At 16.00 Today I was… 10


in a really difficult situation having a testy conversation with a nice Ghanaian who was also in a difficult position.

Now we have completed the gas pipeline we are desperate to get the turbines switched from diesel fo gas. The fuel saving to the Ghana government amounts to US $3,000 an hour. We need the Siemens commissioning engineers to do this, and the Rotring engineers commissioning the gas treatment plant are already here, but stymied now until Siemens arrive. But the Siemens engineers I was expecting last night have been delayed because their passports are still in the Ghana High Commission, who seem to be much slower in issuing the visas than usual.

The Ghanaian government engineers are under a lot of stress and understandably fed up. So are we. It seems the best that can be done is for the High Commission to issue the visas tomorrow, but then the Siemens engineers won’t be able to travel until Wednesday and won’t start work until Thursday. Meanwhile the Rotring engineers have to leave on Wednesday night.

Did my efforts manage to solve or mitigate this? No. I did manage to calm people down and cheer them up a bit. I fear though I shall be doing the same thing at 16.00 tomorrow.


10 thoughts on “At 16.00 Today I was…

  • ingo

    betwixed problems. First, is the Ghana High commission aware that they are costing Ghana 3000,- more/hour? Secondly, all good feelings go through the stomach. Try your best to get some German sausages ( german embassy?) and some other goodies for the grill.
    When it all seems to fall to pieces, make a good point for a BBQ at the weekend to all ( saying sorry/good bye/ comeon lets do it now), pull them together with a few chops so to speak and try to get it going somehow.

    Should you be short of some german swearwords, let me know.

    Just a thought

    • mark_golding

      Good one Herbie:

      The Libyan National Council, the Benghazi-based group that speaks for the rebel forces fighting the Gaddafi regime, has appointed Khalifa Hifter, a long-time CIA collaborator to head its military operations.

      Manipulations africaines, published by Le Monde diplomatique, traces the CIA connection to 1987, reporting that Hifter, then a colonel in Gaddafi’s army, was captured fighting in Chad in a Libyan-backed rebellion against the US-backed government of Hissène Habré. He defected to the Libyan National Salvation Front (LNSF), the principal anti-Gaddafi group, which had the backing of the American CIA. He organized his own militia, which operated in Chad until Habré was overthrown by a French-supported rival, Idriss Déby, in 1990.

      According to this book, “the Haftar force, created and financed by the CIA in Chad, vanished into thin air with the help of the CIA shortly after the government was overthrown by Idriss Déby.” The book also cites a Congressional Research Service report of December 19, 1996 that the US government was providing financial and military aid to the LNSF and that a number of LNSF members were relocated to the United States.

      The role of Hifter, aptly described 15 years ago as the leader of a “contra-style group,” demonstrates the real class forces at work in the Libyan tragedy. Whatever genuine popular opposition was expressed in the initial revolt against the corrupt Gaddafi dictatorship, the rebellion has been hijacked by imperialism.

      The US and European intervention in Libya is aimed not at bringing “democracy” and “freedom,” but at installing in power stooges of the CIA who will rule just as brutally as Gaddafi, while allowing the imperialist powers to loot the country’s oil resources and use Libya as a base of operations against the popular revolts sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.

      Patrick Martin

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