Sunday, August 12, 2007

Millennial Challeges: African Command for security and prosperity of Africans

Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc for Peace and Prosperity-;

Ethiopia: U.S. to Set Up African Command

The Reporter (Addis Ababa)

11 August 2007
Posted to the web 12 August 2007

Bruck Shewareged
Addis Ababa

The United States is to set up an African command, making it the fourth command which will be tasked with coordinating the U.S. army's activities in the continent, U.S. ambassador to the African Union (AU) Cindy L. Courville disclosed.

Briefing local journalists after a visit to the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HDA) in Djibouti and to the USS Enterprise, U.S. Navy Carrier currently docked off the cost of Djibouti, Ambassador Courville said that the post-cold war, post-9/11 world offers an opportunity to rethink the situation.

She pointed out that the U.S. army's engagement was not limited to security but also to development as army personnel are involved in different activities such as building school.

Currently the U.S. has three commands overseas including the European Command based in Stuttgart, Germany which is also responsible for most of Africa, the Central Command, which is responsible for the East, and the Pacific Command, which oversee matters in most of the islands.

Ambassador Courville noted that so far no decision had been made as to where the base of the African command will be. "No decisions have been made as to where it will be located or as to whether or not it will be one location. It is still under discussion."

Relevant Links

East Africa
Arms and Military Affairs
Conflict, Peace and Security
United States, Canada and Africa

She also said that it was difficult to put a time frame as to when the command will be fully established. She disclosed that a sub-combatant command would be established before setting up a full command. This command, according to the ambassador, will remain in Stuttgart, Germany probably for the next year as further decisions are made.

Ambassador Courville indicated that probably in the next three to five years the process of establishing the African command could be wound up.

"It is a big decision. Headquarters are where families will be. They need facilities to accommodate them," she said, adding, "It takes a lot of money to make the shift. Where do your place the staff, is the infrastructure of the host country adequate etc."


Copyright © 2007 The Reporter. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media ( To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections -- or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here

Ending an African standoff

The Boston Globe
Thursday, August 9, 2007

The United States is expanding its military presence in the Horn of Africa in an attempt to counteract terrorist groups in the region. But military activity is not the way to achieve that goal. Instead, the United States needs to put more effort into solving the major political dispute there: the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

American forces have established a network of outposts in Ethiopia and Kenya centered on a base in Djibouti. The United States has created an Africa Command to coordinate military activities. In January, U.S. gunships blasted away at suspected Islamic terrorists in southern Somalia. These forays have continued as an Ethiopian force occupies Mogadishu, the Somali capital, to bolster the provisional government there.

The Eritreans, seeing a chance to make trouble, are supplying Islamic insurgents with weapons and military advice. Could Mogadishu become another Baghdad, with Ethiopians playing the part of the U.S. troops in Iraq? The Ethiopians need to withdraw before that happens.

Some terrorists are no doubt lurking in Somalia, but the United States should not view the Horn strictly as a front in the war on terror. The inconclusive 1998-2000 war between Eritrea and Ethiopia is a greater threat to peace.

Settlement of the border comes first. An international tribunal, deliberating with the support of both countries, gave a section of land around the town of Badme to Eritrea in 2002. To an outsider, this scrubby countryside is hardly worth fighting over, but the Ethiopians have resisted pulling out, and the Eritreans have harassed the international force policing the cease-fire and sent troops into the neutral zone between the two armies.

Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, said in June that his country accepted the border in principle but wanted more talks on how to demarcate it. The United Nations Security Council last week extended the mandate of the international peacekeepers for another six months. It's time to resolve the dispute once and for all. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon ought to make a settlement this year one of his top priorities.

The United States can help by putting more pressure on Ethiopia, a de facto ally and the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. It won't be easy. President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea is a particular problem - authoritarian, increasingly repressive, and not afraid to go it alone, even though his people bear the consequence of isolation and perpetual mobilization for war.

The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea caused 100,000 deaths, the State Department reckons. A settlement between the two countries will make it easier to form a common front against the stateless sources of violence in the Horn.



MIT Entrepreneurship
Join MIT's entrepreneurial network and create successful businesses.


Copyright © 2007 The International Herald Tribune | ;

No comments:

Post a Comment