25.8 C
Abuja
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Forgotten European atrocities in Africa: Peek into abuses and man’s inhumanity to man

This story was done exactly two years ago, it generated quite a lot of feedbacks including a charge one from Shadrack Mandela which stated thus: 'less...

Bill Gates confident coronavirus vaccine will work in Africa, but Africans on Twitter not having it

Talks to have a potential vaccine for Covid-19 tested in Africa, because the number of infected people is not as high as other countries...

Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts

Whether it's a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their...

Crime against Congo: Cases against King Leopold II and Belgium

The intriguing thing about the entrance of King Leopold II into Africa is that it was not with any force or coercion; rather, his...

Open letter to Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs: Release High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs body for burial

Dear Ma, I hope this letter meets you in good health.It is with deep sense of respect that I have chosen to write to you...

History Special: Queen Amina, a warrior among men

In many climes in Africa, women have had to struggle to rise above the perking order of patriarchal expectations.They were highly accepted among men...

Report suspects China uses construction projects to spy on African leaders

A new report by a United State’s firm, Heritage Foundation is warning that China may be spying on African government officials from within their own buildings.

The report found that Chinese companies built at least 186 government buildings in Africa and 14 “sensitive intragovernmental telecommunications networks.” These buildings include residences for heads of state, parliamentary offices, and police or military headquarters.

The author of the report, Joshua Meservey, senior policy analyst for Africa at the Heritage Foundation, said the research does not prove there is spying going on at these buildings, but he believes the possibility should be explored.

“The Chinese government has a long history of all types of surveillance and espionage globally,” Meservey said. “So we know this is the sort of thing they want to do, the sort of thing they have the capacity to do. And also, Africa is important enough to them to do it.”

Meservey noted that even private Chinese companies are “legally obliged” to help the Chinese Communist Party gather intelligence.

Chinese government response

During a May 22 news conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian strongly denounced the report, saying it was filled with “lies, illusions and ideological bias.”

“We urge [a] certain think tank in the U.S. to spend more time and energy on assisting Africa with real actions instead of spreading lies,” Lijian said, according to the official transcript of his remarks. “The African people have a fair judgment. Attempts to drive a wedge between the friendly partners of China and Africa will only lead to self-inflicted humiliation.”

Meservey said the idea for the report came from the 2018 accusation that China had installed listening devices in the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The findings, first published by the French newspaper Le Monde, alleged that servers in the AU headquarters were secretly sending data to a computer system in Shanghai each night between midnight and 2 a.m.

“The computer systems were delivered turnkey,” Le Monde wrote in 2018. “And Chinese engineers have deliberately left two flaws: backdoors, which give discrete access to all internal exchanges and productions of the organization.”

‘Building favour’

AU and Chinese officials denied the report by Le Monde. Kuang Weilin, China’s ambassador to the AU, called the charges absurd and said they were designed to undermine Sino-African relations.

But Meservey believes the AU spying may be just the tip of the iceberg. He said China’s motives for investing so heavily in building infrastructure for African governments is suspect because these projects generally are not profitable.

“For decades, a central element of China’s international diplomatic efforts has been cultivating strong relationships with senior African officials and giving them glitzy, brand-new government buildings,” Meservey said. “It is clearly a way of building favour with these governments. … These are designed as pieces of political influence.”

His report found that Chinese companies had built at least 24 African presidential or prime ministerial palaces, residences or offices and at least 26 parliaments or parliamentary offices.

Meservey said China might be looking to pick up information from third-party countries such as the U.S. when its diplomats visit African countries. He said it might be interested in gathering financial data on African countries for future investments and gaining the upper hand in loan negotiations. China also may be looking to gather useful, personal information about African leaders.

“It’s possible to gather information on specific leaders, learn about their habits, their predilections, their financial situation,” he said. “Things that you could use to manipulate them or even to recruit them as an asset if either through blackmail or just knowing how to tailor your pitch to them.”

- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Islamic militants in DRC may have committed war crimes, UN Says

A series of brutal attacks against Congolese civilians by Islamic militants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are possible war crimes, United Nations monitors...

Malawi new president vows to clampdown on graft in subdued inauguration

Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera pledged to clamp down on corruption on Monday, as he delivered his inauguration speech in a scaled-down ceremony dampened...

Wave of political arrests trail protests over death of Ethiopia’s Oromo singer

Five senior members of an opposition party representing Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, the Oromo, have been detained in a wave of political arrests following...

USA set to offer Zimbabwe $60m in food aid

The United States says it will provide US$60.55 million to assist Zimbabwe with its food insecurity during the lean season.Early in June, Zimbabwean authorities...

Don't Miss

Islamic militants in DRC may have committed war crimes, UN Says

A series of brutal attacks against Congolese civilians by Islamic militants of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) are possible war crimes, United Nations monitors...

Malawi new president vows to clampdown on graft in subdued inauguration

Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera pledged to clamp down on corruption on Monday, as he delivered his inauguration speech in a scaled-down ceremony dampened...

Wave of political arrests trail protests over death of Ethiopia’s Oromo singer

Five senior members of an opposition party representing Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, the Oromo, have been detained in a wave of political arrests following...

USA set to offer Zimbabwe $60m in food aid

The United States says it will provide US$60.55 million to assist Zimbabwe with its food insecurity during the lean season.Early in June, Zimbabwean authorities...

Confusion over the alleged arrest of Nigeria anti-graft chief

Nigerians were inundated with the reported areest of the acting chairman of Nigeria's anti-graft body the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu by...

WHO now says it first heard of Covid-19 on the internet, not from China

The World Health Organisation (WHO) changed its coronavirus timeline to say it first heard about the coronavirus from a press release online, rather than...

Nigeria’s Hushpuppi faces decades in US jail – Prosecutors

American federal prosecutors has charged a man they say went by the name "Ray Hushpuppi" and flaunted his extravagant wealth online after conspiring to...

Ethiopia picks the pieces after nearly 200 died in protest over killing of Haacaaluu

More than 166 people were killed during anti-government protests in Ethiopia last week, the government said on Sunday, as the capital and other hot...

Ghana president in isolation after Covid-19 positive test in close circle

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will self-isolate for 14 days on the advice of doctors after a person in his close circle tested positive for...

Cameroon government official in talks with the Ambazonia leaders

A representative of Cameroonian government had talks with several anglophone separatist leaders to try to find a peaceful resolution to the lingering conflict that...
%d bloggers like this: