, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The military exercises will be offshore from Durban, which is the largest port in subsaharan Africa. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2023/01/21/south-africa-raises-profile-as-cocaine-trafficking-hub/ Furthermore, Russian (and Chinese) influence could put freedom of navigation at risk: “The Cape of Good Hope, located on the southern tip of South Africa, is a significant transit point for oil tanker shipments around the globe… The Cape of Good Hope is also an alternate sea route for vessels traveling westward that want to bypass the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Straits, and/or the Suez Canal…https://www.eia.gov/international/content/analysis/special_topics/World_Oil_Transit_Chokepoints/wotc.pdf

The China-Russia-South Africa drills, named Operation Mosi, which means smoke, are to take place off Durban from February 17 to 26.” (VOA news)

Related: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2022/03/19/us-barbary-wars-1801-1805-1815-1816-freedom-of-navigation-on-the-mediterranean/

Russian ally India did military exercises with Russia and China, and has been allowed to continue doing military exercises with the US, as well. Why would South Africa hold itself to a higher standard? India’s even making BrahMos missiles with the Russia govt. and no one says anything about it!In post-apartheid South Africa, Indians have maintained prominent positions in the ruling African National Congress…. Indians who were citizens before 1994, and thus discriminated against by the apartheid system, are considered black for the purposes of Employment Equity; that is, they are classified as having been disadvantaged under apartheid. They are thus eligible for “affirmative action” and Black Economic Empowerment allocations.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_South_Africans

Cape of Good Hope: Although not a chokepoint, the Cape of Good Hope is a major global trade route. Crude oil flows around the Cape accounted for about 9% of all seaborne-traded oil.

The Cape of Good Hope, located on the southern tip of South Africa, is a significant transit point for oil tanker shipments around the globe. EIA estimates about 5.8 million b/d of seaborne-traded crude oil moved around the Cape of Good Hope in both directions in 2016. In 2015, crude oil transit around the Cape accounted for roughly 9% of global maritime trade of 5.1 million b/d.

In 2016, 4.3 million b/d of crude oil around the world moved eastbound, originating mostly from Africa (2.2 million b/d) and from South America and the Caribbean (1.6 million b/d). Eastbound crude oil flows were nearly all destined for Asian markets (4.1 million b/d). In the opposite direction, nearly all westbound flows originated from the Middle East (1.5 million b/d), mostly destined for the Americas, with the United States accounting for the majority of the total (75% of total flows). Europe was the destination for less than 12% of the flows.

The Cape of Good Hope is also an alternate sea route for vessels traveling westward that want to bypass the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Straits, and/or the Suez Canal. However, diverting vessels around the Cape of Good Hope increases costs and shipping time. For example, closure of the Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline would require oil tankers to divert around the Cape of Good Hope, adding approximately 2,700 miles to transit from Saudi Arabia to the United States, which would increase both costs and shipping time, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.31 According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), shipping around Africa would add 15 days of transit to Europe and 8–10 days to the United States.32https://www.eia.gov/international/content/analysis/special_topics/World_Oil_Transit_Chokepoints/wotc.pdf

South Africa Criticized for Hosting Russian Warships Amid Ukraine War 
January 18, 2023 9:57 AM By Kate Bartlett
South Africa plans to conduct joint military exercises with the Chinese and Russian navies off its east coast next month, despite the Kremlin’s ongoing war on Ukraine. The opposition Democratic Alliance has slammed the decision, saying it means that contrary to its “neutral” stance on Russia’s Ukraine war, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party has effectively sided with Moscow.

The China-Russia-South Africa drills, named Operation Mosi, which means smoke, are to take place off Durban from February 17 to 26.

While South Africa has held joint naval exercises with Russia in the past, in 2019, these latest ones overlap with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its ongoing war against Kyiv.

Pretoria has officially remained “neutral” on the conflict, refusing to condemn the Kremlin’s invasion in a U.N. vote last year.

But South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, says hosting Russian warships shows the ruling African National Congress, or the ANC, has chosen sides.
Kobus Marais is the party’s shadow defense minister.

“While our government has claimed to be neutral, this is just another of many incidents where the ANC has clearly exposed their favoritism towards Russia and has in fact done nothing but to showcase and prove [the] government’s lack of neutrality in this case,” he said.

Marais says the South Africa of Nelson Mandela, once a beacon of democracy, risks losing its international standing by siding with what he calls “the most despicable autocracies of the world.”

Moscow’s invasion, the biggest in Europe since World War II, has been widely condemned internationally.

Western governments have hit Russia with diplomatic isolation and heavy sanctions and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine to defend itself.

Steven Gruzd, the head of the Russia-Africa program at the South African Institute of International Affairs, says South Africa’s hosting the drills risks its further isolation from the West while playing into Russia’s hands.

“Russia is trying to indicate that it’s not isolated internationally, that it has international military reach. And South Africa, by agreeing to hold these exercises, or going ahead with them, is feeding into that narrative that Moscow’s putting out,” he said.

South Africa’s African National Congress party has close ideological and historical ties to Russia under the Soviet Union, which backed its anti-apartheid struggle against white minority rule.

South Africa and Russia are also members of the BRICS group of leading, emerging economies, which includes Brazil, India, and China.

While many countries have shunned the Kremlin over its invasion, some nations, including those in BRICS, have not.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to South Africa Liubov Abravitova was clear to VOA in her criticism of the scheduled military drills.

“And on South Africa, Russia, China military exercises, let me just ask you, what the army that is killing innocent people, the army of rapists and murderers, what can they bring to [the] South African army as added value?” she said.

Some analysts say the world is in a new cold war, with authoritarian nations China and Russia on one side and Western democracies on the other.

This conflict is increasingly playing out in Africa as both sides scramble for influence on the strategically and politically important continent.

South Africa’s Department of Defense spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini tells VOA they will not reconsider the joint drills.

“I’d like to repeat that the exercise will go ahead with the two countries in South Africa in February. In relation to the military-to-military relations between these two countries and many others, which include the United States, where exercises have been held with each of those countries,” he said.

Despite pressure from Western governments, and visits last year by U.S. officials, Pretoria has continued to improve relations with Moscow.

South Africa in December received a sanctioned Russian ship that officials say was delivering ammunition ordered before the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine.

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor will on Monday host Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

In August, South Africa will host the BRICS summit and has invited Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to attend.” https://www.voanews.com/a/south-africa-criticized-for-hosting-russian-warships-amid-ukraine-war-/6923375.html

Shipping Routes (with labels) – One Year, 11 April 2018: “Because only 11% of ships are represented in this dataset, the density of ship traffic is not fully portrayed and is biased to the types of ships that volunteered for the program. The map creators suggest that the high traffic locations may be strongly underestimated. In spite of this, there are enough data points to highlight some of the busiest shipping routes. There is also a version of this dataset with the major canals and straits labeled.”