Posts Tagged 'APS'

US AFRICOM-related news stories (From the Beltway/From and About Africa)

Recent publications on Uganda, Nigeria, Tunisia, Tanzania, Niger, Sudan, Mozambique, Somalia, Ghana, Rwanda, DR Congo, Kenya, Libya


Top 5 FROM THE BELTWAY

Navy’s Africa partnership sows self-reliance (Stars and Stripes)

NAVAL STATION ROTA, SPAIN — When the USS Gunston Hall arrives in Ghana this week to lead the Africa Partnership Station, it joins a program that has changed dramatically since the U.S. Navy formed the APS nearly three years ago.

APS Gunston Hall Arrives In Ghana (Ghana Government Portal)

ACCRA, GHANA – The Africa Partnership Station (APS) West platform USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), along with an international staff, today arrived in Sekondi in the Western Region for a three-week  in-country phase of APS West.

National Guard Program Boosts Africa Command (DVIDS)

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Guard’s State Partnership Program is a superb tool for Africa Command, the combatant commander told a congressional committee March 9.

Grovelling With Gadhafi (The Wall Street Journal)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – President Obama’s world apology tour is now the stuff of legend, but even his worst critics probably didn’t expect this week’s footnote involving Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.

US accused of trying to destabilize Eritrea (Reuters)

ASMARA, ERITREA – Eritrea has accused the United States of trying to destabilise the Horn of Africa nation and halt its economic growth, local media reported.

For additional relevant articles of interest, go to: http://www.scribd.com/doc/2820499

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TESTIMONY: A Senegalese at the Heart of Distress in Haiti

This blog provides the English translation of an article titled "A Senegalese at the Heart of Distress in Haiti," which features on the work of a Senegalese officer embarked on APS Gunston Hall, currently supporting efforts in Haiti. The author, Aminatou M. DIOP,  was part of a Senegalese journalist delegation who visited U.S. Africa Command headquarters in December. The original article, "TEMOIGNAGE : Un Sénégalais au cœur de la détresse en Haïti,"  can be found at :    http://bit.ly/9TLkrh

January 23, 2010

The USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), which was to deploy to Africa as part of the Africa Partnership Station (APS)—a maritime security cooperation framework between the United States and some African countries—has suspended her missions and is participating in efforts to assist the Haitian people. Our fellow countryman, Lieutenant Assane Sèye, is among its multinational crew (made up of Americans, Europeans, and Africans). Yesterday, he gave an interview over the phone to the Senegalese Press Agency, the RFM, and the Le Quotidien daily. These media outlets came to the embassy of the United States in Dakar after the sailor made sure that his hierarchical superiors were informed of the interview.

The American ship, the USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), is expected in Dakar in April. But last week’s earthquake in Haiti changed the ship’s initial itinerary. The vessel was rerouted to Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, on a humanitarian mission. On January 15, the ship left its military base at Little Creek–Story, in Virginia, to take part in the humanitarian assistance the U.S. Navy is bringing to the Haitian population. A young Senegalese sailor, Lieutenant Assane Sèye is a member of the ship’s crew.  The U.S. embassy in Senegal telephoned Lt. Assane Sèye.  While on board the USS Gunston Hall (it was 11:40 a.m. in Senegal and 6:40 a.m. in Port-au-Prince), Lt. Assane Sèye, spoke about the time he has spent in that country since January 18. “We’re a few nautical miles from the military base. Each morning we leave the ship to go on land and we return at night.”

The military base has thus been transformed into a hospital with all necessary structures for first aid, surgical procedures, and hospitalizations; it is a clinic. In the event of evacuations, “we have a hospital ship that can receive 600 patients who are taken there by U.S. Army helicopters.” In the four days they have been there, “we have had nearly 200 patients transferred to the hospital ship,” says Lt. Sèye, who is impressed by the number of patients admitted each day.

100 Times More Emergency Cases than in the Main [Hospital]

Some patients come on foot or by ambulance belonging to the various local humanitarian organizations and have suffered various traumas, “sometimes with both arms or legs broken. Some of them come because they no longer have any sensation in their limbs or because they were stuck somewhere for days, are completely dehydrated…There are a number of unimaginable wounds.” When we ask about the situation on the ground, Lt. Sèye answers: “Take for example the emergencies at Dakar’s main hospital and multiply by 100, the influx of incoming patients and multiply that by 100, that’s the severity of the problems. It’s something you can’t exactly wrap your mind around, even if I describe it to you.” He insists: “These are things that I personally have never seen. You have to be here to believe it.” A rather difficult case was that of a lady who “gave birth in extremely complicated and difficult conditions…You can’t imagine how happy we were to see mother and baby safe!” stated Lt. Sèye.

Work is also made difficult by the number of patients who come in each minute, just to be treated, to get information because they do not know where to go, or who even want to leave Haiti, he explains. He indicates that upon arrival they have to go through triage and, depending on the case, are referred to specialists. “Those with physical wounds requiring hospitalization or evacuation” are the priority. The most difficult are those with lesser afflictions who have to free their hospital bed since there are also rows of chairs to accommodate some, just to give them time to rest and to receive something to eat and drink. “But, in the evening, these people have to leave because we have to control the hospital.” And managing them is complicated. However, “when they see sick people lying on the ground, they understand that they need to give up the bed. But once outside the clinic or the hospitalization room, a lot of diplomacy is needed to make them leave the base” where grassy areas have been set up where they can lie down, says Lt. Sèye, who is in charge of convincing them. At the end of the day, “I always manage to convince them even if this is not easy since those spaces cannot accommodate big numbers.”

The volunteers are another problem, he continues. “Somebody who loses everything, who leaves his home and walks for kilometers to say, ‘I want to help,’ doesn’t understand when we say that we have enough volunteers. Each morning we see 200 volunteers, but we work with 50 volunteers including professors, doctors, sociologists, etc. But we have limited their number to better channel the work.”

How long will the assistance last? “For now, the system put in place to help the Haitians is working very well. Consequently, the influx is stronger. But whether we will be leaving in a week or two, I don’t know.”

Senegalese Pride

Designated by the Senegalese navy, Lieutenant Assane Sèye joined the team of the Africa Command of the United States (AFRICOM) on board the USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) on January 9, in Virginia, in the United States. The USS Gunston Hall was expected this April in Spain,  West Africa, and Dakar, for drills and operations. But the earthquake in Haiti occurred and the ship was diverted to Port-au-Prince. An unplanned mission that this Senegalese soldier says he experiences “it is difficult to see these people on the ground, suffering, who need to eat, who need water and medical assistance. Whatever your knowledge, whatever the means at your disposal, you are limited when faced with them. You can’t do everything. You treat them and then they have to leave. It’s difficult. Later, they have to eat and we don’t have food and something to drink for everyone. It’s very difficult.” However, there are nice moments within all this chaos stemming from the pleasure of being there and helping the Haitians. “Because I consider them to be my brothers, Africans. So it’s a tremendous pleasure to be here, but it pains me very much to see them in these circumstances. You have to see the city yourself. It’s completely devastated.”

In any event, this young 29-year-old Senegalese is a model of pride—not only for the Senegalese. This is proven by the testimony of the USS Gunston Hall’s (LSD 44) onboard commander, Captain Cynthia Thebaud, who is full of praise for our fellow countryman: “Lt. Sèye carries out invaluable tasks by interacting with the Haitian patients as well as those who accompany them, and by coordinating the team of Haitian volunteers who have come to help us in our mission. He’s proactive, very engaged, and has an amazing disposition. He gives the impression of being everywhere, continuously coordinating, etc.”

Enlisted in the Senegalese Army in 2005, Lt. Sèye and the Africa Partnership Station (APS) are responsible for coordinating instructors, following up on programs, and checking whether the teaching is done properly. During the Haitian mission, he is in charge of managing Haitian volunteers at the hospital set up at the American military base.

The Africa Partnership Station provides a cooperation framework set up by the United States that seeks to establish maritime safety and security in African partner states. It organizes military and civil capacity-building drills involving those units in charge of watching over the maritime territories of the said countries, awareness sessions on the protection of fishery resources, and the sharing of expertise in various maritime areas.

By Aminatou M. DIOP

AFRICOM -related news clips for 26 January 2010

Recent articles on Ethiopia, Tanzania, DR Congo, Kinshasa, Somalia, Kenya, Liberia, Algeria, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Guinea

ETHIOPIA: U.S. NAVY ASSISTS IN SALVAGE OPERATION FOR ETHIOPIAN PLANE (Stars and Stripes)

Naples — The U.S. Navy has sent the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage to help in the salvage and recovery efforts of a commercial airliner that plunged into the waters off the Lebanese coast early Monday morning.

AFRICA: HUNGRY FOR NEW CONTENT, GOOGLE TRIES TO GROW ITS OWN IN AFRICA (The New York Times)

Alas, the cultivators and the grazers seem destined for conflict. The largest online grazer of them all, Google, has repeatedly come upon fences as it roams the Internet seeking new material for search results

TANZANIA: APS CONCLUDES TRAINING IN TANZANIA (DVIDS)

Dar Es Salaam – Africa Partnership Station East wrapped up its weeklong training engagement involving APS maritime instructors and members of the Tanzanian Navy with a graduation ceremony.

DRC: NORMALCY RETURNS TO EASTERN DR CONGO (XINHUA)

Nairobi – Normalcy has returned to the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) which was hit by deadly attacks in recent months by rebel groups, mediators said on Monday. Briefing Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki in Nairobi, former Presidents Olesegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania said the current situation has significantly improved since the signing of the Peace Agreement in March 2009.

CONGO-KINSHASA: CHINA TO PUSH FOR PEACE IN EASTERN REGION  (The New Times)

Kigali — China is willing to use its super power clout to enhance peace and security in the region, especially the eastern DRC where negative forces have found sanctuary, a top Chinese diplomat promised Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Monday. 

SOMALIA: BLAST AT SOMALI AU HOSPITAL (NEWS24)

Mogadishu – An explosion at the African Union (AU) outpatients’ clinic near Mogadishu’s airport on Monday evening killed some Somalis, the spokesperson for African Union peacekeepers in Somalia said.

SOMALIA: AL SHABAAB CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR EXPLOSION AT AU CLINIC IN MOGADISHU (XINHUA)

Mogadishu – The Islamist insurgent movement of Al Shabaab in Somalia on Tuesday claimed responsibility for an explosion detonated the previous day at an outpatient clinic in an African Union (AU) forces base in Mogadishu.

SOMALIA: USA TAKES IN 6,000 SOMALI FROM UGANDA (The New Vision)

Kampala — THE American government is to resettle 5,800 refugees from Nakivale refugee camp in Isingiro district to the United States, Prosy Katura, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) protection officer, has revealed.

SOMALI SPEAKER ASKS MPS ABROAD TO RETURN WITHIN TWO WEEKS (Reuters)

Nairobi – The speaker of Somalia’s parliament has asked legislators living abroad to return to Mogadishu within two weeks or face disciplinary action, the deputy speaker said on Monday.

SOMALIA: DONORS PLEDGE U.S.$204 MILLION TO SUPPORT AMISOM OPERATIONS (The East African)

Nairobi — Donors have pledged $204 million to support the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, Amisom, and promised to reimburse countries that have contributed troops and used their own equipment in peacekeeping operations.

SOMALIA: FORMER PM TO FACE CHARGES (Garowe online)

An official speaking for Somalia’s Attorney General Office says a case against former Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Gedi will be the first one, in series that face prominent persons, expected to be presented before the high court in the coming days.

LIBERIA: ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF TO SEEK SECOND TERM IN 2011  (AllAfrica)

Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected head-of-state in Africa, announced Monday during her annual message to the national legislature that she will seek a second term during elections next year.

KENYA: NEW TRADE PLATFORM TO BOOST EAC TIES WITH THE U.S. (The East African)

Nairobi – The East African Community is poised to boost its business ties with the US in a new trade platform that will help member states utilise existing trade opportunities like the US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.

KENYA: TRIBAL CLASHES LEAVE FIVE DEAD, SEVERAL INJURED (The Standard)

At least five people have been killed in the ongoing clashes along Trans Mara East-Trans Mara West districts border since it begun nearly a month ago

KENYA: SECURITY AGENCIES ON ALERT OVER MILITIA SCARE (The East African)

Nairobi — Kenyan security agencies are concerned about reports that increasing numbers of Al-Shabaab militants are entering the country.

KENYA: CHINA’S MARCH IN KENYA UPSETS LOCAL FIRMS (Daily Nation)

Days after a visit by the Chinese Foreign minister Yang Jiechi, the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi was closed down for a Sh1 billion renovation.

ALGERIA: ALGERIA CRITICISES US ‘DOUBLE-STANDARDS’ OVER WATCHLIST (AFP)

Algiers – Algeria’s foreign minister hit out Monday at the United States’ decision to put it on a terror watchlist as part of new aviation security measures, accusing Washington of "double standards".

NIGERIA: HUNDREDS ARRESTED AFTER NIGERIA CLASHES (BBC)

Jos – More than 300 people suspected of being involved in last week’s deadly religious clashes in central Nigeria have been arrested, police have said.

NIGERIAN ARMY RESTRICTS SOLDIERS MOVEMENTS OVER ‘TENSION’ (AP)

Abuja- The Nigerian Army has restricted troop movements due to what is says is rising tension.

NIGERIA: PRESSURE MOUNTS, SAUDIS WANT YAR’ADUA BACK HOME  (This Day)

Lagos — There were indications yesterday that the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be getting increasingly uncomfortable with the continuing stay of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Jeddah, as they believe "he is well enough to travel back to Nigeria to continue his recuperation," diplomatic sources told THISDAY.

NIGERIAN LEADER MOVED TO ROYAL SUITE (DAILY KENYAN)

Jeddah – Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua is recuperating in a royal suite at a clinic in Saudi Arabia but doctors want him fit enough to resume office before discharging him, Nigeria’s ambassador said yesterday.

NIGERIA ACQUIRES LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES FOR SICK PRESIDENT (XINHUA)

Lagos – The Nigerian Presidency had imported two life support machines for use by ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, ahead of his planned return from Saudi Arabia later this week, the Punch reported on Monday.  

NIGERIA: 200 WIDOWED BY JOS CLASHES (NEWS24)

Lagos – A Nigerian relief agency said that it had registered Sunday 213 women widowed and 1 265 children orphaned by last week’s Muslim-Christian clashes in and around the central city of Jos.

NIGERIA: CURFEW RELAXED IN NIGERIA’S VIOLENCE-WRACKED CITY: ARMY (AFP)

Jos– Authorities in central Nigeria said Monday a curfew had been further relaxed and normal life had returned to the city of Jos where Muslim-Christian clashes have left an estimated 500 people dead.

SUDAN SETS TWO-MONTH DEADLINE FOR DEAL WITH REBELS (AFP)

Doha – Negotiations between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebel groups must be completed within two months, ahead of Sudan’s presidential and legislative elections, a senior official has said.

SUDAN: KIIR SAYS READY TO GO TO COURT OVER HIS CONTROVERSIAL MILITARY STATUS (Sudan Tribune)

Juba – The president of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan, who is standing for the presidency of the region in the upcoming April elections, said he was ready to defend himself in a court of law over his controversial military status.

SUDAN: KHARTOUM PAPER PRINTS ‘NONSENSE’ ON BLUE NILE TROOP BUILD-UP, SAYS SPLA (Sudan Tribune)

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Official Spokesman, Maj-Gen. Kuol Deim Kuol, today denied that the South Sudan army is building up forces in Blue Nile State

YEMEN INVESTIGATES 43 FOR LINKS TO XMAS BOMBING (AP)

San’a – A Yemeni security official says 43 people, including foreigners, are being interrogated for links to the failed attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day.

AFRICA: EMERGING NATIONS PLEDGE CLIMATE CHANGE UNITY IN INDIA (AFP)

New Delhi– Environment ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China said on Sunday that talks in New Delhi had further cemented their alliance following the Copenhagen climate change summit.

ZIMBABWE: HUNGER LOOMS AS ZIMBABWE’S PLANTING SEASON ENDS (AFP)

Bindura – In a dusty field in northern Zimbabwe, villagers clap and sing as they receive desperately needed seed and fertilizer for their crops, their only source of food and income.

LIBYA: PRO-REFORM LIBYAN NEWSPAPERS SUSPENDED (REUTERS)

Tripoli – Two Libyan newspapers that are closely linked to the country’s reformist camp said they have been forced to suspend publication, but officials denied that politics was involved.

UGANDA: PRESIDENT MEETS CHINESE OIL GIANT AMIDST INCREASED LOBBYING (XINHUA)

Kampala – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday met officials of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) amidst increased lobbying by international oil giants to enter the country’s oil sector.

UGANDA: U.S. BILL TO ‘FINISH’ KONY POPULAR IN SENATE (The Monitor)

Kampala – A bill originally introduced by two US Senators, which if passed would authorise direct American military assistance to fight the LRA, this week made history by receiving the support of 51 senators.

SWITZERLAND: AFRICA PONDERS HOW TO MANAGE NEW WEALTH (Malaysian Insider)

Davos – As Africa moves from a significant fiscal deficit largely funded by aid to a continent with a fiscal surplus, the search is on for a framework to manage countries’ resource-driven wealth.

AFRICA: NEWS BY REGION (UN News Centre)

  • Somalia: UN envoy deplores deadly bombing in capital
  • Outgoing UN envoy calls for peace talks to continue in disputed town in Sudan
  • UN anti-crime agency to help set up police academy in Guinea-Bissau
  • Sudan: UN report cites challenges for north-south peace deal despite progress

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