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U.S. intelligence activities in Africa

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For more information, see: Director of National Intelligence.
See also: Central Intelligence Agency
See also: United States Special Operations Command

This article deals with activities of the United States intelligence community in Africa. Previously, this would have been synonymous with the Central Intelligence Agency, but, since the creation of the Director of National Intelligence in 2005, CIA has not had the authority to coordinate the community as a whole.

This article is structured regionally, although there are sub-articles for countries that have been the focus of much activity or interest.

Subsaharan region

This NIE projects Western security interests for 3-5 years from 1965. "Political and social turmoil is virtually certain during the period of this estimate in most of the states of Sub-Saharan Africa. The general trend in the area--to which there are some exceptions--is probably toward more radical policies, and certainly toward more vigorous manifestations of African nationalism, in a variety of forms.

"The various "liberation" movements in white-dominated southern Africa have made little headway despite considerable emotional support elsewhere in Africa. Meanwhile, white resistance has stiffened. Although most independent African states, as well as the USSR and China, probably will step up assistance to the nationalists, it is almost certain that white governments will command sufficient power and determination to contain "liberation" movements at least for the period of this estimate.

"Economic growth in most areas will be very slow, with setbacks are probable ...There is a desperate shortage of virtually all kinds of technical and managerial skills; indeed, the basic institutions and staff for economic development are often inadequate or absent. ..or is highly unlikely that most African countries will obtain external assistance or investment on anything approaching the scale required for sustained economic development.

"Communists have made substantial progress in expanding their presence in Africa, and the situation will provide them with new opportunities. Western influence in Africa will remain important during the period of this estimate, but it will decline, in part because both the UK and France will gradually shed presently expensive commitments. There is a good chance that a few African states will collaborate closely with either Moscow or Beijing, and become, at least temporarily, highly unfriendly to the West... However, even the militant radicals prize their freedom of movement, and we consider it unlikely that any African country will become a full-fledged Communist state, or will reject all ties with the West.

"African relations with the US will remain ambivalent and difficult. Nevertheless, we do not believe that in most instances difficulties will decisively affect such material interests as the US has in Africa. No African raw materials or other resources are essential to US security. The US is likely to be able to retain the Kagnew facility (A NSA intercept station) at least during Haile Selassie's lifetime. Other less important installations and privileges seem safe during the period of this estimate. [1]

Countries of interest in this section include, in subarticles in some cases

Chad

For more information, see: U.S. intelligence activities in Chad.

Chad shares strategic borders with Libya, the Central African Republic, and the Darfur area of Sudan. While some categorizations put it into central or west Africa, its important interactions are with East Africa, especially Sudan and Libya.

It is now an oil exporter, and has a pipeline that runs into Cameroon.

West Africa

For more information, see: U.S. intelligence activities in Ghana.
For more information, see: U.S. intelligence activities in Nigeria.

West Africa has been of significant interest, for reasons ranging from traditional ties (e.g., Liberia was a U.S. creation), to factors such as the extensive blood diamonds trade that is used for clandestine financing.

Ghana

Facing international protests and internal revolution, the United Kingdom decided to gradually pull out from its Gold Coast colony. They organized the first general election to be held in Africa on 5-10 February 1951. Though in jail, Kwame Nkrumah won the election by a landslide, and his party gained 34 out of 38 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Nkrumah was released from prison, and was summoned by the British Governor Charles Arden-Clarke and asked to form a government.

Ghana became the first democratic sub-Sahara country in colonial Africa to gain its independence in 1957. President Nkrumah was not only the first African head of state to espouse Pan-Africanism, but he was also an anti-colonialist. He generally took a non-aligned Marxist perspective on economics, and believed capitalism's effects were going to stay with Africa for a long time.

Nigeria

The most populous country in Africa, an oil exporter, and with abundant resources, Nigeria has the capacity to be a major regional power. It has been a key participant in peace operations under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and is active in African Union operations in Darfur.

Southern Africa

The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania, though more commonly reckoned in Central and Eastern Africa respectively, are occasionally included in Southern Africa. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established in 1980 to facilitate co-operation in the region. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU), created in 1969, comprises the five countries in the UN subregion of Southern Africa.

Angola

Angola 1975

As background to the reports of Cuban action, "Castro decided to send troops to Angola on November 4, 1975, in response to the South African invasion of that country, rather than vice versa as the Ford administration persistently claimed. The United States knew about South Africa's covert invasion plans, and collaborated militarily with its troops, contrary to what Secretary of State Henry Kissinger testified before Congress and wrote in his memoirs. Cuba made the decision to send troops without informing the Soviet Union and deployed them, contrary to what has been widely alleged, without any Soviet assistance for the first two months.[2]

According to Banks, not only Ambassador Nathaniel Davis, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs who had been appointed chairman of an interagency task force on Angola, was against intervention. DCI William Colby said that the CIA, after reductions in the Clandestine Services infrastructure under prior DCI James Schesinger [3]

"In a meeting including President Ford, Secretary of State Kissinger, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, and CIA Director William Colby among others, U.S. intervention in Angola's civil war is discussed. In response to evidence of Soviet aid to the MPLA, Secretary Schlesinger says, "we might wish to encourage the disintegration of Angola.” Kissinger describes two meetings of the 40 Committee oversight group for clandestine operations in which covert operations were authorized: “The first meeting involved only money, but the second included some arms package."[4]

Once the NSC ordered intervention, Ambassador Davis resigned. Concerns internal to the CIA were suppressed when the Deputy Director for Operations, William Nelson announced, "Gentlemen, we've been given a job to do. Let's not sit around wringing our hands."[3] John Stockwell commanded the CIA's Angola effort in 1975 to 1976.[5] Stockwell later left the Agency in protest, writing about his doubts regarding covert action.

Beginning in 1975, CIA participated in the Angolan Civil War, hiring and training American, British, French and Portuguese private military contractors, as well as training UNITA rebels under Jonas Savimbi, to fight against the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola led by Agostinho Neto.[6]

In a meeting including President Richard M. Nixon and Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping, Teng referred to an early conversation between Nixon and Mao Zedong regarding Angola. "We hope that through the work of both sides we can achieve a better situation there. The relatively complex problem is the involvement of South Africa. And I believe you are aware of the feelings of the black Africans toward South Africa." No CIA personnel were present, but this is mentioned in the context of setting US policy toward Angola, where CIA did have covert operations.

Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger replied, "We are prepared to push South Africa as soon as an alternative military force can be created." Nixon added "We hope your Ambassador in Zaire can keep us fully informed. It would be helpful."

Deng said "We have a good relationship with Zaire but what we can help them with is only some light weapons." To this, Kissinger replied, "We can give them weapons, but what they really need is training in guerrilla warfare. If you can give them light weapons it would help, but the major thing is training. Our specialty is not in guerrilla warfare (laughter in transcript)?" Deng mentioned that at various times, China had trained all the factions in Angola.[7]

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the third largest country by area on the African continent. Though it is located in the Central African UN subregion, the nation is economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It borders the Central African Republic and Sudan on the north, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi on the east, Zambia and Angola on the south, the Republic of the Congo on the west, and is separated from Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika on the east.

DRC 1960

The independent Republic of the Congo was declared on 30 June 1960, with Joseph Kasa-Vubu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister. It shared a name with the neighboring Republic of the Congo to the west, a French colony that also gained independence in 1960, and the two were normally differentiated by also stating the name of the relevant capital city, so Congo (Léopoldville) versus Congo (Brazzaville).

Larry Devlin became Chief of Station in Congo in July 1960, a mere 10 days after the country's independence from Belgium and shortly before Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba's two month term in office, dismissal from power and ultimate execution. In his memoir, Devlin reveals that late in 1960, he received instructions from an agent ("Joe from Paris") who was relaying instructions from CIA headquarters that he (Devlin) was to effect the assassination of Lumumba. Various poisons, including one secreted in a tube of toothpaste, were proffered. The directive had come from the CIA Deputy Chief of Plans Dick Bissell, but Devlin wanted to know if it had originated at a higher level and if so, how high. "Joe" had been given to understand that it had come from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, but Devlin to this day does not know for sure. Devlin writes (and has recently said in public speaking engagements) that he felt an assassination would have been "morally wrong" and likely to backfire and work against U.S. interests. In the event, he temporized, neglecting to act, and Lumumba was ultimately murdered by his enemies in Katanga, with Belgian government participation. U.S. intelligence was kept apprised.

The United Nations Security Council was called into session on December 7, 1960 to consider Soviet demands that the U.N. seek Lumumba's immediate release, the immediate restoration of Lumumba as head of the Congo government, the disarming of the forces of Mobutu, and the immediate evacuation of Belgians from the Congo. Soviet Representative Valerian Zorin refused U.S. demands that he disqualify himself as Security Council President during the debate. Hammarskjöld, answering Soviet attacks against his Congo operations, said that if the U.N. forces were withdrawn from the Congo "I fear everything will crumble."

Following a U.N. report that Lumumba had been mistreated by his captors, his followers threatened (on December 9, 1960) to seize all Belgians and "start cutting off the heads of some of them" unless Lumumba was released within 48 hours.

Malawi

Malawi 2003

In a joint operation between the CIA and Malawi's National Intelligence Bureau, five men suspected of running charities that funneled money to al-Qaeda have been arrested in Blantyre, Malawi and were to be deported from the southern African nation, intelligence officials said Monday.

An attorney for the men, Shabir Latif, said the CIA plans to take custody of the men and transfer them to the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but his claim could not be immediately confirmed.[8] The men arrested were:

  • Mahmud Sardar Issa, a Sudanese who heads a charitable organization called Islamic Zakat Fund Trust in Blantyre
  • Fahad Ral Bahli, a Saudi who is the director of the Malawi branch of Registered Trustees of the Prince Sultan Bin Aziz Special Committee on Relief
  • Arif Ulusam, a Turk and a Blantyre restaurant owner
  • Ibrahim Itabaci, Turkish executive director of Bedir International School
  • Khalifa Abdi Hassan, a Kenyan Islamic scholar working for the Muslim Association of Malawi.

South Africa

South Africa 1966

According to a report prepared internally by the CIA Office of Research and Reports and coordinated by the Office of National Estimates and the Office of Current Intelligence, "Black African countries are now demanding in the General Assembly that the UN act to end the Republic of South Africa's mandate over South West Africa, an action which could lead to political and economic sanctions. Enforcement of sanctions would be difficult and costly, particularly for the United States and the United Kingdom, but even with a naval blockade, sanctions would not seriously damage South Africa's economy.

"The vulnerability of the South African economy to sanctions is not great. The country has a strong agricultural sector and rich natural resources, and recent South African governments have encouraged the development of an industrial sector that is oriented to the use of domestic raw materials. Moreover, sanctions aimed at the Republic could have disastrous effects on other southern African nations such as the new countries of Botswana and Lesotho.

"The problem of enforcing sanctions would be considerably complicated should the UN confrontation with South Africa involve the Portuguese territories of Mozambique and Angola. In this case, the adverse effects of sanctions could spread to Malawi, Zambia, Rhodesia, and the Province of Katanga in Congo (Kinshasa)--all of which depend in large measure on transport routes through the Portuguese territories.[9]

East Africa

There are a number of situations in East Africa where there are no simple rules about balancing internal, regional, and worldwide interests. At various times, Sudan has been involved in the north-south Second Sudanese Civil War, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, and alternately hosting and ousting transnational Islamic extremists.

Another multipolar conflict involves Ethiopia, the breakaway country of Eritrea, and Somalia, the latter generally considered a failed state but beginning to establish structure. Ethiopia has been considered the US proxy.

There may have been CIA involvement with these various countries and regions, less from their internal and neighbor disputes, and more in dealing with transnational terrorism. It is not a simple situation, whether considered morally, geopolitically, or with respect to alliances.

East Africa 1971

An 1971 NIE discussed a number of regional issues: Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many This document defined East Africa to as including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. Zambia is present due to its links to Tanzania.

In the 1960s, the newly independent states of East Africa seemed to be off to a promising start. Under national rulers of considerable stature, the countries set about devising means of developing their societies and economies in an atmosphere of relative political stability. The brief army mutinies of 1964, which simultaneously afflicted Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania,) were quickly sup-pressed with assistance from the UK and appeared to have a salutary effect on government relations with the military. In colonial times, the UK had established common transportation, communications, and monetary services for Kenya, Tanganyika1, and Uganda. In 1967, these services were consolidated in an East African Community (EAC). Each of the national rulers confronted and over-came internal political challenges. President Kenneth Kaunda's leadership qualities were tested by adversities, and his friendship with President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania helped bring Zambia much closer to the EAC.

The euphoria of this immediate, post-independence period has since given way to frustration and disappointment. The rulers of East Africa, like their counterparts else-where on the continent, have gradually found themselves confronted with a host of worsening problems... Domestic pressures, mutual suspicions of the national leaders, and the uneven patterns of development of the various economies have led to more nationalistic postures in foreign relations. Though spared the civil strife which afflicted Nigeria and the "revolving door" presidential changes of small West African states, East Africa is clearly passing through a period of change and challenge in which former arrangements and agreements are under increasing pressure.

Much of the region's politics is related to the overthrow of Uganda's President Milton Obote by General Idi Amin in January 1971. followed by a personal and ideological conflict between Amin and Nyerere of Tanzania...It has contributed to an atmosphere of distrust among other African leaders in the area who also lean towards simplistic views of foreign relations (i.e., seeing neighbors as pro-Arab or anti-Arab, pro-Communist or anti-Communist). President Mobutu of Congo (Kinshasa) has talked with Amin about creating a belt of anti-Arab, anti-Communist nations (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo) to stem the southward flow of radicalism, which they fear, and to isolate Nyerere and Kaunda. Though no formal arrangements are in the cards, a variety of bilateral ties tend to bring the conservative states together. Kenya is providing assistance to the Ugandan security services. Kenya and Ethiopia have defense agreements against Somali irrendentist efforts. Uganda, Congo (Kinshasa), and Ethiopia are supporting the southern Sudanese in their struggle against Khartoum and are cooperating in various ways, but for different reasons, with the Israelis.

East Africa 2006

Another regional problem [10] involves effects on Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda as "blowback" from the United States War on Terrorism in the Horn of Africa and the US proxy, Ethiopia. The Somalia conflict and the US War on Terrorism have increased the flow of weapons into Kenya and Uganda, spawned a regional polio epidemic, destabilized the relationship between Kenya and Somalia, increased tension within Kenya’s Muslim community, and created the possibility of an expanded regional conflict.

Ethiopia, in an effort to support Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) against the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), pushed into Somalia to retake the town of Bur Haquba near Baidoa. This sparked calls by the ICU for a jihad against Ethiopia. To support Ethiopia, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer at week’s end then accused Eritrea of supporting the ICU.

Eritrea

Eritrea 2002

In response to a call from the United States Department of State to release two incarcerated local Embassy employees, the government of Eritrea accused the Clinton Administration of attempting to change the government in Asmara, during the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The Eritreans suggested that 11 upper-level officials, who criticized the Eritrean president after the war with Ethiopia, had been recruited by the CIA. Arrested in September 2001, they have not been charged, but are being held at an undisclosed location. [11]

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is another country that the US finds useful in counterterrorism, but has human rights policies of which the US does not approve. Jendayi Frazer, head of US African policy as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs at the Bureau of African Affairs, spoke of “unprecedented” agreements between the Ethiopian opposition and government, which she said were “a monumental advancement in the political environment”. Examples she gave included reform of the National Electoral Board and a new code of conduct for the press. But she added that the US had raised “strong concerns” about human rights violations.

Ethiopia 2005

Because of Ethiopia's known human rights abuses such as the 2005 Ethiopian police massacres after the 2005 presidential elections, there is conflict between the strategic interest Ethiopia provides in the War on Terror and the human rights this war is allegedly addressing. The Bush Administration and Samuel Assefa, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US are strongly opposed to the EDAA.[12]

Ethiopia 2006

At the end of 2006, the US gave implicit backing to Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia, which Washington feared had become a haven for Islamist militants. As of December 2006, training for the Ethiopians is coming from the US military, not CIA. [13] CIA has subsidized secular Somali militias, and CIA connections often are suggested.

Ethiopia 2007

The U.S. Congress, however, has set conditions, over the objections of the Bush Administration. In October, the House of Representatives passed the EDAA,[12] banning military aid, for other than counterterrorism and peacekeeping unless Ethiopia improves its human rights record. The bill seeks to restrict U.S. military aid for any purpose other than counter-terrorism and peacekeeping purposes. If the President certifies that all political prisoners have been released and independent media can function without excessive interference, full, normal military aid can resume . The US will provide around $300 million of aid to Ethiopia this year but it is unclear how much would be affected by the bill, which also exempts humanitarian, healthcare and emergency food assistance. It would restrict security assistance and impose travel restrictions on Ethiopian officials accused of human rights violations unless Ethiopia met the conditions – although the legislation would give the president a waiver to prevent such measures from taking force. The bill still has to pass the Senate before being presented to the Administration.

The Act also exempts counterterrorism, peace operations and foreign internal defense from any funding restrictions, a reflection of Ethiopia’s military capabilities and its perceived role as a source of stability in the volatile Horn of Africa.[14]

Kenya

Kenya 1971

Kenya has for a decade ranked among the most stable and most prosperous countries in Black Africa, but tribal frictions—and the increasingly partisan performance of the national leaders—have created an atmosphere of tension and unrest...The Kikuyu establishment, with President Kenyatta's knowledge and support, is making a power play, blatant and unconcealed, to assure its pre-eminence after Kenyatta's death or incapacitation. This approach... ensures a difficult period of political adjustment after Kenyatta's death. The Kikuyu with only about 20 percent of the population would find it very difficult to govern without the acquiescence of other tribes. Opposition to Kenyatta's inner circle of southern Kikuyu politicians is found not only in the leadership of other major tribes (the Luo and Kamba) but also among clans of the northern Kikuyu, who have not gotten their share of the spoils of office.

The army is also jealous of the Kikuyu-dominated General Services Unit (GSU), a well-armed paramilitary police force. The Chief of the Defense Staff, a Kamba, was implicated with some Luo politicians and a few other Kambas in a recent coup plot and forced to resign...As long as Kenyatta is in power, however, there are many factors which militate against a military coup. The Kikuyus remain in possession of considerable assets with which to counter moves against their dominant position.

The GSU, unlike many other paramilitary outfits in Africa, is considered to be an effective force. And, even in the army, the Kikuyus are gaining strength, especially in the junior and middle grade officer ranks. But the old guard of Kikuyu politicians depends heavily on Kenyatta, who commands vast respect and power as father of his country... Though nearly 80 (no one knows for sure how old he is), Kenyatta continues to demonstrate vigor and authority. Yet, a few years ago, he had some mild strokes, and still complains of circulatory problems.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many

Somalia

Somalia 2006

According to the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism. As the power balance shifted towards this alliance, the CIA program backfired and the militias of the Islamic Court Union (ICU) gained control of the country. [15] Although the ICU was locally supported for having restored a relative level of peace[16] to the volatile region after having defeated the CIA-funded Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism in the Second Battle of Mogadishu, concerns about the growth and popular support for an Islamic country during the United States' War on Terror led to a new approach of the intervention of CIA, the United States military and Ethiopia's dominantly Christian government.

The use of the Ethiopian Army was seen by the United States as an awkward, but necessary way to prevent Somalia from being ruled by an Islamic government unsympathetic to American interests. In December of 2006 State Department officials were issued internal guidelines such as “The press must not be allowed to make this about Ethiopia, or Ethiopia violating the territorial integrity of Somalia...”[17]

The Ethiopian Military force attacked militias of the ICU in a series of battles known as the War in Somalia.

In late 2006, the US State Department said Ethiopia was trying to stem the flow of outside arms shipments to the Islamists in Somalia. Ms. Hironimus added that Washington was concerned about reports that the Islamists were using child soldiers and abusing Ethiopian prisoners of war.

Covert action failed in 2006, [18] in which an effort, run from the CIA station in Nairobi, Kenya, sent money to secular warlords inside Somalia with the aim, among other things, of capturing or killing a handful of suspected members of Al Qaeda believed to be hiding there. Some Africa experts is reducing overall stability by putting a premium on its effort to capture or kill a small number of high-level suspects. Increasing the funding for secular militias, allied as the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counterterrorism may have triggered counterattacks by Islamic militias, who have been pushing back the secular troops. "This has blown up in our face, frankly," said John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group(ICG), who was a Clinton Administration official in the State Department and National Security Council.

Using local militias was seen as a way to avoid sending US troops. State Department officers, however, disapproved of the CIA effort, with one source saying "They were fully aware that they were doing so without any strategic framework," the official said. "And they realized that there might be negative implications to what they are doing." In 2006, Leslie Rowe, the deputy Chief of Mission in Kenya, signed off on a cable back to State Department headquarters that detailed grave concerns throughout the region about American efforts in Somalia. Around that time, State Department political officer, Michael Zorick, who had been based in Nairobi, was reassigned to Chad after he criticized, inside the government, Washington's policy of paying Somali warlords. The details of the American effort in Somalia are classified.

Somalia's interim president, Abdullahi Yusuf of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), criticized American support for nongovernmental actors in May 2006, "We really oppose American aid that goes outside the government," he said, arguing that the best way to hunt members of Al Qaeda in Somalia was to strengthen the country's government. Prendergast agrees the approach had some success, According his organization, militiamen loyal to warlord Mohammed Deere, a powerful figure in Mogadishu, caught a suspected Qaeda operative, Suleiman Abdalla Salim Hemed, in April 2003 and turned him over to American officials. Prendergast said "I've talked to people inside the Defense Department and State Department who said that this was not a comprehensive policy," he said. "It was being conducted in a vacuum, and they were largely shut out."

Somalia 2007

The official US position is to urge a return to peace talks by warring Somali factions, but some officials have also said an Ethiopian invasion could be the only factor to prevent the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) complete takeover of Somalia.[17]. According to the ICG, Ethiopia only broke up only the most visible part of the ICU: the regional administrative authority in south central Somalia (including Mogadishu), which served essentially as a political platform for Hawiye clan interests. The militant al-Shabaab leadership, scattered throughout the country, threatening to wage a long war. A U.S. air strike on 8 January 2007 apparently wounded Aden Hashi ‘Ayro, a prominent al-Shabaab commander, and killed some of his guards but failed to destroy any top targets.

Sudan

Sudan has at least two conflicts: the Second Sudanese Civil War, now in a power-sharing agreement between the Northern Sudanese of Khartoum and the semi-autonomous South Sudan, with a capital in Juba, and a second conflict in the Darfur area of western Sudan. The Khartoum government had, in the past, given sanctuary to trans-national Islamic terrorists, but, according to the 9/11 Commission Report,[19], ousted al-Qaeda and cooperated with the US against such groups while simultaneously involving itself in human rights abuses in Darfur. There are also transborder issues between Chad and Darfur, and, to a lesser extent, with the Central African Republic. South Sudan and its Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and Uganda are now cooperating against, and negotiating with, the Lord's Resistance Army, a transnational terrorist group that had been encouraged to attack South Sudan by North Sudan.

"These conflicts lead to strange alliances with the US. Once eager hosts of Osama bin Laden, Sudan’s Islamist movement has since split, with the two factions now fighting a proxy war in Darfur. In the 1990s, the U.S. rejected every initiative offered by the Sudanese to cooperate on counter-terrorism issues, including an offer to extradite Osama bin Laden. The Sudanese government’s willingness to share its copious intelligence on al-Qaeda has now bought it some immunity from responsibility for the atrocities in Darfur.

"The CIA has initiated close contacts with Sudanese intelligence director MG Salah Gosh, who has also been identified in Congress as a war crimes suspect for his exploits in Darfur. In a sign of growing cooperation many Sudanese prisoners at Guantanamo detention camp have been released to Sudanese authorities. Besides intelligence sharing, the U.S. is also keen to protect the peace agreement that will end the North-South civil war and release vast new reserves of oil onto the market.[20]

"Sudan’s western province is widely viewed in Khartoum as a proxy battle-ground for the continuing struggle by President al-Bashir and the security apparatus against Hassan al-Turabi's Islamist following. Indeed, the terror that has descended on Darfur reveals a shocking cynicism both on the part of the government and the leading opposition party. The atrocities of the government-backed Janjaweed militias have occurred under the cover of negotiations to end the war in South Sudan, which no party (especially the United States after its considerable diplomatic investment) wishes to derail. The growing relationship between the CIA and the Sudanese security chiefs (some of whom were named in Congress as suspects in Darfur war-crimes) has effectively sidelined U.S. influence in Darfur.

"The Sudanese government has considerable military power that would enable it to restore order in Darfur, but is understandably reluctant to divert its resources from the South until the peace process there has been completed. Offers of peacekeeping assistance from the SPLA have been met with charges of SPLA military aid to the rebels in Darfur. The strategy of the Sudanese security forces in Darfur follows a pattern established in the war in the South; divide the opposition through bribery and the inflammation of ethnic or tribal differences while arming pro-government militias. The resulting death or displacement of the population eventually isolates rebel units from sources of support.

"In some sense the people of Darfur are being made to pay the price for the private humiliation of Sudan’s security apparatus, resentful that it has had to come to the negotiating table with the South Sudan’s (SPLA). The terms of the peace settlement with the SPLA virtually ensure further revolts elsewhere in Sudan to wring similar considerations from the highly centralized government in Khartoum. Unfortunately, the manipulation of race and Islam is likely to continue to substitute for a willingness to create an equitable distribution of wealth and power.[21]

Sudan 1978

Oil is discovered in Southern Sudan.

Sudan 1983

The Second Sudanese Civil War breaks out. Various factions are involved, but the coalition evolves under the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement and Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army, led by John Garang.

Sudan 1995

Starting in 1995, Sudan offered extradition or interviews of arrested al-Qaeda operatives, as well as allowing access to the extensive files of Sudanese intelligence. "According to a CIA source, "This represents the worst single intelligence failure in this whole terrible business. It is the key to the whole thing right now. It is reasonable to say that had we had this data we may have had a better chance of preventing the attacks." He said the blame for the failure lay in the 'irrational hatred' the Clinton administration felt for the source of the proffered intelligence - Sudan, where bin Laden and his leading followers were based from 1992-96. He added that after a slow thaw in relations which began last year, it was only now that the Sudanese information was being properly examined for the first time."[22]

"They also kept his followers under close surveillance. One US source who has seen the files on bin Laden's men in Khartoum said some were 'an inch and a half thick'. They included photographs, and information on their families, backgrounds and contacts. Most were 'Afghan Arabs', Saudis, Yemenis and Egyptians who had fought with bin Laden against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

"'We know them in detail,' said one Sudanese source. 'We know their leaders, how they implement their policies, how they plan for the future. We have tried to feed this information to American and British intelligence so they can learn how this thing can be tackled.'

In 2000, "the CIA and FBI, following four years of Sudanese entreaties, sent a joint investigative team to establish whether Sudan was in fact a sponsor of terrorism. Last May, it gave Sudan a clean bill of health. However, even then, it made no effort to examine the voluminous files on bin Laden." [22]

Sudan 1996

According to the Washington Post, the US government decided, in 1996, to send nearly $20 million of military equipment through the 'front-line' states of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda to help the Sudanese opposition overthrow the Khartoum regime." While this is indicative of Clinton Administration policy, the article did not explicitly mention CIA as part of the operation, and, if this is basically military aid, the Defense and State Departments would normally handle the transactions. [23] "U.S. officials also deny that the equipment is specifically earmarked for the Sudanese rebels, despite the declared anti-Khartoum policies of the recipient governments. "We are assisting these governments in their own defense. Nothing we are giving them is to be used for any other purpose," said George Moose, assistant secretary of state for African affairs."

"In 1996, following intense pressure from Saudi Arabia and the US, Sudan agreed to expel bin Laden and up to 300 of his associates. Sudanese intelligence believed this to be a great mistake. 'There we could keep track of him, read his mail,' the source went on. 'Once we kicked him out and he went to ground in Afghanistan, he couldn't be tracked anywhere.'

After the 1998 bombings of US embassies and commercial buildings in Nairobi,Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Sudan sent a memo, obtained by the Observer, to Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, and "announces the arrest of two named bin Laden operatives held the day after the bombings after they crossed the Sudanese border from Kenya. They had cited the manager of a Khartoum leather factory owned by bin Laden as a reference for their visas, and were held after they tried to rent a flat overlooking in the US embassy in Khartoum, where they were thought to be planning an attack.

"US sources have confirmed that the FBI wished to arrange their immediate extradition. However, Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, forbade it. She had classed Sudan as a 'terrorist state,' and three days later US missiles blasted the al-Shifa medicine factory in Khartoum. The US wrongly claimed it was owned by bin Laden and making chemical weapons. In fact, it supplied 60 per cent of Sudan's medicines, and had contracts to make vaccines with the UN.

"Even then, Sudan held the suspects for a further three weeks, hoping the US would both perform their extradition and take up the offer to examine their bin Laden database. Finally, the two men were deported to Pakistan. Their present whereabouts are unknown.[22]

In an opinion piece from the website of the anti-globalization organization Centre for Research on Globalization, author Jay Janson wrote, in an article entitled "Early CIA Involvement in Darfur Has Gone Unreported"[24]:

In 1978 oil was discovered in Southern Sudan. Rebellious war began five years later and was led by John Garang, who had taken military training at infamous Fort Benning, Georgia School of Americas. "The US government decided, in 1996, to send nearly $20 million of military equipment through the 'front-line' states of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda to help the Sudanese opposition overthrow the Khartoum regime." [Federation of American Scientists fas.org]

Note that the School of the Americas is oriented towards training people from Latin America, and that John Garang's biography on Wikipedia has him attending the Infantry Officer's Advanced Course at Fort Benning, which is a different program.

Sudan 2001

In September, Walter H. Kansteiner, III, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, FBI and CIA representatives, and Yahia Hussien Baviker, the Sudanese intelligence deputy chief met in London to discuss sharing information.[25] "However, although the intelligence channel between Sudan and the United States is now open, and the last UN sanctions against the African state have been removed, The Observer has evidence that a separate offer made by Sudanese agents in Britain to share intelligence with MI6 has been rejected. This follows four years of similar rebuffs. "If someone from MI6 comes to us and declares himself, the next day he can be in Khartoum,' said a Sudanese government source. 'We have been saying this for years.'[22]

Sudan 2005

Democracy Now reported on May 3, 2005:Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many

The Los Angeles Times has revealed that the U.S. has quietly forged a close intelligence partnership with Sudan despite the government’s role in the mass killings in Darfur.

This reflected White House level policy tradeoffs between the competing priorities of transnational terrorism and national human rights.

Sudan 2006

Human Rights Watch addressed this balancing act, referring to the CIA in the balancing act with Salah Gosh: [26]"The January 9, 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ending the twenty-one-year civil war between the Sudanese government and southern rebels has brought little significant improvement to Sudan in the area of human rights. Implementation of the agreement was delayed by several factors, including the sudden death of southern rebel leader Dr. John Garang. As part of the agreement, the Sudanese government lifted the state of emergency throughout Sudan (with the exception of Darfur and the east) but attacks on villages in Darfur continued, and killings, rape, torture, looting of civilian livestock and other property took place on a regular basis. Arbitrary arrests and detentions, executions without fair trials, and harassment of human rights defenders and other activists remained a feature of Sudanese policy in both Darfur and other areas of Sudan. For the first time, however, the U.N. Security Council made use of its power to refer the situation of Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March 2005.

"Throughout 2005, international policy towards Sudan vacillated between condemnation and appeasement. This reflected the varying interests at stake, such as the implementation of the north-southern peace agreement, ending the atrocities in Darfur, and even regional counterterrorism efforts. The U.S. government was a prime example of this policy schizophrenia. U.S. officials vociferously condemn the continuing attacks, but the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency invited Sudanese security chief Salah Gosh, a likely indictee before the ICC for war crimes committed in Darfur, to Washington in April 2005 to discuss Sudanese-U.S. counterterrorism interests.

"Divided interests regarding Sudan were prevalent not just bilaterally among western governments, but also within the United Nations Security Council. The single most important achievement of the Security Council was the historic referral of Darfur to the ICC on March 31, 2005. In June the ICC announced that it would investigate the crimes in Darfur. In a second March 2005 resolution, the Security Council established a sanctions committee to identify individuals who violated an arms embargo on Darfur and who committed abuses; the sanctions would not apply retroactively. Despite the continuing abuses in Darfur throughout 2005, however, the Security Council was prevented from enacting stiffer sanctions due to resistance from China and Russia, two of its five permanent members. In November Sudanese authorities roughed up two visiting members of the sanctions committees’ panel of experts.

"The African Union played an increasingly prominent role in Darfur. In April 2005 the AU requested, and the Sudanese government agreed, to a further deployment to total 7,700 military and police for AMIS’ expanded mission. Donors pledged U.S. $291 million for the project, including logistical assistance for this deployment from NATO, the E.U., the U.N., the U.K., the U.S., Canada, France and others. AMIS’ peace support efforts in Darfur had mixed results. Although AMIS troops contributed to some measure of improved security and civilian protection in those areas where they were deployed, the mission was plagued by continuing logistical and financial problems. The AU’s efforts at mediating peace talks on Darfur were not as successful; sharp leadership clashes within the SLA, which had the most forces in the field of all the rebel groups, left the group unable to make decisions at the negotiating table.

"The north-south peace agreement, however, had major human rights defects, including the absence of any mechanism to ensure accountability for abuses committed during the twenty-one year war waged mostly in southern Sudan.

"While it is too early to judge his potential for bringing democratic changes to the southern Sudan, Garang’s successor and long-time deputy, Gen.Salva Kiir, had been a low-profile leader within the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) for reforms to promote accountability within the movement. One early indication is favorable: Gen. Salva Kiir instructed that the selection process for legislators to both the regional and national assemblies be opened up to public participation, as there was no time to organize elections. Southerners rushed to take part. While many obstacles exist to the creation of a southern government that is transparent and accountable and enforces human rights, this early willingness to let people choose their representatives is a good sign. They already enjoy more human rights than do their northern fellow citizens, in that the presence of security forces in the southern garrison towns is lessened and there has been more free speech, free press and free assembly in the south than for decades. The national army, however, has not withdrawn from the south but under the peace agreement it has about two years to complete this process.

Sudan 2007

Sudan may be cooperating with the CIA with respect to transnational terrorism, more in central Sudan away from Darfur, and not part of the Darfur conflict. [27] "Sudanese recruits have been providing information about individuals passing through Sudan to Somalia and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa and Iraq. The Sudanese government is reported to have detained suspects in Khartoum at the request of the US....The bottom line is that they are bombing their people ... Dealing with Sudan, it seems like they are always playing both ends against the middle."

"A former high-ranking official, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, acknowledged the importance of the intelligence: "If you've got jihadists travelling via Sudan to get into Iraq, there's a pattern there in and of itself that would not raise suspicion. It creates an opportunity to send Sudanese into that pipeline." A US official still in post told the paper: "Intelligence cooperation takes place for a whole lot of reasons. It's not always between people who love each other deeply." "Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the national security council, said he did not believe sanctions would ruin intelligence cooperation. "We certainly expect the Sudanese to continue efforts against terrorism, because it's in their own interests, not just ours," he said.

In June 2007, the Khartoum government rebuffed appeals by the new French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, to allow a UN-African Union force into Darfur." Chad, on the eastern border of Darfur, is a traditional French client.

"The United Nations has been struggling for nearly a year to persuade President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir to allow a hybrid U.N.-African Union force of up to 23,000 peacekeepers into Darfur to protect villagers from roving Arab militias that have led the slaughter of an estimated 200,000 people and the displacement of millions more. The pressure on Bashir has been mounting recently, with an announcement of tightened sanctions from President Bush, threats of sanctions from the United Nations and the election of a new French president who promises to make Darfur a priority.

"Khartoum blinked on Tuesday; after two days of meetings in Ethiopia between Sudanese and African Union officials, Sudan agreed to accept the hybrid force... Bashir is a master at sidestepping international sanctions by pretending to accede to U.N. demands, then setting up bureaucratic roadblocks. Efforts to reinforce the 7,000 African Union troops already in Darfur have been blocked by refusals to grant visas or "complications" in customs. And when Khartoum runs out of ways to gum up the works, it simply backtracks on its agreements, as it did after initially accepting the full U.N. deployment in November.

"The backtracking might already be in progress. One of the prime points of contention over the new peacekeeping force is the nationality of the troops. Sudan has long insisted that only Africans be deployed in Darfur, but there aren't enough African troops available for the mission. On Tuesday, Mutrif Siddig, the head of the Sudanese delegation, seemed to put that issue to rest: "If there are not enough contributions from Africa, then troops can be brought in from elsewhere," he said. Yet a day earlier, Bashir told French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that only Africans would be accepted. It's not the first time Bashir and his ministers have sent contradictory signals, and the result is always the same: no progress.

"Sudan's agreement sounds great, but the international community must keep up the pressure until there are thousands more troops in Darfur — wearing the U.N.'s blue helmets."[28]

Sudan’s interior minister accused the Central Intelligence Agency of smuggling weapons into the troubled region of Darfur. Interior Minister Zubair Bashir Taha addressing a crowd consisting of youth organizations said that the CIA is seeking to “disrupt the demographics of Darfur”. Taha, however, did not indicate why the U.S. might want to do that. [29][30]

Taha accused the US of being responsible for “prolonging the war in Darfur and the death of thousands of people after the Abuja peace agreement just like they did in Iraq”. Salah Gosh, head of Khartoum's intelligence organization, said they have maintained strong relationships with US agencies, in the context of counter-terror.[31]. In yet another of the situation where US interests in counter-terror and human rights are at odds with another, especially when the two interests are in different parts of Sudan, Gosh told the Al-Ahdath daily from Libya that the cooperation with the US “helped avert devastating measures [by US administration] against Sudan”. The US had flown Gosh to the US in April 2005, to discuss capture of terror suspects. Gosh also is suspected of complicity in human rights abuses in Darfur, so he was subsequently denied admission to the US for medical treatment.

US human rights groups want no contact with Gosh has orchestrated human right abuses in the war ravaged region of Darfur. The widespread criticism forced the US administration to subsequently deny Gosh entry to seek medical treatment for a heart condition.

The extent of cooperation is not clear. In July 2006, president Omar Al-Bashir told reporters that cooperation with CIA was on a limited basis. A spokesman for Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Service told the government sponsored Sudanese Media Center (SMC) that cooperation with CIA is taking place within the Sudan’s boundaries only.

But Sudan’s former foreign minister Mustafa Ismail speaking to Los Angeles Times in 2005, said that his government “already has served as the eyes and ears of the CIA in Somalia”. Gosh and Sudan, in spite of the Darfur situation, have been reported, by the Sudan Tribune, to have provided human-source intelligence from Iraq.

The US special envoy to Darfur Andrew Natsios told reporters in Khartoum last week that Arab groups from neighboring countries were resettling in West Darfur and other lands traditionally belonging to local African tribes. [32][21]

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  3. 3.0 3.1 Banks, Chuck (1994), Covert Action: An Instrument of Foreign Policy, U.S. Air War College, ADA280541
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  5. Stockwell, John (1978). In Search of Enemies. WW Norton. 
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  26. Human Rights Overview: Sudan
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