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Africa Center for Strategic Studies 

Media Review for November 1, 2012   

Winning the War Against Al Qaeda in Africa
[...]By fleeing into Somalia's vast southern desert and northern Golis mountains, al Shabaab militants have proved difficult to track by the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Somali transitional government, whose forces lack the manpower or technology used by NATO to dismember al Qaeda networks in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, cracks in Kenya's political resolve are beginning to show, particularly ahead of upcoming elections in March. Kenyan voters are becoming more concerned with tribal divides and the economy than foreign adventures. The Wall Street Journal


Kenyan Navy's newest warship takes the fight to Somalia
The KNS Jasiri is the largest vessel in the Kenyan Navy fleet and also the most recently delivered. Shortly after arriving in Kenya two months ago, it was involved in military operations in neighbouring Somalia, taking part in the battle for the coastal city of Kismayo. DefenceWeb


As peace expands in Somalia, gov't wants weapons
Should Somalia's fledgling government be allowed to import weapons to arm its nascent military? With areas under government control increasing and the threat from al-Shabab militants decreasing, that's the question being put to the U.N. Security Council. AP on U.S.News & World Report


2,700 Ugandan troops dead in Somalia: official
The number of African Union troops killed while battling Somali militants has always been a tightly held secret, but a top Kenyan official says more than 2,700 troops have died there. Times Live


Russia may send anti-piracy planes to Djibouti   

Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Wednesday that Moscow hopes to deploy reconnaissance planes at a French base in Djibouti to continue its anti-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa. Serdyukov spoke after meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris, where he said they "talked about deploying reconnaissance planes at the French base in Djibouti". Expatica.com


US monitoring Iranian warships' Sudan visit
The United States said Wednesday it was monitoring a visit by two Iranian warships to a Sudanese port this week, but had no details about it. The warships left Port Sudan on the Red Sea earlier, an AFP photographer said, after a visit that coincided with Khartoum's denial that Iran is making weapons in Sudan. Acting US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States was "obviously watching that closely." Times of India


Sudan's Iran Alliance Under Scrutiny
Sudan's accusation that Israel bombed a Khartoum weapons plant last week has drawn attention to long-standing Israeli complaints of alleged Sudanese cooperation with Iran in smuggling weapons to Palestinian militants. Sudan and Iran have been allies for decades and boosted military ties under a 2008 agreement. As part of that relationship, two Iranian warships docked at Port Sudan on Monday, in what both sides described as a "routine visit". VOA


Sudan: the new battlefield in Iran and Israel's covert conflict
Iranian warships have arrived in Port Sudan in an apparent show of support for the government in Khartoum, one week after it accused Israel of bombing an arms factory in the Sudanese capital. Iran's state news agency confirmed yesterday that two vessels, a destroyer and a helicopter carrier have docked in Sudan's main port on the Red Sea and their commanders will be meeting Sudanese officials. The Independant


Tribal Wars Threaten South Sudan Again
[...] At least 1,600 people died in 2011 in fighting between the Murle and Lou Nuer ethnic groups, according to the United Nations. Clashes continued into February, killing another 400 people. [...] In the wake of the violence, the government launched a peace process as well as a state-wide programme to disarm civilians in March. The disarmament campaign has been plagued by allegations of abuse by government soldiers, but peace has largely held between the ethnic groups, whose leaders signed a reconciliation agreement in May. IPS


U.S. Urges Sudan Rebels to Stop Recruiting Children
Sudanese rebels must stop recruiting children and keep their fighters out of a refugee camp in South Sudan, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard said. Bloomberg


U.S., allies marshaling African proxies for fight against terrorism
"A quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing." That was how British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain saw the Nazi threat against the Czech Sudetenland in 1938, a sentiment freshly evoked among war-weary citizens as the United States and its allies ponder moves to oust Islamic extremists from northern Mali, a country most Americans couldn't find on a map. The Independant


Al Qaida-linked groups cement control in northern Mali as diplomats ponder intervention
Not long ago, this green oasis was a bustling tourist destination. Now it's the would-be jumping off point for the world's newest battle against Islamist extremism. From here, the Niger River flows north, to where al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and its allies have since April maintained unchallenged control over Mali's vast desert expanse. Once prosperous fancy hotels lie dark at night, truck stops overflow with refugees and, outside of town, a militia camps out near an abandoned basketball court, waiting for action. McClatchy  


North Mali prepares for war as refugees dream of liberation from al-Qaida
[...] Despite a United Nations security council resolution earlier this month opening the door to military intervention to end al-Qaida's hold over the northern region, residents have continued to flee. An estimated 35,000 internally displaced people, of whom 10,000 are living in official camps, have arrived in the Mopti region alone since the government lost control of northern Mali, one security source told the Guardian. The Guardian


Al Qaeda's African Hell
Paul Hyacinthe Mben is a brave man. He's a journalist who lives in Bamako, Mali's capital, and ventured north into the portion of the country recently lopped off by Al Qaeda fighters who lord over it like fanatical dungeon wardens. Der Spiegel sent him. His first-person narrative dispatch is your required reading today. World Affairs

Algeria, US hold first strategic dialogue

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and several top ministers met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Algiers on Monday (October 29th) to discuss the situation in the Sahel and the crisis in Mali. "I very much appreciated the president's analysis, based on his long experience, as to the many complicated factors that have to be addressed to deal with the internal insecurity in Mali and the terrorist and drug trafficking threat that is posed to the region and beyond," Clinton said after the talks. Magharebia


Graham threatens Tunisia over U.S. access to Benghazi suspect
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is threatening to cut U.S. aid to Tunisia if the American government is not given access to Ali Ani al-Harzi, a Tunisian suspected of being involved in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. The Daily Beast first reported last week that Harzi was arrested, at the behest of the U.S. government, in Turkey, where he fled after posting information about the attack on social media. The Turks handed him over to the Tunisian government, where he was held in military custody and then transferred to a prison to await a court trial. Foreign Policy


IMF Relaxes Restrictions On Zimbabwe
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has eased technical assistance restrictions on Zimbabwe in a move seen as moving towards normalising relations with the southern African nation. This will see Zimbabwe getting technical advice to design its economic programmes and the IMF will monitor the implementation of specific projects. allAfrica


Officials: CIA head in Egypt for security talks
United States Central Intelligence Director David Petraeus began a two-day mission to Cairo on Wednesday for a two-day visit for security and counter-terrorism talks, Egyptian officials said. Petraeus is leading a U.S. delegation that will meet with top Egyptian security officials to exchange information about combating terrorism, the officials said. AP on Stars and Stripes


10 million in aid to Uganda ended up in bank accounts of PM's aides
Millions of pounds given as aid to fund development work in Uganda has reportedly been siphoned off into the private bank accounts of aides to the country's prime minister. The Telegraph


Torture is 'systematic and everywhere' in Congo: NGO
Torture is practised "systematically and everywhere" during arrests, police custody and detention in Republic of Congo, a Congolese human rights group said Wednesday. "The systematic resort to torture, which has become common currency among public security forces, is the most widely used means to obtain confessions," Congolese Observatory on Human Rights (OCDH) executive director Roch Euloge Nzobo told the press. AFP


Africa Through Western Eyes: The World's Dark Continent or Capitalism's Shining Light?
The Euro Crisis, double-dip recessions, 'Occupy' protests and LIBOR corruption scandals aside, it seems that capitalism is alive and well - at least in Africa. Africa is 'Rising', Westerners are often told these days, after decades of economic ruin, civil war and governmental mismanagement. Impressive economic growth statistics, the "burgeoning African middle class", mushrooming mobile phone and internet use - these things are all proudly trumpeted, "remind[ing] the world of the capitalist way". But why all this 'good news' now? Think Africa Press


ACSS-Lesotho encouraged to continue keeping peace, stability
Maintenance of peace and stability could promote foreign investment in any country which in turn would generate more jobs. The Speaker of the National Assembly Mr. Sephiri Motanyane said this when addressing members of the African Centre of Strategic Studies (ACSS)-Lesotho chapter at a one day symposium held in Maseru today (Wednesday). The symposium was hosted by the United States(U.S) Embassy in Maseru and the Africa Centre Event to discuss the Role of Military in Elections and Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector. Lesotho News Agency on ACSS  




FOR THE RECORD - AFRICA - U.S. Government Events, Statements, and Articles
A weekly compilation by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) .
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