Uganda detains 5 Pakistanis KAMPALA – Uganda has arrested five Pakistanis suspected of militant links, police said yesterday, two weeks before the second anniversary of a bombing attack in Kampala for which Somali Islamist rebel group Shabaab claimed responsibility.
Officials say the country is vulnerable to further attacks from Shabaab who have vowed to keep striking until a Ugandan army contingent, leading an African Union-mandated force protecting Somalia’s government, withdraws.
The area where the five men were arrested was formerly a base for now-dormant Islamist rebel group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU), which officials say has links to Shabaab. Chaos in Somalia has allowed militants to thrive and launch deadly attacks in the region.
Sudan sticks to subsidy cuts
KHARTOUM – Sudan’s finance minister said on Monday the government would stick to its decision to cut fuel subsidies despite more than a week of anti-austerity protests in Khartoum and other cities.
Sudanese police used teargas to disperse the latest demonstration which took place in an impoverished eastern region, where witnesses said protesters also set fire to a local office of the ruling party.
The Arab-African country avoided the wave of unrest that toppled leaders in neighbouring Libya and Egypt, but government moves to cut spending, along with austerity measures to plug a widening budget gap, have provoked a spate of demonstrations.
Scaling back fuel subsidies is one of the most unpopular measures in the package because it is expected to push up already high rates of inflation for food and other goods.
US to expand Africa military aid
WASHINGTON – The top US military commander for Africa says America is carefully expanding efforts to provide intelligence, training and at times small numbers of forces to African nations, to help counter terrorist activities in the region.
General Carter Ham, head of US Africa Command, says co-ordinated moves by several Africa-based terrorist groups to share their training, funding and bomb-making materials are very worrisome.
He says US surveillance in central Africa to try to ferret out rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army is the type of thing the US can do, but only when invited in to partner with African nations.
President Barack Obama sent 100 US forces into central Africa last year to help regional militaries track Kony.