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Washington – President Barack Obama on Monday once again said that the war on Al Qaeda and its extremist allies continues to be not only a military one but also a battle of ideas. Al Qaeda “is probably the biggest killer of innocent Muslims of any entity out there, and so that is our target, and that is our focus,” he said during a White House interview with Steve Grove, the news and politics editor of YouTube. The President had been asked about his policies in the war on terror. Al Qaeda must be found on all fronts, Obama said. “We have to fight them in very concrete ways in Afghanistan and along the border regions of Pakistan, where they are still holed up,” he said. “They have spread to places like Yemen and Somalia, and we are working internationally with partners to try limit their scope of operations and dismantle them in those regions.” But the United States also must battle them with ideas, the President said.
President Mwai Kibaki, who is in Addis Ababa for the 14th AU Summit, Monday joined other Heads of State of the great lakes region for a Special Extra-Ordinary Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). During the meeting chaired by the current ICGLR chairman, President Rupia Banda of Zambia , former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria briefed the Heads of State on the current situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The two formers Heads of State are the facilitators of the peace initiative in the great lakes region under the International Conference of the Great Lakes Framework. In briefing the Extra-Ordinary Summit, the two facilitators noted that the current situation in Congo has improved remarkably since the signing of the 2009 Peace Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Congo and the Congress National Du Peuple. Noting that the amnesty law extended to ex-rebels was still in force, the two facilitators informed the Summit that fighting had ceased and substantial progress has been made in incorporating ex-rebels into the Government. The two facilitators further noted that the Peace Agreement and the incorporation of rebels into the Government have improved the security and humanitarian situation in Eastern DRC . The Extra-Ordinary Summit was also briefed on the joint operations between Rwanda and the DRC as well as Uganda, Sudan and Central Africa Republic. The two peace facilitators noted that the joint military operations have successfully curtailed insurgent activities of the Lords Resistance Army, FDLR and the Interahamwe.
SUDAN: OBAMA WARNS OF MORE PRESSURE ON SUDAN (Khaleejtimes)
Washington – President Barack Obama warned on Monday the United States would increase pressure on Sudan’s government if it did not respond to a US engagement push aimed at securing a peace deal in Darfur. Obama, in a question and answer session broadcast on YouTube and the White House website, said he still hoped the Khartoum government would accept efforts to broker a deal with rebels to end the human tragedy in the region.
See more recent publications on AFRICOM-related news and stories from and about Africa at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/26251039/FEB-2-US-Africa-Command-News-From-and-About-Africa