Posts Tagged 'Tanzania'

JAG Journal, Days 4 & 5: U.S., Tanzanian militaries share more legal similarities than differences

U.S. and Tanzanian military legal members pose for a group photo during the Military Law Symposium held at the Peacekeeping Training Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During the symposium, the two militaries exchanged ideas on legal investigations, introduction to operational law and introduction to military justice. (Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa courtesy photo)

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Deegan and U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, CJTF-HOA judge advocate generals, and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, USARAF judge advocate general, traveled to East Africa to exchange of legal practices with the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force.

Here’s the final day-by-day recap of the visit to Dar es Salaam … (Read Day 1 and Days 2 & 3).

Day 4: Operational Law

On day four, U.S. and Tanzanian team members discussed rules of engagement, the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and the role of operational law attorneys in the U.S. military. The LOAC brief addressed the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Convention, strategic misconduct and the code of conduct soldiers are expected to follow in combat. Beyond the international policies that drove the conventions, the benefits of following LOAC were discussed through the lens of adding legitimacy to a nation’s position in a conflict, furthering that nation’s interests.

The participants also weighed in on the rules of engagement and subjecting service members to criminal jurisdiction under the International Criminal Court.

Maj. Shija Lupi, legal officer and military police commander, Tanzanian 603rd Air Transport Station, highlighted issues from one of his deployments to Lebanon.

“ROE should also include cultural awareness for the area where the contingency [force] is going,” said Lupi.

Tunis then gave an overview of Joint Operational Planning Process, ROE working groups, and the Joint Operations Center concept.

The U.S. and TPDF also discussed application of the planning concepts to experiences of U.S. military attorneys at Combined Task Force – Horn of Africa and in Afghanistan.

Day 5: The Tanzanian Military Justice System

On the last day of the symposium, Mbindi facilitated discussion about the Tanzanian Military Justice System. This was followed by one final block of instruction by Deegan on the role of the staff judge advocate.

The TPDF then conducted a ceremony concluding the week’s exchange of legal practices. Each TPDF judge advocate was presented a certificate by their U.S. counterparts for attending the military law symposium, while each of the U.S. participants was presented wood carvings made by local Tanzanian artisans.

Tunis was deeply moved by the gesture.

“The gift was touching and incredibly thoughtful,” said Tunis. “The three of us were humbled by their generosity. You could really relate to the sense of national pride in the gifts they chose. The same way that many Americans feel about buying things that say ‘Made in the USA’ was the same way that the TPDF felt.”

Deegan summed up the traveling contact team’s week-long endeavor.

“We learned that the U.S. and Tanzania militaries have many more similarities in military law than differences,” said Deegan. “The week was a huge success that we hope transcends to future engagements.”

JAG Journal, Day 2 & 3: U.S., Tanzanian military lawyers exchange best practices

Two members of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa legal staff and one U.S. Army Africa legal staff member traveled to East Africa recently to exchange legal practices with the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force (TPDF) during the Military Law Symposium.

U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, U.S. Army Africa judge advocate general, discusses legal practices with two Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force legal officers during the Military Law Symposium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa courtesy photo)

During Day 1 of symposium, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Deegan and U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, CJTF-HOA judge advocate generals, and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, USARAF judge advocate general, were welcomed by Tanzanian legal officers.

Here’s Part II of the day-by-day recap of the engagement between the two groups of military lawyers … (Read Day 1).

Day 2: Military Justice and Non-Judicial Punishment

Throughout the week, the U.S. and TPDF teams discovered ways in which both of their military law systems were largely similar, with many of the differences being in name only.

Attorneys for the TPDF are normally called “legal officers” and their title changes to “judge advocate” only when they are assigned to work court-martials.

Lt. Sebastian Mwaka Lindile, a Tanzanian legal officer, asked these questions of his U.S. counterparts: “Do you have a law or policy on adultery or matters of marriage?” and “Can an officer marry an enlisted person, like a private?”

Deegan and Tunis used personal experiences from previous cases to illustrate adultery and fraternization under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, along with relevant service regulations on fraternization.

Maj. Shija Lupi, legal officer and military police commander, Tanzanian 603rd Air Transport Station, shared the equivalent TPDF policy.

“Adultery is strongly prohibited. A court of inquiry would be convened and the soldier would be administratively released [in a case of substantiated adultery],” said Lupi.

Day 3: Claims and Investigations

Sciapli took the baton for day three to discuss different types of claims and investigations. The TPDF listened to his experiences running a claims office in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and working as the Claims Commission for USARAF. Several of the TPDF also had extensive experience with investigations. Their system assigns the responsibility of being an investigating officer to legal officers, as opposed to the U.S. system, which appoints an officer who may seek assistance from a judge advocate.

The TPDF then shared information about their claims system and some of the issues that arise operating in a coalition environment with international organizations.

Sharing experiences from a deployment to Lebanon, Capt. Zakayo Kazya, TPDF legal officer, said, “Our claims are based on U.N. procedures…. However, there are differences between our investigations and those conducted by the U.N. The U.N. will investigate with their police, but they do not assign fault. A Tanzanian police officer can assign fault, and money can be deducted from a soldier’s pay if he is grossly negligent.”

Another experience shared by the TPDF’s Lt. Noah Bonaventura Kong’oa illustrated one of the major differences between the Tanzanian and U.S. systems.

“I practice a lot of probate law,” said Kong’oa. “Most people here die intestate [that is, without a will]. There is often disagreement over which type of law to apply. Some want customary law, some want statutory, and some want Islamic law. We use a ‘mode of living’ test to determine which set of laws to apply.”

As an example of the “mode of living” test, if a man lived the life of a Maasai warrior and went through the Emuratare ceremony (a rite of passage to become a warrior upon reaching puberty that involves circumcision), and he practiced Maasai traditions until he died, the customary law of the Maasai would apply to distributing his estate. The Tanzanian legal officer helps make this determination for deceased service members.

Legal assistance services in the U.S. military, however, do not extend into the probate process beyond creating wills.

Stay tuned for the final Days 4 and 5  …

JAG Journal, Day 1: Sharing knowledge with our counterparts in Tanzania

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa judge advocate general, right, converses with a Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force legal officer during the Military Law Symposium held at the Peacekeeping Training Center. Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa courtesy photo)

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Two members of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa legal staff and one U.S. Army Africa legal staff member recently attended the Military Law Symposium at the Peacekeeping Training Center here as part of a traveling contact team.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Deegan and U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, CJTF-HOA judge advocate generals, and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, USARAF judge advocate general, went to Dar es Salaam for an exchange of legal practices with the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force.

The team’s visit, which had been requested by the Tanzanian military, informed Tanzanian legal officers and aviation officers of U.S. military law, legal best practices, and the role Judge Advocate General Corps Officers play in advising military commanders on operational law and legal issues. The event highlighted discussions on investigations, introduction to operational law and introduction to military justice.

When the team stepped off of the plane into the humid, 88-degree heat, they had some concerns and anxieties normally associated with visiting a country for the first time. How would they be received? Would their instruction be on point with what the Tanzanian military was looking for? Would there be language barrier issues? Most Tanzanians speak English as a third language, with tribal languages and Swahili as their first and second.

Here’s a day-by-day recap of the engagement between the two groups of military lawyers …

Day 1: How to Train and Use a JAG

On the morning drive through the buzzing metropolis, each city block was packed with thousands of Tanzanians conducting their morning commute on foot, bicycles, and in various rickshaws, cars, and ornately-detailed minibuses.

When they arrived at the Peacekeeping Training Center, the team received a warm welcome from the TPDF. Tanzanian Lt. Col. Mbindi, his supporting staff, and the TPDF judge advocates in attendance quickly put one of the Americans’ main concerns to rest―they all spoke English. After a formal ceremony that included a speech from the installation’s commanding officer, everyone gave a personal introduction.

The team’s introductions included not just their areas of legal experience, but also mentioned their families. The Tanzanians introduced themselves, and every married man in the TPDF made a point to say, “I love my wife very much.”

“Having been away from my wife for the better part of six months, the TPDF’s introductions were very endearing. They triggered a response in my internal dialogue that was pushing me to express ‘I love my wife, too!’” said Tunis.

Tunis gave the first block of instruction, which discussed examples of the U.S. process for training and educating judge advocates. For a U.S. Marine Corps JAG officer, this eight-year process includes getting a bachelor’s degree followed by a law degree, taking a bar exam, and graduating Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and Naval Justice School.

The Tanzanian model for the initial training of a judge advocate involves fewer steps. An individual who wants to practice law can go directly to law school upon finishing primary school, which is the Tanzanian equivalent of a U.S. high school.

Deegan then provided instruction on how U.S. commanders can use JAGs―and not only in their decision-making process on legal matters.

“JAGs should be used as military attorneys, but that doesn’t mean they can’t road march, learn to operate an armored vehicle, fire heavy weapon systems or participate in battle drills or exercises,” Deegan said.

He stressed that JAGs do not merely provide legal opinions.

“Training has taught JAGs not just the laws and statutes, but how to systematically approach problem solving,” said Deegan.

Stay tuned for Day 2 later this week …

Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Travels to Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Cape Verde


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Cape Verde on January 16-17, 2012, to demonstrate U.S. commitment to post-conflict return to peace, good governance, and economic development as well as to emphasize U.S. focus on democratization.

While in Liberia, Secretary Clinton will attend President Sirleaf’s inauguration and preside over the ribbon-cutting of the New U.S. Embassy Compound in Monrovia. In Cote d’Ivoire, she will meet with President Ouattara to showcase our support for national reconciliation and strengthening democratic institutions following successful legislative elections in December 2011. In the first visit of a Secretary of State to Togo, Secretary Clinton will meet President Faure to demonstrate U.S. support for Togo’s democratic progress and economic reforms and to congratulate Togo on its recent election to the United Nations Security Council, where it holds a non-permanent seat for 2012 and 2013. In Cape Verde, Secretary Clinton will meet Prime Minister Neves to discuss cooperation on regional issues like counternarcotics, good governance, sound economic policies, and Cape Verde’s second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact.

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South Sudan Women Working To Overcome Food Insecurity

Elisabeth Kvitashvili serves as U.S. Alternate Permanent Representative to the United Nations Agencies in Rome, Italy and Humanitarian Affairs Counselor, U.S. Agency for International Development.

I have spent a lot of time in many countries in Africa, usually countries suffering from some type of man-made or natural disaster. While no agriculture expert, my eyes are trained enough to seek out and identify problems and solutions that touch on food insecurity. I usually find a somewhat despairing situation.

Recently, after travelling on the bumpy to non-existent “roads” of South Sudan, I came away impressed — impressed with the hopeful vision of a country that has enormous potential to move quickly into a state of relative food self sufficiency, perhaps within less than a generation.

And the women of South Sudan are playing a big part in the country’s drive towards recovery. According to Ofeni Ngota Amitai, the minister of agriculture for Morobo county, women are critical to helping the country move away from humanitarian interventions towards a more balanced foundation of recovery. While on my field visit to the Eastern and Central Equatoria states, I witnessed the collective efforts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP), both of whom receive valuable financial support from USAID, to support the Republic of South Sudan’s endeavors to tackle food insecurity through a wide range of recovery activities.

South Sudan remains a major recipient of food aid, much of it supplied by the U.S. government through the World Food Programme. The food security outlook for 2012 is worrisome for the 1.2 million people of South Sudan, a new country comprised of 10 states, with a wide range of agro-climatic conditions and a population that includes traditional farmers and agro-pastoralists (farmers who also raise livestock).

Livestock is key to the livelihoods of millions of South Sudanese, so keeping animals healthy to ensure availability of meat and milk products but also cash from the sale of cattle is a major concern of local officials with whom I spoke. Unfortunately, disease outbreaks are common and with very limited government capacity to handle such cases, treatment has been hard to come by.

With support from FAO, however, South Sudanese agro-pastoralists are being given initial supplies of vaccines and are being trained to vaccinate livestock. People will pay to have their animals vaccinated, so cost recovery is introduced to ensure vaccinators can replenish their supplies. I watched a group of semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists, including women herders in one cattle camp I visited in Torit, successfully vaccinate over 100 long-horn cattle in just one hour. And as one woman vaccinator walked me through her village, she explained how she was putting her three children through the local school “in town” with the increased income she had from selling healthy cattle.

Elsewhere, in Yei and Morobo in Central Equatoria, women were hand threshing just-harvested sorghum and pearl millet grown from seeds they had received as participants in an FAO-sponsored community-based Seed Production and Supply activity. This activity is implemented by the Kogbo Multipurpose Farmer Group and Equatoria Farmer Extension Advisory Association in collaboration with the Morobo Agriculture Department. Since Yei and Morobo are part of South Sudan’s “green belt,” improved availability and access to quality seeds is key to helping increase local production, thereby reducing dependence on imports from northern Uganda.

Everywhere I went I heard the same refrain from South Sudanese…we want to reduce our reliance on humanitarian assistance as we have the land and ability to produce enough ourselves. Farmers want to move away from subsistence to commercial farming and need assistance in getting increased production to the markets of South Sudan. With support from their partners at FAO and WFP and commitment from their government, the South Sudanese are on a good path, despite the many obstacles, towards their goal of becoming food self-sufficient.

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Support for Congolese Refugees in Rwanda—Perspectives for 2012

Greg Shaw serves as Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Great Lakes in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

As one makes the final approach into Kiziba Refugee Camp, located at more than 2,000 meters above sea level in the verdant hills above Kibuye town in western Rwanda, you are treated to spectacular views of the shimmering waters of Lake Kivu several hundred meters below. The camp, home to 18,950 registered refugees who fled fighting in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is divided into 10 neighborhoods, each divided into five villages which include approximately 70 houses. Refugees live in detached family houses of 4.5 x 3.5m built with wooden poles with the sides covered with mud and the roofs made from plastic sheeting. Kiziba is well managed by the Government of Rwanda (GoR) with technical and financial assistance from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the American Refugee Committee (ARC). ARC has embarked on a “Humanizing the Camp” initiative which involves refugees making no cost/low cost improvements to the camp such as rock paths and gardens in public areas of their villages, e.g., near latrines. This seems to be catching on with some villages competing to see which one can most beautify its surroundings.

The U.S. government, through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), is proud to partner with Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, UNHCR Rwanda, the World Food Program (WFP), and ARC to support protection and assistance for refugees in Rwanda. Aside from its contributions through UNHCR, PRM has been providing significant direct funding (in FY11 the grant was $ 1.7 million) to ARC to facilitate the provision of water, hygiene, and construction services in Gihembe, Nyabiheke, and Kiziba refugee camps, as well as gender-based violence prevention and response, and health and nutrition services in Gihembe and Nyabiheke camps. The United States, through USAID’s Food for Peace Program, is also a major contributor of food aid to WFP to ensure the adequate supply of food rations to refugees in Rwanda, and PRM made a cash contribution in 2011 to help rectify food pipeline breaks. Through a PRM Julia Taft Fund project via U.S. Embassy Kigali, funding was also provided to ARC to implement a poultry raising income generation project for widows and other vulnerable refugees in Gihembe Camp.

PRM looks forward to continued partnerships in 2012 and significant financial support in all three camps. During several PRM monitoring visits to Rwanda’s refugee camps in 2011, certain pressing needs, such as improving the camp’s water pumping station and dealing with the rapidly deepening ravines caused by erosion of the hillside, were highlighted and we look forward to working with the Rwandan government, UNHCR, ARC, and other partners to address these needs in 2012.

Finally, an exciting technology that we have been discussing with UNHCR and ARC involves the introduction of low cost “solar light” bulbs crafted from empty plastic soda bottles inserted into iron sheeted roofs. On any clear day, these solar light bulbs, which cost only a few dollars each to create, refract natural light and channel the equivalent of 55 watts of electrical light into a school, health center, or residential structure. ARC intends to initiate a pilot project to install these solar bulbs in the larger structures in Kiziba refugee camp that we hope will provide low-cost illumination for school children, doctors, and patients. Our continued support to these camps in Rwanda helps improve the lives of refugees until a durable solution to their displacement can be found.

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Protecting and Assisting the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations

David M. Robinson serves as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

With an estimated 40 million displaced people worldwide, up to 12 million who do not have citizenship to any country, and some 10.5 million refugees around the globe, the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) assists persecuted and uprooted people through our support to international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and by advocating for their protection through humanitarian diplomacy. From the Arab Awakening to the crisis in the Horn of Africa, global political upheaval and conflict have presented many humanitarian challenges, and as 2012 begins, I’d like to take a moment to share a few examples of the work we did last year.

Refugee Admissions: The United States welcomed more than 56,000 refugees to re-start their lives thanks to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. English as a Second Language pilot programs provided basic language training to hundreds of U.S.-bound refugees in Kenya, Thailand, and Nepal. Our overseas partners reported a significant increase in basic skills and confidence. We anticipate increased enthusiasm for studying English after arrival in the United States — a key skill for newly arrived refugees when seeking employment to become self-sufficient in their new communities.

Africa: In Africa, we supported international organization and NGO efforts to assist some 170,000 Ivoirian refugees in Liberia as well as hundreds of thousands of Ivoirians who were internally displaced as a result of conflict in that region. This spring, turmoil in Libya forced over one million persons to cross into Tunisia and Egypt. In response, PRM supported the emergency evacuation and repatriation of stranded third-country migrants, assistance and protection efforts for refugees and internally displaced persons, and emergency medical care and protection programs for conflict victims and detainees. Our partnership in this effort with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was a model of multilateral humanitarian action at its best. In the Horn of Africa, conflict and famine in southern Somalia forced another 300,000 Somalis to flee in 2011, bringing the overall Somali refugee population in the region to nearly one million. PRM funding to international organization partners and NGOs provided shelter, food, and other assistance to Somalis in need, and we sponsored a series of colloquia in the region to bring affected governments — especially those who have played an important role in hosting large numbers of Somali refugees — and service providers together to begin developing a unified strategic plan to address the crisis.

Middle East: Supporting Iraqi refugees in the Middle East continued to be one of our top priorities. Inside Iraq, PRM assistance programs help support voluntary returns and reintegration, for example, though home reconstruction, rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems, employment services and protection assistance. In neighboring countries, our funding supports a range of services for Iraqi refugees, including education, health care, and food assistance. In Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza, PRM’s continued contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) supported vital programs in education, health, and social services to five million Palestinian refugees. UNRWA’s commitment to peace and tolerance is a force for stability in the region and is an indispensible counterweight to extremism.

South and Central Asia: PRM supported UNHCR as it built its two hundred thousandth shelter for Afghan refugees returning to Afghanistan. We continued to advocate and provide assistance for the 2.7 million Afghan refugees outside Afghanistan as well as for Pakistanis displaced by conflict and flood. In Nepal, PRM supported UNHCR protection and assistance to Tibetan refugees transiting to India. We continued to support UNHCR assistance to 55,000 Bhutanese refugees, many of whom are in the process of resettlement to the United States. With PRM funding, UNHCR and the Turkmenistan government conducted a country-wide registration campaign, identifying approximately 8,000 stateless persons. More than 3,000 verified stateless people were granted Turkmen citizenship, with more expected in the coming months. Turkmenistan also acceded to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.

Western Hemisphere: PRM humanitarian diplomacy saw progress when the Panamanian government passed a law granting approximately 900 indigenous and Afro-Colombian refugees the ability to request residency and work permits. We promoted solutions to statelessness in the Dominican Republic. In Haiti, PRM focused on addressing the protection needs of earthquake-displaced Haitians and building government capacity to address gender-based violence and trafficking in persons, with an emphasis on assistance for vulnerable women and children.

Europe: Our diplomatic efforts and assistance programs in the Balkans worked towards a lasting solution for those displaced since the mid 1990s war. In November, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia signed a joint declaration aimed at providing durable housing solutions to the 74,000 most vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons remaining in the four countries — a landmark achievement.

Migration: PRM migration programs supported direct assistance to vulnerable migrants, government capacity building, and regional coordination and dialogues on migration issues. The United States played a leadership role in several regional and international governmental forums, chairing the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees, the largest global forum for dialogue on migration and development issues.

Population: Last year, the global population reached 7 billion, providing multiple opportunities to highlight U.S. leadership in investing in women and girls as essential to solving the world’s most challenging problems. Women and girls are the world’s engines of change. When their rights are protected and promoted, when they are healthy and educated, and when they can participate fully in society, they trigger progress in families, communities, and nations. Promoting sexual and reproductive health, reproductive rights, and access to safe and effective voluntary methods of family planning are at the top of President Obama’s global health agenda. PRM supported these goals by representing the U.S. government at meetings of the UN Population Funds’ (UNFPA) Executive Board and at the annual session of the UN Commission on Population and Development.

Statelessness: Under the Secretary’s leadership, the Department launched an initiative to promote women’s equal right to nationality. At UNHCR’s ministerial event in December commemorating the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1954 and 1961 Conventions on Statelessness, Secretary Clinton spoke about discrimination against women as a major cause of statelessness around the world. PRM also targeted statelessness of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, addressing the issue in several public forums and supporting UNHCR and others as they seek solutions to this enduring problem.

What’s in store for 2012? At the UNHCR ministerial, the United States renewed its commitment to displaced people by pledging to take concrete steps to address statelessness, women’s nationality issues, protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) refugees and asylum seekers, and to improve detention and asylum practices. Our continued support to our international organization and NGO partners and our diplomacy in 2012 will help improve the lives of millions of persecuted people who have suffered through upheaval and tragedy.

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