For more pictures of the exercises – click here
A South African submarine, the SAS Manthatisi, sank the entire NATO fleet in Naval exercises.
From Business Day:
The SA Navy participated in an exercise with a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) force off the Cape coast this month.
A lone South African submarine left some Nato commanders with red faces after it “sank” all the Nato ships in the exercise.
The S101, or the SAS Manthatisi, evaded detection by a joint Nato and SA Navy search party consisting of several ships combing the search area with radar and sonar, before “sinking” all the ships in the fleet.
The maritime security exercise and collaboration off SA’s coast is taking place barely a month after Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota told the media that more armed US soldiers were not welcome in Africa.
Lekota said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) defence ministers had, at a summit in Lusaka, Zambia, in August, decided that no member states would host the US’s Africa command, or armed US soldiers.
He said this was also the “continental position” of the African Union.
AND, in Nigeria, an editorial in Leadership said the following:
When launched, AFRICOM will become a permanent military base in Africa, thus completing a long-desired strategic plan by the US. The stated reason was that it would check the spread of terrorism and smoothen the path of aid to the continent, but the real reason is to secure the continent’s resources and safeguard US military interests in the region. However, many African and American pressure groups are vehemently opposed to this project, seen largely as a neocolonial expansionism. TransAfrica Forum, America’s premier African-American foreign policy organisation, has said AFRICOM “represents a policy of US military-driven expansionism that will only enhance political instability, conflict, and the deterioration of state security.”
The US has tried to effect illegal regime change in over 50 countries in addition to invading 35 others in 56 years. African countries should reject AFRICOM in its entirety. Our National Assembly should therefore be on the look-out for any effort by Uncle Sam to impose it on us. The US Senate Committee on Armed Services should also not give in to President Bush’s expansionist policy under the guise of humanitarianism, knowing he is only making the world a much more dangerous place in which to live.
I am very glad to see these sentiments published in the Nigerian press, and I am glad President Yar’Adua is holding the line against AFRICOM so far. The recent election was severely flawed, and Yar’Adua is widely seen as Obasanjo’s creature. But he has been saying the right things, and seems to be moving in the direction of positive change. It remains to be seen whether it all means anything or not.
However, his song has changed a bit, according to the Daily Sun:
But Sauce is beginning to think Nigerians may have been too early with their praises. How so?
Not too long ago, the straight-talking presido delighted some visiting heads of government from the west African sub-region – ah, journalists and television analysts love that word – by recognising the Gulf of Guinea as a place of strategic importance to West Africans. It should be guarded as such and not left to chance for any foreign government to meddle with.
Hmmm. Good talk there, if you remember that his predecessor almost gave the Yanks unparalleled access to the waterway. You needn’t be a student of international relations to know what that means for Naija and neighbouring countries. The Yanks, if they wished could, in a blimp, surprise us if they had their military bases just at our backyard. After all, didn’t the Yanks themselves complain about Ruskies deploying missiles in Cuba less than 500 nautical miles from the US back in ‘61?
So, when Oga Umoru trumpeted it loud and clear that the Gulf of Guinea must be protected with all territorial interest, Nigerians, again, hailed him as the man of the moment. Here was a man, at last, who would call any government’s bluff.
But just as his compatriots were popping champagne for asserting Naija’s presence in territorial waters coveted by all, a dampener came in the form of an about-face by the very man who raised everyone’s hope. Last week, our man made another statement about the Gulf of Guinea, this time contradicting his earlier bold stand on the matter.
Anyone, he said, was welcome to ply the waters of the gulf in question. Which is to say that the Yanks can now berth their warships nearby. Please, that does not include Nigerian or Ghanaian fishermen hoping to net a few tunas and rare species of fish. On why the sudden change of tune, one tatafo would only say that Oga Umoru was due at the White House two days later.
What the amebo left unsaid was that if you intend to visit another person in his house, you don’t badmouth your host prior to your visit. If you do, then a very, very cold reception sure awaits you. No visiting president would much like that.