Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for October 25, 2011  

French navy bombards al-Shabaab militant town in Somalia
A French navy ship has bombarded a town in Somalia, becoming one of the first Western nations to assist Kenya in its cross-border push against Somalia's al Shabaab militia. Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said that the French Navy had bombarded the town of Kuday near the al Shabaab stronghold of Kismayo on Saturday night. DefenceWeb


Is the West Helping Kenya on Somalia?
The New York Times quotes a Kenyan military spokesman as saying "one of the partners" supported the recent Kenyan air strikes that killed some al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. In the aftermath of Libya, such a statement sounds plausible. But U.S. officials have said they had no prior warning of Kenya's incursion into Somalia. The U.S. ambassador to Kenya did say that while the United States would not send its troops to Somalia, it would "go out of its way" to help Kenya to restore its territorial integrity that has been compromised by al-Shabaab attacks and kidnappings in Kenya. The Council on Foreign Relations


France to help supply Kenyans fighting in Somalia
France said Monday it would ferry supplies to Kenyan troops fighting an Islamist militia in Somalia while police investigated whether twin blasts on a Nairobi bar and at a crowded bus stop were the first retaliatory strikes against Kenya by the Somali group. Boston Globe


Somali president opposes Kenyan military intervention
Somalia - Somalia's president said Monday that he opposed Kenya's week-old military assault against Islamists in the south of his country, as deadly grenade attacks in Nairobi raised fears the rebels were making good on their pledge to retaliate. Angola Press


US slams Somali guerrillas over famine
US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday sharply criticized the Islamist Shabaab rebels over Somalia's famine, saying that the group has hindered efforts to bring food to the hungry. "Al-Shabaab terrorists did not create the food crisis but they have made it far worse. Drought conditions exist throughout East Africa but so far famine is concentrated only in the al-Shabaab-controlled areas," Biden told a forum on global hunger held at the State Department. News 24


US House panel to scrutinize Uganda deployment
A key US House of Representatives committee on Monday announced plans to scrutinize President Barack Obama's decision to send 100 US troops to Uganda, amid worries the limited mission could escalate. AFP


Uganda: Is the U.S. Army Trying to 'Use' UPDF?
[...] the UPDF spokesman, Felix Kulayigye, [also] announced that the Kony problem was no longer a Uganda problem but a regional one. In so stating, the UPDF Spokesperson was admitting that the Uganda army was now acting as an appendage to the US army in regional conflicts. In that role, Uganda was already fighting battles 'against terrorists' in Somalia as a leader of the AU Force. Through these measures, the US was slowly putting into operation its African Command-AFRICOM which is now operative in many regions on the continent. allAfrica


U.S. Keeping Close Watch On Al-Qaida In Africa
The U.S. has had major successes against al-Qaida this year, taking out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. But for American counterterrorism officials, concerns over al-Qaida in Africa keep growing. NPR


The Man Who Knew Too Much
Qaddafi was, quite simply, a man who knew too much. Taken alive, he would have almost certainly have been handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [...] Imagine the stir he would have made in The Hague. There, along with any number of fantasies and false accusations, he would almost certainly have revealed the extent of his intimate relations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the details of his government's collaboration with Western intelligence services in counterterrorism, with the European Union in limiting migration from Libyan shores, and in the granting of major contracts to big Western oil and construction firms. Foreign Policy


NTC says Gaddafi buried in secret grave
Libya's National Transitional Council has buried Muammar Gaddafi, his son Mutassim and a former aide at a secret location in the desert at dawn, sources told Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera's correspondent Hoda Hamid reported from Misrata that the Qaddafa tribe had asked for the bodies to be delivered to them and to be buried in his hometown of Sirte, in accordance to Gaddafi's will, but this request was refused. Al Jazeera


Video footage shows 'Gaddafi's killer'
Video footage has emerged of fighters loyal to Libya's National Transitional Council claiming to be the assassins of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. On Monday, his body remained on display to the public and it is still unclear where he will be buried. Saadi Gaddafi, Gaddafi's son, said he was "outraged by the vicious brutality" shown towards his father and his brother Motassim, who were both killed last week. Al Jazeera


Bodies of 53 'executed' Gaddafi loyalists discovered
The dead had been dumped on the "Sea-View Gardens" of an abandoned hotel. Many of the killings had been carried out with shots to the head; some were already injured when the executions took place; some had their hands tied behind their backs. Amid bullet and bomb casings, pools of water from burst pipes provided grim testimony to the revenge meted out on the last of the regime loyalists. The Independant


Despite Qaddafi's death, the landscape looks ominous in the Sahel
The death of former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qadhafi in Sirte this Thursday will not put an end to Libya's problems, and it will have complex effects throughout the Sahel region. For example, a new report from International Crisis Group focuses on Chad, which faces a potentially strained relationship with Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC) and the loss of remittances from Chadian workers in Libya. Hundreds of Chadians have been returning to the country in recent months, a stream that has continued to the present. The government will struggle to reintegrate these refugees. CS Monitor


Sudan beefs up control of borders with Libya
Sudan is tightening control of its borders with Libya to prevent leakage of weapons, a local newspaper has reported, as the country's officials contradicted each other on whether Libyan weapons had already entered the western region of Darfur. Sudan Tribune


Tunisia elections: An-Nahda party on course to win
The moderate Islamist party An-Nahda is tipped for a historic victory in Tunisia's first free elections, the first vote of the Arab spring. Nine months after a people's revolution ousted the dictator Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab spring, Tunisians turned out in record numbers to vote for a caretaker assembly that has to rewrite the country's constitution and govern until parliamentary elections in a year's time. The Guardian


Grenade Attacks Rock Downtown Nairobi After Al-Shabab Warning
Kenyan officials said Monday that one person has been killed and at least eight others wounded in a second suspected grenade attack in downtown Nairobi in 24 hours. The attacks follow recent threats against Kenya from the Somali militant group al-Shabab, but police have not yet named any suspects in the attacks. VOA


Jacob Zuma fires ministers, suspends police chief in anti-corruption drive
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has reportedly fired two cabinet ministers and suspended his police chief after they were implicated in the misuse of millions of dollars of public funds. The Telegraph called the move by Zuma, who oversees the continent's largest economy, an attempt to dispel criticism that he is soft on corruption. Globalpost


Security Council calls for regional cooperation to fight piracy in Somalia
The Security Council renewed its call today for tougher anti-piracy measures in Somalia and the wider region, urging all countries to adopt laws and cooperate with international organizations to accelerate the prosecution and punishment of piracy. UN

UN Security Council calls on all countries to make piracy a crime
All U.N. member states should make piracy a crime as the problem surges in Somalia, the Security Council said Monday. Council members unanimously agreed to ask all U.N. member states to issue reports before the end of the year on measures they have taken to criminalize piracy, and to support prosecution of people suspected of piracy off the coast of the eastern African country. The Washington Post


African leaders need internal reforms to keep the West away
Kampala 'mute' as Gaddafi falls," is how an independent paper summed up the mood of this capital the morning after. Whether they mourn or celebrate, an unmistakable sense of trauma marks the African response to the fall of Gaddafi. Both in the longevity of his rule and in his style of governance, Gaddafi may have been extreme. But he was not exceptional. The longer they stay in power, the more African presidents seek to personalise power. East African


Cape Verde Recognised for Political, Economic Leadership
When the former president of Cape Verde, Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires, was recently awarded the five-million-dollar African Leadership prize, the ex-Portuguese colony that he headed for nearly 10 years was singled out as one of the key African success stories for "good governance", including multi-party democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. IPS


Washington says it is encouraging Morocco to implement reforms quickly
The United States said on Monday it was encouraging staunch ally Morocco to quickly implement reforms proposed by the Arab world's longest-serving dynasty. King Mohammed VI reacted swiftly to pro-democracy protests inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt by promising in March that there would be constitutional changes to reduce his powers in favor of elected officials and to make the judiciary more independent. Al Arabiya


Mauritanian army strikes al-Qaeda base in Mali
The Mauritanian military last week launched air strikes on an al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) base in Mali's Wagadou forest. "Our national armed forces have destroyed enemy elements who were preparing to launch an attack on our territory," the military command in Nouakchott said in an October 20th statement. "The attack was planned on the basis of very specific military intelligence, and led to the destruction of two vehicles packed with terrorists." Magharebia


Uganda Police leads in bribery in East Africa
The Uganda Police Force has been found to be the most bribery-prone institution compared to other forces in the five East African Community partner states, according to the latest East Africa Bribery Index, carried out by Transparency International. Daily Monitor

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Please note: The following news items are presented here for informational purposes. The views expressed within them are those of the authors and/or individuals quoted, not those of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the National Defense University, or the Department of Defense.
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