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United States Africa Command

Public Affairs Office


21 May 2010

USAFRICOM -related news stories


From and About Africa

CONFERENCE FOCUSING ON PIRACY, RESTORING ORDER IN SOMALIA STARTS IN


ISTANBUL
ISTANBUL - High level officials are meeting in Istanbul for an international conference focusing on
restoring order in Somalia — gripped by anarchy and political turmoil. The officials held a preliminary
session Friday to lay the ground for Saturday's main conference which will be attended by U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.

TANZANIA 'US EMBASSY BOMBING ATTEMPT SUSPECT WAS ANTI-AMERICAN'


Dar THE suspect in the failed attempt to bomb the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam last weekend, had for a
long time been nursing 'anti-American' feelings, some friends have said. Schoolmates of the suspect,
Nassib Zukheri, a Form Two student at Biafra Secondary School in Dar es Salaam, told the 'Daily News'
that the boy had for a long time been expressing anti-American feelings. ''He used to express anti-
American feelings so comically that nobody took him seriously,'' said some of his classmates who talked
to this reporter. Investigations by this paper revealed that the boy was staying at Kinondoni Kwa
Manyanya with an aunt and was born to a Somali family.

US DNI BOSS QUITS AFTER INTELLIGENCE FAILURES


WASHINGTON — US spy czar Dennis Blair said he would quit, paying the price for a string of
intelligence failures after a 16-month tenure marred by rumblings of infighting in the clandestine services.
Blair, who will be the most high-profile figure yet to leave President Barack Obama's national security
team, was heavily criticized after the attempt by an Al-Qaeda linked group to bring down a US airliner
on Christmas Day. Some of the 16 US intelligence agencies he was charged with coordinating also came
under fire for failing to join the dots before the Fort Hood massacre in November, and the failed Times
Square bombing earlier this month.

US TERROR COMES HOME


At least 25 American citizens have faced serious terrorism offenses in the past 18
months, a pattern that has counterintelligence officials concerned. Dylan (left),
Daniel Patrick (center), and Zakaria (right) Boyd, members of a North Carolina
family and natural-born citizens, were indicted in June 2009 in a plot to provide
material support to terrorists and to kill abroad. Daniel, the father of Dylan and Zakaria, was named as
the ringleader of the plot, and in September 2009 was charged additionally with plotting to kill military
personnel at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. The men and several alleged co-conspirators are
currently in jail awaiting trial, scheduled for September.

US 'APPALLED' AT MALAWI CONVICTIONS


WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday it was "appalled" by the jailing of a gay couple in
Malawi, calling it a step backward in the protection of human rights in the southern African country.
"The United States is appalled by today's sentencing of same-sex couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and
Steven Monjeza to 14 years of hard labor," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told
reporters."We view the criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity as a step backward in
the protection of human rights in Malawi," he said, reading a statement. "We are particularly disturbed
by the severity of the sentence. The government of Malawi must respect the human rights of all of its
citizens," Crowley added.
US BIDENS TO TRAVEL TO EGYPT, KENYA, SOUTH AFRICA
WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are traveling to Egypt, Kenya and South
Africa early next month to meet with those country's leaders and represent the United States at soccer's
World Cup. The White House announced the trip Thursday. Biden will meet in Egypt with President
Hosni Mubarak, and in Kenya with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Discussions
in Kenya will address issues of regional stability including Sudan and Somalia.

AQAP AL-QAIDA IN YEMEN ANNOUNCES TERROR LEADER KILLED


WASHINGTON - A senior member of the al-Qaida spinoff group behind the failed Christmas Day airline
attack was killed as part of a U.S.-Yemeni counterterrorism campaign, the terror group announced. Nayif
al-Qahtani's death was revealed in an al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula newsletter a week after the U.S.
slapped terror sanctions on him. Gregory Johnsen, a terrorism expert at Princeton University who
reviewed the Arabic newsletter, said Thursday that al-Qahtani was a pioneering figure who helped turn
Yemen's upstart group into a formidable terrorist network. The group surprised U.S. officials in
December when it nearly detonated a bomb aboard a U.S.-bound jetliner. Until then, the group had been
regarded as threat primarily in Yemen.

SOMALI PRESIDENT REVERSES DECISION TO FIRE PM


MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia's president says he has reversed his decision to fire the country's
prime minister, tamping down a political dispute in the already fragile government. President Sheik
Sharif Sheik Ahmed in a statement released Thursday says he asked Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali
Sharmarke to continue his duties after reviewing the state of the country, which Ahmed says requires
unity among its leaders.

SOMALIA UGANDAN SOLDIER KILLED IN SOMALIA


Mogadishu - A roadside bomb killed a Ugandan soldier working with the AU peacekeeping mission
(Amisom) in the Somali capital on Thursday, a spokesperson said.

DJIBOUTI WARNS OF 'DISINTEGRATION' OF SOMALIA


I cannot see how we can avert the possibility of Somalia's plunge into an avoidable disintegration," he
said. Guelleh said the transitional government controls only a few blocks in the capital, Mogadishu, with
the help of the UN mission and is "fast shrinking" under the advance of insurgents throughout the
country. He called on the 15-nation council to end its rhetoric and adopt measures to save Mogadishu
and its two million inhabitants, who are besieged by armed militias and fanatical gangs. The government
has become "irrelevant and inconsequential", he said. Guelleh said the collapse of Somalia will affect the
Horn of Africa. Other problems include the persistent conflict between Eritrea and its neighbours,
including Djibouti. He charged that Eritrea has continued its aggressive stance against Djibouti since the
military clashes between the two countries in 2008. Guelleh was in New York to attend a council debate
on conflicts in Africa. He said armed conflicts remain at the top of Africa's adversities despite efforts to
stop them in the past three decades.

KENYA ODM LEADERS ‘PLANNED POLL VIOLENCE’


Nairobi - The ODM leadership perpetrated and planned the post-election violence, the High Court in
Nairobi was told on Wednesday. Government spokesman Alfred Mutua made the allegation while being
cross-examined in a defamation case he has filed against the Nation Media Group. And the court will
now decide whether he should name those who he claims were responsible for the violence in which
1,133 people were killed and over 650,000 uprooted from their homes. The ruling will be made on June 8.
Dr Mutua who was being cross-examined by Mr Guto Mogere for the Nation, repeated the same claims
in a document filed in court in support of his case.

KENYA POLITICIAN KILIKU DIES IN MOMBASA


Renowned politician and former Changamwe MP Kennedy Kiliku has died in the coastal town of
Mombasa. According to his wife, Elizabeth Kiliku, Mr Kiliku started complaining of chest pains Thursday
night at around 9 p.m.

KENYA HOW PRESIDENT SHARIF AHMED, AL-SHABAAB FOUND A FOOL IN ADDIS ABABA
In 2006, Ethiopia invaded Somalia to oust Sheikh Shariff Ahmed, leader of the Islamic Courts Union
(ICU), because he and his organisation were setting up a dangerous Islamic fundamentalist regime.
Sheikh Ahmed was a wanted man. The Ethiopian invasion went terribly wrong, and in the end Sheikh
Ahmed was called back to take charge as a ―moderate‖ because the defeat of the ICU had created a
vacuum that allowed Al-Shabaab, a far more hardline organisation with ties to Al Qaeda, to emerge.
Today, the countries that would have jailed Sheikh Ahmed are rolling out the red carpet for him. And Al-
Shabaab, which would never have risen to influence if the ICU had remained in control, is calling the
shots in most of Somalia. To flourish, both Sheikh Ahmed and Al Shabaab needed a fool in Addis Ababa.

KENYA FORGET PIRACY, SOMALIA'S WHOLE 'GLOBAL' ECONOMY IS BOOMING - TO


KENYA'S BENEFIT
Nairobi The collapse of the Somali state in 1991 gave rise to the shopping mall phenomenon in Nairobi’s
Eastleigh area. By 1998 there were at least eight other converted-building malls; a second generation of
shiny new commercial buildings began sprouting up soon afterwards. The flow of capital into Kenya
continues and Somalis have been purchasing urban property in Nairobi and Mombasa at a rate raising
alarm in many quarters. In Mombasa, for example, resentment among the town’s Swahili and Asian
Muslims is rising. The spread of open-air stalls centred at Mackinnon market clogged the narrow lanes of
Old Town then crossed Kenyatta Avenue. Somalis have now bought out virtually all the local wholesale
and retail shops in Bondeni. Somalis in search of prime urban businesses and property are willing to pay
prices that make resistance futile. The last time I was in Mombasa, friends pointed out a 2.5 acre property
between Mwembe Kuku and Kilifi, valued at approximately Ksh30 million ($400,000) before the latest
boom, that was recently sold for Ksh215 million ($2.86 million). Where does this capital come from?
Many Kenyan observers claim the ransoms paid to Somali pirates account for the lion’s share of the cash
inflating urban real estate values. The Somali may be the world’s thickest-skinned entrepreneurs, but
neither this trait nor the successes of Somali pirates over the past several years sufficiently explain the
mystery of Somali capital. Local elders and other politicians receive up to 10 per cent of the ransom.
Investors involved in the management of maritime intelligence, negotiations, and transfers, in addition to
covering fixed costs (vessels and equipment), receive a 30 per cent share. Another 30 per cent is divided
among the crew. There are more robust income streams feeding the river of Somali capital. Much of the
monies provided by Western and Islamist financiers for weapons and military operations are diverted
into more productive activities. The failure of clan politics in the homeland highlights the reinvigorated
socio-economic role of Somali segmentary lineages. Much of the capital is finding its way into Kenya —
which has over time evolved a more adaptive and mutually beneficial strategy for domesticating the
threat of Somali irredentism.

UGANDA PARTIES IN POLL WARNING


Uganda’s opposition will boycott national elections next year unless the government reconstitutes the
Electoral Commission (EC) to make it impartial, senior opposition officials told Reuters on Thursday.
They say the electoral body favoured the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni at the last elections in
2006. The head of state appoints the commission’s seven members.
According to Museveni’s opponents, the body is using local council leaders—almost all of whom are
members of the President’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM)—to carry out voter registration
ahead of the 2011 parliamentary and presidential elections.

BURUNDI POSTPONES ELECTION


Bujumbura - Burundi has postponed local elections scheduled for Friday until Sunday because of a delay
in distributing ballot papers in the small central African nation, a top electoral official said.
BURUNDI EXPELS RIGHTS GROUP’S OFFICER
The Burundian government has expelled a major humanitarian watchdog from the country, saying that it
was biased and publishing prejudice material against the country. Ms Neela Ghoshal, a researcher for
Human Rights Watch, based in Burundi’s capital Bujambura was told in a letter from the government to
stop working immediately and that she must leave the country by early June.

MADAGASCAR REACTS SWIFTLY TO MUTINY ATTEMPT


A gun battle broke out in Madagascar's capital on Thursday after a mutiny by members of the security
forces, leaving two soldiers dead and several civilians wounded, the prime minister said. By early
evening, army and gendarmerie forces had reclaimed control of the base in central Antananarivo that had
been held by 30-odd mutineers from the gendarmerie's elite intervention unit (FIGN)."There are two
dead," Prime Minister Camille Vital told a press conference on Thursday evening. He said the victims
were a member of the FIGN and a loyalist solider. Two were Killed in Abortive Madagascar Mutiny

ETHIOPIA MELES SET FOR EASY RE-ELECTION


Addis Ababa - Voters go to the polls in Ethiopia on Sunday with little doubt that Prime Minister Meles
Zenawi will extend his rule of Africa's second most populous country, which he has ruled since 1991.

ETHIOPIA BUS BOMB WOUNDS 13, THREE DAYS BEFORE POLL


A bomb exploded on a bus in Ethiopia near the Eritrean border, wounding 13 people. The attack came
three days before elections the government says bitter rival Eritrea may try to spoil. Ethiopia and Eritrea
fought a war over their border from 1998 to 2000 in which more than 80,000 people died. Relations have
been tense since and the border remains an issue.

ETHIOPIA 59 REBELS KILLED


Addis Ababa - Ethiopia said Thursday it killed 59 rebels in clashes this week in the restive southern
Ogaden region, days after the insurgents said they inflicted heavy casualties on their rivals. The fighting
erupted ahead of the country's elections on Sunday, with the region torn by unrest between government
troops and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which is fighting for autonomy. "During the
attack that was repelled, 59 ONLF rebels were killed. Thirty-two were wounded and captured by the
police and the local militia," government spokesperson Shimeles Kemal said.

NAMIBIA RUSSIA TO INVEST HEAVILY IN NAMIBIA URANIUM EXPLORATION


Moscow - Russia plans to invest 1 billion U.S. dollars in uranium exploration in Namibia, the leader of
Russia's state nuclear corporation said Thursday. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the state-owned Rosatom,
revealed the plan at a press conference after talks between visiting Namibian President Hifikepunye
Pohamba and President Dmitry Medvedev. Namibia is the world's fourth largest uranium producer.
"We're ready to start investing already this year," Kiriyenko said. He said the uranium will be used at a
power plant in Turkey that Russia is building.

NIGERIA KIDNAPPED RUSSIAN SAILORS IN GOOD HEALTH, MEND SAYS


A Russian captain and chief engineer abducted by armed men from a ship moored off Cameroon's coast
are in good health, Nigeria's main armed militant group in the Niger Delta said on Thursday. The
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in an e-mail statement that although it
was not involved in their kidnap, it had been able to locate them.
"MEND was not involved in the kidnap of the sailors but we have been able to locate them today and I
can confirm that they are in good health," the statement said.

NIGERIA THERE’LL BE NO RIVALRY WITH VP, SAYS JONATHAN


President Goodluck Jonathan has indicated that his administration will not be marked by bitter rivalry
between himself and the newly sworn in Vice-President Namadi Sambo. Apparently mindful of cases
where power struggle between public officers degenerated into open war, Jonathan assured Nigerians
that he would work with Sambo as a team. According to him, ―The stories of crisis between President
and vice-president will not arise. I will make sure that we work together as a team.‖
NIGERIA LEGAL ACTION AGAINST FORMER MILITARY PRESIDENT GEN. IBRAHIM
BABANGIDA????
The Federal Government may take legal action against former military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida
if there is evidence to prove the allegation of mismanagement of $12.4 billion during his tenure. Attorney
General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke (SAN) disclosed that a committee
would be set up to review the allegations to see if a criminal charge could be sustained. But the former
president has described Adoke’s statement as ―unambiguous‖.

NIGERIA FRESH EXPLOSIONS ROCK WARRI


WARRI – AN explosion rocked the home of the Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Niger-
Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Pastor Power Aginighan at the Delta Steel Company (DSC)
housing estate in Warri, Delta state on Wednesday night. Militant kingpin and bomb specialist, who
styles himself as ―Udemegun‖ of Niger-Delta, the same person that carried out the explosion at the
NDDC office in Warri, about a fortnight ago, which the police debunked, Wednesday, claimed
responsibility for the two explosions.

ALGERIA A FIRE ATTEMPT TO DESTRUCT CORRUPTION RECORDS AT ORAN SEAPORT


Algiers - The arsonists succeeded in burning 70 files but was unable to reach the records they sought,
estimated at about 300 where an investigation has been underway for two months. According to credible
sources, unknown persons attempted yesterday to destroy 300 records of corruption at the General
Secretariat of the port, whose investigation has been underway for two months for false declaration
concerning suspicious transactions of import, made in port. This is related to 17 trucks which have left the
port without being checked first.

ALGERIA 2 SOLDIERS DIE, 18 WOUNDED IN ROADSIDE BOMB ATTACK IN SLOW-BURNING


INSURGENCY
ALGIERS - Police say two soldiers have been killed and 18 wounded by a roadside bomb that hit their
convoy in Algeria. Police say Wednesday's attack was probably the work of al-Qaida Islamist insurgents.
It occurred in the Boumerdes region, 55 kilometres (35 miles) east of Algiers. The blast was among the
deadliest attacks since the start of the year in the North African nation, where a slow-burning Islamist
insurgency continues.

TANZANIA SA FIRM PITCHES TO BUILD DAR NUCLEAR POWER PLANT


Tanzania will soon have the first nuclear power plant in East Africa following a move by South Areva
South Africa, a member of the French multinational Areva group, to bid for its construction. Currently,
the country, which depends on hydropower plants to produce electricity, suffers from frequent power
shortages. Mohamed Madhi, chairman of Areva South Africa, told The EastAfrican in Dar es Salaam that
the firm is seeking opportunities in East Africa to invest in nuclear power production.
Mr Madhi said Areva will produce clean energy in Tanzania through the construction of a nuclear power
plant pending the conclusion of negotiations with the government. ―Areva is one of the companies that
will be bidding for contracts to build nuclear energy capability in Tanzania,‖ he said.

SIERRA LEONE CLARE MAN KIDNAPPED IN SIERRA LEONE NOW EN ROUTE TO IRELAND
AN IRISH businessman, who was freed by police in Sierra Leone this week after a kidnapping ordeal, has
left the west African country to return home. A police source in the capital, Freetown, said Mr Mulconry
– who was unharmed in the incident – left the country yesterday. He was kidnapped by a group of armed
men outside his hotel in the city last Monday but was rescued by police a short time later. Three men
were arrested and remained in custody yesterday. In his east Clare village of Parteen, meanwhile, locals
spoke of their shock at hearing of Mr Mulconry’s ordeal. A native of Labasheeda in west Clare, Mr
Mulconry, or ―Flash‖ as he is better known locally, has been running the Tailrace bar in Parteen for the
past 20 years.
SA TOP COP SCUTTLED ZUMA CASE
Johannesburg - Former crime intelligence boss Mulangi Mphego is fingered as the
main culprit in leaking the top-secret recordings that scuttled President Jacob Zuma's
corruption trial, according to information obtained by the Mail & Guardian.

Saudi citizen Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani, detained in Iraq on suspicion of plotting to attack the World Cup, says he wanted to target the Danish and
Dutch teams to avenge insults against the Prophet Muhammad.