Niger: US considering new drone base in Africa

[Other reports have said that the US is already utilizing numerous remote airstrips throughout Africa for drone surveillance, and are actively preparing them for armed drone deployments. As this article points out, the utilization of drones is accompanying the AFRICOM deployment of military trainers to nearly every African Union country, to enable the US and EU’s intensified “scramble for Africa” against competing imperial countries whose efforts have been largely confined (so far) to the economic seizure of African resources. — Frontlines ed.]

30 January, 2013

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a small US-made drone drone that the Ugandan military uses in Somalia to fight al-Qaida linked militants (AFP Photo / Pool / Jacquelyn Martin)

[Photo:  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a small US-made drone drone that the Ugandan military uses in Somalia to fight al-Qaida linked militants (AFP Photo / Pool / Jacquelyn Martin)]

The US is planning to consolidate its position in Africa with a new drone outpost in Niger, with the stated purpose of providing unarmed surveillance support to French efforts in Mali and keeping tabs on al-Qaeda elements on the continent.

The robotic unmanned aircraft would likely be based in Niger, on the eastern border of Mali, where French forces are currently waging a campaign against Al-Qaeda, AFP reported, quoting an anonymous official.

If the plan is approved, up to 300 US military servicemembers and contractors could be sent to the base to operate the drone aircraft, the New York Times reported. US Africa Command is also considering another location as an alternative to the base in Burkina Faso, the official said.

However, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland reiterated that there are no plans to commit US troops to any fighting on the ground.

In the future, the US command does not rule out using the base to conduct military strikes if the situation deteriorates or the extremist threat increases, military officials told The New York Times. Continue reading

Philippines: Military abuse and extra-judicial killings are not “humanitarian”

Army chief hit over human rights remark

Sun Star, Saturday, June 25, 2011

ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Oban drew flak from a militant group for saying that the government’s counter-insurgency program is founded on “human rights.”

Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said initial results of “Oplan Bayanihan” show that some Filipinos were “displaced from their homes and communities, harassed, arrested and detained, tortured and killed” due to the policy.

The group has documented 17 persons killed through extrajudicial means from January to mid-June this year, bringing the number of people killed under President Benigno Aquino III to 45. Continue reading

India: Maoists respond to new Indian state offensive

[The Indian mass media dutifully reports the government and police announcements.  Frontlines here posts an Indian TV report, followed by an article from The Times of India, (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-14/india/29656088_1_narayanpur-maoist-hit-states-chhattisgarh-orissa).  Following these, we post a detailed statement from the Communist Party of India (Maoist) responding to the same events. — Frontlines ed.]

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Orissa govt seeks Centre’s help to counter Maoists

New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): Orissa Government has sought from Home Ministry additional security personnel to counter Maoist menace in the state. After his meeting with the Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Tuesday, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the state needs additional security force to deal with increasing Maoist attacks.

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Anti-Maoist ops on Chhattisgarh-Orissa border to be intensified

Vishwa Mohan, TNN Jun 14, 2011

NEW DELHI: As naxals intensified their attack in Chhattisgarh killing 18 security personnel in three separate incidents last week, the Centre will hold a special meeting here on Tuesday to discuss ‘counter-offensive’ measures with the state chief minister Raman Singh and his Orissa counterpart Naveen Patnaik.

The meeting, to be chaired by the Union home minister P Chidambaram, will discuss how both the states can further intensify operations against left wing extremists along the Orissa-Chhattisgarh border in a much more coordinated manner.

An official said, “Though we have had instances of naxal attacks in Dantewada and Narayanpur last week, Chhattisgarh has eliminated a number of Maoists in the past couple of months during joint operations. The need of the hour is to further intensify it, taking help from bordering states.”

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COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Press Release

June 15, 2011

Fight back the new state offensive in Chhattisgarh and Odisha
as part of Operation Green Hunt – Phase II!

Any fascist offensive aimed at looting this country is bound to be defeated by the courageous resistance of the self-respecting people of India!

On 14-06-2011 the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had a high level meeting with the chief ministers of Chhattisgarh and Odisha and announced a new brutal offensive in these two states to contain ‘Left Wing Extremism (LWE)’. In the guise of his oft-repeated two-pronged mantra of ‘development and police action’, the HM promised full support of the centre for these states in their cruel offensive and egged them on to go ahead in full swing. Naveen Patnaik, the blood-thirsty CM of Odisha whose hands are already stained with the blood of hundreds of people of Odisha offered as human sacrifices for this ‘God of development’ right from Kalinga Nagar to Niyamgiri is now asking for helicopters to bomb the hapless adivasis. Raman Singh who would perhaps go down in history as the saffron fascist who sounded the death knell for one of the most ancient inhabitants in the world in Bastar, tried to cover up his growing alarm at the increasing heroic armed resistance of the people in his state with high-sounding rhetoric on how to go about decimating Maoists. A few days back in the first week of June (within a  week of  another meeting with the chief ministers of ‘Maoist affected’ states led by the PM and HM) an announcement had already been made by the AP and Odisha governments that a three-month long big offensive is ready to be launched on Andhra-Odisha Border region (AOB) to decimate the Maoists there. They announced that they would use modern technology and new methods and tactics of attacking utilizing ‘water, air and land’. They said paratroopers may also be used. And now the whole country knows that the army had already been deployed in Chhattisgarh under the pretext of ‘training’. Continue reading