AFRICOM Related News Clips Nov 4, 2010

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  United States Africa CommandPublic Affairs Office4 November 2010 USAFRICOM - related news storiesTOP NEWS RELATED TO U.S. AFRICA COMMAND AND AFRICAU.S.-European imperialists initiate joint military exercises (Workers World)   (Pan Africa) A 10-day joint military exercise involving the European Union, the U.S.   Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the African Union headquarters based in Addis   Ababa, Ethiopia, was recently uncovered in a series of press releases from the Pentagon   and other sources. United Nations launches appeal for aid to Djibouti  (Xinhua)     (Djibouti) The United Nations on Wednesday launched an appeal for 39 million U.S.dollars to assist 120,000 people affected by the protracted drought in Djibouti since   2005. US sets record straight on policy towards Zimbabwe (SW Radio Africa)(Zimbabwe) The United States Embassy in Harare has released a statement clarifyingthe U.S. policy towards Zimbabwe, in an effort to dispel the much publicized ongoingcomments by Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF, that blame so-called sanctions for thedeterioration of the country·s economy.   Three U.S. residents indicted for aiding Somali terror group (Xinhua)(Somalia) Three residents in San Diego, Southern California, have been indicted oncharges of aiding a terrorist group in Somalia, the U.S. attorney's office announcedTuesday.   Sierra Leone bans foreign-owned fishing vessels: minister (AFP)(Sierra Leone) Sierra Leone will ban all foreign-owned fishing vessels from its waters ina bid to clamp down on rampant pirate activities, Fishing Minister Joseph Koroma saidon Tuesday.   Minister: Algeria to arm civilians to fight terror (Associated Press)(Algeria) The interior minister has reportedly said that Algeria will resume a policy ofarming people to reinforce the fight against terrorism in the north African country.  Liberian Leader Dissolves Cabinet (Reuters)(Liberia) President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf dissolved her cabinet on Wednesday, a movethat will provide her a ´fresh slateµ for the next phase of her administration, her officesaid in a news release. Tanzania's Ruling Party Expects to Win Election (Voice of America)(Tanzania) With unofficial results being released, Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwetelooks set to begin a second term in office, but delays in the tallying process have raisedtensions around the country and observers are concerned about the vote's transparency.   Gbagbo Leads Ivory Coast Vote Count (Associated Press)(Ivory Coast) Partial election results released Wednesday gave President LaurentGbagbo only a three-point lead over the main opposition leader, portending a possiblerunoff in three weeks in this tense West African nation that remains divided after a civilwar. UN News Service Africa Briefs  Full Articles on UN Website y    Darfur: UN-African Union mission deeply concerned over recent arrests y   W  estern Sahara: UN announces next round of informal talks between the parties y   B an, welcoming consensus on Guinea elections, urges peaceful campaign y    P irates off Somalia committing more violence despite naval patrols ² B an y   B reakthrough Ivorian elections show people·s resolve to end crisis ² UN official ------------------------------------------------------------------------- UPCOMING EVENTS OF INTEREST: WHEN/WHERE: Friday, November 5, 9:30 a.m.; U.S. Institute of PeaceWHAT: Women in War Conference: The Trouble with the CongoWHO: Severine Autesserre, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College,Columbia University; Raymond Gilpin, Associate Vice President, SustainableEconomies, Centers of Innovation, U.S. Institute of Peace; Christine Karumba, Womenfor Women International; Howard Wolpe, Woodrow Wilson International Center forScholars; Diane Orentlicher, Deputy Director, Office of War Crimes, U.S. Department ofStateInfo: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FULL ARTICLE TEXTU.S.-European imperialists initiate joint military exercises (Workers World)A 10-day joint military exercise involving the European Union, the U.S. AfricaCommand (AFRICOM) and the African Union headquarters based in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia, was recently uncovered in a series of press releases from the Pentagon and  other sources. Labeled ´Amani Africa,µ the operation brought together the combinedforces of the EU, the Pentagon and 120 African military components.Ostensibly designed to enhance the military and security capacity of the 53-memberAfrican Union states, the fact that both the EU and the Pentagon were heavily involvedin this process raises questions about the role of the leading imperialist states inusurping and misdirecting African political and military policy on the continent. The joint exercises culminated on Oct. 29 with a VIP ceremony in the U.S.-backed state ofEthiopia.According to African Union Commission Chair Jean Ping of Gabon, ´The commandpost exercise is the culmination of two years of engagement and partnershipthroughout the Amani Africa cycle of preparations and activities, designed to bothcontribute toward and validate the operational readiness of the African Standby Force.The ASF therefore lies at the very core of the efforts of the African Union to takeownership of and lead in matters related to peace, security and development in Africa.µ(U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs, Oct. 27)AU officials noted in a press release posted on the AFRICOM website that progressrelated to the military exercises would not have happened without the help of itspartners. Ping was quoted as saying, ´Indeed, a popular proverb in Kirundi [languagespoken in Rwanda and Burundi] states that, if you want to walk fast, you should walkalone, but if you want to walk far, you should walk together.µIn specific terms the AFRICOM press release states, ´The European Union has assistedthe AU in its efforts, supporting various projects including development andpreparation of the Africa Standby Force (ASF). U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) hasalso established a long-term partnership with the AU to provide communications linksto the Africa Standby Force ³ part of the AU·s Peace Support Operations Division(PSOD).µThe Pentagon then details areas where it has provided assistance to the recentlyconcluded military exercises. Staff Sergeant Amanda McCarty of the Public AffairsDivision of AFRICOM noted, ´U.S. AFRICOM has helped the African Union build itscommunications capability throughout the continent by establishing a Peace SupportOperations Center in Addis Ababa; providing training to the PSOD; and integratingtheir activities into African Endeavor, a U.S.-led continent-wide communicationsexercise that allows African nations to gain experience communicating with each otherand with the international community during an emergency. These activities were usedto prepare the ASF for the Amani Africa CPS (command post exercise) and for futureoperations.µ  These exercises simulated a ´peace-support operationµ in a fictional island of Carana,an area that is part of a subregion of the continent off the coast of the Horn of Africa.The scenario is based on combating a guerrilla group known as the Vrai MouvementPatriotique de Carana, which is attempting to undermine the African Union Mission infictional Carana.The exercise is based on the VMPC gaining a foothold in one of the provinces of thefictional island and consequently launching attacks on civilians and recruiting youthinto the guerrilla organization. The Amani Africa operation intervenes to ostensiblyrestore peace and stability on the island.One of the officers involved in the exercise, retired Nigerian Major General SamailaIliya, said of the fictional operation in the AFRICOM release, ´The African StandbyForce itself is a key component in the management of crisis management. It is acomponent that must be robust. It has to be capable of undertaking a range of activitiesin terms of peace operations. If you look at the present environment, especially that ofAfrica, you·ll see there are quite a number of challenges, especially when it concernspeace and stability.µExercise may signal large-scale intervention in Horn of AfricaIt is quite interesting that this fictional scenario for Amani Africa takes place near theHorn of Africa, where the U.S. and other imperialist states have concentrated significantmilitary resources in order to prevent the collapse of the Transitional FederalGovernment in Somalia as well as maintain Western influence in Ethiopia, Djibouti andKenya. The Islamic resistance organizations in Somalia, al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam,are challenging the existing African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) that is largelyunderwritten and trained by the Pentagon.In addition to the U.S. and European imperialist intervention in Somalia as well as offits coast ³ by stationing large flotillas of warships to purportedly fight piracy ³ thePentagon and France both maintain military bases in the neighboring state of Djibouti.The U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, recently delivered a major policyaddress at the Washington-based Center for International and Strategic Studies inwhich he called for greater military intervention in Somalia to prevent the collapse ofthe TFG.Although the African Union·s stated purpose is to enhance political unity, economiccooperation and national security within its member states, until there are clearobjectives related to what constitutes genuine independence and sovereignty in Africa,imperialist states will continue to maneuver individual governments and regionalbodies into projects that objectively undermine stability. There are numerous examples
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