United States Africa Command Public Affairs Office 11 April 2012 USAFRICOM - related news stories

Good morning. Please see today's news review for April 11, 2012. This e-mail is best viewed in HTML. Of interest in today's report: - Mali Coup Leader Rejects Possible ECOWAS Intervention. -Sudan Accuses South Sudan of Attacking Oil Field. -Crises-Weary Malians Give Incoming President a Chance. -Libya Stops Paying Rebels as Fraud Mounts.

U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Please send questions or comments to: publicaffairs@usafricom.mil 421-2687 (+49-711-729-2687) Headline Most wanted Somali pirate seized Date 04/10/2012 Outlet Africa Review

The war on piracy in the Horn of Africa has received a major boost following the capture of one of the world's most wanted Somali pirate leaders, Mohamed Garad.Garad, a former British soldier, is said to have been arrested together with 12 other suspected ...

Mali coup leader rejects possible Ecowas intervention

04/10/2012

BBC News

Mali's coup leader has rejected the intervention of foreign troops in the rebel-held north - and hinted at his continuing role in ruling the country. The comments come just days after a deal was brokered that is supposed to return the West African state to...

Sudan accuses South Sudan of attacking oil field

04/10/2012

BBC News

Sudan has accused South Sudan of attacking its oil fields along the border between the countries. A government statement, which described the offensive as "severe", came after South Sudan said it had been hit by more air strikes inside its territory. South...

Crises-weary Malians to give incoming president a chance

04/10/2012

France 24

By Leela JACINTO in Bamako, Mali A line of black Mercedes cars snakes outside a luxury hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako while inside the airconditioned lobby clutches of military men in camouflage uniforms huddle in discreet corners, holding hushed...

Libya stops paying rebels as fraud mounts

04/10/2012

Telegraph

Payment of rewards to rebels has been stopped due to violations and abuses," Mohammed Harizi, spokesman for Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, was quoted as saying."Millions of dinars allocated to revolutionaries were lost in (illegitimate) paym...

U.S. Suspends Seychelles Drone Flights After Crashes

04/10/2012

New York Times

VICTORIA (Reuters) - The United States has suspended drone flights over the Seychelles while it investigates a second crash in four months on the archipelago, which Washington uses as a launch base for the unmanned spy planes. One of the remotely pilot...

Court backs UK extradition of Abu Hamza to US

04/10/2012

France 24

REUTERS – The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Britain had the right to extradite five suspected terrorists to the United States but only after all court procedures had been exhausted.

Mali: Coup Leader Sanogo and Interim President Traoré Discuss Return to Democracy

04/10/2012

AllAfrica.com

Mali's coup leader Army Captain Amadou Sanogo on Monday met with Dioncounda Traoré, the man set to be sworn in as the country's interim president to oversee the transition back to constitutional rule. The two men discussed when Sanogo would hand over power...

South Sudan accuses Sudan of new attack

04/11/2012

Aljazeera

South Sudan's army spokesman has said Sudan has attacked a disputed oil-producing border region with warplanes and artillery. Philip Aguer said Tuesday's clashes erupted when troops from Sudan entered the Heglig region which they held for sometime before t...

Nigeria: Police Reward Informant With N.5 Million

04/10/2012

AllAfrica.com

By Hamza Idris and Yahaya Ibrahim Maiduguri -- The Borno State Police Commissioner, Bala Hassan, yesterday gave N500, 000 as reward to a resident (names withheld) for divulging information on the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the state. The handin...

Security Council Concerned About Terrorist Threat in Mali

04/10/2012

Voice of America

The United Nations Security Council has expressed "deep concern at the increased terrorist threat" in northern Mali, saying elements of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and extremist elements are among rebels who have seized much of the north. In a state...

U.S. Marines Teach Non-Lethal Weapons Skills to Liberian Soldiers

04/10/2012

AFRICOM Public Affairs

MONROVIA, Liberia, Apr 10, 2012 -- A handful of U.S. Marines taught more than 220 Liberian soldiers non-lethal weapons skills February 17-March 18, 2012. The three Marines built on an ongoing State Department-sponsored mission aimed at rebuilding Libe...

United Nations News Centre - Africa Briefs

04/10/2012

United Nations News Service

-Senior UN official condemns 'alarming' reports of sexual violence in Mali -Ban praises mediation efforts by West African regional bloc in Mali -Ban mourns death of Malawi President, welcomes peaceful transition of power

News Headline: Most wanted Somali pirate seized | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: Africa Review News Text: By DANIEL NYASSY for Daily Nation

The war on piracy in the Horn of Africa has received a major boost following the capture of one of the world's most wanted Somali pirate leaders, Mohamed Garad. Garad, a former British soldier, is said to have been arrested together with 12 other suspected pirates on April 4 by Iranian commandos after they hijacked a Chinese cargo ship. The co-ordinator of the East African Seafarers Association, Mr Andrew Mwangura, said Garad was captured after the seizure of the Chinese vessel, Xianghuamen, last week. Xianghuamen is a Panama-flagged general cargo vessel owned by Nanjing Ocean Shipping Company of China. ―Garad had been on the run for many decades. He was elusive and sly and had slipped out of all the security dragnets before. His capture is the greatest good news in the war against piracy and terrorism,‖ Mr Mwangura said yesterday. The coordinator described Garad as ―an old, experienced hand and a role model in the piracy world‖, who has been linked to hundreds of ship hijack cases in the Horn of Africa. ―To experts and those who knew Garad, he was like Carlos the Jackal in the crime world and Dedan Kimathi to the British colonialists, mysterious and never easy to capture,‖ Mr Mwangura said. The arrest of the pirate leader, Mr Mwangura said, was confirmed by one of his cousins in Mogadishu.
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News Headline: Mali coup leader rejects possible Ecowas intervention | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: BBC News News Text: Mali's coup leader has rejected the intervention of foreign troops in the rebel-held north - and hinted at his continuing role in ruling the country. The comments come just days after a deal was brokered that is supposed to return the West African state to constitutional rule. The parliamentary speaker is to be sworn in this week as interim president and the junta hand over power. Mali was plunged into crisis after a separatist uprising that led to a coup. The putsch, led by Capt Amadou Sanogo, took place nearly three weeks ago amid accusations from the army that the government had not done enough to suppress the insurrection in the north that began in January. Since the coup, key towns in northern Mali have fallen to Tuareg separatist rebels and their Islamist allies. 'Slap in the face' The West African regional bloc Ecowas has said it is preparing a force of up to 3,000 soldiers, which could be deployed to wrest back control of the north.

Last week, Capt Sanogo formally asked for Ecowas's help in defeating the rebels, but in televised remarks on Monday night he said he was only asking for equipment and logistical support. Journalist Martin Vogl in the capital Bamako told the BBC West African mediators have told him that they are annoyed at his latest comments - and see Capt Sanogo's rejection of boots on the ground as a slap in the face. The parliamentary speaker, Dioncounda Traore, is due to be sworn in on Wednesday as interim president - and under the constitution he has 40 days in which to organise elections. But the agreement signed on Friday between Ecowas and Mali's military rulers said this time limit would be impossible to stick to given that Tuareg rebels now control the northern half of Mali, the AP news agency reports. Spelling out details of that deal, Capt Sanogo said that he would help decide how the country would be run after the 40 days set out in the country's constitution for a transition of power. "It was very clear in the framework agreement that after 40 days we would sit down with Ecowas to decide on another team to lead the transition," Capt Sanogo said. Correspondents say it now seems clear that the junta leader will remain a key player as Mali tries to pull itself out of crisis. Amadou Toumani Toure has formally resigned as president as part of the deal. Ecowas has also lifted sanctions it imposed after the coup and an amnesty has been agreed for the coup leaders. Human rights group Amnesty International has warned of a major humanitarian disaster in the wake of the fighting in the north. The Tuaregs, who inhabit the Sahara Desert in the north of Mali, as well as several neighbouring countries, have fought several rebellions over the years. They complain they have been ignored by the authorities in Bamako.
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News Headline: Sudan accuses South Sudan of attacking oil field | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: BBC News News Text: Sudan has accused South Sudan of attacking its oil fields along the border between the countries. A government statement, which described the offensive as "severe", came after South Sudan said it had been hit by more air strikes inside its territory. South Sudan's military spokesman said there was also a ground incursion, which was repulsed. Such clashes erupted two weeks ago, the most serious since South Sudan became independent in July last year.

The countries fought a long civil war before South Sudan seceded, taking most of the oil fields although it has to export the oil using pipelines through ports in Khartoum's territory. In January, South Sudan, which depends on oil sales for 98% of its revenue, shut down all of its oil fields in a row over the fees Sudan demands to transit the oil. Each side blames the other for starting the recent fighting along the undemarcated and disputed frontier in the oil-producing Heglig area. A brief statement from Sudan's ministry of information said its Heglig oil fields were deliberately targeted in the attack. Villagers 'injured' South Sudan's military spokesman, Philip Aguer, told the BBC the army had repulsed Sudan's soldiers all the way to Heglig in response to earlier attacks from the air and the ground inside South Sudan. But he did not confirm whether the southern army had attacked oil installations inside Sudan. According to South Sudan's information minister, four civilians, including a child, were wounded earlier when the village of Abiemnom was attacked by Sudanese planes in Unity state, about 40km (25 miles) south of the border with Sudan. Two Sudan army brigades had also been advancing towards its oil fields in Unity state, backed by militias loyal to Khartoum, he said. The BBC's James Copnall in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, says the violence will further poison an already very poor relationship. A presidential summit, which was to have been held in South Sudan's capital, Juba, at the beginning of April, has been postponed indefinitely because of the recent fighting. African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki held talks late last week with South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, amid international fears of a return to full-blown conflict. Meanwhile, an international weapons monitoring group, Small Arms Survey, has said it has gathered enough evidence to show that both South Sudan and Sudan are providing arms to rebels and militia groups in each other's territory. Both sides have often made and denied such claims of support.
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News Headline: Crises-weary Malians to give incoming president a chance | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: France 24 News Text: By Leela JACINTO in Bamako, Mali A line of black Mercedes cars snakes outside a luxury hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako while inside the air-conditioned lobby clutches of military men in camouflage uniforms huddle in discreet corners, holding hushed conversations with ranks of African diplomats.

Discussions done, the dignitaries and military deputies march tight-lipped to their waiting cars before they're off in a convoy of screeching sirens, to a military base on the outskirts of Bamako. The political action in this West African capital is moving at a rapid clip these days, after diplomats from the regional West African ECOWAS bloc negotiated a power handover deal with Mali's military coup leaders last week. The ousted president, Amadou Toumani Touré, has resigned, the incoming interim president is back from a brief exile, the coup leader has stepped aside, and everybody who's anybody is jostling to get a slice of the new political pie. It's all happening between Bamako's Azalai Hotel Salam -- a dun-coloured structure in the heart of this dusty city -- and the military junta's headquarters at Kati outside town. All eyes are now trained on Dioncounda Traoré, the country's National Assembly chief, who will serve as transitional president of a unity government until elections are held under Article 36 of the country's constitution. The 70-year-old veteran Malian politician arrived in Bamako on Saturday from neighbouring Burkina Faso, where he happened to be on the night of March 21, when disgruntled soldiers ousted Mali's democratically elected president, Amadou Toumani Touré. Shortly before leaving Burkina Faso, Traore told reporters at the airport that he was "leaving for Mali with my heart full of hope. My country has known enormous difficulties, but I am leaving with the hope the people of Mali will come together to face this adversity head on." A high-stakes mission For Traoré, the stakes could not be higher. Mali today is effectively a divided country, despite the repeatedly heated declarations in Bamako about the unity and indivisibility of the nation. The government lost control of northern Mali when Tuareg rebel fighters, in an uneasy alliance with Islamist groups, exploited the post-coup power vacuum in Bamako to seize control of a region the size of France. For over a week, northern Mali has been effectively isolated, with international human rights groups warning that the region is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster. Northern Malians displaced by the recent rebel advance have made urgent appeals for a humanitarian corridor to be set up amid reports of fighting between rival rebel groups, some of them believed to be linked to al Qaeda's northern branch, AQIM (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Malian army is weak, underfunded, unprofessional, and disgruntled. They have also had a taste of power, and now have to reconcile to another civilian boss in the presidential palace. Inheriting a non-state Politicians are known to complain about the problems they have inherited, but most political inheritances pale in comparison to the ones Traoré confronts. ―What can we do about the situation in northern Mali?‖ asks Abdou Abdoulaye Sidibi the local deputy of Gao, a northern region that fell from government control after the coup. ―We cannot negotiate with the rebels to provide a humanitarian corridor, because there is no state, there are no representatives to negotiate. The Malian army is disorganized, there's nothing they can

do. In fact, there is no army. We have officials who are willing to do things, but we have no state. We urgently need a transitional government.‖ Sitting in the Salam hotel lobby, on the sidelines of Monday morning's closed-door discussions, Sidibi seems a helpless man, unable to save his region. But, nevertheless, the 58-year-old deputy says he has faith in the country's incoming transitional president. ―He will take the lead,‖ said Sidibi. ―I have confidence in Dioncounda Traoré because I am from the ADEMA-PASJ (Alliance for Democracy in Mali-African Party for Solidarity and Justice) and he was our candidate for the presidential election, so we think he's capable of doing the job.‖ As head of the ADEMA-PASJ party, Traoré was a candidate for the presidential election, originally scheduled for April 29, before the military coup. Enormous red campaign posters featuring the bespectacled, lightly bearded candidate are still plastered across the city. Sidibi, though, is a party man and he supports his party's man. On the streets of Bamako, the reactions to Traore's appointment range from enthusiastic to indifferent. ―He's an experienced man, a familiar figure, he has held several posts and he is the leader of the biggest party. He can do the job,‖ says Boubacar Diallo, a 58-year-old businessman. Standing besides him, Aicha Cissé, an activist, smiles indulgently, but obviously does not share Diallo's unequivocal enthusiasm for the incoming president. ―We'll see,‖ she says diplomatically. ―He's changed his job -- now it's a different responsibility, different expectations. We'll see if he can meet them.‖ The insider with a hefty political resume Indeed, Traore has changed his job several times in the course of an eventful political career. Besides being the ADEMA-PASJ party chief, Traoré's political resume includes stints as the country's former foreign minister. He also served in the civil service and defense ministries. A mathematician by training, Traoré previously headed the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), an umbrella organisation of parties that backed ousted President Toure's reelection in 2007. But it is his track record as a political insider that has turned into a handicap in an impoverished, corruption-riddled nation deeply disenchanted with its politicians. During his last months in office, Touré enjoyed little popular support after his failure to halt the rebellion in the north, and Traore's support for the ousted president has not earned him brownie points among ordinary Malians. As Malian recording artist Ras Bathily put it, ―It's not a question of this man goes and that man comes. Today, we don't have faith in any politician.‖ But at least some Malians are willing to give Traoré a chance. ―The constitution demands that if a president cannot serve his term, the head of the National Assembly must take over. It's the constitutional order and I support it,‖ said Amadou Moussa Coulibaly, a 28-year-old Malian student. ―As for Traore, I know him, I know who he is. I'm not willing to say black or white

whether he will succeed in doing the job or not. But we should give him the chance."
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News Headline: Libya stops paying rebels as fraud mounts | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: Telegraph.co.uk News Text: Payment of rewards to rebels has been stopped due to violations and abuses," Mohammed Harizi, spokesman for Libya's ruling National Transitional Council, was quoted as saying. "Millions of dinars allocated to revolutionaries were lost in (illegitimate) payments to nonbeneficiaries," he said. The interim government had been handing out cash payments of up to 4,000 Libyan dinars (£2,000) to civilians turned fighters who took on the forces of Muammar Gaddafi last year. But the system - much like a scheme to finance the treatment of the country's war wounded abroad - proved vulnerable to false claims. Violations were referred to the offices of the attorney general and audit bureau for investigation, the spokesman said. No further payments would be made until distribution mechanisms are revised and the lists of beneficiaries approved by local military councils across the country, Mr Harizi added. He stressed that the main purpose of the cash scheme was to encourage rebels to join the official institutions of the state and hand in their weapons. Militiamen angered by non-payment have recently staged small protests in front of the headquarters of the interim authorities in Tripoli and raised checkpoints blocking traffic in some neighbourhoods of the capital.
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News Headline: U.S. Suspends Seychelles Drone Flights After Crashes | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: New York Times News Text: VICTORIA (Reuters) - The United States has suspended drone flights over the Seychelles while it investigates a second crash in four months on the archipelago, which Washington uses as a launch base for the unmanned spy planes. One of the remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper aircraft crash-landed last week at the main airport on the island of Mahe shortly after taking off on an unspecified mission. The planes have carried out missions over Somalia and the Horn of Africa from the Seychelles, according to a classified U.S. diplomatic cable dated 2009. Local officials say drones based in the archipelago also track pirates in regional waters. "(The U.S. authorities) gave us the assurance that they will not make any new (drone) flights until the investigation into the accidents is done," Seychellois Foreign Affairs Minister JeanPaul Adam said on Monday after a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus.

Mabus told reporters thorough and transparent investigations would be carried out whenever such accidents occurred.
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News Headline: Court backs UK extradition of Abu Hamza to US | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: France 24 News Text: REUTERS – The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Britain had the right to extradite five suspected terrorists to the United States but only after all court procedures had been exhausted. The court, based in the French city of Strasbourg, had been considering the cases of six people indicted in the United States between 1999 and 2006 on terrorism charges related to hostage taking in Yemen and attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa. One of the five suspects whose extradition was approved is Abu Hamza, a militant cleric who faces 11 charges relating to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998, advocating a Jihad (Islamic holy war) uprising in Afghanistan and trying to set up a jihad training camp in the United States in 2000-2001. The court said it did not rule on the case of the sixth suspect for mental health reasons.
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News Headline: Mali: Coup Leader Sanogo and Interim President Traoré Discuss Return to Democracy | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: Mali's coup leader Army Captain Amadou Sanogo on Monday met with Dioncounda Traoré, the man set to be sworn in as the country's interim president to oversee the transition back to constitutional rule. The two men discussed when Sanogo would hand over power to allow the return of democratic rule in the troubled west African nation, now half controlled by Islamists and rebels. Traoré, currently Mali's speaker of parliament, met Sanogo in the presence of international mediators for about an hour at a military camp near the capital Bamako. "We established a framework" of focus points, said Côte d'Ivoire's African Integration Minister Adama Bictogo who, along with Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole, is acting as mediator. "No-one lost anything and no-one won anything," he added. Sanogo told reporters the encounter "went well", adding that more information would be released soon. A Burkina Faso official said it was hoped the first cabinet meeting could be held before Friday. Traoré will be tasked with organising elections, if possible within 40 days. The March coup set off a sequence of events that saw the northern desert half of the vast and deeply impoverished nation fall to Tuareg rebels and their Islamist allies, triggering a major humanitarian crisis.

The meeting came the day after Amadou Toumani Touré, who was ousted in the coup, formally resigned Mali's presidency under the deal which also saw the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed by west African states. Under the transition deal, Touré's departure means Sanogo must prepare to step down and allow for Traoré to be sworn in as interim president, but it was not immediately clear exactly when that would happen. Transitional authorities must address the situation in the north, which since the coup has been overrun by Tuareg rebels, outlaws and Islamic extremists who exploited the political and military disarray in Bamako.
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News Headline: South Sudan accuses Sudan of new attack | News Date: 04/11/2012 Outlet Full Name: Aljazeera News Text: South Sudan's army spokesman has said Sudan has attacked a disputed oilproducing border region with warplanes and artillery. Philip Aguer said Tuesday's clashes erupted when troops from Sudan entered the Heglig region which they held for sometime before they were driven out. "They launched a new attack, and occupied southern territory until the SPLA [Sudan People's Liberation Army] repulsed them," said Aguer. "Fighting continued today and is still ongoing." He said the Sudanese ground forces had started their attack from the disputed area of Heglig, where Sudan controls an oil field that accounts for roughly half of its daily 115,000 barrel output. Barbana Benjamin, South Sudan government spokesman, told Al Jazeera that four civilians, including a small child, were wounded in the fighting. He said two brigades from the Sudanese army accompanied by "mujahedeen and other militias" took part in the attack. Al Jazeera's Hytham Owait, reporting from South Sudan's capital Juba, said: "The SPLA offensive is expected to impact future relations between the two countries, along with the currently stalled negotiations." The fighting is the the latest flare-up of violence that has delayed a summit between the former civil war foes. The SPLA said the town of Teshwin in the border area had come under attack late on Monday and that fighting was continuing on Tuesday. Al-Sawarmi Khalid Saad, Sudan's armed forces spokesman, could not immediately be reached for comment on his mobile phone. South Sudan, which seceded in July, has been locked in a bitter dispute with Khartoum over oil payments and other issues, and clashes in the ill-defined border region last month raised concerns they might escalate into full-blown war.

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News Headline: Nigeria: Police Reward Informant With N.5 Million | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: By Hamza Idris and Yahaya Ibrahim Maiduguri — The Borno State Police Commissioner, Bala Hassan, yesterday gave N500, 000 as reward to a resident (names withheld) for divulging information on the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the state. The handing over of the money took place at the police headquarters in Maiduguri where the commissioner said the police was determined to protect "the good citizen for his commendable efforts." He called on residents to cooperate with security agencies and assured them of "absolute confidentiality." "None of the policemen in this command knew the identity of the person that is collecting this reward except me," he said. Meanwhile, two gunmen and mobile policeman were yesterday killed in Maiduguri during a fight when suspected members of the Boko Haram attacked Operation Restore Order (ORO) outpost at Hausari area of Maiduguri metropolis in the afternoon. Residents of Maiduguri heard sporadic shootings at Babban Layi, a popular business area in the metropolis which is close to the ORO outpost that was attacked. Daily Trust learnt that the policeman was shot at the scene of the attack while the two attackers were killed at separate location after a trail. Spokesman of the JTF in Borno State, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, confirmed the incident and the killing of the two suspected sect members. Also yesterday, the commissioner paraded some arms and ammunition recovered recently. They include pump action gun, AK 47, several rounds of ammunition and their magazine, metal detectors, bullet proof jackets and police crashed helmet.
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News Headline: Security Council Concerned About Terrorist Threat in Mali | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: Voice of America News Text: The United Nations Security Council has expressed "deep concern at the increased terrorist threat" in northern Mali, saying elements of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and extremist elements are among rebels who have seized much of the north. In a statement late Monday, the Security Council demanded an end to all hostilities in the north by rebel groups and said it remains worried about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Mali. The United States has commended the Economic Community of West African States, or

ECOWAS, for brokering an agreement with junta leaders and restoring civilian rule. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday the deal is a "very good step" for Mali. "We wanted civilian rule re-established so that dialogue can now commence with the Tuaregs that redresses their grievances within a unified Mali, and real effort can be made to secure the country against the AQ elements that have taken advantage," she said. Nuland said the United States will watch in the coming days to see if enough progress has been made to restore non-humanitarian aid it cut off last month. The Security Council urged all parties to implement the transitional agreement immediately and to seek a peaceful solution through dialogue. The military coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo, held talks Monday with Dioncounda Traore, the former Malian speaker of parliament who will serve as president of the transitional government until elections are held. Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure submitted his resignation Sunday, weeks after being toppled by the coup. He said he stepped down without pressure and out of love for the country. ECOWAS has pledged to help Mali fight the Tuareg rebels who proclaimed an independent state in the north following the military coup. The coup leaders justified their takeover by denouncing what they said was the former government's ineffectual campaign to suppress the Tuareg rebellion. Mali's neighbors all criticized both the military coup and the new "Azawad" state declared by the northern rebels, who got help from the radical Islamist group Ansar Dine. The self-styled National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) controls the cities of Timbuktu, Gao and other areas in the north. It declared its independence Friday and said its military campaign is over. The heavily armed Tuaregs, formerly based in Moammar Gadhafi's Libya, began fighting in northern Mali in January.
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News Headline: U.S. Marines Teach Non-Lethal Weapons Skills to Liberian Soldiers | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: AFRICOM Public Affairs News Text: MONROVIA, Liberia, Apr 10, 2012 — A handful of U.S. Marines taught more than 220 Liberian soldiers non-lethal weapons skills February 17-March 18, 2012. The three Marines built on an ongoing State Department-sponsored mission aimed at rebuilding Liberia's military called Operation Onward Liberty. They and around 16 Liberian instructors went over intermediate riot control and peacekeeping techniques meant to restore control without causing fatalities. Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 12, the Marines' unit, is charged with sending small security and logistics cooperation teams into Africa to partner with local militaries facing regional terror threats or instability. Liberia was one of a half dozen countries the task force visited over the course of their six month deployment in support of U.S. Marine Forces Africa.

"You're going to use lethal force in combat, but you're not going to use lethal force in a riot," explained Gunnery Sergeant Robert Navarro, team non-commissioned officer in charge, adding that deadly measures can sometimes lead to more chaos instead of restoring order. Sergeant Mark Benz, who earlier taught SPMAGTF-12 Marines nonlethal weapons techniques, had to mold his curriculum to fit the Liberian soldiers' work schedules and available training materials, but said he was none the less impressed by his students' enthusiasm. "They were pumped the whole time," he said. "They had really good energy." The team's hard work paid off at the end of the training evolution when their students put on a large-scale demonstration of their new skills for Burundi's defense minister. The team conducted the second of a three phase nonlethal weapons training program with the Liberians, said Navarro, building on Onward Liberty's progress. Future training teams will move into the third and final phase of the training. A major focus of the mission was making sure the small group of Liberian instructors the Marines worked with could continue training their own men after the Marines left, he added.
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News Headline: United Nations News Centre - Africa Briefs | News Date: 04/10/2012 Outlet Full Name: United Nations News Service News Text: Senior UN official condemns ‗alarming' reports of sexual violence in Mali 10 April – A senior United Nations official today strongly condemned the reported acts of sexual violence committed against Malian women and girls amid the renewed fighting in the north, and called on all parties to respect their obligations under human rights law. Ban praises mediation efforts by West African regional bloc in Mali 8 April – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the continued efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to facilitate the restoration of constitutional order in Mali, and called on the country's military junta to immediately implement the accord it signed on Friday with the regional bloc. Ban mourns death of Malawi President, welcomes peaceful transition of power 7 April – The Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today mourned the death of the President of Malawi, Bingu Wa Mutharika.
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