AFRICOM Related News Clips 24 April 2012 | Piracy Off The Coast Of Somalia | Lord's Resistance Army

United States Africa Command Public Affairs Office 24 April 2012 USAFRICOM - related news stories

Good morning. Please see today's news review for April 24, 2012. This e-mail is best viewed in HTML. Of interest in today's report -Millions face hunger in Sahel -Uganda sends 1,500 more peacekeepers to Somalia -Liberia: Mali's New Leader Threatens 'Total War' Against Rebels -Obama continues efforts against 'madman' Kony -Uganda: UPDF Intensify Search for Joseph Kony

U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Please send questions or comments to: publicaffairs@usafricom.mil 421-2687 (+49-711-729-2687) Headline Millions face hunger in Sahel Date Outlet

04/23/2012 News24

Dakar - Aid agencies said on Monday they are facing a multi-million dollar funding shortage to deal with a food crisis in the Sahel where people are resorting to increasingly desperate measures to survive.

Uganda sends 1,500 more peacekeepers to Somalia

04/23/2012 Daily Monitor

Following the February United Nations resolution to expand the number of African Union peacekeepers in Somalia from 12,000 to 17,731, Uganda has sent an extra 1,500 soldiers, raising the number of Ugandan troops in Somalia to 6,700.

Liberia: Mali's New Leader Threatens 'Total War' Against Rebels - As Ellen Sends Congratulatory Message

04/24/2012 AllAfrica.com

A US State Department spokeswoman said the United States welcomed Traore's inauguration as a positive step in the country's political transition process, urging "all parties to facilitate the swift and complete restoration of civilian rule through free and...

Obama continues efforts against 'madman' Kony

04/23/2012 CNN

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama said Monday that U.S. advisers will keep trying to help Uganda and its neighbors capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army.

Uganda: UPDF Intensify Search for Joseph Kony

04/24/2012 AllAfrica.com

The UPDF has so far not located the Lord's Resistence Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony's hideout. Kony has changed tactics. He has stopped killing and abducting people in Central Africa Republic (CAR). It has therefore become difficult for the UPDF squads ...

Somalia: Mogadishu Clashes Kill One, Injures 10 People

04/23/2012 AllAfrica.com

Mogadishu -- At least one person was killed and ten others were injured in a renewed clashes between Somali government forces in the lawless capital,Mogadishu, locals said on Friday.

Somalia: Roadside Bomb in Beledweyn Leads to Summary Executions

04/24/2012 AllAfrica.com

Beledweyn -- A roadside bomb killed at least 2 Ethiopian troops witnesses say and injured 7 others in Beledweyne and was followed by 3 men being gunned down by Ethiopian troops, Radio Garowe reports.

World Sea Piracy Drops 28 Percent in First Quarter 04/23/2012

New York Times

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Sea piracy worldwide dropped 28 percent in the first quarter of the year as attacks fell sharply in Somalia's waters thanks to international naval patrols, an international maritime watchdog said Monday.

Pirate attacks down off Somalia, up off Nigeria

04/24/2012 CNN

Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have decreased dramatically this year, but the number of incidents off Africa's west coast is increasing, and piracy is becoming more violent there, the International Maritime Bureau reported Monday.

Mozambique: Sudan Seeks Assistance From the Govt

04/23/2012 AllAfrica.com

Maputo -- The Sudanese government has asked Mozambican President Armando Guebuza to become involved, either directly or via the African Union, in the attempt to find a solution to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.

Nigeria: Maritime, Key to National Devt - Akpabio

04/24/2012 AllAfrica.com

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Dr. Godswill Akpabio, has stressed the potentials and ability of the maritime sector to drive the country's economy and transform Nigeria into an industrialised nation.

Somalia: Somaliland Police Arrest, Detain Journalist

04/23/2012 AllAfrica.com

Mogadishu -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is deeply concerned about the increased attacks against journalists in northern region following the arrest of TV journalist in Las Anod town of Sool region in Northern Somalia.

5 Suspected Sect Members Killed in Nigeria Blast

04/23/2012

New York Times

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- Nigeria's military says five suspected members of a radical Islamist sect were killed in an explosion that struck a small town in the country's restive northeast.

DOD's Top Senior NCO Makes First Visit to AFRICOM, Addresses Enlisted Service Members

U.S. 04/24/2012 AFRICOM Public Affairs

En route to Africa, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC), Marine Corps Sergeant Major Bryan B. Battaglia, stopped in Stuttgart, Germany, to meet with staff members and senior leaders of U.S. Africa Command, April ...

United Nations News Centre - Africa Briefs

United 04/24/2012 Nations News Service

-UN and AU envoys arrive in Chad to warn of possibility of LRA haven -UN condemns aerial bombardments in South Sudan's Unity state -Guinea-Bissau: Security Council demands restoration of constitutional order -Ban notes South Sudan's announcement on with...

News Headline: Millions face hunger in Sahel | News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: News24 News Text: Dakar - Aid agencies said on Monday they are facing a multi-million dollar funding shortage to deal with a food crisis in the Sahel where people are resorting to increasingly desperate measures to survive.

"A huge gap in funding for aid projects ... is threatening to leave millions of people hungry in the coming months," a coalition of aid agencies said in a statement. Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision said they have raised only $52m of $250m needed to provide emergency assistance to six million people in the region. The aid agencies have called for a donor pledging conference to rally wealthy governments and donors. The United Nations had estimated $724m would be needed to tackle the latest food crisis in the Sahel belt after poor rains in 2011 saw harvests drop by a quarter. But it has collected less than half of this, said the statement. The crisis has so far affected Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger but the UN has also raised concerns over Burkina Faso, Senegal and northern parts of Nigeria and Cameroon. "In the Chadian Sahel, the global acute malnutrition rate already exceeds the emergency threshold of 15% and admissions to our feeding centres have increased dramatically," said Patricia Hoorlbeke of Action Against Hunger. In the Kanem region, over 2 000 severely malnourished children were admitted for therapeutic nutritional care in March. Steve Cockburn of Oxfam West Africa said: "There is no doubt that families across West Africa are entering a dangerous period, and we have already seen women forced to search for grains in anthills in order to survive." Chris Palusky of World Vision said the NGO had seen some families "resorting to eating wild leaves, others are barely able to feed children one meal a day." In January the EU announced it was doubling aid to the Sahel to €95m as 23 million people faced Africa's latest food crisis, after a famine in Somalia last year was believed to have killed tens of thousands. The United States pledged $120m in emergency aid to the Sahel in March.
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News Headline: Uganda sends 1,500 more peacekeepers to Somalia | News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: Daily Monitor News Text: Following the February United Nations resolution to expand the number of African Union peacekeepers in Somalia from 12,000 to 17,731, Uganda has sent an extra 1,500 soldiers, raising the number of Ugandan troops in Somalia to 6,700. The additional deployment is meant to strengthen the presence of the AU forces that have begun, the second phase of the mission, launching attacks against al-Shabaab militants outside Mogadishu. The spokesperson of the Ugandan contingent in Somalia, Capt. Henry Obbo, said the last batch of the peacekeepers arrived in Mogadishu on Saturday.

―The troops are being commanded by Col. Stephen Mugerwa,‖ he said. While addressing the newly deployed forces, the commander of the Ugandan contingent, Brig. Paul Lokech, cautioned the soldiers against mistreating Somalia nationals. ―Make sure you treat the Somalis with respect. You are here to support them. UPDF conduct here has been excellent and we shall sternly deal with any of you who will deviate from the acceptable standards. We have no room for a single mistake here,‖ he said. AU takes over airstrip Meanwhile, the AU troops seized Deynile airstrip from al-Shabaab insurgents on Friday. ―The operation was necessary to deny the extremists a platform to target the people of Mogadishu,‖ the AU Mission in Somalia said in a statement. Deynile commands access to the Afgoye corridor, an area some 30 kilometres northwest of Mogadishu which is controlled by the al-Shabaab and is home to the world's largest concentration of internally displaced people.
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News Headline: Liberia: Mali's New Leader Threatens 'Total War' Against Rebels - As Ellen Sends Congratulatory Message | News Date: 04/24/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: Mali's new interim president, who took over from coup leaders on Thursday, has threatened "total war" against the Tuareg and Islamist rebels who have seized half the country since the putsch three weeks ago. Former parliament speaker Dioncounda Traore took the oath of office in the West African nation at a ceremony on Thursday attended by, among others, junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, who initially grabbed power in the March 22 coup. Mali's new interim leader - a 70-year-old mathematician turned politician who speaks six languages - is expected to soon name a prime minister, and to organise elections within 40 days. The mutineers justified last month's coup by accusing the former government of mishandling the Tuareg rebellion - but their action allowed the Tuareg and Islamist militants to take over a vast area in the desert north, effectively splitting the country. Amid the disarray in the capital, they captured an area the size of France, including the ancient town of Timbuktu, bringing lawlessness to an area already gripped by drought and acute food shortages. Traore said he was "aware of being the president of a country at war" and warned that the rebels must "stop the... pillaging, the rapes. They must leave the cities that they have occupied." If they did not, he said, "we will not hesitate to wage a total and relentless war." The Group of Eight rich nations voiced "deep concern for the deteriorating situation in northern Mali and the implications the current crisis has for the wider Sahel region, including the impending humanitarian crisis."

The G8 foreign ministers, meeting in Washington, said they had "reinforced their support for the territorial integrity of Mali... and urged all parties to ceasefire and engage in political talks." A US State Department spokeswoman said the United States welcomed Traore's inauguration as a positive step in the country's political transition process, urging "all parties to facilitate the swift and complete restoration of civilian rule through free and fair elections." The African Union also applauded the handover of power to Traore. The State Department however expressed deep concern at reports of human rights violations in the north. Meanwhile ECOWAS foreign ministers met in Abidjan Thursday to consider sending a regional force into northern Mali. The rebellion there "constitutes a real obstacle to the peace process," said Ivorian Foreign Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan after the meeting of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which mediated the Mali power transfer. On the possibility of sending in a force, Duncan said "the resolutions will be handed over to the ECOWAS heads of state," as fears rose that the rebel-held region could become a haven for radical Islamists. The coup leaders, Malian politicians and ECOWAS mediators are scheduled to meet in Burkina Faso this weekend to clarify the still murky management of the transitional period. In Mali, five ministers and four other politicians of ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure's government were released on Thursday, according to Captain Moussa Dindo, who is close to the junta, and family members. The nine had been held at the coup leaders' headquarters, a military camp at Kati, near the capital Bamako. The junta is expected to retain some influence, with observers saying coup loyalists could be named to key ministerial posts, notably those linked to security as the army tries to reverse the massive rebel gains. Many of the Tuareg rebels, who have fought several separatist campaigns over the years, are heavily armed and battle-hardened from last year's Libya war where they fought as mercenaries for slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Joined by Islamist extremists linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), they made unprecedented gains in the weeks since the coup. The main Tuareg rebel group, Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA), has declared an independent state, a call rejected by the international community and by the MNLA's former Islamist allies. Ansar Dine, the Islamist group that controls several key towns, has imposed sharia law in some areas under its influence and distanced itself from the Tuareg nationalist cause. The UN Security Council has warned of the growing "terrorist threat" in northern Mali, while the world body's rights chief Navi Pillay said violations could be worsening in the rebel-held north. Reports "suggest that civilians have been killed, robbed, raped and forced to flee", she said in

a statement. Both Ansar Dine and AQIM are recruiting children in a bid to boost their forces, a local elected official and a journalist in the region told AFP. Ansar Dine, backed by AQIM, meanwhile took control of Timbuktu's renowned centre of historic manuscripts which keeps between 60,000 and 100,000 documents, sources said. Meanwhile, the President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has sent a congratulatory message to his Excellency Dion Counda Traore, President of the Republic of Mali on his ascendency to the office President of the Republic of Mali. In the message to her Malian counterpart, President Johnson- Sirleaf extended heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to President Traore on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia for his preferment to that country's highest office. The Liberian Leader assured the new Malian President of Liberia's cooperation and support as the two governments work together cooperatively to bring lasting peace and stability to that great country. President Johnson Sirleaf then prayed that the Almighty God will shower President Traore with abundant wisdom as his administration and the Malian people strive to preserve the unity of Mali.
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News Headline: Obama continues efforts against 'madman' Kony | News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: CNN News Text: Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama said Monday that U.S. advisers will keep trying to help Uganda and its neighbors capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. "Today, I can announce that our advisers will continue their efforts to bring this madman to justice and to save lives," Obama said in a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. "It's part of our regional strategy to end the scourge that is the LRA and help realize a future where no African child is stolen from their family, and no girl is raped, and no boy is turned into a child soldier." Kony, who was named a "specially designated global terrorist" by President George W. Bush in 2008, gained worldwide notoriety this year after a 30-minute video called "Invisible Children" went viral on the Internet. When Obama ordered the effort last year, he had said the National Security Council would review any progress after 150 days. In October, Obama administration officials told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the deployment to Africa of approximately 100 advisers -- most of them U.S. Special Forces -would be "short-term." The U.S. troops have been serving in a mostly advisory role to forces from Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic in dismantling the Lord's Resistance Army and hunting Kony.

For two decades, the group has terrorized central Africa through the abduction of children to serve as soldiers in a campaign of rape, pillage and murder. While the mission does not call for the U.S. troops to engage in combat, they are carrying weapons to be used in self-defense. The Lord's Resistance Army, formed in the late 1980s, is a sectarian military and religious group that operates in northern Uganda and South Sudan. It has committed numerous abuses and atrocities such as abducting, raping, maiming and killing civilians, including women and children, according to globalsecurity.org. Its members are known for hacking off the lips and ears of their victims, looting villages and burning huts, and stealing clothes and medicine from the communities they terrorize. The group has sought to overthrow the Ugandan government and has contributed to instability across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. Kony is often "underrated" as a leader, according to a 2011 Jane's report on the group. Kony has claimed to be possessed by spirits who dictate the group's strategy. Jane's notes that the tactic has served him well, enabling him to speak to followers who have mixed beliefs. By his portrayal as a medium with supernatural abilities, his authority becomes harder to question within the ranks. The Lord's Resistance Army is sophisticated and less like the ragtag group of fighters it is sometimes portrayed as, Jane's says. It has benefited from the military experience of former Ugandan military officers and years of combat in Sudan. International aid convoys and nongovernmental organizations operating in the region have been threatened by the group, according to numerous reports. Last year, the State Department said that, "since 2008 alone, the LRA has killed more than 2,400 people and abducted more than 3,400. The United Nations estimates that over 380,000 people are displaced across the region because of LRA activity." Kony says he is a prophet sent from God to replace the Ugandan government with a democracy based on the Ten Commandments.
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News Headline: Uganda: UPDF Intensify Search for Joseph Kony | News Date: 04/24/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: The UPDF has so far not located the Lord's Resistence Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony's hideout. Kony has changed tactics. He has stopped killing and abducting people in Central Africa Republic (CAR). It has therefore become difficult for the UPDF squads hunting for him to track him, according to the Commander of Operation Lightening Thunder, Colonel Joseph Balikuddembe has said. Kony and his LRA rebels fled the onslaught against their bases in Garamba Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Central African in 2008 when the UPDF launched Operation Lightening thunder. Some scattered deeper into the DRC where they are still abducting people since the UPDF pulled out of the country last year.

Operation Lightening Thunder is still vigorously pursuing Kony in the sprawling jungles of CAR but has been confronted with unexpected twists. "The problem with locating and fighting Kony in the CAR is that he has changed tactics. He no longer fights. He no longer abducts people. The rebels have stopped wearing dreadlocks and they no longer have gardens. ' Balikuddembe said at a media briefing at Djema which is the last logistical base and the heart of the operation against the LRA in CAR. Journalists were later dropped in various locations in wild where they joined the relentless hunt for the elusive rebel leader. "Kony decided not to raid civilians because he was losing his fighters. Kony and his people now survive on wild yams while others have taken to fishing for survival. We got that intelligence from those we captured, "the soft spoken Balikuddembe explained and gave other factors that have made the operation drag on for long. According to Balikuddembe and other commanders on the ground whom the New Vision interacted with, the presence of other nomadic groups in the operation area has also complicated the operation. The vast jungles of CAR are home to nomadic tribes like the Ambororo , the Janjaweed from the Sudan and other cattle keeping nomads from Cameroon and Nigeria. " Sometimes we pick a trail and follow knowing they could be rebels only to land on the herdsmen .' The Nomadic tribes, apart from the Janjaweed who are of Arab origin (they once attacked the UPDF) are not allied to any party and sometimes give false intelligence to keep the UPDF a distance from their grazing area. They do the same to Kony rebels. According to Captain Stephen Kiiza who commands two hunting squads and with whom this writer moved for two days, the Ambororo once gave them false information that led them to a wild goose chase for two days. "The Ambororo told us they had seen the rebels about 30 km away. We moved for two days and found nothing. They wanted us away from their area. They also do it to the rebels. They don't want a fight near them," says Kiiza. The UPDF operates in a very sparsely populated vast area stretching from the CAR DRC border to near Darfur in Sudan. According to military intelligence, the locals are also mere spectators who have not taken an interest in the operation apart from knowing that the Uganda army is chasing a dangerous enemy. The CAR government has less control about what is happening. The Operation's main logistical base is at Nzara in Southern Sudan. Djema is about 365km North West of Nzara with Obo another logistical base in roughly in between the two. Helicopters and fixed winged planes are used to transport troops and deliver supplies to battle hardened hunting squads scattered all over the jungles of CAR. Not less than 26 hunting squads are hunting for Kony day and night. Because the area is dry, the hunt for rebels is concentrated along all major rivers like Vovodo and crocodile infested Chinko. As Colonel Balikudembe was briefing journalists, a crocodile killed one UPDF solder as they crossed River Chinko.
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News Headline: Somalia: Mogadishu Clashes Kill One, Injures 10 People | News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: Mogadishu — At least one person was killed and ten others were injured in a renewed clashes between Somali government forces in the lawless capital,Mogadishu, locals said on Friday. A witness told Shabelle Media that the fighting sparked after TFG military army attacked a police station at Howlwdag junction, just few inches from the main Bakaro market in Mogadishu, killing a passerby, wounding 10 others. The victimized were rushed immediately to the medical centers inMogadishuby ambulance services for treatment. The reason of the combat is yet unclear. Some Somali government military officials whom Shabelle Media contacted on the line for comments,declined to talk about the internal fighting between the soldiers.
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News Headline: Somalia: Roadside Bomb in Beledweyn Leads to Summary Executions |

News Date: 04/24/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: Beledweyn — A roadside bomb killed at least 2 Ethiopian troops witnesses say and injured 7 others in Beledweyne and was followed by 3 men being gunned down by Ethiopian troops, Radio Garowe reports. The roadside bomb was planted by Al Shabaab who shortly after the blast admitted responsibility. The Al Shabaab targeted an Ethiopian convoy that was driving by at the time, two Ethiopian soldiers were killed in the blast. The number of Ethiopian troops killed in the roadside bomb has yet to be confirmed by the Ethiopian military but local sources say that two Ethiopian soldiers' bodies were seen. According to local sources in Beledweyne Ethiopian troops killed another 3 civilians who were near the site of the explosion. The three men were gunned down following the blast, one was chased down and killed just as he approached his house. Two other men living in the neighborhood were also executed. "Two men were gunned down in the neighborhood of Baladul Amin, the two of the men were taken out of their homes and executed," said a resident of Baladul Amin who did not want to be named. There have been accusations of summary executions before, Human Rights Watch late last March alleged that human rights violations and summary executions were being committed by Ethiopian troops and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops in Beledweyn which was captured from Al Shabaab late last year. In similar news Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi suggested that when the threat of Al Shabaab is minimized then would Ethiopia withdraw from Somalia.
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News Headline: World Sea Piracy Drops 28 Percent in First Quarter |

News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: New York Times News Text: KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Sea piracy worldwide dropped 28 percent in the first quarter of the year as attacks fell sharply in Somalia's waters thanks to international naval patrols, an international maritime watchdog said Monday. Pirate attacks intensified, however, in Nigeria and Indonesia. The number of worldwide attacks from January to March dipped to 102 from 142 cases in the same period in 2011, the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur said. It said 11 vessels were hijacked and 212 crew members taken hostage, compared with 18 ships seized and 344 people taken hostage a year earlier. In Somalia, there were 43 attacks, including nine vessel hijackings, compared with 97 attacks a year ago. The agency attributed the decline to "disruptive actions and pre-emptive strikes" by navies in the region. Multiple navies — including a large U.S. presence — patrol the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean, and many private ships now carry armed guards. The European Union Naval Force recently said it would expand its mission to include Somalia's coast and waterways inside the country for the first time, making its battle against piracy more proactive. "It is unlikely that the threat of Somali piracy will diminish in the short to medium term unless further actions are taken," the agency said. "The EU announcement to expand their anti-piracy mission to target pirates ashore is another welcome move that could further threaten the Somali piracy model." As of the end of March, suspected Somali pirates still held 15 vessels and 253 crew members, with an additional 49 crew members hostage on land, the agency said. On Monday, Italy's Foreign Ministry said Somali pirates had freed the 18-member crew of an Italian tanker hijacked off Oman four months ago. Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi didn't say if any ransom was paid for the release of the crew of the "Enrico Ievoli." Elsewhere, pirate attacks intensified in Nigeria and Indonesia. Pirates attacked 10 vessels off Nigeria in the first quarter, equaling the same number reported for the whole of last year. The agency said Nigerian pirates were also responsible for an attack in neighboring Benin during the period. It said Nigerian pirates were going further into sea to attack ships and that the level of violence against crew was dangerously high. London-based Lloyd's Market Association, an umbrella group of insurers, last year listed Nigeria, Benin and nearby waters in the same risk category as Somalia. The agency said pirate attacks in Indonesian waters rose to 18 from five in the first quarter last year.
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News Headline: Pirate attacks down off Somalia, up off Nigeria | News Date: 04/24/2012 Outlet Full Name: CNN News Text: Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have decreased dramatically this year, but the number of incidents off Africa's west coast is increasing, and piracy is becoming more violent there, the International Maritime Bureau reported Monday. There were 102 incidents of piracy and armed robbery during the first quarter of 2012, according to the agency, part of the International Chamber of Commerce. Forty-three of those were attributed to Somali pirates, a decrease from 97 in the first quarter of 2011. Nine vessels were hijacked in the area, a decrease from 16 in the period a year earlier. Pirates took 144 crew members hostage off Somalia during the quarter, according to the report. The bureau credited international navies, which have staged both reactive and pre-emptive strikes against pirates in the region, for the decrease in piracy off Somalia. It hoped for continued progress. ―The (European Union) announcement to expand their anti-piracy mission to target pirates ashore is another welcome move that could further threaten the Somali piracy model,‖ Pottengal Mukundan, director of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, said in a statement. While progress was made off Africa's east coast, piracy off Nigeria on Africa's west coast was growing, the report said. Nigeria-based pirates were behind 11 attacks in the first quarter, the bureau said. Only 10 pirate attacks were reported off Nigeria all of last year, it said. ―Nigerian piracy is increasing in incidence and extending in range,‖ Mukundan said in a statement. ―At least six of the 11 reported incidents in Nigeria occurred at distances greater than 70 nautical miles from the coast, which suggests that fishing vessels are being used as motherships to attack shipping further afield.‖ Two people were killed in the Nigerian pirate attacks, which included two hijackings with 42 crew members taken hostage, the report said. Pirate attacks also increased off Indonesia during the quarter, the bureau reported, with 18 vessels attacked, up from five a year earlier. Robbery is the main target of those attacks, the bureau said.
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News Headline: Mozambique: Sudan Seeks Assistance From the Govt | News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: Maputo — The Sudanese government has asked Mozambican President Armando Guebuza to become involved, either directly or via the African Union, in the attempt to find a solution to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Kirti, speaking to reporters in Maputo on Thursday, after he was received by Guebuza, said his government believes Mozambique can play a role in the search for a solution that can halt the slide to war.

Kirti, who gave Guebuza a message from Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, said "I am here to explain to President Guebuza what is happening in Sudan and I also asked for his involvement in the matter, with the African Union or with the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, since our two countries have excellent ties". Kirti attributed all the blame for the current situation to South Sudan, which became independent from Sudan last year, after an armed conflict that had lasted for more than two decades. He claimed that South Sudan is sheltering and supporting the rebel movements fighting in the Sudanese provinces of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, in violation of the peace agreement signed in Naivasha, Kenya, in 2005. The latest developments include Sudanese bombardments of South Sudan, and the retaliatory South Sudanese occupation of the Heglig oil field on the Sudanese side of the border. These clashes threatened to erupt into full scale war, particularly after Bashir threatened to bring down what he called the "insect" regime in South Sudan. Kirti said that talks between the two sides are continuing, through the mediation of the African Union led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, He claimed that his government was always "patient and persevering", since it believed that peace would be the best option for both states.
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News Headline: Nigeria: Maritime, Key to National Devt - Akpabio | News Date: 04/24/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: Akwa Ibom State Governor, Dr. Godswill Akpabio, has stressed the potentials and ability of the maritime sector to drive the country's economy and transform Nigeria into an industrialised nation. Speaking during the passing out ceremony of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, Akabio, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Nsima Ekere, pointed out that countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, United States of America, among other developed maritime countries have used their natural waterways to wage war against poverty, hunger and diseases. He said: "If you take away the seaports from these countries, they may not be the powers they have become. Therefore, the maritime industry is a veritable engine for driving the modern economy, and maritime trade accounts for a substantial part of our Gross Domestic Product." He added that in realisation of the economic power of the maritime industry and the wealth of the Gulf of Guinea, the state government had decided to establish the Ibom Industrial City. The industrial city on completion, he said, will create over 100,000 jobs and auxiliary employments. "Manpower needed for these jobs is expected to come from MAN. In this regard, the state government is prepared to support MAN in its infrastructural development efforts to ensure the realisation of this vision," he said.
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News Headline: Somalia: Somaliland Police Arrest, Detain Journalist | News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: Mogadishu — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is deeply concerned about the increased attacks against journalists in northern region following the arrest of TV journalist in Las Anod town of Sool region in Northern Somalia. Mohamed Shaqale, reporter for Somalisat TV, was arrested on 19 April by Somaliland police in armoured vehicle in the centre of Las Anod, and was immediately taken to CID headquarters where he was reportedly interrogated and currently being detained. The police did not state reason behind the arrest. "Somaliland authorities in Sool region have accustomed to arrest, intimidate and question journalists owing to their journalistic work," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. On 22 March 2011, Mohamed Shaqale was attacked in Las Anod by Somaliland soldiers for filing reports that the Somaliland army deemed contrary to their forces. Shaqale went into hiding in Las Anod but his laptop computer, camera and recorders were confiscated. His house was in this month searched by police. "We call for the immediate release of Mohamed Shaqale as there is no lawful reason for his arrest and detention". Added Osman.
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News Headline: 5 Suspected Sect Members Killed in Nigeria Blast | News Date: 04/23/2012 Outlet Full Name: New York Times News Text: MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's military says five suspected members of a radical Islamist sect were killed in an explosion that struck a small town in the country's restive northeast. Col. Victor Ebhaleme said Sunday the blast struck the town of Biu in Borno state, where the sect known as Boko Haram has carried out a series of attacks in recent months. Ebhaleme said investigators arrived in Biu after the explosion Saturday and found the remains of five people they believe belong to Boko Haram. He said two others were arrested in the operation. Boko Haram is waging an increasingly bloody fight against Nigeria's weak central government in its effort to enact strict Shariah law across the multiethnic nation of more than 160 million people and free its imprisoned members.
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News Headline: DOD's Top Senior NCO Makes First Visit to AFRICOM, Addresses Enlisted Service Members | News Date: 04/24/2012 Outlet Full Name: U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs News Text: En route to Africa, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

of Staff (SEAC), Marine Corps Sergeant Major Bryan B. Battaglia, stopped in Stuttgart, Germany, to meet with staff members and senior leaders of U.S. Africa Command, April 20, 2012. In his first visit to U.S. AFRICOM since becoming the Defense Department's top senior noncommissioned officer and senior enlisted advisor, Battaglia addressed enlisted members in Stuttgart during an all-hands enlisted call held at Patch Barracks Theater for both U.S. Africa Command and U.S. European Command. "Both of these theaters and combatant commands play an integral role in the defense, strategies and best interest of our nation, and I can even go beyond that to partner nations," he said. "So don't think for one moment that you may be stuck behind a desk doing a certain duty, and it has no impact to the overall mission objectives, lines of operation for your commanders or campaign plan or theater security plan." The SEAC, appointed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), serves as a spokesperson to address the issues of enlisted members to the highest officials at the Department of Defense. He is the principal military advisor to the CJCS and the Secretary of Defense on all matters involving joint and combined total force integration, utilization, health of the force and joint development for enlisted personnel. Battaglia is the first Marine and the second person to hold the office of the SEAC, since the creation of the office in 2005. Battaglia was invited here by Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson Jr., U.S. Africa Command's senior enlisted leader. "For the airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coastguardsmen of this great community, it is important to hear directly from the senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman, the goals and intent of our Chairman, what direction our force is going" Johnson said. "It is great chance for him (the SEAC) to see the U.S. Africa Command. This command is doing incredible things, not just here but also on the continent of Africa. So he'll get a chance to understand it; he will get a chance to go down to the continent to see what our enlisted corps is doing." During the Stuttgart visit, the SEAC visited the command headquarters, where he met with Johnson and AFRICOM leadership. He also received the command's mission brief, which focused on overall AFRICOM strategy in Africa and its outreach to African partners. After the briefing, the SEAC had discussions with selected enlisted members during a lunch at the AFRICOM commander's mess. Afterward, he proceeded to Patch Barracks Theater for the all-hands with enlisted members of AFRICOM and U.S. European Command. The SEAC's address focused on the Chairman's four priorities: achieve our national objectives in the current conflicts; develop Joint Force 2020; keeping faith with our military family; and renew our commitment to the profession of arms. He explained some of his responsibilities to the enlisted forces as the SEAC. And he shared the concept of Total Force Fitness, which goes beyond physical fitness to encompass social, behavioral, psychological, nutritional, spiritual, medical and dental, and environmental. While addressing enlisted members, Battaglia talked about the importance of their roles in the current military operations and engagements around the world. In his address, the SEAC noted the importance of teamwork in accomplishing the mission. "You can't do it alone nor can Admiral Stavridis or General Ham or these two guys sitting up here," he said, referring to AFRICOM's and EUCOM's senior enlisted leaders. He added, "In our business, we rely on one another to go through periods of turbulence, and special breed of

folks like you that are found on the left and right, leading the front or following close behind -all those individuals that make up this team. It's a gathering of talents in the greatest team sport in the world that we are in -- enlisted service members." After his speech, the SEAC opened up the floor for questions from the audience. Among the topics the SEAC addressed were military retirement plans, manning issues, and high operations tempo. In closing, Battaglia thanked the AFRICOM and EUCOM teams for their hard work. He also delivered a message on behalf of the Chairman, JCS. "Trust me when I tell you that America loves you," Battaglia said. He emphasized, "On behalf of the Chairman, he and I are extremely proud of all your efforts, for we know that you can probably and easily discharge, retire or separate at the end of your enlistment, and walk to the outside and double your salary but you haven't, and some of you won't. That means a whole lot because there is something else keeping you in uniform and it's larger than yourself."
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News Headline: United Nations News Centre - Africa Briefs | News Date: 04/24/2012 Outlet Full Name: United Nations News Service News Text: UN and AU envoys arrive in Chad to warn of possibility of LRA haven 23 April – Senior United Nations and African Union officials arrived in Chad this weekend on a joint mission to warn its Government that the country could be the next destination of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). UN condemns aerial bombardments in South Sudan's Unity state 23 April – United Nations senior officials today deplored the continued aerial bombardments in Bentiu town in South Sudan's Unity state, and called on the country and its neighbour, Sudan, to take all measures to ensure the safety of civilians. Guinea-Bissau: Security Council demands restoration of constitutional order 21 April – Raising the possibility of targeted sanctions, the United Nations Security Council today demanded the immediate restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, as well as the reinstatement of the West African country's legitimate government. Ban notes South Sudan's announcement on withdrawal, urges talks 20 April – Taking note of South Sudan's announcement that it is withdrawing from the oilproducing region of Heglig in Sudan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the Governments of both countries to resume negotiations immediately under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Panel to resolve their outstanding differences. WFP resumes airlifts of emergency food in Mali 20 April – The World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that the airlift of emergency food had resumed in Mali, where an estimated 1.2 million people are in need of assistance.
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