1. September 2008: Nigeria lawmakers divided over Mossad training -- what could possibly go wrong???
Members of the National Assembly have expressed different opinions on the alleged invitation of Israeli intelligence agency to train the country's security operations under a secret security pact.
Former Chairman House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Rep Abdullahi Farouk (PDP, Kebbi State), said Nigeria does not need Mossad or any foreign intelligence organisation to train the country's security agents because Nigeria has the best security training institution in the country.However, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, said he supports the alleged security pact with Israeli. He said "They (Mossad) are professionals and they are here to help train our own intelligence agents. I don't see anyway by which their presence in the country pose any threat to our National Security."
read more @ allafrica
2. Al-Sheikh recounts horror in Niger
Al-Sheikh described the events that led to the attack: “We were driving on a road near Niamey on our way to neighboring Mali when we passed an inhabited village at which we did not stop. Three kilometers from there we heard the Azan calling for the Fajr prayer so we stopped to do the prayer and to continue our journey afterwards. At the very moment while we were spreading the rugs to say the prayer, a black Jeep with three armed men stopped near us and besieged us. The armed men got down and started searching our car. They took our money and mobile phones. Then they took us to a place with trees far away from the road. They took us out of the car and started shooting at us. I received the first bullet but luckily I survived. They shot at my colleagues one after the other. Four of them died on the spot and two of us were injured. Only the driver was unhurt.”
read more @ arab news
3. Sudan's Beshir in Saudi Arabia for talks
Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir arrived on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia for talks, the official SPA news agency said. Beshir, who will stay in the kingdom for several days, was met at the airport by King Abdullah and other top officials, before heading to the king's Janadiriyah desert farm outside the capital for a banquet, SPA said.
Beshir will be discussing regional political issues and bilateral economic relations during the visit, Sudan's ambassador Hafez Ibrahim Mohammed said in a statement ahead of his arrival.
He will also visit Medina and undertake an umrah minor pilgrimage, SPA said.
Although Beshir has faced an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Darfur since March 4, Riyadh has made clear it will not act on the warrant.(AFP)source: naharnet
4. Ethiopian famine exaggerated?
The government of Ethiopia has moved to debunk claims by a US-funded Famine Early Warning System that has claimed that the majority of Ethiopians are starving and in dire need of food. Ethiopia has been extremely sensitive to images showing its people as starving since the famine of 1984-5 and have condemned any further portrayal of such negativity. The FEWS claims come in the backdrop of another report from IFPRI which shows Ethiopia in a distant sixth position on the Sub-Saharan Africa hunger index.
read more @ afrik.com
5. Moroccan, US military to strengthen cooperation
RABAT, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Commander of the United States African Command (AFRICOM) General William E. Ward visited Morocco, vowing to strengthen cooperation with the Moroccan army, local satellite channel Medi 1 Sat reported Thursday.
Ward met with Lieutenant General Abdelaziz Bennani, general inspector of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and governor of the Southern Zone, and the two discussed bilateral military cooperation and opportunities to strengthen partnership between the Royal Armed Forces and the U.S. Army, the report said.
This is Ward's third visit to Morocco, heading a AFRICOM delegation, after two previous visits in 2008.
Morocco is an important partner in the region for the United States, and its efforts of counter-terrorism and smuggling and involvement in peace-keeping operations are highly appreciated by the U.S. Army, the report noted.
AFRICOM command, currently temporarily headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, will coordinate U.S. military and security interests throughout the African continent.