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A week in Washington

Earlier this week CSIS held an interesting event. The title was Donors and the War on Terror in East Africa.Specifically it was to determine how the actions of the Ugandan and Kenyan Governments were seen in both Washington and London.

It should be noted in some cases both Kampala and Nairobi have undertaken some similar actions such as their intervention in Somalia and being part of the Coalition in the GWOT. However there is a great dichotomy in how the actions that are being seen. Part of the answer has to be the PR that the Ugandans have been able to create in Washington Specifically. One key piece of evidence is the LRA Law which has led to the deployment of 100 US Soldiers to Central Africa.

The Ugandans have used the Media and other sources to get their point across and thus be able to receive copious amounts of Military and Financial Aid. Kenya however has been been seen as a weaker partner after the failure of a Counter Terror Bill that many felt was being imposed on them by the United States. Therefore Kenya has the image of not being as strong when it comes to counterterror operations and other key aspects that the US and the UK are looking for. It should be noted that Kenya has Presidential Elections planned for 2013 as well so this may not be the last we hear of Kenya in this light either.

Also this week the CE attended events regarding Human Rights in Africa where the Ambassadors to the US from Mali and Guinea were present. This meeting occurred before the current crackdown in Conakrey began. The remarks made by the Malian Ambassador at this meeting were rather predictable. He stated that Islamists were behind the rebellion that actually gathered steam after the Military Coup. It has come to light in the recent Transparency International Index of Nations that Mali slipped 40 points. Clearly something did occur in the last days of the previous Presidency.

The CE also attended an event at the Heritage Foundation as well regarding the situation in Mali. The presentation referred to the situation in Mali as being influenced by the collapse of the Libyan Government late last year and being a cancer in the region that cannot be allowed to fester. The Ambassador from Niger attended this event as well.

The plan by the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Initiative to assist Nigeria deal with Boko Haram also came up as well. It has been reported that Boko Haram has assisted the Islamist Insurgents in the Gao area of Mali. Niger has had its own issues with Islamist Insurgencies and is now facing a Refugee crisis as well as some have fled into the Country. There is now concerns regarding whether or not Niger has enough food to last through the end of the calendar year as a result of the influx of refugees. This is an issue that should be nipped in the bud.

The DRC continues to fester as well as the troops that have mutinied after the call for the arrest of General Bosco Ntganda have announced that they have formed their own Militia. This is a situation that continues to not to improve politically.....


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