African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


  • African Press International Daily Online News Channel

  • * * API on Facebook

  • Total Visitors

    • 5,361,352 HITS
  • Flag tracker

    web counter
  • RSS BBC News – Africa

  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • A&E data 'shows fall in violence' April 22, 2014
      Violent crime is continuing to fall in England and Wales, according to a major annual project examining injury data gathered from NHS hospitals.
    • Three children found dead in London April 23, 2014
      One person is arrested after three children are found dead at an address in south London.
    • US threatens more Russia sanctions April 23, 2014
      US Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington will impose further sanctions on Russia if it does not de-escalate tensions in east Ukraine.
    • Breast cancer drug price cut urged April 22, 2014
      Campaigners urge pharmaceutical giant Roche to lower the cost of a pioneering breast cancer drug as the NHS prepares to rejects its use on price grounds.
    • UK non-Christian claims 'absurd' April 23, 2014
      The UK is a Christian country and those who deny it are "deluding themselves" and ignoring "reality", say two senior Conservative MPs.
    • Survivor's regret over ferry students April 23, 2014
      A survivor of the South Korean ferry that capsized last week says he saw students trapped inside the vessel's cafeteria as it capsized.
    • Blair warns West over radical Islam April 23, 2014
      Tony Blair will warn Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.
    • Dancer's death sparks Rio clashes April 23, 2014
      Violent protests break out in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro following the death of a young man allegedly beaten by police.
    • Renewable energy projects approved April 23, 2014
      Eight renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, are given the green light by the government.
    • 'High violence rate' at youth prison April 22, 2014
      A damning report into a young offenders institute finds violence levels too high, inefficient security and drug usage three times above targets.
    • Referendum pleas on St George's Day April 23, 2014
      Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and UK Prime Minister David Cameron use the English feast day of St George to make their Scottish independence referendum appeals.
    • 'Irresponsible' holiday ad banned April 23, 2014
      A television advert for Center Parcs is banned for "irresponsibly" encouraging parents to take holidays during term time.
    • Adams 'gave IRA bomb orders' - claim April 23, 2014
      A former IRA member makes new allegations about Gerry Adams, claiming the Sinn Féin leader ordered him to transport explosives to Great Britain for a bombing campaign in 1980.
    • Spotlight stays on Man Utd - papers April 23, 2014
      The papers continue to focus on Manchester United following the sacking of manager David Moyes, while there is interest in figures suggesting violent crime has fallen and the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.
    • Shakespeare 'a cultural icon' abroad April 23, 2014
      William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon, according to the results of an international survey released to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.
    • Mystery of 'ocean quacks' solved April 23, 2014
      The mystery of a bizarre quacking sound often heard in the Southern Ocean has finally been solved, scientists report.
    • Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea April 22, 2014
      Chelsea hold Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in Spain to leave their two-legged Champions League semi-final evenly poised.
    • Cech & Terry out for league run-in April 22, 2014
      Chelsea captain John Terry and goalkeeper Petr Cech will miss the rest of the domestic season with injuries suffered in Madrid.
    • Higgins suffers shock loss to McManus April 22, 2014
      Four-time champion John Higgins is out of the World Snooker Championship after a 10-7 first-round defeat by Alan McManus.
    • Man Utd begin hunt but Giggs not in race April 22, 2014
      Manchester United begin their search for a successor to David Moyes but temporary boss Ryan Giggs is not under consideration to be the next full-time manager.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

    • California GOP hopeful wants free college for science, math students April 23, 2014
      BERKELEY, California (Reuters) - California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari called for free college tuition for students pursuing math and science degrees, part of an education reform plan released Tuesday that would also model public schools after charter schools.
    • California congressman woos Sriracha pepper sauce factory after odor complaints heat up April 23, 2014
      LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman from a Los Angeles community is seeking to lure the factory that makes the bestselling Sriracha-brand hot pepper sauce to his district after residents in its current location complained about the smell.
    • Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China ahead of visit April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington welcomes China's rise but that engagement with Beijing would not come at the expense of its Asian allies - as Chinese state media greeted his imminent arrival in the region with a broadside accusing the United States of wanting to "cage" the emerging superpower.
    • Obama, Abe under pressure to salvage signature Pacific trade pact April 23, 2014
      TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman arrived in Japan earlier than expected on Wednesday, Japanese media said, for a last ditch push for a two-way deal seen as crucial to efforts to create one of the world's biggest trade pacts.
    • New Jersey governor's press aide subpoenaed in 'Bridgegate' probe April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - A New Jersey legislative panel investigating the "Bridgegate" traffic scandal subpoenaed the press spokesman to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and three other officials on Tuesday.
    • Asia tensions simmer as Obama set to arrive in Tokyo April 22, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in a tense Asian region on Wednesday, faced with the delicate task of assuring Japan and other regional allies of America's commitment to their defense without hurting Washington's vital ties with a rising China.
    • U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday further undermined the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a voter-approved Michigan law that banned the practice in decisions on which students to admit to state universities.
    • Colorado lawmakers move to tighten edible marijuana laws April 22, 2014
      DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado lawmakers are moving to tighten laws governing the sale of marijuana-infused edibles, an issue that has gained attention following two deaths possibly linked to the ingestion of cannabis products, the measures' main sponsor said on Tuesday.
    • Florida Senator holds Miami Beach hearing on rising sea level April 22, 2014
      MIAMI BEACH (Reuters) - Climate change is already impacting south Florida coastal communities, which could see a three-foot rise in sea level by the end of the century, a panel of officials and scientists testified at a Senate hearing on Miami Beach on Tuesday.
    • Georgia joins other U.S. states facing gay marriage lawsuits April 22, 2014
      ATLANTA (Reuters) - A federal lawsuit was filed in Atlanta on Tuesday, challenging the constitutionality of a Georgia law banning same sex marriage, the first such case in the southern U.S. state.
    • Missouri mayor quits after anti-Semitic remarks tied to Kansas killings April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - The mayor of a southwestern Missouri town resigned on Tuesday in the wake of community anger over anti-Semitic comments he made in reference to recent killings at two Jewish community facilities in Kansas.
    • Senator Boozman undergoes heart surgery in Arkansas April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - Senator John Boozman of Arkansas was recovering from heart surgery on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.
    • U.S. official responsible for reforming Medicare is leaving post April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday announced the departure of the top health official responsible for reforming Medicare under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.
    • Supreme Court hears challenge to ban on 'false' campaign speech April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum voiced doubts on Tuesday about a state law that prohibits false statements during a political campaign.
    • IRS's summons power faces test in Supreme Court April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Internal Revenue Service will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to defend the way it enforces its power to issue legal summonses to obtain sensitive documents from taxpayers who refuse to cooperate with audits.
    • Detroit bankruptcy judge taps consultants for city's plan April 22, 2014
      (Reuters) - The federal judge overseeing Detroit's historic bankruptcy case tapped a top restructuring official at Phoenix Management Services on Tuesday to help the court determine if the city's plan to adjust its $18 billion of debt is feasible.
    • UAW suddenly retreats from fight at Tennessee VW plant April 21, 2014
      CHATTANOOGA, Tenn./DETROIT (Reuters) - The United Auto Workers, surprising even its supporters, on Monday abruptly withdrew its legal challenge to a union organizing vote that it lost at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in February.
    • Court orders U.S. to release memo on drones, al-Awlaki killing April 21, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government's targeted killing of people linked to terrorism, including Americans.
    • U.S. court signals narrow bondholders win in Argentina subpoena case April 21, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday indicated that creditors should be able to seek limited information about Argentina's non-U.S. assets in a case about bank subpoenas in decade-long litigation over Argentina's obligations to bond investors.
    • Supreme Court refuses to hear Florida appeal over worker drug testing April 21, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review an executive order issued by Florida Governor Rick Scott that had required all state employees take random drug tests.
  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Is this the new Oprah? April 18, 2014
      Meet Mo Abudu: 'Africa's Oprah Winfrey.' The glamorous 49-year-old is conquering the continent one media empire at a time.
    • How to live healthy with gorillas April 22, 2014
      Veterinarian Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka on creating an environment where gorillas and the people who live near them, can coexist safely.
    • Ancient tribe living in the past April 18, 2014
      The Hadza are one of the oldest people on earth. Today, they battle for land, and continued survival.
    • Web dismantles stereotypes April 21, 2014
      The new Web series "An African City" is fun, trendy and over the top.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
    • Ebola: A swift and bloody killer April 16, 2014
      It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.
    • 'I lost my fingers, made new ones' April 14, 2014
      A South African carpenter lost his fingers in an accident -- now he's making mechanical fingers and hands for others.
  • Country Stats

    free counters

Ugandan AMISOM battle group 8 soldiers about to deploy to Mogadishu

Posted by African Press International on May 11, 2012

Ugandan AMISOM battle group 8 soldiers about to deploy to Mogadishu

JOHANNESBURG,  – Africa’s crises are both honing and stalling the formation of the African Standby Force (ASF) of the African Union (AU) – a quick reaction force that could eventually number about 30,000 troops to be deployed in a range of scenarios, from peacekeeping to direct military intervention.

Originally intended to become operational in 2010, the deadline for the ASF has been reset for 2015; but despite the delay, the ASF is becoming increasingly woven into the operating procedures of current AU security operations.

The ASF “is very much a work in progress”, African Union Commissioner of Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra told IRIN, but “at the political level there is a strong support for it under the guiding principle of bringing about African solutions to African problems.”

Once up and running, the ASF will be based on five regional blocs each supplying about 5,000 troops: the Southern African Development Community (SADC) force (SADCBRIG), the Eastern Africa Standby force (EASBRIG), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) force (ECOBRIG), the North African Regional Capability (NARC), and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) force (ECCASBRIG), also known as the Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC).

The regional forces are not a standing army like national forces. As the AU Peace and Security Council protocol of the ASF stipulates, they “shall be composed of standby multidisciplinary contingents with civilian and military components in their countries of origin and ready for rapid deployment at appropriate notice.”

The ASF is the legacy and logic of the Constitutive Act of the AU adopted in 2000, the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). In a complete break from the OAU, which had advocated non-interference in member states, the Act gave the AU both the right to intervene in a crisis, and an obligation to do so “in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity”.

Lamamra said the ASF “Implies the immediate availability of the instruments [of intervention and prevention] to be translated into concrete deeds… when they relate to some kind of enforcing decisions of the legitimate organs of the African Union, such as cases of unconstitutional changes of government… or armed rebellion, such as the terrorist situation in northern Mali.”

''I believe the learning curve for the standby force is AMISOM. We have to deliver on the lessons learned in the AMISOM process''

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was held up as an example of what the ASF could be. “I believe the learning curve for the standby force is AMISOM. We have to deliver on the lessons learned in the AMISOM process – five years of effective presence on the ground under quite challenging circumstances,” Lamamra said.

“The lesson of AMISOM is that Africans should be ready to make sacrifices, and Uganda has wonderfully shown that they are ready to make sacrifices for the common good of Africa.” Uganda has supplied most of the AU troops supporting the Somali government against jihadist rebels.

The AU has deployed 14 staff officers to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, “in the first ever deployment of ASF elements,” El Gassim Wane, AU Commission director of peace and security, told IRIN.

A field exercise – Amani II, following the Amani I mapping exercise in 2010 – is being planned for 2014 and three of the five brigades are expected to take participate.

Article 4 (h)

Lamamra was confident that by 2015 all of the ASF’s regional brigades – with the probable exception of NARC, owing to the disruptions of the Arab Spring – would be operational and able to fulfil all the criteria of AU’s Article 4 (h), which influenced the international development of the UN Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine.

There are six scenarios in Article 4 (h). The lowest rung is the attachment of a regional military advisor to a political mission; then an AU regional observer deployed within a UN mission; followed by a stand-alone AU regional observer mission; and deployment of a regional peacekeeping force under the auspices of a Chapter VI mandate, all within a timeframe of 30 days or less. Scenario five is a multidimensional AU peacekeeping force deployed within 90 days, and scenario six relates to “grave circumstances”, such as genocide, and deployment within 14 days.

Lamamra said the timeline of 14 days for level-six intervention should be reassessed to about seven days. “For instance, resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council was adopted on 17 March and the actual military operation started on 19th March – 14 days would have been too much in terms of protecting civilians.”

In a 2010 paper, The Role and Place of the African Standby Force within the African Peace and Security Architecture, Solomon Dersso, a senior researcher at the Addis Ababa office of the Institute for Security Studies, a Pretoria-based think-tank, notes that “Article 4 (h) not only creates the legal basis for intervention but also imposes an obligation on the AU to intervene to prevent or stop the perpetration of such heinous international crimes anywhere on the continent.”

However, implementation of R2P rests with the Security Council, while the imposition of Article 4 (h) resides with the AU and does not require the Security Council’s blessing.

Scenario six of Article 4 (h) has yet to be used by the AU and Dersso told IRIN he “sincerely doubted” the article would be invoked in the short term against member states, as “it would deprive the AU of any leverage it has over a target government,” and the AU has already “shied away” from implementing the article in Darfur.

He expected the ASF to be close to being able to comply with Article 4 (h) level-five scenarios by 2015, but the development of regional forces was proceeding at different paces.

The two-speed progress of the regional brigades – in which ECOWAS and SADC are recognised as the furthest along the path – is not just a consequence of the two regional blocs housing the continent’s economic power houses of Nigeria and South Africa, AU Commission director of peace and security El Gassim Wane told IRIN.

''Intrinsically, in most of these situations what is needed is a political response, and there is a temptation that if you have a standby force to use it because you have a military capacity''

“ECOWAS and SADC have made tremendous progress, EAS Brigade too, while NARC in the north was lagging behind, but then started speeding up, but the Libyan crisis meant progress had to stop,” he said.

“Money may play a role, but money alone cannot explain that. ECOWAS and SADC focused early on conflict and security issues, so had a competitive advantage in the very beginning. Experience, length of involvement in peace and security issues, have certainly played a key role,” Wane said.

Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation, told IRIN the availability of a standby force could cloud judgment.

“Intrinsically, in most of these situations what is needed is a political response, and there is a temptation that if you have a standby force to use it because you have a military capacity… And my concern over something like Mali would be that the military option runs the danger of getting the AU into a Somalia-type situation, where the use of military force five or six years ago by the US and Ethiopia very seriously rebounded. But having said that – yes, in a situation where there is a need for some sort of peacekeeping deployment in the context of a political initiative, it makes sense.”

Alternatives to the ASF?

Analysts have questioned whether 30,000 troops would be sufficient to deal with the continent’s crises, and 2012 has illustrated that such concerns are valid. A range of crises this year erupted within the space of a few weeks, from the uneasy relationship between South Sudan and Sudan deteriorating into border skirmishing, to coup d’etats in Mali and Guinea-Bissau.

Wane said the establishment of the ASF did not necessarily mean it would be the only security option at the AU’s disposal, and the four-country operation against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, (LRA) a rebel movement that started in northern Uganda, could be considered as a useful model for the future.

“It’s not an ASF operation per se, as ASF has its own processes, and it was not really conceived as an ASF operation – it was conceived as an ad hoc, very flexible arrangement to enhance effectiveness to deal with the LRA once and for all. It’s a very flexible and creative way of dealing with a specific security issue… Who knows? We may replicate it elsewhere, where there is a security problem,” he said.

The force ranged against the LRA - comprising soldiers from the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan and Uganda – has fought against the LRA in past, but is set apart, as it operates under the aegis of the AU.

Abou Moussa, the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), based in Libreville, Gabon, told IRIN: “The specific nature of this deployment [against the LRA] is termed ‘authorised’ as compared to ‘mandated’.”

“Under authorised deployment, each country provides for the needs and requirements of their respective troops without the AU’s contribution. This is extremely important, as this can be considered as their own contribution towards the determination to put an end to Kony’s actions. It is very costly. However, the AU covers the needs of staff officers – some 30 of them posted to the various coordinating centres.”

The AU task force has three operational centres, located in Dungu, DRC, at Obo in CAR, and Nzara in South Sudan, with its headquarters in Yambio, South Sudan.

“The Regional Coordination Initiative [against the LRA] means more subtle changes in the way the operation is run, with representatives of all four countries involved in the command structure in Yambio,” which sidesteps the politically sensitive issue of the DRC’s refusal to host Ugandan forces on its soil, Ned Dalby, a central Africa analyst for the International Crisis Group, a conflict resolution NGO, told IRIN.

In July 2005, the International Criminal Court indicted Kony and four of his commanders, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen, Raska Lukwiya and Vincent Otti, for a variety of crimes against humanity and war crimes. Lukwiya and Otti have subsequently been killed, but the arrest warrants for the remaining three remain outstanding. The LRA has not been active in Uganda since 2006.

go/he
source www.irinnews.org

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,231 other followers

%d bloggers like this: