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Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

Great news for those of us who have been watching this hostage taking of one of our own, Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama ship that was taken hostage Wednesday, April 8, 2009. Here are some breaking news stories:

US captain ‘freed from pirates’.

Capt. Richard Phillips escaped from pirates holding him in a lifeboat, a U.S. official said Sunday.The captain of a US container ship taken hostage by Somali pirates has been released, US media report. According to initial reports, three pirates were killed in the operation to free Captain Richard Phillips. Another is in custody. Capt Phillips is said to be unhurt and on the USS Bainbridge, a warship sent to track the pirates holding him. He was taken hostage last Wednesday after pirates briefly hijacked his ship, the Maersk Alabama. [BBC.]

Then we have CNN:

Captain jumps overboard, SEALs shoot pirates, official says.

(CNN) — The captain of the Maersk Alabama was freed Sunday after being held captive since Wednesday by pirates off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

Click to view previous image 1 of 2 Click to view next imageCapt. Richard Phillips was helped out of the water off the Somali coast and is uninjured and in good condition, the official said. He was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship, and later flown to the USS Boxer, where he was “resting comfortably,” the U.S. Navy said.

At the time of the shootings, the fourth pirate was aboard the Bainbridge negotiating with officials, the source said. That pirate was taken into custody.

Phillips was rescued at 7:19 p.m. (12:19 p.m. ET), according to the Navy.

Phillips, who was taken hostage Wednesday after the pirates hijacked the ship he captained, the Maersk Alabama, has contacted his family and received a routine medical exam, the U.S. Navy Central Command said in a statement. View a timeline of the attack and its aftermath »

Don’t Miss:

… [Source: CNN.]

Well. All this was done WITHOUT gov’t help or intervention of any sort. Oh, they may say President Obama was working behind the scenes, maybe so. So be it if he was. If so, good for him. I rather tend to believe that is not true. If I am wrong, GREAT! (But I doubt I’m wrong. Where would teleprompter go?)

THANK YOU, GOD ALMIGHTY, FOR THE RELEASE OF THIS CAPTIAN RICHARD PHILLIPS, AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRECIOUS SON, JESUS CHRIST!!! All praise be unto You, LORD! Thank You for a wonderful Easter gift…Again!

Update: President Obama did authorize use of force twice against the pirates. Good on him.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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Iraq in lockdown on eve of vote.

Newsweek: The Iraq match-ups to watch.

Taylor trial witness: Rebels cut off my hands.

Zimbabwe opposition to join government.

At least 25 dead after Nairobi blaze.

Caterpillar plague spreads in Liberia.

Thousands of Tamils protest in Toronto.

Thieves shoot foreigner near Mexico airport.

U.S.-Mexico border fence almost complete. HAHAHAHA, My arse.

U.S. dealers arming Mexican drug cartels. Arrest them!

N. Korea scraps all accords with South.

New commander heads to Gitmo.

Judge refuses to delay Gitmo detainee’s trial.

Sept. 11 a factor in Fla. terror retrial.

Courtesy of MSNBC.msn.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (Jan. 16, 2009) – A new patrol in the U.S. Central Command is working to make it unprofitable to be a pirate, the commander of U.S. Navy Central Command and 5th Fleet said Jan. 15. Acts of piracy have “spiked” off the coast of Somalia with merchant vessels and crews being held for millions in ransom by pirates using AK-47 assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and ladders to take “low and slow” ships traversing one of the world’s busiest sea lanes.

Cpl. Cole Daniels, a military policeman assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 26, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, train with a shotgun aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio. San Antonio is the command ship for Combined Task Force 151. The task force conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Persian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment.

Cpl. Cole Daniels, a military policeman assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 26, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, train with a shotgun aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio. San Antonio is the command ship for Combined Task Force 151. The task force conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Persian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment.

The pirates come from a clan based on the northern coast of Somalia, Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney said, and they are in it for the money. “The problem of piracy started ashore,” the admiral said during a Pentagon news conference. “It’s because there is no rule of law. There isn’t a government. There isn’t economic stability. There isn’t a court system that will hold these criminals responsible for their actions.” Without a penalty for the Somalis, these clansmen — who are normally fishermen — took to piracy.

“As commander of the Combined Maritime Forces, I directed the establishment of the Maritime Security Patrol Area,” Gortney said. Coalition ships and aircraft patrol the area, but it is a complex operation, and task forces already in place had an existing counterterrorism mission. As a solution, Gortney established Combined Task Force 151 to conduct counter-piracy operations. Nations that are members of the task force “will bring their collective capabilities to bear to deter, to disrupt and eventually to bring to justice these maritime criminals,” he said.

The coalition group works with all concerned nations to deter the pirates and it has had some success. “I think, it’s really a fascinating story to watch unfold as, at this point, 14 nations have sent their navies to work against this destabilizing activity,” he said. This includes Russia and China, which are primarily escorting their own national flag vessels. “That allows us to go focus elsewhere with the rest of the ships that are down there,” Gortney said.

The efforts against piracy focused on three areas: bringing in more international forces, working with the shipping industry to put in place defenses to prevent pirates from successfully getting onboard their vessel, and finding a way to deal with the pirates legally. “When we capture a pirate, where do we take him? Where do we hold him? What court system tries him and holds him?” Gortney asked. [NOT GITMO! They’ll cry for him and then let him go!]

“When the activity spiked in the middle of August, we knew … our current process wasn’t working, and we had to take a new look at it,” the admiral said. And it is working. In the last six weeks there have been only four successful piracy attacks, the admiral said. “Dis-incentivizing piracy” is what Gortney calls the missing piece. “The State Department is close on finalizing an agreement with one of the nations out there,” he said. “And once we get that authority, then we’re going to change my orders.”

The orders to the coalition now are to disrupt and deter, but not capture, pirates. “But once we get the authorities, my orders will change to disrupt, deter and capture, and try and hold them accountable for their actions,” he said. “We have to make it unpleasant to be a pirate, and that’s where, when we can capture them and try them and hold them accountable for their actions,” he said.

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ TCU Nation, SGP and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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Ex-president (Charles Taylor) of Liberia’s son, ‘Chuckie’ was convicted in October 30, 2008. He has been convicted of torture, arms trafficing, and conspiracy to torture and smuggle arms, according to a federal court in Florida. The prosection had requested 147 years in prison, but they were only to obtain 97 years. It is about time. Although he wasn’t charged with the murder of any of them, his indictment alleged that he murdered at least four of ten victims.

“His case, tried in Miami, was the first brought under a 1994 U.S. law saying those accused of committing torturous acts overseas can be tried in a U.S. federal court, as long as the person is a U.S. national or is present in the United States, regardless of nationality.” [Son of ex-Liberian leader sentenced to 97 years in prison, CNN]

“Taylor Jr. was tapped by his father to command an anti-terrorist unit called the ”Demon Forces” that beat, burned and beheaded Liberian civilians from 1999 to 2003, the jury concluded.

The Miami criminal case — which took place at the same time the father, Charles Taylor, faced a war-crimes tribunal in the Netherlands — marked the first U.S. prosecution of torture committed in a foreign country.” [‘Chuckie’ Taylor sentenced to 97 years in landmark torture case, by BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver AT MiamiHerald DOT com.]

(If you are interested in the CNN article, you will have to e-mail me. They seem to lose all of their articles, so I put the articles in research file.)

His father is still in the Hague waiting to be convicted on war crimes for his war crimes while he created chaos and wars while he was president of Liberia and also kept these poor people in fear for their very lives. He was captured in 2005. My, how long does it take to get over with the trial? This is one reason why I have NO faith in any of these UN phony set-ups.

I’m glad this part is finally over. It was the best we could hope for since they weren’t going to impose the death penalty. They did for Nuremberg trials. Gee, we’re come a long way, eh? NOT.

PS. There is a blogger who is claiming that he Chuckie was convicted of murder also. I sure as heck hope so. I have a tendency to believe this blogger more than I do the press. Why? Because CNN and the AP puts out their article, and everyone else just copies it instead of doing their own research. Yes, I received this message from CNN. That’s only because they will not allow me to remove myself from their mailing list! So that’s how they get their numbers! lol.

Anyway, after I get the notice from them, I google the title to find out if it’s true. Then I read the other articles. Besides, as I said before, CNN has a tendency to remove their link after a certain amount of time. Oh, their articles are oh so precious! NOT. Have a nice day.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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This article was in the Wall Street Journal Opinion section Dec. 13, 2008, and it is a good read. Here is an excerpt:
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Bush Was No Unilateralist.

By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL.

To make the point, she tells a story of Afghan women. “On one of the first visits that we made to Afghanistan, we met two young women in their 20s in Kabul. They were setting up a micro-finance bank, and they said, ‘We need resources so women can set up their own businesses.’ One of our members from the private sector did give resources specifically to help. . . . The next time we came to Afghanistan, we had to meet at the cafeteria at the embassy, because now there were 80 to 100 women, and they were all owners of businesses, everything from kites to a cement factory, to furniture to rugs.

“The third time we went to meet with them, we had to meet at their headquarters, and those headquarters encompassed an entire federation of Afghan women entrepreneurs. They are incredible. And it was striking to us, what a little targeted assistance could do to support this fundamental change from the time of the Taliban.” The point, she explains, is that no country can be stable so long as only half of its population is free to succeed. And foreign stability makes the U.S. safer.

With a staff of 800, Ms. Dobriansky’s office oversees a whirlwind of similar programs. Early on, the Bush administration created an office to combat the trafficking of persons. Today, dozens of countries are actively working on prevention, prosecutions, and the protection of victims. In 2002, the U.S. announced the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, in which some 40 governments and groups work to preserve the world’s second-largest area of tropical rain forest. In 2005, President Bush announced an international partnership to combat a pandemic avian influenza outbreak. At the time, about 40 nations had preparedness plans; today, as many as 130 countries do.

And then there are the democracy initiatives. With U.S. leadership, in 2005 the United Nations created the Democracy Fund, designed to finance projects that build democratic institutions. More than 35 countries have contributed some $100 million to the fund, which has already green-lighted 85 projects. In 2002, the Bush State Department created the Middle East Partnership Initiative. It is now funding more than 350 initiatives in 15 countries, focusing on everything from press rights in Algeria to legal rights for Yemeni women. One project brings young women here from every country in the Middle East to work in Fortune 500 companies. [Continue reading.]
*************************
She also explains the many other efforts President Bush has made as far as helping people all over the world, especially Africa, concerning HIV/AIDS, polio, malaria, etc. He has also tried to get people to look for medium and long term solutions to climate change (WHICH ARE MADE BY GOD, hey, never said I agreed with everything he did, lol), and many other projects. And the Left/Marxists just can’t stand to give him ANY credit. She does, and she is from the State Dept. So there!

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Trackback URI. Digg! Digg!

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By Master Sergeant Stan Parker
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9, 2008 — To many, Kenya invokes thoughts of a rich culture, friendly people, and the wonders of a safari. Few people realize that Kenya is also home to a center whose mission is to train people worldwide in the process of safe de-mining in affected countries.

The International Mine Action Training Center (IMATC), which opened in the outskirts on Nairobi in February, 2005, is a partnership between the British and Kenyan armed forces and includes personnel from the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. IMATC aims to alleviate suffering caused by landmines and to provide training on safe demining techniques. Landmines are a daily threat in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iraq, Somalia, and dozens of other countries around the world.

“Mine clearance is important throughout the world. My job is to train Kenyans and personnel from other countries how to effectively handle their landmine problems. We teach our students how to probe safely and, once they find a mine, be able to take care of it,” said U.S. Navy Senior Chief Michael Brown, Lead Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Instructor.

Brown explained that the main focus of IMATC is “to train Kenyans to perform de-mining and EOD missions throughout the Horn of Africa.”

According to Clear Path International, the world has roughly 110 million landmines spread among as many as 80 countries. More than 140 million people live in exposed to the dangers of landmines or unexploded ordnance. Roughly 25,000 people are killed or injured by mines each year. Two out of every three victims being civilians and one in every four being children. The IMATC faculty and students are working to mitigate this hazard.

Kenyan Army Sergeant Douglas Mwangi, EOD and Demining Instructor, says the key to the center’s success is the capability to work in an international organization. “One of the challenges is the language, because here we teach in English, and when we have some of the African countries we try to instruct a little in Swahili,” he said. “This forces those who don’t understand English to bring their own interpreter. That is very challenging to us because within the scope of the lesson it may take wrong because of the interpretation.”

Colin Hill is a former U.K. military EOD officer. Now he’s an IMATC EOD instructor and Small Arms and Light Weapons Counter Proliferation Program Manager. He explained that UN reports validate the success of the center, which is based on the number of square meters cleared. Many countries have enormous stockpiles which are stored poorly in heavily populated areas, leading to a high risk of catastrophic accidents. To counter this risk, the center has branched out by adding a disaster management cell and small arms and light weapons wing.

“In the small arms light weapons area, there is a lot of naivety and misunderstanding. Lack of control is a key issue. That is why we are working with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, to look at stockpile security and management,” said Hill. By diversifying, the center is eligible to receive non-governmental organizational support from agencies such as Humanitarian Mine Action.

“We are providing a capability here at IMATC with mine and UXO detection dogs,” said Philip James, IMATC Mines Awareness program manager and former UK military Bomb Disposal Operator. “Dogs have been a proven asset in clearance operations. We are also providing training courses for both demining and EOD, to service the Humanitarian Mine Action NGOs.”

Students come to the center to grow professionally in a unique environment. IMATC student Nico Bosman explained that whether the student is a former military member or an average citizen wanting to make a difference he is leaving the center with an excellent knowledge base. “I can recommend the course for the experienced and the inexperienced. I think the standard of the course is excellent and the knowledge we gain is very helpful. It will be a career highlight for me,” Bosman said.

For more information on the International Mine Action Training Center, visit Army – UK.

Source: CJTF-HOA (Horn of Africa).

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Trackback URI. Digg! Digg!

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Thankful In Djibouti

By Senior Airman Kimberly Moore Limrick
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti, Dec 2, 2008 — Thanksgiving Day at Camp Lemonier offered personnel a feast, football and a visit from their leadership. Members of flag football teams began an annual tradition in the first ever Thanksgiving Day Djibouti Bowl, November 28, 2008.

The Marines, Air Force, Army and Navy organized teams consisting of members from their respective services and competed in games throughout the day to determine the Djibouti Bowl champions.

Rear Admiral Philip Greene, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa commander, did the coin toss in the first game between the Army and Marines. The Army won the toss and the games began. In the playoff games, the Marines held off the Army and the Air Force defeated the Navy. Before the championship game was played the camp took time to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast.

Admiral Greene spoke with the troops in the dining facility before the meal was served. He thanked PAE for the extravagant assortment of food and beautiful decorations then welcomed General William Kip Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who flew in to spend the holiday with the members of the forward operating location of his command.

Recognizing that the troops were away from their families, Ward said, “This holiday finds us away from home on Thanksgiving Day. While the distance may preclude us from being with our extended family, there are many local opportunities available to partake in the wonderful military tradition of sharing and serving on this day with our friends and adopted military and civilian family overseas. It also provides a chance to gain a different perspective on things for which we are thankful.”

He added, “I am very thankful for each of you – Sailors, Airmen, Marines, coast Guardsmen, civilians, Interagency teammates, contractors and family members. I am also thankful to our friends and partners for the hospitality and warm reception they have provided U.S. Africa Command as an organization. The work we do every day on the continent of Africa in concert with Department of State and our interagency, international, and nongovernmental teammates is making a difference for the good for all of us while building capacity and fostering peace and security for the nations of the region.”

Ward proceeded to carve the turkey and began serving the troops their Thanksgiving meals.

Later that evening the Djibouti Bowl commenced with the Army defeating the Navy for third place and the Marines claiming victory after the Air Force as the first Djibouti Bowl champions.

Source: Horn of Africa.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Trackback URL. Digg! Digg!

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