[Community-Discuss] Correction to my previous email

Paul Hjul hjul.paul at gmail.com
Wed Jul 28 22:51:17 UTC 2021


> Dear Members,

> In times of uncertainty and misinformation even the smallest detail can be

> used to confuse and disrupt even further.

> I do not want to contribute to the confusion so allow me to try again to

> convey a more accurate message.

> Yesterday, while shooting the video with the update on freezing our bank

> accounts, AFRINIC had not yet received the Judge's Order regarding our

> application for discharge or variation of the freezing order.


> https://afrinic.net/20210727-ceo-addresses-freezing-of-afrinic-financial-accounts

> <

> https://afrinic.net/20210727-ceo-addresses-freezing-of-afrinic-financial-accounts

> >

> I was only made aware of the Judge's Order minutes before sending out the

> email.

> https://lists.afrinic.net/pipermail/community-discuss/2021-July/004338.html

> <

> https://lists.afrinic.net/pipermail/community-discuss/2021-July/004338.html

> >

> However, I have failed to mention in my email, for the sake of

> completeness, that the Judge had declined our prayers and I simply

> mentioned that the matter has been fixed for the 4th of August for the

> other parties to communicate their stand. This omission on my part was not

> in any way intentional.


> My team and I are working on resolving this whole situation as soon as

> possible. We are humbled and honored by the huge amount of support we are

> seeing from our membership that are our partners in building Africa’s

> digital future.

> I appreciate your kind understanding on the matter.

> Kind Regards,

> Eddy Kayihura

> Chief Executive Officer, AFRINIC

> ceo at afrinic.net

> <https://lists.afrinic.net/mailman/listinfo/members-discuss> <mailto:ceo

> at afrinic.net

> <https://lists.afrinic.net/mailman/listinfo/members-discuss>>

This is greatly appreciated and in all honesty I fear that it is profoundly
unjust that a CEO of an organization the size of Afrinic and with the need
to have a "legal department" is put into the position in which the CEO is
being put into. The misstep is clearly unintentional and completely
understandable. This is especially because of matters around sub iudice
rules and undoubtedly many of the issues which give rise to legal
proceedings predate the term of office of the inumbent CEO. I have little
fear in suggesting that at least some of the mess has been created as a
result of the organization acting terribly daftly - either as to the merits
of a position or in not grasping commercial realities and litigation
strategy that would follow.

My worry is that the community is not aligning itself with the reality of
the ramifications of relying on the stability fund:

I find it difficult to understand why the RIRs which have pledged
considerably more to the stability fund will be satisfied with the need to
release funds to preserve Afrinic persisting in litigation with members
that is seeped in a regionalist ideological overlay. The fact that the
stability fund is not to allow an RIR to do as it pleases but rather to
ensure global stability means that a fundamental string of promoting a
global open Internet is inevitable.

If anything the best utilization of funds coming from RIPE (primarily - as
RIPE is the most committed to the stability) would be on policy development
and I anticipate that if emergency measures to stabilize Afrinic take the
form of policy development suggestions from RIPE that this will immediately
become a political taboo. Hopefully the Board and management will quickly
make it very clear that partnership in "building Africa's digital future"
means collaboration of a global nature. It means devising consensus and
action that is aimed at promoting a true digital future and distancing from
the deleterious xenophobic and regionalist attitudes and discourse that
flares up. The purpose of RIRs is to promote the development of the global
Internet within regions, it is not to carve up the Internet into regions.

The fund is clear that the RIR needs to resolve the problems causing the
crisis in order to use the fund:

> It is expected that governing body of the affected RIR will take necessary

> and relevant decisions to resolve problems that lead the crisis.

This brings me back to the fact that the best way to manage the risk which
is plaguing the organization is to get as much dispute resolution handled
outside of potentially organization shattering litigation. The membership
simply do not know how many litigants there are knocking at Afrinic but it
is quite clear that there are several cases that need to be handled
appropriately and to date the organization has crafted an environment
favouring a litigious approach. If the composition of the Board is what is
making it feasible for a litigant to convince a Court that the organization
acted with an ulterior motive then the CFOs of the other RIRs ought to want
the Board to be reconstituted. It appears that the "assisted review"
process is giving rise to much of the crisis and so I suspect RIPE members
familiar with the situation in Afrinic will charge that organization to
require that RIPE take charge of that process before opening up the wallet.

While support from the membership is vital to receive assistance if the
fund is to be relied on the buy-in in "project Afrinic" is going to be
needed. I have difficulty seeing this support if the organization does not
by the 4th August have a convincing strategy for ensuring that those
disputes which are acting as a millstone around the organization are
handled in an orderly manner which doesn't undermine the stability of the
organization. This means that accountability of Afrinic's governing bodies
- particularly it's Board - is paramount. After all for accountability the
NRO is emphatic that Afrinic is bound to the laws of Mauritius (and thus
her courts, so the organization cannot be perceived or be playing chicken
with the courts):

> Each RIR is accountable to its membership and bound by the laws of the

> jurisdiction in which it operates.


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