Over the last few days I feel I have been swimming furiously against the #Kony2012 tide. The campaign launched by Invisible Children encourages Americans to lobby American cultural icons and policy makers into putting pressure on the US government to send troops to Uganda to capture leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Joseph Kony. Without a doubt Kony deserves his place on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Most Wanted list. Under his leadership the LRA have terrorized Northern Uganda, maintaining a culture of institutionalized violence present in Uganda since its inception by the British Empire. Under the guise of spiritual conviction Joseph Kony and the LRA have waged a war that has resulted in the killing and physical mutilation of thousands and performed disgraceful acts of sexual violence including rape and recruiting young girls into sexual slavery. Abducting child soldiers into the LRA has played an important role in leveraging power in Northern Uganda and lawless border regions of the DRC, Central African Republic and South Sudan. So far all collaborative efforts from Ugandan, Congolese, Sudanese and Central African governments and pressure from the UN, ICC and other international bodies have failed to bring Kony to justice.
The destruction of the LRA in Northern Uganda has led the region to be ostracized from relatively growing socio-economic prosperity in the South of Uganda. According to the World Health Organisation (2007) there are still an estimated 900,000 internally displaced Northern Ugandan’s with limited access to food, healthcare, water and sanitation. My maternal family is from Northern Uganda and although we are largely based in Kampala I decided to take a trip to Gulu in 2008 and I remember being taken aback by the sheer number of NGO’s operating in the region. You have NGO’s on every corner scrambling for the space in a similar manner to the way you have a Starbucks and McDonald’s on every corner in London. Behind the veneer of charity, you have real people and real communities who after a generation of civil war are in the process of rehabilitation. Kony and the LRA have not been active in Northern Uganda since 2006 and today the focus in the region is now on resettlement and reconstruction by providing access to education, psychological rehabilitation, training for young adults who were captured by the LRA as children, community reconciliation and emotional and spiritual empowerment. #Kony2012 is not a campaign that supports any of these objectives.
As a piece of neo-colonialist marketing #Kony2012 is brilliant. However, if you are concerned with accuracy and content it is disturbing. Taking Joseph Kony and the LRA outside of a national, geo-political and historical context and excluding Ugandans from the advocacy process will not end the violence of the LRA or prevent future conflicts in Uganda. What the campaign does is simultaneously appeal to the ego and the heart of the international community and gives the impression that lobbying for US military presence in Uganda (despite Kony having fled) will dismantle the LRA – just like that, magic! A Twitter user captured the campaign perfectly when he said he never thought you could blend together the Heart of Darkness and Glee. Yet, traditional responses to the war in Northern Uganda have been military action from Museveni’s government and traditionally this has failed. For example, Museveni’s Operation Iron Fist in March 2002 where he attacked LRA bases in Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan failed, leading to devastating attacks on civilians by the LRA. Recent peace in the region is considered a blessing and according to Professor Samuel Tindifa of Makerere University, requires a regionally specific solution that includes building a politically and ideologically mutually beneficial relationship between the government and the political leadership of the Acholi and Langi communities. A growing US military presence in Uganda is not on the list of needs to make the country a safer and better place. If money should be spent lobbying any government it should be on lobbying the governments of Uganda, South Sudan, DRC and Central African Republic to utilize their intelligence to capture Kony. The leadership of these governments must be held to account instead of sovereignty being outsourced to twitter and facebook enthusiasts who cannot point to Uganda on a map let alone engage with sustainable conflict resolution. The video itself does not mention Museveni which makes me question its viability as an awareness and advocacy tool.
Niger has given permission for U.S. surveillance drones to be stationed on its territory to improve intelligence on al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters in northern Mali and the wider Sahara, a senior government source said.
The U.S. ambassador to Niger, Bisa Williams, made the request at a meeting on Monday with President Mahamadou Issoufou, who immediately accepted it, the source said.
“Niger has given the green light to accepting American surveillance drones on its soil to improve the collection of intelligence on Islamist movements,” said the source, who asked not to be identified.
The drones could be stationed in Niger’s northern desert region of Agadez, which borders Mali, Algeria and Libya, the source said.
A spokesperson for the United States’ African Command (AFRICOM) declined to comment.
During the past 150 years Africa has been thrust into conflict, divided, enslaved and pillaged for its natural resources Today we see the West and its allies use the guise of ‘humanitarian’ need in Africa in order successfully secure oil contracts as well as other precious rare earth minerals Through the AFRICOM mission the military has and will be used to provide the muscle for land and resource control throughout the continent we are witnessing an accelerated takeover through proxy wars and corrupt business deals this is - Neo-Colonialism
The Pentagon says the U.S. is using surveillance drones to aid in the search for the kidnapped Nigerian girls, and almost 300 Marines have been moved to a naval air station in Sicily in response to the growing unrest in Africa.
May 14, 2014 (AP) - A senior U.S. official says at least one Global Hawk surveillance drone is in use, in addition to manned MC-12 aircraft.
The official was not authorized to talk publicly about the types of drones and discussed the matter on condition of anonymity.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren says the Marines were moved from a special task force in Spain to Sicily at the State Department’s request.
They’re mainly there to respond to the deteriorating security in Africa.
See? Drones are good! #BringBackOurGirls = #ImperialismMarchesIn
Militarily Africa is fast becoming an American continent. Barack Obama, who has been president for all but the first year of AFRICOM’s existence, has succeeded in integrating U.S. fighting units, bases, training regimens, equipment and financing into the military structures of all but a handful of African nations and The great pan-Africanist and former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of a militarily united Africa has been all but realized with Americans and Europeans in charge and Under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention, Obama has vastly expanded Bill Clinton and George Bush’s African footprints, so that only a few patches on the continental map lie outside Washington’s sphere of operations Eritrea and Zimbabwe are the notable exceptions and therefore, future targets and Africa is occupied territory and The African Union doesn’t even pretend to be in charge of its own nominal peace-keeping missions, which are little more than opportunities for African militaries to get paid for doing the West’s bidding and China and Brazil may be garnering the lion’s share of trade with Africa, but the men with the guns are loyal to AFRICOM – the sugar daddy to the continent’s military class. U.S. troops now sleep in African barracks, brothers in arms with African officers who can determine who will sleep next week in the presidential mansion and The pace of U.S. penetration of West Africa has quickened dramatically since 2011 when Obama bombed Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan government out of existence, setting a flood of jihadists and weapons streaming east to Syria and south to destabilize the nations of the Sahel. Chaos ensued – beautiful chaos, if you are a U.S. military planner seeking justification for ever-larger missions and NATO’s aggression against Libya begat the sub-Saharan chaos that justified the French and U.S. occupation of Mali and Niger. Hyperactive North African jihadists, empowered by American bombs, weapons and money, trained and outfitted their brethren on the continent, including elements of Nigeria’s Boko Haram and The hausa-speaking Islamic warriors then bequeathed AFRICOM a priceless gift: nearly 300 schoolgirls in need of rescuing, perfect fodder for “humanitarian” intervention.Nobody had to ask twice that Obama “Do something!” and The heads of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Benin and Cameroon were summoned to Paris (pretending it was their idea) where they declared “total war” on Boko Haram, as “observers” from the U.S., France, Britain and the European Union (Africa’s past and future stakeholders) looked on. French President Francois Hollande said “a global and regional action plan” would come out of the conference and Of course, the five African states have neither the money, training, equipment nor intelligence gathering capacity for such a plan. It will be a Euro-American plan for the defense and security of West Africa – against other Africans and Immediately, the U.S. sent 80 troops to Chad (whose military has long been a mercenary asset of France) to open up a new drone base, joining previously existing U.S. drone fields in Niger, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Seychelles Islands, Djibouti (home to a huge French and American base) and CIA sites that need not be disclosed and The new West African security grouping became an instant imprint of NATO, an appendage to be shaped by imperial military planners to confront enemies chosen by Washington and Paris and What a miracle of humanitarian military momentum! The girls had only been missing for a month, and might not be rescued alive, but five neighboring African countries – one of them the biggest economy on the continent – had already been dragooned into a NATO-dominated military alliance with other subordinate African states and It soon turned out that AFRICOM already had a special relationship with the Nigerian military that was not announced until after the schoolgirls’ abduction. AFRICOM will train a battalion of Nigerian Rangers in counterinsurgency warfare, the first time that the Command has provided “full spectrum” training to Africans on such a scale and With the American public in a “Save our girls” interventionist frame of mind, operations that were secret suddenly became public andThe New York Times reveals that the U.S. has been running a secret program to train counterterrorism battalions for Niger and Mauritania.Elite Green Berets and Delta Force killers are instructing handpicked commandos in counterinsurgency in Mali, as well and The identity of one Times source leaves little doubt that the previously secret operations are designed to blanket the region with U.S. trained death squads and Michael Sheehan was until last year in charge of Special Operations at the Pentagon – Death Squads Central – where he pushed for more Special Ops trainers for African armies. Sheehan now holds the “distinguished chair” at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center and In the 1980s, he was a Special Forces commander in Latin America – which can only mean death squads. “AFRICOM will train a battalion of Nigerian Rangers in counterinsurgency warfare.” and U.S. Army Special Forces have always been political killers, most often operating with the CIA. The Phoenix Program, in Vietnam, which murdered between 26,000 and 41,000 people and tortured many more, was a CIA-Special Forces war crime and From 1975 to deep into the 80s, the CIA and its Special Forces muscle provided technical support and weapons to killers for Operation Condor, the death squads run by a consortium of military governments in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, believed responsible for 60,000 murders and Sheehan was probably involved in Operation Condor and its Central American component, Operation Charly, and has perfected the art of political murder, ever since and If he is happy and feeling vindicated by events in Africa, then U.S.-trained death squads are about to proliferate in that part of the world. There is no question that Obama is enamored of Special Ops, since small unit murders by professional killers at midnight look less like war and can, if convenient, be blamed on (other) “terrorists.” and However, history – recent history – proves the U.S. can get away with almost limitless carnage in Africa. Ethiopia’s 2006 invasion of Somalia, backed by U.S. forces on land, air and sea, resulted in “the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa” at the time, “worse than Darfur,” according to UN observers, with hundreds of thousands dead and The U.S. then withheld food aid to starve out Somali Shabaab fighters, leading to even more catastrophic loss of life But, most Americans are oblivious to such crimes against Black humanity and U.S. ally Ethiopia commits genocide against ethnic Somalis in its Ogaden region with absolute impunity and bars the international media from the region. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama each of them with help from Susan Rice – have collectively killed six million Congolese since 1996 and The greatest genocide since World War Two was the premeditated result of the chaos deliberately imposed on mineral-rich Congo by the U.S. and its henchmen in neighboring Rwanda and Uganda Paul Kagame, the current leader of Rwanda, shot down a plane with two presidents aboard in 1994, sparking the mass killings that brought Kagame to power and started neighboring Congo on the road to hell and America celebrates Kagame as a hero, although the Tutsi tribal dictator sends death squads all over the world to snuff out those who oppose him and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni, a friend of the U.S. since Ronald Reagan, committed genocidal acts against his rivals from the Acholi tribe, throwing them into concentration camps and Joseph Kony was one of these Acholis who apparently went crazy and Kony hasn’t been a threat to Uganda or any other country in the region for years but President Obama used a supposed sighting of remnants of his Lords Resistance Army to send 100 Green Berets to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan and South Sudan became independent, but it remained unstable – not a nation but a place with oil that the U.S. coveted and Many tens of thousands more are certain to die in fighting in South Sudan but few Americans will blame their own country As the carnage in Congo demonstrates, whole populations can be made to disappear in Africa without most people in the West noticing and The death squads the Americans are training in Nigeria, Niger, Mauretania and Mali and those that will soon be stalking victims in Cameroon and Benin, will not be limited to hunting Boko Haram and Death squads are, by definition, destabilizing; they poison the political and social environment beyond repair, as Central Americans who lived through the 80s can attest and Yet, that is U.S. imperialism’s preferred method of conquest in the non-white world. It’s what the Americans actually do, when folks demand that they “do something.”
African Flag Officer Pins Former USARAF Soldier with Meritorious Service Medal
For soldiers, receiving a Meritorious Service Medal is a special if not fairly rare occasion. For Staff Sergeant Piedad Garcia, earning the MSM was coupled with an additional honor: Garcia’s award was presented by Brigadier General Joseph Kwankye, director general of Defence Communications and Information Systems of the Ghanaian Army in September 2011.
Libya has ceased to be an African country, it has become part of the Arab Emirate
Prof. Aijaz Ahmad…“One of the things that is also happening in Libya, again after Afghanistan and Iraq, is really a sort of restoration of the ancien régime. That is to say, the very people in Afghanistan who were toppled by the Khalq Revolution of 1978 became the backbone of the American intervention there, and they were the people who were ultimately toppled by the Taliban, and so on. In Iraq, the same thing, it is the ancien régime. Every prominent leader of Iraq today is part of the old Iraqi elite that was overthrown by the Ba'athists. Now, again in Libya, the Senussi tribe and their leaders, old monarchical elements, and all of them are being brought back, so that is one part of what is going on… ”
The United States military command in Africa is preparing plans to establish a drone base in northwest Africa. […]
For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens.
If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger, a largely desert nation on the eastern border of Mali, where French and Malian troops are now battling “Qaeda-backed fighters” who control the northern part of that country. The American military’s Africa Command is also discussing options for the base with other countries in the region, including Burkina Faso, officials said.
The immediate impetus for a drone base in the region is to provide surveillance assistance to the French-led operation in Mali. “This is directly related to the Mali mission, but it could also give Africom a more enduring presence for ISR,” one American military official said on Sunday, referring to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
And Gen. Carter F. Ham, the head of the Africa Command (AFRICOM), with the obligatory fear-induction line (as required for the manufacturing of consent):
Without operating locations on the continent, ISR capabilities would be curtailed, potentially endangering U.S. security …
Digital Globe satellite imagery of the U.S. military base at Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti, dated Sept. 20, depicts NASA’s WB-57 high-altitude aircraft on the recently-expanded auxiliary operations apron.
The question is—why? What purpose does a scientific research plane have in visiting America’s main military outpost in Africa? One possible answer is … making maps for commando raids.
another possible answer?
Beyond military uses, the WB-57 often supports various scientific missions. These include everything from understanding the origins of hurricanes and poor air quality to identifying the spectral signatures of substances.In 2007, NASA deployed the aircraft with a high-tech infrared spectrometer to help identify mineral deposits in Afghanistan.
Package about how Locals gathered for an evening of celebration in honor of the 4th anniversary of the Alo-Aska library in Ali Sabieh. A fund raising dinner was served to collect donations to further improve the library. The U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team 4903 assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa was invited to attend the night of festivities.