KW 22: Hifter’s mercenaries leave Tripoli, Beijing says US is pushing China to brink of a new Cold War, Zelensky calls for probe into leaked Biden-Poroshenko calls

GREETINGS

What do intelligence agencies do when they are not allowed to monitor?

The German Constitutional Court has ruled that the foreign intelligence service’s (BND) current practice of monitoring telecommunications of foreign citizens at will violates constitutionally enshrined press freedoms and the privacy of communications. Human rights organizations and journalists had filed a lawsuit against the practice – the federal intelligence service is already not allowed to monitor German citizens. But what does a secret service do when it is not looking for information? What added value can it offer if it can only identify potential foreign sources of danger under strict conditions? And how will the exchange with other intelligence services take place if the BND’s methods are curtailed? Although many concerns are justified, a lot of new questions arise – especially about the quality of the security work.

Warm greetings from
Alice Greschkow
– Author Defensio Briefing –

NEWS

Hifter’s mercenaries leave Tripoli: Khalifa Hifter, the military commander of eastern Libya-based forces, said Saturday that they will continue fighting forces loosely allied with the UN-supported government in Tripoli, even though his campaign has suffered setbacks in recent weeks. Hifter has been waging a campaign for over a year trying to capture the capital. The military tide has been reversed in recent weeks, and his forces lost several towns and a key airbase. Turkey is aiding the embattled government in Tripoli. It has recently stepped up its military support with armored drones, air defenses and Syrian mercenaries with links to extremist groups. That has helped turn the tide against Hifter’s forces, which are backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russian mercenaries.
nytimes.com

Beijing says US is pushing China to brink of a new Cold War: Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said on Sunday that relations between China and the US were at risk of deteriorating to the point of a new Cold War becoming a reality. The Chinese foreign minister made several jabs at Washington, telling reporters that Trump’s administration is tarnishing relations with Beijing with what it calls a smear campaign. Both US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have accused China of a lack of transparency over the coronavirus outbreak, and repeatedly said the virus was leaked from a Wuhan laboratory, an accusation China vehemently denies.
dw.com

Zelensky calls for probe into leaked Biden-Poroshenko calls: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for an investigation into the leaked audio recordings between Joe Biden and former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. Zelensky said the conversations between the two leaders might be perceived or qualified as high treason, the “Washington Post” reported. The tapes were released Monday by Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who claims he received them from investigative journalists. Derkach is said to be a Ukrainian associate of Rudy Giuliani. Opponents have pointed at the lawmaker’s ties to Russia. Derkach is a former MP for the pro-Russian Party of Regions faction and attended a KGB-run high school in Moscow. His father was a former KGB officer and then headed Ukraine’s intelligence service.
nypost.com, theguardian.com

Remains of top Rwanda genocide suspect found: The remains of Augustin Bizimana, one of the most wanted suspects of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, have been found, a UN war crimes prosecutor said. They were discovered in a grave in Congo-Brazzaville. DNA tests confirmed his identity and that he had been dead for 20 years. He was defense minister when about 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. Bizimana was indicted in 1998 by a UN tribunal on 13 charges, including genocide, murder, rape and torture. The announcement of his death follows the arrest in Paris last weekend of Felicien Kabuga, who is accused of being the major financier of the killers during the genocide.
bbc.com

Kim Jong-un wants to increase North Korea’s nuclear strength: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has outlined new policies for further increasing the country’s nuclear capabilities and promoting top weapons officials. During a meeting of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Kim was said to also have promoted Ri Pyong-chol to vice chairman of the commission, expanding his influence. Ri has been in charge of building nuclear weapons and their delivery missiles. Kim also promoted ​nearly 70 general officers, elevating Pak Jong-chon, a career ​military commander specializing in ​artillery and missile forces​, to vice marshal. ​Both Ri and Pak ​were among North Korean officials whose roles appeared to expand under Kim’s government as he refocused on expanding his country’s nuclear and missile capabilities​ following the collapse of his diplomacy with US President Donald Trump​.
nytimes.com

Natural gas deal: Libya’s secret ruler Erdogan spiegel.de
Ukraine: Reform stopped sueddeutsche.de
Six-day war: How Franz Josef Strauss made Israel’s victory in 1967 possible welt.de
Second World War: 75 years of war – 75 years of peace wochenzeitung.de
Chinese security law: “This is the end of Hong Kong” manager-magazin.de

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

In April, 208 people in Afghanistan were killed by the Taliban and 172 people were killed by Afghan security forces.
zeit.de

BACKGROUND

Situation in Yemen worsens due to coronavirus: Yemen, already pushed to the brink of famine by a five-year war, could see a catastrophic food security situation due to the coronavirus pandemic and lower remittances from the Gulf, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization has warned. The conflict between a Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement has caused what the United Nations describes as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Some 80% of Yemen’s population are reliant on aid and millions face hunger. Yemen, alongside Syria and Sudan, is one of the most vulnerable states in the Middle East in terms of food security. Lockdowns to prevent the spread of the virus are likely to impact humanitarian supply chains keeping a large part of the population fed, the UN agency said in a report on Monday.
reuters.com

Isis is regaining strength: In Syria and Iraq, peace and conflict researchers are observing a new wave of attacks and suicide bombings that can be attributed to the terrorist militia “Islamic State” (Isis). They see the latest strategic attacks as a sign that Isis is gaining strength again. On the one hand, the terrorists are exploiting the global community’s focus on combating the coronavirus, on the other hand, the militia has gained in popularity earlier this year during the escalation between Turkey and the Kurdish armed forces. US investigations also indicate that the organization has a strong financial cushion of several hundred million dollars.
dw.com

UN exposes Libya plans by private organizations: A short-lived mission uncovered by United Nations investigators offers a glimpse into the world of those who have thrived off Libya’s chaos. Mercenaries who sneaked into the war-ravaged port of Benghazi, Libya last summer said they had come to protect the oil and gas facilities. In fact, United Nations investigators later determined that their mission was to fight alongside Libyan commander Khalifa Hifter in their total assault on the capital Tripoli for which they would be paid $ 80 million. With Russian, Syrian, Sudanese, Chadian and now Western mercenaries drawn to the fight, Libya has the rare distinction of being a war of mercenaries against mercenaries, sometimes, in the case of Syrians, with men from the same country fighting each other.
nytimes.com

QUOTE

“Hifter is not a partner for us in the peace process.”
Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga sees no promising opportunities for a peace dialogue with military leader Khalifa Hifter.
faz.net

SECURE?

13-year-old in camouflage clothing triggers large-scale operation: In a forest near Linz, Germany, concerned citizens called the police when they spotted a boy in camouflage clothing and a supposed rifle. 14 patrol cars came to search for the alleged soldier. It turned out to be a 13-year-old boy who often went to the forest to play war. The rifle turned out to be a toy.
suedtirolnews.it

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