Media Review for June 29, 2011

By Africa Center Media Review
Updated: 06/29/2011

Please note: The following news items are presented here for informational purposes. The views expressed within them are those of the authors and/or individuals quoted, not those of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, the National Defense University, or the Department of Defense.

Today’s News

Uganda and Burundi to get US drones to fight Islamists
The US is supplying drone aircrafts to Uganda and Burundi to help them fight Islamist militants in Somalia, its defence officials have told the BBC. The four drones will be part of a $45m (£28m) military aid package aid to the two countries. Uganda and Burundi contribute the 9,000 troops to an African peace force in Somalia battling Islamists that control much of the country. BBC

US offers Shs120b to Amisom
The US is offering spy drones among a huge military consignment to AMISOM to help bolster its capability to decimate the al- Shabaab.[...]News of the military aid comes six weeks after Gen. Carter Ham, the new commander of US Africa Command (AFRICOM), visited Uganda and held talks with President Museveni at his home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District, on May 10 about Somalia’s hazardous situation. Daily Monitor

Time ripe for the EAC to step up in Somalia
The US military is overstretched but it should seize the fall of Fazul to enhance support for a regional innitiative.[...]for reasons linked to American domestic politics and its overstretched military resources, the US is unlikely to step up its direct involvement in Somalia. Instead, as I observed last week in Djibouti, the American Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) is using what it calls an “indirect 3D” approach to deal with the security crises in the region, of which Somalia is the worst. East African

Patrols reduce piracy, battle far from over: UK navy
Efforts to combat piracy off the Somali coast have reduced the number of successful attacks on merchant ships, though the battle is far from over, a senior British navy officer said on Tuesday. Somali pirates are making millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing ships in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, despite efforts of foreign navies to clamp down on such attacks. Times Live

Opinion: Despite heavy security, Somali piracy is at all-time high
It has been a record year for pirate hijackings off the coast of Somalia, with nearly 100 recorded in the first quarter of 2011 and average ransom payments of more than $5 million. Despite pouring an estimated $1.3 to $2 billion annually into an enormously complex naval counter-piracy operation, pirate attacks are at an all-time high. The Indian Ocean is plagued with piracy as far as the Seychelles Islands. That’s because we apply superficial fixes without ever addressing the root causes: Somalia’s chronic insecurity and state collapse. Globalpost

Somalia: What is it like to be kidnapped?
The growing menace of hijacking and kidnapping by Somali pirates has governments around the world desperate for a solution, with British MPs again discussing the issue. But the fate of the hostages and of Somalia itself is getting grimmer, writes foreign correspondent and kidnap victim Colin Freeman. BBC

African Economies Would Fail Without Women
Hillary Clinton’s speech was met with silence from the male-dominated envoys at the African Union as she criticized the continents aging autocrats. The mood changed when the U.S. Secretary of State turned her attention to women. “The women of Africa are the hardest working women in the world,” said Clinton, addressing the 53-nation body in Addis Ababa on June 13. Interrupted by loud cheers from the visitors’ area in the upper gallery in the back of the hall, she exclaimed: “If all the women in Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, decided they would stop working for a week, the economies of Africa would collapse.” Bloomberg

Soldiers Take First Step in Combating Mozambique’s Landmines
Thirty-eight Mozambican soldiers successfully completed a three-week de-mining training course in Maputo taught by five U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technicians from EOD Mobile Unit Eight, June 24, 2011. The course, a partnership between U.S. Africa Command and the Mozambique military, laid the groundwork for Mozambique soldiers to be able to locate and destroy landmines and other unexploded munitions. Africom

Liberia: U.S. Vows Sustained Support
The Obama Administration has not turned back from its pledge to help underwrite Liberia’s recovery. However, with the administration’s plan to cut back on foreign aid, in the wake of Liberia’s crawling recovery, many had feared that the nation was in for a long haul to recovery. The Liberian government, which had probably shared this fear, has now got the promise it wanted, thanks to President Sirleaf’s outreach. allAfrica

Nigeria: Who Is Missing From Jonathan’s Cabinet List?
Names of Alhaji Yusuf Abubakar, (Kaduna); Mrs. Martina Odom, (Cross River); Dr. Jonah Madugu (Plateau); and Mrs. Omobola Johnson Olubusola, (Ondo); originally short-listed by the Presidency for appointment as ministers, were missing in the 34-man list of ministerial nominees President Goodluck Jonathan submitted to the Senate Tuesday. Two states – Benue and Ogun – presented two representatives each. This Day

Battle breaks out in Tahrir Square, once again
Clashes between protesters and security forces engulfed Cairo once again on Tuesday night, as the fiercest street battles since the fall of Hosni Mubarak left dozens injured. Fighting began after dark, following earlier protests by relatives of those killed during this spring’s uprising. Tha Guardian

China bolsters economic ties with Sudan
The presidents of China and Sudan have cemented economic ties between their countries during a state visit by Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese leader, to Beijing. Bashir was greeted by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People and given an honour guard reception on Wednesday, a day after his delayed arrival in the Chinese capital. Aljazeera

Fate of 7,000 missing Sudanese still unknown
The United Nations says it is concerned about the fate of 7,000 Sudanese civilians, more than a week after they were forced by north Sudan authorities to leave the protection of a U.N. compound in the tense border region with the south. msnbc

ICC Opens War Crimes Investigation in Ivory Coast
The International Criminal Court is in Ivory Coast to investigate war crimes committed during the political crisis between the former government and the winner of last year’s vote. President Alassane Ouattara’s government signed an agreement with the criminal court allowing it to formally open an investigation into crimes committed during the political violence that followed then-president Laurent Gbagbo refusing to allow Mr. Ouattara to take power. VOA

Senate panel OKs Libya resolution
A key Senate panel on Tuesday waded into the fight over President Barack Obama’s use of military force in Libya, overwhelmingly approving a resolution authorizing the mission just days after the House rejected a similar measure. Politico

Libya rebels seize Kadafi arms depot
Nothing but a flimsy barbed wire fence surrounds a massive arsenal of ammunition and weapons stockpiled here in the desert by Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi. No further fortifications were necessary. Until it was seized and pillaged by rebels Tuesday, local people were too terrified of Kadafi’s wrath to come anywhere near it. LA Times

US Charges Madagascar Doing Little to Stop Forced Labor
A U.S. report on human trafficking has placed Madagascar in the lowest category and claims the country’s de facto government has done nothing to crack down on the practice of sending thousands of women to the Middle East, where the majority of them encounter forced labor and abuse. The new report reduces prospects of the U.S. resuming non-humanitarian aid to the island nation, to which it suspended aid in 2009 following a coup. VOA

Senegal president’s son must resign
Activists in the West African nation of Senegal are vowing to keep up their protests unless the president’s son resigns from his government position. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has been in power for more than a decade, and critics fear he is trying to pave the way for his son Karim to succeed him. Times Live

UN extends 19,000-strong Congo force
The Security Council has extended the mandate of the 19,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo for a year, saying any force reduction should depend on ending violence in the volatile east and improving the ability of the Congolese to protect civilians. Stars and Stripes

Morocco seeks Sentinel radar
Morocco is requesting a U.S. Foreign Military Sale of eight AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel Radars and associated equipment. The U.S. Security Cooperation Agency, in its notification to Congress, said the estimated value of the sale would be $67 million. [...]The government of Morocco is modernizing its armed forces and expanding its air defense architecture to counter threats posed by air attack. UPI

Lightning kills 18 children in Uganda
A lightning strike at a primary school in western Uganda killed 18 students and injured 50, Ugandan police said on Wednesday. Lightning on Tuesday hit Runyanya primary school in Kiryandongo district, about 225 kilometres northwest of Kampala, killing 15 girls and three boys, police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba told AFP. News 24

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