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Showing posts from December 25, 2013

US Marines to evacuate Americans from S’Sudan

About 150 US Marines are poised to enter turbulent South Sudan to help evacuate Americans and provide security for the US Embassy, if ordered to do so, two US military officials said Monday.

The troops are moving from Moron, Spain, to the Navy’s Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

An estimated 100 US citizens are believed to be in South Sudan, where steady violence is stoking fears of an all-out civil war in the world’s newest country.

“By positioning these forces forward, we are able to more quickly respond to crisis in the region, if required,” read a statement from US Africa Command.

It cited the example of Benghazi, where an attack last year killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

“One of the lessons learned from the tragic events in Benghazi was that we needed to be better postured, in order to respond to developing or crisis situations, if needed. These precautionary movements will allow us to do just that,” the statement read.

According to a senior administration …

UN seeks 5,500 more troops and police for South Sudan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging the U.N. Security Council to add 5,500 troops and police to the 7,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in conflict-wracked South Sudan.

Ban proposed in a letter to the council obtained Monday by The Associated Press that the troops be transferred from U.N. missions in Congo, Darfur, Abyei, Ivory Coast and Liberia along with three attack helicopters, three utility helicopters and a C-130 military transport plane.

France's U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud, the current council president, said he expects the council to vote Tuesday on a resolution authorizing the transfers.

The secretary-general urged member states to urgently provide transport to get the troops, police and equipment to South Sudan.

Ban said the U.N. mission's capacity to investigate human rights abuses is also being urgently strengthened.

This Is What Winning Looks Like

Video Documentary

"This Is What Winning Looks Like" is a disturbing new documentary about the ineptitude, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and corruption of the Afghan security forces as well as the reduced role of US Marines due to the troop withdrawal.

THIS IS WHAT WINNING LOOKS LIKE
MY AFGHANISTAN WAR DIARY

By Ben Anderson


US Specialist Christopher Saenz looks out over the landscape during a patrol outside the village of Musa Qala, Helmand province. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Ididn’t plan on spending six years covering the war in Afghanistan. I went there in 2007 to make a film about the vicious fighting between undermanned, underequipped British forces and the Taliban in Helmand, Afghanistan’s most violent province. But I became obsessed with what I witnessed there—how different it was from the conflict’s portrayal in the media and in official government statements.

All I had to do was trek out to one of the many tiny, isolated patrol bases that dot the barren, sunbaked landscape …

South Sudan: The State that Fell Apart in a Week

The first western journalist into South Sudan reports from Juba on the brutal and sudden descent into civil war

By Daniel Howden in Juba





A young cattle herder from the Dinka tribe carries his AK 47 rifle near Rumbek, capital of the Lakes State in central South Sudan. Photograph: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters


December 23, 2013 - "The Guardian" - A week ago, Simon K, a 20-year-old student living in the capital of South Sudan, was arrested by men in military uniforms. He was asked a question that has taken on deadly importance in the world's newest country in the past seven days: incholdi – "What is your name?" in Dinka, the language of the country's president and its largest ethnic group.

Those who, like Simon, were unable to answer, risked being identified as Nuer, the ethnic group of the former vice-president now leading the armed opposition and facing the brunt of what insiders are describing as the world's newest civil war.

Simon K was taken to a police station…