Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for September 28, 2011

The Long Arms of al Qaeda
In their search for effective affiliates, al Qaeda has embarked upon a courtship of al Shabaab, the Islamist group that controls large parts of Somalia. Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Rahman attempted to persuade al Shabaab leaders to widen their focus onto the global jihad and rename themselves al Qaeda in East Africa. These advances have so far been rebuffed, with al Shabaab leaders fearing it could further divide an already highly factionalized group and make it a higher-profile target for the West. The Wall Street Journal


Maghreb, EU discuss Qaeda threat in North Africa
Army chiefs from four North African states met EU officials Tuesday to discuss security threats in a region where leaders have raised fears that extremists could take advantage of the chaos in Libya. At a September 7 meeting in Algiers, officials from the Sahel zone warned that the Libyan conflict had turned the region in a powder keg, and Moamer Gathafi's arsenal risked being snapped up by Al-Qaeda's North Africa branch. Middle East Online


African Union Military Delegation Tours DOD Facilities in Washington, D.C. Area
A delegation of African Union military personnel participated in a 10-day partner nation familiarization event in the Washington, D.C. area, September 2011. Throughout the week, the group visited the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, along with the Defense Spectrum Organization (DSO) in Annapolis and the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) in Indian Head. Africom


AU to deploy 3000 more troops in Somalia
The African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) is planning to beef up its troops to the Horn of African with 3,000 more before December this year, a senior AU official told AfricaNews. The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSCRCC) for Somalia Wafula Wamunyinyi said the additional soldiers will help implement the current roadmap that seeks to put the entire nation under effective control of the Transitional Federal Government. Africa News


The Balkanization Of Somalia - Analysis
The debacle of the East Africa famine once again hit the international media in summer 2011. Television reports showed the emaciated faces of children, women, and the elderly who are encamped in refugee centers in Kenya and Somalia. The last time a devastating famine of similar magnitude hit the international media was in 1992, when tens of thousands of Somalis perished due to starvation.The recurring East Africa famine is the result not just of the natural, cyclical droughts in the region. Eurasia Review


Nigeria: Presidential Committee Acknowledges Poor Governance Is Root of Boko Haram
The Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the Northeast Zone issued its final report yesterday. As had been foreseen in its earlier, interim report, it urges dialogue and calls for amnesty for Boko Haram participants who surrender to the government as well as for compensation to the "human and organizational victims of the violence," including victims of the security services. The Council on Foreign Relations


Report Warns of Civil War in Sudan
As thousands of people flee a fresh wave of attacks in Blue Nile State, a new report warns of the spread of civil war in Sudan if urgent international engagement is delayed. allAfrica


UN: 25,000 Sudanese Flee to Ethiopia
The U.N. refugee agency says 25,000 people have fled from Sudan's troubled Blue Nile state into western Ethiopia since September 3, and the number is expected to rise. The United Nations says the influx is expected to rise because of ongoing fighting in Blue Nile, where Sudan's army is battling local rebels. VOA


Chad's president reassures Sudanese counterpart over border security agreements
President Idris Deby dispatched a special envoy to Khartoum to reassure his Sudanese counterpart that Chad is committed to the security cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in January last year. Sudan Tribune


South Sudan could shake up Nile River status quo
South Sudan wants to join the regional organization that handles disputes over the Nile River's water resources, putting pressure on members to figure out a more detailed policy. CS Monitor


Libya fighting rages for Gaddafi hometown
Seven people have been killed and at least 40 wounded as Libya's National Transitional Council forces launched a fresh assault on Sirte, the hometown of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi. The dead include two NTC commanders who were shot by snipers in fighting near Sirte's port on Tuesday, according to medical officials at a field hospital. Al Jazeera


Why they fight for Muammar Gaddafi
[...] more than a month after the fall of Tripoli, and despite almost no hope of winning, loyalist soldiers continue to fight - their backs against the wall - to defend the city of Sirte, the last-remaining Gaddafi stronghold. Defected and captured loyalist soldiers said there are a number of factors motivating their former comrades, including the hope of financial reward and a fear of civil war. But the paramount reason to keep fighting, they said, is the fear of reprisals. Globalpost


Nightmare in Libya: Thousands of Surface-to-Air Missiles Unaccounted For
The White House announced today it planned to expand a program to secure and destroy Libya's huge stockpile of dangerous surface-to-air missiles, following an ABC News report that large numbers of them continue to be stolen from unguarded military warehouses. ABC News


Congolese Parties Near Deal on Choice To Oppose Kabila
Leaders of major opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo say they are making progress in selecting a common candidate to oppose President Joseph Kabila in November elections. Talks on opposition unity have been held on the sidelines of a conference in Addis Ababa on avoiding election-related violence. VOA


Security: Fght piracy, trafficking in West Africa
Gambia, Togo call for UN support to fight piracy, trafficking in West Africa - Gambian Vice President, Ms. Isatou Njie-Saidy, on Monday called for greater UN and international support to prevent the West African coasts from becoming a haven for pirates. She also solicited support for the fight against growing drug and arms trafficking. Afrique en Ligne


Nigeria and Benin mount patrols as piracy soars
Nigeria and its West African neighbour, Benin, are to begin joint naval patrols in an effort to combat the threat of pirates. The Gulf of Guinea has this year seen a marked increase in the number of attacks in its waters. BBC


African countries create new rules in the oil game
New local-content laws in Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, and Ghana aim to ensure African countries gain as much benefit from the oil business as foreign oil companies do. CS Monitor


Is your mobile phone helping fund war in Congo?
The mobile phone in your pocket might be helping to fund armed militia groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that use rape and murder as weapons of war, campaigners have warned. The Telegraph


Busy times ahead for SA president Jacob Zuma
South African president Jacob Zuma has returned home from his visit to the United Nations general assembly in New York and other stops in the United States to a full in -tray. Issues include a probe into a controversial arms procurement deal and allegations of mismanagement by his top policeman. RFI


Angola expels 140 foreigners in 'security' purge
Angola on Tuesday expelled 140 foreign nationals, including 16 Lebanese, on suspicions of terrorism and money laundering, a government official said. "These foreigners were expelled from Angola because of their illegal status and for money laundering and for terrorism," said Fretas Neto, who heads Angola's foreign migration office. Mail and Guardian


Tunisian interim PM to meet U.S. president in Washington
Tunisian interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi will visit Washington next month at the invitation of U.S. President Barack Obama, the state-run press agency TAP reported Wednesday. Xinhua


South Africa unveils first African military plane
The first military aircraft designed and built by African companies was unveiled today by a South African arms company which said it had already received orders for the lightweight plane. The Times of India


Africa looks to learn from east Asia's development experiences
The idea that countries might want to learn from each other's broad development experiences strikes a lot of people as problematic - or even quite odd. It certainly goes against much of the current international development agenda. For all their talk of "best practices", donors are keen to distance themselves from the "one-size-fits-all" approach they have been accused of adopting in the past, preferring instead to emphasise locality-specific solutions. The Guardian


Africa Says "Au Revoir" to U.S and "Bonjour" to France
During the 20th century, the U.S. was at the height of its influence in Africa, fully supporting the fight by Africa's people for independence from European colonial empires. Today, however, the U.S. finds itself struggling to exert its influence over the continent; the lack of immediate leadership and action on Libya this year is the most contemporary highlight of this. This and the fact that the U.S. is deeply snared in the Middle East and Central Asia points to a downward spiral of decline for U.S. influence in Africa. Policymic

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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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