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United States Africa Command Public Affairs Office 26 April 2010 USAFRICOM - related news stories TOP NEWS

RELATED TO U.S. AFRICA COMMAND AND AFRICA African Union leaders meet US national security adviser (AFP) WASHINGTON – Senior African Union officials met US National Security Advisor General Jim Jones at the White House to discuss increased cooperation between the United States and their organization. Helping Others Defend Themselves (Foreign Affairs) In coming years, the greatest threats to the United States are likely to emanate from states that cannot adequately govern themselves or secure their own territory. The US government must improve its ability to help its partners defend themselves or, if necessary, fight alongside US troops. Officials: 11 suspected pirates headed for US (Associated Press) WASHINGTON — Eleven suspected pirates were being flown to the United States Thursday to stand trial in alleged attacks on U.S. naval vessels off the coast of Africa, officials said. Eleven alleged pirates brought to United States for prosecution (CNN) WASHINGTON - Federal authorities are flying 11 suspected pirates from East Africa to Norfolk, Virginia, to be prosecuted for alleged attacks on U.S. Navy ships near Somalia, according to multiple federal law enforcement sources familiar with the operation. Gates Rethinks His War on Polio (Wall Street Journal) A polio outbreak in Africa raged last summer, and this week a new outbreak hit Tajikistan, which hadn't seen polio for 19 years. The spread threatens one of the most ambitious health campaigns in the world, the effort to destroy the crippling disease once and for all. It also marks a setback for the Microsoft Corp. co-founder's new career as full-time philanthropist. Iran leader leaves Uganda without oil deal (CNN) ENTEBBE, Uganda - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Uganda without striking a deal on the African nation's oil, President Yoweri Museveni indicated Sunday. After a Coup, Niger Resumes Business as Usual With China (New York Times)

China appears to be settling into a new role in Niger: business partner to the goodgovernment-preaching military officers who ousted President Mamadou Tandja under the banner of restoring democracy. A Supply-Sider in East Africa (Wall Street Journal) These days, Paul Kagame is fighting for national prosperity. Unlike many of his peers in the Third World, his focus is on how to create wealth—not on how to beg for charity. UN News Service Africa Briefs Full Articles on UN Website • UN humanitarian chief in West Africa to focus on food crisis • UN police train Ivorian gendarmes in crime scene management • Top UN official in Darfur confers with OIC head • Secretary-General voices concern about human rights in Western Sahara • UN trust fund backs projects in fight against piracy off Somali coast ------------------------------------------------------------------------UPCOMING EVENTS OF INTEREST: WHEN/WHERE: Tuesday through Thursday, April 27-29; Washington, D.C. WHAT: Corporate Council on Africa: U.S.-Africa Infrastructure Conference WHO: Top U.S. and African government officials, seasoned business executives, sector experts and financiers convene at the U.S. Africa Infrastructure Conference. Info: WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, April 28; Washington, D.C. WHAT: U.S. Institute of Peace: U.S.-Relations with the Muslim World WHO: This event will examine U.S. relations with the Muslim world one year after President Obama's pivotal speech at Cairo University. Speakers include Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan, Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith, and U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain. USIP specialists Abiodun Williams, Daniel Brumberg and Mona Yacoubian will also participate in the event. Info: WHEN/WHERE: Friday, April 30, 2:00 p.m.; Washington, D.C. WHAT: U.S. Institute of Peace: Creating Long-Term Peace in Cote d’Ivoire WHO: Patrick N'gouan, The Civil Society Collective; Andre Kamate, Ivorian League of Human Rights; Paola Piscitelli, Community of Sant'Egidio, USA; Dorina Bekoe, Moderator, Senior Research Associate (Africa), U.S. Institute of Peace Info: WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, May 13, 9:30 a.m.; Washington, D.C. WHAT: U.S. Institute of Peace: Threats to Maritime Security WHO: Donna L. Hopkins, U.S. Department of State; Bruce Averill, Ph.D., Strategic Energy Security Solutions; Michael Berkow (invited), Altegrity Security Consulting; Robert Perito, Moderator, U.S. Institute of Peace Info:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------FULL ARTICLE TEXT African Union leaders meet US national security adviser (AFP) WASHINGTON – Senior African Union officials met US National Security Advisor General Jim Jones at the White House to discuss increased cooperation between the United States and their organization. The AU delegation, led by chairperson Jean Ping, was on the last day of a three-day visit for the first high-level bilateral talks between the African Union and Washington on issues including fighting hunger, climate change, and boosting peacekeeping operations. Jones and Ping "both greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet and discuss shared challenges and opportunities in the areas of peace and security and economic development," the White House said in a statement on Friday. The two "agreed on the importance of sustained engagement to strengthen cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues." Ping told reporters after the meeting that the AU's 53 member states face issues "which are global problems, which can be solved only globally. "If you want to talk about climate change or trade, no single (African) country... could be heard. Its voice is too small to be heard individually," Ping said. "When we speak collectively, then we represent a power." The US ambassador to the AU, Michael Battle, said that Washington is "seeking to have a relationship with the African Union as a continental body, which does not replace the bilateral relationships we have with individual African nations." In dealing with transnational issues like drug trafficking, climate control, and food security, "the only legitimately elected voice to speak for the entire continent is the African Union Commission." A joint statement issued Thursday said the two sides hoped to hold the talks on an annual basis, rotating between Washington and the African Union's headquarters of Addis Ababa. Since it was founded in 2002, the African Union has gradually been assuming a greater role in the continent's security including through peacekeeping in Somalia and Sudan's Darfur region.

The bloc also led an invasion in 2008 to stop a rebellion on Anjouan island of the Comoros. The AU delegation also met with senior officials in the State Department, the US Agency for International Development, the Department of Justice and others. -------------------The Future of U.S. Security Assistance: Helping Others Defend Themselves (Foreign Affairs) In coming years, the greatest threats to the United States are likely to emanate from states that cannot adequately govern themselves or secure their own territory. The US government must improve its ability to help its partners defend themselves or, if necessary, fight alongside US troops. In the decades to come, the most lethal threats to the United States' safety and security - a city poisoned or reduced to rubble by a terrorist attack -- are likely to emanate from states that cannot adequately govern themselves or secure their own territory. Dealing with such fractured or failing states is, in many ways, the main security challenge of our time. For the Defense Department and the entire US government, it is also a complex institutional challenge. The United States is unlikely to repeat a mission on the scale of those in Afghanistan or Iraq anytime soon -- that is, forced regime change followed by nation building under fire. But as the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review recently concluded, the United States is still likely to face scenarios requiring a familiar tool kit of capabilities, albeit on a smaller scale. In these situations, the effectiveness and credibility of the United States will only be as good as the effectiveness, credibility, and sustainability of its local partners. This strategic reality demands that the US government get better at what is called "building partner capacity": helping other countries defend themselves or, if necessary, fight alongside US forces by providing them with equipment, training, or other forms of security assistance. This is something that the United States has been doing in various ways for nearly three-quarters of a century. It dates back to the period before the United States entered World War II, when Winston Churchill famously said, "Give us the tools, and we will finish the job." Through the Lend-Lease program, the United States sent some $31 billion worth of supplies (in 1940s dollars) to the United Kingdom over the course of the war. US aid to the Soviet Union during those years exceeded $11 billion, including hundreds of thousands of trucks and thousands of tanks, aircraft, and artillery pieces.

Building up the military and security forces of key allies and local partners was also a major component of US strategy in the Cold War, first in Western Europe, then in Greece, South Korea, and elsewhere. One of the major tenets of President Richard Nixon's national security strategy, the Nixon Doctrine, was to use military and economic assistance to help US partners and allies resist Soviet-sponsored insurgencies without using US troops in the kind of military interventions that had proved so costly and controversial in Korea and Vietnam. Advisory duty The global security environment has changed radically since then, and today it is more complex, more unpredictable, and, even without a superpower adversary, in many ways more dangerous. The US military, although resilient in spirit and magnificent in performance, is under stress and strain fighting two wars and confronting diffuse challenges around the globe. More broadly, there continues to be a struggle for legitimacy, loyalty, and power across the Islamic world between modernizing, moderate forces and the violent, extremist organizations epitomized by al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other such groups. In these situations, building the governance and security capacity of other countries must be a critical element of US national security strategy. For the most part, however, the United States' instruments of national power -- military and civilian -- were set up in a different era for a very different set of threats. The US military was designed to defeat other armies, navies, and air forces, not to advise, train, and equip them. Likewise, the United States' civilian instruments of power were designed primarily to manage relationships between states, rather than to help build states from within. The recent history of US dealings with Afghanistan and Pakistan exemplifies the challenges the United States faces. In the decade before 9/11, the United States essentially abandoned Afghanistan to its fate. At the same time, Washington cut off military-to-military exchange and training programs with Pakistan, for well-intentioned but ultimately shortsighted -- and strategically damaging -- reasons. In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, the US government faced a number of delays in getting crucial efforts off the ground -- from reimbursing the Pakistanis for their support (such as their provision of overflight rights to US military aircraft) to putting in place a formal Afghan military. The security assistance system, which was designed for the more predictable requirements of the Cold War, proved unequal to the task. The US government had to quickly assemble from scratch various urgently needed resources and programs. And even after establishing funding streams and authorities, the military services did not prioritize efforts to train the Afghan and,

later, the Iraqi security forces, since such assignments were not considered career enhancing for ambitious young officers. Instead, the military relied heavily on contractors and reservists for these tasks. More recently, the advisory missions in both the Afghan and the Iraqi campaigns have received the attention they deserve -- in leadership, resources, and personnel. Within the military, advising and mentoring indigenous security forces is moving from the periphery of institutional priorities, where it was considered the province of the Special Forces, to being a key mission for the armed forces as a whole. The US Army has established specialized Advisory and Assistance Brigades -- now the main forces in Iraq -- and is adjusting its promotion and assignment procedures to account for the importance of this mission; the US Air Force is fielding a fleet of light fighter jets and transport aircraft optimized to train and assist local partners, and it recently opened a school to train US airmen to advise other nations' air forces; and the US Navy is working with African countries to improve their ability to combat smuggling, piracy, and other threats to maritime security. One institutional challenge we face at the Pentagon is that the various functions for building partner capacity are scattered across different parts of the military. An exception is the air force, where most of these functions -- from foreign military sales to military training exchanges -- are grouped under one civilian executive (the equivalent of a three-star general) to better coordinate them with larger goals and national strategy. This more integrated and consolidated approach makes better sense for the Pentagon and for the government as a whole. The United States has made great strides in building up the operational capacity of its partners by training and equipping troops and mentoring them in the field. But there has not been enough attention paid to building the institutional capacity (such as defense ministries) or the human capital (including leadership skills and attitudes) needed to sustain security over the long term. The United States now recognizes that the security sectors of at-risk countries are really systems of systems tying together the military, the police, the justice system, and other governance and oversight mechanisms. As such, building a partner's overall governance and security capacity is a shared responsibility across multiple agencies and departments of the US national security apparatus -- and one that requires flexible, responsive tools that provide incentives for cooperation. Operations against extremist groups in the Philippines and, more recently, Yemen have shown how well-integrated training and assistance efforts can achieve real success. But for all the improvements of recent years, the United States' interagency tool kit is still a hodgepodge of jury-rigged arrangements constrained by a dated and complex patchwork of authorities, persistent shortfalls in resources, and unwieldy processes. The National Security Act that created most of the current interagency structure was

passed in 1947, the last major legislation structuring how Washington dispenses foreign assistance was signed by President John F. Kennedy, and the law governing US exports of military equipment was passed in 1976. All the while, other countries that do not suffer from such encumbrances have been more quickly funding projects, selling weapons, and building relationships. Bridging the Potomac In 2005, to address the country's most pressing needs, the Defense Department obtained authorities that enable the military to respond to unforeseen threats and opportunities by providing training and equipment to other countries with urgent security needs. These new tools came with an important innovation: their use requires the concurrence of both the secretary of defense and the secretary of state in what is called a "dual key" decision-making process. In recent years, the secretaries have used these authorities to assist the Lebanese army, the Pakistani special forces, and the navies and maritime security forces of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Those authorities and programs -- and the role of the Defense Department in foreign assistance writ large -- have stirred debates across Washington. I never miss an opportunity to call for more funding for diplomacy and development and for a greater emphasis on civilian programs. I also once warned publicly of a "creeping militarization" of aspects of US foreign policy if imbalances within the national security system were not addressed. As a career CIA officer who watched the military's role in intelligence grow ever larger, I am keenly aware that the Defense Department, because of its sheer size, is not only the 800-pound gorilla of the US government but one with a sometimes very active pituitary gland. Nonetheless, it is time to move beyond the ideological debates and bureaucratic squabbles that have in the past characterized the issue of building partner capacity and move forward with a set of solutions that can address what will be a persistent and enduring challenge. Last year, I sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton one proposal that I see as a starting point for discussion of the way ahead. It would involve pooled funds set up for security capacity building, stabilization, and conflict prevention. Both the State Department and the Defense Department would contribute to these funds, and no project could move forward without the approval of both agencies. A number of other countries -- in particular the United Kingdom, the primary model for this proposal -have found that using pooled funds from different ministries is an effective way of dealing with fragile or failing states. What I find compelling about this approach is that it would create incentives for collaboration between different agencies of the government, unlike the existing structure and processes left over from the Cold War, which often conspire to hinder true whole-of-government approaches.

Whatever approach we take to reforming and modernizing the United States' apparatus for building partner capacity, it should be informed by several principles. First, it must provide agility and flexibility. Under normal budgeting and programming cycles, a budget is put together one year, considered and passed by Congress in the next, and then executed in the third. This is appropriate and manageable for predictable, ongoing requirements. But as recent history suggests, it is not well suited to dealing with the emerging and unforeseen threats -- or opportunities -- often found in failed and failing states. Second, there must be effective oversight mechanisms that allow Congress to carry out its constitutional responsibility to ensure that these funds are spent properly. Tools that foster cooperation across the executive branch could also enhance cooperation across the jurisdictional boundaries of congressional committees -- thereby actually strengthening congressional oversight in the national security arena. Third, security assistance efforts must be conducted steadily and over the long term so as to provide some measure of predictability and planning for the US government and, what is more significant, for its partners abroad. Convincing other countries and leaders to be partners of the United States, often at great political and physical risk, ultimately depends on proving that the United States is capable of being a reliable partner over time. To be blunt, this means that the United States cannot cut off assistance and relationships every time a country does something Washington dislikes or disagrees with. Fourth, any government decision in this area should reinforce the State Department's leading role in crafting and conducting US foreign policy, including the provision of foreign assistance, of which building security capacity is a key part. Proper coordination procedures will ensure that urgent requirements for military capacity building do not undermine the United States' overarching foreign policy priorities. Finally, everything must be suffused with strong doses of modesty and realism. When all is said and done, there are limits to what the United States can do to influence the direction of radically different countries and cultures. And even the most enlightened and modernized interagency apparatus is still a bureaucracy, prone to the same parochial and self-serving tendencies as the system it has replaced. Helping other countries better provide for their own security will be a key and enduring test of US global leadership and a critical part of protecting US security, as well. Improving the way the US government executes this vital mission must be an important national priority. -------------------Officials: 11 suspected pirates headed for US (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Eleven suspected pirates were being flown to the United States Thursday to stand trial in alleged attacks on U.S. naval vessels off the coast of Africa, officials said. The suspects were expected to appear in court in Norfolk, Va., for indictment as early as Friday morning, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases publicly. The 11 have been held on U.S. ships for weeks off Somalia's pirate-infested coast and nearby regions as officials worked to determine whether and where they could be prosecuted and prepare legal charges against them. The suspects were taken from the USS Nassau amphibious assault ship Thursday, handed over to U.S. law enforcement officials and were being flown to Virginia on a government plane in the custody of the Justice Department, one official said. The transfer of the case to a U.S. court comes amid discussions about setting up an international court to prosecute piracy suspects, which some nations have been reluctant to do. Some pirates have been released after capture because no nation could be found to try them. The question of piracy prosecutions is part of a broader U.S. policy debate over policy on Somalia, which has been without a government since 1991 and has become a haven for al-Qaida-linked terrorists as well as pirates. Ships traveling off the Somali coast have been confronted by young men traveling in skiffs, armed with AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades and sometimes hopped up on the narcotic plant called qat that is popular with Somalis. Five of those being flown to Virginia Thursday were captured March 31, after the frigate USS Nicholas exchanged fire with a suspected pirate vessel west of the Seychelles, sinking a skiff and confiscating its mother ship. The other six suspects were captured after they allegedly began shooting at the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland on April 10 about 380 miles off Djibouti, a small nation facing Yemen across the mouth of the Red Sea. Another 10 pirates remained at sea in Navy custody Thursday, captured in another incident when the destroyer USS McFaul responded to a distress call from a merchant vessel. It was not clear whether those 10 will now be released or handed to over to another country for prosecution, the officials said. U.S. warships are part of an international flotilla protecting shipping in the region. The navies of other countries have also have taken alleged pirates home for trial.

But some countries are reluctant to try suspects due to difficulties transporting them, fears they may claim asylum and thorny jurisdiction issues. Kenya, to the south of Somalia, has taken some to its courts but now says pirates are putting too much strain on the country's court system. Some of those being flown to the U.S. were injured during hijacking incidents on the seas and have received treatment from the Navy. One official said one of the suspects had a leg amputated. Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, the top U.S. naval officer in Africa and Europe, said last week that the Navy had handed over evidence on the five alleged to have attacked the USS Nicholas, including the pirates' weapons, photographic evidence and proof that small arms fire hit the ship. It was not known what charges would be placed against the suspects. -------------------Eleven alleged pirates brought to United States for prosecution (CNN) WASHINGTON - Federal authorities are flying 11 suspected pirates from East Africa to Norfolk, Virginia, to be prosecuted for alleged attacks on U.S. Navy ships near Somalia, according to multiple federal law enforcement sources familiar with the operation. The accused pirates have been indicted on a series of charges that remain under court seal until the suspects appear before a federal magistrate in Norfolk early Friday, the officials said. The suspects are expected to arrive in Norfolk late Thursday night and will remain in the custody of federal agents until they are taken into court, the officials said. "The U.S. Marshals Service will be taking custody of the defendants following their initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, and they will be housed locally through the court proceedings," the Marshals Service said in a written statement. The service refused any other comment on the operation to bring the pirates to U.S. soil. The FBI and Justice Department had no comment. The cases will be prosecuted in Norfolk, which is in the Eastern District of Virginia. Officials from Alexandria, Virginia, where the district court is based, were already in Norfolk standing by for the pirates' arrival, officials said.

Federal officials are tentatively planning to hold a news conference Friday in Norfolk following the initial court appearances. One official, who asked not to be identified because the cases are not yet public, said five of the accused pirates were captured after the USS Nicholas was attacked by a pirate ship on March 31. Six others were captured in a separate incident on April 10 after a pirate ship fired on the USS Ashland, the official said. The United States, the European Union and others have beefed up their security presence in waters near Somalia after a rash of attacks by pirates in the past two years. -------------------Gates Rethinks His War on Polio (Wall Street Journal) Bill Gates walked into the World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva—for a meeting in an underground chamber where global pandemics are managed—and was greeted by bad news. Polio was spreading across Africa, even after he gave $700 million to try to wipe out the disease. That outbreak raged last summer, and this week a new outbreak hit Tajikistan, which hadn't seen polio for 19 years. The spread threatens one of the most ambitious health campaigns in the world, the effort to destroy the crippling disease once and for all. It also marks a setback for the Microsoft Corp. co-founder's new career as full-time philanthropist. Next week, the organizations behind the polio fight, including WHO, Unicef, Rotary International and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plan to announce a major revamp of their strategy to address shortcomings exposed by the outbreaks. Nigeria is ground zero for the reemergence of polio. Now the country is making surprising headway against the crippling disease, in part thanks to an unlikely meeting of two leaders: Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, and the Sultan of Sokoto, the spiritual leader of Nigeria's 70 million Muslims. WSJ's Rob Guth reports. Polio is a centerpiece of Mr. Gates's charitable giving. Last year the billionaire traveled to Africa, one of the main battlegrounds against the disease, to confer with doctors, aid workers and a sultan to propel the polio-eradication effort. "There's no way to sugarcoat the last 12 months," Bruce Aylward, a WHO official, told Mr. Gates in the meeting in the underground pandemic center last June. He described how the virus was rippling through countries believed to have stopped the disease. Mr. Gates asked: "So, what do we do next?"

That question goes to the heart of one of the most controversial debates in global health: Is humanity better served by waging wars on individual diseases, like polio? Or is it better to pursue a broader set of health goals simultaneously—improving hygiene, expanding immunizations, providing clean drinking water—that don't eliminate any one disease, but might improve the overall health of people in developing countries? The new plan integrates both approaches. It's an acknowledgment, bred by last summer's outbreak, that disease-specific wars can succeed only if they also strengthen the overall health system in poor countries. If successful, the recalibrated campaign could shape global health strategy for decades and boost fights against other diseases. A failure could rank the effort as one of the most expensive miscalculations in mankind's long war with disease. Already, polio has evaded a two-decade-long, $8.2 billion effort to kill it off. Big donors have long preferred fighting individual diseases, known as a "vertical" strategy. The goal is to repeat 1979's victory over smallpox, the only disease ever to be eradicated. By contrast, the broader, "horizontal" strategy has less well-defined goals and might not move the needle of global health statistics for years. The polio fight is a lesson for Mr. Gates's foundation, which is funding other vaccines that could face similar setbacks. In the polio fight, his foundation backed a program that was following an outdated playbook. Polio's resurgence last year forced a major rewrite. The shift on polio was informed by Mr. Gates's trip last year to Nigeria, a nation with a history of exporting the virus to other countries. Mr. Gates was accompanied by a Wall Street Journal reporter. Mr. Gates has forged himself as a global-health diplomat following his 2008 retirement from Microsoft. He is using his star power and $34 billion philanthropy to try to push businesses, health groups and governments to improve health in developing countries. In the Nigerian city of Sokoto, the dusty center of a once vast Islamic empire, Mr. Gates drove to a palace, walked past a row of trumpeters and found himself looking up at a man on a throne wearing a flowing robe and turban—the Sultan of Sokoto, spiritual leader of Nigeria's 70 million Muslims. Just as Mr. Gates introduced himself to the sultan, the lights flickered out. "I want to welcome you to the real world—to the real third world," the sultan said to Mr. Gates from his gilded chair in the darkened room.

Men like the sultan are important allies. In 2003, Islamic leaders in northern Nigeria spread rumors that polio vaccines sterilized Muslim girls. Leaders halted vaccinations, allowing the virus to spread. The WHO said the virus eventually infected 20 countries. By the start of last year, Nigeria was home to half of the world's 1,600 polio cases. The sultan could help get the campaign back on track. Speaking to Mr. Gates and a room of religious leaders, the sultan declared his support for the polio fight. "We want to show you our commitment," he said. "The time you have taken to come here will not be in vain." But he, too, questioned the wisdom of targeting one disease. "Other health issues should be looked into," the sultan said, "instead of just facing one direction with polio eradication." He ticked off tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, malaria, cholera and a parasitic infection known as "snail fever." After the global victory over smallpox 30 years ago, a rush of energy went into similar "vertical" attacks on single diseases. The polio program followed that approach and made great gains. Led by WHO and donors such as Rotary, the campaigns by the year 2000 slashed the world's polio cases to under 1,000 from 350,000 in 1988. Polio fighters planned to eradicate the disease by 2000. That date came and went. But polio persisted, eating up billions of dollars. Critics argued for a shift away from killing polio to free up money for controlling multiple diseases. In some countries, polio campaigns became an example of a functioning vaccination system even as other diseases were missed. Mr. Gates saw that himself in Nigeria. Arriving at a Sokoto health clinic in a Toyota minivan stocked with Diet Coke, Mr. Gates stepped inside and was soon leaning on a wooden desk, flipping through children's vaccine records. "Do you know if this child had the first dose of DPT?" he asked, pointing to a record of a diphtheria vaccination of a boy who appeared to have missed a treatment. A health worker beside him didn't have an answer. The clinic also had no hepatitis B and yellow fever vaccines, the workers said, because the government's system for supplying medicine wasn't working. By contrast, in front of the clinic, a polio campaign was in full swing. Health workers tended coolers filled with vials of vaccine for children gathered there. At a meeting the next day in the capital, Abuja, Nigeria's head of primary health care, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, reopened the vertical-vs.-horizontal debate. Even if Nigeria

lowers polio cases, he said, the gains "can't hold" without a broader health-care system, he said. Mr. Gates listened, seated behind a name tag that read "Our Guest." Dr. Pate showed a slide of a cartoon steam-engine train with cars labeled "Education" and "Disease Control." Polio should be just one car in that train, he said. Mr. Gates didn't disagree—certainly Nigeria needs a functioning health system, he said in interviews. But it was a matter of priorities, he said. With the world so close to killing polio, countries like Nigeria should make eradication a top priority, he said. Victory would free up millions of dollars to pay for broader health improvements. "So the benefit of finishing is huge," he said. On the plane, Mr. Gates strategized about what else would help win the fight, balking at one religious leader's suggestion: forced vaccinations. "Strap 'em, down, I say! Let's make it illegal" to not take the vaccine, Mr. Gates joked. Then he got serious again, citing failed attempts in the U.S. to enforce compulsory vaccinations. In many respects, Mr. Gates remains a tech geek at heart. Aboard his plane, he expounded on an array of scientific topics: From developments in genotyping, to research showing that Bangladesh's high disease-immunity rates are due to "oral-fecal" transmission (when people build immunity by ingesting contaminated food or water). In Nigeria, Mr. Gates scored a diplomatic triumph. He won commitments from the sultan, and from Nigeria's governors, to take a more active role in polio vaccinations. "We really stand at the threshold of global health success on polio," he told the assembled governors at the close of the trip. However, just three days later, a new front opened 2,000 miles away in Uganda. There, a woman walked into a hospital to say her son couldn't move his left leg. It was Uganda's first polio case in 12 years. Cases also popped up in Mali, Togo and Ghana and Cote d'Ivore, which hadn't reported polio for four years. A girl in Kenya became that country's first polio case since 2006. Polio, which spreads through water contaminated by human feces, paralyzes just one person for every 200 infected. Discovering just a few cases could mean that thousands have been infected. That demands massive vaccination campaigns. On Feb. 28, 2009, Mr. Aylward, the WHO official, was grocery shopping in Geneva with his wife and son when he got an urgent email about the Uganda case. For 30 minutes, Mr. Aylward stood next to a spinach display, working his phone and setting in motion a plan that 10 days later vaccinated 48,000 children in Uganda.

Costly emergency responses like this became increasingly common last year. The Gates Foundation had set $47 million aside for emergencies, Mr. Aylward said. By early June, the money was running down. That month, Mr. Gates flew to Geneva for the meeting in the WHO's underground room. Mr. Aylward came with good news to offset the bad news about polio's resurgence, he recalled later. After describing the outbreaks, he shifted to Nigeria's progress against polio and described positive results from a trial of a new vaccine. But those positives didn't offset the risks of polio's revival, say several attendees of a follow-up meeting. "It was becoming evident that the virus almost knew no bounds," said Dr. Steve Cochi, senior adviser at Centers for Disease Control. "It kind of confirmed some of our worst fears." A month later in Seattle, Gates Foundation officials paused at a PowerPoint presentation showing the foundation's polio grants were approaching $1 billion. It was a staggering amount for a program that appeared to be stalling. "We can't go to Tachi and Bill and ask for more money," without reviewing the program, one person said, referring to Mr. Gates and Tachi Yamada, a top foundation official, according to an attendee. In August, experts commissioned by the WHO landed in Angola, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria to evaluate the polio program. In Africa, a team found that once polio had been ended in some countries, weak health-care systems let it return. In northern India, bad sanitation, malnutrition and other intestinal issues are believed to hurt the oral polio vaccine's effectiveness. These findings echoed the message to Mr. Gates in Nigeria, and marked a turning point among the Gates Foundation and other backers of the polio fight in the debate over whether the strictly "vertical" polio strategy could succeed. In October, the Gates Foundation summoned backers of the program, including Unicef, CDC and Rotary, to its Seattle headquarters for a major rethink. Two weeks later it called in independent experts for help. The outcome of those meetings will be reflected in the revamped plan coming next week. Polio backers say they are buoyed by reports of just 71 polio cases worldwide this year, vs. 328 in the year-earlier period. Journal Communitydiscuss“ Mr. Gates has my respect for trying to eradicate polio but the biology of this disease clearly makes it more difficult task than the eradication of smallpox. It's important to keep trying but there might be a more immediate return-on-

investment in terms of saving human lives if the judicious use of inexpensive DDT were used to curtail malaria, like once was done in this the USA. ” —James Finnerty If approved in May by member nations of the WHO, the new strategy will set ambitious goals for getting close to eradicating polio by the end of 2012. The plan bolsters the core "vertical" approach of polio program but also adds a "horizontal" strategy, including training for health workers on topics such as hygiene and sanitation. Nigeria will be a key testing ground. The country has made strong progress against the disease since Mr. Gates's visit. But stopping polio there, and in at least one of the three other countries where it's deeply rooted, will be the main challenge in the next three years, Mr. Aylward says. Failure to achieve that goal will raise questions over whether the program continues, he says. A big hurdle is money. The polio program is $1.4 billion short of the $2.6 billion it needs over next three years. The Gates Foundation will continue its polio grants, but says it can't make up the shortfall. But funding is just one worry for Mr. Gates in his new career. He built his foundation on the promise of life-saving vaccines, reflecting his penchant toward finding technological solutions to problems. As polio shows, technology can be hampered by political, religious and societal obstacles in the countries where he's spending his money. He's still learning how to navigate through those forces. In Nigeria last year, Mr. Gates sat on the lawn behind his hotel reflecting on that. Science can simplify the job, he said, but "the human piece is the ultimate test." -------------------Iran leader leaves Uganda without oil deal (CNN) ENTEBBE, Uganda - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left Uganda without striking a deal on the African nation's oil, President Yoweri Museveni indicated Sunday. "We have not concluded anything on oil," the Ugandan president said at a press conference as the visit ended, apparently cutting off Ahmadinejad's answer to a journalist. Iran's government-backed Press TV reported Sunday that the two countries signed several agreements, but did not list oil among them.

During a visit to Tehran last year, Museveni invited Iranian investors to build an oil refinery in Uganda's northwest region, which is believed to hold at least 2 billion barrels of oil. But on Saturday he said he wanted clarification from the United States about sanctions against Iran. "We are just students on this matter. It is a debate I have not been following," he said when asked about international pressure on Iran. The United States and its allies fear Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, despite Tehran's repeated denials. Museveni has recently sought guidance from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Iranian Foreign Minister Manounchehr Mottaki "to hear from them why they are in dispute over nuclear use," he said. Uganda is a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. The country's foreign minister, Sam Kutesa, Sunday denied that Iran had tried to use an oil deal to win Uganda's backing on the Security Council. "No!" he said, adding, "They have no leverage." Kutesa pointed out that many other countries around the world had companies that could built a refinery in Uganda. "We are not the agents of Iran or anybody else... Nobody can blackmail us about that oil -- including the Iranians," he said. Museveni said the day before that Uganda will be not be doing the bidding of the United States, either. "We are not agents of the West on the U.N. Security Council -- we are representatives of Africa and we follow what Africa decides," he said. The British-Irish firms Tullow Oil and Heritage Oil have already signed contracts with Uganda to develop its oil reserves, the non-profit group Platform said in a highly critical report in February. The contracts "place profits before people," in the words of the report's title. Platform called for more environmental protections, greater accountability for military forces protecting oil installations, and more equitable distribution of revenues.

Ahmadinejad, who arrived in Uganda on Friday to seek support for his country's controversial nuclear program, said he discussed the sanctions, which he described as a "joke." "We want Uganda to understand that our nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Iran is being denied the right to develop it on baseless suspicions by the West," Ahmadinejad said. Earlier, during a state dinner, Ahmadinejad accused the West of trying to deny countries the right to nuclear energy. Museveni, on the other hand, called for a "nuclear weapons-free world," defending nations' rights to have access to nuclear technology, but only for "peaceful purposes" such as medical uses. "Nuclear weapons are dangerous for humanity -- even more dangerous than all the other previous weapon systems," Museveni said. "We should, therefore, work for a nuclear weapons-free world. This means that those who have these weapons should work to get rid of them under an internationally agreed and verifiable treaty." Uganda was one of two African nations Ahmadinejad visited this week. He also made a two-day trip to Zimbabwe, where he launched a tractor production line and attended a trade fair. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said he and Ahmadinejad have the "same policy and same stance -- anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and a stance to protect our sovereignty and our right of ownership of our resources." -------------------After a Coup, Niger Resumes Business as Usual With China (New York Times) For China, the transition seems smooth. Just a few months ago, China was widely derided here as the financial backbone propping up an autocratic president, Mamadou Tandja, giving him the confidence to ignore international condemnation as he chopped away at Niger’s democratic institutions. But now that Mr. Tandja has been overthrown, China appears to be settling into a new role: business partner to the good-government-preaching military officers who ousted Mr. Tandja under the banner of restoring democracy. “Our diplomatic relations with China were not affected by the coup d’état,” said Mahaman Laouali Dan Dah, a spokesman for the military junta now running the country.

That was plain to see from the front page of the government newspaper this month. China’s ambassador to Niger, Xia Huang, was prominently shown inspecting the bridge that his country is building here in the capital. About 10 days before, Mr. Xia had proclaimed on state television that China’s extensive oil and uranium interests in Niger had not been “disrupted by the events” — the coup — in February, news agencies reported. There may still be some small perturbations. The junta has said broadly that it may adjust any deals made by Mr. Tandja to ensure that they sufficiently benefit Niger, a nation rich in uranium and, potentially, oil. But the junta does not seem eager to upset the Chinese — “checking doesn’t mean calling into question,” said Col. Abdoulkarim Goukoye, a junta member — and for now China appears to be proceeding confidently, sealing its reputation here as the continent’s behind-the-scenes force, ready to do business regardless of who is in power or whatever outrage exists about it. “They couldn’t care less” who leads the country, Mohamed Bazoum, a former opposition leader recently appointed by the junta to a civilian council, said of China’s investments in Niger. “The Chinese, they were about to destroy democracy. They were playing a very negative role.” But even Mr. Bazoum did not suggest breaking with China now. In a sign of how desperately Niger needs investment — the nation ranks at the very bottom of the United Nations human development index — Mr. Bazoum said he hoped the old deals would be respected, suggesting how quickly the looming backlash against China here has become an embrace. “When the international community turns its back on you, you’ve got to find money somewhere,” said Sanoussi Tambari Jackou, the senior member of Niger’s Parliament. After all, he said, “it’s the West that threw Tandja into the arms of the Chinese.” France, the former colonial power here, has also been criticized by opposition leaders for not speaking out forcefully enough against Mr. Tandja, and the largely state-owned French nuclear engineering giant, Areva, has two uranium mines here, with plans for a third. But last year, as Mr. Tandja dissolved Parliament and the nation’s highest court, France adhered to the European Union’s suspension of aid to Niger, a penalty enforced by the United States as well. The suspension has hurt the junta, too, because it remains in effect until new elections are scheduled.

China, by contrast, has stayed the course. Cash flowed from a substantial fund established by the Chinese, allowing Mr. Tandja to continue paying salaries as Western support ebbed. Now that he is gone, work has continued on a giant Chinese-built oil refinery in the nation’s east. China has multimillion-dollar deals all over West Africa, in countries with every shade of authoritarian leaning, according to a 2009 atlas of Africa by Stephen Smith, an Africa specialist. But its interests here are among the most significant, putting Niger easily in the top 10 African countries in terms of Chinese investment, said Deborah Brautigam of American University in Washington, a specialist in China-Africa relations. As Mr. Tandja consolidated his grip on power, ultimately pushing through a new Constitution that seemed tailor-made to keep him in office indefinitely, the streets rumbled with protests. Yet Mr. Tandja evidently felt buffered by his powerful ally. Chinese cash, Chinese investments, big Chinese projects in oil, uranium and hydroelectric power — potentially worth billions of dollars — had been multiplying in Mr. Tandja’s final years in power in this arid, landlocked country. “He was counting blindly on the Chinese,” declared a former top official in the Tandja government. In particular, a crucial “signing bonus” of $300 million, part of a secretive oil deal he reached with China in 2008, has been instrumental in keeping public finances afloat, first for Mr. Tandja and now for the junta that deposed him, Western diplomats here say. The Chinese ambassador had instant entree to Mr. Tandja’s whitewashed presidential palace, at all hours, people close to the former government said; Chinese executives dealt directly with the presidency, bypassing ministers; and Mr. Tandja’s son Ousmane was firmly ensconced as his country’s “commercial attaché” in China, serving as a gobetween Buried deep in the secret oil contract was another sweetener: $6.6 million to “allow the state to satisfy its obligations,” without specifying what they might be, to be paid into an account “whose details are to be supplied by the state.” Mr. Tandja is now being held without charge by the military junta in a villa near the palace, a prisoner under guard. In his place, a previously unknown army major and squadron commander, Salou Djibo, is running the country, the world’s sixth-largest uranium exporter. He promises a transition to civilian rule and elections but has not said when.

Ultimately, the marriage of convenience was mutually self-deceiving, in the view of diplomats here. Mr. Tandja “lived in a world of dreams,” believing he could continue to “mobilize new dollars,” said one diplomat with knowledge of the country’s resources. As for the Chinese, they “have no good assessment of the repayment capacities” of the people of Niger, the diplomat said. China is pouring hundreds of millions into developing oil in Niger, but none has been extracted yet, said Malam Brah Mamadou, a member of a local organization that keeps close watch on extractive industries in Niger. The Chinese Embassy did not respond to a request for comment, and the local office of the China National Petroleum Corporation did not answer queries. But the ambassador, Mr. Xia, has vigorously defended his country’s activities here, pointing out China’s investments in health, education and agriculture. The people of Niger “are eyewitnesses to the benefits of the friendship between the two countries,” Mr. Xia said earlier this month, according to Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news agency. In the capital, the Chinese presence is still visible: groups of Chinese working on the new bridge, crowding the departure lounge at the airport, behind the normally closed gates of the sprawling Chinese economic mission downtown. Mr. Tandja had openly sanctified the presence of his new friends, in a speech that captured their singular position. “Today, we work with the Chinese, and you can easily identify them,” Mr. Tandja told a gathering near the oil fields in December. “Any presence here other than the Chinese should be brought to our attention immediately. Remain vigilant.” Then, for five days after Mr. Tandja was overthrown, the Chinese companies exploring for oil in the north and east ceased operations, only to resume right after that, workers there said. The symmetry of interests continued, even after Mr. Tandja’s fall. -------------------A Supply-Sider in East Africa (Wall Street Journal) Sixteen years ago, the world watched in horror as 800,000 Rwandans were systematically murdered by their neighbors. In just 100 days, well over 10% of the country's population—mostly Tutsis, the country's minority group, and some politically moderate Hutus, the country's majority—were slaughtered by an extremist Hutu government. Paul Kagame led the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the guerilla army made up largely of Tutsi refugees that ultimately overthrew the government and ended the bloodshed. Now he's president. You might suppose that the leader of a country synonymous with genocide would be far more interested in scoring foreign aid than in talking about supply-side economics.

But then you probably haven't met Mr. Kagame. His agenda for improving the state of his country boils down to one goal: "spurring private investment." "We believe in private enterprise, free market, and competition. . . . So we have to make sure there is a conducive environment for people to be creative and innovative," he told me last month in a suite in the West End's plush Langham Hotel. Our interview followed his debut appearance at the annual meeting of the Commonwealth, which Rwanda joined last year. Bespectacled and as twiggy as when he led the RPF, Mr. Kagame looks like an unlikely warlord. And yet this is the man—not the U.N. and not the U.S.—who led forces outnumbered two to one to defeat the genocidal government and their machetewielding militia. Gangly in a dark gray suit, Mr. Kagame meets me precisely on time for our interview. He speaks in paragraphs, eyes wide, and without a trace of the cynicism that it seems should be his right. The overall effect is more impassioned academic than storied warrior. Don't be fooled. Asked how much of Kagame-the-general remains in Kagame-the-statesman, he replies "100%." I laugh, but he's serious. "My respect and enthusiasm for softness and diplomacy and negotiations—really reaching out to people—has only been growing. But it has not diminished my ability and desire and conviction to give a good fight when a fight is called for," he says. These days, the battle he is fighting is for national prosperity. Unlike many of his peers in the Third World, his focus is on how to create wealth—not on how to beg for charity. During our entire conversation, Mr. Kagame doesn't once utter the word poverty. "We can only have ourselves to blame for our failures," he says. "We don't expect anyone to hand us any success or progress we hope to be making." That attitude makes Mr. Kagame a skeptic when it comes to foreign aid, which he faults for many of the world's ills. "It has created dependency, it has distorted the markets, it has detached people from their leaders and their values, it has created conflicts in some cases." He notes that Rwanda has cut its dependence on aid by half in the past 15 years, and he speaks with undisguised pride that Rwanda has become self-sufficient in food for the first time in its history. Gradual improvements to property rights, along with government money for fertilizer to farmers (which the farmers have since repaid with the revenue from their produce), have even allowed Rwanda to begin exporting some of its crops.

What the country needs now, Mr. Kagame says, is the freedom to market itself around the world. His key bugaboos include import tariffs and agricultural subsidies: "Trading fairly with developing countries would put more money in the hands of the developing countries than [donor countries] give through aid." In September, the World Bank named Rwanda its "top reformer of business regulation," as the country soared to 67th place from 143rd the year before for "ease of doing business." On the matter of "ease of paying taxes," Rwanda, in 59th place, now bests the U.S. (which has fallen to 61st). All sectors are open to investors, and the government places no limit on foreign equity ownership. The reward has been 8.8% yearly average GDP growth since 2004, according to government figures. But there remains work to be done. Rwanda has been criticized for a lack of judicial independence, for instance, and for property rights that leave much room for improvement. Mr. Kagame has no intention of slowing the pace of reforms. "We ask would-be investors what is it they're really interested in when they come to Africa or when they come to Rwanda," Mr. Kagame explains. "We say, 'What would you be interested in seeing happen in Rwanda that would facilitate your investment?' We put all this together and start seeing what we don't have and put it in place— whether it's about laws, institutions, or different aspects of relations, so on and so forth." Mr. Kagame says his approach has lured New York-based electric and heating utility group ContourGlobal. It is investing in Lake Kivu's methane reserves for electricity generation, with an eye to producing enough power to export to Uganda. The president's other major project is simplifying the country's tax code. While the World Bank puts Rwanda's total levies on profits at 31.3%, well below the OECD average of 44.5%, Mr. Kagame predicts that streamlining taxes to bring down administrative costs and cut incentives to cheat is probably the best way of "actually increasing the level of revenue you collect." He's been sending members of his government around the world to study different tax systems, and says he is close to unveiling plans to simplify Rwanda's. One solution that appeals to him is a flat tax. "We sent our team to Georgia because we learned they have been very successful with their flat tax. . . . We want to see where it works," Mr. Kagame says. And if the experiment fails miserably? "We're not afraid." His ideology, he says, is not the product of study but of "the life I have lived." Born in 1957, his Tutsi family fled Rwanda in 1960, when the impending departure of the Belgian colonizers was already giving rise to "Hutu Power" violence. This was the

culmination of the ethnic animosity that had been nurtured by Brussels's decades-long institutional favoritism towards the Tutsi minority. Mr. Kagame spent 30 years in Uganda as a refugee before taking the helm of the Inkotanyi-RPF army in 1990. "For so long, I've lived injustice, and have had to struggle and fight for my freedom and my people's freedom," he says. "I think you tend to have more passion for freedom and for rights to exist, for you and for everyone. . . . With that kind of life, you don't take things for granted, you want to earn every step of your life. You want to work hard, you want to achieve, you want to reach where you have not been before." It's hard not to like his message. And yet Mr. Kagame has strong critics. Lately their concern has focused on Rwanda's upcoming presidential elections, in which Mr. Kagame remains unopposed in his run for a second seven-year term. His main wouldbe challenger, Victoire Ingabire—who returned to Rwanda in January after 16 years in the Netherlands—was arrested on Wednesday on charges of associating with a terrorist group (the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda, founded by perpetrators of Rwanda's genocide) and advocating ethnic division. Ms. Ingabire was released on bail the day after her arrest. But unless she's officially cleared of the charges she's barred from registering her party in the elections. Her exclusion feeds neatly into the narrative, favored by the international press and advocacy groups such as Human Rights Watch, that Kigali regularly uses genociderelated accusations to target and discredit its critics. While Rwanda does have limits on free speech, they more closely resemble Europe's laws against Holocaust denial than blanket political censorship. Rwanda shows none of the outward signs of a president who imagines himself indispensable, as I noticed during my recent visit. Policemen and soldiers are thin on the ground and citizens readily discuss politics with strangers. Decentralized local governance is the official policy and Mr. Kagame's visage is not plastered around the country. But there's no denying that Mr. Kagame's democratic credentials would benefit from a rival—especially after he beat three challengers with an eyebrow-raising 95% of the vote in 2003. "It is not my duty to create an opposition," he tells me. He is rankled that outsiders would suppose that "the progress we make [in democracy] is because somebody is whipping us with a stick. We believe in freedoms . . . we believe in democracy, not because anybody tells us to do so." He insists that if and when a legitimate comer enters the race, he will not stand in his or her way. "Our life has been that of a struggle against that." Many African leaders have been hailed as liberators in the past, only to later trash their term limits and install themselves permanently in power. I ask Mr. Kagame whether,

assuming he wins another seven years, the world can expect him to pursue such a presidency-for-life. Speaking into two tape recorders, he is unequivocal: "No. No. I would not be responsible for that." -------------------UN News Service Africa Briefs Full Articles on UN Website UN humanitarian chief in West Africa to focus on food crisis 25 April – The United Nations top humanitarian official is visiting the Sahel region of West Africa to draw attention to the plight of an estimated 10 million people facing a food and nutritional crisis as a result of poor harvests caused by long dry spells in the mostly arid part of the continent. UN police train Ivorian gendarmes in crime scene management 24 April – Twenty-nine Ivorian police officers have received their diplomas after participating in a training course on crime scene management initiated by the United Nations Operation in Côte d''Ivoire (UNOCI). Top UN official in Darfur confers with OIC head 24 April – The top United Nations official in the Darfur region of western Sudan, who is visiting Saudi Arabia, today had talks with the chief executive of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) during which the two officials pledged to strengthen the relationship between the two bodies. Secretary-General voices concern about human rights in Western Sahara 23 April – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern today about alleged violations of human rights in the Western Sahara conflict after vowed to continue to promote the rights of Sahrawis after meeting with the head of the Frente Polisario, one of the parties to the dispute. UN trust fund backs projects in fight against piracy off Somali coast 23 April – A United Nations trust fund set up as part of the international fight against maritime piracy today announced plans to support a series of five projects that are aimed at assisting Somalia and its neighbours to tackle the scourge.