Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for September 30
October 5, 2011

AFRICOM boss talks Libya, budget and the LRA
As NATO's military mission in Libya nears the end, U.S. Africa Command is looking at ways it can continue to provide security support to the country's new leadership amid concerns about weapon proliferation in the region, Gen. Carter F. Ham said on Tuesday. Stars and Stripes


Uganda's LRA rebel chief likely in Central Africa: US
Accused war criminal Joseph Kony, the fugitive head of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebels, has likely taken refuge in Central Africa, the head of US Africa Command said Tuesday. "My best estimate at present is that Kony and the senior leaders are probably in the Central African Republic," General Carter Ham said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank. AFP


AQIM threat in Mali troubles U.S.
Washington said it's aware of al-Qaida plots in Mali to attack Western targets and therefore warns of the risk of traveling to the North African country. In September, Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said embassy officials in Algiers received threat information and alerted potential targets of the possibility of an attack by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. UPI


ECOWAS defence chiefs meet over Boko Haram
The Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) of the Economic Community of West African States met yesterday in Abuja with the Boko Haram insurgency in the north eastern Nigeria dominating discussions. Daily Trust


Obama waives penalties on countries that employ child soldiers - again!
President Barack Obama has decided to waive almost all the legally mandated penalties for countries that use child soldiers and provide those countries U.S. military assistance, just like he did last year. The White House is expected to soon announce its decision to issue a series of waivers for the Child Soldiers Protection Act, a 2008 law that is meant to stop the United States from giving military aid to countries that recruit soldiers under the age of 15 and use them to fight wars. Foreign Policy


Piracy costs world shipping industry $9B a year
Piracy is costing the global shipping trade more than $9 billion a year, according to Indian ship owners, who on Monday demanded that the U.N. set up a maritime force to halt pirates operating off the Somalian coast in the Indian Ocean. Increased insurance costs, longer routes to avoid pirate-infested areas, armed guards posted on board ships and ransoms paid for the release of hijacked vessels and crew push up operating costs for the global shipping industry, said Anil Devli of the Indian National Shipowners Organization. AP


Paying Pirates Is Delivering The Expected Results
Pirates in West Africa followed the lead of East African pirates for the same reason Google and Amazon are mimicking the daily deal format that Groupon and LivingSocial originated. When a business model is profitable, people copy it. Of course, the two sides of the continent have unique problems, and individuals in each region have taken up piracy for a complex assortment of reasons. Palisades Hudson


Kenya kidnap: Somali pirates may be seeking easier pickings
While they continue to strike at sea, the pirates have found that their success rate has fallen, owing to the presence of international warships. Ships are also better protected, and some now have armed guards. This may have led at least one pirate gang to look for easier pickings along the Kenyan coast, where holidaymakers stay in beach houses with little protection. The Guardian


Suicide bomb kills at least 70 as Islamic terrorists target Somalia
Mogadishu was shaken by the worst suicide bombing in its history yesterday, signalling a new phase in the war for control of the Somali capital. At least 70 people died when a massive blast ripped through the Education Ministry killing students and their parents who had gathered to learn about scholarships to study abroad. That death toll was expected to rise last night as more of the seriously wounded arrived at hospital. The Independant


Somalia bombing points to militants' grim goals
A suicide truck bombing that killed an estimated 70 people, including students hoping for foreign scholarships, underscores the intent of an Islamic militant group to ensure that Somalia remains ungovernable and a secure base for its global struggle against the West. U.S. officials say the Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the bombing Tuesday in Mogadishu, the capital, appears to be strengthening its ties with Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen. They fear it also is increasing cooperation with an extremist network in Nigeria. LA Times


UNESCO: Obiang Prize Suspended Again
The decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's executive board on October 4, 2011, to defer any action on a highly controversial life sciences prize named after and funded by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea blocked a move to reinstate the prize immediately, but the board should eliminate the prize permanently, six civil society organizations said today. Human Rights Watch


2011 Africa Military Chaplains Conference Begins in Ghana
The first Africa Military Chaplains Conference to take place on the African continent kicked off on October 3, 2011 in Accra, Ghana with 38 African military chaplains and seven U.S. military chaplains attending. The four-day, landmark event was co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the Ghanaian Armed Forces. U.S. Africa Command Chaplain, Air Force Colonel Jerry Lewis, and Ghana Director of Religious Affairs, Reverend Colonel David Adotey-Asare, delivered opening remarks to the participants, followed by an official welcome from Ghana Armed Forces Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Blay. Africom


Panetta says Libya Mission Should Continue
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the NATO mission in Libya should continue as long there is fighting in the country. Panetta spoke in Egypt, where he stopped on Tuesday to offer Egyptian leaders help in returning the country to civilian rule. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praised Egyptian leaders for the progress he said they are making in transitioning the country to democratic rule, following the popular uprising early this year that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. VOA


Ethiopia, Egypt lauded for new era in relations
The Nile Basin Discourse, a civil society network, on Wednesday hailed what it termed as a new chapter in relations and cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia to settle their long-standing dispute over the Nile water Sudan Tribune


Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade Seeks Third Term Despite Calls For Resignation
A spokesman for Senegal's president says he will seek a third term despite unrest and calls for his resignation. Spokesman Serigne Mbacke Ndiaye said Tuesday that Abdoulaye Wade will soon submit his bid to the Constitutional Court ahead of Feb. 26 elections. The Huffington Post


Sudan-South Sudan: What the analysts are saying post-secession
Clashes in areas along the border between Sudan and newly independent South Sudan have displaced tens of thousands of people and prompted warnings of a widening cycle of violence and regional instability. Here is a round-up of recent publications by think tanks, analysts and human rights organizations. In Sudan - Avoiding a New Crisis, the International Crisis Group said the "risk of implosion" in Sudan "was very real" and that violence was "spiraling out of control" in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. IRIN


Freed Sudanese Slave Testifies to US Congressional Panel
A U.S. congressional panel is highlighting the plight of an untold number of Southern Sudanese people still being held as slaves in northern Sudan after being kidnapped in their southern villages by Arab militiamen. 18-year-old Ker Deng, who was blinded by his slavemaster while in bondage in Sudan, is now free and told his powerful story on Capitol Hill. Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced a very special guest at a news conference on Capitol Hill. VOA


Missing Libya Missiles Already Smuggled Out, U.S. Searches for Them
A number of sophisticated shoulder-fired missiles looted from Libyan armories have already been smuggled out of the North African country and we don't know where they've gone, a top U.S. general said today. Africa Command chief Gen. Carter Ham said his organization picked up "worrying indicators" that some of the unaccounted for Libyan stockpiles of Grinch SA-24 and SA-7 shoulder-fired rockets are already gone, Ham said today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. AOL Defense


Libya army recruits march in capital full of gunmen
Libya's new rulers on Tuesday unveiled a group of fighters trained to serve in a national army, in a step toward bringing armed groups under central authority in a capital bristling with revolutionary volunteers who ousted Muammar Gaddafi. More than 500 new recruits marched behind a military band in Tripoli's Souq al-Jumaa district at a ceremony attended by a senior military officer to mark the end of their training for service in the national army. Reuters


Ivory Coast situation worrying - MSF
he humanitarian situation in western Ivory Coast, which saw the bloodiest violence in post-election unrest, was alarming, a top global medical aid group warned on Tuesday. "The humanitarian situation in western Ivory Coast is very worrying," a senior official with Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) told a press conference in Abidjan. News 24


Oscar-winner Bardem pleads W. Sahara cause at UN
Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem on Tuesday took up the cause of Western Sahara at the United Nations, demanding action to end human rights abuses and allow a self-determination vote in the disputed territory. [...] Bardem highlighted how the UN mission in Western Sahara is the only UN country operation in the world that does not have a mandate to monitor human rights. AFP


South Africa: ANC Worse Than Apartheid Govt - Tutu
The ANC government is "worse than the apartheid government", Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said in Cape Town on Tuesday. "Our government is worse than the apartheid government, because at least you were expecting it from the apartheid government," he said in a news conference on the government's failure to grant Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama a visa. allAfrica


South Africa's Cowardly Lion
What's going on here? Why has South Africa - ground zero for the idea that a society based on freedom and human rights is the only acceptable society - so hesitated to advance this notion internationally? Is the Rainbow Nation abandoning its identity as a moral torchbearer to rush to the side of whoever happens to be holding the biggest butter dish? Foreign Policy


Poverty In Egypt On The Rise, With Urban-Rural Divide Deepening
Poverty is getting worse in Egypt, particularly in rural areas, according to a study released by the government statistics agency. Analysts blame the worsening situation in rural regions on the government's bias in recent years towards funding urban development projects. Worldcrunch - Al Masry Al Youm

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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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