Leader Development & Education for Sustained Peace Program: Cross-Cultural, Geopolitical & Regional Education

LDESP AFRICOM News Update – May 2012

NOTE: This is an excerpt. Click here to see the news update in its entirety.

Note: This update is a summary of various news articles from open sources relating to African countries threatened by political instability or civil unrest, impending humanitarian crisis, emerging security threats and terrorist activities, energy security activities and economic and/or security cooperation efforts. Please click on the links below to access the complete article from the internet. External links may expire at any time depending on the archiving policy of the particular news agency. News summaries given below highlight only the portion of each article that is relevant and may not necessarily be the focus of the entire article or the headline. Please note that the update includes articles, which use the British English spelling. Articles are taken from diverse regional, American and European media sources, reflecting a range of political views/biases, and are intended to provide readers with a better understanding of various interests and perspectives regarding the situation in the region. Opinions expressed in the articles/commentaries do not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense, the US Navy, or the LDESP Staff.

Little Known About Men and Child Trafficking Victims

A new study said much more research is needed on men and children who’ve been victims of human trafficking. It says they’re not getting the medical and psychological care necessary to rebuild their lives. Dr. Sian Oram said human trafficking is widespread and growing. (…) Oram led a team of researchers from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry. She said many studies have been done on the physical and psychological effects of trafficking on women. “The studies were really consistently reporting about women who’ve been trafficked – the sexual exploitation experienced – very high levels of physical and sexual violence. And also we found that they were reporting very high levels of physical, sexual and mental health problems,” she said. Many men become forced laborers in fields or fishing boats. Many children may be recruited into armed groups, sexually exploited or used in the illegal drug trade. Asked how much is known about how they’re affected, Oram said, “Really not very much at all. We didn’t find any studies that reported on the health of trafficked men. And we really only found a couple that reported on trafficked children, and they were very limited.” Oram isn’t sure why so little is known, but she said it means little is being done to help them. “I think it really means that when we’re looking to work with trafficked men and trafficked children to support their needs and help them recover from their experiences, we can’t do that in a way that’s informed by the evidence there, because the evidence just isn’t there,” she said. Many trafficking victims not only suffer from high levels of anxiety, but post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s something often associated with combat veterans and war victims. PTSD can have debilitating effects. “For example,” she said, “if women are talking to police, or they’re completing an immigration interview, and some of the symptoms of PTSD that they may have are around difficulty concentrating, or difficulty remembering important aspects of what happened to them, they may seem like incredible witnesses when actually it’s symptoms of the disorder that they displaying.” Oram said it’s important to know whether men and children are suffering the same effects. (VOA News)


AFRICOM first to test new regional brigade concept

A U.S.-based unit has been selected as the Army’s first “regionally aligned” brigade, and by next year its soldiers could begin conducting operations in Africa. It is the first step in an effort to develop expert units to rotate through a region. U.S. Africa Command will be the first to test the new rotational model, intended to give commanders a more reliable supply of soldiers available for short, training-focused missions. Army chief of staff Gen. Raymond Odierno on 16 May said that a brigade from the 10th Mountain Division has been picked to lead the effort in Africa. Plans also call for brigades to eventually be aligned with Southern, Central and Pacific Commands, Odierno said. The number of brigades aligned with a given region will depend on the needs of the respective combatant commands. (…) Army planners have been working on the regional brigade concept for some time. (…) The Army isn’t alone in developing new models for rotational forces. In Europe, Marines have deployed rotational troops the past few years for missions in the Black Sea region. The Corps also recently activated a special rotational task force for missions in Africa. Meanwhile, the Army Reserve is planning to ramp up its missions in Europe and Africa as part of an effort to pick up some of the mission load as the active-duty Army downsizes. (Stars And Stripes)

East Africa: Kony Will be Brought to Justice – AFRICOM

The Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) Gen. Carter F. Ham has stated that he is confident the Lord’s Resistance Army chief, Joseph Kony will be brought to justice. “I am confident Joseph Kony (LRA leader) will be brought to justice. I am not confident when it will happen,’ Gen Ham remarked in an interview with New Vision. ‘It is looking for a small group in a vast rugged area. The capture of Acellam is a good step. The questions that will be asked Acellam will help the forces learn about the status of LRA,’ he pointed out. The US has contributed 100 Special Forces to help UPDF and other regional forces in the hunt for Kony. The LRA field commander, Maj. Gen Caesar Acellam was captured recently by the UPDF on the banks of the River Mbou in the Central African Republic. In the interview, Gen. Ham saluted the UPDF for the successes in efforts to stabilise Somalia and ridding Mogadishu of the Al Shabaab militants. “There is no question that from a security point of view Somalia has improved. The Uganda people should be proud of the professionalism of the soldiers in Mogadishu,” Gen. Ham said. (…) Gen. Ham, who heads the US African Command based in Stuttgart – Germany was in the country to attend the conference of Land Forces Commanders of Africa that closed at Munyonyo on 18 May. On the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, Gen. Ham insisted that the best way out is a negotiated settlement. (allAfrica)

NOTE: This is an excerpt. Click here to see the news update in its entirety.


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