ML Strategies Update David Leiter, email@example.com Georgette Spanjich, firstname.lastname@example.org Madeleine Herr, email@example.com FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @MLStrategies ML Strategies, LLC 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20004 USA 202 434 7300 202 434 7400 fax www.mlstrategies.com JULY 16‚ 2015 Africa Update Leading the News Burundi On July 9th , United Nations (U.N.) Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Taye-Brook Zerihoun and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein briefed the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Burundi. Both officials warned the situation prevailing in Burundi is once again at risk of sliding into violence. Assistant-Secretary-General Zerihoun expressed concern for the electoral process and the political and security situations observed by the U.N. Election Observation Mission (MENUB), while High Commissioner Zeid delivered a warning on protection and promotion of human rights. The briefing was summarized here. On July 9th, Burundian General Leonard Ngendakumana, who was involved in the coup attempt against President Pierre Nkurunziza in May, said his group is still working to oust President Nkurunziza from power. General Ngendakumana, who previously served as a senior intelligence officer in President Nkurunziza’s government and as a rebel fighter during Burundi’s civil war, said he believes President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term violates the country’s constitution. His comments were captured here. On July 10th, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a warning about the impacts the tense situation in Burundi is having on the stability and development of Central Africa. According to OHCHR, more than 145,000 people had already fled to neighboring countries since the parliamentary and local elections held on June 29th in anticipation of more unrest leading up to the presidential election then set for July 15th. UNHCR also reported it has recorded over 300 cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions in the past two months. An update was provided here. On July 10th, the U.S. Department of State expressed concern for reports that fighting had broken out in several areas of Burundi and for recently broadcast remarks by Burundians threatening to use force against the Government of Burundi. The State Department urged all parties in Burundi to commit themselves to constructive dialogue to resolve peacefully the political impasse threatening to unravel the peace and stability ushered in by the implementation of the Arusha Agreement. The U.S. condemned violence as a means to attain political goals and expressed opposition to any attempt to seize power through extraconstitutional means. A full statement was published here. On July 11th, Gervais Abayeho, a spokesman for Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, announced the presidential election scheduled for July 15th would be postponed to July 21st. The move follows a request made by the East African Community (EAC) that the polls be delayed to July 30th. The postponement of the election was announced here. On July 14th, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni departed for Bujumbura, Burundi, to mediate between warring political factions as part of the EAC’s efforts to find a lasting solution to the current political situation in Burundi. President Museveni was appointed at the close of a recent summit of EAC leaders held in Tanzania to mediate talks between the government and opposition leaders who accuse Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza of violating the constitution by running for a third term in the upcoming presidential election. President Museveni’s travel to Burundi was noted here. On July 15th , Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni chaired the opening session of peace talks between the government, civil society, religious leaders, and members of different political parties. President Museveni called for unity in Burundi amid the ongoing political crisis. Many have criticized President Museveni’s position as mediator given the fact that he has disregarded term limits applied to himself in Uganda. Further details were provided here. On July 16th , OHCHR called on the U.N. Security Council to respond to the escalating pattern of politically motivated violence in Burundi. U.N. experts warned the situation in Burundi could escalate into a major conflict through the use of outright repression against, and the intimidation of the population at large, the instrumentalization of the police, the closure of independent media, and the detention of opposition or other civic leaders. Details were posted here. Nigeria On July 10th, the Nigerian military reported an overnight attack carried out by Boko Haram on the town of Buni Yadi. It was not immediately clear how the fighting ended and if there were any casualties in the attack. Buni Yadi was one of the towns captured by Boko Haram in 2014, only to be reclaimed by the Nigerian army in March. The incident was reported here. On July 12th, a man dressed in a woman’s burqa blew himself up in the main market in N’Djamena, Chad, killing 15 people and wounding 80 others. Chadian authorities banned religious garments last month that could be used by attackers to disguise themselves or explosives. Separately, police reported a second explosion north of the capital that killed one person. While no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, it was widely believe Boko Haram orchestrated both bombings. For details, click here. On July 12th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the terrorist attack in N’Djamena’s central market in Chad that killed at least 15 people. Secretary-General Ban said the brutal attack against civilians during the month of Ramadan serves as a reminder that terrorism knows no bounds. Additionally, he reiterated the importance of further collaboration among countries in the region to more effectively combat Boko Haram while adhering to international humanitarian, human rights, and refugee law. Secretary-General Ban’s views on the attack can be seen here. On July 13th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned twin Boko Haram suicide bombings that targeted the city of Fotokol in Cameroon and killed at least a dozen people. Secretary-General Ban expressed support for the Government of Cameroon and urged it, as well as other governments in the region, to further strengthen cooperation in addressing the threat posed by Boko Haram. Secretary-General Ban’s response to the attack was posted here. On July 13th, the U.S. Department of State condemned Saturday’s Boko Haram attack on the Grand Marche in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena, as well as attacks in Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. The State Department reiterated Boko Haram’s targeting of defenseless men, women, and children highlight the group’s savagery and total disregard for the sanctity of human life. Additionally, the State Department expressed ongoing support for the governments and people of the Lake Chad Basin region in their struggle to degrade and defeat Boko Haram. The State Department’s reaction can be viewed here. On July 13th, ahead of his planned visit to the U.S. next week, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari dismissed the country’s army, air force, navy, and defense chiefs tasked with overseeing the response to Boko Haram. Later in the day, President Buhari announced their replacements, including Major General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, who will be chief of defense, Major General T.Y. Burutai, who will be chief of the army, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, who will be chief of the navy, and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who will lead the air force. The situation was described here. On July 13th, a suicide bomber in a bus at the Njimtilo checkpoint in Maiduguri, Nigeria killed one person and injured three others. The victim of the attack was a member of the civilian joint taskforce (JTF). While no group claimed immediate responsibility, the attack resembles similar attacks by Boko Haram. The scene was described here. On July 13th, suspected Boko Haram fighters killed dozens of people and burned down the villages of Kalwa and Gwollam in Borno state, Nigeria. Borno state police commissioner Aderemi Opadokun’s statement on the situation can be read here. On July 14th, Boko Haram killed at least 12 people in fresh attacks in Borno state, Nigeria. Fighting occurred in the town of Damasak, which had been recaptured from Boko Haram by Chadian and Nigerien troops in March, but has been attacked several times since. Recent developments were shared here. On July 14th, suspected Boko Haram militants killed several children on the island of Tetewa in Lake Chad. Since June, bombings and shootings orchestrated by Boko Haram have taken 80 lives in Chad. Boko Haram’s recent activities in the country were detailed here. On July 15th, following twin Boko Haram attacks in Fotokol in which two women dressed in religious garments blew themselves up, Cameroon banned burqas from being worn in the northern part of the country. Local Governor Midjiyawa Bakari said the measure was necessary because of the security situation prevailing in the region. The policy change was noted here. On July 16th, a spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari previewed President Buhari’s upcoming meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday. During the meeting, President Buhari is expected to focus on measures to strengthen and intensify bilateral and international cooperation against terrorism in Nigeria and West Africa. President Buhari is also scheduled to meet with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. For more information, click here. Libya On July 10th, U.N. Special Representative for Libya and head of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Leon condemned escalating hostilities in Benghazi and deplored the repeated shelling of residential areas in the city. According to UNSMIL, at least ten civilian deaths were reported in the week prior. Special Representative Leon reiterated there can be no military solution to the conflict in Libya and noted successful reconciliation and ceasefire efforts at different localities in the country. Special Representative Leon’s remarks were recorded here. On July 11th, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) admitted to losing control of the city of Derna in eastern Libya. The coastal city near the border with Egypt has been described as a bastion of ISIL supporters since its fighters first entered the country in November 2014. In a ten-minute video posted on Twitter, ISIL militants pledged to avenge the ISIL fighters who died in the clashes in Derna. The full story is available here. On July 12th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced encouragement at the initialing of a critical agreement between Libya stakeholders aimed at resolving the country’s political crisis. Signed in Skhirat, Morocco, the Libyan Political Agreement outlines the framework for the formation of a Government of National Accord. U.N. Special Representative for Libya Bernardino Leon said the initialing of the agreement serves as the foundation for a modern, democratic state based on the principles of inclusion, rule of law, separation of powers, and respect for human rights. Praise for the agreement can be seen here. On July 13th, the U.S. Department of State welcomed the July 11th initialing of the final draft political agreement for Libya at the U.N.-led talks in Morocco, recognizing this as an important step toward the creation of a Government of National Accord. The State Department called on all Libyans to support the agreement and reiterated U.S. support for its implementation to help ensure the institutions of the new government function effectively and benefit the Libyan people. The State Department’s response was articulated here. On July 15th, U.N. Special Representative for Libya Bernardino Leon briefed the U.N. Security Council on the situation in the country. Special Representative Leon said a peaceful transition in Libya will only succeed through a significant and coordinated effort in support of a future Government of National Accord and by ensuring sufficient security throughout the country so government can resume its key functions. The briefing was summarized here. On July 16th, Libyan Ambassador to the U.N. Ibrahim Dabbashi blamed the U.N. Security Council for hampering Libya’s efforts to fight terrorism. In March, Libya requested the Security Council consider lifting sanctions to allow Libya to import weapons, tanks, jets, and helicopters to help take on ISIL militants and monitor borders. The request remains on hold per the position of more than half the members of the Security Council. The situation was described here. Tunisia On July 8th, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid announced Tunisia is building a 100-mile-long wall along its border with Libya as part of its strategy for protecting the country from Islamist militants operating out of Libya. The wall, which will run between the major border crossings at Ras Jedir and Dhehiba, will serve as a temporary barrier until a more expensive electric fence can be built. For more information, click here. On July 9th, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond urged all British nationals to leave Tunisia and advised against all non-essential travel to the country because a further terrorist attack is highly likely. According to the Foreign Office, as many as 3,000 Britons may currently be in Tunisia. While there was no specific threat issued against Britons in Tunisia, travel firms announced they would help fly Britons out of the country and planned to repatriate their British staff. The situation was described here. On July 10th, the U.N. Working Group on the use of mercenaries said the number of Tunisian militants flocking to join the hostilities in Syria and Iraq is one of the highest among those traveling to join extremists in the Middle East. The Working Group cited evidence that Tunisians are traveling through Libya, on to Turkey, and then into Syria. Further, the Working Group reported Tunisians are motived by religious and political ideologies, financial gains, and a sense of purpose and belonging. The Working Group’s findings were highlighted here. On July 10th, the State Department announced the completion of the designation process, making Tunisia the 16th Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) of the U.S. Announced by President Barack Obama on May 21st, MNNA status sends a strong signal of U.S. support for Tunisia’s decision to join the world democracies and highlights the value the U.S. places in its friendship with the Tunisian Government and its people. The State Department noted MNNA status also comes with tangible privileges including eligibility for training, loams of equipment and support for cooperating research and development, and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for commercial leasing of certain defense articles. More information was shared here. On July 10th, Tunisian security forces killed five Islamist militants in clashes in the mountains near the town of Gafsa. Security forces have been on high alert since last month’s terrorist attack on a beach resort in Sousse. The operation was noted here. On July 10th, Tunisian authorities opened an investigation into the disappearance of 33 residents from the town of Remada who were rumored to have left overnight to join ISIL across the border in Libya. The group that disappeared was mostly conservative Salafists, but also included a pilot, two soldiers, and one female civilian. The investigation was launched here. On July 12th, Tunisian Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli reported security operations conducted over the weekend had killed key members of the Al Qaeda-linked Oqba Ibn Nafaa brigade. Minister Gharsalli identified brigade leader, Mourad Gharsalli, who is believed to be linked to prominent warlords in Algeria and Mali, as one of the militants killed in the attacks. According to the Interior Ministry, the brigade was plotting attacks in Tunisia and sending Tunisians to fight abroad. The operations were detailed here. On July 15th, the Government of Tunisia hosted a security meeting with officials from the G7 to discuss their support for the growing threat of terrorism in the country. Participants included the Tunisian Ministers of Defense, Interior, and Tourism, as well as officials from the U.S. Department of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as ambassadors and senior officials from several other nations. Following the meeting, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said the U.S. was the only country that has really helped in the war against terrorism in Tunisia. An article on the meeting was published here. South Sudan On July 9th, the U.N. Security Council issued a statement marking the fourth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence. The Security Council acknowledged months of politically motivated violence in South Sudan has left thousands dead and caused a man-made catastrophe. The body also expressed profound disappointment with President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, and other leaders who put their personal ambitions ahead of the good of their country and their people. Feedback from the Security Council was shared here. On July 9th, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson John Kirby said while South Sudan’s fourth independence day should be a time for celebration, it is overshadowed by the tragic costs of conflict. He noted since December 2013, thousands have been killed, more than 2.2 million displaced, and 4.6 million are at risk of life-threatening hunger, and both the government and the armed opposition are responsible. The State Department said the South Sudanese legislature’s decision to temporarily extend the current government must be used to secure a peace deal immediately and form a transitional government of national unity. A full statement was posted here. On July 13th, following a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and African Union (AU) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeated his call to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar to end hostilities and forge a political compromise. Secretary-General Ban also reiterated support for the role of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Partners Forum in plotting the way forward. Secretary-General Ban’s comments were captured here. West Africa Ebola Outbreak On July 9th, ahead of Friday’s International Ebola Recovery Conference, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for continued solidarity with Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. While most of the region is now Ebola-free, the goal of the Conference was to raise $3.2 billion over the next two years to help the counties most affected rebound from the crisis. Details can be viewed here. On July 9th, John Sumo, health promotion director at Liberia’s Ministry of Health, reported two new cases of Ebola in Nedowein, Liberia, putting the number of recent cases at five. Both new cases were under investigation, especially as it was not immediately clear how the patients contracted the virus. In the wake of the new cases, Sumo said Liberia is ramping up its surveillance efforts. For more information, click here. On July 10th, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim addressed the U.N. International Ebola Recovery Conference. President Kim highlighted the workforce as a critical area for helping Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone rebuild after the Ebola crisis. He also discussed the importance of increasing access to essential, quality health care in remote parts of West Africa. President Kim’s remarks were transcribed here. On July 10th, at the U.N. International Ebola Recovery Conference, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt announced the U.S. Government’s plans to provide an additional $266 million to help West African countries address critical gaps caused by the Ebola outbreak. The funds will help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone address the secondary impacts of the crisis, including improving food security, health systems, and non-Ebola health services, governance and economic crisis mitigation, and innovation and communications technology. A press release was issued here. On July 11th, following the conclusion of the International Ebola Recovery Conference, the U.N. reported raising roughly $3.4 billion in pledges to help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone continue the fight against Ebola, while also rebuilding the health systems and economies affected by the outbreak. Previously, the U.N. said $3.2 billion was needed to support national recovery plans for the next two years. Among the largest pledges were $381 from the United Kingdom (U.K.), $266 million from the U.S., $650 million from the World Bank, $220 million from Germany, $500 million from the European Union (EU), and $745 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The pledges were highlighted here. On July 13th, addressing a World Health Organization (WHO) conference in Cape Town, South Africa, U.N. Special Envoy for Ebola David Nabarro said Africa’s Ebola outbreak has not run its course and around 30 people are still getting infected each week. Special Envoy Nabarro also warned about one third of new cases are not coming from the contact list. His comments were recorded here. On July 13th, researchers at the University of Texas and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported a single dose of a new Ebola vaccine that can be inhaled has been found to neutralize the virus in monkeys. The vaccine activated immune cells in the respiratory system and provided full protection against the virus. As a next step, the NIH is planning clinical trials of the vaccine on humans. More information can be found here. On July 14th, Liberian Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Ketteh confirmed a woman died of Ebola in a hospital in Monrovia shortly after being admitted, becoming the sixth confirmed case of the virus and the second death since it resurfaced after a seven-week lull. The victim was from Montserrado County and is thought to be linked to the other five cases from neighboring Margibi County. An update on the situation was provided here. On July 15th, the WHO updated its statistics on the number of Ebola cases in West Africa. For the week ending July 12th, there were 30 confirmed cases of Ebola, including 14 in Sierra Leone, 13 in Guinea, and three in Liberia. While the total number of confirmed cases is the same as the previous week, most of the cases were reported from Conakry and Freetown and are thought to be the registered contacts of a previous Ebola patient. Additional data was analyzed here. On July 15th, two new Ebola vaccine trials began with volunteers in Britain, France, and Senegal getting primeboost immunizations developed by Bavarian Nordic, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Johnson & Johnson. The midstage, Phase II trials are designed to test the vaccines’ safety and assess whether they provoke an immune response against Ebola. Details can be viewed here. African Migrant Crisis in the Mediterranean On July 9th, 12 migrants died when their overcrowded rubber dinghy sank off the coast of Libya. Bodies were discovered by an Italian Coast Guard ship that saved 106 people from the dinghy, which was half submerged. That same ship saved another 393 migrants in four different operations on Thursday, while another 106 migrants were saved by two other Italian Coast Guard frigates operating new the island of Lampedusa. The rescues were highlighted here. On July 15th, Italy’s Coast Guard reporting rescuing around 2,700 migrants from 13 boats near the coast of Libya. A German navy vessel and a rescue ship deployed by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also participated in the rescues. The rescue operations were all carried out in an area 35 miles off the coast of Libya. For details, click here. United States – Africa Relations Office of the U.S. Trade Representative On July 14th, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Punke delivered a statement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Policy Review of Madagascar. Since the last trade policy review, Deputy USTR Punke recognized the challenges that Madagascar has continued to face with respect to the negative economic repercussions of the sociopolitical crisis that lasted from 2009 to 2013, including a slowdown in gross domestic product (GDP) growth, low levels of investment in transportation infrastructure, reduced government services, and high unemployment. Deputy USTR Punke encouraged Madagascar to continue to work towards establishing a transparent trade policy process that will allow for more active engagement in the multilateral trading system. His comments were captured here. On July 15th, USTR Michael Froman announced the country-specific and first-come, first-serve in-quota allocations under the tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on imported raw sugar cane, refined and specialty sugar, and sugar-containing produces for FY15. Data for various countries, including Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe was posted here. State Department On July 9th -10th, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond traveled to Libreville, Gabon, to meet with Director General for Consular Affairs at the U.S. Embassy Joseph Giraud Effangone-Obaghe. Following her visit to Gabon, Assistant Secretary Bond traveled to Guinea from July 10th -11th to discuss adoptions and other consular issues with Guinea’s National Director of Children Ramatoulaye Camara. Assistant Secretary Bond’s travel was outlined here. On July 12th, the State Department condemned Al Shabaab’s terrorist attacks against the Siyad Hotel, Weheliye Hotel, and an AU Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) post in Mogadishu. The State Department praised the Somali and AMISOM forces for their response to the attack, which was conducted just as residents were breaking their Ramadan fast. The State Department also reiterated the U.S. commitment to working with the Somali people, their government, and international partners to continue forward in progress, prosperity, and stability. The State Department’s feedback can be seen here. On July 13th, Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated the people of Sao Tome and Principe on the 40th anniversary of their independence. Secretary Kerry said Sao Tome and Principe and the U.S. share a commitment to democracy and the rule of law. He also recognized bilateral efforts to address environmental issues, promote energy development, and ensure stability in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond. Secretary Kerry’s statement can be read here. On July 13th, the State Department announced Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell will travel to Kenya from July 23rd -25th and Rwanda from July 26-27th. In Kenya, Ambassador Russell will participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will include a day focused on youth and women entrepreneurs. She will also meet with entrepreneurs, investors, and members of civil society to discuss how to economically empower women and address the unique challenges women face in growing and starting a business. In Rwanda, Ambassador Russell will visit the State Department sponsored WiSci Camp for girls that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math. Ambassador Russell’s upcoming travel was announced here. On July 13th, the State Department issued a travel alert notifying U.S. citizens that the Sixth Annual GES is scheduled to take place on July 24th -26th in Nairobi, Kenya. As with all large public events, the State Department warned there is the opportunity for criminal elements to target participants and other visitors. As events such as the GES can also be a target for terrorists, the State Department encouraged U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of security awareness. The travel alert was issued here. On July 13th -15th, Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons Randy Berry traveled to Uganda to discuss the U.S. commitment to advancing and defending the human rights of LGBTI persons in Uganda and around the world. During his two-day visit, Special Envoy Berry met with senior government representatives, in addition to members of business, academic, and civil society organizations. His travel was outlined here. On July 14th, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, to discuss U.S.-Africa relations with Mandela Washington Fellows, students, faculty, and staff. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield’s visit was noticed here. On July 15th, Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken swore in U.S. Ambassador-designate to South Sudan Molly Phee, at the Department of State. Phee was confirmed by the Senate on June 24th. Her swearing in was listed here. On July 15th, Chief of Protocol Peter Selfridge hosted a farewell reception for Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S. Liberata Mulamula at Blair House. The reception was included on the State Department’s daily appointment schedule, which can be accessed here. On July 16th, Chief of Protocol Peter Selfridge hosted a farewell reception for Mozambican Ambassador to the U.S. Ameilia Narcisco Matos Sumbana at Blair House. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda ThomasGreenfield also met with Ambassador Sumbana. Details can be seen here. On July 16th, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Sheba Crocker and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield met with U.N. Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and head of the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Martin Kobler at the Department of State. More information can be viewed here. Department of Treasury On July 13th -16th, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew led the U.S. delegation to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Conference brought together world leaders, Finance and Foreign Ministers, private sector representatives, and non-governmental organizations to lay out a policy framework that will help countries to identify, attract, and access diverse sources of finance in support of sustainable development. In addition to Treasury Department officials, the U.S. delegation included representatives from USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of State, and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Details were shared here. On July 14th, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew delivered remarks at the Power Africa Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Signing Ceremony at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The MOU marks a new partnership with the EU to provide additional financing to help mobilize resources from the private sector to achieve the goals of Power Africa. President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative intends to add 30,000 megawatts (MW) of power and increase electricity access to more than 60 million new households and business in sub-Saharan Africa. Secretary Lew’s remarks can be read here. U.S. Agency for International Development On July 13th -16th, Acting USAID Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt was on travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as part of the U.S. delegation to the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. While in Ethiopia, Administrator Lenhardt held a series of bilateral meetings and participated in panel discussions on food security, access to electricity, and the role of science, technology, and innovation in development. His travel was noted here. Department of Defense On July 12th, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert visited Egypt to meet with Rear Admiral Osama Mounir Rabie, who was appointed in April as Egypt’s chief of Navy amidst a shuffle of top-level military leadership positions. During the meeting, Admiral Greenert spoke admirable of the Egyptian Navy’s work in Operation Decisive Storm and praised the Egyptians for their attention to the U.S. security needs in the Suez Canal. While in Egypt, Admiral Greenert also visited several U.S.-built warships at Ras al Tin, the main Egyptian naval base in Alexandria. His visit was summarized here. On July 13th , The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. is in talks with North African countries about positioning drones at a base on their soil to ramp up surveillance of ISIL militants in Libya. According to military officials, the base could also be used in future airstrikes against ISIL targets in Libya. The U.S. military is currently using Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy for some drone flights over Libya, but poor weather often prevents such flights from getting off the ground. The U.S. also has other staging bases in Niger, but those are too far for carrying out operations in Libya and are used primarily for missions targeting Al Qaeda linked militants in Mali. The full story is available here. Overseas Private Investment Corporation On July 15th, OPIC highlighted the surge of foreign investment into Africa in 2014. Although foreign investment took a hit worldwide in the past year, OPIC noted Africa continued to generate strong interest, with a 136 percent increase in capital invested over the previous year. It is estimated this investment created 188,400 new jobs in Africa. Additional information was shared here. Congress On July 10th, House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) issued the latest edition of her biweekly Africa newsletter. The most recent Africa Update highlights the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and the recent peace accord reached between the Malian Government and northern separatists. The newsletter can be downloaded here. On July 14th, the House Foreign Affairs Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Tunisia’s Democratic Transition.” The Subcommittee received testimony from Mark Green of the International Republican Institute (IRI), Leslie Campbell of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Aaron Zelin of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and William Sweeny from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. The hearing was noticed here. On July 16th, the Senate Foreign Relations Africa and Global Health Policy Subcommittee held a hearing on wildlife poaching. Witnesses included Ian Suanders of Tsavo Treust, Jean Marc Froment of African Parks, George Wittemyer of Scientific Board for Save the Elephants, and Ginette Hemley of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A webcast of the hearing can be watched here. On July 16th, House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) hosted an Africa Policy Breakfast titled, “The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): Next Steps.” Speakers included Deputy Assistant USTR Constance Hamilton, Ambassador of Gabon to the U.S. Michael Moussa-Adamo, Walker Williams of Leadership Africa, USA, and Mori Diane of AMEX International. Event logistics were shared here. North Africa On July 12th, a rocket hit a residential district in Benghazi, Libya, killing four and wounding 15. Benghazi has been a site of major conflict between rival governments and former rebel groups who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. ISIL militants have claimed responsibility for similar attacks, but so far not this most recent attack. The rocket strike was highlighted here. On July 14th, the U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the U.N. Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until December 15th to continue its work in overseeing the demilitarization of the resource-rich area contested by Sudan and South Sudan. The Security Council also welcomed the resumption of the work of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) and condemned the intermittent presence of South Sudanese security service personnel in the Abyei area. Feedback from the Security Council was shared here. On July 14th, the World Bank approved a $230 million loan to finance Tunisia’s Road Transport Corridors Project to help rehabilitate key roads that have been holding back underdeveloped regions in Tunisia. By widening and upgrading roads in three corridors of the country, including the road connecting Sousse to Kairouan, the project is anticipated to provide greater economic and other opportunities for an estimated 373,500 Tunisians. More information can be found here. On July 15th, Amnesty International criticized a draft law in Egypt that would make it illegal to contradict the official version of terrorist attacks, with journalists who report a different version facing at least two years in prison. The law would also establish new courts for dealing with terrorism suspects. Amnesty argued the draft law could be another tool for the government to crush dissent and would be disastrous for human rights in Egypt. Amnesty’s position was articulated here. On July 16 th, Egypt’s ISIL affiliate, Sinai Province, claimed it fired a rocket at an Egyptian naval vessel in the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Israel and the Gaza Strip. Sinai Province posted photos online that appeared to show a rocket heading towards a ship and setting it on fire upon impact. Meanwhile, the Egyptian military responded that a coast guard launch had exchanged shots with terrorist elements, causing the vessel to catch fire. Both accounts of the incident can be seen here. On July 16th, the Egyptian cabinet amended a draft counterterrorism law under consideration so that journalists would be fined, rather than jailed for contradicting authorities’ version of any terrorist attack. The two years of jail time envisioned in an initial draft of the bill was replaced with a fine of $25,000-$65,000. The change was noted here. East Africa On July 11th, U.N. Special Representative for Somalia and head of the U.N. Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Nicholas Kay condemned the series of deadly Al Shabaab attacks against an AMISOM base and two hotels in Mogadishu that resulted in numerous casualties. He said the attack, carried out during Iftar prayers, is an assault on the belief of Muslims all over the world. Special Representative Kay’s remarks were captured here. On July 12th, Tanzania’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party nominated John Pombe Magufuli to run for President in the October general election. Maguguli, a former math and chemistry teacher, defeated Justice Minister and former U.N. Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro and AU Ambassador to the U.S. Amina Ali for the nomination. He also made history by selecting a woman, Samia Hassan Suluhu of Zanzibar as his running mate. Details can be accessed here. On July 12th, gunmen raided a police station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing seven and stealing weapons. This is the latest in a series of raids on police stations across Tanzania over the past few years. Tanzania’s police chief Ernest Mangu’s statement on the incident was released here. On July 13th, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu delivered remarks at the U.N. Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Conference was held to discuss new and innovative ways of soliciting funds to pay for the second generation of development programs known as sustainable development goals (SDGs). Deputy Managing Director Zhu identified three principles for development in Africa: partnership, commitment, and flexibility. His remarks were transcribed here. On July 13th, the Somali Government submitted its dispute with Kenya over their sea border to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The dispute has persisted over the last six years, especially as tests have shown potential gas reserves in the disputed area of the Indian Ocean. Somalia is seeking clarification that the maritime border continues along the line of the land border to the southeast, while Kenya claims the sea border goes in a straight line to the east. The dispute was outlined here. On July 13th, Al Shabaab militants attacked a military base in central Somalia, killing at least four soldiers. This is the latest in a growing number of attacks perpetrated by Al Shabaab during Ramadan. Captain Nur Olow, a military officer, and Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, released conflicting statements regarding the raid. Both statements can be read here. On July 13th, at least two police officers and one civilian died in a bomb blast in Lamu, Kenya perpetrated by Al Shabaab. Four others were wounded. The incident occurred near a military camp that Al Shabaab militants attempted to attack last month. In that failed attempt, Kenyan soldiers killed 11 militants. Statements from the area police chief Chrispus Mutali and Al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman were posted here. On July 14th, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim delivered remarks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on climate change. President Kim commended Ethiopia for being a long-term leader on climate change in Africa and beyond. President Kim also praised Ethiopia for pursuing industrialization in a way that avoids the mistakes of others by focusing on environmental sustainability from the start, as opposed to solely on growth and cleaning up afterward. His remarks can be read here. On July 15th, Executive Secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Carlos Lopes presented at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Executive Secretary Lopes discussed the importance of manufacturing and industrialization to driving the continent’s continued economic growth. Excerpts from his remarks were highlighted here. On July 15th , Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s spokesman announced the President’s plans to run for reelection, noting President Museveni had filed for nomination as the candidate for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM). President Museveni is expected to be challenged by former ally Amama Mbabazi and opposition leader Kizza Besigye. Police have been accused of harassing President Museveni’s political opponents. Besigye and Mbabazi were arrested last week shortly before launching their own campaigns. An article on the political tensions can be read here. On July 15th , preparations continued for the reopening of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya on July 18th. The mall’s reopening comes two years after Al Shabaab militants killed 67 people inside. Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the re-opening will be a triumph of national resilience. Security for the mall will be run by I.R.G, a private Israeli company. Details on the mall’s reopening can be accessed here. On July 15th, a consortium of local and international banks included CFC Stanbic Bank, CitiBank, Co-operative Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank finalized a long-term facility of $350 million for Kenya Pipeline Company to provide 70 percent of the financing for a new multi-product fuel pipeline running from Mombasa to Nairobi. The project seeks to replace an older pipeline. For more information, click here. On July 16th, a drone strike successfully targeted a vehicle belonging to Al Shabaab militants outside the town of Bardere. The town was captured by Al Shabaab from government forces in 2009. The strike was reported as Somali and AU forces advanced operations against Al Shabaab in the area. The strike was reported here. West Africa On July 10th, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a three-year, $23.9 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Guinea-Bissau and also concluded the 2015 Article IV consultation. The Executive Board recognized Guinea-Bissau’s new government has taken important steps to foster political stability through an ambitious program that seeks to strengthen the country’s fiscal position, safeguard financial stability, and improve the business environment. Details can be seen here. On July 10th, a report produced for the Nigerian Government by power industry experts found the Government’s ambitions for improving electricity supplies in the country are not realistic. Power sector reform was one of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s biggest campaign promises and he has pledged to increase power supplies from 3,600 MW to 20,000 MW within four years, and 50,000 MW within ten years. Nigeria currently suffers from chronic power shortages, which have placed a restraint on economic growth. The full story is available here. On July 10th, an explosion at an Eni pipeline in Azuzuama, Nigeria killed at least 12 people and injured three others. The men affected by the accident were part of a maintenance crew, including security and environment officials, who were carrying out pipeline repairs. The cause of the explosion is under investigation. The explosion was reported here. On July 13th, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a new arrangement under the ECF of $6.2 million for Sao Tome and Principe. The new ECF arrangement seeks to underpin the government’s economic reform program that aims to strengthen public finances, reduce balance-of-payments vulnerabilities, and clear large domestic arrears. The program also lays the foundation for stronger, more inclusive growth, and plays a catalytic role for bilateral and multilateral assistance. A press release was issued here. On July 13th, ex-military leader Moussa Dadis Camara told Guinean judges in Burkina Faso that he does not share criminal responsibility for ordering the 2009 massacre that killed at least 157 people. The judges traveled to Burkina Faso to question Camara, who has lived there since fleeing Guinea in 2009 after an assassination attempt. The charges do not automatically initiate a trial and Camara’s lawyer stated he is not prevented from returning to Guinea. Details were provided here. On July 16th, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari indicated Nigeria will maintain its subsidies for domestic fuel. While a transition committee had recommended that President Buhari consider scrapping the subsidy program, President Buhari said investigating corruption is a bigger priority than removing the price caps on domestic fuel. Details can be viewed here. Sub-Saharan Africa On July 9th, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $44 million International Development Association (IDA) credit to support the Government of Burkina Faso’s Public Sector Modernization Program. The project is designed to improve service standards in targeted regions of three ministries responsible for primary education, justice, labor, and civil service. The financing was announced here. On July 10th, economists trimmed the 2015 economic growth forecast for Madagascar from 5.0 percent to 3.4 percent. The decrease in growth projections was attributed to cyclones that hit Madagascar earlier in the year and a continued failure to attract foreign investment due to political instability and falling commodity prices. Madagascar’s economy was analyzed here. On July 13th, the U.N. expressed concern about the decision of Central African Republic (CAR) authorities to deny refugees from the country the right to participate in the presidential election scheduled for this fall. The date of the first round of presidential elections is October 18th and a possible second round of the presidential election will be held on November 22nd. Since December 2013, approximately 25 percent of the CAR population has been displaced inside the country and more than 460,000 have fled to Cameroon, Congo, the DRC, and Chad. Details can be seen here. On July 13th, the top court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said the reform to Burkina Faso’s electoral law, which bans those who backed former President Blaise Compaore from participating in the elections, is a violation of the right to free participation in elections. The court ordered the removal of any obstacles to participation in the October elections. The full story is available here. On July 14th, U.N. Special Representative for the DRC and head of MONUSCO Martin Kobler briefed the U.N. Security Council on the situation in the country. Special Representative Kobler reported favorably on the ongoing operations conducted by the national Congolese army (FARDC) against certain armed groups, but expressed disappointment that operations against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FLDR) have hit a standstill. Special Representative Kobler also discussed the November 2016 presidential and legislative elections. The briefing was summarized here. On July 14th, Rwandan Members of Parliament (MPs) unanimously backed a petition supporting consideration of a constitutional change that would allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third term. President Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) initiated the petition, signed by more than half the electorate, backing a possible constitutional amendment. Parliamentary Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa said a referendum will now be called over whether to amend the constitution. Meanwhile, the opposition Green Party said the vote was premature and MPs should have waited to act until after a Supreme Court ruling expected July 29th . The full story is available here. On July 14th, Zambian President Edgar Lungu directed state-owned power company Zesco to spare mines from excessive power rationing to avoid disrupting output. Under power supply agreements, Zesco is permitted to cut supply by up to 30 percent after water levels at hydroelectric projects dropped due to drought. Chamber of Mines of Zambia President Jackson Sikamo said mining companies have been examining their operations to identify areas where power may be cut. Details can be viewed here. On July 14th, South Africa’s Taste Holdings, which recently licensed Dominos in the country, signed an exclusive deal with Starbucks Coffee. Taste said the deal will allow Starbucks to open full-format stores in the country for the first time and the company plans to open its first store in the country in 2016. Starbucks is the latest U.S. brand to enter the South African market, following the announcement that a local consortium, KK Doughnuts SA, would be bringing Krispy Kreme doughnuts into the country. For more information, click here. On July 15th, the World Bank published a new report titled, “Out-of-School Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Policy Perspective.” The report finds that 89 million youth, ages 12-24 years, are out of school in sub-Saharan Africa and examined the factors that led to students dropping out. Additionally, the report provides recommendations for promoting retention of at-risk youth in school, remediation through alternative education, and integration with the labor market. The report can be downloaded here. On July 15th, the World Bank launched a new Rwanda Economic Update (REU), projecting an economic growth rate of 7.4 percent in 2015 and 7.6 percent in 2016. The report also predicts Rwanda’s poverty rate will fall from 63 percent in 2011 to 54 percent in 2016, moving approximately one million people above the poverty rate. The REU was summarized here. On July 15th, following the announcement of the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the lifting of sanctions on Iran will benefit South Africa by allowing the country to resume oil imports from Iran. Iran was once the biggest oil supplier to South Africa. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa never supported sanctions on Iran and its oil refineries have suffered from the ban on crude exports from Iran. Her comments were recorded here. On July 15th, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end apartheid in South Africa, was admitted to a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa for treatment of a persistent infection. Tutu has been facing a long-running battle with prostate cancer. His hospitalization was noted here. On July 16th, during a visit to Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, Zambian President Edgar Lungu reduced the sentence of 332 prisoners awaiting death by hanging to life imprisonment in a move intended to ease maximum security prison congestion. While Zambia allows the death penalty for crimes including murder, treason, and robbery with a deadly weapon, no prisoners have been executed since 1997. The easing of the sentences was announced here. On July 16th, the Zimbabwean Government indicated it may hand back some land to white farmers in the country whose farms were forcibly taken away during the height of the country’s controversial land reform program launched in 2000. Minister of Lands Douglas Mombeshora said provincial leaders had been tasked with generating a list of white farmers they wanted to remain on their farms, while Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government was seeking resources to compensate white commercial farmers. The full story is available here. On July 16th, South African mobile operator MTN Group and union leaders reached a deal over bonuses, ending a two-month strike that disrupted the supply of some new mobile phones. In May, roughly 2,000 workers went on strike to demand an eight percent raise and 16 percent bonus payment. In the final deal, workers achieved an agreement on an eight percent increase in monthly wages, as well as an eight percent bonus payment this year and a 12 percent bonus payment next year. An article on the deal was published here. General Africa News On July 9th, the African Risk Capacity (ARC), an AU agency, announced it will be expanding its insurance scheme covering African countries against droughts within the next year. In its first year of operation, the ARC insured Niger, Senegal, Mauritania, and Kenya for $129 million in total losses. In its second year, the ARC expects Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mali, Gambia, and Zimbabwe to join, with coverage set to rise to $192 million. Insurance will also be offered for tropical cyclones and floods. The expansion of insurance coverage was noted here. On July 10th, at a meeting of the AfDB’s Board of Directors, the AfDB leadership paid tribute to outgoing AfDB President Donald Kaberuka for the work he has accomplished toward the development of the African continent in the last ten years. The Executive Directors praised President Kaberuka for opening Africa for business and promoting an improved policy dialogue with the Bank’s member states. Details can be seen here. On July 13th, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released the Global Competitive Report 2014-2015. The report identified Rwanda as the most efficient government in Africa, followed by Mauritius and South Africa. Rwanda was ranked the 7th most efficient government globally, while Mauritius was ranked 26th and South Africa was ranked 32nd. The report’s findings were highlighted here. * * * View ML Strategies professionals. Boston Washington www.mlstrategies.com Copyright © 2015 ML Strategies LLC. All rights reserved.