Africa

(U//FOUO) Marine Corps Intelligence Activity Mauritania Cultural Field Guide

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Mauritania is the westernmost country in the Sahel region. Its location between Arab-influenced North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa has created some ethnic divides and tensions between people of Arab origin and the indigenous populations. In other cases, the population has become united under a common belief; nearly all Mauritanians are Muslim. Most of the country is desert, making life in Mauritania difficult. In the past, northern populations were nomadic herders and the southern populations were sedentary farmers. Many continue these lifestyles today, but desertification and droughts have severely reduced the amount of fertile land in Mauritania.This has hurt herders and farmers. Many have had to abandon their lifestyles to attempt make a living in the cities. As a result, most Mauritanian cities are overcrowded and have high unemployment rates.

UN Use of Foreign Military and Civil Defence Assets (MCDA) for Ebola Response in West Africa

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The current Ebola virus disease outbreak was declared a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ by WHO on 8 August 2014. On 8 September, the UN Secretary-General activated the UN system-wide crisis framework and subsequently announced the establishment of the ‘United Nations Mission on Ebola Emergency Response’ – UNMEER. UNMEER is described as a ‘unified mission’, different from a ‘regular’ or ‘integrated’ mission, with HQ UNMEER in Accra, Ghana, and offices in each of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

U.S. Africa Command United Assistance Ebola Response Intelligence Summaries

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A collection of recent intelligence summaries for Operation United Assistance which is being conducted by U.S. Africa Command through U.S. Army Africa. The operation began in September and provides “coordination of logistics, training, and engineering support to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in West Africa to assist in the overall U.S. Government Foreign Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus/Disease, as part of the international assistance effort supporting the Governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.”

U.S. Africa Command United Shield Response to Ebola Operation Order

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As of 15 October 2014, the Ebola virus outbreak continues to expand and has infected nearly 4,249 and killed more than 2,458 people in Liberia. Although the Government of Liberia (GoL) continues an aggressive campaign of trying to inform and educate the population, overburdened medical infrastructure and cultural practices continue to hinder containment efforts. Isolated incidents of unrest have occurred, including demonstrations outside health care clinics and attacks on health care workers. The GoL has declared a National Emergency in order to (IOT) prevent the further spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

(U//FOUO) Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center Nairobi Westgate Mall Attack Lessons Learned

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On Saturday, September 21, 2013, members of Al Shabaab, a Somali based Islamic terrorist organization affiliated with the international Al Qaeda network, executed a complex terrorist attack on an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The attackers simultaneously entered the mall from two different entrances, shooting shoppers with assault rifles and throwing hand grenades. The terrorists remained in the mall, engaging government security forces for the next four days, resulting in a major fire and partial collapse of the mall. The Kenyan government has officially reported 72 deaths and more than 200 injured as a result of the attack. A significant number of those killed and injured were foreign citizens, including 6 U.S. citizens who were injured in the attack.

U.S. Army Africa Pamphlet: Cultural, Historical, and Natural Resource Protection During African Operations

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This pamphlet is applicable to United States (US) forces conducting operations in Africa operating under the control of US Army Africa (USARAF) or applicable joint task forces (JTF). The intent of this pamphlet is to provide guidance on the protection and management of recognized cultural, historic, and natural resources that may be placed at risk due to the conduct of the full spectrum of US ground operations and associated close air/naval support operations.

UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Torture and Deaths in Detention Report

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From late 2011, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has recorded 27 cases of deaths in custody where there is significant information to suggest that torture was the cause, and is aware of allegations about additional cases which it has not been able to fully investigate. Eleven of the 27 cases, detailed in this report, took place in 2013, all in detention centres under the nominal authority of the Government but effectively under the authority of armed brigades.

NATO Libyan Military Intervention Strategic Communications Framework

A coordinated and integrated StratCom approach to support NATO action in response to events in Libya is key to achieving the Alliance’s overall objective. Managing the information domain will be critical to NATO’s efforts being understood – and ultimately supported – by the audiences. It will require the use of the full range of information and communication capabilities, in line with NATO policies and authorities establishing an appropriate level of NATO visibility will be important to ensure unity of message, to manage and shape perceptions, to counter potential misinformation and to build public support.

U.S. State Department OSAC Libya Reports May 2011-September 2012

The group or individuals responsible for the attack on the Benghazi consulate remains unknown. It is also unclear if the attack was premeditated or simply a demonstration that spun out of control. Following the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi and the ensuing civil war, Libya has been awash with small arms and light weapons. The use of such arms at the demonstration does not necessarily indicate a pre-meditated, coordinated attack. Online jihadi groups have claimed the attack was due to a statement released by al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri regarding the earlier death of another al-Qa’ida leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi. Others have suggested that the attack was pre-meditated to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary in the United States. Neither of those claims has been substantiated. Until more evidence comes out, OSAC is unable to conclude whether this was a pre-meditated, planned, and coordinated assault on the Consulate.

JIEDDO Report: Al‐Shabaab’s Exploitation of Alternative Remittance Systems (ARS) in Kenya

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida ally, relies on a broad range of funding sources to support its terrorist and paramilitary operations in Somalia. However, little comprehensive information is available on the character and extent of this funding network within the large communities of Somali expats in Kenya. Existing reports suggest that alternative remittance systems (ARS), especially hawaladars, are a reliable source of income for Somalis still living in Somalia. Expat family members living in Kenya rely on these systems to transfer money to their relatives in Somalia. Recent reports suggest al-Shabaab is a beneficiary of these services1. Al-Shabaab could exploit current and future hawaladar networks in Kenya to transit funds to support IED operations against US or allied humanitarian or military operations. Thus, networks of undocumented and unmonitored hawaladars within the country could pose a threat to future counterterrorism or humanitarian operations in the region. Further study of the role of ARS in Kenya in the funding of al-Shabaab operations is recommended.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Master Narratives Country Report: Somalia

Understanding master narratives can be the difference between analytic anticipation and unwanted surprise, as well as the difference between communications successes and messaging gaffes. Master narratives are the historically grounded stories that reflect a community’s identity and experiences, or explain its hopes, aspirations, and concerns. These narratives help groups understand who they are and where they come from, and how to make sense of unfolding developments around them. As they do in all countries, effective communicators in Somalia invoke master narratives in order to move audiences in a preferred direction. Somali influencers rely on their native familiarity with these master narratives to use them effectively. This task is considerably more challenging for US communicators and analysts because they must place themselves in the mindset of foreign audiences who believe stories that — from an American vantage point — may appear surprising, conspiratorial, or even outlandish.

(SBU) State Department Uganda Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament Report to Congress

The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, Public Law 111-172, requires the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress on implementation of the President’s strategy to support disarmament of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and assistance provided toward a lasting solution to the conflict in northern Uganda.