March 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Amid a surge of Islamic militancy in North Africa, a team of fewer than 50 U.S. special operations troops with a single helicopter arrived at a remote base in western Tunisia last month. Their mission: train Tunisian troops in counter-terrorism tactics. The operation was one of dozens of U.S. military deployments in Africa over the last year, often to tiny and temporary outposts. The goal is to leverage American military expertise against an arc of growing instability in North Africa and many sub-Saharan countries, from Mali in the west to Somalia in the east.
February 16, 2014 |
For decades, one golden rule has guided America's military involvement in Africa: Stay out. Generally speaking, the reason was a sense that the strategic stakes did not justify the risk. When we deviated from this rule, we often learned lessons the hard way that seemed to reinforce its validity, as in Somalia in 1993. And while presidents often profess a stronger interest in Africa than their actions would imply, they tend to say such things when not in the White House - witness Bill Clinton calling the nonintervention in Rwanda's 1994 genocide his greatest regret as president, or Sen. Barack Obama calling for more assertiveness in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC, and Sudan six to eight years ago. But, in fact, now is the time to reassess this long-standing American anathema to military involvement in Africa's terrible wars.
January 16, 2014 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Both sides in South Sudan's new war have committed "appalling crimes," according to a Human Rights Watch report Thursday, offering a grim picture of massacres, ethnic killings and looting of humanitarian aid. The organization said a credible independent investigation was required, calling on the African Union to broaden its planned inquiry into atrocities to make it "truly independent and credible. " It also called for United Nations sanctions against individuals found to be responsible for crimes.
January 10, 2014 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The Central African Republic's interim president, Michel Djotodia, agreed to resign Friday under regional pressure after failing to halt the brutal sectarian violence that has devastated the country, officials announced. Djotodia, the Muslim Seleka rebel alliance leader who seized power last March in a coup, and interim prime minister, Nicolas Tiengaye, were stepping down, officials said at a special security summit in Chad convened by the Economic Community of Central African States.
December 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military will fly about 850 African Union troops to the Central African Republic this week to assist French soldiers trying to quell street battles by rival militias in the country's capital, the Pentagon announced Monday. Two U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo planes will ferry the troops and their equipment from Bujumbura, capital of Burundi, to Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, a landlocked former French colony. The airlift operation is scheduled to begin by Tuesday and last until the end of the week.
December 9, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Thousands of South Africans filed into the 94,000-seat soccer stadium in Soweto early Tuesday for the state memorial service of the nation's apartheid-struggle hero, Nelson Mandela. Low gray clouds and misty rain cast a somber mood, but the atmosphere in the stadium was joyful and exuberant, as the crowds sang liberation struggle songs, danced, ululated, whistled and blasted vuvuzelas - the plastic trumpets that South Africans blow at soccer matches and joyful occasions, waiting for the service to begin.