· AU observe 1st ‘African Border Day’
· Special Court indicts five for contempt, alleges interference with witnesses
· Senegal: IMF Completes 1st Review Under Policy Support Instrument
· German Westerwelle welcomes tougher sanctions against Libya
· Review: Implementation of 2010 annual work plan on euro 55 million support programme
· Dr. Ping meets AUHLIP Team, discusses Abyei
· Making Sense of Libya
· Film Festival Presents 148 African movies
· ICAP completes acquisition of ‘moving pictures film and TV’
· Amnesty exhort SADC to deal rights abuses to ensure peaceful Zimbabwe-elections
· Faith communities confronts unethical ‘scramble for Africa’s carbon space’
German Westerwelle welcomes tougher sanctions against Libya
The European Council (EU) has agreed on June 7 in a written procedure to extend the sanctions against Libya.
The ports of Tripoli, Zuara, Zawiyah, Al-Khoms, Ras Lanuf and Brega, all of which are under the control of the Gaddafi regime, are listed. These ports are closed to EU deliveries and exports to the European Union. The supply of humanitarian goods is not affected, a statement by the German Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
“I welcome the renewed tightening of sanctions against the Gaddafi regime. The listing of six Libyan ports still controlled by the regime will further restrict the supply routes for the dictator’s machinery of repression,” German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
Westerwelle’s statement followed the EU’s 7 June decision made in Brussels, adding: “Colonel Gaddafi’s international isolation and the increasing erosion of his power base show that the quest for a political solution has to be intensified. The time is up for the dictator. He now has to finally step down so that people in Libya can have a brighter future.”
The European Union has now imposed a total of seven rounds of sanctions against the Gaddafi regime. Among other things, it has in effect placed an embargo on oil and gas.
Review: Implementation of 2010 annual work plan on euro 55 million support programme
The African Union Commission (AUC) and European Union (EU) Delegation to the African Union (AU) on 7 June 2011 came up with a set of recommendations (2011 Action Plan) that portrays key priority and intervention areas that would be implemented during the fiscal year and beyond.
The strategic partners were reviewing their joint programmes during the 3rd annual review meeting of the Euro 55 Million Support Program that was held from 6 to 7 June 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The purpose of the meeting was to assess the results achieved from the implementation of the 2010 Annual Work Plan which was aligned to the AUC Strategic Plan (2009 – 2012) with four main pillars namely: (i) Peace and Security (ii) Development, Cooperation, and Regional Integration (iii) Shared Values and (iv) the Institutional Strengthening.
In line with this, result based presentations were made on the overall goal of those programmes, level of implementation and challenges faced. Also concerned departments of the AUC shed light on the progress of work of the 2011 Annual Work Plan.
Participants were drawn from implementing departments of the African Union Commission, the coordinating department – Strategic Policy Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Resource Mobilization, IBAR office, other AU Organs and the European Union Delegation.
The meaningful participation of other partners namely Spain, GIZ, Sweden enhanced coherence.
Group discussions and debates were main elements of that review exercise. Discussions were made on cross cutting issues such as ineligible costs, fund absorption capacity, better programming, and other pertinent issues categorized in three areas specifically on planning and programming, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of programmes.
In this regard, groups came up with summary of expectations, challenges and recommendations that would be annexed to the 2011 Action Plan.
Highlights from the 2011 Action Plan include:
• The AUC was urged to organize training on result oriented planning and reporting;
• It was agreed that AUC should review and address the recommendations of the Audit 2008-09;
• It was agreed that the EU should launch external audit of the year 2010, amongst others.
In conclusion, the meeting considered and adopted a new action plan. It also proposed October or November as the date for the next review meeting.
It is worth recalling that a Contribution Agreement for a grant of European Commission (EC) Support Programme covering the period 2007 – 2011, was signed between the African Union Commission and the EC on 12 January 2007 aiming at AU playing its role and strengthening partnership between the two partners.
This EU grant constitutes the first multi-annual support Programme to the AU including the Commission of African Union as well as three other AU Organs [the Pan African Parliament (PAP), the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
Given that the grant was not absorbed as anticipated, it was then extended for 24 additional months until the end of 2013.
Dr. Ping meets AUHLIP Team, discusses Abyei
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Jean Ping, met in his office at the AUC Headquarters on 8 June 2011 with members of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), namely former President of South Africa and Chair of the Panel, Mr. Thabo Mbeki and the former Head of State of Nigeria, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.
During this meeting, Chairperson Ping briefed the members of the Panel about his recent visit to Sudan, particularly the encouraging outcome of his deliberations in Khartoum and Juba with both President Omar Hassan Al- Bashir and Vice President and President of the Government of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, who agreed to seek peaceful solutions to the current crisis in Abyei, with the facilitation of the AUHIP.
The Chairperson and the members of the Panel also exchanged views on the next practical steps to be taken in order to de-escalate the tension in Abyei and to address the other pending issues between the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
“The meeting further discussed other subjects of mutual interest including the situation in Darfur and emphasised the importance of reaching an inclusive and comprehensive agreement under the auspices of the Panel,” the AUC said.
It is to be recalled that the main objective of the Chairperson’s visit to Sudan was to urge the parties to the CPA to overcome the current difficulties in Abyei through dialogue and successfully conclude the negotiations on the remaining outstanding issues and finalize the post-referendum arrangements.
Special Court indicts five for contempt, alleges interference with witnesses
Five persons have been served with “orders in lieu of an indictment” charging them with contempt of court under Rule 77(A) of the Rules of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. They are alleged to have interfered with Prosecution witnesses who testified in two separate trials before the Special Court.
Two convicted former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu (AKA: “Five-Five”), were given the indictment at Rwanda’s Mpanga Prison, where they are serving lengthy sentences for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Charged with Kamara and Kanu are Hassan Papa Bangura (AKA: “Bomblast”) and Samuel Kargbo (AKA “Sammy Ragga), resident in Sierra Leone. All four are charged with two counts of attempting to bribe a witness to recant his previous testimony.
Kamara faces an additional count of disclosing the name of a protected witness, “in knowing violation of an order of a Chamber.”
In a separate order, the Trial Chamber charged Eric Senessie on nine counts of attempting to induce Prosecution witnesses in the Taylor trial to recant testimony they gave before the Court.
No arrest warrants have been issued. All of the accused have sought guidance from the Special Court’s Defence Office on obtaining counsel.
The “orders in lieu of an indictment” followed separate independent investigations ordered in March 2011 by the Trial Chamber to determine whether allegations raised by the Prosecution provided sufficient grounds to instigate contempt proceedings.
The orders direct that the Accused be prosecuted by independent counsel. Both cases will be heard by Trial Chamber II Presiding Judge Teresa Doherty.
If convicted, the Accused could face prison sentences of up to seven years, fines of up to two million Leones (approximately $500), or both.
The date and venue for the hearings has not yet been announced.
Senegal: IMF Completes 1st Review Under Policy Support Instrument
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) June 7 completed the first review of Senegal’s economic performance under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).
In completing the review, the Board approved a waiver for the nonobservance of the quantitative assessment criterion related to the fiscal deficit target.
Senegal’s second three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI) was approved by the Board on December 3, 2010. The IMF’s framework for PSIs is designed for low-income countries that may not need, or want, IMF financial assistance, but still seek IMF advice, monitoring, and endorsement of their.
Following the Executive Board’s discussion on Senegal, Ms. Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated: “Senegal’s economic recovery continues, and performance under its PSI-supported program is satisfactory. There are however downside risks stemming mainly from continued electricity supply problems and increasing food and fuel prices, which pose some inflationary risks.”
“With the emergence of critical investment needs in the energy sector, fiscal policy faces the challenge of accommodating additional priority expenditure while maintaining debt sustainability. Although there is some space for temporarily higher fiscal deficits, a substantial contribution will need to come from additional revenue measures and reprioritizing expenditure.”
In the medium term, she said fiscal consolidation, supported by a prudent approach to borrowing, will be critical to bring down the deficit to levels consistent with preserving debt sustainability. The recent issuance of the Eurobond to finance infrastructure projects should be accompanied by strengthening investment planning and debt management.
To sustain the growth momentum and increase Senegal’s growth potential, she suggested that the pace of structural reforms should be accelerated.
“This includes tax policy reforms aimed at broadening the tax base and increasing the revenue effort, energy sector reforms, financial sector reforms, and other reforms geared towards removing bottlenecks to growth and promoting an improved business climate and governance,” she added.
AU observe 1st ‘African Border Day’
Transforming African borders from barriers to bridges
On June 7, 2011 the African Union (AU) celebrated the first African Border Day at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme: “Uniting and integrating Africa through peaceful, open and prosperous borders”.
On behalf of the Commission and its Chairperson, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security, presided over the celebration, in the presence of African and non-African Ambassadors, representatives of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and partner institutions, as well as civil society organizations.
A statement from the AUC said the institution of 7 June as the African Border Day was recommended by the second meeting of the African Ministers in charge of Border Issues, held in Addis Ababa, on 25 March 2010, as a way of further popularizing the AU Border Programme (AUBP) and mobilizing the requisite support for the efforts to promote peaceful and prosperous borders in Africa.
That recommendation was endorsed by the AU Executive Council at its 15th Ordinary Session held in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010.
June 7th also marks the day on which the African Ministers in charge of Border Issues held a meeting in 2007 in Addis Ababa that established the AUBP with the following components: border delimitation/demarcation, cross-border cooperation, capacity building and resource mobilization.
“The overall objective of the AUBP is to contribute to the structural prevention of conflicts and to deepen economic integration on the continent,” the AU Commission said.
The celebration provided an opportunity to sensitize AU Member States, African border populations, RECs and other stakeholders on the importance of promoting peace and integration on the African continent through delimitation and demarcation of borders where such an exercise has not yet taken place, as well as through cross-border cooperation.
In his opening remarks, Commissioner Lamamra stressed the commitment of the African countries to transform their borders from barriers into bridges, as a way of addressing the legacy of conflict arising from the inherited colonial boundaries.
“African leaders were convinced that by transcending the borders as barriers and promoting them as bridges linking one State to another, Africa can boost the ongoing efforts to integrate the continent, strengthen its unity and promote peace, security and stability through the structural prevention of conflicts,” Ambassador Lamamra said.
He further stated that the decision to prioritize the delimitation and demarcation of the inherited borders was not predicated on a desire to confine each country within its own designated territory: “On the contrary, it means that border delimitation and demarcation is a condition for successful integration. A non-defined border is susceptible to being a source of contention, and even conflict. Border delimitation and demarcation, in a way, removes its potential nuisance; it opens the door rather than closes it; it allows for a healthy process of cooperation and integration”.
The event also included a panel discussion on border issues and related challenges in both Africa and beyond. In this respect, presentations were made by Professor Anthony
Asiwaju, President, African Regional Institute, Imeko, Nigeria; Mr. Martín Guillermo
Ramírez, Secretary‐General, Association of European Border Regions (AEBR); Mr. Jose Elias Mucombo, Director, National Institute of the Sea and Boundaries, Maputo,
Mozambique; and Mr. Jean Peyrony, Director General, Mission Opérationnelle
Transfrontalière (MOT), Paris – France.
It also included the screening of a documentary titled “African Borders; from barriers to bridges”, a choreographic performance on “dancing across borders”, and a photo exhibition on “the making of African borders.”
New Report: Making Sense of Libya
“Qaddafi’s departure as a precondition for any political initiative will prolong conflict and deepen crisis”
“The longer Libya’s military conflict persists, the more it risks undermining the anti-Qaddafi camp’s avowed objectives and the purpose claimed for NATO’s intervention, that of protecting civilians,” the International Crisis Group projects.
Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the situation in Libya, and warns that insisting on Qaddafi’s departure as a precondition for any political initiative is to prolong the military conflict and deepen the crisis.
Instead, the priority should be to secure an immediate ceasefire and negotiations on a transition to a post-Qaddafi political order. In this sense, a distinction should be made between Qaddafi “going” – ceasing to have any political role or power – as a key element of the desired political end result and his “going” immediately, as the precondition of everything else.
“To insist that he both leave the country and face trial in the International Criminal Court is virtually to ensure that he will stay in Libya to the bitter end and go down fighting,” says Hugh Roberts, Crisis Group’s North Africa Project Director. “That would render a ceasefire all but impossible and so maximise the prospect of continued armed conflict”.
Unlike events in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, the confrontation that began in mid-February between the popular protest movement and Qaddafi’s regime followed the logic of civil war from a very early stage. This owes a great deal to the country’s history and chiefly to the peculiar character of the political order Colonel Qaddafi and his associates set up in the 1970s.
Whereas Egypt and Tunisia had been well-established states before Presidents Mubarak and Ben Ali came to power in 1981 and 1987 respectively, such that in both cases the state had an existence independent of their personal rule and could survive their departure, the opposite has been true of Libya. As a result, the conflict has taken on the character of a violent life-or-death struggle.
A political breakthrough is by far the best way out of the costly situation created by the military impasse. This will require a ceasefire between the regime and the Transitional National Council, the deployment of a peacekeeping force to monitor and guarantee this under a UN mandate, and the immediate opening of serious negotiations between regime and opposition representatives to secure agreement on a peaceful transition to a new, more legitimate political order.
Such a breakthrough almost certainly necessitates mediation by third parties trusted by both sides. NATO and those states supporting its military action should facilitate this development, not hinder it.
“The international community has a significant responsibility for the course events will take”, says Robert Malley, Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director. “Instead of maintaining the present policy and running the risk that its consequence will be dangerous chaos, it should act now to facilitate a negotiated end to the civil war and a new beginning for Libya’s political life”.
ICAP completes acquisition of ‘moving pictures film and TV’
Previously unreleased ‘music catalog from renowned Guitarist Jimi Hendrix on sale
ICAP, the world’s premier interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk and information services, announces on June 7 the completed acquisition of Los Angeles-based Moving Pictures Film & TV.
Moving Pictures Film & TV will be rebranded as ICAP Media, and brought into ICAP’s Global Intellectual Property (IP) Brokerage business and ICAP Media will continue to represent the Moving Pictures library of films.
ICAP Media is also excited to announce for sale a catalog of the three previously unreleased songs by famed guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Originally recorded in 1966 at Allegro Sound Studios in New York City, the three songs are the earliest known recordings of Jimi (then Jimmy) Hendrix.
The original reel-to-reel tape, along with a newly digitized master recording is ready for either studio production or distribution or as collectable items for the serious Hendrix collector, ICAP revealed in a media statement.
“We are excited to both add ICAP Media to ICAP’s Global IP Brokerage business and announce the availability of the previously unreleased Hendrix catalog,” says Dean Becker, CEO. “Whether in the form of film, television, music or other media, we plan on continuing to offer the highest quality entertainment for distribution across the globe.”
ICAP Media will be headquartered in Los Angeles with sales offices in London (where its parent company ICAP Plc is headquartered), Paris, Beijing, and San Paulo.
About ICAP MEDIA
ICAP Media (IM), formerly Moving Pictures Film & Television, is a multi-faceted media company. Its parent company, ICAP Plc, is a publicly owned financial institution, listed on the London Stock Exchange. The Group’s mission is to provide audiences with ethically entertaining media products.
IM holdings include both a US theatrical and distribution business and a global content distribution company. The ICAP Media offices are headquartered in the Santa Monica area of Los Angeles, CA.
Amnesty exhort SADC to deal rights abuses to ensure peaceful Zimbabwe-elections
Amnesty International’s Zimbabwe research team will be in Johannesburg from Monday 6 June to Saturday 11 June ahead of SADC’s extraordinary session on Zimbabwe.
The team will be lobbying key SADC embassies and diplomats as well as South African officials to ensure they do not backtrack on their unprecedented acknowledgment of serious human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
They will also demand that SADC continue to speak out publicly against ongoing human rights violations in Zimbabwe as they did in the communiqué issued after the March 31 Summit.
Simeon Mawanza – Amnesty International’s Zimbabwe researcher will be available for media interviews and studio appearances in Johannesburg throughout the week.
Among other things, Amnesty International will be calling on SADC to:
• Pressure the Zimbabwean authorities to end arbitrary arrests, harassment and intimidation of human rights activists
• Ensure that Zimbabwe’s airwaves are opened up including by licensing community radio stations to allow a greater flow of information and increased freedom of expression
• End partisan law enforcement and ensure depoliticization of Zimbabwe’s security forces
• To respond rapidly to ongoing human rights violations that threatens the credibility of the election process
Faith communities confronts unethical ‘scramble for Africa’s carbon space’
On 7th June, faith leaders briefed journalists alongside Kenyan vice-president Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka; on 8th June, the conference’s final position paper was presented.
Delegates seek true international resolve to cut emissions – without which Africa faces climate disaster
Despite 17 years of negotiations to cut warming emissions, current global pledges to emissions cuts leave Earth on track for between 2.5–4 degrees of warming, universally agreed to be catastrophic. A rough rule of thumb for Africa is that global climate trends will affect the continent 50% more – the catastrophe would be far greater for Africa.
At the end of May, International Energy Agency (IEA) chief economist Fatih Birol warned that despite the recent global recession, global emissions in 2010 were the highest on record, making it close to impossible to keep global temperatures below two degrees, widely considered a likely threshold for dangerous climate change.
There is little sign that the world’s nations are yet truly serious about the emissions cuts that are so badly needed. The negotiations are mostly about avoiding responsibility, not accepting it. Short-term economic growth, profit and narrow conceptions of national interest dominate, not securing but in fact destroying the prospects for global long-term human development.
Africans are responsible for a tiny proportion of global emissions, both current and historic, yet are highly likely to be amongst the world’s most affected people, threatened by unprecedented droughts, floods, extreme weather, diminishing food security, poverty, forced migration and increased conflict. Tragically, all too many Africans assume that the increasing hardships forced upon them are acts of God, not realising that they are in fact ever more the consequence of human actions.
With the climate negotiations returning to Africa in 2011, in Durban in December, African faith leaders are meeting to agree on a declaration of what a truly moral and ethical approach to climate change demands – to restore love, compassion, justice and equity to the heart of our considerations – and to set about holding business and political leaders fully accountable for their actions.
The faith communities are slow to move, but could be an immense power for good if they take on this responsibility – it is the fervent hope of this conference that they will.
The event was attended by Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice-President, Republic of Kenya Rev. Dr. Andre Karamaga, General Secretary, All Africa Conference of Churches
Rev. Dr. Andre Karamaga, General Secretary, All Africa Conference of Churches
Bishop Geoff Davies, Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute
Bishop Geoff Davies, Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute
At the UN Complex in Nairobi, Gigiri
UNOCI chief receives Senegal’s adviser on African Affairs
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire, Y.J. Choi, on Monday, 6 June 2011, received Senegal’s Adviser on African Affairs, Falilou Diallo.
Speaking after the encounter, Mr. Diallo said he had discussed initiatives for national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire with the head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). They also talked about the work of the Senegalese soldiers deployed in UNOCI, he added.
“Mr. Choi praised our soldiers and said he was very satisfied with the work they are doing,” said Mr. Diallo, adding that during the meeting, he had reiterated Senegal’s commitment to serve the United Nations whenever it is required to do so.
8th Tarifa Film Festival Presents 148 African movies
The 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa has announced that it will presents between 11th and 19th of June 148 movies from 23 African countries, which compete for 8 awards endowed with 46, 500 euros.
One of the biggest European festival of African cinema welcomes this year over 200 African filmmakers including legendary African directors Abderrahmane Sissako and Moustapha Alassane and focuses among others on African Diaspore in Latin America, the role of cinema in recent revolutions in Tunis and Egypt or restrospective of Congolese cinematography.
Festival is accompanied by 3rd Africa Produce Forum, where 10 African filmmakers compete with their projects to get funding from European producers, while 4th Photoafrica competition offers to African photographers 3 000 euros in prize money. Festival, which attracts every year over ten thousands of film fans, takes place on the southernmost tip of Spanish coast only 14 km from Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar.
Competition And Awards
Feature-length fiction movies (The African Dream section), documentaries (On the Other Side of the Strait section) and short films (Africa in Short section) compete for 8 awards endowed with 46 500 euros. There are awards for the best feature-length movie (15 000 euros), direction (10 000 euros), actor and actress (1 500 euros each), documentary (10 000 euros), short movie (2 000 euros), short movie audiovisual creation (1 500 euros) and Audience Award for the best feature length movie (5 000 euro).
Out Of Competition
There are 3 non-competitive sections of the festival – Open Screen (classics of African cinema, film adaptations of African literature…), Africa Rhytm (films dedicated to African music and dance), AnimAfrica (African short-length animation films).
Retrospective brings 4 sections focused on: Cinema and censorship / Cinema and democracy? (the case of Tunis and Egypt), Cinema of RD Congo (retrospective of Congolese cinematography from 60´s till the present), selection of movies regarding African Diaspore in Latin America and Carte Blanche of FIDADOC, selection of the films from Festival of documentary movies in Moroccan Agadir.
3rd Africa Produce Forum
Ten African film directors will be pitching their new film projects at the 3rd Africa Produce Co-Production Forum to Spanish film producers and TV commissioning editors including representatives of Al-Jazeera Documentary Channel.
There are 4 selected feature-length projects (Mettou, Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania, The Boda Boda Thieves, Donald Mugisha/Jamie Tayler, Uganda/South Africa, And Then The Rains Return, Yemane I. Demissie, Ethiopia, Le Ntih, Narcisse Wandji, Cameroon) and 3 documentaries (Un Día Vi 10.000 Elefantes, Pere Ortín/Ramón Esono, Equatorial Guinea/Spain, Parles a Eux, Maïmuna Ndiaye, Burkina Faso, Cenizas del Perdón, Gilbert Ndunga Nsangata, Congo/Spain)
Apart from that there are 3 guest projects to enrich the forum by their experiences: Asube (feature length project), Richard Jordan, Spain, Citizens Without Borders (feature-length project), Lexy Uyi Osunde, Nigeria/Spain, Jeanne d’Arc Masriya (documentary), Iman Kamel, Egypt.
25 photographers from 11 African countries compete with their works in finale of 4th Photoafrica contest, which offers €3,000 in prize money through 3 awards and the topic of this year is “Urban Space”. The exhibiton of altogether 27 large format photographs will be inaugurated and installed outdoors in Tarifa before and through the festival and after its closure will be travelling the whole year through Spanish and African cities.
25 photographers competing at 4th Photoafrica: Abdelmohcine Nakari (Morroco), Aboubacar Traore (Mali), Adolphus Opara (Nigeria), Djibril Drame (Senegal), Georges Senga (RDC), James Muriuki (Kenya, Hlompho Letsielo, Lesotho, Resta Nyamwanza (Zimbabwe), Mário Macilau (Mozambique), Marwen Trabelsi (Tunis), Mimi Cherono (Kenya) and 13 photographers from South Africa: Noncedo Charmaine Mathibela, Roanne Sutcliffe, Anthony Purnell, Bianca Kerstein Vinay, Cendyl Charlton, Chandre Busschau, Costas Christodoulou, David Kutlwano Moagi, Davina Gokool, Hayden Brawn, Ihsaan Haffejee, Jessica MacLeod, Kristi Bailey.
Denying Terrorists Safe Havens
Efforts to Counter Threats from Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia
June 8, 2011, Remarks by Shari Villarosa Deputy Coordinator Regional Affairs House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management Washington, DC
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this Committee today. Denying terrorists safe haven plays a major role in undermining terrorists’ capacity to operate effectively and forms a key element of what we’re doing in the State Department on counterterrorism. Terrorists operate without regard to national boundaries. Safe havens allow terrorists to recruit, organize, plan, train, and claim turf as a symbol of legitimacy. Physical safe havens usually straddle national borders or exist in regions where ineffective governance allows their presence. Examples include the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, Yemen, the Trans-Sahara region, and Somalia.
To effectively counter safe havens, we increasingly operate in a regional context with the goal of shrinking the space in which terrorists operate. Through the Regional Strategic Initiative (RSI), we seek to build regional cooperation to constrain terrorist activities. Under Chief-of-Mission authority, we bring Embassy officials, Military, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence agencies together to collectively assess the threats, pool resources, and devise collaborative strategies and action plans. We have established nine RSIs covering South East Asia, Iraq and its neighbors, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Mediterranean, East Africa, the Trans-Sahara, South Asia, Central Asia and Latin America.
Iâ€Ÿd like to note that there are examples of success against terrorist safe havens, particularly in Southeast Asia where we formed our first RSI. Terrorists traveled freely among the nations of the region by sea. So, through the U.S. military and 2
Coast Guard we worked with the nations of the region to improve maritime security first in the Straits of Malacca, then in the Sulu Sea terrorist safe haven area. With combined U.S. military and development assistance, the Government of the Philippines now has increasing control of the island of Basilan and is beginning to create stability on the island of Jolo. Both areas are exploited by Indonesia-based terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf Group.
Improved law enforcement and criminal justice also works to shrink safe havens as we have seen in Indonesia. After the 2002 Bali bombings, Indonesia enacted new anti-terrorism laws and established a special police force working together with trained prosecutors. As a result, the police have successfully disrupted operations, such as the Aceh terrorist training camp in February 2010, captured terrorists, collected intelligence, and arrested additional suspects based on that intelligence. Since 2003, over 500 JI operatives have been captured. Since its formation in September 2006, the special prosecutor task force has conducted 166 prosecutions, secured 133 verdicts, including those responsible for the 2009 Jakarta hotel bombings, and is currently prosecuting 36 defendants with additional cases being prepared for prosecution. We also embarked on a program with the Government of Indonesia to diversify the curriculum of religious schools, with math and science, so children would develop the skills needed in a global economy.
I. Key Terrorist Safe Havens
The State Department defines terrorist safe havens as ungoverned, under-governed, or ill-governed physical areas where terrorists are able to organize, plan, raise funds, communicate, recruit, train, transit, and operate in relative security because of inadequate governance capacity, political will, or both. This definition includes consideration of both political will and the capacity of host countries.
[Here you may want to say something about what makes safe havens different from places from which terrorists operate that are not safe havens, and what, if anything, State does differently for/to/in safe havens compared to non-safe-havens. To DHS, for example, the designation does not matter: we screen against terrorist threats based on intelligence but whether a given country is or is not a safe haven is not part of our targeting methodology. In addition, the section at the end would seem to go better here.]
Iâ€Ÿll begin our discussion of terrorist safe havens with the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Al-Qa”ida (AQ) cannot be allowed to maintain its safe haven and to continue plotting attacks. After he took office, President Obama launched a thorough review of our policy and set out a clear goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat AQ, and prevent it from threatening America and our allies in the future. In pursuit of this goal, the USG is following a strategy with three mutually reinforcing tracks – three surges: a military offensive against AQ terrorists and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan; a civilian campaign to bolster the governments, economies, and civil societies of Afghanistan and Pakistan to undercut the pull of the insurgency; and an intensified diplomatic push to bring the Afghan conflict to an end, and a more secure future for the region.
Since 2009, we have worked with the Government of Pakistan and its people at all levels. Secretary Clinton was there in late May. Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism many times in the last few years. At the same time, we are looking forward to Pakistan launching its own inquiry as to how Usama Bin Ladin was able to live in Abbottabad for more than five years.
We are working closely with the Government of Pakistan on a range of counterterrorism-related capacity building projects. These include numerous training courses for Pakistani police, which are administered by the State Departmentâ€Ÿs Diplomatic Security bureau. Our Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement also works closely on border security and other law-enforcement matters. It routinely provides Pakistani security and police forces with equipment to counter extremism. And it is truly a whole of government effort. For example, the FBI and Department of Justice work with their Pakistani counterparts on investigatory, prosecutorial, and training matters. Treasury and DHS are also interacting with Pakistan on several important matters relating to terrorism finance and improvised explosive devises, respectively. Through USAID we are assisting the Pakistanis with delivery of basic services and improved governance in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Even as we’ve endured serious challenges to the relationship, some of which continue to make headlines, we’ve continued civilian and military assistance throughout the country and solidified our cooperation.
It is no secret that we have not always seen eye-to-eye with Pakistan on how to deal with its terrorist threats or on the future of Afghanistan. But as a result of U.S. and Pakistan counterterrorism cooperation and Pakistani military operations aimed at eliminating militant strongholds in the FATA, the AQ core has had significant leadership losses – including the recent demise of Usama bin Laden and is finding it more difficult to raise money, train recruits, and plan attacks outside of the region. Although the AQ core is clearly weaker, it retains the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks. In addition, AQ has forged closer ties with other militant groups in the region – for example Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Haqqani Network –providing the group with additional capabilities to draw on.
While Pakistan is making some progress on the counterterrorism front, specifically against TTP, the challenge remains to make these gains durable and sustainable. To this end, Pakistan must sustain its efforts to deny AQ safe haven in the tribal areas of western Pakistan. And we must continue to press Pakistan for increased action against Lashkar-e Tayyiba and terrorist groups that undermine the security of Pakistan, the region, and beyond. Secretary Clinton just concluded a trip to Islamabad and discussed in great detail our cooperation with Pakistan to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat AQ, and to drive them from Pakistan and the region. We will do our part and we look to the Government of Pakistan to take decisive steps in the days ahead. Joint action against AQ and its affiliates will make Pakistan, America, and the world safer and more secure.
While the AQ core has weakened operationally, the affiliates have become stronger. Consequently, the broader AQ threat has become more geographically diversified. At the top of the affiliates list is al-Qa”ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen. It continues to demonstrate its growing ambitions and strong desire to carry out attacks outside of its region. AQAP is the first of the AQ affiliates to make attacks against the United States homeland a central goal. As you know, the group made its debut in this regard with its December 25, 2009 attempt to destroy an airliner bound for Detroit. Then, in October 2010 it sought to blow up several U.S.-bound airplanes by shipping bombs that were intended to detonate while in the planesâ€Ÿ cargo holds. As those efforts and AQAPâ€Ÿs failed attempt in August 2009 on the life of Saudi Arabia’s Assistant deputy interior for security affairs minister demonstrated, the group is trying to evade existing detection capabilities.
Obviously, we are talking here about a country in the middle of a political crisis, that we see in the headlines every day. But to put things in perspective, let me back up a bit. The gravity of the AQAP threat was clear to the Obama administration from day one, and weâ€Ÿve been focused on Yemen since the outset. In the spring of 2009, the administration initiated a full-scale review of Yemen 5
policy that led to a whole-of-government approach to Yemen. As part of that approach, we strengthened our engagement with the Yemeni government on counterterrorism. We also increased our efforts to coordinate with other international actors. Our strategy seeks to deal with imminent and developing threats at the same time that it addresses the root causes of instability in Yemen to improve governance. Central to this is building the capacity of Yemenâ€Ÿs government to be responsive to the Yemeni people, delivering the security and services they require.
Given that Yemenâ€Ÿs political, economic, security, and governance challenges are interrelated and mutually reinforcing, U.S. policy must be holistic and flexible to be effective in both the short and long-term. U.S. strategy in Yemen is two-pronged: (1) strengthen the Government of Yemenâ€Ÿs ability to promote security and minimize the threat from violent extremists within its borders, and (2) mitigate Yemenâ€Ÿs economic crisis and deficiencies in government capacity, provision of services, and transparency.
To help meet immediate security concerns, we have provided training and equipment to particular units of the Yemeni security forces. In coordination with our security efforts, the USG has also increased development assistance to Yemen significantly. Development and stabilization assistance for Yemen went from roughly $9M in FY 2008 to $75M in FY 2010.1
While we are in a period of uncertainty, Iâ€Ÿd stress that our shared interest with the Yemeni government in fighting terrorism, particularly defeating AQAP, does not rely solely on one individual; we are hopeful that any future Yemeni leaders will be solid counterterrorism partners.
1 This includes funding from bilateral programs funded by DA, ESF, and GHCS accounts, funding from regional and global programs/accounts that were attributed to/spent in Yemen (CCF, TI, MEPI, and DCHA funds), and Sec 1207 transfer authority funds from DoD.
Before I talk about Somalia, Iâ€Ÿd like to talk about West Africa, where no group has made a bigger name for itself in the kidnapping for ransom business than al-Qa”ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM has raised tens of millions of Euros in the past several years through kidnap for ransom operations. We believe much of this ransom money goes to logistically sustain the organization but there is plenty as well to build truck bombs, which have been used in Mauritania and Niger with limited success. AQIM has attacked and ambushed military forces in Mauritania and Algeria recently as well as others in Niger and Mali; the group is also working to increase its operational reach in West Africa.
A moment ago I mentioned the importance of operating in a regional context in our efforts to counter terrorist safe havens. The United States created a regional partnership in North and West Africa, the Trans Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) in 2005 with the following strategic goals: to build military and law enforcement capacity; foster regional cooperation; and counter violent extremism. We want the region to lead counterterrorism efforts, rather than have those efforts be led by a group of Western allies. TSCTP is working to enhance a range of military and civilian capabilities in the Sahel and Maghreb. It is also facilitating cooperation between Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkina Faso and our TSCTP partners in the Maghreb – Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
We believe this program is beginning to pay off with partners taking a greater than ever role in counterterrorism operations in the region. We have also seen positive signs of greater regional cooperation among these countries, particularly between Algeria, Mauritania, and Mali. Moreover, select Allies, such as Canada and France, have also joined to bolster TSCTP efforts with their own programs that complement our own.
Given all that is going on in Maghreb, successful democratic transitions in Tunisia and Libya will be the best bar to inroads by violent extremists in both countries and in North Africa more broadly. In the short term, however, the instability in Libya and the transition in Tunisia may provide AQIM with new openings, and we must continue to adjust our strategy in response to evolving conditions, work with our partners in the region to preserve the gains weâ€Ÿve made through TSCTP and bilaterally, and ensure that we remain on track to achieve our goal of containing and marginalizing AQIM.
The chronic instability in Somalia and the fragile hold on power that the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG) exert, combined with a protracted state of violent insecurity, long unguarded coasts, and porous borders, have made Somalia an appealing location for exploitation by terrorists, criminals, and other nefarious actors. The terrorist and insurgent group al-Shabaab and other anti-TFG clan-based militias exercise control over strategic locations in south and central Somalia. Al-Shabaab is composed of a range of groups with varying motivations and interests. Some of al-Shabaabâ€Ÿs senior leaders have links to al-Qa”ida and are interested in waging a global struggle, while other members have a purely Somali agenda or simply are in it for the money. Al-Shabaabâ€Ÿs widening scope of operations makes it a continuing threat to East Africa and U.S. interests in the region. Last July, we saw it conduct its first major attack outside of Somalia when it claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings at the time of the soccer World Cup that killed 76 people in Kampala, Uganda. In addition, al-Shabaab has a cadre of Westerners, including fighters of ethnic Somali descent drawn from the global Somali diaspora and American converts, which make it a particular concern.
The United States continues to pursue a dual track approach to create stability in Somalia. On track one, we support the Djibouti Peace Process, while continuing to encourage the TFG to reach out to moderates that support peace and stability in Somalia. On track two, we are broadening our outreach to include greater engagement with Somaliland, Puntland, and regional and local anti-al-Shabaab actors and groups throughout south-central Somalia in order to broaden security and stabilization efforts throughout the country. We are also reaching out to diaspora communities and civil society to foster dialogue and peaceful reconciliation.
Additionally, the United States actively supports the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM. The recent offensive by the combined AMISOM and TFG forces has shown some promise in fighting al-Shabaab in Mogadishu. Outside of Mogadishu, Ethiopia- and Kenya-supported militia in the western regions of south central Somalia are having some success in reducing al-Shabaab’s territorial control. However, a great deal more work remains to be done to translate the success of the offensives into political gains through the consolidation of political control in these newly liberated areas.
We are also engaging with regional partners to build and sustain their counterterrorism capabilities to address the threats emanating from Somalia. The Partnership for Regional East African Counterterrorism (PREACT) is the USGâ€Ÿs program for long-term engagement and counterterrorism capacity building in East Africa not only in Somalia, but also its neighbors to shrink terroristsâ€Ÿ ability to transit the region. PREACT has an expanded set of strategic objectives and program indicators to more effectively systematize and streamline interagency contributors and resources to support the programâ€Ÿs counterterrorism capacity-building objectives in East Africa. 8
How We Are Addressing Terrorist Safe Havens
To begin with, we are working with our various interagency partners, such as homeland security, USAID, the military, and the intelligence community to keep Americans safe and our interests secure. With this whole-of-government approach, we are comprehensively strengthening our partnerships around the world by ensuring that all U.S. government assistance providers are working from the same playbook…making sure that our assistance is more balanced to improve both immediate security and long term governance and rule of law. Helping our partners more effectively confront the threat within their borders is both good counterterrorism and good statecraft.
What we are doing in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere is balancing military programs with robust civilian efforts that include rule of law, political and fiscal reforms; better governance through competent institutions, reduced corruption and civil service reform; economic diversification to generate employment and enhance livelihoods, and strengthened natural resource management. Iâ€Ÿd like to note that many USG programs and activities simultaneously contribute to various foreign policy goals. Governance and economic reform are not specifically designed to counter terrorist safe havens but indirectly serve that function and should be considered an essential part of the assistance package we provide for a truly whole-of-government approach to shrink terroristsâ€Ÿ operating spaces.
Since coming into office, the administration has been emphasizing a more strategic approach to counterterrorism. The United States has made great strides in tactical counterterrorism – taking individual terrorists off the street, disrupting cells, and thwarting conspiracies. But at the strategic level, we continue to see a strong flow of new recruits into many of the most dangerous terrorist organizations. Addressing the factors that drive radicalization – a mixture of local grievances and the global terrorist narrative – is necessary to further diminish terrorist safe havens.
One emphasis of strategic counterterrorism is building our foreign partnersâ€Ÿ capacity. The heart of these efforts is to improve the rule of law and governance. Ultimately, counterterrorism and rule of law goals are closely aligned and reinforce one another. We are working to make the counterterrorism training of police, prosecutors, border officials, and members of the judiciary more systematic, more innovative, and more far-reaching. We are addressing the state weaknesses that terrorism thrives on – helping our partners to more effectively counter the threat that they and we both face.
One of our most effective capacity building programs is the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Program, the primary provider of U.S. government antiterrorism training and equipment to law enforcement agencies of partner nations. Last year, in Fiscal Year 2010, $215 million in Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related programs (NADR) funds supported approximately 350 ATA courses, workshops, and technical consultations that trained almost 7000 participants from 64 countries. In FY 2010, the ATA Program also completed 23 capabilities assessments and program review visits. These on-site assessments looked at critical counterterrorism capabilities and served as a basis for Country Assistance Plans and the evaluation of subsequent progress.
The ATA program is most effective where countries have a combination of political will and basic law enforcement skills to be most receptive to the advanced training ATA provides. This relatively successful formula has been especially evident in Indonesia, Colombia, Turkey, and parts of North Africa. Through an emphasis on train-the-trainer courses, we are working with partner nations toward the goal of institutionalization and self-sustainment of capacities. We also are moving toward giving advising and mentoring an importance similar to training and equipping. Finally, we ensure that our programs are based on long-term strategic country and regional plans, integrated with other providers of security sector assistance at the State Department and in the interagency.
In Colombia, ATA training of civilian and police law enforcement has paid particular dividends, as Colombia now uses the lessons learned to help train more than 20 countries (11of those in the Western Hemisphere). USAID has supported efforts enabling Colombia to establish an effective reconciliation and transition program for those willing to lay down their arms. These efforts along with the Colombian militaryâ€Ÿs success in identifying the location of terrorist safe havens — which we have assisted –has resulted in significant progress in reducing the FARCâ€Ÿs operating space in Colombia.
All of this work goes on in the context of vigorous diplomatic and multilateral engagement. While we work in regional fora, Iâ€Ÿd also point to our bilateral engagement, which remains important. We have formal bilateral counterterrorism consultations with numerous countries. Among them are Australia, Canada, China, Israel, Egypt, Japan, Pakistan, Algeria, Russia, and India; these consultations have strengthened our counterterrorism partnerships so we can complement one anotherâ€Ÿs efforts in pursuit of a comprehensive approach to our common challenges.
Before closing, I want to mention one other area of activity where we are innovating – namely in our program to counter violent extremism (CVE), a key part of our strategic counterterrorism work. Compared to capacity building work, which has been going on for many years, this activity has a new focus. CVE focuses on three main lines of effort that will reduce terrorist recruitment: delegitimizing the violent extremist narrative in order to diminish its “pull”; developing positive alternatives for youth vulnerable to radicalization to diminish the “push” effect of grievances and unmet expectations; and building partner capacity to carry out these activities. We are working with the interagency to develop programs that address the upstream factors of radicalization in communities particularly susceptible to terrorist recruitment overseas. Efforts include providing alternatives for at-risk youth, encouraging the use of social media to generate local initiatives, and enhancing the resilience of communities against extremism.
Research has shown that radicalization occurs primarily at the local level. To be effective, CVE work needs to be driven by local needs, informed by local knowledge, and responsive to the immediate concerns of the community. Furthermore, programs owned and implemented by local civil society of government partners have a better chance succeeding and enduring. These initiatives can enable communities to address recruitment and radicalization, and can help deny terrorists avenues to create ideological safe haven in such communities.
In conclusion, the threat is formidable but we are making progress. I firmly believe that countering violent extremism, multilateral engagement, and building local capacity – through our various programs and with our Department and interagency partners – provide us with the tools to make lasting progress in our fight against terrorism. Al-Qaâ€Ÿida is having a tougher time now more than ever, although AQ and its affiliates are still extremely dangerous and capable of attacking the United State and our allies. In the race to protect the United States and to stay “one step ahead” we should ensure that the tools of civilian power continue to serve National Security interests. This is an enduring challenge. Staying sharp, improving our offense, strengthening our defense and maintaining our intellectual edge – these are all essential. I believe that we are on the right track. Thank you again for providing the opportunity to testify.
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