Africa Week in Review May 30, 2014


This week President Obama called on Congress to create a new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund, while the U.S. expressed doubt regarding the newly found location of the Nigerian schoolgirls. You can read these stories and other news in the Africa Week in Review.

  • In his commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Barack Obama called for Congress’ support in establishing a new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund of up to $5 billion to facilitate training efforts in Libya, Somali and Mali. President Obama also touted the need for education, health and agricultural assistance, as this aid “creates new partners and shrinks the space for terrorism and conflict.”
  • Nigerian Air Marshall Alex Badeh announced that the Nigerian military had located the nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Badeh said that Nigeria has yet to establish a clear rescue mission, as the use of force may result in significant collateral damage. However, the U.S. expressed some skepticism regarding Nigeria’s claim of locating the girls. U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki reported to journalists that there is no “independent information from the United States to support these reports."
  • U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki announced that as a result of its successful 2013 election, the United States lifted the remaining restrictions on assistance to Madagascar. The U.S. allocated Madagascar a negligible amount of security assistance and upwards of $60 million in annual economic assistance in recent years.
  • On Tuesday May 27, the U.S. arrested Liberian warlord Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu (also known as Jucontee Thomas Smith) at Newark airport. Mr. Woewiyu was highly involved with the overthrow of Liberian President Samuel Doe during the civil war between 1989 and 2003. He was arrested for lying on his citizenship application about his past involvement with the rebel group, and the indictment also identified Woewiyu as a war criminal.
  • As a result of Saturday’s suicide commando attack on the Somali parliament building, the Somali government declared an “all-out war” on al-Shabaab. This attack was one out of many recent bombings executed by the militant group, and according to Sabahi News, al-Shabaab “warned that more [attacks] would follow.”
  • The Malian government and the three main Tuareg separatist groups signed a ceasefire, agreeing to stop hostile activities, release prisoners, assist U.N. humanitarian efforts and form an international inquiry about the conflict. National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) negotiator Mohammed Ag Najim stated that these are just the first steps towards political negotiations.