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United States Africa Command

Public Affairs Office


4 February 2010

US AFRICA COMMAND NEWS UPDATE


“FROM AND ABOUT AFRICA"

US MILITARY: 3 DIE IN HELICOPTER CRASH IN GERMANY (AP)


A U.S. military helicopter crashed in western Germany on Wednesday, killing all
three people aboard, according to a spokesman for U.S. Army Europe. The aircraft
went down about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday in woods near the A67 highway between
Viernheim and Lorsch, south of Frankfurt, Hesse state police said. The helicopter was
a UH-60 Black Hawk, said U.S. Army Europe spokesman Bruce Anderson. The Black
Hawk is used for air assault and other military operations. It is normally designed to
carry 11 combat-loaded troops.

NIGERIA: GROUP THREATENS TO ATTACK OIL FACILITIES IF JONATHAN IS


NOT MADE ACTING PRESIDENT (DAILY SUN)
The agitation for Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to assume the position of Acting
President is set to take another dimension as a group, Network of Freedom Fighters
(NFF), threatened to launch attacks on oil installations if Jonathan is not allowed to
take over. The NFF, at the end of its meeting in Yenagoa on Wednesday, also
declared that it would not be able to guarantee the lives and property of foreign
nationals in the Niger Delta until the political crisis is resolved.

NIGERIA: MEND, 50 GROUPS READY FOR FRESH VIOLENCE (VANGUARD)


Yenagoa — ANGERED by the continued absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua and his
refusal to transfer power to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, about 50 militant
groups under the aegis of Network of Freedom Fighters in Niger Delta, NFF,
yesterday, threatened to launch fresh violence in the troubled region. Rising from an
enlarged meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, where they deliberated on
the state of the nation, the NFF warned that they were being forced to join forces
and commence hostilities in the region which could prove disastrous for the country.
The NFF in a communiqué jointly signed by Nengi James and Kofi Kelvin Moses,
Coordinator and Secretary respectively, called on the international community to
suspend forthwith all bilateral relations and dealings with Nigeria pending the
swearing in of Dr. Jonathan as Acting President while waiting for the quick recovery
of President Umaru Yar'Adua.

NIGERIA WARNS MILITANTS AGAINST VIOLENCE (MAIL&GUARDIAN)


The Nigerian government warned Niger Delta militants on Wednesday against issuing
threats of violence, saying that they did not have a "monopoly" of violence. Defence
Minister Godwin Abbe told journalists after a Cabinet meeting: "If they choose
violence, they do not monopolise violence at all and it is an ill-wind that would blow
no one any, including themselves."

NIGERIA: ILL LEADER, VIOLENCE, OIL WOES AND A THREAT OF JIHAD FROM
AN AL-QAIDA NOW (WTOP)
LAGOS- Nigeria's president has been away ill for more than two months. A militant
group vows to renew its war against the oil industry. And Muslim-Christian violence
has drawn a threat of jihad from an al-Qaida-linked group. Conflict and the
leadership vacuum are raising so much concern about the stability of Africa's most
populous nation and third biggest supplier of oil to the U.S. that the military has felt
obliged to assure the world that it isn't planning a coup d'etat.

NIGERIA: EU, US PLACE NIGERIA UNDER WATCH (Nigerian Tribune)


THE prolonged absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua from Nigeria, as a result of his
health situation, has forced the United States of America and the European Union
(EU) to place Nigeria’s democratic process under close watch. ―The US and the EU
are worried that any attempt to obstruct the Nigerian Constitution can spark off
untold crisis, especially in the Niger Delta area, which will feel shortchanged,‖ a
source said to justify the concern of the western powers. US officials have also, in
recent weeks, delivered strict messages to top government officials and suggested
ways of preserving the constitution. A source said that the Western powers were
worried that the North and the South were not speaking with one voice on the power
vacuum.

RWANDA: MOB ATTACKS RWANDAN OPPOSITION LEADER IN CAPITAL


(REUTERS)
Rwandan police arrested five men on Wednesday for attacking Victoire Ingabire, a
potential presidential candidate, in reaction to her criticism of the government for
being dominated by ethnic Tutsis.

SUDAN: AL-BASHIR TALKS WITH QATARI AMIR (KUNA)


Amir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani discussed here on Wednesday with
the visiting Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir Arab and international issues of
common concern as well as ongoing peace negotiations between Sudan's
government and Darfur's rebels.

SUDAN: ICC MAY ADD GENOCIDE TO BASHIR LIST OF CHARGES (INDYMEDIA)


Hague - the International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals chamber decided to reject the
standard used to exclude genocide charges in the ICC's arrest warrant for President
Omar al-Bashir of Sudan. "Today's decision is a strong reminder that President al-
Bashir is wanted for heinous crimes committed in Darfur," said Elise Keppler,
International Justice Program senior counsel at Human Rights Watch. "President al-
Bashir is a fugitive from justice who needs to appear in The Hague to answer to the
allegations against him."
SUDAN SLAMS ICC DECISION (NEWS24)
Khartoum - Khartoum accused the International Criminal Court on Wednesday of
trying to affect peace talks with Darfur rebels and reform in Sudan after an appeals
chamber ordered a review of the dropping of genocide charges against President
Omar al-Bashir. "The ICC wants to impact the political process in Sudan and the
ongoing negotiations in Doha," Kamal Obeid, state minister for information, said,
referring to consultations with Darfur rebels in Qatar.

ALGERIA SENTENCES FIVE EXPLOSIVE DEALERS TO PRISON (TOTALINTEL)


An Algerian court sentenced five suspects convicted of dealing with explosives to 12
years' imprisonment, local el-Khabar newspaper reported.

ALGERIA SAYS IT MIGHT REPLY IN KIND IF IT STAYS ON US AIR TRAVEL


TERRORISM WATCH LIST (AP)
ALGIERS — Algeria's interior minister is threatening to reply in kind if his country
remains on U.S. and French special terrorism-related air travel watch lists. Algeria
says it is "unacceptable" for the North African nation to be on such lists. Noureddine
Yazid Zerhouni reiterated that Tuesday, saying, "if this is truly necessary, we should
apply the rule of reciprocity."

ALGERIA SEVEN ISLAMIC MILITANTS KILLED IN ALGERIAN RAID


(EARTHTIMES)
Algiers - Seven Islamic militants were killed after Algerian forces staged a raid in the
country's mountainous region Tuesday, according to official reports. The fighting
took place near Djelfa, about 275 kilometres south of Algiers. Seven Kalashnikov
rapid-fire pistols were also confiscated. Algeria is the headquarters of the group al-
Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Interior Minister Yazid Zerhouni said the mission
shows that Algerian forces are providing good security in the country. "Security
forces have scored multiple points in the anti-terrorism fight," he said on the
sidelines of a parliamentary meeting. "People can move about easier in this country
now.

MOROCCO: DRUG LORD ESCOBAR OF MOROCCO ARRESTED IN SPAIN


Marbella – very high target Moroccan drug lord had been finally arrested in Marbella
recently, details of the arrest and the extent of his drug cartel are kept very tight
due to implication of some Spanish and other officials.

DJIBOUTI CONFERENCE ON COMBATING PIRACY CONCLUDED (SABA)


DJIBOUTI - Works of the regional conference on implementing the Djibouti Code of
Conduct on combating sea piracy and armed robbery against ships off Somalia. The
participants affirmed the necessity to accelerate the establishment and activation of
the regional center for information exchange, to be located in Sana'a, in order to
serve the international navigation, noting the importance to crystallize all the agreed
upon items in the Code of Conduct.
SOMALIA: USS PORTER, AND A HELICOPTER FROM USS FARRAGUT
CONFIRMED THE SEIZURE OF THE MV RIM SHIP TO THE EU (XINHUA)
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Somali pirates hijacked a North Korean cargo ship on
Wednesday with an unknown number of crew on board, the European Union Naval
Force said. The MV Rim has not had any communication with maritime authorities,
but Kallin said an American warship, the USS Porter, and a helicopter from American
warship USS Farragut confirmed the seizure of the ship to the EU.The 4,800-ton ship
is owned by White Sea Shipping of Libya. It is carrying unknown cargo and the
number and nationalities of the crew are not known. The seized ship was heading
toward the Somali coast and warships were monitoring the situation, the EU Naval
Force said.

SOMALIA, DJIBOUTI APPEAL FOR TOUGHER ACTION AGAINST ERITREA


ADDIS ABABA - African leaders have collectively condemned Eritrea for its "unfolding
destabilizing nature" in the East African region. The leaders in the final day of their
AU summit, on Tuesday said that the Eritrean government is still busy of its negative
roles in destabilizing regional peace and security. The governments of Djibouti and
Somalia yesterday told AU summit that, despite the imposed sanction on Eritrea, the
Red Sea nation, in defiance to the UN resolution, has continued to sending
insurgents via their territories.

SOMALIA: ARMED FORCES SHELLING SOMALI CIVILIANS (AP)


NAIROBI - Medecins Sans Frontieres spokeswoman says indiscriminate shelling into
residential areas of the Somali capital wounded 89 civilians in three days. Axelle de
la Motte St. Pierre says 30 of the wounded are children under 14 years old and 36
are women. Some lost limbs and others needed stitches for deep lacerations.

SOMALIA: KENYA TIGHTENS SECURITY ON BORDER W/SOMALIA


(TOTALINTEL)
Kenya has increased security on its porous desert border with Somalia ahead of an
expected offensive by government forces there that could prompt hardline Islamist
rebels to try and cross the frontier.

KENYA CONSIDERS DEPLOYING TROOPS TO SOMALIA - FM


Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said his country is contemplating
about sending peacekeeping troops to the neighboring war-torn Somalia. Wetangula
told reporters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia that they can't be sit back and
watch as Somalia disintegrate into further chaos. "Somalia is our neighbor and its
stability is our responsibility because the fire burning there is also reaching us," said
Wetangula.

KENYA: SOMALI MPS PREPARE MOTION AGAINST KENYA (ALLAFRICA)


Mogadishu — Forty Somali legislators met in Mogadishu to prepare a motion to
censure Kenya over alleged harassment of its citizens residing in Nairobi.The MPs
met yesterday to formulate the parliamentary grievance motion against the
government of Kenya. The signed document has been made public in the Somali
capital by its promoters.
SOMALIA: YEMENI-SOMALI TALKS TO KICK OFF IN SANA’A (SABA)
SANA'A -Somali Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Ahmed arrived on Wednesday in
Sana'a in several-day official visit. He would discuss with Yemeni officials the
regional developments of common concern, highlighting role and efforts of Yemen to
achieve stability and peace in Somalia.

YEMEN HAS BEEN A TOP US FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITY FOR A YEAR UNDER
OBAMA (KUNA)
Yemen has been a top US foreign policy priority since the Obama administration took
office one year ago, US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for
Near Eastern affairs, said on Wednesday. Testifying at a House Foreign Affairs
Committee hearing entitled, "Yemen on the Brink," Feltman said that given the
gravity and complexity of the situation in Yemen, the Obama administration
launched a full-scale policy review shortly after coming to office, recognizing the
increasing importance of dealing with Yemen in strategic, not just tactical terms.

GUINEA-BISSAU: FORMER MINSISTER QUESTIONED OVER DISAPPEARANCE


OF HALF TON OF COCAINE (NEWS24)
Bissau - Guinea-Bissau's state prosecutor has asked parliament to question a former
prime minister after more than half a ton of seized cocaine went missing, the
prosecutor's office said on Wednesday. The west African country's former finance
minister and a former junior interior minister are also expected to be questioned
over the disappearance of 674 kilograms of cocaine from the public treasury building
in 2006.

AU HEAD LAYS DOWN PRIORITIES (NEWS24)


Addis Ababa - New African Union president Bingu wa Mutharika said on Wednesday
that food security, transport infrastructure and energy will be his priorities as leader
of the pan-African body.

EGYPT: BEDOUIN KILL 2 POLICE, FREE PRISONERS (TOTALINTL)


Bedouin tribesmen shot dead two policemen in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday as
they freed eight suspects on their way to a court hearing, security sources said. The
tribesmen, using four pick-up trucks, cornered the police van carrying the prisoners,
then opened fire, the security sources said. Three policemen and a driver were also
wounded.