiciary and engineered a silent coup. His solemn 2011 promise has been broken.

This shameless subversion of the democratic process (parliamentary and provincial polls have also been put off) was condemned by the main opposition party, the UDPS, as a “flagrant violation”. Rassemblement (Gathering), the multi-party opposition organisation, reacted with fury and called a general strike last Wednesday. Kabila’s attempt to cling to power threatens the DRC’s hard-won and still precarious stability. Worse, it risks a return to national and regional upheaval, violence and war. At least this time the world is paying more attention. Maman Sambo Sidikou, the senior UN official in the country, warned the UN security council last week that “large-scale violence is all but inevitable” if the impasse is not resolved. “The tipping point could be reached very quickly.” After related clashes in Kinshasa last month, in which at least 50 people died, the US imposed limited sanctions on army generals implicated in human rights abuses. On Monday EU foreign ministers also agreed to pursue possible punitive measures.

Matters are not as clear-cut as they might seem. Kabila denies he wanted the delay. Analysts suggest the president, thrust into office after his father was assassinated in 2001, is a front man for the security apparatus. The opposition is fragmented and its readiness to resort to protests often leads to violence. Concerns over stability by countries such as France and Belgium are not wholly disinterested, commercially speaking. But that the leadership of another African country appears ready to ride roughshod over democracy and laws is clear. The DRC has never had a peaceful transition of power since independence in 1960. This is why term limits are so important. Last year the presidents of Burundi, Rwanda and Congo-Brazzaville overrode constitutional requirements that they step aside. In Burundi’s case, violence and displacement resulted. In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni looks determined to go on for ever. Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwean “presidency for life” and José Eduardo dos Santos’s Angolan ascendancy provide further examples of endemic disregard for democratic principles.

It would be a mistake to think Africans care less about self-serving, corrupt and irresponsible politicians than Europeans or Americans. The African Union has repeatedly stressed peaceful political transitions in embedding democratic habits. Studies show African voters value democratic systems but are increasingly frustrated at their malfunctioning and wilful subversion.

Nigeria demonstrated last year how it could be done. But South Africa, ruled since apartheid’s end by a single, over powerful party, is less of a shining light. It’s reported decision to renounce the International Criminal Court is another sign that too many African politicians would rather jettison democratic and legal norms than subject themselves to scrutiny and public judgment.