Saturday, 31 December 2011

In full: Queen's Christmas Speech
"In this past year my family and I have been inspired by the courage and hope we have seen in so many ways in Britain, in the Commonwealth and around the world.
We've seen that it's in hardship that we often find strength from our families; it's in adversity that new friendships are sometimes formed; and it's in a crisis that communities break down barriers and bind together to help one another.
Families, friends and communities often find a source of courage rising up from within. Indeed, sadly, it seems that it is tragedy that often draws out the most and the best from the human spirit.
When Prince Philip and I visited Australia this year, we saw for ourselves the effects of natural disaster in some of the areas devastated by floods, where in January so many people lost their lives and their livelihoods.
We were moved by the way families and local communities held together to support each other.
Prince William travelled to New Zealand and Australia in the aftermath of earthquakes, cyclones and floods and saw how communities rose up to rescue the injured, comfort the bereaved and rebuild the cities and towns devastated by nature.
The Prince of Wales also saw first-hand the remarkable resilience of the human spirit after tragedy struck in a Welsh mining community, and how communities can work together to support their neighbours.
This past year has also seen some memorable and historic visits - to Ireland and from America.
The spirit of friendship so evident in both these nations can fill us all with hope. Relationships that years ago were once so strained have through sorrow and forgiveness blossomed into long-term friendship.
It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow.
Of course, family does not necessarily mean blood relatives but often a description of a community, organisation or nation. The Commonwealth is a family of 53 nations, all with a common bond, shared beliefs, mutual values and goals.
It is this which makes the Commonwealth a family of people in the truest sense, at ease with each other, enjoying its shared history and ready and willing to support its members in the direst of circumstances.
They have always looked to the future, with a sense of camaraderie, warmth and mutual respect while still maintaining their individualism.
The importance of family has, of course, come home to Prince Philip and me personally this year with the marriages of two of our grandchildren, each in their own way a celebration of the God-given love that binds a family together.
For many, this Christmas will not be easy. With our armed forces deployed around the world, thousands of service families face Christmas without their loved ones at home.
The bereaved and the lonely will find it especially hard. And, as we all know, the world is going through difficult times. All this will affect our celebration of this great Christian festival.
Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.
God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.
In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.
It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas."

Friday, 30 December 2011

Congo: Elections, Democracy and The Diaspora Awakening
The November 28th Presidential and legislative elections were fraught with tremendous irregularities and widespread charges of fraud. The National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI in French) announced on December 8th that Joseph Kabila won the elections with 49 percent of the vote and long-time opposition, Etienne Tshisekedi garnered 32 percent.
The Supreme Court validated the results published by CENI and dismissed a challenge to the results by the opposition, led by presidential candidate Vital Kamerhe. The opposition categorically rejected the results as fraudulent. Nonetheless, Joseph Kabila was sworn into office on Tuesday, December 20th, where only one head of state (Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe) attended although 12 other African heads of states were expected to attend. Ambassadors from foreign nations, including the United States, were present for Kabila's swearing-in.Rejecting the results, Etienne Tshisekedi announced that he would have his own swearing-in among the people at the 80,000 capacity Martyrs Stadium on Friday, December 23rd. Being under virtual house arrest, Tshisekedi was confined to his residence by the Kabila regime. The government also prevented the population from entering the stadium with a heavy show of force from the police, armed forces, and presidential guard. The regime blocked routes leading to the stadium with heavy tanks and artillery. Instead of a swearing-in at the stadium in front of a large audience, Etienne Tshisekedi had to perform the ceremony at home in his garden. In addition to domestic pressure, the government is experiencing intense international pressure; the European Union has said it will re-evaluate its cooperation with the DRC and make judgments based on how the political crisis unfolds and Mme Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund said she is following the situation in the Congo with a particular focus on the rule of law and the political climate, especially the pre and post-electoral periods.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is at a critical juncture in its tenuous march towards peace and stability. The Kabila regime suffers from a severe crisis of legitimacy and the future of the democratic project is in the balance. Stability will be fleeting without legitimacy. What is at stake in the Congo is not merely an election but respect for the will of a people and the future of democracy in the heart of Africa.
The Carter Center said the Presidential results announced by the CENI "lacked credibility," while the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, said that the results announced by the CENI reflects "neither the truth nor justice." The European Union chimed in, noting that the process evinced a lack of transparency, with its missing polling stations and lost results totaling an estimated 1.6 million votes. South Africa noted that the elections were "generally OK," while the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) found little wrong with the elections. Nonetheless, the CENI has ceased the counting of the legislative results and invited an international technical team from the United States and England to help with the counting of the legislative results, which are expected to be announced by January 13th - a constitutional deadline that will be difficult to meet.
Congolese in the diaspora have responded with universal outrage and have taken to the streets throughout the globe. Demonstrations have occurred in London, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Washington and numerous other cities around the world. The central demand of the demonstrations is that the will of the Congolese people be respected. Click here to see videos of Congolese demonstrations!
Due to greater access to information combined with the freedom to express themselves, Congolese in the Diaspora have voiced the frustrations and concerns of their countrymen and women. The Congolese population inside the country has been under a military clamp-down with tanks in the streets, omnipresent security forces, SMS shut down (a major tool of communication for Congolese), and opposition television shuttered. Moreover, the Kabila regime has already demonstrated a willingness to use its armed and security forces to fire on unarmed civilians (see Human Rights Watch Report) and round-up and disappear civilians (see Amnesty International and Voix Sans Voix Statement).
The best option to rescue the country from a descent into a deeper crisis is the activation of a national mediation mechanism supported by the international community (Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU), European Union, United Nations and United States). However, political will on the part of the political class to prioritize the people's interests over partisan interests is a necessary prerequisite for this option to be successful.
Continue to take action and support Congo's pursuit of democracy: "Our offices have gotten quite a bit of input from the Congolese Community in the US for which we are grateful." U.S. Senator Christopher Coons1. Contact key world leaders and demand that they refrain from recognizing Joseph Kabila as President of the DRC.2. Demand that the technical team from the United States and England assess both the legislative and presidential results.3. Participate in teach-ins to learn about what is at stake in the Congo and the nature of Congo's democratic movement. (Click here for comprehensive list of actions!)On January 17, 2012, the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Friends of the Congo and its allies will join in solidarity with the Congolese people by organizing a rally, teach-in and Lumumba Commemoration in Washington, DC and New York City. We call on our supporters and people of goodwill throughout the globe to join in solidarity with the people of the Congo as they continue the over 125 year pursuit to control and determine their own affairs.Stay abreast of the latest developments on the elections by visiting our elections corner or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates.
Happy memories-Ayoub mzee at Chobe safari lodge in northern Uganda

Press Releases: Special Joint Press Briefing On U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
12/29/2011 03:46 PM EST

Special Joint Press Briefing On U.S. Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
Special Briefing
Andrew J. ShapiroAssistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. James N. Miller
Washington, DC
December 29, 2011
MS. NULAND: Good afternoon, everybody. Before we do our regular daily briefing, we have a special briefing today on U.S. arms sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With us today, we have Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro, and we have Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller.
So without further ado, Assistant Secretary Shapiro.
QUESTION: Can we attribute the on-time nature of this briefing to the fact that someone from the Pentagon is here? (Laughter.)
MS. NULAND: Absolutely. We have military discipline – (laughter).
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: Well, thank you everyone for coming this afternoon. And as Toria mentioned, I’m joined by Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Dr. Jim Miller.
As you may recall, in October 2010, I officially announced the Administration’s plan to sell to Saudi Arabia a significant defense package that would include advanced F-15 fighter aircraft and helicopters. We are pleased to announce that over this past weekend, the United States and Saudi Arabia signed a letter of offer and acceptance for the sale of up to 84 advanced F-15SA fighter aircraft. It also includes upgrades to its current fleet of 70 F-15 aircraft, as well as munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance, and logistics.
This sale is worth $29.4 billion. These F-15SA aircraft, manufactured by the Boeing company, will be among the most sophisticated and capable aircraft in the world. This agreement serves to reinforce the strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. It demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a strong Saudi defense capability as a key component to regional security.
Since announcing in June – in 2010 our intent to conclude this sale, the Departments of State and Defense have worked closely with the Saudi Government and industry to finalize the particulars of the deal. Jim and I both recently made separate trips to Saudi Arabia, in part to discuss the sale.
Let me outline a few of the reasons why this defense package is so important and historic, and how it will advance U.S. national interests. This sale will send a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East. It will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend against external threats to its sovereignty. It will advance interoperability between the air forces of our two countries through joint training and exercises. And lastly, this agreement will positively impact the U.S. economy and further advance the President’s commitment to create jobs by increasing exports. According to industry experts, this agreement will support more than 50,000 American jobs. It will engage 600 suppliers in 44 states and provide $3.5 billion in annual economic impact to the U.S. economy. This will support jobs not only in the aerospace sector but also in our manufacturing base and support chain, which are all crucial for sustaining our national defense.
I also wanted to note that this sale was carefully assessed under the U.S. Government’s Conventional Arms Transfer Policy. This policy requires such sales be deemed in the national security interests of the United States, are consistent with the country’s legitimate security needs, and support U.S. regional security objectives. With this agreement, the United States and Saudi Arabia have accomplished a historic achievement in our longstanding security partnership, a partnership that furthers security and stability in the Gulf region. Our longstanding security relationship with Saudi Arabia and other partners in the region has been a primary pillar of regional security for decades. And this sale further illustrates the firm commitment of the United States to the security and stability of the Gulf region.
I’ll now turn it over to Jim Miller, who has more to say on the details of the sales package and how it advances U.S.-Saudi military-to-military interests. After that, Jim and I will be happy to take your questions.
MR. MILLER: Thank you, Andrew. And good afternoon and happy holidays to everybody.
Let me start by reiterating that the United States is firmly committed to the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as we have been for nearly seven decades, and that more broadly, the United States and Saudi Arabia have a strong mutual interest in the security and stability of the Gulf. Close cooperation between our militaries is central to that security and stability, and we are really announcing today the most recent example of that cooperation.
On December 24th in Riyadh, the United States and Saudi Arabia finalized the letter of offer and acceptance, or LOA, for the purchase of 84 F-15SA aircraft and, as Andrew said, for the upgrade of an additional 70 F-15SA aircraft to this SA configuration. And this government-to-government or foreign military sale is valued at $29.4 billion.
I’d like to say just a few words about the capabilities that are under consideration. This aircraft, the F-15SA, will be the most capable and versatile aircraft in the Royal Saudi fighter inventory. And indeed, it will be one of the most capable aircraft in the world. The F-15SA will have the latest generation of computing power, radar technology, infrared censors, and electronic warfare systems. As one example, the F-15SA will be equipped with an active electronically-scanned array radar, or AESA. This radar includes the latest technology and will ensure that Saudi Arabia has the capability to operate against regional air threats. This sale also includes AMRAAM and AIM-9X air-to-air missiles, which provide both radar and infrared guided capability. The F-15SA will be able to strike targets day or night in all weather with a variety of precision-guided munitions. The air-to-ground weapon capability includes laser-guided and GPS-guided weapons, along with missiles that can attack ground-based radars and missiles – the Harpoon in particular specialized for maritime attack capabilities.
The communications systems of the F-15SA will allow the U.S. Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force to operate effectively together in the same airspace. And the system’s interoperability will also allow both countries to – excuse me – to participate in coalition training, which is a priority for both of our countries. And in fact, this F-15SA package includes not just aircraft and munitions but the training and logistics support that Andrew talked about, and it’s a very robust package. Much of the Saudi training in the F-15SA will occur alongside U.S. forces. This will enhance our already strong defense relationship. And approximately 5,500 Saudi personnel will be trained through 2019 – 5,500 through 2019, further strengthening the bonds between our forces and between our countries.
I’ve provided just a very high-level overview of the F-15SA’s impressive capabilities, and I know that the Air Force and the Boeing company will be glad to offer a lot more details. As Andrew said, the U.S.-Saudi security relationship has been a pillar of regional security for decades. And this F-15SA sale demonstrates the firm commitment of the United States to the kingdom, and reinforces our mutual commitment to security and stability in the Gulf.
And with that, Andrew and I would be pleased to take your questions.
QUESTION: Yeah. So, Andrew, you said that it sends a strong message – this sends a strong message to countries in the region the U.S. is committed to security. You didn’t mention any – I presume you mean both friends and foes. I’d like to talk – ask you about two countries that are not mentioned, both of which begin with “I”, Israel and Iran.
One, on Israel, how did – how easy was it to overcome any sensitivity that they might have about this sale? Does it affect their advantage that you seek to preserve? And then, on Iran, you didn’t mention it, but presumably that is the biggest threat to the Saudis in the region. Is that your thinking? Do these planes come equipped with, like, a map leading to Iran and have Israel, like, blacked out? What’s the thinking – what’s the specific message to Iran that the sale sent?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: Well, I’ll let Jim talk about what maps are equipped on the aircraft. But on the Israel point, let me just say that by law, all sales to the region must be evaluated for the impact on Israel’s qualitative military edge. We conducted that assessment, as I mentioned during the congressional briefing – during the briefing last year to discuss the congressional notification. We conducted that assessment, and we are satisfied that this sale to Saudi Arabia will not decrement Israel’s qualitative military edge.
As far as regional threats, aircraft are a platform that lasts for decades. So they’re designed to address both current security threats as well as threats that may emerge down the road as well. So these aircraft will be delivered over the coming years and are a long-term commitment of the United States to Saudi Arabia’s security.
QUESTION: So I can’t get you to use the word Iran? It’s only four letters.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: (Laughter.) As I mentioned, it’s designed to allow Saudi Arabia to address threats to its sovereignty, and we believe this aircraft is able to provide that capability (inaudible).
QUESTION: But where do you see that threat coming from right now at this specific moment in time.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: Well, as you know, the Middle East right now, there’s a number of threats. They’ve had border security issues. They have threats in the Gulf as well. And clearly, one of the threats that they face as well as other countries in the region is Iran. But it is not – this is not solely directed towards Iran. This is directed towards meeting our partner Saudi Arabia’s defense needs.
MS. NULAND: Jim, anything to add?
MR. MILLER: I think Andrew covered it very well.
MS. NULAND: Welcome to the State Department briefing room. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Just the same question, but a little bit differently. The timing of this. Obviously, you said the deal was struck, I think, December 24th. Today is a day where there’s a lot of news about this standoff with Iran, the Strait of Hormuz. Can you definitively say that there’s no connection even in the announcement today?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: Well, we’ve been – I’ll be perfectly honest. We’ve been planning this announcement since the deal was struck, before the latest tensions in the Straits of Hormuz, and so – and this deal was – first, we’ve been talking with the Saudis about how to provide for their air power needs for a number of years. And as I noted, I announced this congressional notification of this package last year. So we did not gin up a package in response to current events in the region, but this is part of a longstanding discussion with our Saudi partners about how to best meet their needs, and we are announcing it because the LOA was signed on Christmas Eve, which wouldn’t have been the right time to announce it.
MS. NULAND: Let’s go here. One more Pentagon, yes.
QUESTION: Amy Butler from Aviation Week. I’m curious if you can say for us, did they decide to go with a GE engine or did they go with a Pratt engine? Also, what is the delivery timeline? And has Saudi Arabia expressed any interest in some of the add-ons that Boeing has proposed that add potential internal weapons carrying stealthy characteristics for the future for their fighter fleet?
MR. MILLER: Let me take the question about delivery first. We expect the first delivery of the F-15SA of the new aircraft in early 2015 and expect the upgrades of the F-15S to the SA configuration to start in 2014. That’s the expectation now. Of course, schedules are as schedules are.
With respect to the internal capability of the aircraft, it has very substantial capabilities. I’ll give you just a little bit more in terms of the – I mentioned the – some of the munitions – the HARM anti-radiation missile that goes against radars for precision strike capabilities. We’ve got the Joint Direct Attack Munition, JADM; also the Paveway, which has an analogous capability, the Harpoon anti-ship missile; a very capable system called the Sensor Fuzed Weapon; and for the Defense people in the room, with the Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser, which is just an incredibly capable system against moving vehicles; and of course air-to-air AMRAAM and AIM-9X capabilities as well. So very significant capabilities.
There’s always the possibility that the Saudis would ask for more. This provides them everything that they asked for in their letter of request, and I know we have ongoing discussions that – where something else could be provided in the future.
QUESTION: Okay. And then on the engine, did they go with the GE or the Pratt?
MR. MILLER: I would like to defer that to the Boeing Company.
MR. MILLER: Yeah. Please.
MS. NULAND: Please.
QUESTION: I wanted to ask you about any conditions were put on this sale considering Saudi Arabia is an important member of the GCC countries, considering the situation that happened in Bahrain recently, whether this use can also be applied to other countries that Saudi Arabia is part of or this purely for the use of Saudi Arabia just in case for its own defense?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: This was a sale to Saudi Arabia, and it is designed for Saudi defense needs. That being said, we are interested in working with all the Gulf nations in developing a regional security architecture that will enable them to meet the challenges and threats posed in the region. However, this is a sale to Saudi Arabia that will be used by the Saudi air force in order to defend its sovereignty and borders.
QUESTION: Well, I think the question, though, is related to the fact that the Saudis, as part of the GCC, sent people into Bahrain to put down – so I think her question is: Are there restrictions on this so that the Saudis can’t kind of, I don’t know, loan them out or send them for use against protestors in allies of Saudi?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: Under U.S. law and regulation, any attempt to transfer weapons to any other country requires our approval. So they have – and they – since they’ve not obtained these aircraft yet, there has been no such request made. And indeed, if they wanted to transfer these aircraft to any other Gulf partner, they would need our approval to do so.
QUESTION: No, but I don’t think it’s a question of transferring; it’s a question of if Bahrain, as part of the GCC, or some other country as part of the GCC, requests assistance and that assistance would include – I don’t know; this is obviously very hypothetical – but would include Saudis sending planes to Bahrain, not transferring them to the Bahrainis but using them in Bahrain, are there any restrictions like that?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: I’m not going to get into highly speculative, hypothetical – particularly when these aircraft are not going to be delivered for – until at least 2015, as Jim said. But at the – our common understanding with the Saudis is that these aircraft are to help with their security needs and to protect their sovereignty.
QUESTION: Was there anything in the Saudi request that wasn’t granted in the --
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: Well, as Jim mentioned, there was a letter of request, and all that was in the letter of request was met in the letter of acceptance.
QUESTION: Are these planes more sophisticated than the planes you are going to send to Iraq?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: I’ll let Jim take that one.
MR. MILLER: As you know, we’re looking to sell F-16s to Iraq, different set of capabilities. The F-15SA is a terrific capability that includes some of the best attributes of the F-15s that we have in our inventory and some things, including these – this radar that really go beyond what we’ve had for ourselves to date, and we’ll be looking to bring analogous capabilities in for ourselves.
Really different missions, different focus for the F-16 and – F-15 and F-16. I wouldn’t compare them. We’re looking to provide a very significant capability with the F-16s to Iraq as well with a very heavy focus on air-to-air capabilities in that case.
MS. NULAND: Just looking to see if any of our other Pentagon guests – another one here.
QUESTION: I’m just curious, was there any sort of a work share offset? Is Saudi going to be doing any of the work in country?
MR. MILLER: That’s a topic that is not government-to-government but, as you know, is between the company – between Boeing Company and the Saudi Government. And as you probably also know, it’s standard to have something in that regard. I would, again, rather than speaking to it, defer that over to the Boeing Company to answer.
MS. NULAND: And the last one, Goyal.
QUESTION: Thank you very much. Quick one, two: One, if you had informed Israel in advance and what is the reaction from them? And second, did you see any immediate threat in the region against Saudi Arabia that you had to take such a dramatic action now – I mean by Saudi Arabia and by the U.S. to have these sales?
QUESTION: Because – sorry – Saudi had been peaceful ever since kingdom, no demonstrations, no problems of any kind.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHAPIRO: On your first question, I’m not going to get into private diplomatic discussions with Israel other than to again note that our evaluation is that this sale will not have an impact on Israel’s qualitative military edge.
On your second, again, the timing of this – this has been long in the making. Discussions over providing aircraft for the Saudi air force have taken place over a number of years. We announced the congressional notifications package last year in 2010. And we’ve negotiated the agreement over the past year, and it was signed on Christmas Eve.
QUESTION: Just one quick?
QUESTION: Thank you, sir.
MS. NULAND: Okay. One quick one here and then (inaudible).
QUESTION: How the payment is going to be?
QUESTION: Payment on the – is there a timeline as to --
MR. MILLER: Under the foreign military sales, this will be analogous to many others that we’ve done. There is a payment schedule. The first payment will be due in the coming weeks and months, and they will – the payments will occur over a period of a number of years.
QUESTION: When – you mentioned the first delivery is in early 2015. When is it completed? When is the – when do the last planes get there, or the last upgrades finish arriving?
MR. MILLER: It will be several years after that.
QUESTION: So five, ten? I mean, how many – how – we’re talking – the reason I’m asking is that because it goes without – I think it goes without saying, but I want you to say it anyway, that this is a sign or an indication that you have faith in the stability of the Saudi monarchy and think that it’s going to be around for at least a little while longer.
MR. MILLER: Look, this is – we have a nearly seven-decade-strong relationship and partnership with the Saudi Government.
QUESTION: Yeah, but as you know --
MR. MILLER: We expect it to continue for the long term.
QUESTION: So – yeah, so you have faith in the stability of the Saudi monarchy --
MS. NULAND: I think he’s answered that question.
QUESTION: -- long --
MS. NULAND: -Thanks, guys, very much.
QUESTION: Well, I still am waiting for how long – how many years does it take for this deal to be completed.
MR. MILLER: The – there are various – there’s various elements of it. We’ve got the aircraft themselves that will be over a period of several years after the initial delivery. We’ve got the training that will occur – that will start sooner and that will occur over a period of – I believe it’s 10-plus years, and so that it’s something that is a sustained effort and shows sustained commitment between the U.S. and Saudi Governments, and both for Saudi security and U.S.-Saudi relations, and for promotion of regional --
QUESTION: So is there no real end date for when the – all the planes are delivered?
MR. MILLER: There is a target date. It’ll be several years after the – 2015. I’ll give you --
QUESTION: Several is how many?
MR. MILLER: I’ll give you a precise answer.
QUESTION: Perhaps we should ask it this way: For how long do you expect for this deal to sustain and support those 50,000 jobs you touted?
MR. MILLER: Round numbers, a decade-plus.
MS. NULAND: Okay. Thanks, guys, very much.
QUESTION: Thank you.
# # #

changa moto la maafuriko dar

Heshima yako Bwana Amani,
Mimi huwa mara nyingi nasita sana kuchangia hoja ambayo wanayoshiriki siwaoni au siwafahamu, maana nawafahamu wengi ambao wamekuwa very genuine katika kuchangia hoja katika msingi ya uzalendo na uchungu wa Taifa ambalo ni letu wote isipokuwa madaraka yake si yetu wote , hivyo unapotoa hoja inayokosoa walio madarakani, basi unakuwa umewapa sababu ya kukukandamiza. Ila nataka niamini kuwa wanaochangia hoja hii wengi wana uzalendo wa kweli kusaidian kupata 'constructive ideas' ambazo zitatusaidai kutoa muongozo stahili kwa swala ambal lisposhuglikiwa leo au kesho, keshokutwa maafa yake yatakuwa zaidi ya haya. Na ndiyo maana nadhani kuwa utamaduni unaojitokeza wa baadhi ya taasisi au vikundi kugawa nguo, sukari , au sabuni is simply trying to 'prescribe the wrong medication to a terminal disease'.
Nilikuwa nyumbani kipindi cha Bunge la Bajeti, nikamusikia Mh Anna Tibaijuka akitoa vision ya serikali kuhusu Bonde la Msimbazi, nadhani alikuwa anawaasa watu walioko kwenye bonde hilo wahame ili ligeuzwe kuwa mahala pa mapumziko(Gardens). Nakumbuka pia Mh Zungu wa ilalla nadhani akichangia hoja hii, alichangia hoja hii kwa jazba na, mchango wake haukujaribu kujenga hoja yoyote kati ya hizi tunazojaribu kujenga miezi mitano baada ya bajeti. Yeye aligeuza hoja kuwa campaign yake ya 2015, akafika kumwambia Mh. Tibaijuka, kuwa nanukuu ' Siungi mkono hoja, sis wakazi wa Dar Saaalama, biashara yetu kubwa ni nyumba, hatuna ziwa, au mazao kama nyie wa Kanda ya Ziwa, na Mikoa ya kati, na ndiyo maana mlikuwa wakali wakati wa bajeti ya Uchukuzi na Mawasiliano, sasa leo sie muntwambia tuhame bonde la msimbazi ili nyie mpate sehemu ya kuja kumpumzikia mkila koni, mimi niko tayari kuongoza maandamano kupinga hili wazo, maana hatuna maala pengine pa kwenda, hivyo nyie bakini huko huko mkila koni zenu, sisi tutakula ubuyu'
Nilijiuliza mambo mengi KM. Huyu mbunge ameongeza nini katika hoja hii? , Je ilifika fika je kuwa Wa mikoa ya Kanda ya Ziwa na kati vs Dar es Salaam? Huyu bwana kwanini hakuhoji zaidi mambo ya msingi yaliosababishwa hoja hii ikaja bungeni, Je sera za serikali zinapobezwa kwa simple politics , nani anaumia.
Lakini jamani , mimi niko tayari kusimama popote to prove this bein said, maana katika picha zote sikumuona Huyu Mbunge among the victims, if they are really victims, na hatuwezi kudai ni victims wa sera mbovu za serikali , wakati zinapoletwa panapositahili kuhojiwa, kurekebishwa, na kufafanuliwa zaidi, waliopewa dhamana wanafanyia
siasa zisizo na tija.
Mimi nadhani, uwajibikaji ulitakiwa kuaanza na wabunge kama kina Zungu, walitakiaw baadala ya Kuchochea watu wasiondoke, wangetumia ubunge kufuatilia hilo swala Wizara husika, na sio cheap politics.
Mimi nina imani na hakika kuwa kwenye hoja ya serikali kwenye Bajeti, haya yote tunayoyahoji yatakuwemo, kama yamo, hakuna kisingizio kwa wanaoitwa 'victims' kuhama. Otherwise, inakuwa siyo serikali, tusishabikie kuwepo sheria na sheria kuchukua mkondo wake pale serikali inapojaribu kuzima upinzani wa mawazo na sera, bali hata pale inapojenga hoja na wanainchi wakakaidi kuitekeleza.
Nawasilisha Hoja!
This blog wishes all my readers and followers a happy new year in advance
Ayoub mzee in Addis ababa at the africa union head quaters

bye bye

Monday, 26 December 2011

Ayoub mzee with prof Jay

Prof Jay with shay banks of mama A promotions

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Did you know that our brothers from Kenya have just celebrated their independence annivesary ?

The kenya high commissioner H.E NGARE celebrating with his countrymen at the continental hotel in london

Christmas Day Viewing – Ballet Boyz on More 4

BalletBoyz: Next Generation follows the rise of a new all-male dance company, from auditions to a performance in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It will be shown on Christmas Day at 11.05pm.

Filmed over two years this observational documentary follows the meteoric rise of an all-male dance company, exploring what it takes to turn eight individuals into one formidable company, and follows the process from first auditions, through boot-camp training and creating work – right up to their performance in Addis Ababa earlier this year.

Altitude sickness, broken bones, rolling power cuts and a punishing schedule are only some of the hurdles faced by the talent as they bring the BalletBoyz to Ethiopia and stage a performance in the prestigious City Hall, Addis Ababa.
The documentary will be shown on More4 on Christmas Day at 11.05pm

The film also features performance footage of The TALENT from the last two years.

Produced in Association with Channel 4 and Arts Council England

For further details see or the Channel 4 website at:


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Ayoub --

I've known the President and the First Lady for a long time.I've seen them face some big years before. But the year ahead will be the biggest.And as we head into 2012, I think we should show Barack and Michelle how many folks are standing with them.
A couple of us on the campaign are putting together a card for everyone to sign with our names and notes, wishing the President and the First Lady well for the year ahead. It may feel like a small gesture, but it's one that becomes very large, very quickly, when hundreds of thousands of people add their names. I just know it's going to mean the world to them.This is Barack Obama's last campaign. Let's show him and Michelle that we'll be behind them every step of the way next year: you, and best wishes for a happy new year.-

JuliannaJulianna SmootDeputy Campaign ManagerObama for America

The Tanzania community ended the year in style

23rd DECEMBER 2011

Over the years, we have seen leaders of countries misuse and abuse their power – suppressing democracy; holding their people back politically and economically; and, preventing the country and its people from reaching their fullest potential. We must stand united and demand that democracy returns to all parts of the world.

Observers from the Carter Center, founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, found “the provisional presidential election results announced by the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) on the 9th of December 2022 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to lack credibility.” Based on the report of its 30,000 election observers, the largest of any group, Kinshasa Archbishop, Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya, said that “…there is no reason to firmly conclude that these results conform to either the truth or justice.”

Recognising rigged elections means supporting dictatorial regimes, injustice, conflicts and human insecurity in Africa. We will continue to Stand by the Congolese people in demanding the respect of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognises the right of all peoples to self-determination, including the right to "freely determine their political status", pursue their economic, social and cultural goals, and manage and dispose of their own resources.

The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo thirst for democracy in their country and, as such, stand united in their resolve to ask for action. Diaspora Congolese People in the UK have been demonstrating since 28 November and will be demonstrating again on the following days AND CONTINUALLY AFTER THESE DATES:
24th DECEMBER 2011 - from 11am to 6pm. March from TEMPLE station to 10 DOWNING STREET

28th DECEMBER 2011 - from 11 am to 6pm. AT HQ OF BELL POTTINGER -
Holborn Gate, 26 Southampton Building, London WC2A 1QB. Chancery Lane station.(Buses: 8, 17, 25, 45, 46, 242, 341, 521) (Organised by Congolese Women)

We invite every Journalists, Reporters, NGOs and Charities who are so keen on reporting on DRCongo's populations misery to accuratelty report on THE CONGOLESE UPRAISING - a Movement by Congolese people in the Diaspora and the DRCongo, in unison who want CHANGE in DRCongo, regardless of the affiliations.
We have the right to a fair and accurate reporting and to inform the World and British citizens in particular about the DRCongo, where the tax payer money have been invested heavily.
Please contact us if you require more information and video links about our protest in France, UK, US, Congo, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy , Denmark and South Africa:

Friday, 23 December 2011


The high commissioner and the the HOC reading the engravement on the awards

The Ghana high commissioner H.E Prof Kwaku Danso-Boafo recieving the Ben tv diplomatic awards .One is the Diplomatic Pride of Africa awarded to the High commissioner himself and the other is the award was given to the ghana high commission for good customer service ,Diaspora development,country's human development ,economic and cultural development

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Rwanda high commissioner H.E ERNEST RWAMUCYO was in coventry to participate in a rwanda community football match as part of the community cohesion scheme.Community cohesion is about ensuring different groups of people share a common vision and sense of belonging, where similar life opportunities are available to all. It is defined as working towards a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities; a society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available to all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community.This tournament took place at the allan higgs leisure center in coventry

Janneh gets Africa’s economic icon award, recognised for leadership in peace building
ECA Press Release No. 163/2011
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 19 December 2011 (ECA) - The United Nations Under-Secretary General and the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, has been honoured with two distinctions in recognition of his extensive work on the development of Africa and the leadership his has shown in promoting the culture of peace on the continent. Editors of the African Leadership Magazine said that Mr. Janneh emerged winner of the “Distinguished African Economic Icon of the Year Award 2011.” The prize was given at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on 16 December on 16 December 2011.. The African Leadership Magazine is a pan-African flagship publication circulated to over 180,000 targeted international investors, business executives, government policy makers and multilateral agencies in Africa, Europe and the U.S., according to the Information and Communication Service of ECA. Three days ealier that is on 13 December the Dakar-based Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) had also awarded the 2011 “Femmes Africa Solidarité Leadership in Peace Building Recognition” to Mr. Janneh in honour of his outstanding contributions to the African women’s peace movement. At the awarding ceremony which took place on 13 December, at the Hotel Meridian in Dakar, Senegal, the founder and Executive Director of FAS, Ms Bineta Diop, described Mr. Janneh as “a steady supporter” of the organisation, saying his “efforts have contributed to the important progress made by women on the continent.” Accepting the prize, Mr. Janneh’s representative read a prepared speech in which he called for more women in peace mediation and negotiations, as they are most often the first casualties of war. “We know that men far outnumber women as combatants and perpetrators of war, yet women are increasingly the biggest casualties, including being victims of sexual and gender-based violence”, he said. He recognised the many steps taken in Africa towards gender, peace and security and encouraged each and everyone to “join hands and accelerate that walk, monitor each other and increase accountability.” Mr. Janneh earned the 2011 Distinguished African Economic Icon of the Year Award thanks to his prudent leadership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, according to the award committee. The committee recognises ECA’s work in harnessing the intellectual resources that have enhanced the ability of a good number of countries on the continent to adopt effective policies which account for the steady growth rates registered by the countries. Mr. Janneh now joins the list of distinguished personalities who have recently received the award. They include H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; Dr. Mo Ibrahim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and Mr. Peter Hinson, Managing Director of First Bank, United Kingdom. Issued by: ECA Information and Communication Service P.O. Box 3001 Addis Ababa Ethiopia Tel: 251 11 5445098 Fax: +251-11-551 03 65 E-mail: Web:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

profesa Jya akiw a na Mheshimiwa Balozi Peter Kallaghe

PROFESSOR JAY & DIAMOND PLATNUMZ LIVE in MILTON KEYNES, FRI 16Th Dec 2011@ The GOLDEN LOUNGE,Unit 35,Barton Road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, mk2 3uh. DON'T MISS IT !!! PARTY WITH THE STARS TILL 5AM. call 07960811614 for more details

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Rebuilding nursing and midwifery in Somaliland Somaliland’s maternal, infant and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world. A rudimentary health system collapsed in the final years of the civil war which ended in 1991. Fighting forced the country’s health professionals to leave the country or flee to refugee camps. But since 2000, a small number of well-qualified, experienced nurses and midwives have returned to Somaliland determined to rebuild their professions. “What do you do when conflict has destroyed all your institutions and professional associations? That was the question which confronted us,” recalls Fouzia Ismail, director of the Somaliland Nursing and Midwifery Association (SLNMA), in a new publication from Africa Research Institute, Patience and Care: Rebuilding nursing and midwifery, in Somaliland. “It was difficult to know where to start”. The SLNMA’s inaugural meeting in 2004 was attended by just seven people. The association’s first task was to ascertain how many nurses and midwives there were in Somaliland. Since this inauspicious beginning, the SLNMA has played a leading role in developing five new nursing and midwifery curricula, revitalising regional nursing and midwifery schools, training a new generation of nurse tutors, and advocating for better regulation of health services in Somaliland. Fouzia is candid about the factors which have hampered the development of health services in Somaliland. Many are common to other post-conflict states in Africa, and elsewhere. She explains – clearly and concisely – the way in which obstacles have been overcome. Consensual decision-making, community and diaspora participation, and the selection of appropriate long-term international partners are among the features of the distinctive strategy being pursued in Somaliland. For Fouzia, the achievement of Somaliland’s social and economic goals is dependent on improving the health of the nation. “A minuscule health budget and some of the poorest health indicators in the world called for ingenuity, and a good deal of courage, on the part of those who have sought to drive improvements in health care in Somaliland,” said Edward Paice, director of Africa Research Institute, at the official launch of Patience and Care in London on December 6th 2011. Andy Leather, director of King’s College Hospital Centre for Global Health, concurs: “Global health has come alive, and a lot of it is to do with Somaliland and what has come out of it”. As part of an enduring partnership between King’s College Hospital in London, the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) and Somaliland, more than 100 British health professionals have undertaken teaching trips to the country since 2000. Leather is adamant that UK professionals gain more from this interaction than they give – and that healthier populations in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere are “in all our interests”.

Sunday, 11 December 2011