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United States Africa Command

Public Affairs Office


April 1, 2010

USAFRICOM -related news stories


From and About Africa

Somali pirates hold Internet world to ransom


Early this morning Somali pirates free-dived nearly 100m and hijacked the Seacom
cable near the Djibouti landing point. They are demanding $1 from every internet user,
a total of at least $1-billion, by noon today. At 12.00 C.A.T., they will cut the cable and
plunge the Internet into chaos unless their demands are met. They are in constant
contact with their banker for payment updates.

Ghana Sarah Palin to tour Ghana


Sarah Palin, is planning a tour of Ghana to support a yet to be identified political party.
President Mills, former presidents Kufuor and Rawlings are expected to meet Palin at
the airport. Palin will be paid $250,000 to give a speech at the University of Ghana,
Legon on the 15th of April. She will get a further $100,000 for a speech at the Kwame
Nkrumah University of Science & technology. A controversy is erupting over Palin's
speaking engagement at the campus of Legon.

Djibouti Chief of Naval Operations Visit


Camp Lemonnier - In Djibouti, CNO Adm. Gary Roughead toured the base facilities at
Camp Lemonnier and spoke with individual augmentees (IAs), GWOT Support
Assignments (GSAs) and deployed units about the high demand of extraordinary skill
levels and the standard they set for others to follow.

Kenya: US citizen dies in plane crash


Nairobi - Police have identified the victim of the Monday evening plane crash in
Dagoreti, Nairobi as American Brian Walter Shepherd. Investigators of the accidents
also clarified Mr Shepherd was alone during the crash. It was the fourth plane tragedy
to have occurred near the airport — whose runway borders the Nairobi National Park
and human settlements — in the last six months.

CAR LRA now also in Central African Republic


On 28 March, there reportedly was a battle in the Congolese village of Dembia, where
the Ugandan army claims to have killed 15 LRA rebels and chased the rest of the group
out of the village. Before and after the Dembia battle, LRA gunmen had stormed at least
three villages on the Central African side of the border, including Agoumar and
Karmadar. An official in the district capital Bangassou told AFP that LRA rebels in the
three villages had gone from "door to door, taking hostages from the population." For
the Central African Republic, this is a very bad sign. The impoverished and chronically
unstable vast country has little means to defend its sparse population against the well
trained LRA bandits. The country could be seen as an ideal basis for the LRA, which has
seen major defeat in its previous strongholds.

DRC MONUC lead by Canadian CDR?


Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie, who was replaced as head of the army last week
while being given no new duties, is a leading candidate to head the 22,000-person
United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC), if the UN and Canada agree that a
Canadian officer should take overall command of the deployment. “We are currently
analyzing this request, taking into account Canadian capacities.”

US Navy plane crashes in Arabian Sea


The E-2C Hawkeye, which is primarily used to detect incoming aircraft with its 24-foot
diameter radar, crashed in the North Arabian Sea after it "experienced mechanical
malfunctions," the statement said. The plane was used for command and control
functions and operated from the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Sudan US envoy Gration to meet Sudanese officials today


Khartoum - US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration is to discuss elections and Darfur
peace negotiations with senior Sudanese officials today. Media reports said yesterday
that Gration had to interfere and present solutions to officials at the Sudanese
government and opposition, to end controversy on postponing the elections - due 11
days from now.

Sudan SPLM’s presidential hopeful Arman quits election


Khartoum - Key Sudan presidential candidate and ex-rebel Sudan People's Liberation
Movement leader Yassir Arman has pulled out of April's multi-party elections, SPLM
officials told AFP on Wednesday. "Yassir Arman has pulled out of the presidential
race," a SPLM party member from south Sudan told AFP without further details.

Sudan “holding polls now a disaster” says the opposition


Omduran- Going ahead with Sudan's elections in April as planned would be a
"disaster", opposition groups warned on Wednesday at they sought to delay until
November the country's first multi-party vote in 24 years. "If there is an election, it will
be a disaster for Sudan," said Faruk Abu Issa, spokesman for a coalition of opposition
groups, after a meeting in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman.

Somalia EU confirms training mission in Somalia (EUTM)


Brussels - The European Union announced on Wednesday that it would start training
about 2 000 Somali soldiers from next week to strengthen the war-wracked country's
shaky transitional government. The training will begin from April 7.

Somalia German trainers sent to Somalia


Berlin - Germany will contribute up to 20 soldiers to an EU mission to train Somali
government forces in East Africa. Government spokesperson Christoph Steegmans said
the Cabinet approved Germany's participation on Wednesday. The German soldiers
will be deployed in May and remain in East Africa for a year. The mission - made up of
around 100 European military experts - will train around 2 000 Somali soldiers in
nearby Uganda.

Nigeria northern govs protest Jonathan’s cabinet list


Lagos —There are indications that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s list of
ministerial nominees has not gone down well with some Northern governors who felt
they were not consulted before the choices were made. Vanguard learnt that governors
who were dissatisfied with the Acting President included those of Kogi, Kebbi, Bauchi
and Niger states.

Nigeria Senate approves majority of new Cabinet


ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Nigerian lawmakers have approved the majority of the new
Cabinet proposed by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan. Senators approved a list of
38 candidates Wednesday that included former information minister Dora Akunyili.
She circulated a memo to the Cabinet in February calling on it to grant then-Vice
President Goodluck Jonathan powers to act on behalf of President Umaru Yar'Adua
who has been ill and absent from office for months. The Cabinet also includes one of
Yar'Adua's nephews.

Nigeria Liberian president brokers peace between Nigeria, Libya


Lagos - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wednesday brought a Libyan
delegation to a peace meeting with Nigeria's leader after Moamer Kadhafi suggested
that Nigeria be split along religious and ethnic lines. Johnson-Sirleaf was "worried"
about Kadhafi's statements and their "potential effects on African unity." "That is why
she came and she has made this commendable effort to broker this peace," Niboro
spokesman of Nigerian Acting President said.

Nigeria Ghadaffi apologizes to Nigeria over comments


Abuja—Apparently remorseful over his misguided comments on Nigeria, Libyan
dictator, Colonel Mamman Ghadaffi yesterday began an apologetic moves aimed at
healing wounds inflicted on Nigeria, following the diplomatic row that resulted from
his call for the splitting of Nigeria along religious lines. Ghadaffi’s move was
announced at a meeting between Jonathan and the Liberian President, Ellen Sirleaf-
Johnson who led a high power delegation of the Libyan government headed by that
country’s special envoy and the Secretary General of World Islamic Call Society based
in Tripoli, Muhammed A. Sherif.

Nigeria UK, US conduct personality profile survey on General Ibrahim Babangida


Lagos - Strong indications have emerged that some developed countries, who are keen
on having former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, become the president
of Nigeria in 2011, have been taking steps to decode his personality before finally
casting support for the bid. Nigerian Tribune learnt that interested countries, including
Britain, the United States, France, Germany and now China, have of late conducted
different surveys on the personality of General Babangida, with a view to testing his
popularity ahead of the 2011 elections. The National chairman of National Democratic
Party (NDP), Prince Chudi Chukwuani, confirmed this development in an interview
with the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, disclosing that he had received agents from the
Chinese and British governments, whom he said organised informal meeting during
which they tactfully inquired about Babangida and the nature of politics in Nigeria.

Nigeria Pirates release hostages taken off Cameroon coast


Lagos- Commodore David Nabaida says the two men were let go early Wednesday
unharmed. Nabaida said he didn't know whether a ransom had been paid for their
release, though he said the pirates did demand a ransom of $10,000. The men were
kidnapped Saturday morning off the coast of a disputed Cameroonian peninsula, which
once nearly sparked a war between Cameroon and neighboring Nigeria. Militant
groups want the peninsula to secede from Cameroon and are waging a low-level war
against the government.

Kenya State dismisses UN report on al-Shabaab


Nairobi - The Government has dismissed a United Nations report claming that Kenya
was a major base for the al-Shabaab rebels linked to suicide bombings in Somalia.
Speaking on BBC Radio’s Network Africa on Wednesday morning, Mr Kimemia told
the UN to direct its energy on saving Somalia "instead of making false accusations
against Kenya". "We are not flouting any UN embargo. We have checked with chiefs in
North Eastern and there are no Kenyan youths recruited to fight in Somalia. It is all
propaganda," said Kimemia.

Kenya: deploys forces to counter Al-Shabab incursions


Nairobi — A joint police and military force was on Wednesday deployed to Liboi in
Garissa District following an incursion by Somalia's al-Shabaab.

Kenya vows to step up war against terrorism


Nairobi - The Kenyan government vowed Tuesday it would step up its counter
terrorism measures in the country. Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis
Kimemia said the East African nation has intensified the war against terrorism in the
country, stressing that no particular community was being targeted in the war against
the vice. "We have intensified a crackdown on terrorism and the borders are well
secured. Our officers are out there to make the country safe," Kimemia told journalists
after attending a regional forum in Nairobi.

Kenya ICC’s prosecutor Ocampo heading to the scene of the crime in May
OCAMPO SPEAKS: I’m coming to Kenya in May to meet poll violence victims and visit
scenes of crime. ICC will independently protect witnesses.

Kenya Uganda Surrenders Migingo Island


Nairobi — Uganda on Wednesday gave up its claim on Migingo Island and apologised
for what it said was an inaccurate decision based on wrong interpretation of a 1962
map.

Ethiopia Somalia president in Ethiopia for meeting with officials


Addis - The president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Sheikh
Sharif Sheikh Ahmed arrived on Tuesday in Addis Ababa to hold meetings with
officials of the Ethiopian government, which has been supporting the TFG since its
establishment a few years ago.

Somalia Pirates wound 9 North Korean sailors


Kuala Lumpur - Heavily armed Somali pirates shot and wounded nine seafarers during
a bloody attempt to hijack a North Korean cargo ship off Kenya on Wednesday, a
maritime watchdog said. "There was a very violent attack against a North Korean vessel
by Somali pirates who used automatic rifles and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades),"
Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London based International Maritime Bureau
(IMB) told AFP. "Nine crew members have been seriously injured as a result of the
attack," he added.

Mauritania French-speaking students protest pro-Arabic reforms


Nouakchott - On March 24, hundreds of French-speaking Mauritanian students staged
a protest at the University of Nouakchott to protest government plans to "arabize"
(switch from French to Arabic) the country’s school system and dministration.
According to the students, the march degenerated into a violent riot after police barred
them from exiting the university compound and fired teargas into the building.

Mauritania President shuffles government ministries


Nouakchott – In a first since his election in June 2009, Mauritanian President had
restructured 8 composition and leadership of 8 different ministries.

Muslim scholars tell Bin Laden he's got it all wrongMardin Prominent Muslim
scholars have recast a famous medieval fatwa on jihad, arguing that the religious edict
radical Islamists often cite to justify killing cannot be used in a globalized world that
respects faith and civil rights. Osama bin Laden has quoted Ibn Taymiyya's "Mardin
fatwa" repeatedly while calling for Muslims to overthrow the Saudi monarchy and
wage jihad against the US. Referring to that document, the conference said: "Anyone
who seeks support from this fatwa for killing Muslims or non-Muslims has erred in his
interpretation... It is not for a Muslim individual or group to declare war or engage in
combative jihad... on their own."

Muslim scholars denounce Islamist bombs in Russia


Muslim scholars from a dozen countries on Thursday condemned suicide bombings by
Islamist rebels in Moscow and Dagestan as "criminal terrorist attacks" that violated their
faith.
Spain 2,500 kilos of cocaine intercepted across Spain
More than 2,500 kilos of cocaine have been intercepted in Madrid, Barcelona and
Valencia, and three Spaniards arrested.The drug was brought into Spain via Valencia
Port from Colombia and Mexico, with the traffickers using freight container.

Chechnya Islamist group claims Russian metro attacks


Moscow - An Islamist group from Russia's restive Caucasus region has claimed
responsibility for this week's deadly twin suicide bombings in Moscow, while two more
attacks on Wednesday left 12 dead. Last month, Islamist rebels led by the same militant
leader, Doku Umarov, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Usman, pledged a holy war,
saying attacks would be staged throughout the country.

Chechnya Islamist group says not behind Moscow bombs


Istambul - "We did not carry out the attack in Moscow, and we don't know who did it,"
Shemsettin Batukaev, a spokesman for the Caucasus Emirate organisation, told Reuters
by telephone in Turkey. He said that he did not know who was behind two bombings
in Dagestan that killed 12 people on Wednesday, BUT DID NOT DENY THE
POSSIBILITY THAT HIS ORGANIZATION WAS INVOLVED.