Multinational Participation Plays Key Factor to Exercise African Lion

RABAT, Morocco, April 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In the current global-security environment, one nation isn’t enough. After decades of overseas contingency operations, from the sands of Afghanistan to the jungles of Mali, coalitions are a clear indicator of partner nations’ commitment to worldwide stability and security.

Exercise African Lion is U.S. Africa Command’s flagship program in Northern Africa to build partner-nation capacity and interoperability. With more regional cooperation between North African nations, bringing more partners into the mix would increase expertise, capabilities and professionalism across the board.

“We are very keen to work together with [Moroccans]; they are great partners for us and we want to practice and exercise with them as much as possible,” said Italian Commander Fernando Cianci, STRIKFORNATO.

This year’s multilateral event wasn’t exclusively between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States; the three-week event hosted Geo-spatial intelligence professionals from the German Bundeswehr Geo-spatial Intelligence Office as well as members of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, with representatives from the U.S., Portugal, Poland and Italy.

STRIKFORNATO is NATO’s premiere Maritime Battlestaff. One of their primary functions is to serve as a link for integrating U.S. Maritime Forces into NATO operations. The rapidly-deployable, maritime headquarters operates under a Memorandum of Understanding, signed between 11 nations, that “provides scalable command-and-control across a full spectrum of alliance fundamental security tasks,” according to its official webpage.

“It’s important because we have long-time friendships with these countries and we want to build a way to work together better,” said Cianci.

“When you work or exercise with other countries, you have to share; share the knowledge to do the jobs; we are showing them our ways to do jobs and they will show us their way and we find a good compromise for both of us to achieve the mission.”

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa-led engagement is one of the biggest of its kind on the continent and, during African Lion 14, hosted a multilateral event that included military observers from Mauritania, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Senegal, Poland, Turkey, Italy and France.

“It’s great training for the Marines and the Moroccans, but now we’d like to bring in some more participation and this was the first year we’ve had that opportunity with the Observer Program,” said Marine Brig. Gen. James S. O’Meara, deputy commander of Marine Forces Europe and Africa.

The African Lion 14 Observer Program was built to showcase the exercise to potential participants, setting the foundation for more robust military engagements in future iterations.

“So far it’s been very good, very positive,” said O’Meara. “It brings more of a coalition approach to help AFRICOM and Morocco, being a key player in Africa, this is a great exercise to do that.”

“Bringing in more of our partners from Africa and Europe will bring in different expertise, interoperability; it will help us work together in the future by helping different partners learn from each other. The more ‘multilateral’ we can make the exercise, the more we can each gain from it and, in the future when we need to come together for contingencies and crises.”

The observer program included an introduction about past iterations of African Lion exercises, the simulated scenarios, site visits to the Moroccan military and civilian ports, and a demonstration of stability operations by a contingent of military police officers from U.S. Marine, Army and Air Force personnel along with their counterparts. The Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response rapid-response capability was demonstrated with flight of two MV-22B Ospreys from Moron, Spain, directly to the northwest coast of Africa.

“It’s very important from a naval perspective; we say that no one can police the seas by themselves, so we have to do it together,” said Senegalese Commander Baye Khoule, an observer of African Lion 14. “For [the Economic Community of West African States], we have 15 countries and have sent troops for UN mandated operations – we can have the world to do that. Working with our partners will help us a lot to accomplish those missions.”

Regional partners working together in an exercise the magnitude of African Lion will provide familiarity when the time comes for real-world contingencies.

“If you work together, train together, you start to think more alike, and our equipment works well together, all of that will make the transition for a coalition a little easier from an ice-cold start of never working together,” said O’Meara.

The 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade operated its capacity to integrate with partner-nation militaries and respond to contingencies if it were deployed to support contingencies with a scalable, joint task force of Marines and fellow U.S. service components.

“In a crisis, the first time you’re planning it, you don’t want the people you’re working with to be the first time you’ve ever seen them. This year, having the 2nd MEB and SP-MAGTF Crisis Response here, all that has added to the benefit of the exercise,” said O’Meara.

Next year’s scheduled iteration, African Lion 15, has already been slated as a more profound training engagement, with more servicemembers from more nations, robust live-fire engagements, and aerial tactics and training workshops with support from an international contingent of fighter-jet squadrons.

“If not for any other reason, to at least share the same concerns on a global perspective and try to find common solutions for common problems, there’s no better way with dealing with a problem or situation than knowing your partner, knowing where they’re strong, where they’re weak, so challenges can be easily overcome,” said Portuguese Navy Commander Manual A. Mota, STRIKFORNATO.

The engagement hopes to build more proficiency and maintain the partnerships it’s been built, progressing every year to work toward international integration of armed services sharing knowledge, tactics and procedures, especially those partners in the region.

“Any multinational coalition has this virtue, of bringing different ideas, different ways of doing the same business and bringing things into context and hopefully we, together, find the optimized solution for similar problems that each one individually would have to deal with.”

African Lion 14 concluded its ninth iteration April 5. The exercise hopes to bolster more robust participation to promote stability and security of the region by working with long-time partners and strategic friendships

Source: APO

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DAKAR, Senegal, April 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for West Africa, Mr. Said Djinnit, met yesterday, in Monrovia, the President of Liberia, Ms. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

SRSG Djinnit discussed with the Liberian President the implementation of the Transborder Security Strategy adopted by the Mano River Union leaders in October 2013. They also discussed issues related to stability in West Africa as well as to drug trafficking and organized crime.

Mr. Djinnit had discussions on the same issues with the National Security Advisor, the Acting Minister of Justice and the heads of the country’s security in! stitutions including the Director of the Liberian National Police (LNP), the Head of Immigration Service and the Head of National Security Agency.

In his capacity as Chairman of the Policy Committee of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI), he visited the Transnational Crime Unit Headquarters in Monrovia, along with the Deputy SRSG for Rule of Law Mr. Tamrat Samuel of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and held a working session with the Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Chief of the TCU.

Mr. Djinnit commended the authorities for their successful establishment of the Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) which is now operational. This initiative is part of the United Nations support to enhancing the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to Address the Growing problem of Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, and Drug Abuse in West Africa.

“We are highly encouraged by the results achieved by the TCU in Liberia. T! he TCU model as an inter-agency task force establishing coordination among national law enforcement and intelligence bodies, does make a difference in fighting collaboratively organised crime”, said the SRSG Djinnit following his visit.

Source: APO

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EUCAP Sahel Mali: EU support mission for internal security in Mali established

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg, April 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Council today established a civilian mission under the Common Security and Defence

Policy (CSDP) to support the internal security forces in Mali.

EUCAP Sahel Mali is an additional contribution to the EU’s overall support to stability, institutional reform and the full restoration of state authority throughout the country. The mission will support the Malian state to ensure constitutional and democratic order and the conditions for lasting peace as well as to maintain its authority throughout the entire territory.

The mission will deliver strategic advice and training for the three internal security forces in Mali, i.e. the police, Gendarmerie and Garde nationale, and coordinate with international partners.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said:”EUCAP Sahel Mali is a further demonstration of the EU’s commitment to supporting reform in Mali. The mission will complement our military training mission EUTM and the EU’s broader engagement in Mali. By assisting the Malian internal security forces with EU expertise, EUCAP will help build a lasting solution to Mali’s security challenges.”

The headquarters of the mission will be in the Malian capital Bamako. The mission’s mandate will initially last for two years, starting from its launch, which requires a separate legal act, to be adopted once the initial operational capacity of the mission is reached. For the start-up phase, designed to end at the latest on 14 January 2015, a budget of € 5.5 million has been allocated.

EUCAP Sahel Mali is embedded in the EU’s comprehensive approach to security and development in the Sahel and comes in addition to two existing CSDP actions in the region:

EUCAP Sahel Niger supports the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Niger while the EU training mission in Mali contributes to the restructuring and the reorganisation of the

Malian Armed Forces though training and advice.

Source: APO

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EU training mission in Mali extended

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg, April 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Council today extended the EU military training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) by two years, i.e. until 18 May 2016.

EUTM Mali supports the training and reorganisation of the Malian Armed Forces. It aims to help improve the military capacity of the Malian Armed Forces in order to allow, under civilian authority, the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity.

The extension of the mandate will allow military training of four additional battalions of the Malian Armed Forces. At the same time, the Council approved additional activities for the mission. During the renewed mandate, the operation will establish two mobile training teams who will follow up on the battalions previously trained, once they have returned to their garrisons. In addition, “train the trainer” programmes will contribute to the sustainability of the mission’s efforts.

Brigadier General Marc Rudkiewicz has been Mission Commander since 1 April 2014 for around 560 staff at the mission’s headquarters in Bamako and its training camp in

Koulikoro. The common costs for the extension of the mission’s mandate are estimated at € 27.7 million.

Source: APO

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Garmin, the Global Leader in GPS Satellite Technology, is calling on business partners in West Africa

ACCRA, Ghana, April 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Garmin Southern Africa (Pty.) Ltd ( is pleased to announce that it is hosting a trade delegation in Accra, Ghana from the 12th to 16th May 2014. The purpose of the trade delegation is to engage with prospective businesses partners in West Africa who have strong distribution and/or reselling capabilities and a proven track record of successfully furthering brands into their designated markets.


With global annual revenues of over U$2.5 billion and a presence in 54 territories around the globe, Garmin has sold over 100 million products sold worldwide, and have realised that it is important to have the right mix of channel partners, products and tools available in each territory to provide product support.

The extensive ranges of products serve many industries including Marine, Outdoor, Automotive, Sports and Wellness. Garmin’s products or tools are suited to developing economies where infrastructure requirements are extensive and mapping out of new boundaries, roads, waypoints are key to the countries expansion.

Sustainable farming and the information required to plot out a field, calculate the area for planting seedlings or determining the land gradient of your farm to select the most suitable pump are just some key uses of our products.

Marine Echo range of fishfinders make use of GPS and sonar technology to map and view fish under water which is a great aid in subsistence fishing. Garmin Outdoor watches are great for hiking, where the handheld devices track waypoints. With the expansion of cities and roads in Accra, Lagos, Yamoussoukro, Yaoundé, Libreville and Dakar, the Garmin Automotive products become a valuable tool in navigating the streets, finding petrol stations, hotels, restaurants, and shopping centres.

GPS technology is used in sport and Garmin’s range of Fitness watches track personal data such as time, speed, distance, calories, cadence and when paired with a Heart Rate Monitor, tracks your heart rate. These products are used by coaches worldwide to improve athlete performance and fitness. New to the market is Garmin’s range of rugged Action Cameras to record HD footage, Virb Elite comes with a built in GPS and can pair with a Heart Rate monitor to record Heart Rate, speed, distance and route. Another exciting sector is the health and wellness market where Garmin VivoFit wellness band tracks your steps and sleeping patters encouraging you to stay active.

In conjunction with PDSA Ghana, Garmin will be hosting discussions on West African business opportunities to resell, distribute and service our wide range of GPS products and solutions. To register for a meeting visit or email us directly on

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Garmin Southern Africa (PTY) Ltd.

Contact: Michelle Hohls

Tel: +27 11 251 9964


For review units and additional information on new products, features, pricing and availability regarding Garmin Southern Africa’s (GSA) products and services please contact Michelle or visit For additional fresh info, what’s happening, fun events and pics to prove it, follow GSA on:!/GarminSA!/GarminSA


Garmin (, the global leader in satellite navigation has been successful in creating navigation and communication devices which embrace lifestyle needs and enrich the lives of customers’ since 1989. The brands innovative products span various areas of interest, including automotive, marine, fitness, outdoor recreation, and aviation and wireless applications. Garmin Southern Africa (GSA) is a member of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq:GRMN). This group of companies has designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Contact GSA for unmatched direct services and support on (011) 251 9999 or visit the GSA headquarters in Honeydew, Johannesburg, in the Kimbuilt Industrial Park at number 9 Zeiss Road, Laser Park.

Notice on Forward-Looking Statements:

This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of such Form 10-K is available at No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Garmin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Source: APO

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