Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pan-Africa Solidarity for the People of Africa

The New African Peace Movement, organized with the Solano Peace, Justice & Freedom Coalition [], stands for the People of Alkebulan (Africa) against the ongoing genocide being coordinated by the European and Arabic plutocracy and trans-national capitalism.
A revolution has started, the great & powerful young minds of Africa are starting to speak for Justice, Peace, Education and Sustainable Development.
We demand liberation for our People, and we will win!

In order to secure the resources of Alkeulan (Africa) for its use, the monopolized holding companies are conducting a program for the centralization of control, including coordinating the military operations of the "Trilateral Axis", an Alliance of the USA, the British (Empire) Commonwealth, and Israel working to stop any threat to their monopolized economic dictatorship, especially against their rivals in the "Shanghai Axis" [link], in a war against China [link].
* NATO, directed by the USA and including the militaries of the European Union, is coordinating a conquest of Africa [link]
* USA Federal AFRICOM [link] is using starvation as a weapon of war [link] and sustaining brutal military dictatorships [link]: “Africa is the battlefield of tomorrow, today.  Africa is to be dominated by military means. They are creating African militaries that cannot operate without the assistance of the Americans. The Americans are blatantly using food as a political weapon. The Americans cannot win in any conventional military sense, so they resort to a war of starvation.
* AFRICOM sustains brutal dictatorships over the People of Alkebulan [link]
* AFRICOM and the kleptocratic governments of western Alkebulan [link]
* AFRICOM clandestinely includes African allies who recruit child soldiers [link]
* USA & Israel in Kenya targeting militants [link].
* Business Practices of the British (Empire) Commonwealth in the Alkebulan [link]
* USA CIA's African Rendition Network [link]
* USA & EU, through the G8 conference, pledges to economically colonize Africa (2014-02) [link]
* USA charter corporations using AFRICOM to protect future market investments [link]
* USA IT Corporations blanketing Africa with the internet [link], Africa covered by Internet satellites owned by EU-associate Turkey [link].
* USA charter Energy Extraction companies compete against China's Energy Enterprise (2014-05) [link]
* USA Dept. of State sends John Kerry to Angola to announce full support to energy extraction operations by USA charter companies (2014-05) [link]
* $16 billion into Africa by EU France charter energy company Total (2014) [link]
* EU France military role in Africa is valued by USA war planners [link]
* USA AFRICOM and CIA use aerial drones to assassinate and conduct war [link]
* "The Military Market for Africa" (2014, USA) [link]

Arab supremacists and plutocrats dominate many African nations.
** Arab supremacists use the word "Nigger" casually in mass media [link]

News and information about the imperialist operations within the jurisdictions of:
* Central African Republic [link]
* South Sudan [link]
* USA and Israel implicated in covert campaign to disrupt Sudan [link]; An analysis of Sudan's warcrimes against the Nuba people (2012) [link]
* Republic of Mali [link]
* Jurisdiction of Somalia [link]
* USA engaging in human trafficking across Eritrea and the Somali homeland [link]
Swaziland and AFRICOM [link]
* AFRICOM conducts operations against Caliphate vanguard Boko Haram in Nigeria (2014) [link]
* EU France invades jurisdiction of the Central African Republic (2014) [link]; "Central African Republic: Foreign Intervention, 'Manipulation of a Resource Rich Area' and Genocide" [link]; "Central African Republic: Another Western Backed Coup d’Etat" (2013) [link]
* EU France invades the jurisdiction of Mali (2012) [link]

During 2011, the EU & USA attacked their competitor, the Jamahiriya alliance with the African Union, who were economically emancipating the nations of Africa with publicly owned banks and utilities.
The Jamahiriya's ideology can be best summed up by this quote from Muammar Gaddafi: "It is an indisputable fact that direct democracy is the only ideal form that is practical."
** USA's billion dollar role in attacking the Jamahiriya of Libya throughout 2011 [link]
** Goldman Sachs coordinated economic warfare against Jamahiriya of Libya [link]
** EU Italy trains military in Libya, a former colony of Italy (2014) [link]

WASHINGTON, D.C. - General William E. Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, March 9, 2010, as part of an annual requirement for regional military commanders. During his testimony, Ward provided an overview of the strategic environment in Africa, explained the command's strategic approach, and showed how security cooperation efforts promote stability in support of U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives. (U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee screen shot)

Economic zones protected by the Trilateral Alliance:
* Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
* East African Community [link]
* Southern African Customs Union (SACU)
* West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)

More information:
** "Black Agenda Report" []
** "Association of Concerned Africa Scholars" [], Analysis and Action on Policies Impacting Africa
** "Pan-African News Wire" [] [], The world's only international daily Pan-African News source, edited by Abayomi Azikiwe, seen here addressing an African American History Month forum in Detroit on February 28, 2009, photo by Cheryl LaBash for Pan-African News Wire:

** "December 12th Movement International Secretariat" [456 Nostrand Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11216] [718-398-1766] [], who organize educational forums and public gatherings for Pan-African Peace & Liberation, including the Pan African Unity Rally & March, held 2013-03-23 in Harlem, NYC, against NATO, French, & U.S. Bombing and Occupation; International Criminal Court Kidnapping of African Leaders; UN Troops Out of Haiti; Police Murder & Abuse in U.S.; Illegal Economic Sanctions.
December 12th Movement has petitioned the ICC to bring NATO to trial (2012-07) [link]

** "Africa Daily", a news aggregator of mainstream newswire dispatches about Africa []

Human Rights and Social Justice networks in the USA:
* "Coalition for Change in the Gambia, End dictatorship now'" [] [] []
* "Democratic Union of Gambian Activists" [link]

Heed the call...
"Survey Reveals Deeper Penetration of AFRICOM on the Continent; TomDispatch tracks where the Pentagon is moving in Africa"
2013-09-10 by Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan-African News Wire []:
A recent study conducted by Nick Turse of on the increasing role of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) illustrates why this issue should become a major focus of the peace, anti-war and anti-imperialist movements in the West. With the withdrawal of Pentagon ground forces from Iraq and the scaling-down of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, there has been very little attention paid to developments involving interventions by the imperialist states in the oppressed nations.
Although there have been significant demonstrations around the U.S. against the war threats aimed at Syria, these latest machinations by the White House and the French government of Francois Hollande should not be the sole focus of the anti-war movement. The degree to which the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has engaged in acts of subversion and military intrigue in Africa must at some point force the movement to break out of its myopic preoccupation with events that grab the headlines within the corporate media outlets.
If these trends in Africa are presented in an organized and cohesive fashion, there could be an upsurge in interests related to events on the continent. A panel discussion put together by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) at the Left Forum in New York City in early June, attracted a standing-room-only audience.
Issues related to the Obama administration and its allies’ interventions in Africa should have been the subject of a plenary session at the Left Forum. The panel entitled “The War on Africa” and its success illustrates that there is growing interests in these aspects of imperialism and its strategic outlook for areas outside the so-called Middle East.
Even though President Obama is of African descent, his policies toward the continent have continued and even intensified Western efforts to dominate the continent which has been subjected to nearly six centuries of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. With the People’s Republic of China playing a greater role in Africa through trade relations and strategic partnerships, the ruling class within the U.S. is scrambling to edge out Beijing by increasing its military and intelligence presence.
The bombing of Libya by the Pentagon and NATO for seven straight months in 2011, demonstrated clearly the extent to which imperialism is willing to go in order to overthrow and remake states. Since the fall of the Gaddafi government and the Jamahiriya system, Libya has been plunged into economic distress and political chaos.
Drone stations are being constructed throughout the Horn of Africa and in Niger while the U.S. subsidizes the maintenance of a 17,500-person military force in Somalia. Somalia is now the focus of oil exploration and exploitation along with other states along the coast of East Africa.

TomDispatch’s Findings -
Nick Turse begins his review of the Pentagon’s increasing intervention in Africa saying “They’re involved in Algeria and Angola, Benin and Botswana, Burkina Faso and Burundi, Cameroon and the Cape Verde Islands. And that’s just the ABCs of the situation.”
He goes on to stress that all you need to do is “Skip to the end of the alphabet and the story remains the same: Senegal and the Seychelles, Togo and Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. From north to south, east to west, the Horn of Africa to the Sahel, the heart of the continent to the islands off its coasts, the U.S. military is at work."
Turse goes on to track the activities of the Pentagon through its joint military exercises with various African states, the construction of military bases within these states, the so-called training exercises carried out by the U.S. defense department involving African militaries, the construction and expansion of the Camp Lemonier base in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti and the utilization of drone technology to both monitor events as well as engage in offensive strikes against targeted individuals and organizations.
Another important aspect of the escalating Pentagon presence in Africa is the existence of AFRICOM-related bases of operation outside the continent. Located mainly in European countries and islands under their control, the presence of these facilities should also be of concern to Left and anti-war forces on that continent which was the forerunner of intervention prior to the birth of its offspring in North America.
Turse notes that “When considering the scope and rapid expansion of U.S. military activities in Africa, it’s important to keep in mind that certain key ‘African’ bases are actually located off the continent. Keeping a semblance of a ‘light footprint’ there, AFRICOM’s headquarters is located at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart-Moehringen, Germany.”
He goes on saying “In June, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that the base in Stuttgart and the U.S. Air Force’s Air Operations Center in Ramstein were both integral to drone operations in Africa. Key logistics support hubs for AFRICOM are located in Rota, Spain; Aruba in the Lesser Antilles; and Souda Bay, Greece, as well as at Ramstein. The command also maintains a forward operating site on Britain’s Ascension Island, located about 1,000 miles off the coast of Africa in the South Atlantic, but refused requests for further information about its role in operations.”

The Need for a Response by the Anti-Imperialist Forces -
These findings should provide the basis for a more concentrated effort related to the growing Pentagon as well as CIA presence in Africa. The organization of a clear anti-imperialist response to these developments would serve to encourage and motivate revolutionary organizations and movements in Africa that could lead to alliances between progressive forces in the West and those on the continent.
There should be the establishment of study groups to review the history and current events related to imperialist militarism. Task forces need to be set up where military training facilities and corporations directly involved in these events in Africa could be targeted for protests and boycotts.
Positions papers, pamphlets, books and web pages should be developed to provide concrete information about these trends. These resources can serve as the basis for reaching greater numbers of people both in the imperialist states and those in Africa and other regions of the world.

* "U.S. Africa Command Debates TomDispatch" (2012-07-26) by Nick Turse []
* "The Terror Diaspora; The U.S. Military and the Unraveling of Africa" (2013-06-08) by Nick Turse []
* "The Pivot to Africa: The Startling Size, Scope, and Growth of U.S. Military Operations on the African Continent" (2013-09-05) [link]
* "Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa: America’s New Model for Expeditionary Warfare" (2014-03-13) []
* "U.S. Military Averaging More Than a Mission a Day in Africa; Documents Reveal Blinding Pace of Ops in 2013, More of the Same for 2014" (2014-03-27) by Nick Turse []
* "AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly: U.S. Officials Talk Candidly (Just Not to Reporters) about Bases, Winning Hearts and Minds, and the “War” in Africa" (2014-04-13) by Nick Turse [link]

* "War on ‘terror’: Africom, the kleptocratic state and under-class militancy in West Africa-Nigeria" by Caroline Ifeka, published in the CONCERNED AFRICA SCHOLARS BULLETIN N°85 - SPRING 2010 []

"We were indebted by Europe for fifty sixty, almost seventy years" --Thomas Sankara.
Thomas Sankara protested the fact that Europeans wanted Africans to continue to pay debts after the gained "independence" from European powers. The charismatic President of Burkina Faso was unapologetically African. Sankara's logic was that Africans were not in control of their own resources when these debts were created, Europeans were so why should we pay debt to Europeans when they have done nothing but profit off of us? This financial enslavement of African nations still goes on today.It keeps Africans poor.
Sankara's ideas influenced many people this is the reason why France conspired to have him assassinated.

'Raw Materials, Raw Deal' campaign materials for COMHLAMH, created by Edward McMullin [link]:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Arab racial supremacists show influence by White American racial supremacists in describing the African

(via~Mazen Alaa Eldain, 2014-08-28)
The man holding the newspaper is NUBIAN, he and his friend are showing disgust with the today's issue of the daily Egyptian paper "ELYOUM ELSABAA"  describing anonymous criminals originating from South Sudan as "NIGGERS", a word originating in the USA specifically to dehumanize all African people as sub-human.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

USA IT Corporations set to incorporate Africa into World Wide Web

"Facebook offers Zambia free Internet access"
2014-08-16 by Wendy Lee for "San Francisco Chronicle" []:
In the African nation of Zambia, few can afford an Internet connection. Watching a few mobile videos on YouTube requires a data plan that costs 51 cents - roughly half the daily earnings of many Zambians.
It may seem purely altruistic, then, that Facebook is working to provide free Internet access to the country. But the Menlo Park company stands to benefit greatly if it manages to connect the developing world to its social network.
Working through its coalition, which includes a number of tech firms including Samsung and Nokia, Facebook has launched a free app that provides limited Internet access to Zambians who have cell phones without data plans.

Bigger base -
Customers of cellular provider Airtel can download the app for access to 13 outlets, including Facebook and Wikipedia. They can find out about the weather, women's rights and job openings for several months before they will eventually need to decide whether they want to buy a data plan. The app doesn't directly show ads, but users can see ads through certain websites accessed through the app.
Facebook says that by increasing Internet usage, it will improve access to health care and boost the economy in developing nations.
"Growing the Internet is going to pay off for a lot of different companies and a lot of different people," said Guy Rosen, product management director for "We really think it's going to be beneficial for everyone."
For Facebook, expanding Internet access helps expand its user base. Facebook wants to remain the dominant social network in the world. But after saturating developed countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, the company is rushing to convert people in developing nations into Facebook users before competitors can target them. Anyone who signs up for Facebook in Zambia through the free app will count toward the company's more than 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide.
"There's a lot of companies that are racing on how to bring those people onto the Internet," said Brian Blau, a Gartner research director.

Google balloons -
Count Google as one of them. The Mountain View search giant is testing technology that uses balloons that float 12 miles above the Earth's surface to offer the Internet to rural areas of the globe. Google says each balloon could connect hundreds of people to 3G speed Internet. Last year, Google released 30 such balloons in New Zealand, serving several dozen testers.
Google hasn't revealed how much it's spending on Project Loon. Facebook says there is no business plan for its project and declined to disclose the budget of its initiative or how many people in Zambia have downloaded the app. Currently, 33 percent of Airtel customers are using the Internet, either through a data plan or through the app.
Google's Project Loon floats balloons above the Earth's surface to offer the Internet to rural areas. (Photo: Jon Shenk, Associated Press)

Advertising experts say there is great demand for a digital way to reach consumers in developing countries.
Right now, advertisers in developing countries run billboards and print ads - forms of advertising that don't provide as much data as social media ads, which can target specific consumers based on their age and interests, said Leo Ryan, group head of digital consultancy for Social@Ogilvy, United Kingdom. If Facebook's app becomes the primary way people in Zambia access the Internet, it could dominate the nation's ad market, Ryan said.
"In some ways, that makes it more valuable than a mobile phone does in a developed market," he said.
Even though more than 85 percent of the world lives in areas with cellular coverage, only 30 percent are accessing the Internet, according to But Facebook spokesman Derick Mains said there are no plans to monetize the app.
"If we wanted to focus on just making money, the right strategy for us would be to focus solely on the developed countries and increasing the engagement of people already on Facebook," Mains said. "Facebook's mission to make the world more open and connected means the entire world - not just the richest, most developed countries."

Generating followers -
It could take a while before Facebook is able to generate the number of followers for advertisers to be interested in specific markets, like Zambia. Eight years ago, Myspace struggled to sell ads in areas like Malaysia and Vietnam, even though it had a large audience in those countries, said Jay Stevens of the Rubicon Project, which automates the buying and selling for ads online.
"The biggest barometer of how online spend (by advertisers) is going to go is how big the middle class is," said Stevens, who used to run the European operations for Myspace.
For example, the cost of a desktop ad viewed 1,000 times in the United States would be roughly double that of an ad in Southern Europe, Stevens said. The cost would continue to go down from there for emerging markets like Southeast Asia and Central Africa, he said.
Simply put, ads are cheaper in Zambia than in the U.S. because customers there don't have as much disposable income. But if Facebook is able to increase its base of users worldwide, it could become especially attractive to companies that operate on a global level, Stevens said. For example, if a global brand like Dove or Coca-Cola wanted to run a single campaign in many countries, Facebook could be its best avenue.
"The reality of it is, Facebook is making a play largely on their belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," Stevens said. "That puts them in a very, very unique position. They have the ability to command the lion's share of marketing spend."
Facebook has had experience whetting users' appetite for Internet. Last year, the social media company partnered with a cellular carrier, Globe, to give its customers free access to Facebook in the Philippines. In the first three months of the campaign, 3 million people who didn't pay for Internet before tried the service.
There is potential for huge growth in emerging countries. Even among the few people who do go online in such nations, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are popular, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. About 1 in 4 cell phone users in those countries go to a social-networking site "regularly on their phone," the report said.
"Once people have the opportunity to use the Internet in those nations, they tend to incorporate it into their lives very quickly," said Richard Wike, the center's director of Global Attitudes Research.

Testing out apps -
Earlier this year, Facebook and Ericsson announced a lab in Menlo Park where they will test out apps for developing countries. Rosen says the initiative is a "really, really long-term project." He recently swapped his iPhone 5s for a much simpler device - a Moto E phone - and tried to maneuver his way online.
"We're all trying to really understand using the Internet outside of California," Rosen said.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

USA charter corporations using AFRICOM to protect future market investments

"Obama Pushes Africa Investment as US Corporations 'Drool' over Resources; Critics warn Obama's multibillion dollar push to open Africa for U.S. business will further dispossess and impoverish people across the continent"
2014-08-06 by Sarah Lazare for "" []:
At a Washington, DC gathering of African state leaders and U.S. corporations, President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a multi-billion dollar drive to promote U.S. business investments in Africa. While the President said the plan will unleash "the next era of African growth," experts warn it amounts to more of the same extractive policies that have already impoverished and dispossessed people across the continent.
"All you have to do is look who has a seat at the table to understand what is happening," said Emira Woods, expert on U.S. foreign policy in Africa and social impact director at ThoughtWorks, a technology firm committed to social and economic justice, in an interview with Common Dreams. "We're talking African leaders, some with bad human rights records, and American CEOs."
Obama's much-touted "Africa Summit"—which started Monday and ends Wednesday—is co-sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation, and was attended by chief executives of General Electric, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, IBM, and other multinational corporations.
Obama took the opportunity to announce $7 billion in what the White House describes as "new financing to promote U.S. exports to and investments in Africa." Obama also championed $14 billion in new investments by U.S. corporations in Africa, which includes $5 billion from Coca-Cola for manufacturing equipment. This is in addition to another $12 billion in new commitments for Obama's Power Africa initiative, which will give multinational corporations—including GE—billions of dollars in energy deals to "double the number of people with access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa." The total bill comes to $33 billion for "supporting economic growth across Africa and tens of thousands of U.S. jobs," according to the White House [].
"We've got to do better, much better," said Obama. "I want Africans buying more American products and I want Americans buying more African products."
General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt put the interest of U.S. corporations more bluntly at a discussion moderated by former U.S. President Bill Clinton on Tuesday. “We kind of gave Africa to the Europeans first and to the Chinese later, but today it’s wide open for us," he said, according to the Washington Post [].
“I’m excited about Africa,” Wal-Mart chief executive Doug McMillon said at the same discussion. “For us, it’s a long-term proposition. We invested $2.6 billion in 2011, and that’s just the beginning.”
But that is just what critics are worried about.
"Strip away all the modern PR and prettified palaver and it’s an ugly scramble for oil, minerals, and markets for U.S. goods," writes John Feffer for Foreign Policy in Focus on Wednesday []. "Everyone wants a piece of Africa: drooling outsiders, corrupt insiders, cynical middle men."
"What we are seeing are that the rules of the game have long been stacked in the favor of one percent: multinational corporations and CEOs and the local elites who do their bidding," said Woods. "If there is business as usual, we will continue to have a situation where people on whose land resources lie will be pushed further and further to the brink, left without health care, housing, education, or any means of benefiting."
In an analysis published last year [], the World Bank found that Africa's economic growth and foreign investment over the past decade have failed to benefit a majority of people living on the continent, and deep poverty and inequality are “unacceptably high and the pace of reduction unacceptably slow.” The report predicts, "Almost one out of every two Africans lives in extreme poverty today," and by the year 2030, "a vast majority of the world's poor will be located in Africa."
Woods warned that that drive for investment from oil and gas extraction industries is especially dangerous for a continent that is already at the "epicenter of climate catastrophe." According to Woods, "Power Africa is very focused on accessing new sources of oil that have been discovered in and around the African continent without recognizing the long-term implications of continuing on a path of fossil fuels."
Woods emphasized that the push for U.S. investments, represented at the summit, takes place alongside the expansion of the U.S. military's AFRICOM, as well as weapons, across the country, furthering the destabilization and militarization of numerous communities []. "Economic interests are bolstered by military power to reinforce the opportunity to fully extract resources," said Woods.
"What is needed now is a change to the status quo."

Monday, August 4, 2014

Aug. 2014 meeting of USA's subsidiary governments of Africa

2014-08-04 []:
Moderator Shaka Ssali: photo shows part of panel -- Gatebuke, Allimadi, and Bakoko

Activists who deal with issues of human rights, democratic governance, economic development and social justice in Africa met on the eve of the U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington to prod President Obama to stop his administration's support for dictators such as Uganda's Gen. Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda's Gen. Paul Kagame and Congo's Joseph Kabila.
The activists, who held a July 31 news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., stressed that President Obama's 2009 declaration in Accra remains a brilliant insight into Africa's priorities -- Obama said: "Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.”
The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit opens today in the nation's capital -- President Obama will host several African presidents; the D.C. events include those related to trade and investment and electric energy to power Africa's economies.
The activists believe democratic governance should also take center-stage and they deplored the U.S.'s continued backing for dictatorships in primarily five African countries: Uganda; Rwanda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; and Egypt.
However, they also noted that the policy applied to all authoritarian-regimes in Africa that are U.S.-backed. They urged American citizens to demand that their taxpayers' dollars not be used to prop brutal regimes that don't rule based on the consent of voters.
The presenters spoke for about three minutes each; the event was moderated by Shaka Ssali, the prominent Uganda-born journalist and host/producer of VOA's "Straight Talk Africa." He later opened the session up for questions-and-answers with the audience.

The first presenter, Claude Gatebuke, from Rwanda deplored the U.S. support for Gen. Kagame's regime even after his army was implicated in several United Nations reports in genocide of Hutu refugees in Congo and in the recent assassination of Patrick Karegeya the former intelligence chief who had been granted asylum in South Africa.
Gatebuke, a survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda stressed that American taxpayers should demand an end to the support to Gen. Kagame's regime.
In addition to the 1994 genocide, Gatebuke also spoke about the atrocities committed by the Uganda-backed Rwanda Patriotic Front, which was commanded by Paul Kagame and which invaded from Uganda in October 1990.
He said continued U.S. support for Museveni and Kagame, even after the role their militaries played in the Congo atrocities -- where the death toll has been estimated at up to seven million, was "unconscionable."
He said Rwanda gets up to $200 million annually from the U.S.
"I really call on the American public and the American people to hold our government accountable, to hold President Obama accountable; for him to have a strong conversation and make it clear, in no uncertain terms that, not on our watch and not on our dollar will atrocities continue to be committed," Gatebuke said.

Milton Allimadi, from Uganda, said as far as he was concerned Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame were unindicted war criminals. He noted that for its army's role in the Congo atrocities, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2005 found Uganda liable for war crimes in the Congo: massacres of civilians; plunder of resources; and, mass rapes. He noted that Congo was awarded $6 billion to $10 billion in reparations; not a dime of which had been paid.
Allimadi, who publishes The Black Star News said after the ICJ's ruling, the government of Congo referred the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) which initiated its own investigation. He said The Wall Street Journal reported on June 8, 2006 that Gen. Museveni was concerned about possible criminal indictment and personally contacted then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and asked him to block the investigation.
Allimadi wondered how the investigation had been blocked.
He said corporate media are a part of the problem by shielding Western governments and corporations that benefit from relationship with African dictators. He urged media to use activists as a resource for information and different perspective.

Nii Akuetteh, Ghana-born, put US-Africa relations in historical context. He noted that U.S. support for tyranny in Africa predates the 1960s independence period with American administrations backing the centuries-old apartheid system in South Africa. He said while it is politically expedient for every U.S. administration of the day, policies backing dictators are counter-productive and hurt real U.S interest.
To the list of today’s “friendly tyrants” highlighted by panelists (Rwanda, Uganda and DRC), Nii added Ethiopia and Egypt. He spoke about the divergence between the message President Obama delivered in Ghana, Nii’s country of birth (“Africa doesn't need strongmen; it needs strong institutions”) versus the practice of supporting dictators.
Nii, a democracy campaigner and founding Executive Director of George Soros’s West Africa foundation, talked about the powerful role played by the American people in ending Ronald Reagan’s support for white supremacy in South Africa and stressed that Americans today can distinguish themselves from U.S. government and help liberate the 5 African countries still tyrannized by America’s favorite dictators. The American people can do this by demanding that U.S. taxpayer money no longer goes to support those regimes. He said: “For at least a century, an essential truth (American support for countless predatory African tyrannies and warlords) has been hidden from the American people. The US media must now begin performing its sacred democratic duty by working with democracy campaigners to tell the American people this vital truth.”

Zoe Bakoko Bakoru spoke from the position of a former insider -- a cabinet minister in the Museveni regime. She recalled how Museveni and his family members raided Uganda's National Social Security Fund to the tune of $5 million per month -- retirement money that belonged to hard working laborers.
She recalled how she instituted an audit which stopped the stealing and eventually led to her dismissal as a minister. She spoke about the importance of the need for peaceful transfer of power in Africa and recalled the emotion she felt --crying-- when she watched the formal transition in the U.S. from George W. Bush to President Obama. She recalled that she had become emotional because in all her years, she had never seen a president peacefully hand over power to his successor.
She said both Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame regard Congo as a province of their respective countries, Uganda and Rwanda, where they can plunder resources at will. She said African dictators abuse ordinary citizens as if they were "political condoms."

Nita Evele, a Women's Rights activist from Congo, spoke about how Eastern Congo had become the rape capital of the world and how the government did nothing to protect the women and children who were the primary victims.
She referred to a report in Forbes Magazine that estimates President Joseph Kabila's wealth at $15 billion. She wondered how the world could stand by and watch the crimes being committed against the people of the Congo. She deplored U.S. support for the militaries in Africa rather than investing in the civilian population.
Shaka Ssali, the moderator, in closing noted: ''Democracy should really be an equal opportunity employer," on the African continent.
He said societies that developed were those where the citizens had "unfettered" access to information.
"What we don't need frankly is where we have an individual or a couple of individuals who think they are everything for everybody," he added.

"USA: Washington's Ethiopian community stage protests at the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit"[]:
Several hundred members of Washington's Ethiopian community on Monday (August 4) staged a protest against the participation of the Ethiopian leadership in the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit. The protesters marched to the State Department where African leaders were meeting. The protesters carried banners calling for the release of opposition figures held in Ethiopian prisons and chanted slogans against the government and U.S. President Barack Obama. "The rights of the Ethiopian people have been trampled and we are here to protest. The fact that America, despite its values, standing for liberty, democracy and injustice, is whining and dining with dictators, tyrants, blood thirsty dictators ruling Ethiopia," said one protester named Neamrn Zeleke.

"Activists Humiliate Gambian Dictator" 
2014-08-06 by Musa Saidykhan []:
Gambian leader has once again been humiliated and holed up in his hotel in Washington D.C. for more than 18 hours by protesting activists who denied him the opportunity to participate in the first US-Africa Summit hosted by President Barack Obama. None of President Yahya Jammeh’s delegates, including the Secretary General Dr. Kalilu Bayo, dare left the hotel.
Activists, who blame their country’s dictator for continuously denying Gambians their constitutional rights and freedoms as well as persecute them, started converging on Washington, D.C. at 6:30 in the morning.
Determined activists have been blocking Mr. Jammeh’s hotel, chanting slogans “Yahya is a murderer, Yahya is a rapist, Yahya must go, USA must not reward tyranny in the Gambia with military aid .” Numerous attempts by Metropolitan police to relocate the crowd of protesters were met with resistance. Activists stood their grounds, saying “that will be a victory for the dictator.” The man who claims personal ownership of the Gambia fears to come out of hiding because he fears being “booed and yelled at.”
Alkali Conteh, who led an eleven-man delegation from Raleigh, North Carolina, described the protest against Yahya Jammeh a “huge success.” Mr. Conteh hopes this will teach the Gambian dictator an “unforgettable lesson.”

"Washington Meeting of African Leaders Opens to Protests"2014-08-04 by Andrew Siddonsaug for the "New York Times" daily newspaper []:
Joseph Kabila, left, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Secretary of State John Kerry at a news conference on Monday during a summit meeting with African heads of state. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the State Department on Monday, the start of a summit meeting here of more than 40 African heads of state, to denounce some of the leaders as “torturers” and “killers.”
The protesters, who were mostly from Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said they were angry that the White House was looking to enhance economic ties with repressive governments. “Stop financing dictators,” the crowd chanted. “President Obama, shame on you.”
Obang Metho, director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, referenced Mr. Obama’s message to African leaders during his 2009 trip. “Africa doesn’t need strongmen. It needs strong institutions,” Mr. Obama said at the time.
“Now he is sitting with strongmen,” Mr. Metho said. “Where are the strong institutions?”
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama will host the leaders at the White House for dinner and will then take part in a series of meetings on Wednesday, mostly focused on increasing United States investment in Africa and promoting peace and stability on the continent. As the summit meeting began, the White House also announced that it would institute new programs and foreign assistance aimed at promoting gender equality in Africa.
The sessions on Monday began with a forum on supporting civil society, and the leaders heard from Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “It’s not possible to succeed for your people unless they have a chance to shape the policies of their government, identify problems and root out injustices and find ways for groups to resolve their differences peacefully,” Mr. Biden said.
Secretary of State John Kerry also addressed the leaders and met one-on-one with Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. When Mr. Kerry was in Congo earlier this year, he urged Mr. Kabila to step down after his current term, as Congo’s constitution requires. “Large majorities of Africans support free, accessible and fair elections and limiting their presidents to two terms in office,” Mr. Kerry said Monday.
Protesters outside the State Department said they hoped that the Obama administration would continue to press Mr. Kabila on the term limit.
“Obama must give a clear message that the president doesn’t change the constitution to stay in power,” said Constant Mbala, who moved to the United States from Congo 15 years ago.
The streets between the White House and the State Department were largely absent of traffic on Monday, as Washington residents had been warned of street closings and the likelihood of traffic congestion because of heightened security and the dozens of motorcades that would be driving around town.
African trade officials also convened with their American counterparts on Monday for annual meetings on the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The program, known as AGOA, lowers the tariffs on certain African goods imported to the United States, while countries in Africa are not obligated to lower the duties on any United States goods. It has been credited with helping to diversify and improve other sectors of the African economy, but oil still accounts for three-quarters of the African goods imported by the United States duty free.
The program requires reauthorization by Congress next year, and one of the questions is whether South Africa should continue to benefit from preferential trade status, as some say that its current economic growth means that it should extend a preferential tariff system to some United States goods as well. But while speaking at a luncheon hosted by the National Press Club on Monday, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa dismissed this idea.
“We look forward to a seamless, unconditional and long-term renewal of AGOA with South Africa included among the beneficiaries,” Mr. Zuma said.

Friday, August 1, 2014

East Zimbabwe Conference of the evangelist Christian Seventh Day Adventist Church

"WORLD REPORT: More Than 40,000 Expected at  Evangelistic Series in Zimbabwe" 
by Andrew McChesney, August 2014, "ADVENTIST WORLD" newsmagazine: 
Seventh-day Adventist leaders in Zimbabwe are preparing to welcome more than 40,000 people to a two-week evangelistic series next year. The May 2015 event, which will be held in Harare, the capital of the southern African country, promises to be one of the most ambitious efforts to share Jesus under the auspices of the world church's "Mission to the Cities" initiative. Jonathan Musvosvi, president of the East Zimbabwe Conference, which is organizing the event, said the evangelistic series would begin with world church president Ted N. C. Wilson speaking to business-people and government officials at the Harare International Conference Center, an upmarket venue in the affluent section of Harare, for the first week. 
"This is a segment of the population that is difficult for us to reach, and where the church is not growing as fast and strong as we would like to see it," Musvosvi said by e-mail. Conference leaders are looking at working with wealthy Adventists to invite people to the meetings, similar to what was done for "Hope Manila 2014: iCare," a two-week evangelistic series that resulted in more than 3,000 baptisms in the Philippine capital in May 2014. For the second week, the evangelistic series will move to the 60,000-seat National Sports Stadium in a densely populated area of Harare, Zimbabwe's largest city with a population of 1.6 million. "We expect attendance to be in the range of 40,000," Musvosvi said. Zimbabwe has reeled amid political and economic instability for much of the past decade, a reality that Musvosvi said has made the time ripe for the 2015 evangelistic series. "Yes, we have passed through our political and economic turmoil, but this has caused us to turn to God," he said. "The people's receptivity to the gospel is high." 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jurisdiction of Somalia

"US military admits secret presence in Somalia"
2014-07-03 from "AFP":
The US military has secretly maintained forces in Somalia since 2007, despite earlier public statements claiming it had no presence in the country until last October, defense officials said Thursday.
The United States has deployed up to 120 troops in the African nation and hopes to bolster its security ties to Somalia's government as it battles Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants, a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
The US troops operating in Somalia have been mainly Green Beret special forces, who specialize in training and advising local armies, the official said.
Reuters news agency first reported the US troop presence.
In October last year, the Pentagon had portrayed the arrival of a handful of military advisers in Somalia as the first deployment of American forces to the country since 1993.
The Pentagon had chosen not to publicly reveal the military's footprint in Somalia out of concern for the safety of troops deployed and out of respect for the "sensitivities" of the Somali government, the defense official said.
But the head of Africa Command, General David Rodriguez, who took over his post last April, favors a less secretive stance particularly as Washington's defense relationship with Somalia progresses, the official said.
"He's wanted to be more open," said the official. "This reflects that approach."
Officials acknowledged that deploying troops to Somalia has long been a sensitive question since a disastrous intervention in 1993, when two US helicopters were shot down and 18 troops were killed in an operation depicted in the movie "Black Hawk Down."
The revelation of the years-long US troop presence comes as President Barack Obama prepares to name the first American ambassador to Somalia since civil war erupted more than 20 years ago.
The United States recognized Somalia's new government in January 2013.
Although Shebab militants have been rolled back out of the capital Mogadishu, large swathes of rural areas are still controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked extremists.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

"Africa’s betrayal by African leaders"

2014-06-08 by Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, published by the "San Francisco Bay View" newspaper []:
Africa’s elite and the elite internationally have concluded the African Development Bank’s 50th anniversary celebrations and annual meeting under the theme: “The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want.” Over 3,500 delegates, seven African heads of state, the governor of the Central Bank of China and the U.S. deputy secretary of treasury were among the dignitaries to grace the occasion. The guests and the host were in an upbeat and hopeful mode, predicting that the next five decades will be far better than the preceding ones.
The African Development Bank uses this photo to illustrate its call for “concrete action to mitigate famine in the Horn of Africa” during its 50th anniversary meeting in May.

There are enough grounds to celebrate some of Africa’s political, economic and social achievements since 1957, when Ghana blazed the trail to become the first to gain political independence from British colonial rule. Africa can now boast of a total population that exceeds 1 billion, 54 sovereign states and a rich endowment of natural resources. There is every reason for Africa to celebrate its shining moments, the founding fathers of the post-colonial order who shaped them and the African people who make them happen.
Beneath the confident calm, Africa is on edge, and the participants in Kigali were aware. After five decades of political independence, thousands of reports on human development, tons of advice from mainly Western consultants, and trillions in aid money, the condition of the majority of African people remains precarious. Africa remains the continent of peasants and, increasingly, of urbanized populations living on the margins of squalid slums bursting at the seams.
Africa’s silent emergency comes in the form of pernicious killers in the form of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and unemployment. These preventable conditions claim millions of African lives every year because they target Africa’s heart and soul: children, women, the elderly and peasants.
Though the statistics do not capture the full and often intangible extent of human suffering and lost opportunities, they are nevertheless shocking. According to UNICEF, annually there are 3.2 million deaths of children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa from preventable conditions; Africa is the most dangerous place to have a baby in the whole world (800 women die every day during pregnancy and child delivery, and half of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa). Over 11 million Africans under the age of 25 enter the labor market every year, only to swell the ranks of the unemployed.
Africa’s loud emergencies are exemplified by the hundreds of missing Nigerian girls still in their captors’ hands, another terrorist attack in Kenya, civil war in Central African Republic and Southern Sudan, continuing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a failed state in Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi sliding into civil war, Uganda’s long-running battles with Joseph Kony, stand-off in Egypt, uneasy peace in Libya, to cite a few examples.
Photo: African leaders gathered at the African Development Bank’s 50th anniversary meeting and celebration, held in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss “’The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want.”

A report, “Africa’s Missing Billions,” by the international charity Oxfam “showed that between 1990 and 2007 the cost of armed violence and conflict to Africa was $300 billion – approximately the same as the aid money that flowed into the continent during that time []. Losses continue at around $18 billion a year. Conflict shrinks the economies of affected African countries by at least 15 percent a year.”
Hence, as the elite in Kigali conclude the summitry and deliberations, there is the other part of Africa that is on fire, dying, burning silently and occasionally bursting into deadly conflict and tragedies.
Unable to find hope, jobs, inspiration and the reason to live, Africa’s youth have become the easy victims of war-lords, rabble rousers, demagogues and modern day slave traders. Africa’s youth, which should be the continent’s present and future, have been turned into pirates, terrorists, rebel child soldiers and sex slaves.
Dreading the conditions in their own countries, they take dangerous voyages into uncertain worlds, and they perish on high seas as they did last October 2013 in Lampedusa, Italy. A 15-year old Somali boy stowed away in an airplane wheel well last month flying from San Jose, California, to Hawaii, in search of his mother in a refugee camp in Ethiopia.
If Nigeria – population approximately 174 million, largest oil producer in Africa, with annual defense spending of $2.3 billion – cannot rescue its own young girls from Boko Haram, and Uganda cannot defeat a three-decade-old menace from Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army, will a handful of U.S. Marines and aircrafts save them?
Africa has a crisis of leadership. Many of Africa’s rulers have, by and large, betrayed African people for too long. If this is the diagnosis, what is the treatment plan?
First, Africa’s ruling elite must admit that they are mostly to blame for Africa’s problems. They must stop the opportunistic habit of depending on the West’s help (the East helped as well during the Cold War), and denouncing the same benefactor when Africa’s self-inflicted wounds become too obvious.
Unless there is a change of mindset, African elite will continue to act like a herd, yesterday behind the West or East, today the West or China, and tomorrow, God knows who. Africa must follow its conscience and its people’s interests.
From this graphic by the African Development Bank, it appears the bank sees opportunity in China’s lust for African wealth. Dr. Rudasingwa warns, however, that African leaders should not “continue to act like a herd, yesterday behind the West or East, today the West or China, and tomorrow, God knows who. Africa must follow its conscience and its people’s interests.”

Second, African leaders must recognize that the interests of African people are sovereign and, therefore, a first priority. Of these interests, nothing is more important than the right to life, security, health, education and livelihoods.
It is in this context that Africa must spend less on armies and armaments, because African countries do not generally fight each other. Africa’s armies fight their own people, and record shows that they generally do an exceedingly poor job at that.
African leaders must stop denying fundamental human rights to their population. Freedom and equal opportunity will unleash entrepreneurial energy that has historically transformed other societies. They must invest in education, health, rural and urban areas where the majority of poor Africans live, and small and medium-sized enterprises. In all these areas, women and youth should be given priority.
Third, Africa leaders must have a clear and robust strategy to exit from being the dependent patient, in and out of rehab or intensive care of aid. Africa’s natural wealth must beget value. Africa’s export of natural resources, national revenues, foreign investments and aid money must be deployed and recycled into developing the capital, knowledge and skills to create value-added products and services. This is the trajectory of wealth creation that the rich aid-givers of today follow. Africa is not an exception.
Fourth, African leaders must prevent and cure the recurrent epidemics of self-inflicted conflicts. The current fire-fighting demonstrated in international peacekeeping, drones, and ad hoc arrangements for U.S and Western armies to intervene in Africa can be temporary relief but are not sufficient to ensure lasting security and peace.
Conflicts within African countries remain matters of unresolved problems because of the cut-throat competition for power among the elite. It is a life-and-death struggle to capture state power and in turn use it to access and hoard resources and/ or dispense a victor’s justice to the losers.
The winner takes it all, and often the losers must accept their losses, or otherwise organize for the next round of bloody conflict since the status quo rarely yields power peacefully. The antidote to this is to democratize and enlarge the circle of people’s participation in governance, strengthen the rule of law, and nurture a culture of dialogue, power-sharing and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Last, but not least, African rulers must heed the wisdom from all cultures of the world. Human progress is not solely about building material abundance and registering GDP growth, important as they are for human survival.
Creative imagination, innovation, science, technology and entrepreneurship proceed from man’s quest to improve his lot. To do this, he/she discovers that co-operation is both a pre-condition for survival and an opportunity to demonstrate what Bantu-speaking peoples of Africa call Ubuntu (or human-ness). Africans must learn from their own achievements and flaws and those of other societies to nurture the wellbeing and resilience of individuals, families, communities and nations.
A mind rich on Ubuntu peels away clan, tribe, gender, race, class, religion and nation identities to see the brother and sister in the other. Such a mind is not quick to kill and plunder. It does not commit genocide or easily go to war. It is a mind that shares and weeps when others suffer. It is a mind that sees dialogue, respect of others and humility as strengths. It is a mind that is happy because it fosters happiness in others.
In a stampede to become like the West and, of late, like China, Africa’s ruling elite have lost their African-ness, and yet they get frustrated when they cannot exactly emulate the West’s and China’s ingenuity.
African leaders must change their own mindsets; put women and children at the center of all national and continental endeavors; create an enabling environment for growth of institutions, freedom and the rule of law; champion Made-in-Africa value-added products and services for consumption and exchange; prevent and cure violent conflicts; and, above all, embrace Ubuntu as a central organizing philosophy in African societies.
African societies must liberate themselves from chaos, suffering, and dependency.
African leaders must redeem themselves from scorn, shame and condemnation before it is too late.
Africa, be and heal yourself!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

China's diplomacy program for Africa is $2 billion over 10 years

"China opens multilateral approach to Africa with $2bn fund"
2014-05-22 from "AFP" newswire []:
China and the African Development Bank (AfDB) agreed Thursday a co-financing fund worth $2 billion over 10 years, a multilateral deal signalling a shift in Beijing's policy of dealing direct with countries.
The deal, Beijing's latest economic push on the continent, sets up the fund between the People's Bank of China and the AfDB to finance "sovereign and non-sovereign guaranteed development projects" totalling some $200 million annually, bank chiefs said.
The shift in setting up a multilateral fund follows criticism by some of China's growing role in Africa, striking deals including cheap loans in exchange for mining rights or construction contracts.
"China is a friend of Africa, they invest in infrastructure, in natural resources," said AfDB president Donald Kaberuka, after inking a memorandum to set up the fund in the Rwandan capital.
"Now this is the first time I believe in Africa, we are taking mainly a multilateral route... and they have done it because they want to assist in the development of Africa," he added.
The fund is named the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), and bank leaders said it was expected to begin financing projects before the end of the year.
"We believe that for the next two decades we are going to see a strong growth... and people here are going to raise their living standards substantially," said Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China.
"China would like to be a part of this development."
China's economic growth has been partially fuelled by African natural resources including oil.
The deal follows Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's first tour of Africa tour earlier this month since assuming his position a little over a year ago, a trip seen as seeking to nurture a booming economic relationship.
According to official Chinese data, since 2009, China has been Africa's largest trading partner for five consecutive years and an important source for new investments on the continent.
Li, in a speech to the African Union in Ethiopia, praised the continent's growing economic power, and vowed to double trade to $400 billion (290 billion euros) by 2020.

USA charter Energy Extraction companies compete against China's Energy Enterprise

"Asian taking on more African crude as U.S. production grows"
2014-05-22 by Daniel J. Graeber for "UPI" newswire []:
U.S. crude oil imports from African producers are declining because of domestic production and China is taking up the slack, the Energy Department said.
The rapid increase in the amount of crude oil produced in the United States is squeezing African producers out of the market.
The Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said crude oil imports in general for the week ending May 16 were 6.4 million barrels per day, down nearly 10 percent from the previous report.
In its weekly report, published Wednesday, EIA said African crude oil exports to the United States were declining.
"African crude that until recently flowed to the United States has been diverted to serve European markets that have historically been served by Libya and to supply increased demand in Asian markets where, despite Libyan disruptions, deliveries of African crude have increased
Libyan security woes have curtailed its production capacity. EIA said other African producers have compensated for the loss of Libyan crude and oil exports to Europe have fallen only modestly since 2010.
For Asia, African crude oil exports are 400,000 barrels per day higher than they were in 2010 and it's China that's taking on most of the oil.
"China imported more than 1.2 million bpd of crude oil from Africa during the first four months of 2014, 22 percent of total African crude oil exports, and is now the world´s largest importer of African crude oil," EIA said.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

UKGB and USA create IT base for War Operations across Africa

"Washington spends £200m creating intelligence hub in Britain; RAF Croughton, near Milton Keynes, is to have 1,250 staff and will cover US operations in Africa"
2014-05-18 from "The Independent" daily newspaper of London, England []:
Washington is to spend almost £200m to turn one of its British military bases – already implicated in mass surveillance and drone strikes – into one of its largest intelligence hubs outside the mainland United States.
RAF Croughton, a US Air Force (USAF) base near Milton Keynes, which has a direct cable link to Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham, is to be the site for an ultra-secure intelligence centre staffed by up to 1,250 personnel and covering operations in Africa, a current focus for US counterterrorism activities.
The $317m (£189m) project, which includes an installation for the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon's main military espionage service, underlines RAF Croughton's position as a centre for clandestine and classified US communications in Britain.
Once complete in 2017, the facility will be comparable in number of personnel and operational importance to RAF Menwith Hill, the National Security Agency (NSA) listening station in North Yorkshire. Like Menwith Hill, it is likely to be co-staffed with representatives of British intelligence, including GCHQ.
The Independent, the sister title of The Independent on Sunday, revealed last year that RAF Croughton was used to funnel back to Washington data from a global network of spy bases inside US embassies, including the secret Berlin facility alleged to have been used by the NSA to listen in on the mobile phone of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
The British base, which currently serves as a relay station for CIA agent communications, is also at the centre of claims that it is used as a support site for US drone strikes operated from Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti against al-Qa'ida targets inside Yemen.
Campaigners and senior politicians yesterday said the massive investment in RAF Croughton raised fresh questions about the oversight of US bases in Britain, which are governed by a 1950s agreement with Washington drawn up in a different age of surveillance technologies.
Labour MP Tom Watson, a former defence minister, said: "The new spend of $317m on facilities at RAF Croughton is a shocking revelation. There can be no doubt now that communications activities there must be thoroughly reviewed, and arrangements governing use of the base updated."
Details of the RAF Croughton project obtained by this newspaper show that the upgrade will involve the "consolidation" of six existing US intelligence groups, currently based at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire, into a single facility at RAF Croughton.
The Pentagon said the project was required to move intelligence staff out of outmoded and unsuitable accommodation at Molesworth, saving at least $75m a year. The move will lead to "divestiture", or closure, of the Cambridgeshire base and its neighbour RAF Alconbury, which are estimated to contribute £40m a year to the local economy.
The result will be a substantial further concentration of US intelligence firepower at RAF Croughton, whose stated purpose is to provide "world-class combat support" for activities including "global strike operations" and has recently had its security arrangements tightened.
A USAF briefing document makes it clear that the facility at RAF Croughton will be at the front line of intelligence activities and will include personnel from unnamed British agencies. The facility will be the principle intelligence centre for the USafricom – or Africa command.
It emerged last year that British Telecom provided a high-speed fibre-optic line between RAF Croughton and Camp Lemonnier, the counterterrorism operations base used for drone strikes in Yemen and the Horn of Africa.
The existence of the communications link has caused concern that RAF Croughton is used to relay command and control data from drone operators, possibly based in the US, to Djibouti. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has stated that US personnel at the base "neither fly nor control any manned or remotely piloted aircraft anywhere in the world".
Lindis Percy, co-ordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Airbases, said: "This massive new development at Croughton is clearly of great importance to the American military and government, but what say has the British Parliament or the Ministry of Defence had? It is high time that the issue of what goes on on US bases is debated in Parliament so there is a meaningful and credible debate and oversight on behalf of the British people."
The MoD yesterday insisted that all activities on US bases were subject to British approval. A spokesman said: "There are no circumstances under which UK military assets, including those bases made available to the US, could be used operationally by the US without the agreement of Her Majesty's Government."

Friday, May 16, 2014

AFRICOM's mission, update 2014-05

"Militarised Humanitarianism in Africa"
2014-05-16 by Joeva Rock []:
An AFRICOM beach assault training exercise in Toubakouta, Senegal. (Credit: Lance Corporal Timothy Solano/public domain)

WASHINGTON, May 16 2014 (IPS) - As the world remains transfixed by the kidnapping of almost 300 Nigerian girls, there have been increasing calls for international intervention in the effort to rescue them. But what many people don’t know is that the U.S. military has been active in the region for years.
With the Iraq War over and the war in Afghanistan slowly ending, it is becoming increasingly apparent – from interviews with generals [], recommendations from influential think tanks [], and private conversations with military personnel – that Africa is the U.S. military’s next frontier.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the newest of the U.S. military’s six regional commands, has rapidly expanded its presence on the African continent since its establishment at the end of the Bush administration.
Emphasising a “3D” approach of “defence, diplomacy, and development” [], the White House describes AFRICOM’s charge as coordinating “low-cost, small-footprint operations” throughout the African continent [].
Yet despite efforts to market AFRICOM as a small operation, recent reports have revealed that the command is “averaging more than a mission a day” on the continent [], and has anywhere from “5,000 to 8,000 U.S. military personnel on the ground” at any given point [].
Rather than the “shock and awe” of Iraq, the military has attempted to put a friendly face on its expedition to Africa. This past March, writing in the New York Times, Eric Schmitt marveled at AFRICOM’s Operation Flintlock, a multinational and multiagency training operation in Niger.
Schmitt wrote glowingly about fighting terrorism with mosquito nets: “Instead of launching American airstrikes or commando raids on militants,” he wrote, “the latest joint mission between the nations involves something else entirely: American boxes of donated vitamins, prenatal medicines, and mosquito netting to combat malaria.”
Humanitarian and development missions like the ones outlined in Schmitt’s article are at the forefront of AFRICOM’s public relations campaign. But promoting AFRICOM as a humanitarian outfit is misleading at best.
To put it simply, these projects are more like a Trojan Horse: dressed up as gifts, they establish points of entry on the continent when and where they may be needed.

A staging ground -
Under the auspice of development and conflict prevention, AFRICOM regularly undertakes humanitarian projects in countries unmarked by permanent war or conflict. AFRICOM relies heavily on social media to showcase these projects and to portray itself as collaborative with African partners, dedicated to humanitarian aid, and trustworthy in the eyes of local peoples.
The command’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are updated daily, and include postings on anything from participation in global humanitarian campaigns such as World Malaria Day (#malariabuzz) to reports on medical missions, sound bites from local recipients of AFRICOM aid, and photos of troops distributing toys to children.
Less is said about the expansive presence of American military personnel and technology on the ground and in the skies. AFRICOM conducts aerial and ground operations with U.S. troops, private military contractors, and proxy African military operatives trained and equipped by the United States.
Operation Flintlock is just one of the many training exercises AFRICOM provides for country partners, and Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti is a well-known staging ground for drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia.
Not surprisingly, given the ongoing U.S. interest in securing new fuel sources and growing concerns over China’s influence in the region, many of AFRICOM’s efforts are located in oil-rich regions – specifically Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and the Gulf of Guinea.
The Gulf of Guinea, which hugs the Western coast of Africa, has received heightened interest of late given its proximity to the Sahel and Mali, an alleged increase in pirating, and notably, both on- and off-shore oil deposits.
In Takoradi, Ghana, for example – a place affectionately nicknamed “Oil City” -AFRICOM trains Ghanaian troops, conducts humanitarian missions, and meets with local chiefs, NGOs, and fishing communities [].

Of course, wary of lingering skepticism about U.S. motives in Iraq, spokesmen have attempted to distance the United States from any interest in the region’s oil.
A recent report from the Army War College dismissed claims that AFRICOM is protecting U.S. oil interests [], but nonetheless argued that private American oil companies are the “best corporate citizens that African leaders and their publics could hope for.”
One need not look far – from the polluted waters of Nigeria’s Niger Delta to Equatorial Guinea’s inequitable oil-driven development – to see how egregiously false that claim is.

A sign of what’s to come -
AFRICOM is insistent that its end-goal is to empower local forces to find African solutions to African problems []. But its daily operations and talk of “sensitising” West African nations to the idea of a permanent Marines “crisis unit” in the region make clear that a more permanent U.S. presence on the continent is its true intention [].
Humanitarian projects allow military personnel to train in new environments, gather local experience and tactical data, and build diplomatic relations with host countries and communities.
As activists with Women for Genuine Security have explained, this use of relief and humanitarian aid to “further larger geopolitical and military goals” [] – a practice they have dubbed “disaster militarism” – is a general strategy employed by the U.S. military worldwide.
For example, a 2010 report from the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University [] found that in Kenya, humanitarian projects by the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, a multi-branch military operation in East Africa [], provided “an entry point” to “facilitate a military intervention, should the need arise.”
Similarly, as David Vine has shown with regard to the U.S. military’s “lily pad strategy” of speckling the globe with tiny military installations [] – much like AFRICOM’s “small-footprint operations” – small-scale troop build-ups allow the United States to establish “goodwill” with local communities, planting the seeds for larger concentrations of troops and activities later on.
Accordingly, while humanitarian missions may incur small-scale benefits, these projects ought to be carefully monitored and scrutinised.
As Women for Genuine Security put it, “co-mingling humanitarian relief and military operations” contributes to “civilian confusion, public distrust, and questions of transparency and accountability” [].
We should approach AFRICOM’s humanitarian undertakings not as gestures of goodwill or conflict-deterrence, but rather as signs of what’s to come for the militarised U.S. approach to foreign policy in Africa.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kenya petroleum deposit discovered by UKGB charter petroleum company

" 'Thick extensive' layer of oil in shale encountered in Kenya"
2014-05-15 by Daniel J. Graeber for "UPI" newswire []:
British energy explorer Tullow Oil said Thursday it was reviewing options at its oil basins in Kenya after encountering extensive reserves in shale.
Tullow said Thursday it ran into a 200-foot column of oil while drilling into its Twiga-2 appraisal well. At least 16 feet of oil was encountered during drilling operations at the company's Ekunyuk-1 well in northern Kenya.
"The presence of a thick extensive oil shale gives us new options to study the basin's substantial unconventional oil potential," Tullow's Exploration Director Angus McCoss said in a statement.
In March, the company said some of its oil reserve areas in Kenya were poorly developed, though it remained upbeat about their potential.
Its partners at Africa Oil Corp. said testing last year from the reserves areas in blocks 10BB and 13T in northern Kenya yielded a flow rate of about 5,000 barrels of oil per day.
In a separate statement Wednesday, Africa Oil Chief Executive Officer Keith Hill said his company was "very bullish" about its opportunities in Kenya.
"Our goal is to open up at least one new basin and to move a significant number of barrels from prospective to contingent resources by the end of 2014 as we move the field development program forward," he said.

Swaziland and AFRICOM

"Swaziland, Malawi Partner with AFRICOM to improve military health care systems"
2013-06-21 by Technical Sergeant Olufemi Owolabi for U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs []:
Swaziland and Malawi are moving closer to better health systems, and they’re doing it by partnering with U.S. Africa Command.   After each country asked for support, a U.S. Africa Command health care specialist made the trip for an opportunity to observe, learn and assess each country’s systems and structures.
Air Force Captain Uzoamaka Odimegwu Mbakwem was joined by specialists in military health care from U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) and the U.S. Department of Military and Emergency Medicine Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. They traveled to the continent to conduct doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facility (DOTMLPF) assessment visits in Swaziland and Malawi.
DOTMLPF is a concept used to look at a country’s system or structure to identify strengths and gaps in order to build a strategic plan for the country, according to Odimegwu Mbakwem, an International Health Specialist with AFRICOM’s Medical J47.
“With the information we gathered from this initial visit, we were able to understand the strengths and gaps in their health systems, which will help us emphasize on their strengths and build the roadmap that will help bridge the gaps,” said Odimegwu Mbakwem.  “This information matched with their goals will aid us to build and propose a strategic path for them.”
The DOTMLPF visit in Swaziland took place from June 1-7 followed by Malawi from June 10-14, 2013.
The request for the Swaziland’s visit was a collaborative effort between the country’s defense force and U.S. Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) personnel.
During the visit, the U.S. team met with Swaziland’s top officials, Lieutenant General Sobantu Dlamini, Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force Commander, and Principal Secretary Andrias Mlumgisi Mathabelm from the Ministry of National Defense and Security, who briefed them on the country’s military medical operations, strengths and challenges.
While the visit to Swaziland was intended to promote the country’s initiative to stand up its medical corps, the visit to Malawi was aimed at helping improve the Malawi Defense Force’s (MDF) existing capabilities.
While in Malawi, after meeting with the top U.S. official and interagency partners in the country, the team also talked to officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs.
“The overall goal was for AFRICOM/USARAF to gain an understanding of how the Malawi Military Health System works within the Malawi Defense Force and their relationship with the referral hospital under the Ministry of Health,” said Major Ronald Aquino with USARAF Medical Logistics, Plans and Operations.
In order to gain first-hand knowledge about the strengths and gaps in the country’s existing medical corps, they visited Malawi Military Health Services (MMHS) Hospital on Kamuzu Barracks and a civilian medical establishment, Kamuzu Central Clinic.
“We assessed their capabilities,” said Odimegwu Mbakwem.  “We looked at their equipment and the logistical aspects of their day-to-day mission.  We also looked to see if there were any limitations.  This assessment helps paint a picture about how to better assist them in reaching their day-to-day goals.”
The visit is also particularly important for Malawi to build its capabilities before Exercise Southern Accord, slated for 2014 in Malawi.
Some of the gaps common to the countries were in areas of written doctrines, infrastructures, equipment and adequately trained technicians.
“The visit went very well,” Aquino said.  “The organization is very professional and the officers and soldiers we spoke to were very forthcoming with information.  I certainly learned a lot about how medical works for the MDF - a worthwhile experience for me.  This was the first visit that I believe we've conducted and the information gathered will definitely help AFRICOM build a better strategic objective for years to come.”
Apart from the African militaries professionalism, the U.S. visitors were also impressed by their African partners’ enthusiasm and ability to improvise.
“Their ability to do so much more with so much less is a very positive strength,” said Odimegwu Mbakwem.
“Not only was it impressive, it was very motivating for me,” she added.
“It reassures the point that it is not always about what you have, but how you take care of what you have,” she said. “When you make the best out of what you have, the sky is the limit.”
This visit sets the tone for other engagements with Malawi and Swaziland, said Odimegwu Mbakwem, who described it as a successful beginning of long-term relationships and partnerships in military health care.
“This is the beginning,” Odimegwu Mbakwem said.  “This is a start of a continuous engagement with our African partners.  It is the start of so many things that will support our African partners build on their capabilities and develop solutions to their challenges. ”

"Government of Swaziland Would not Qualify for Duty Free Trade with the United States"
2014-05-15 []:
Swaziland has failed to meet a deadline to fulfil regulations allowing it duty free trade with the US, causing the country to be excluded from a lucrative programme, an ambassador said Thursday.
The US ambassador to Swaziland, Malika James, said the impoverished kingdom “had failed to retain its AGOA status and to meet today’s deadline” as the country did not assess all the benchmarks of the programme, including respect for human rights.
James said the US had been reviewing Swaziland’s participation in relation to the fundamentals of freedom of speech and suppression of terrorism act.
Members states of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) are expected to improve the rule of law, human rights, and labour regulations. The pact allows countries in sub-Saharan Africa preferential access to the US market.
Makila said Swaziland had only focused only on industrial relations and overlooked the principles of freedom of speech.
The small kingdom ruled by King Mswati III currently is allowed duty free trade with the US, which is used mainly for textile exports. However this arrangement will now lapse in January 2015.
The textile industry provides employment to 17,300 people in Swaziland. Government spokesperson, Percy Simelane insisted Swaziland was doing everything possible to retain its AGOA status. Swaziland has a poor rights record, where pro-democracy activists are often detained and charged with terrorism.
Political parties have been banned in the country since 1973.

"King of impoverished Swaziland increases household budget to $61m; Mswati III's budget, which is not debated by parliament, includes provisions for mother's upkeep and construction work on palaces"
2014-05-14 from "Agence France-Presse" []:
Swaziland's King Mswati III has increased his annual household budget for 2014 by more than 10% to $61m as a large public wage bill continues to put pressure on the impoverished country.
The budget of the king, whose personal fortune is estimated at about $200m, makes provisions for his salary, his mother's upkeep and royal aides.
It also includes provisions for construction work on palaces that will cost the taxpayer about $12.6m.
The royal budget is not debated in parliament, as discussions would be seen as challenging Africa's last absolute monarch.
Mswati, who rules Swaziland with an iron fist, has resisted democratic reforms. His extravagant lifestyle amid vast poverty has been criticised by pro-democracy activists.
The small kingdom is one of the poorest nations in southern Africa, with more than 60% of the 1.2 million population living on less than $1 a day.
In the budget the social grant for the elderly remained unchanged at about $19 a month.
A 2013 report by the Central Bank of Swaziland revealed that the country's GDP growth had declined from 0.7% in 2011 to 0.2% in 2012.
In a recent report, the IMF criticised the Swaziland government's high public wage bill of $34m a month.
"The country needs to look into aspects of reducing its high cost on the government's wage bill which may affect the current economic status," said the IMF head of delegation, Jiro Honda, at the end of its mission this week.
The country's economy is propped up by revenue collection from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), which makes up more than half of the budget.