The Pentagon has, astutely, chosen an African American as first chief of the new Africa Command, Gen. William "Kip" Ward—and his first official visit to the continent was, of course, to chief US ally Ethiopia. Meeting with African Union leaders in Addis Ababa Nov. 8, Ward explicitly addressed widespread fears of the US establishing a permanent military presence on the continent. "Any notion of a militarization of the continent because of this? Absolutely false; not the case," said Gen. Ward. "Africa Command is not here to build garrisons and military bases." (BBC, Reuters, Nov. 8)
The government of Ghana has sent in hundreds of army troops and declared a curfew in the township of Keta, Volta Region, after four people were killed in a longstanding chieftaincy dispute Nov. 1. One of the dead was a police officer, reportedly kidnapped by one of the rival factions after the clash. Security officials said one royal family in the district of Anloga was preparing a ceremony to install a new chief, when some 100 people from a rival family—armed with AK-47s and clubs—raided the site. The group opened fire on the some 40 police who were guarding the site, and the police returned fire. Three civilians died in the shooting, including a woman. The two royal families, both of the Anlo people, have been fighting over who should succeed the paramount chief—the Awoamefia in the Ewe language —who died 10 years ago.
Global Capital Connives with African Genocide
by Ba Karang, The Hobgoblin, UK
Going by the most recent estimates, in Darfur more than 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million displaced as refugees. But, despite rhetorical pronouncements against the genocide, the world seems to be more preoccupied with other business and "values" (sic) than the lives of Black Africans dying in the desert.
From Shabelle Media Network via AllAfrica.com, Oct. 27:
More than 15 people mainly civilians and seven Ethiopian soldiers have been killed and many more have been injured after insurgents and government-allied forces battled with different sorts of weapons like, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and other automatic rifles.
Libyan authorities expressed pessimism as key Darfur rebel factions failed to show up for the peace talks with the Sudanese government at the Mediterranean port of Sirte. On the eve of the AU/UN-mediated talks, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Army Unity faction announced they would not attend. Another rebel commander, Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, founder of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), also said he would not travel to Libya for the talks. (Reuters, Oct. 28)
As the Great Powers condescendingly admonish Darfur's guerillas to participate in the peace talks to open in Libya next week, on Oct. 11, some 22 representatives of Darfur rebel groups were stopped by Sudanese government forces on their way to a pre-summit meeting in the country's autonomous south. They arrived in Juba, south Sudan's capital, after they were detained by soldiers at an airstrip in the North Darfur town of Kotum for several hours. They were apparently released after Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister Lam Akol intervened. (Reuters, Oct. 12)
The UK warned Darfur's rebel groups Oct. 8 they could be excluded from the peace process if they boycott talks due to be held in Libya later this month. London's Minister for Africa, Lord Malloch Brown, said those who opted out "should understand the consequences." (BBC, Oct. 8) The comments came the same day Sudanese government troops and allied militias attacked and overran Muhajiriya, a town controlled by the Minni Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)—the only faction to sign the 2006 peace deal. Khalid Abakar, a senior representative from the SLA, said: "Government planes have attacked Muhajiriya, which belongs to us, and government forces and Janjawid militia are fighting our forces." A UN official said the assault may be retaliation for a rebel attack on an African Union peacekeeper base to the north in Haskanita last week. Some members of the rebel factions involved in the attack are believed to have moved into Muhajeria. (AlJazeera, AP, Oct. 8)
Abu Mansur Robow, ex-deputy defense secretary with Somalia's ousted Islamic Courts movement, told Mogadishu radio Oct. 3 that his Shabaab resistance group has "nothing to do" with the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), recently founded by Somali opposition leaders in the Eritrean capital Asmara. Robow said al-Shabaab was "not satisfied" with the Asmara conference.