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AFRICOM Related News Clips 14 February 2012

AFRICOM Related News Clips 14 February 2012

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Published by U.s. Africa Command
Please find attached news clips for February 14, 2012, along with upcoming events of interest and UN News Service briefs.



Of interest in today’s clips: African villagers embrace U.S. roles as manhunt for Lord’s Resistance Army continues.



Lord's Resistance Army hostages going hungry as partner nations step up their manhunt to kill or capture Joseph Kony.



In Niger: Saadi Qadhafi has been placed on house arrest in Niger after a warning of a new revolt against Libya's new government.



Adm. William H. McRaven, Commander Special Operations Command, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels.



In Nigeria: Pirates shot the captain and the chief engineer on a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria on Monday.



Africa's new football champions, Zambia's Chipolopolo, have arrived to a heroes' welcome in the capital, Lusaka after winning the African Nations Cup.

U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs
#AFRICOM #US Africom #Africa #Africacommand @USAID @DeptofDefense
Please find attached news clips for February 14, 2012, along with upcoming events of interest and UN News Service briefs.



Of interest in today’s clips: African villagers embrace U.S. roles as manhunt for Lord’s Resistance Army continues.



Lord's Resistance Army hostages going hungry as partner nations step up their manhunt to kill or capture Joseph Kony.



In Niger: Saadi Qadhafi has been placed on house arrest in Niger after a warning of a new revolt against Libya's new government.



Adm. William H. McRaven, Commander Special Operations Command, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels.



In Nigeria: Pirates shot the captain and the chief engineer on a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria on Monday.



Africa's new football champions, Zambia's Chipolopolo, have arrived to a heroes' welcome in the capital, Lusaka after winning the African Nations Cup.

U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs
#AFRICOM #US Africom #Africa #Africacommand @USAID @DeptofDefense

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United States Africa Command Public Affairs Office 14 February 2012

Please find attached news clips for February 14, 2012, along with upcoming events of interest and UN News Service briefs. Of interest in today¶s clips: African villagers embrace U.S. roles as manhunt for Lord¶s Resistance Army continues. Lord's Resistance Army hostages going hungry as partner nations step up their manhunt to kill or capture Joseph Kony. In Niger: Saadi Qadhafi has been placed on house arrest in Niger after a warning of a new revolt against Libya's new government. Adm. William H. McRaven, Commander Special Operations Command, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels. In Nigeria: Pirates shot the captain and the chief engineer on a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria on Monday. Africa's new football champions, Zambia's Chipolopolo, have arrived to a heroes' welcome in the capital, Lusaka after winning the African Nations Cup.

U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Please send questions or comments to: publicaffairs@usafricom.mil 421-2687 (+49-711-729-2687) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Top News related to U.S. Africa Command and Africa African villagers embrace U.S. role in hunt for Lord's Resistance Army leader (McClatchy Newspapers) http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/02/13/138737/african-villagers-embrace-us-role.html By Alan Boswell February 14, 2012 The U.S. troops arrived two months ago and by most accounts have yet to undertake any
U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Office  +49(0)711-729-2687  AFRICOM-PAO@usafricom.mil

military actions. But their mere presence has transformed this tattered out-of-the-way enclave of Congolese refugees, Ugandan soldiers and traumatized local residents into an upbeat cluster of newfound hope. Uganda military says LRA rebels¶ hostages going hungry as militants flee steppedup manhunt (The Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/uganda-military-lra-rebels-hostages-goinghungry-as-militants-flee-stepped-up-manhunt/2012/02/13/gIQA5YznAR_story.html February 13, 2012 By Associated Press Women and children abducted by the Lord¶s Resistance Army guerrilla group are suffering from hunger because the wanted band of fighters has stopped stealing food from villages to avoid being detected by a military manhunt, Ugandan military officials said Monday. Gadhafi son under house arrest in Niger, Libya says (CNN) http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/12/world/africa/libya-gadhafi-son/index.html?hpt=iaf_c1 February 13, 2012 By Jomana Karadsheh One of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's surviving sons has had his phone cut off and been placed under house arrest in Niger after warning of a revolt against Libya's new government, authorities in Tripoli said Sunday. Admiral Seeks Freer Hand in Deployment of Elite Forces (NYT) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/us/admiral-pushes-for-freer-hand-in-specialforces.html February 12, 2012 By Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker As the United States turns increasingly to Special Operations forces to confront developing threats scattered around the world, the nation¶s top Special Operations officer, a member of the Navy Seals who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels. US, Mali armies kick off Exercise Atlas Accord; postpone Exercise Flintlock (defenceWeb) http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23446: us-mali-armies-kick-off-exercise-atlas-accord-postpone-exerciseflintlock&catid=50:Land&Itemid=105 February 13, 2012 Written by defenceWeb United States and Mali army personnel have kicked off the combed aerial delivery exercise Atlas Accord 12, but have postponed Exercise Flintlock 12 due to the Tuareg rebellion, which broke out last month. U.S. escalates drone use against Somalia (WorkersWorld)
U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Office  +49(0)711-729-2687  AFRICOM-PAO@usafricom.mil

http://www.workers.org/2012/world/somalia_0216/ February 12, 2012 By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire The Pentagon and the White House continue to deny that United States military forces are directly involved in the current war over control of the Horn of Africa state of Somalia. Nevertheless, a Washington-directed drone struck an internationally supervised displaced persons camp just outside Somalia¶s capital, Mogadishu. Nigerians living in poverty rise to nearly 61% (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17015873 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author Poverty has risen in Nigeria, with almost 100 million people living on less than a $1 (£0.63) a day, despite economic growth, statistics have shown. Lesotho: Snap Election for Politicians in Disarray? (allAfrica) http://allafrica.com/stories/201202120123.html February 13, 2012 By Tsoeu Petlane Maseru ² Lesotho is due for a general election to choose a new national government between February and May of this year. Despite a legal framework that stipulates a general election every five years, it appears none of the actors on the national stage are ready for it. So, are we building up to another snap election? Pirates kill captain, chief engineer in Nigeria ship attack (Reuters) http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE81C0A820120213 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author ABUJA (Reuters) - Pirates shot dead the captain and the chief engineer on a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria on Monday, an International Maritime Bureau (IMB) official said, the latest in a string of attacks on vessels off the coast of Africa's No. 1 oil producer. Nigeria security forces stop bomb attempt in Kaduna (Reuters) http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE81C09J20120213 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author Nigerian security forces stopped a bomber on Monday who tried to ram a car packed with explosives through the gates of government house in the northern city of Kaduna, a government official said. Aid Worker Diaries - Avoiding a children's catastrophe in the Sahel (AlertNet) http://www.trust.org/alertnet/blogs/aid-worker-diaries/avoiding-a-childrens-catastrophein-the-sahel/ http://www.trust.org/alertnet/blogs/aid-worker-diaries/avoiding-a-childrenscatastrophe-in-the-sahel/ February 13, 2012
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By UNICEF / Shantha Bloemen There is much talk these days of reaching the unreached. But as I drive with UNICEF colleagues through the remote Hodh Gharbi scrubland in Mauritania, in north-west Africa¶s Sahel region, there is little sign of any outside effort making its way here where the whimpers and restlessness ± the signs of hunger ± haunt the mothers in one scattered home after another. Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones to Travel to Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya (State.gov) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/02/183814.htm February 13, 2012 Media Note Washington, DC Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones will travel to Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya February 13 22. U.S. Science Envoy Gebisa Ejeta Travels to Ethiopia and Tanzania (State.gov) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/02/183815.htm February 13, 2012 Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC On his second Envoy trip, U.S. Science Envoy Dr. Gebisa Ejeta will travel to Ethiopia and Tanzania February 13-24, 2012, where he will meet with senior government officials and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit, and business communities. Dr. Ejeta will discuss cooperation on sustainable development, innovation, and university partnerships. Zambia's footballers return to heroes' welcome (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17011165 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author Africa's new football champions, Zambia's Chipolopolo, have arrived to a heroes' welcome in the capital, Lusaka. ### ------------------------------------------------------------------------------UN News Service Africa Briefs http://www.un.org/apps/news/region.asp?Region=AFRICA (Full Articles on UN Website) Ban welcomes signing of non-aggression pact between Sudan and South Sudan 13 February ± Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the signing of a nonU.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Office  +49(0)711-729-2687  AFRICOM-PAO@usafricom.mil

aggression and cooperation pact between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan and urged both countries to maintain the positive spirit that led to the agreement and abide by its provisions. UN convenes meeting of aid groups to discuss how to tackle growing hunger in Sahel 13 February ± The leaders of United Nations aid agencies, humanitarian organizations and donor governments will meet on Wednesday in Rome to discuss how to urgently scale up assistance in Africa¶s Sahel region, where drought and food shortages are threatening millions of lives. UN welcomes official start of operations for Libyan electoral authorities 13 February ± The United Nations today welcomed the official start of operations for Libya¶s new electoral authorities, but urged that the framework for staging the first free elections in the North African country in four decades be implemented as quickly as possible. Organized crime in West Africa the focus of talks between UN envoy, Interpol 13 February ± Transnational organized crime in West Africa, including illicit drug trafficking and the proliferation of illegal arms, as well as maritime piracy, dominated discussions today between a senior United Nations envoy and the head of the international police organization, Interpol. ### ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Upcoming Events of Interest: February 14 WHEN: 2:30 ± 4:00 p.m. WHAT: Atlantic Council Discussion on ³Libya Revisited: Coalition Building and the Future of NATO Operations.´ Speakers: Charles Bouchard, Lieutenant-General and Commander of NATO military mission in Libya, Royal Canadian Air Force; Moderated by Barry Pavel, Director, International Security Program, Atlantic Council WHERE: Atlantic Council, 1101 15th Street, NW, 11th Floor CONTACT: 202-463-7226 or info@acus.org; web site: www.acus.org SOURCE: Atlantic Council ± event announcement February 15 WHEN: 2:30 p.m. WHAT: House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on " Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt, Part I." Witnesses: Robert Kagan, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Michele Dunne, Ph.D., Director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council; Mr. Eric Trager, Ira Weiner Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Tamara Wittes, Ph.D., former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.
U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Office  +49(0)711-729-2687  AFRICOM-PAO@usafricom.mil

WHERE: Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building CONTACT: 202-225-5021; web site: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov SOURCE: House Foreign Affairs Committee - hearing announcement February 16 WHEN: 1:00 p.m. WHAT: House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on " Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt, Part II." Witnesses: The Honorable Lorne W. Craner, President, International Republican Institute; Mr. Kenneth Wollack, President, National Democracy Institute; Robert Herman, Ph.D., Vice President for Regional Programs, Freedom House WHERE: Room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building CONTACT: 202-225-5021; web site: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov SOURCE: House Foreign Affairs Committee - hearing announcement -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------New on www.africom.mil U.S., Malian Military Medics Train to Save Lives http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7618&lang=0 February 10, 2012 By Sergeant Mark A. Henderson 128th MPAD, Utah Army National Guard Print Share MOPTI, Mali, -- Soldiers of the 807th Medical Deployment Support Command, Fort Douglas, Utah, joined with their Malian medical defense forces counterparts for the start of Atlas Accord12 in Mopti, Mali, February 7-15, 2012. ### -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------FULLTEXT

African villagers embrace U.S. role in hunt for Lord's Resistance Army leader (McClatchy Newspapers) http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/02/13/138737/african-villagers-embrace-us-role.html Alan Boswell McClatchy Newspapers February 14, 2012 OBO, Central African Republic ² On the edge of this quiet town in the isolated forests of central Africa sits one of America's newest military outposts, a base made of grass surrounded by razor wire. Outside, a baby chimpanzee plays on a green rope, and three local policemen lounge in a pickup truck. Inside, up to 30 U.S. special forces plot the demise of one of the world's most elusive and sadistic rebels.
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The U.S. troops arrived two months ago and by most accounts have yet to undertake any military actions. But their mere presence has transformed this tattered out-of-the-way enclave of Congolese refugees, Ugandan soldiers and traumatized local residents into an upbeat cluster of newfound hope. At night, energized locals bang homemade 8-foot-long xylophones and straddle voluminous bass drums, crooning new tunes to celebrate their good luck. "The Americans are here/Our saviors are here/Let's dance" goes one such song. "Americans are favored by God wherever they are in the world," said Bassiri Moke, a local chief. "We asked God to save us and the Americans came. We hope we won't have to die like before." The American deployment here forms the core of a new plan constructed in Washington to end the violent cross-border marauding of Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony and his band of 200 hundred or so fighters known as the Lord's Resistance Army. Masters of survival, they slink through thick equatorial forests and brush-littered plains in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, preying on the civilian population for food and new conscripts, killing and abducting as they go. Thousands have died in their wake. That the U.S. has joined the hunt for a group that horrifies millions of Americans but poses no direct threat to the United States is testament to the influence of human rights campaigners, who, together with evangelical Christians, lobbied Congress to pass a law requiring renewed U.S. efforts against the LRA. The Obama administration responded by dispatching 100 special operations troops to help find Kony. Most of the U.S. troops are based near the Ugandan capital, Kampala. But this outpost in Obo ² a town of 15,000 in the far-eastern obscurity of the Central African Republic, an impoverished former French colony of 4 million people ² is the true heart of the effort. Kony and his core followers are believed to be living off the surrounding forests, always on the run. Expectations among those who live in the rebels' vicious shadow are sky high. "Kony will die now that the Americans have come," bellowed Longbango Jean-Claude, a 38-year-old Congolese refugee who had three family members killed and three more abducted by the LRA in 2009. "Don't put him in prison like a child. Just kill him." The area where Kony operates gives new meaning to "middle of nowhere." A sequestered and ungoverned land with few roads, the area lies near the intersection of three of the world's most failed states and one of the remotest points on the continent. There is little here of international economic interest, though the land itself is so fertile that even refugees have no problem growing their own food. There are vast mineral deposits in eastern Congo, and the U.S. government recently has changed sanctions laws
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to open South Sudan's oil industry to U.S. companies. But those are hardly factors in hunting down Kony. The most direct U.S. interest may in fact be tighter cooperation with the Ugandan military, which also has become a channel for U.S. efforts in Somalia, where Uganda shoulders the fight against Islamist rebels with links to al Qaida. A McClatchy correspondent, joined by a writer and a photographer from Time magazine, were the first journalists to visit the site of the new American deployment. The U.S. military's Africa command, known as Africom, was informed of the visit in advance but said the mission was not ready to accommodate journalists. Twice in emails, a spokesman for the military said there was no U.S. base in Obo and that U.S. troops deployed here were staying at a Ugandan base. But the Ugandan base is at an abandoned church on one side of town, while the newly constructed outpost where the Americans stay is near a police station on the opposite side. Locals say the American compound has its own helicopter pad. When reporters approached the American outpost, two close-cropped white heads poked briefly above the wall. One yelled, "You are not allowed in here." A white pickup truck carrying what appeared to be four Americans pulled up to the compound as the reporters were preparing to leave. Not long ago, life here slogged away as it had for centuries. But in early 2008, as peace talks over South Sudan collapsed, Kony's men, who had been operating largely within the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, began venturing further north and west. On March 6, 2008, they struck here. Moke was the town mayor at the time. There was a huge funeral party. He warned everyone not to stay out late. He went to bed at 8 p.m. "They didn't listen," he said. Around 2 a.m., the music suddenly stopped. The villagers realized they were surrounded. "They took them all," Moke recalled. About half of the abductees were released after a few days, but 30 or so others remained. Boys and young men became LRA fighters; girls and young women, "wives." Most have since escaped and found their way back, scarred with searing images of brutality and cruelty. When asked how he is adjusting to life after a year in the hands of the LRA, the eyes of one abductee darkened. "The images are always flashing in front of my eyes. It's like I'm projecting my own movies," said Emmanuel Daba, who was turned by the LRA into a soldier before he fled
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in South Sudan. "I doubt I can ever escape it." Officials in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, say that this country was the weakest link in the Uganda-led regional effort to finish off the guerrilla group. Kony and his men have not set foot in Uganda for years. Most of the attacks take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan is also seriously affected, but each of those countries have United Nations peacekeeping operations and somewhat functional, if ill-disciplined, national armies. The Central African Republic, however, has a weak army with a spare presence here. When small groups of Central African Republic troops started arriving in some of the more rural areas in 2008, some teenagers had never seen a soldier before. Now, they see American special forces drive around in white Toyota Hilux pickups and jogging for fitness along the edge of town. What exactly the Americans have in mind is unclear. There are differing opinions among officials about whether killing or capturing Kony would be enough to end his movement, which originated in the marginalized Acholi tribe of northern Uganda and offers an ideology that is a cult-like mish-mash of Christianity and traditional mysticism, held together by the force of Kony's charismatic and cruel leadership. Kony and two of his top lieutenants have been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court and would theoretically face trial if captured alive. The U.S. says it is here to provide logistical support, bolster intelligence sharing and improve the coordination among the four nations' armies now fighting the LRA. "Our intent is to supplement host nation military efforts with advice and assistance that maximizes the flow of information to, and synchronizes the activities of, host nation units in the field," said Maj. James Scott Rawlinson, a spokesman for U.S. special operations forces in Africa. "The end state for this mission is to enable local forces to be able to render the LRA ineffective." Although local residents are impatiently expecting a major new military operation soon, they say they have seen little American activity, and the troops themselves keep a low profile. Obo's acting mayor said he hasn't met any of the U.S. troops. The one identifiable U.S. project is the construction of a bigger broadcast tower for the local radio station. Rawlinson did not directly respond to a question about whether U.S. personnel would join the Ugandan military on patrols, but he said that it is the African militaries that "have the responsibility of specifically countering the threat." Ledio Cakaj, a researcher who has interviewed 200 former LRA fighters, women, and abductees over the past several years, is openly skeptical that the U.S. involvement will
U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Office  +49(0)711-729-2687  AFRICOM-PAO@usafricom.mil

make any difference in a battle that has gone on for decades. "The so-called military solution has not worked for over 25 years," he said, noting that the LRA is far more organized and rational than it is often portrayed in Western media. "It is not practically possible to kill them all." Locals in Obo have had their hopes raised before. When Ugandan troops arrived in 2009, they were warmly welcomed as protectors. But more than two years later, with Kony still at large and the Ugandan strategy for finding him opaque, that good will has evaporated. Locals say Ugandan soldiers sometimes rampage through town drunk, abusing civilians, and they accuse them of running business schemes instead of finding Kony. For the time being, the U.S. presence seems to have straightened out their allies' behavior, and once again the people of Obo feel their liberation is near. How long the status quo can remain before that elation craters is impossible to know. Locals seem to anticipate Kony only has a few months, if not weeks, remaining. Until then, life remains a daily struggle. In mid-January, Mbolifue Dieudonne and his brother, Danambutigo James, carried peanuts and clothes toward South Sudan for sale. They crossed four rivers, climbed a mountain, and then they saw them: five reeking dreadlocked men, armed with AK-47s. They dropped their goods and ran for it, but James was captured. He was marched a mile and a half and stripped of his clothes. "We will kill you," said a man on his right. But the commander, to his left, released him. Just like that, he was free. Once again, the tormentors from another land had left him empty-handed. And once again, he had no explanation for the shadowy force that has turned his life upside down in a conflict he still doesn't understand. "I don't know why they let me go," he said. "I'm still terrified." ### Uganda military says LRA rebels¶ hostages going hungry as militants flee steppedup manhunt (The Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/uganda-military-lra-rebels-hostages-goinghungry-as-militants-flee-stepped-up-manhunt/2012/02/13/gIQA5YznAR_story.html February 13, 2012 By Associated Press KAMPALA, Uganda ² Women and children abducted by the Lord¶s Resistance Army guerrilla group are suffering from hunger because the wanted band of fighters has stopped stealing food from villages to avoid being detected by a military manhunt, Ugandan military officials said Monday.
U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Office  +49(0)711-729-2687  AFRICOM-PAO@usafricom.mil

Col. Joseph Balikkudembe said women and children have died from hunger while in the custody of the LRA, though he did not provide any death tolls. He said that pregnant women and children under 10 were suffering the most. ³The majority of the abductees are dying due to lack of food,´ he told The Associated Press by email from the Central African Republic, where he is helping lead the manhunt for LRA fighters and their leader, Joseph Kony. Balikkudembe said that Kony has ordered his men to stop raiding communities for food, apparently to avoid being detected. ³They are feeding on wild yams commonly known as abato,´ he said. ³The yams are scarce, and they (rebels) are always on the run.´ Balikkudembe said his soldiers rescued a woman who had just given birth when Ugandan forces attacked a rebel outfit led by Okot Odhiambo, one of Kony¶s top lieutenants. Kony, whose army abducts children and takes women as sex slaves, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity committed during a decades-long insurgency against Uganda¶s government. The group has been blamed for the murder of thousands of civilians in four countries, and the U.S. classifies it as a terrorist organization. Last October President Barack Obama sent about 100 combat-ready U.S. forces to help regional governments capture or kill Kony and his top lieutenants. The decision to deploy was based on legislation called the Lord¶s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, passed by Congress in 2010. Kony¶s militia has split into groups of a few fighters, and analysts say he is not able to assert his authority on all the units. To avoid detection, Kony uses messengers to communicate his commands, Ugandan army officials say. The itinerant nature of Kony¶s forces means that they are unable to grow food crops, as they once did in southern Sudan, or even to access old provisions. LRA fighters now operate in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Congo. ³We are aware that Kony has a problem of food that is very, very serious,´ said Col. Felix Kulayigye, the spokesman for Uganda¶s military. ³We have heard that a small group of LRA has entered the DRC (Congo) from the Central African Republic. It¶s a small group of 50 to 60.´ At least five civilians were killed and 20 abducted in a rash of LRA attacks in the Central African Republic this year, according to a website called the LRA Crisis Tracker run by the aid groups Invisible Children and Resolve. The site also reported that suspected LRA fighters stole food and medicine from a health care center in Congo last week.
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The attacks are a constant threat to villagers in the region. On Feb. 6 seven suspected LRA fighters abducted a hunter near Ngilima, Congo. Two days earlier in Aligi, Congo six suspected LRA ² four men with guns and two women with machetes and sticks ² looted three households and abducted several people. Presumed LRA fighters abducted six children in Mangwa, Congo on Jan. 22, according to the site. Kony is believed to be somewhere in the Central African Republic, but his precise location is not known. The Ugandan military estimates that Kony has between 150 and 200 fighters, but many more women and children are believed to move with the rebels. Flushed out of Ugandan territory by 2006, Kony and his army of ragtag fighters have navigated the region¶s porous borders, escaping to South Sudan or seeking refuge in the dense jungles of eastern Congo, where in December 2008 an aerial assault aided by American surveillance failed to kill Kony. The rebel leader has been highly mobile after the attack, which followed a failed peace process mediated by South Sudan. The U.S.-based advocacy group Enough Project said in a report this month that the deployment of U.S. forces is not be enough to catch Kony. Sasha Lezhnev, the report¶s author, warned that the mission will probably fail ³unless U.S. military advisers are backed by strong military support and a new defection strategy.´ ³A small investment in transport helicopters and intelligence support would go a very long way. President Obama should also call on African allies to supply additional special forces troops to help locate Joseph Kony,´ the report said. Uganda has thousands of troops based in Obo, a town in southeast Central African Republic where in December they were joined by American advisers. The Ugandan military has declined to say precisely how many soldiers are stationed there. ³The problem is not numbers, it is better technology,´ Kulayigye said. ### Gadhafi son under house arrest in Niger, Libya says (CNN) http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/12/world/africa/libya-gadhafi-son/index.html?hpt=iaf_c1 February 13, 2012 By Jomana Karadsheh Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- One of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's surviving sons has had his phone cut off and been placed under house arrest in Niger after warning of a revolt against Libya's new government, authorities in Tripoli said Sunday. Saadi Gadhafi has been in Niger since September, following the collapse of his father's
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42-year rule. He had been granted asylum, but Libyan authorities renewed demands for his arrest after he told the satellite news network Al Arabiya that "a new popular uprising" was brewing in his home country. Nigerien officials would not comment on the move. But Libya's National Transitional Council, which replaced the Gadhafi regime, said Saadi Gadhafi's comments "were considered a violation of the terms of his residency granted by Niger." "Saadi used the asylum he was granted in Niger on humanitarian basis to carry out acts of aggression against the Libyan people and their glorious revolution," NTC spokesman Mohammed Nasr al-Hraizi said in a government statement. Libya's new government complained to Niger about Saadi Gadhafi's interview, demanding Niger "take stringent measures, including his extradition to Libya." The move came as Libya prepares to mark the anniversary of the February 17 revolt that toppled the elder Gadhafi six months later. Few details have been announced, but commemorations are expected in Tripoli; in Benghazi, where the revolution began; and in Misrata, one of its major battlegrounds. The rebirth of Libyan football Security has been tightened in Tripoli, with new checkpoints going up around the city in recent days. Gadhafi loyalists have been circulating text messages and YouTube videos talking about a new for uprising around the anniversary date. Gen. Youssef Mangoush, the new chief of staff of the Libyan armed forces, said there has been no direct threat regarding the anniversary, but said the government would take all steps necessary to head off any new revolt. The transitional government in Tripoli is still working to build a new national army and police force. The NTC has set elections for a new National Assembly in June. But several revolutionary militias and regional factions have held onto their weapons and fought occasional clashes with each other, and ordinary Libyans say their biggest concern is security. Saadi Gadhafi was a prominent businessman and onetime head of Libya's national football league before his father's government fell to a six-month revolt in late August. The new Libyan government has accused him of misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation, and the multinational police agency Interpol issued a "red notice" calling for his arrest in September. In his interview with Al Arabiya, he said he had been in touch with Libyans "on a daily basis" and said several groups were ready to take up arms against the new government. "I call everyone to be prepared for this uprising, and be ready for the zero hour," he said. "Because when it happens, it will a real uprising." He added that he could return to Libya and "stop those acts of revenge," and he urged armed factions in Libya "to meet and discuss and achieve real peace this time."
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The elder Gadhafi was killed by NTC fighters in October, along with his son Mutassim. Another son, Khamis, was reported killed in battle as the regime imploded in August. Gadhafi's second-eldest son and closest adviser, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, is now awaiting trial in Libya. The elder Gadhafi's wife, three other children and several grandchildren have fled to neighboring Algeria. ### Admiral Seeks Freer Hand in Deployment of Elite Forces (NYT) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/13/us/admiral-pushes-for-freer-hand-in-specialforces.html February 12, 2012 By Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker WASHINGTON ² As the United States turns increasingly to Special Operations forces to confront developing threats scattered around the world, the nation¶s top Special Operations officer, a member of the Navy Seals who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels. The officer, Adm. William H. McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command, is pushing for a larger role for his elite units who have traditionally operated in the dark corners of American foreign policy. The plan would give him more autonomy to position his forces and their war-fighting equipment where intelligence and global events indicate they are most needed. It would also allow the Special Operations forces to expand their presence in regions where they have not operated in large numbers for the past decade, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. While President Obama and his Pentagon¶s leadership have increasingly made Special Operations forces their military tool of choice, similar plans in the past have foundered because of opposition from regional commanders and the State Department. The military¶s regional combatant commanders have feared a decrease of their authority, and some ambassadors in crisis zones have voiced concerns that commandos may carry out missions that are perceived to tread on a host country¶s sovereignty, like the rift in ties with Pakistan after the Bin Laden raid. Administration, military and Congressional officials say that the Special Operations Command has embarked on a quiet lobbying campaign to push through the initiative. Pentagon and administration officials note that while the Special Operations Command is certain to see a growth in its budget and personnel when the new Defense Department spending plan is released Monday ² in contrast to many other parts of the military that are being cut ² no decisions have been made on whether to expand Admiral McRaven¶s
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authorities. The White House and State Department declined to comment on the proposal on Sunday. The proposals are put forward as a new model for warfare in an age of diminishing Pentagon budgets, shrinking numbers of troops and declining public appetite for large wars of occupation, according to Pentagon officials, military officers and civilian contractors briefed on the plan. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made. Under the new concepts, a significant number of Special Operations forces ² projected at 12,000 ² would remain deployed around the world. While commando teams would be on call for striking terrorist targets and rescuing hostages, just as significant would be the increased number of these personnel deployed on training and liaison assignments and to gather information to help the command better predict approaching national security risks. Officials stressed that in almost all cases, Special Operations forces would still only be ordered on specific missions by the regional four-star commander. ³It¶s not really about Socom running the global war on terrorism,´ Admiral McRaven said in a brief interview last week, referring to the Special Operations Command. ³I don¶t think we¶re ready to do that. What it¶s about is how do I better support´ the regional combatant commanders. For the past decade, more than 80 percent of the United States¶ Special Operations forces have been deployed to the Middle East. With the military¶s conventional forces coming home after the full withdrawal from Iraq, Admiral McRaven wants the authority to spread his commando teams into regions where they had been thinned out to provide forces for wars after the Sept. 11 attacks. Even more, Admiral McRaven wants the authority to quickly move his units to potential hot spots without going through the standard Pentagon process governing overseas deployments. Historically, the deployment of American forces overseas began with a request from a global combatant commander that was processed through the military¶s Joint Staff and placed before the defense secretary for approval, in a cautious and deliberate process. Shifting national security threats may argue for Admiral McRaven¶s plans. With Special Operations forces concentrated in the Middle East and Southwest Asia over the last decade, commanders in other regions are seeking more of these units in their areas. State Department officials say they have not yet been briefed on the proposals. In the past, some ambassadors in crisis zones have opposed increased deployments of Special Operations teams, and they have demanded assurances that diplomatic chiefs of missions will be fully involved in their plans and missions.
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Senior Special Operations commanders pledged that their efforts would be coordinated with the senior diplomatic representative in each country. These officers also describe how the new authorities would stress working with local security forces whenever possible. The exception would be when a local government was unable or unwilling to cooperate with an authorized American mission, or if there was no responsible government in power with whom to work. Admiral McRaven¶s plans have raised concerns even within the Special Operations community. Two Pentagon consultants said they have spoken with senior Special Operations officers who worry about their troops being stretched too thin. They are also concerned that Special Operations forces ² still less than 2 percent of the entire military ² will become so much the ³go to´ force of choice that they are asked to carry out missions beyond their capacity. ³Sure, we¶re worried about that,´ said one senior Special Operations officer with several command tours overseas. ³But we also think we can manage that.´ The Special Operations Command now numbers just under 66,000 people ² including both military personnel and Defense Department civilians ² a doubling since 2001. Its budget has reached $10.5 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2001 (after adjusting for inflation). Over the past decade, Special Operations Command personnel have been deployed for combat operations, exercises, training and other liaison missions in more than 70 countries. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Special Operations Command sustained overseas deployments of more than 12,000 troops a day, with four-fifths committed to the broader Middle East. Even as the Pentagon trims its conventional force, with a refocus on the Asia-Pacific region and reductions in Europe, the Special Operations Command says it needs to permanently sustain that overseas force of 12,000 deployed around the world ² with troops that came out of Iraq being distributed across regions that had not had many over the past decade. Under Admiral McRaven¶s evolving plans ² what he calls the Global SOF Alliance ² Special Operations forces would be moved around the globe at his direction, to bolster the forces available to the top Special Operations officer assigned to each theater of operation. Thickening the Special Operations deployments in these other regions would allow the United States to be ready to respond more rapidly to a broader range of threats. Current guidelines allow the Special Operations Command to carry out missions on its own for very specific types of operations, although that has rarely been done and officials involved in the current debate say that would remain a rare event. ³He¶s trying to provide global agility,´ said one former military official who has been
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briefed on the planning. ³If your network is not elastic, it¶s not as agile as the enemy.´ ### US, Mali armies kick off Exercise Atlas Accord; postpone Exercise Flintlock (defenceWeb) http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23446: us-mali-armies-kick-off-exercise-atlas-accord-postpone-exerciseflintlock&catid=50:Land&Itemid=105 February 13, 2012 Written by defenceWeb United States and Mali army personnel have kicked off the combed aerial delivery exercise Atlas Accord 12, but have postponed Exercise Flintlock 12 due to the Tuareg rebellion, which broke out last month. The 400 Malian Defence Force personnel and 125 Americans participating in the annual Atlas Accord are focusing on training in logistics command and control, air drop preparation and helicopter resupply. The weeklong exercise is running from January 7 to 15, US Africa Command reports. In partnership with the Mali Defence Force and the US Army, militaries from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, and Uganda have committed to sending small teams to participate in Atlas Accord 12. The exercise consists of classroom instruction and a Field Training Exercise. Amongst the American units deployed to Mali is the 807th Medical Deployment Support Command (MDSC), from Fort Douglas, Utah, which is seizing this opportunity to expand on training. While in Mali, 807th medics were asked by Malian Army Colonel Youssouf Treore, commander of the medical detachment in Mopti, to aid Malian medical personnel in the use of supplies they received from US forces several years ago. Treore said the supplies are very practical, easy to use, and helpful to the Malian Medical Defense Forces. "We are training with the Malian medical personnel on different types of equipment that include cervical braces, finger splints, ring cutters, pressure bandages, back boards and more," said Major Dean A Nelson, a family physician assigned to the 328th Combat Support Hospital (CSH), 807th MDSC. "These Malian soldiers and medical personnel have on-the-job training, so it is very rewarding to show them and see their excitement when we demonstrate the proper use of the equipment," said Sergeant La Tonia R Luna, an 807th MDSC Army healthcare specialist.
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American medical personnel gained experience from working with the Malians. "I learned they do a lot with a little. I don't know how they handle trauma situations but, it's impressive how they do it," said Staff Sergeant Anthony P Baca, an 807th MDSC Army healthcare specialist. "Training will help our medics become better since they are teaching the Malians through interpreters and have to move slowly and ensure they are understood; it gives them a better understanding of the training they are providing," said Lieutenant Colonel David H Moikeha, an emergency physician, assigned to the 94th Combat Support Hospital, 807th MDSC. Baca said he is impressed with the willingness to learn of both militaries. Luna agreed. "The Malians asked very good questions and were curious about the use of the equipment and now they know how to use it to help their patients," Luna said. "Helping patients recover is important to the people," Treore said. "We receive so much trauma from highway accidents, military and civilian," he said. "The equipment we have will help us care for the trauma patients we receive at our level." Treore added he was grateful for the experience. "I appreciate the cooperation with the US Army," he said. It (the training) is very practical and it will help us face all of our needs." The Army plans to continue aerial-delivery training with African partner nations during Atlas Accord 13. Future training will build upon previous exercises and incorporate Command, Control, Communications, computers and Intelligence techniques (C4I). The Associated Press reports that the biannual Exercise Flintlock was due to bring 2 000 soldiers from 16 African, European and US troops together later this month. One of Flintlock¶s main aims is to assist African armies in counterterrorism training. ### U.S. escalates drone use against Somalia (WorkersWorld) http://www.workers.org/2012/world/somalia_0216/ February 12, 2012 By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire The Pentagon and the White House continue to deny that United States military forces are directly involved in the current war over control of the Horn of Africa state of
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Somalia. Nevertheless, a Washington-directed drone struck an internationally supervised displaced persons camp just outside Somalia¶s capital, Mogadishu. Washington¶s escalation of military involvement in the Horn of Africa is designed to control the geopolitical situation and to dominate the exploration and exploitation of oil that has recently been discovered in Somalia. Over the last several months, U.S. drones have killed and injured hundreds of Somalis. The escalation of military actions aims to liquidate the al-Shabaab Islamic resistance movement inside the country. The most recent attack on Feb. 3 drew international attention to the Obama administration¶s role in East Africa. Raxanreeb Broadcasting Corporation Radio reported, ³The unmanned drone went down at Badbado [displaced person] camp which is in the Dharkenley district, south of Mogadishu. According to Badbado resident Ahmed Abdi, µIt was around noon that we saw a white small aircraft flying over our camp and in minutes we saw it fall down here.¶´ (Feb. 3) Reports indicated that soldiers from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali officials entered the camp, removed the crashed drone and turned it over to the government. This is the second reported drone crash in Somalia over the last three months. Last year the U.S. administration admitted that it had set up a base for surveillance drones in neighboring Ethiopia. That Washington has deployed drones in Somalia and other regions represents an escalation of military aggression. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently revealed a 30 percent increase in U.S. use of pilotless aerial vehicles, including predator drones. A Feb. 5 Boston Globe article acknowledges that drone use is a new U.S. strategy in its so-called war on terrorism: ³Drones are much cheaper than boots on the ground; they avoid putting American troops at direct risk and allow us to target enemies wherever they may be. By using unmanned weapons, the argument goes, we can avoid the kind of protracted, costly wars that have been so disastrous in Iraq and Afghanistan.´ Previously used mainly for surveillance purposes, drones now target and kill ³perceived´ enemies of the U.S., along with innocent civilians who have no involvement with organizations that the White House has deemed ³terrorists.´ The same article explains, ³When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 it had only about 60 unmanned aircraft. Today we have more than 7,000 as well as 12,000 groundbased robots.´ These weapons have flown more than 80,000 missions worldwide, hitting targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Somalia and spying on other countries.
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The legality of the usage of such weapons for targeted assassinations is never raised within the U.S. corporate media or debated in Congress. The United Nations Charter, which the U.S. says it abides by, allows for national defense of a nation-state, but prohibits the use of deadly weapons to settle disputes outside borders. There has been no formal declaration of war against Somalia or Pakistan. Thus the CIA, which ostensibly launches drones under its command, is not compelled to reveal or acknowledge the deployment of these weapons. The CIA¶s budget is classified, and therefore the public has no access to the cost of these deployments or the frequency with which these weapons are utilized. In October 2011, the Kenyan Defense Forces crossed over into neighboring Somalia and began a war against the Al-Shabaab resistance movement, which controls large sections of the central and south of the country. Since October, the KDF has said it has killed hundreds of Somalians and displaced thousands more. The RBC Radio report stated, ³The spokesman for Kenya¶s military says an estimated 100 Somali militants were killed after helicopter gunships targeted a gathering of more than 20 al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia.´ The Kenyan government, in cooperation with the U.S., had planned the intervention in Somalia for nearly two years. Also the White House has pledged ongoing funding for AMISOM forces, which are based in Mogadishu and are carrying out the war against alShabaab in the capital and other areas in the central region of the country. On Feb. 3, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization¶s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and the Famine Early Warning System declared the famine in Somalia over. Yet the latest data indicate that 2.3 million people are still at risk and are in need of life-saving assistance. In fact, if international assistance does not continue in Somalia, by May the food security system could worsen again. Mark Bowden, who is the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said in the same RBC dispatch, ³The gains are fragile and will be reversed without continued support.´ Consequently, the imperialist states must refrain from continuing their militarism in the region and allow the unimpeded distribution of food and other relief assistance there. ### Nigerians living in poverty rise to nearly 61% (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17015873 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author
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Poverty has risen in Nigeria, with almost 100 million people living on less than a $1 (£0.63) a day, despite economic growth, statistics have shown. The National Bureau of Statistics said 60.9% of Nigerians in 2010 were living in "absolute poverty" - this figure had risen from 54.7% in 2004. The bureau predicted this rising trend was likely to continue. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer but the sector has been tainted by accusations of corruption. According to the report, absolute poverty is measured by the number of people who can afford only the bare essentials of shelter, food and clothing. North-south divide The NBS, a government agency, said there was a paradox at the heart of Nigeria as the economy was going from strength to strength, mainly because of oil production - yet Nigerians were getting poorer. "Despite the fact that the Nigerian economy is growing, the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing every year, although it declined between 1985 and 1992, and between 1996 and 2004," head of the NBS bureau Yemi Kale said. Oil accounts for some 80% of Nigeria's state revenues but it has hardly any capacity to refine crude oil into fuel, which has to be imported. Last month, there was a nationwide strike when the government tried to remove the subsidy on fuel, angering many Nigerians who see it as the only benefit they received from the country's vast oil wealth. The NBS said that relative poverty was most apparent in the north of the country, with Sokoto state's poverty rate the highest at 86.4%. In the north-west and north-east of the country poverty rates were recorded at 77.7% and 76.3% respectively, compared to the south-west at 59.1%. BBC Africa analyst Richard Hamilton says it is perhaps no surprise that extremist groups, such as Boko Haram, continue to have an appeal in northern parts of the country, where poverty and underdevelopment are at their most severe. The report also revealed that Nigerians consider themselves to be getting poorer. In 2010, 93.9% of respondents felt themselves to be poor compared to 75.5% six years earlier.
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Mr Kale says releasing such statistics from time to time is crucial for effective government planning. "This kind of data helps them to know what is really happening so they can track their policies and programmes," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme. "It gives them the opportunity to look at what they are doing... and if there are areas they need to change, it makes it easier to modify strategies," he added. ### Lesotho: Snap Election for Politicians in Disarray? (allAfrica) http://allafrica.com/stories/201202120123.html February 13, 2012 By Tsoeu Petlane Maseru ² Lesotho is due for a general election to choose a new national government between February and May of this year. Despite a legal framework that stipulates a general election every five years, it appears none of the actors on the national stage are ready for it. So, are we building up to another snap election? The last election in 2007 was labelled a snap poll by analysts and politicians primarily because it came three months before the expected date - mid-February instead of May. This has been attributed mainly to panic by the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) after the defection of communications minister Tom Thabane and 17 MPs to form the All-Basotho Convention (ABC) in October 2006, which reduced the LCD's majority in the National Assembly to just over 50 percent. In the event, the LCD was returned to power, and Thabane proved to be no threat: today the ABC holds just over 10 seats in parliament. But for the past two years, the LCD has been locked in a succession battle between party Secretary-General Mothetjoa Metsing and Minister of Natural Resources, Monyane Moleleki. Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, who has yet to pronounce his future plans, appears unable to bring this contest to an end-even if only for the purpose of uniting the party to win an election. The ruling party has so far failed to hold a court-ordered special conference that would indicate which of the two contenders is likely to lead it into the 2012 campaign. On the ground, MPs are fighting challengers for nomination as candidates in the election. And ambitious politicians who fail to secure party endorsement are threatening to stand as independents, splitting the party vote. Last week Mosisili survived embarrassment in parliament when an opposition-sponsored vote of no confidence collapsed after Metsing withdrew his name as the candidate to replace him as prime minister.
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Mosisili had fired Metsing and two other members of the LCD's executive committee from Cabinet after the abortive special conference two weeks ago, thus ostensibly throwing his weight with the Moleleki faction. But the stalemate within LCD remains, while opposition has also failed to inspire. Opposition parties are experiencing similar debilitating divisions, and there are suggestions that they would like the poll to be postponed because the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is not ready. With Lesotho's politicians in disarray, an election would take them all by surprise: none have completed the process of selecting a full slate of candidates-and are unlikely to do so before the 90-day election campaign period; few can present the nation with a single, undisputed leader; almost all are led by men who have passed their sell-by dates (Mosisili has been premier since 1998); none has yet presented a clear roadmap of where they want to take the country; and at least 10 groups have been struck off the roll of parties by the IEC because they are virtual one-man outfits with no visible and verifiable structure on the ground. The argument for postponement made publicly by parties is that the IEC is unprepared. Here they are likely to cite local government elections held last October, where the performance of the IEC left many questions unanswered: the voters' roll was in a shambles, and the IEC is yet to convince the nation that this problem has been resolved; voter turnout was low (in places as low as 10 percent), threatening the credibility of the poll; and the conduct of the poll itself left much to be desired. The argument therefore is that if 2011 was a dry run for 2012, the IEC needs to improve its preparations substantially before such an important national undertaking is embarked upon. A second argument for postponement is precedent: the local government election was originally scheduled for the early part of 2010 but was postponed to October 2011. Perhaps the only party ready for a poll is the electorate, who appear anxious to exercise their democratic right to choose the next government. While the grounds on which the politicians are advocating a postponement are understandable, they are not acceptable, and postponing the election would be a mistake. First, the internal conflicts of political parties show organic weaknesses which should be the drivers of the democratic process; second, the IEC's weaknesses cannot be resolved by technical means only-eliminating the culture of mistrust is a national effort; and third, abrogating constitutional requirements for the timing of national elections, however legally done, is the thin end of the wedge of lawlessness.
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Lesotho does not face easy options. A snap election would catch all parties equally unprepared, but postponing the polls cannot be the route to consolidating the country's teetering democracy. Unfortunately, as usual, the scenario lays the seeds of post-election contestation, in which losers refuse to accept the verdict of the ballot. Just as in the past, minimising the potential for instability will call for statemanship in the country and the region. ### Pirates kill captain, chief engineer in Nigeria ship attack (Reuters) http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE81C0A820120213 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author ABUJA (Reuters) - Pirates shot dead the captain and the chief engineer on a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria on Monday, an International Maritime Bureau (IMB) official said, the latest in a string of attacks on vessels off the coast of Africa's No. 1 oil producer. "Armed pirates chased and fired upon a drifting bulk carrier. Vessel raised alarm and headed towards Lagos. All crew except the bridge team took shelter in the citadel. Due to the continuous firing the captain and the chief engineer were shot," a notice on the IMB website said. The attack. about 110 miles south of the commercial hub and main Nigerian port Lagos, comes two days after pirates on two boats in the same stretch of water fired shots at a different cargo vessel and chased it for 25 minutes before giving up, the website said. Pirates off the coast of Nigeria tend to raid ships for cash and cargo rather than hijacking the crews for ransom like their counterparts off the coast of Somalia. The frequency of attacks, while not as high as off the Somali coast or surrounding Indian Ocean, is on the rise. ### Nigeria security forces stop bomb attempt in Kaduna (Reuters) http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE81C09J20120213 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian security forces stopped a bomber on Monday who tried to ram a car packed with explosives through the gates of government house in the northern city of Kaduna, a government official said. The bomber tried to flee and was shot in the legs, Reuben Buhari, spokesman for the governor, told Reuters. He said medical workers were treating him in police custody.
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Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed more than 250 people this year in bomb and gun attacks across the north of Africa's most populous nation. It mostly targets the police and other authority figures. A soldier who witnessed the attempted strike, asking not to be named, told Reuters that the driver of the car was a government worker. President Goodluck Jonathan has said Boko Haram has infiltrated parts of government and the security services. ### Aid Worker Diaries - Avoiding a children's catastrophe in the Sahel (AlertNet) http://www.trust.org/alertnet/blogs/aid-worker-diaries/avoiding-a-childrens-catastrophein-the-sahel/ http://www.trust.org/alertnet/blogs/aid-worker-diaries/avoiding-a-childrenscatastrophe-in-the-sahel/ February 13, 2012 By UNICEF / Shantha Bloemen There is much talk these days of reaching the unreached. But as I drive with UNICEF colleagues through the remote Hodh Gharbi scrubland in Mauritania, in north-west Africa¶s Sahel region, there is little sign of any outside effort making its way here where the whimpers and restlessness ± the signs of hunger ± haunt the mothers in one scattered home after another. Each year, the period between the rains and the new harvest brings a µlean season¶ when mothers struggle to feed their children. But last year there was no rain. This year¶s lean season has come three months early. Without rain, the pasture for livestock disappears; the goats produce less milk for the children and the few crops only half grow. Families compete with birds and locusts for what crops manage to survive. Family members, often men and older boys, are already leaving to search for better pastoral land or piecemeal work. UNICEF estimates that across the eight countries of the Sahel, more than a million children are at risk of severe malnutrition, which can quickly lead to death if left untreated. The hope of the government here and humanitarian agencies is to respond now and thus avoid the horrific pictures of mass starvation that could come if nothing is done. Yet it is hard to keep Africa on the relief agenda nowadays, and part of me bristles at the constant need to compare and compete between African emergencies. Will the Sahel crisis be as bad as last year¶s famine in the Horn of Africa? How accurate are the numbers? Where are the images of starving children? Mauritania, twice the size of France, is one of the world¶s least populated countries, with 3.4 million people speckling the huge region. We drive 870 km from Mauritania¶s capital of Nouakchott to the distant town of Aioun el Atrouss in the Hodh Gharbi region
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which is mainly home to pastoral nomads. Carcasses of dead animals line the road. The potential loss of livestock - an estimated one million camels, one million cows and more than 15 million goats and sheep live here ± would be devastating. Our drive leads us to signs of attempts to reach remote communities. Dr Ahmed Ould Aida, a food security and nutrition joint programme coordinator, takes us to a grain bank. It is part of a new scheme involving four UN agencies ± UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. When people have extra grain, they bring it to the community village storage centre and sell it for the market price, thus avoiding a fortune spent on transport to a distant buyer. It also means some of the grain stays within the community, as a backup in the lean season. Dr Ould Aida next takes us to the local health centre, which, with UNICEF help, is stocked with vaccines, essential medicines and therapeutic food to treat severe malnutrition. Nutrition centres in many villages are now stocked with corn soya blend, oil and sugar, supplied by WFP; mothers can bring moderately malnourished children to be weighed and take home supplies. With extensive community education, exclusive breastfeeding, a critical first line defence for young infants, has shot up to almost 85 per cent in the region. But with no rain and an early lean season, these signs of nascent resilience are not enough. Families are running out of food. ³There is no doubt the investments in development have paid off, but today, we have an emergency and local communities cannot survive without more help,´ Dr Aida explains. Following Dr Aida, we stop at the mud-brick home of 12-old-girl peering out from the doorway. Her stickly frame is apparent under her colourful traditional mulafa dress. If we were in the West, I would have thought she was anorexic; but here this is not a teenage eating disorder. Dr Aida speaks to the mother and makes a note to ensure the clinic nurse, more than 7 km away, visits them. Dr Aida takes us to the tented home of a mother with malnourished twins who says her husband has left in search of work. The grandmother talks in anger as her worn wrinkled hands mix a bowl of millet. ³Look at the people, even the adults are feeble«« it is not just the children but all of us who suffer from hunger and no food,´ she says. They are forced to rely on neighbours for scratches of a meal. We are joined by Khadetou Mint Beydar, one of 500 community health volunteers who have been trained to identify and treat malnourished children at home with therapeutic food. Beydar says a few cases of malnutrition at this time of year are not uncommon, but this year there are many. Lucia Elmi, UNICEF Mauritania Representative, says the immediate challenges are threefold - logistics, security and human capacity. The country needs at least US$3.2 million to prepare for a large-scale response to acute malnutrition as well as to invest in health, water and sanitation services. More will be needed for the recovery and to sustain the efforts.
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Adding to the stress of long distances and reaching isolated communities, humanitarian agencies may soon be challenged where they can go. Since the end of January, more than 10,000 people have crossed from Mali into Mauritania, fleeing renewed conflict between government forces and nomadic Tuareg fighting for independence. Analysts warn of a potential escalation of conflict as a fallout of the Libyan crisis and an influx of small arms and returning migrant workers. ³There is no doubt it will be difficult to reach children in a country this large and with populations so spread out,´ says Elmi. ³But if our responsibility and mandate is to make sure every child counts, then it is critical we respond now, especially to reach the poorest and most vulnerable, wherever they are.´ ### Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones to Travel to Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya (State.gov) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/02/183814.htm February 13, 2012 Media Note Washington, DC Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones will travel to Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya February 13 22. In Ethiopia, Dr. Jones will meet with Ethiopian Government officials, members of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, and others in the Ethiopian science community, including from the Natural Sciences Faculty of Addis Ababa University. As part of her visit, she will meet with members of the US-Ethiopian Business Forum. In addition, Dr. Jones will visit a clean cook-stove project site associated with the Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves (of which the U.S. Government is a founding member) and a new electronic waste recycling facility that receives USG support. In Tanzania, Dr. Jones will discuss education, health, and the economic development aspects of conservation and sustainable tourism. She will visit community projects, meet with NGOs, and hold a roundtable with university students studying the natural sciences. In Kenya, Dr. Jones will act as the United States¶ Ministerial representative to the 12th Special Session of the Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the UN Environment Program. The Forum, taking place in Nairobi from Feb 20 ± 22, will engage in interactive discussions under the overall theme of ³the environmental agenda in the changing world.´ It will focus on three topics: implications of the 5th Global Environment Outlook Report, the Green Economy, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
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### U.S. Science Envoy Gebisa Ejeta Travels to Ethiopia and Tanzania (State.gov) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/02/183815.htm February 13, 2012 Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC On his second Envoy trip, U.S. Science Envoy Dr. Gebisa Ejeta will travel to Ethiopia and Tanzania February 13-24, 2012, where he will meet with senior government officials and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit, and business communities. Dr. Ejeta will discuss cooperation on sustainable development, innovation, and university partnerships. President Obama announced the Science Envoy Program in Cairo on June 4, 2009. Since the program¶s inception, six of America¶s finest scientists have traveled to 17 countries on behalf of the United States Government to promote international partnerships through scientific collaboration. Dr. Ejeta was named a Science Envoy in September 2010 along with Dr. Rita Colwell and Dr. Alice Gast. In 2011, Dr. Ejeta traveled to South Africa. Dr. Ejeta was chosen for his technical expertise and renown as an acclaimed plant breeder and geneticist. He is the Distinguished Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics and International Agriculture at Purdue University. Among his many awards, he was the recipient of the 2009 World Food Prize and a national medal of honor from the President of Ethiopia. Dr. Ejeta was recently designated a Special Advisor to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. ### Zambia's footballers return to heroes' welcome (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17011165 February 13, 2012 By A Non Attributed Author Africa's new football champions, Zambia's Chipolopolo, have arrived to a heroes' welcome in the capital, Lusaka. A BBC correspondent says waiting fans went wild as captain Christopher Katongo came out of the plane clutching the golden Africa Cup of Nations. The Zambian team beat Ivory Coast 8-7 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out late on Sunday night in Gabon. The win is particularly poignant because 19 years ago Zambia lost its entire team in a plane crash in Gabon.
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The BBC's Mutuna Chanda in Lusaka says the airport road is a sea of green, red, orange and black as thousands of fans line up to catch a glimpse of the players making their way to official celebrations to be held downtown in Lusaka's showgrounds. Several thousand people, some of whom had walked 25km (15 miles), were at the airport to greet the teams. The event is expected to be attended by former Presidents Rupiah Banda and Kenneth Kaunda, both of whom are huge football fans. Many Zambians have taken an impromptu day off work to continue celebrating the country's first ever Africa Cup of Nations victory. 'Painful memories' The current victorious squad departed from the same airport in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, where a Zambia air force plane had refuelled on its way to Senegal for a World Cup qualifier in March 1993 - and then crashed shortly after take-off. The final was only decided after a dramatic penalty shoot-out Zambia's players, nicknamed Chipolopolo (the Copper Bullets), paid tribute to the 18 players who died in that crash - dedicating their triumph to them. "The players who were killed in the plane crash in Gabon was what was behind us and what was driving us through the tournament," goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene told reporters just before leaving Libreville. "We did not want to go home empty-handed," he said. Winger Felix Katongo told reporters: "We wanted to win the trophy to make the Zambian people proud and so those who died may rest in peace. Now their souls are at peace." But for some of the bereaved relatives, the Chipolopolo's win has been bittersweet. Joyce Chabala lost her husband Efford, who was the team goalkeeper in 1993. She said Zambia's victory - in the same place where her husband died - had brought back painful memories, not just of his death but of how relatives were treated by previous governments. Mrs Chabala said she remained unhappy with the official report into what caused the crash and how much compensation she had received. Nevertheless, she congratulated the current squad. "I wish my husband were alive so that he could see the team bring the cup here to Zambia
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- because that was his aim and that is what he died for," she told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme. Meanwhile, in Abidjan, thousands of Ivorians also turned out to support their team, lining the route across the city from the airport to the players' hotel, the BBC's John James reports. Monday was declared an official national holiday by the government despite the fact that the Elephants lost, he says. ### END REPORT

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