You are on page 1of 14

United States Africa Command Public Affairs Office 8 May 2012 USAFRICOM - related news stories

Good morning. Please see below news review for May 8, 2012. This e-mail is best viewed in HTML. Of interest in today's clips: -Senators Coons and Landrieu: Remaining Engaged After the (Kony 2012) Viral Video -South Sudan Expects Uganda Backing vs. Sudan -Bosco 'Terminator' Ntaganda Loses Ground to DR Congo Army -North African Fighters Joining AQIM in Mali U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Please send questions or comments to: publicaffairs@usafricom.mil DSN (314) 421-2687 or commercial +49-(0)711-729-2687 Headline Date Outlet

Senators Coons and Landrieu: Remaining 05/07/2012 Engaged After the (Kony 2012) Viral Video

Roll Call

For some, it was easy to dismiss the effect a viral video could have on the effort to stop crimes against humanity being committed in central Africa. After all, what possible influence could tens of millions of young people in the West have on a conflict h...

South Sudan Expects Uganda Backing vs. Sudan

05/07/2012

AP

KAMPALA, Uganda -- A South Sudanese official said Monday that his government expects Uganda to play a substantial role in resolving the border conflict that has at times threatened to plunge South Sudan and Sudan into a full-scale war.

Bosco 'Terminator' Ntaganda Loses 05/07/2012 Ground to DR Congo Army

BBC

The army of the Democratic Republic of Congo says it has regained control of the entire eastern area of Masisi from rebels loyal to warlord Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda.

North African 05/07/2012 Fighters Joining

AFP

AQIM in Mali
About a hundred fighters from across North Africa have joined the ranks of an Al-Qaeda offshoot which now dominates northern Mali, a Malian defence ministry official said on Sunday.

Take Action Against Boko Haram Now, 05/07/2012 U.S. Congress Warns Jonathan

Leadership Newspapers

The activities of the Boko Haram sect have attracted another international condemnation as top members of the United States Congress warned that the federal government should take a decisive action on the deadly issue that has caused international embarras...

European Bank to Invest 7.5B 05/07/2012 Euros in North Africa, Jordan

Reuters

TUNIS (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) hopes to eventually invest 7.5 billion euros a year in North Africa and Jordan to support democratic transition and help economies recover from the 2011 revolutions, its presiden...

US Urges Circumcision for Soldiers to Fight HIV in Africa

05/07/2012

AFP

MAPUTO, Mozambique - Male circumcision is the best way to prevent new HIV infections in the military, the head of US anti-AIDS efforts told a gathering of top army brass from Africa, Eastern Europe and central Asia.

77 Nations Share Best Practices at HIV/AIDS Conference

05/07/2012

U.S. AFRICOM

MAPUTO, Mozambique -- More than 445 military and civilian delegates from 77 nations gathered in Maputo, Mozambique, May 7, 2012, to share best practices in HIV prevention, care and treatment.

African Solutions for African Problems Vital

05/07/2012

AllAfrica.com

As the French and Greeks went to vote in tightly contested polls yesterday in which early exit polls showed that Nicolas Sarkozy had been given the boot, in Russia, former Prime Minister Vladmir Putin is being sworn in today as new president for the next s...

EU NAVFOR Emphasizes Development of Regional 05/07/2012 Cooperation in Piracy Fight in Djibouti

The Maritime Executive

The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) French flag ship FS Marne visited Djibouti between Saturday 21 April and Friday 27 April. Whilst there the Task Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and his staff met with representatives and authorities of the ...

UN News Service-Africa Briefs

05/07/2012

UN News Centre

-Time to act is now to avert disaster in Africa's Sahel region, UN officials stress -UN envoy: political crisis in Guinea-Bissau worsens citizens' living conditions

-Killers of Somali journalist must be brought to justice UNESCO chief -UN genocide tri...

News Headline: Senators Coons and Landrieu: Remaining Engaged After the (Kony 2012) Viral Video | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: Roll Call News Text: By Senators Chris Coons and Mary Landrieu For some, it was easy to dismiss the effect a viral video could have on the effort to stop crimes against humanity being committed in central Africa. After all, what possible influence could tens of millions of young people in the West have on a conflict half a world away? When the African Union announced it was supporting and strengthening a force of 5,000 regional soldiers combatting the Lord's Resistance Army just two weeks later " explicitly citing new global engagement on the issue " the world got its answer. If nothing else, opening our children's hearts and minds to a faraway humanitarian issue has been the great success of the "Kony 2012" movement, which this past weekend mobilized offline with grass-roots activities in communities around the world. As parents, it's remarkable to see our own children so passionate about the issue. As Senators who have been deeply engaged in the challenges of central Africa for many years, we can say that the engagement of so many Americans, especially young Americans, supporting the U.S. mission to aid in the capture of LRA leader Joseph Kony and his top lieutenants has never been stronger. Letters and emails have poured into Washington from students from around the country, each bearing the same message our own children delivered to us: Kony and the LRA must be stopped and brought to justice. Congress has received that message. The engagement of the past few weeks is helping to focus and strengthen the work of a broad bipartisan coalition on Capitol Hill that is committed to finishing the job. The facts are clear. Kony and his band of criminals have cut a path of destruction through central Africa for more than 25 years. The LRA has kidnapped tens of thousands of children, turning the boys into soldiers and the girls into sex slaves. The vicious nature of the LRA's crimes and the youth of many of its victims have left scars that are tough to heal. Today, Kony and his top lieutenants are on the run and the United States is working closely with regional militaries to "remove them from the battlefield." Since 2010, it has been U.S. policy to work with governments in the region to stop the LRA and help central Africa recover from its destruction. With bipartisan Congressional support, President Barack Obama enhanced that commitment by sending 100 military advisers to provide training, technical support and strategic counsel to regional militaries attempting to kill or capture Kony and his commanders. The administration also increased efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to LRA-affected communities and early warning systems to vulnerable populations. Congress' strong bipartisan support for Kony's capture and investment in Africa is nothing new, but it's important to keep the pressure on. Last month, we introduced a Senate resolution with more than 40 co-sponsors " nearly half the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats " to

support efforts by the United States to strengthen the capabilities of regional military forces to protect civilians and pursue what remains of the LRA. The mission is championed by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Our challenge as Senators is now the same as our challenge as parents " sustaining this newfound level of engagement and interest. In today's global economy, we want our kids to grow up as citizens of the world, equally concerned about injustices in Africa as they are in their own neighborhoods. We want to ensure that young people continue to feel empowered to speak out and make a difference, and we want them to know that their message about Kony and the LRA has been heard loudly and clearly. There are moments in history, rare as they are, when millions of Americans galvanize around a crisis far from home and try to find a way to act. This can be one of those once-in-a-generation moments. From fighting in the border regions of Sudan to humanitarian crises and conflicts around the world, we will face many more global challenges in the years ahead. If America is to continue to be a moral force for good in the world, we will need the sustained engagement of citizens of all ages, as advocates and catalysts for change, just as they have been in response to "Kony 2012." Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and a member of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. Copyright 2012 Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved.
Return to Top

News Headline: South Sudan Expects Uganda Backing vs. Sudan | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: AP News Text: By Rodney Muhumuza KAMPALA, Uganda -- A South Sudanese official said Monday that his government expects Uganda to play a substantial role in resolving the border conflict that has at times threatened to plunge South Sudan and Sudan into a full-scale war. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan's information minister, told a news conference in Kampala that Uganda is obligated to stand by South Sudan as it pursues an end to a conflict that has shut down the country's oil production and left it exposed to bombs dropped by Sudan's air force. "Uganda has a responsibility to stand by us," he said. "Uganda has a role to play. They have got to look after this baby." South Sudan last year voted to became the world's youngest nation, breaking off from Sudan after decades of war. Uganda actively supported the Sudan People's Liberation Army, the rebel movement that is now South Sudan's military, and then played an important role in negotiations that led to a

comprehensive peace agreement between the north and the south in 2005. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, overall commander of the Ugandan military, told a meeting of regional military chiefs in Kampala last month that the elusive rebel leader Joseph Kony had re-established contact with his supporters in Sudan and that Uganda would back the south if the border conflict between Sudan and South Sudan escalated into war. He said Uganda would "not sit back" and watch if war broke out between the two Sudans. Ugandan officials now say Kony, the fugitive leader of the brutal Lord's Resistance Army, is hiding in Sudan. They say this information was obtained from a captured LRA rebel who wore a new uniform supplied by the Sudanese army. Nyakairima has not repeated the Sudan comments in public, and Ugandan diplomats have been trying to clarify them without actually disowning them. An official at Uganda's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Kampala must collaborate with other regional governments, such as in Kenya and Ethiopia, that have traditionally backed South Sudan's full independence from Sudan. "As a guarantor (of the peace process), you are part of the solution and you remain engaged," said James Mugume, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The (South Sudanese) minister is right to say Uganda is part of the solution. When he says Uganda has a responsibility he is not lying." Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has long accused Khartoum of displaying a racist attitude toward the south. Last November, in an emotional press conference with South Sudan President Salva Kiir in Kampala, Museveni said Uganda would back South Sudan in the event the two Sudans went to war. Museveni said at the time that Sudanese President Omar-al Bashir "must henceforth stop organizing aggression against the south." Sudan is predominantly Arab while the south is predominantly black. Last month South Sudan and Sudan appeared to be on the brink of all-out war after South Sudan captured the oil-rich town of Heglig. Sudan later said its forces pushed South Sudan out of Heglig. South Sudan claimed it was a voluntary retreat. International pressure from the U.N. Security Council and African Union appears to have helped calm tensions on the border. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/07/2787693/south-sudan-expectsuganda-backing.html#storylink=cpy
Return to Top

News Headline: Bosco 'Terminator' Ntaganda Loses Ground to DR Congo Army | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: BBC News Text: The army of the Democratic Republic of Congo says it has regained control of the entire eastern area of Masisi from rebels loyal to warlord Bosco "Terminator" Ntaganda. The army has declared a ceasefire and given the rebels until Wednesday to surrender.

Tens of thousands have fled their homes in the area, after weeks of fighting. Gen Ntaganda, known as "The Terminator", is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. The ICC accuses him of recruiting child soldiers for the same rebel group as Thomas Lubanga, who in March became the first person to be convicted of war crimes by the ICC. His troops last month defected from the army and the Congolese authorities say they want to arrest him but put him on trial themselves, rather than sending him to The Hague. Several hundred troops loyal to Gen Ntaganda had seized two towns in Masisi, near the North Kivu capital, Goma, but army chief Lt-Gen Didier Etumba Longila said the whole area had now been "secured". However, army spokesman Lt Col Sylvain Ekenge admitted that a new senior army commander, Col Makenga, on Friday joined the rebellion. Thousands of people have fled across DR Congo's borders to Rwanda and Uganda. Gen Ntaganda was born in Rwanda, where he fought with the ethnic Tutsi rebels who brought current President Paul Kagame to power and ended the genocide in 1994. Some Congolese army sources say Rwanda is still backing Gen Ntaganda and his rebels, who are mostly Kinyarwanda-speakers. This was denied by President Kagame, who last week told Jeune Afrique magazine that the situation in North Kivu was purely a Congolese issue. Rwanda has previously backed several rebel groups in DR Congo but relations have improved in recent years. As well as Lubanga's UPC rebel group, Gen Ntaganda was also part of the CNDP militia which threatened to invade Goma in 2009, leading some 250,000 people to flee. He and his troops were integrated into the national army later that year, before defecting in April. People in and around the town of Goma blame them for persistent unrest - including looting and rape - since the formal end of DR Congo's war in 2003.
Return to Top

News Headline: North African Fighters Joining AQIM in Mali | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: AFP News Text: About a hundred fighters from across North Africa have joined the ranks of an AlQaeda offshoot which now dominates northern Mali, a Malian defence ministry official said on Sunday. "According to our figures, about 100 north Africans, essentially from Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, have joined the ranks of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," a Malian defence ministry official told AFP.

"AQIM is also looking to recruit Moroccans and Egyptians en masse, but has not succeeded," the official added. Islamic militants and tribal Tuareg groups took advantage of a March 22 military coup in Bamako to push government forces out of northern Mali, an area the size of France and Belgium, including the cities of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu. In Timbuktu on Saturday, local residents said members of AQIM, supported by the armed Islamist group Ansar Dine, destroyed the tomb of a Muslim saint. Mali's transitional government expressed outrage over the desecration, calling it "an unspeakable act", in a statement read out on national television.
Return to Top

News Headline: Take Action Against Boko Haram Now, U.S. Congress Warns Jonathan |

News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: Leadership Newspapers News Text: By Abiodun Oluwarotimi The activities of the Boko Haram sect have attracted another international condemnation as top members of the United States Congress warned that the federal government should take a decisive action on the deadly issue that has caused international embarrassment for Nigeria. At the weekend, LEADERSHIP obtained a letter sent to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by five United States Congress members who warned him to as a matter of urgency take a decisive action against the Boko Haram Insurgents to avoid losing a window of opportunity to do so. Congressmen Michele Bachmann, Dana Rohrabacher, Mike Pompeo, Louie Gohmert and Chip Cravaack in the letter they sent to President Jonathan noted that the laxity in handling the Boko Haram issue have led to its growth to sophistication. "We respect Nigeria's sovereign right to conduct her own internal affairs, however; we see the wisdom of supporting decisive action". "We believe that developing a comprehensive strategy of rooting out corruption at the highest levels of the Nigerian government, implementing economic development plans for your northern citizens, respecting the rule of law, and formulating counterterrorism measures that complement the increase in security funding, would be excellent steps to address the insurgency" the Congress members wrote. Supporting the recent report by the United States House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security which outlined the evolution of Boko Haram, the Congressmen berated the terrorist organization which they claimed had gone from utilizing archaic weapons to the more sophisticated car bombings and targeted attacks. This warning from the United States Congressmen came after several international organizations and the United States had condemned the activities of the terror group. Also last week, the United States condemned the bombings that have been taking place in the country by members of Boko Haram, stressing that the attacks on innocent civilians in Nigeria were disgraceful and condemnable.

Return to Top

News Headline: European Bank to Invest 7.5B Euros in North Africa, Jordan | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: Reuters News Text: By Tarek Amara TUNIS - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) hopes to eventually invest 7.5 billion euros a year in North Africa and Jordan to support democratic transition and help economies recover from the 2011 revolutions, its president said. The EBRD, set up by governments in 1991 to support the ex-Communist states of eastern Europe, is expanding its mandate to invest in Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt after the Arab Spring events of last year unseated decades-old dictatorships in many of the region's countries. While the expansion is yet to be approved by the bank's 65 shareholder nations, the EBRD has said it would propose a special one billion-euro fund at its upcoming May annual meeting allowing it to finance Arab Spring projects in the meantime. "With regard to the countries of North Africa and Jordan we plan to be investing 7.5 billion euros a year in three years time, including 2.5 billion euros of our own funds," EBRD President Thomas Mirow said in a recent interview in Tunis. "Projects will include many in the infrastructure, energy and small and medium sized companies sectors and agro-industry." Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya removed three North African heads of state in 2011, while protests prompted political reforms in countries including Morocco and Jordan. While bringing about more political freedoms, the upheavals have also hit economic growth. Mirow said investment demands from Arab Spring countries were huge and that the EBRD hoped it could make a difference in boosting the private sector. Years of dictatorship meant private sector investment was often crowded out by the state or discouraged by cronyism before last year's revolts. The EBRD, whose investments in eastern European economies have helped to drive growth and structural change across a range of sectors, has already started donor-funded activities in North Africa, with a technical cooperation fund worth 59 million euros having started to lend at the end of 2011. The bank plans to create a 1-billion-euro fund to invest in North Africa and Jordan, it announced last month. Mirow said the biggest lessons that the Arab Spring countries could learn from the transition of eastern European countries after the collapse of communism, was the importance of both the public sector and private sector roles in the economy. Mirow said boosting the private sector was key to creating the jobs that are so desperately needed in the region but that governments should not rush into hasty and poorly-planned privatisations either.

Funds would begin flowing to Tunisia in September, Mirow said. Mirow's tenure at the head of the EBRD expires in July and he said a new president was set to be elected at a meeting of the bank's members in London on May 18. Mirow is running for a second four-year term but has not won German backing and four other candidates from Poland, Serbia, Britain and France are now in the running. The position has traditionally gone to a French or German candidate, but officials say that Britain's nominee, Suma Chakrabarti, is a strong candidate and a frontrunner. "Germany did not refuse to support me but refused to support my campaign... I accept this," Mirow said, speaking in French. "Russia and Bulgaria are supporting me and there are other countries supporting me too... but I cannot name them."
Return to Top

News Headline: US Urges Circumcision for Soldiers to Fight HIV in Africa | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: AFP News Text: MAPUTO, Mozambique - Male circumcision is the best way to prevent new HIV infections in the military, the head of US anti-AIDS efforts told a gathering of top army brass from Africa, Eastern Europe and central Asia. "We believe male circumcision is a highly significant, lifetime intervention. It is a gift that keeps on giving. It makes a lot of sense to put extraordinary resources into it," US global AIDS coordinator Eric Goosby told the 400 delegates. The meeting on AIDS and the military gathered officials from 80 countries, including most of Africa but also countries from Surinam to Georgia and Estonia. Studies show that circumcision can dramatically reduce HIV infections. One study in South Africa last year found new infections fell by 76 percent after a circumcision programme was launched in a township. In 2006, trials in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa found foreskin removal more than halved men's risk of HIV infection. Longer-term analysis has found the benefit to be even greater than thought, with a risk reduction of around 60 percent. The United States is sponsoring programmes in several African countries with a goal of circumcising four million men by 2013. Results so far are patchy. Although Kenya is close to reaching its target of 80 percent of sexually active men, Uganda has achieved less than five percent of its target. "We need the military to take up some of these circumcisions," said Caroline Ryan of the US Global AIDS Coordinator's Office. One issue she said, is that the surgery requires soldiers to recuperate for two to four days, meaning time off from the army. Another concern, raised by South Africa, was how to marry traditional coming-of-age rites with

the need for circumcisions to be carried out under surgical conditions. "Traditional circumcision is part of the path to manhood. For us it is critical to be given strategies to deal with their concerns," South African Brigadier General Snowy Moremi. Little data exists on HIV rates among soldiers. Few countries are willing to divulge statistics, fearing they will be perceived as weak.
Return to Top

News Headline: 77 Nations Share Best Practices at HIV/AIDS Conference | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: U.S. AFRICOM News Text: By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson MAPUTO, Mozambique More than 445 military and civilian delegates from 77 nations gathered in Maputo, Mozambique, May 7, 2012, to share best practices in HIV prevention, care and treatment. The Armed Forces for the Defense of Mozambique, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program and U.S. Africa Command, is hosting the third International Military HIV/AIDS Conference, May 7-10. This year's conference is themed "Re-energizing HIV campaigns" and a dozen guest speakers will address issues considered key to maintaining a successful HIV/AIDS prevention program. The highlighted topics for the event include: the role of leadership in successful military HIV/AIDS programs; the best military health system practices in HIV prevention, care, treatment, and strategic information; facilitating military-to-military technical assistance, networking, and partnership; and consolidate advances in military medical HIV programs to support an agile, effective and sustainable response to the epidemic. The key-note speaker for the opening ceremonies was Prime Minister of Mozambique Aires Ali, who stressed the importance of an HIV/AIDS prevention program in the military and thanked the United States and U.S. Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. global AIDS coordinator, for their continued support regarding HIV/AIDS prevention. "This is a vital opportunity to learn from each other about the HIV interventions that are working for militaries and their families and I hope we can draw from every nation's experiences and create a roadmap to eliminate the threat of AIDS from every military," said Goosby, during his opening remarks. Though the fight against HIV and AIDS has a long way to go, the presence of the military representatives at the conference is evidence of their commitment to combating HIV and AIDS, said the U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Leslie Rowe. A military commitment to fighting AIDS and HIV is especially crucial because it not only affects the individual, but also has a direct impact on the strength of national security. "AIDS is not simply a social, economic or health matter -- it is truly a national security concern. We hope to contribute to the shared intentions and contributions of partner nations to make a difference for our military force protection, health and capabilities," said Major General Barbara Faulkenberry, U.S. Africa Command logistics director.

"If a nation's military is hollowed out by this disease, not only can we not secure our borders, but we cannot defend our nation and that is why we are here," she said. For all of these reasons and more the U.S. remains committed to eradicating this pandemic virus from the world. "Last November the United States embraced the vision of an AIDS free generation. It's an inspiring goal and militaries will be the front lines in the fight to achieve it," said Goosby. In 2001, the U.S. government established DHAPP to help combat HIV and AIDS in Africa and India and since the first IMilHAC conference in 2009 the event has grown from 150 participants to more than 400 today.
Return to Top

News Headline: African Solutions for African Problems Vital | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: AllAfrica.com News Text: EDITORIAL As the French and Greeks went to vote in tightly contested polls yesterday in which early exit polls showed that Nicolas Sarkozy had been given the boot, in Russia, former Prime Minister Vladmir Putin is being sworn in today as new president for the next six years. The weekend also saw United States of America president Barack Obama officially launching his re-election campaign. Lately, the African continent which has been a picture of doom and gloom in some Western countries' eyes has been registering significant changes. The smooth power handover after democratic elections in Zambia and Senegal, respectively, were a good precedent despite military juntas in some West African states. The quick and decisive action by both the African Union and the regional bloc Ecowas to contain the situation and bring stability to both Guinea Bissau and Mali are a pointer Africa is showing the world that it is tired of war and instability. So too, the intervention in the Sudan, South Sudan crisis! These are African solutions to African problems. In some of these events, the people, the masses are demonstrating that they are not a byword, but are central to everything and disregarding them could be costly. This is also a learning curve for us as we witness that the bitter economic regime prescribed for us for so long is the same medicine that those who have taken it upon themselves to rule us are having to take, with the same destructive consequences we faced. This goes to show that no system under the sun can claim perfection, and no system and/or individual can claim to have the perfect answers to a geo-political world that is facing challenges ranging from the economy to international terrorism to climate change and others. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch discovered that last week when British Members of Parliament told him that he was unfit to lead. We are also witnessing a weakening global system whose vulnerability will become even more apparent if nation states are not united toward a common goal of mutually averting problems. Some countries or regions might feel better off than others, but judging by the bruising campaign in France, protest votes in Greece against the backdrop of the Eurozone crisis, you don't need a super IQ to realise that the geo-political system is in dire need of new models to

deal with these challenges. It is worrisome therefore that post-World War II agreements regarding the headship of the Bretton Woods institutions should be perpetuated in the 21st century, despite the economic realities on the ground. This is indicative of a first world that is too arrogant to admit that there are growing economies that have solutions to tackle global problems. The most industrialised countries that have been in the forefront of prescribing disastrous solutions to developing nations that have led to economic failures resulting in instability are themselves realising that they are equally vulnerable. Thus, it is now sensible to enter agreements as partners and not the master-servant relationships we see today. Developed and developing nations need each other and should strike win-win situations to benefit all humanity. When problems arise, instead of fanning them because of economic interests, let solutions that ensure long-term peace and stability be found quickly. Through some of these events we have also witnessed the double standards in the conduct of elections. Since March, Russia has been accused of electoral fraud by Western governments who use non-governmental organisations to interfere in its internal affairs; what they continue to do in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa. How free and fair have the French and Greek polls been? We have also wondered why transparency has become inconsequential in the French election when serious allegations have been levelled against incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy. The allegation that Sarkozy received close to US$66 million from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 presidential bid is too serious a scandal for the international community to ignore. It was raised last year, but no one bothered until the last minute. Would we be witnessing the same deafening silence if the allegations were levelled against Zimbabwean President Mugabe? These snippets also show that we cannot afford to have a few individuals sacrificing the rest of the world on the altar of expediency because they are being used to advance the interests of other nations. There could be problems in China, but to have one individual sacrifice the good relations and well-being of his nation with the United States is nothing but unfortunate as we saw last week with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. Some of the 1,3 billion people in China might not approve of their government policies, but not all 1,3 billion should complain to the United States to interfere on their behalf, which would result in millions, if not billions seeking refuge elsewhere. And, as recession and unemployment take centre stage in Europe and its allies, we wonder whether an Arab Spring equivalent, will also take root in their backyards. The occupy protests showed that the discontent runs deep. The world is watching. (Note: This article originally appeared in Zimbabwe's The Herald newspaper)
Return to Top

News Headline: EU NAVFOR Emphasizes Development of Regional Cooperation in Piracy

Fight in Djibouti | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: The Maritime Executive News Text: The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) French flag ship FS Marne visited Djibouti between Saturday 21 April and Friday 27 April. Whilst there the Task Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and his staff met with representatives and authorities of the maritime world and various stakeholders in the fight against piracy. Located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden and near the coast of Somalia, Djibouti is an important, strategic port in the fight against piracy. Its waters are a choke point for many merchant ships, and a regular harbor for warships sailing down the Red Sea and heading towards the Indian Ocean to fight against piracy. Djibouti is in particular a major logistical fulcrum for Operation Atalanta. In the presence of H.E. Mr Nicola Delcroix Head of the EU delegation, and H.E. Mr Rene Forceville Ambassador of France in Djibouti, on 23 April Rear Admiral Dupuis welcomed on board representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, defense and transport, Djiboutian port authorities, non-governmental organizations such as the World Food Programme, together with the ambassadors of countries participating in the fight against piracy. EU NAVFOR Force Commander also met Vice Admiral Franken, U.S. joint commander for the Horn of Africa (CJTFHOA). Rear Admiral Dupuis also visited the bases of the Navy and Coast Guard in Djibouti. The continuing development of the capacity to monitor maritime approaches and to intervene when necessary, allows Djibouti to conduct actions which are complementary to those of the international counter-piracy forces. The recent creation of a network of semaphores and an operations centre facilitates the surveillance of territorial waters and the important port area. To support their maritime capacity building, EUNAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral Dupuis offered to strengthen exchanges, exercises and training with the Navy and Coast Guards, on occasion of EUNAVFOR ships' visits in Djibouti. These meetings are part of the overall comprehensive approach of the European Union, to assist countries in the region to develop their own capacities to combat piracy. This visit was also an opportunity to meet the Atalanta Support Area in Djibouti, as well as the crews of the maritime patrol aircraft based on the French Air Force base in Djibouti, in order to coordinate their action and better understand each other's operational capabilities.
Return to Top

News Headline: UN News Service-Africa Briefs | News Date: 05/07/2012 Outlet Full Name: UN News Centre News Text: Time to act is now to avert disaster in Africa's Sahel region, UN officials stress 7 May Wrapping up a four-day visit to the epicentre of the food crisis sweeping the Sahel region of West Africa, two top United Nations humanitarian officials today urged the world to meet its commitments, both financial as well as political, to help those in need. UN envoy: political crisis in Guinea-Bissau worsens citizens' living conditions 7 May The current political crisis in Guinea-Bissau is worsening the living conditions of its citizens, a United Nations envoy said today, stressing that an inclusive sustainable solution among all national stakeholders is needed to put an end to the turmoil.

Killers of Somali journalist must be brought to justice UNESCO chief 7 May The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today called on authorities in Somalia to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of radio journalist Farhan James Abdulle. UN genocide tribunal in Rwanda swears-in judges selected to finish its work 7 May Nine judges were sworn-in today to be part of the mechanism set up in 2010 to finish the work of the United Nations tribunal dealing with the worst war crimes committed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. South Sudan: UN official calls for Jonglei state to start new chapter of peace' 7 May The state of Jonglei in South Sudan has the opportunity to start a new chapter of peace, a United Nations envoy said today, during the signing of resolutions to end violence among the state's six main communities.
Return to Top