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"National Georgraphic Adventure" magazine

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  • bobutne
    They contacted me, today, to inform me they were running an article about three of Gabon s new National Parks and to obtain additional practical info to help
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 27, 2003
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      They contacted me, today, to inform me they were running an article
      about three of Gabon's new National Parks and to obtain additional
      practical info to help the adventure traveler. The article is going
      to the printer next week.
    • bobutne
      UN Integrated Regional Information Networks June 24, 2003 Brazzaville Sixty Republic of Congo refugees arrived in Point-Noire on Friday at the start of a
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 2, 2003
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        UN Integrated Regional Information Networks June 24, 2003 Brazzaville

        Sixty Republic of Congo refugees arrived in Point-Noire on Friday at
        the start of a repatriation programme for some 15,000 of them in
        neighbouring Gabon, city officials reported in a communiqué.

        The Prefecture of Kouilou in Point-Noire, the highest civil authority
        in the city and its surroundings, reported that the first 60 refugees
        were flown into the city because roads were impassable.

        However, it said that other refugees would be bused home during the
        dry season from July to October. They will make the 700 km journey
        from Tchimanga, in the Haut-Ogooue area of southeast Gabon, to Point-
        Noire, from where they will be taken to their villages.

        The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it would
        provide each returning refugee with 50,000 francs CFA (US $91.50).
        The agency, ROC, and Gabon are due to meet on Monday to organise the
        repatriation by the least expensive method. Thousands of Congolese
        fled their country during the 1997-2001 civil war.
      • bobutne
        and already has a pact with Gabon to use its airports for refueling. By ERIC SCHMITT The New York Times WASHINGTON, July 4 The United States military is
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 5, 2003
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          and already has a pact with Gabon to use its airports for refueling.

          By ERIC SCHMITT The New York Times WASHINGTON, July 4
          The United States military is seeking to expand its presence in the
          Arab countries of northern Africa and in sub-Saharan Africa through
          new basing agreements and training exercises intended to combat a
          growing terrorist threat in the region. Even as military planners
          prepare options for American troops to join an international
          peacekeeping force to oversee a cease-fire in Liberia, the Pentagon
          wants to enhance military ties with allies like Morocco and Tunisia.

          It is also seeking to gain long-term access to bases in countries
          like Mali and Algeria, which American forces could use for periodic
          training or to strike terrorists. And it aims to build on aircraft
          refueling agreements in places like Senegal and Uganda, two
          countries that President Bush is to visit on his five-nation swing
          through Africa that begins on Tuesday.

          There are no plans to build permanent American bases in Africa,
          Defense Department officials say. Instead, the United States
          European Command, which oversees military operations in most of
          Africa, wants troops now in Europe to rotate more frequently into
          bare-bones camps or airfields in Africa. Marines may spend more time
          sailing off the West African coast.

          This fall the command will send trainers to work with soldiers from
          four North African nations on patrolling and gathering intelligence.
          Some plans are still on the drawing board and will need the approval
          of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld or his top aides. But other
          military initiatives in Africa are already under way or will soon
          begin. Since late last year, for example, more than 1,800 members of
          the American military have been placed in Djibouti to conduct
          counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa.

          The military's commitment and costs in Africa would still be low
          compared with missions in the Persian Gulf or Korean Peninsula, but
          commanders say emerging threats require the Pentagon to pay more
          attention to the continent. "Africa, as can be seen by recent
          events, is certainly a growing problem," Gen. James L. Jones of the
          Marine Corps, the head of the European Command, said in an interview
          this week. "As we pursue the global war on terrorism," the general
          said, "we're going to have to go where the terrorists are. And we're
          seeing some evidence, at least preliminary, that more and more of
          these large uncontrolled, ungoverned areas are going to be potential
          havens for that kind of activity."

          United States military and intelligence officials say vast swaths of
          the Sahara, from Mauritania in the west to Sudan in the east, which
          have been smuggling routes for centuries, are becoming areas of
          choice for terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda. General Jones said
          an allied maritime armada in the Mediterranean had forced
          international drug smugglers, weapons traffickers, Islamic
          extremists and other terrorists south to overland routes through
          Africa.

          The countries in the area are some of the poorest in the world and
          have scant resources to monitor their borders or patrol the large
          remote areas of their interiors. "What we don't want to see in
          Africa is another Afghanistan a cancer growing in the middle of
          nowhere," said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey B. Kohler of the Air Force, the
          European Command's director of plans and policy, who is to visit
          Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria this month. "That's what we're trying
          to prevent."

          Since the end of major combat in Iraq the United States has diverted
          reconnaissance aircraft and satellites to watch the region more
          closely and share that information with governments there, a senior
          military official said. The signs of Al Qaeda's presence are still
          emerging and, in some cases, under debate. Intelligence analysts are
          examining potential Al Qaeda links to suicide bombers who attacked
          five targets in Casablanca, Morocco, in May. Al Qaeda has already
          been tied to an attack on a synagogue in Tunisia in April 2002 that
          killed 21 people, and the car bombings of the United States
          Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, in which 224 people died.

          There are also home-grown terrorist organizations, which some
          officials say have connections to Al Qaeda, like the Salafist Group
          in Algeria, which abducted more than 30 European tourists earlier
          this year. The group has about 750 hard-core members, but its
          affiliates and sympathizers number in the thousands, intelligence
          officials say. "These are groups that are similar to Al Qaeda, but
          not as sophisticated or with the same reach, but the same
          objectives," said Gen. Charles F. Wald of the Air Force, the
          European Command's second-in-charge. "They're bad people, and we
          need to keep an eye on that." In a sign of Africa's growing
          prominence, General Wald, who led American air forces in the Afghan
          war, now spends about half of his time on African-related issues.

          The European Command is preparing to hold a conference of the
          defense attachés from United States embassies on the continent
          and,
          increasingly, ambassadors as well, General Jones said. The
          military's entreaties to expand and deepen ties to Africa are
          receiving largely positive responses from many of those
          countries. "We are very much interested in expanding our cooperation
          with the U.S. in civilian and military fields," said Idriss Jazairy,
          Algeria's ambassador to the United States. "We would be ready to
          cooperate in training African antiterrorist teams to address this
          common challenge."

          But some Africa experts warn that the Pentagon, which promotes the
          idea of democratization in other Arab states, ought not compromise
          those values by dealing with governments with heavy military
          influence, like Algeria. "The downside of this is that you can take
          on the agenda of local leaders," said Herman J. Cohen, who was
          assistant secretary of state for Africa in the administration of the
          first President Bush.

          The military's renewed focus on Africa pre-dates Mr. Bush's trip,
          and is part of an effort by the European Command to reshape where
          and how many American troops are based in a 93-country area of
          responsibility that arches from South Africa to Russia. That review
          is a portion of a global effort by the Defense Department to
          determine where to position United States forces.

          General Jones said he envisioned what he called a family of bases.
          In Africa this would include forward-operating bases, perhaps with
          an airfield nearby, that could house up to a brigade, or 3,000 to
          5,000 troops. "It's something that could be robustly used for a
          significant military presence," General Jones said. A second type of
          base would be a forward-operating location, which would be a lightly
          equipped base where Special Forces, marines or possibly an infantry
          rifle platoon or company could land and build up as the mission
          required. "Over all, we're trying to come up with a more flexible
          basing option that allows more engagement through our area of
          responsibility," General Jones said.

          The Pentagon made early strides a few years ago, when it negotiated
          agreements with Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, Namibia, Uganda and Zambia to
          allow American aircraft flying through the region to refuel at local
          air bases.

          In the fall, the Defense and State Departments will begin a $6.25
          million program to provide training, as well as radios and Toyota
          pickup trucks, to company-size army units in Mauritania, Mali, Niger
          and Chad. "If we do this we can make friends who, when they get
          information out on patrol, can share with us," said one senior
          military officer.

          American Special Forces and the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade have
          conducted joint exercises with Moroccan troops in the last three
          years, and military officials say they would like to expand and
          increase those contacts.
        • bobutne
          A lifelong collection of rare Gabon history from the l9th and 20th centuries has been donated to Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) by an alumn, the Rev. Dr.
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 13, 2003
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            A lifelong collection of rare Gabon history from the l9th and 20th
            centuries has been donated to Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS)
            by an alumn, the Rev. Dr. Henry Hale Bucher, Jr., a Texas educator.

            Bucher said he intentionally spent many decades collecting West
            African books, especially about Gabon. Many of the books are written
            in African languages, including Mpongwe, Benga, Kele and Fang, and a
            large quantity are in their original wrappers, some cloth-bound or
            leather-bound.

            Bucher's quest to intentionally compile an intact and representative
            collection required decades of traveling across Europe, Africa and
            the USA. "History is usually written by the colonizers or occupiers,
            so I concentrated on collecting and recording the history and
            perspectives of the indigenous people of Gabon, especially the
            Mpongwe up to l860," he said.

            The difficulty of finding written records about Gabon in the l960s
            increased Bucher's commitment to create an intact collection of
            scholarly information, including the earliest grammars, dictionaries
            and Bible translations. They were gathered from across Africa,
            Europe and the USA over more than four decades.

            The collection also includes items with no fair market value, but
            great scholarship value, such as copies of unpublished manuscripts.
            Future additions to the collection will include photographs and
            audio recordings of oral histories,and records of slave ships and
            trade.

            "The real value of this donation is about creating a foundation for
            future research about Gabon," said Bucher, whose dissertation was
            written about "The Mpongwe of the Gabon Estuary: A History to l860".

            PTS already has one of the more outstanding U.S. collections of
            material about Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who also worked in Gabon.
            Bucher's unpublished dissertation about the Mpongwe up through l860
            details clan lineages of many individuals with whom Nassau and
            Schweitzer worked. It also draws and contrasts information from
            traders, ship captains, explorers and diplomats.

            After graduating from the American University of Beirut (BA) and
            PTS , Bucher Jr. completed a MA and Ph.D. in Comparative World
            History (Africa and the Middle East) at University of Wisconsin -
            Madison. During this time he spent several years living in Gabon,
            first as a Frontier Intern in Mission working under the newly
            independent Gabon Evangelical church, co-sponsored by the
            Presbyterian Church, the Paris Mission Society, and the World
            Student Christian Federation, and later under a Fulbright-Hays grant
            for research in Gabon. Bucher's work put him in frequent touch with
            Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who was working out of the hospital founded
            by Presbyterian missionary Dr. Robert Hamill Nassau.

            Bucher's students often hear him say: "We make a living by what we
            get. We make a life by what we give." Through his donated archives
            Bucher says he hopes future Gabonese and Gabonologists will increase
            their knowledge of and respect for African lives, culture and
            contributions to the world.

            Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/200307110845.html
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