Reserve Force Council :: South Africa
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The RFC, is a statutory body under the Defence Act, comprises members of the Reserve Units, individuals and associations. It acts as the representative of the Reserves (ResF), Volunteer or  Part-Time forces, component of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and serves as an advisory body on all matters concerning the Reserves in the SANDF.  The RFC assists in promoting and maintaining the Reserves as an integral part of the SANDF.

This RFC website is the primary communication channel for all information relevant to Reserves in South Africa. Please register, top right corner, so that we can keep you updated at all times. We would appreciate your comments, suggestions and articles so that we can fullfill our role of communicating with our stakeholders - send an email to

All views of individual associations, organisations and individuals are theirs and not those of the RFC.



News December 2014
Written by defenceWeb/MARCOM, Friday, 12 December 2014
The future Task Force Commander for the EU’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta, Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren (Swedish Navy), visited the NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) this week to meet with MARCOM Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio for discussions concerning counter-piracy operations and other maritime security issues.

“I enjoyed our visit with Rear Admiral Haggren and we look forward to working together in the ongoing counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa,” said Rear Admiral Lazio. “Close co-ordination between the various counter-piracy forces has proved invaluable in helping to eradicate piracy from the waters off Somalia.”

Rear Admiral Haggren was commissioned by the Swedish Naval Academy in 1987. He previously commanded the First Submarine Flotilla and most recently served as the Head of the Navy Training and Procurement Directorate, Swedish Armed Forces HQ. He will take command of TF-465 in early 2015.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 12 December 2014
Syrian rebels using improvised mortar bombs made of cooking gas canisters killed 311 civilians between July and December this year, a monitoring group said on Friday, condemning the use of the wildly inaccurate weapons.

Two-thirds of the deaths, or 203 people, were in the northern city of Aleppo where the so-called "hell cannons" have been fired on government-held districts of Syria's second city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the violence using sources on both sides, said that 42 children and 25 women were among the dead in Aleppo. It said more than 700 people had also been wounded during that time.

Syria's official news agency SANA said on Thursday that "terrorists" fired 11 of the improvised bombs in the southern city of Deraa, wounding several civilians.

The canisters are packed with explosives, fitted with a guide fin and fired by large cannons.
Syria's war started with a pro-democracy movement that grew into an armed uprising and has inflamed regional confrontations. Some 200,000 people have died, the United Nations says.

Chemical weapons have been used, the international chemical weapon watchdog says, and the United Nations says that President Bashar al-Assad's forces have dropped improvised and indiscriminate barrel bombs on Aleppo.

First Algerian Meko frigate floated
Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 12 December 2014
The first of two Algerian Navy Meko A200 frigates has been undocked and floated at a dockyard in Kiel, Germany.

The vessel was floated during a ceremony on December 5, reports IHS Jane's Navy International.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) received the 2.17 billion euro ($2.7 billion) contract for the two frigates, plus an option for two more, in March 2012. Because TKMS does not have large docks of its own, the vessels are being built in Kiel as part of a consortium.

Algeria has also ordered six AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 (Mk 140) helicopters, plus a support and training package for the frigates. One of the Super Lynx was spotted in October carrying eight Denel Dynamics Mokopa air-to-surface missiles ahead of delivery. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) noted that in 2012 Algeria selected Denel Dynamics’ Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missile for its frigates, which also arm the South African Navy’s Meko vessels.

According to Russia’s Periscope magazine, the Algerian frigates will be armed with RBS 15 Mk III anti-ship missiles, Umkhonto IR surface-to-air missiles, Oto Melara and Rheinmetall guns and MU 90 torpedoes

Written by SANews, Friday, 12 December 2014
The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) has set aside R145 million to assist military veterans and dependents in their studies.

Since the enactment of the Military Veterans Act in 2011, which stipulates the benefits which ought to be provided to military veterans in the 2012/13 financial year, the DMV has provided education support at both basic and higher education levels to 200 military veterans and their dependents.

Speaking on behalf of Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Kebby Maphatsoe at a two-day workshop on education beneficiary support for military veterans, the department’s Director-General Tsepe Motumi said education was a powerful weapon for individuals to unleash their full potential.

Motumi said the number of military veterans who are receiving education support from the department has tripled in 2013/14 financial year to 645.

The department has spent R15 million assisting military veterans and their dependents.
For the 2015/16 financial year, the department has received a total of 1 700 applications, with 1 000 for higher education and 700 for basic education.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 12 December 2014
Fana Hlongwane, the man said to be at the centre of the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal, escaped cross-examination when he appeared at the Seriti Commission on Thursday.

Last month, lawyers for the arms consultant indicated he was willing to assist the Commission sitting in Pretoria and “wants to come and give evidence”.

After being led through his statement by an evidence leader, lawyers participating in the commission said they had no questions to ask the former defence adviser the SA Press Association reported.

Hlongwane’s appearance at the Commission had been anticipated amid allegations he had received around R65 million in arms deal bribes when he acted as an adviser to the then defence minister, Joe Modise.

Hlongwane dismissed having any knowledge of underhand dealings during the procurement of new front line equipment for the SA Air Force and SA Navy.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 12 December 2014
Kenya defended its involvement with the International Criminal Court on Thursday as prosecutors seek to have the country held accountable by the court's member states for failing to cooperate on an investigation of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Prosecutors last week dropped charges of crimes against humanity against Kenyatta, who was accused of orchestrating a wave of deadly violence after Kenya's 2007 elections, due to a lack of evidence.

They have said Kenyatta, the first sitting president to have attended a session of the court, used his powers to obstruct the investigation, especially since becoming head of state last year. Kenyatta's lawyers denied this.

ICC judges agreed that Kenya had not cooperated in "good faith" with the court, but decided against referring the matter to the body representing the court's 122 member states. On Tuesday the prosecutors sought leave to appeal that decision.

Kenyan U.N. Ambassador Macharia Kamau defended his country's cooperation with The Hague-based international court at a meeting of the court's member states, known as the Assembly of States Parties, at the United Nations in New York on Thursday

Written by Reuters, Friday, 12 December 2014
The European Union has resumed aid to Mali which it suspended in June due to suspected irregularities in government spending, including the purchase of a $40 million (25 million pounds) presidential jet, the Malian government announced on Friday.

The International Monetary Fund had questioned the way the government acquired the plane and a $200 million state guarantee for a loan obtained by a private company which won a contract to provide supplies for the army.

The IMF halted its support for the West African country. Other international donors, including France and the EU, which have pledged around $4 billion to back Mali's recovery from a coup and an al-Qaeda linked occupation in the north, also suspended their assistance.

The IMF said this month, however, Malian authorities had complied with a requirement to make public the results of audits into the suspected irregularities.

"I confirm the receipt ... of the sum of 62,241,680,110 CFA francs (74.4 million pounds)," stated a communique read on state-owned radio which quoted Finance Minister Bouaré Fily Sissoko's correspondence with the EU delegation in Mali.

Written by ISS Africa, Friday, 12 December 2014
Burkina Faso’s political transition is now underway. Michel Kafando, retired diplomat and former foreign minister, has been appointed interim President and Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Yacouba Zida, who assumed power after former president Blaise Compaoré’s departure, is Prime Minister.

Attention is focused on the challenges of the transition that will lead to the 2015 elections. But what impact has Compaoré's downfall had on the West African region.

Burkina Faso and especially Compaoré were often presented by external partners as pillars of stability in West Africa. Having come to power following a coup on 15 October 1987, Compaoré had become a ‘peacemaker’ through his mediation in the various political and military crises that shook the sub-region notably in Togo,Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. However, he has equally been accused of promoting instability through his alleged involvement in the conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire. Compaoré’s role in the region is thus hard to define, being a peacemaker in some cases and a troublemaker in some others.

In Togo, Compaoré has played a long-standing role, starting with his facilitation of the inter-Togolese dialogue in 1993. A key mediator of the long socio-political crisis in that country, he was called in again in 2005 in the wake of the post-election violence that followed President Faure Gnassingbé's controversial election.

Written by defenceWeb/UN, Friday, 12 December 2014
Amid a proliferation of militant groups and “disquieting” levels of food insecurity the situation in the Sahel has become increasingly fragile a United Nations special envoy has told the Security Council.

“The security situation in the Sahel continues to be impacted by crises in Libya, northern Nigeria, northern Mali and the Central African Republic,” Special Envoy for the Sahel, Guebre Sellassie said in her end-of-year briefing to the 15-member body.

She last updated the Council in June providing a similarly bleak overview of the situation in the Sahel – a vast expanse of territory stretching from Mauritania to Eritrea, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan. In her latest briefing the envoy explained the region was facing an added threat as reports have it that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants had established a bulwark in the Libyan desert.

“Persistent allegations that the Islamic State has set up training camps in Libya are particularly worrisome. If the situation in Libya is not quickly brought under control, many states in the region could be destabilised in the near future.”

Written by Reuters, Friday, 12 December 2014
Suspected war criminals in Central African Republic are carrying out atrocities and terrorising people, and the United Nations and CAR government must try harder to bring them to justice, rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday.

Amnesty said none of the 20 suspected war criminals it had identified in a report in July had been brought before a court of law and some were still committing crimes and interfering with the justice system.

The failure to hold them accountable means they continue to terrorise the population without fear of repercussions, said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty’s deputy regional director.

"Impunity is one of the driving factors of the crisis. Individuals implicated in war crimes in the past are free to commit new crimes. Unless you stop that cycle, violence will continue. We can't wait until the conflict is over to bring them to justice," Cockburn told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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News November 2014
Written by Reuters, Friday, 28 November 2014

Namibians voted on Friday in Africa's first electronic election that is expected see the SWAPO party to extend its 24-year rule as people in the mineral-rich country seek stability in the face of a global commodities downturn.

Despite an 11th hour challenge from the opposition over the lack of a paper trail from electronic voting, the election commission is using about 4,000 voting machines for the presidential and parliamentary vote instead of paper ballots.

In the booth, voters will find a grey electronic device with pictures or logos of the candidates and a green button next to each one. Instead of marking a cross on paper, voters will select their choice by pressing the button.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 28 November 2014

Libya's self-proclaimed prime minister has warned that attempts by a rival government in the east to assert control over the oil industry could escalate the political conflict dividing the OPEC member state and force it to break in two.

Libya has had two governments competing for power since August when a group called Operation Libya Dawn, which opponents say is backed by Islamists, seized Tripoli and forced the elected Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni to flee 1,000 km to a small city near the border with Egypt.

Both sides have so far avoided talking publicly about prospect of a split.

The warning by Omar al-Hassi, prime minister of the rival government, came after Thinni's government claimed air strikes on Tripoli's Mitigate airport this week, escalating a confrontation that started with an attack by Libya Dawn on a rival force in Tripoli in July.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 28 November 2014

The Department of Military Veterans’ (DMV) annual report for 1013/14 makes no bones about pushing government’s “good story to tell” line with Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s foreword highlighting new institutional and policy arrangements “dedicated to service military veterans”.

In contrast to her words the report a table titled “DMV Strategic Risks” lists “fictitious military veterans might have been registered and receiving (sic) the military veterans benefits; duplicate force numbers, inadequate control over registration/authorisation” and “unauthorised breaches to the database”. In all three instances no actions to improve management of the risk are listed.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 28 November 2014

Somali-based piracy remains a threat to international shipping and there is no room for complacency where pirates are concerned, according to the European Union Naval Force and International Maritime Organisation.

The Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Major General Martin Smith MBE, visited the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Koji Sekimizu, at the IMO headquarters in London on 26 November.

Meeting to discuss the current situation off the Horn of Africa, the two leaders agreed that naval forces are still very much required in the West Indian Ocean, and that merchant ships should continue to apply IMO guidance and Best Management Practices with diligence.

To that end, Sekimizu welcomed the extension of the EU’s Operation Atalanta counter-piracy mandate to the end of 2016, which was announced in Brussels at the end of last week.

Written by UK MoD, Friday, 28 November 2014

Three Merlin helicopters belonging to the Royal Navy have assisted Ebola victims in Sierra Leone through the delivery of supplies to medical teams and aid experts in the country.

Responding to a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) request, a Merlin helicopter from 820 Naval Air Squadron lifted urgent supplies for a support camp to be built near a community care centre in Kumala.

The centre is a 28-bed facility for the care of Ebola patients, including young children under the age of 5. Because it is in a mountainous area the centre is currently not accessible by road, the UK Ministry of Defence said on November 26.

The Merlin helicopters flew 6 heavy loads of building materials, suspended below the aircraft, from the WFP hub in Port Loko.

Over 5 days 5.5 tonnes of equipment was transported which will be used to help keep the community centre operational.

Written by Oscar Nkala, Friday, 28 November 2014

Angola's military and defence expenditure will increase from the current $6.5 billion to $13 billion by 2019 due to increased demand for border security equipment, fighter jets, multi-role aircraft, helicopters, navy vessels and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

In a new report entitled “Future of the Angolan Defence Industry - Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2019,” US-based defence market analysts Market Research said Angolan defence spending will be driven by the need to modernise and improve the operational capabilities of all three wings of the Armed Forces of Angola (FAA) and a desire to increase the number of serving troops while embarking on new veterans care projects.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 28 November 2014

Canada will send up to 40 military staff to Sierra Leone to help battle Ebola, the government said on Thursday as it also launched a campaign to recruit healthcare workers to help operate treatment centers in three West African countries.

The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic had risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries as of Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

Almost all cases, and all but 15 deaths, have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three West African countries that have been hardest hit.

"Up to 40 Canadian armed forces health care and support staff will deploy to Sierra Leone for up to six months to support efforts on the ground in West Africa," the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 28 November 2014

At least 133 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes between two groups belonging to an Arab tribe in Sudan's West Kordofan state, a tribal leader said on Thursday.

The clashes between Awlad Omran and Al-Ziyoud groups of the Arab Mesiria tribe began with a dispute over land, Mukhtar Babo Nimr, the leader of the tribe, told Reuters by phone.

"They used guns and heavy weapons in the fighting in the Kwak area of the state of West Kordofan," he added.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 28 November 2014

At the end of last month Uganda and North Korea signed an agreement to strengthen bilateral, economic and defence ties during a visit to Uganda by North Korean officials.

President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Yong Nam, spent four days in Uganda.

“Our North Korea friends helped us in a number of areas. The first tank force in Uganda was helped by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It trained our first group of army personnel in this field,” said Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni.

Museveni said Uganda has been working with the DPRK for a long time saying the country has been part of the anti-colonial movement. He thanked North Korea for facilitating its pilots to train their Ugandan counterparts.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 28 November 2014

Negotiations between the Malian government and mostly Tuareg rebel groups, held in Algiers, broke up on Thursday without an agreement on northern Mali, officials for both sides said.

Mali's vast desert north - called Azawad by the Tuareg rebels - has risen up four times in the last five decades, with various groups fighting for independence or a form of self-rule from the government in the south.

"The negotiations are suspended without a preliminary agreement," said Cherif Kanoute, spokesman for Mali's foreign ministry, without elaborating on the reason for the failure.

Moussa Ag Assarid, a spokesman for Azawad groups, confirmed via telephone from Algiers that the talks had ended, adding that another meeting was provisionally planned for January.

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News October 2014
Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

Somali pirates have freed seven Indian sailors detained for close to four years in exchange for an undisclosed ransom, Somali officials and a maritime monitoring group said on Friday.

At one time the pirates made millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing ships sailing the Horn of Africa nation's waters, but increased patrols by international navies on the Indian Ocean have reduced incidences of piracy.

The sailors, held since the pirates hijacked the Panama-flagged ship MT Asphalt Venture in September 2010, were freed on Thursday. Eight of their colleagues were freed by the pirates along with the ship in April 2011 for a ransom.

Their captors said at the time that they would only release the seven sailors when their fellow Somali pirates held by Indian authorities were freed.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

China will dispatch an elite unit from the People's Liberation Army to help Ebola-hit Liberia, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, responding to U.N. calls for a greater global effort to fight the deadly virus in West Africa.

Washington has led the international drive to stop the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 5,000 people, sending thousands of troops and committing about $1 billion, but Beijing has faced criticism for not doing enough.

The PLA squad, which has experience from a 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), will build a 100-bed treatment centre in Liberia, the first such facility in the three countries most impacted by Ebola to be constructed and run by a foreign country, said Lin Songtian, director general of the ministry's Department of African Affairs.

Since 1921 the poppy has been accepted internationally as the symbol to remember fallen soldiers, thanks to the thousands of poppies that grew in Flanders Fields after the furious battle “from the blood of the fallen and wounded” in World War One.

At any service to remember a fallen soldier, the poppy is worn, closest to the heart and finally placed on the grave, cenotaph or memorial by those present. It is universally worn from November 1 to Remembrance Sunday – the second Sunday in November, this year the 9th.

“This has become a universal symbol for all fallen soldiers and those who returned,” Legionnaire Godfrey Giles, SA Legion national president, said.

Written by Kim Helfrich, Friday, 31 October 2014

In addition to anti-piracy, border protection and continental peace support and peacekeeping, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) also performed firefighting duties and search and rescue operations internally in the 2013/14 financial year.

This is according to the foreword, provided by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to the latest Department of Defence annual report for the 2013/14 financial year.

“In terms of support to the people, the SANDF provided assistance with firefighting in Western Cape and Northern Cape, search and rescue at sea and on land in Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Support was also provided during floods in Limpopo and Mpumalanga by airlifting people to safety.”

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 October 2014

Gabon has ordered two patrol vessels from French shipbuilder Piriou at the Euronaval 2014 exhibition. The latest acquisition came the same day as Gabon’s military ordered 12 Aravis armoured vehicles from France’s Nexter.

The contract was signed by Pascal Piriou, the chairman and CEO of Piriou, and Gabon’s defence minister Ernest Mpouho Epigat on October 29 in Paris.

One of the patrol vessels to be supplied by Piriou will be built new while the other will be the second hand French Navy P400 patrol vessel Tapageuse, which is being overhauled and refitted. It will be delivered in mid-2015. In December 2013 Tapageuse was acquired by Piriou Naval Services, which began refurbishing it with the view to marketing it to interested countries. Earlier this year it was reported that the Philippines was interested in acquiring the vessel for its Coast Guard.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

Islamist Boko Haram militants have seized control of the northeast Nigerian town of Mubi, killing dozens of people and forcing thousands to flee, witnesses said.

The insurgents stormed Mubi on Wednesday. Gunfire has been heard in the town ever since, witnesses told Reuters.

A security source on Thursday confirmed the town had fallen to the insurgents. Witnesses said they hoisted their black flag over the palace of the traditional ruler.

Witnesses said the insurgents robbed banks, burned down the main market and sacked the palace. One saw them kill a university lecturer and his entire family -- Boko Haram, whose name means Western education is sinful, abhors secular learning.

Written by UN, Friday, 31 October 2014

While noting the progress made to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, the United Nations political chief has said that a sustained long-term solution must include the presence of effective Government and State institutions that provide basic services and alternative ways for people to make a living.

Briefing the Security Council on piracy off the coast of the east African nation last week, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said that this multi-pronged approach may be “a daunting, but unavoidable task, for it will enable Somalia to effectively address, and ultimately defeat, piracy.”

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

Hundreds of protesters marched in the capital of Burkina Faso on Friday demanding that President Blaise Compaore step down, a day after the military dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of violent mass protests.

"We don't want him. We want him out of power. He is not our president," demonstrator Ouedrago Yakubo told Reuters. The demonstrators gathered at the main Place de la Nation and in front of the army headquarters.

Compaore, a close ally of former colonial power France who seized power in a coup in 1987, said late on Thursday he would stay in office at the head of a transitional government until after elections. He also scrapped an unpopular plan to amend the constitution to allow him to seek election next year.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 October 2014

Two soldiers from 4 SA Infantry Battalion at Middelburg, Mpumalanga, were wounded during an ambush on a hybrid AU/UN peacekeeping force near Kutum in the northern Darfur region of Sudan earlier this week.

The ambush was on a section dispatched from the South African battalion base to collect water.

The two wounded soldiers were airlifted by helicopter to the UN hospital at el Fashir and were earlier today “stable” according to Captain (SAN) Jaco Theunissen, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Joint Operations Division operational communication officer.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

At least nine members of Niger's security forces were killed in attacks by unidentified insurgents on Thursday in the western Tillabéry region near the border with Mali, the government said.

"Terrorist elements carried out simultaneous attacks in Tillabéry. Five policemen, two gendarmes and two national guards were killed," it said in the statement signed by the West African state's defence and interior ministers.

The statement gave no further details.

A Nigerien security source told Reuters earlier that a prison near the region was also attacked by unknown assailants and dozens of inmates were freed.

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Movable Heritage Assets
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Letter from Dr Job, Chair RFC Administrator Giles 9/18/2014 234.27 Download
Memorandum RE: Movable Heritage Assets Administrator Giles 9/18/2014 238.84 Download

News September 2014
Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

U.S. warplanes attacked Islamic State targets in Syria overnight, in raids that a group monitoring the war said killed civilians as well as jihadist fighters.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes hit mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in an area controlled by Islamic State, killing at least two civilian workers.

Strikes on a building on a road leading out of the town also killed a number of Islamic State fighters, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory which gathers information from sources in Syria.

The U.S. military said on Monday an American air strike overnight targeted Islamic State vehicles in a staging area adjacent to a grain storage facility near Manbij, but it had no evidence so far of civilian casualties.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

U.S. military efforts against Islamic State have cost nearly $1 billion so far and are likely to run between $2.4 billion and $3.8 billion per year if air and ground operations continue at the current pace, according to a think tank analysis.

But a ramp-up, including more air strikes and a significant boost in ground forces, could send costs soaring to between $13 billion and $22 billion annually, said the analysis released on Monday by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

"Future costs depend, to a great extent, on how long operations continue, the steady-state level of air operations, and whether additional ground forces are deployed beyond what is already planned," said the report by Todd Harrison and other analysts.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The United States plans to quickly increase its presence in Liberia, where military personnel are deploying to help the West African nation halt the advance of the worst Ebola epidemic on record, the general in charge of the mission said on Monday.

Washington is sending some 3,000 soldiers to the region to build treatment centres and train local medics. Around half will be based in Liberia, with the rest providing logistical support outside the country.

"This is about urgency and speed. So what you're going to see here pretty soon is forces flown here," Major General Darryl Williams told journalists in the capital, Monrovia.

"I have 175 soldiers and I have another 30 that are in other countries that are beginning to set up the logistics hub to fly forces in here," he said.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A record 4,077 migrants have died already this year crossing deserts and seas worldwide, three-quarters of them in perilous journeys across the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, an aid agency said on Monday.

They include an estimated 500 people fleeing Africa and the Middle East feared drowned in a shipwreck off Malta in mid-September after smugglers deliberately rammed their boat, the International Organisation for Migration said.

In its first comprehensive report on such deaths, the IOM said 40,000 migrants worldwide are believed to have perished since 2000, 22,000 of them seeking a better life in Europe.

"Limited opportunities for safe and regular migration drive would-be migrants into the hands of smugglers, feeding an unscrupulous trade that threatens the lives of desperate people," IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing said in a statement. "We need to put an end to this cycle."

Written by ISS Africa, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Given the extent to which it dominates global news and politics, it is remarkable how little we know about the men – and, very occasionally, women – behind Islamist extremism.

How are people drawn into such radical politics? What type of person becomes a terrorist? What is it that forces radicals out of day-to-day politics and into the extreme and often violent margins of society?

There are theories, of course. Maybe, some say, there’s something inherent within Islam that encourages intolerance; maybe it’s a function of widespread poverty, neglect and discrimination; maybe human nature inherently dictates that there will always be groups that want to overturn the status quo.

Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Around 31 400 new passenger and freighter aircraft, 100 seats and above, worth $4.6 trillion will be needed over the next 20 years, according to Airbus, as passenger traffic grows annually at 4.7%.

In its Global Market Forecast between now and 2033, Airbus said the passenger and freighter fleet will increase from today’s 18 500 aircraft to 37 500 by 2033, an increase of nearly 19 000 aircraft. Some 12 400 older less fuel efficient passenger and freighter aircraft will be retired.

The company pointed out that today 32 million flights carry three billion passengers and 50 million tonnes of freight a year. Globally the aviation sector’s economic impact is estimated at $2.4 trillion annually.

Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bell Helicopter has received new customer commitments for fourteen Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters in southern Africa, with nine coming during the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) show in Pretoria.

Bell Helicopter has worked with National Airways Corporation (NAC), its independent representative in South Africa, to secure new customer commitments for the new aircraft, the helicopter maker said. The new JRX helicopters have been purchased primarily by private pilots and enthusiasts.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our 25th year representing Bell Helicopter and nothing could be more fitting in celebration than to introduce the Bell 505 JRX to our market at AAD,” said Martin Banner, chief executive officer of NAC. “The Bell 505 has undoubtedly been the star of the show and its reception has been remarkable. We look forward to many more years of partnership and success with Bell Helicopter particularly as they continue to roll out their exciting new commercial products like the JRX and the Bell 525 Relentless.”

Written by Kim Helfrich, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

An indication of the Reserve Force’s importance to the overall South African defence capability comes with the utilisation, for an average of 180 days a year, of more than 70% of its 21 500 active members.

“The Reserves are making significant contributions within all four services of the Department of Defence and increased utilisation has been observed over a period of time,” Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube told the recent Reserve Force symposium in Midrand.

Evidence of this was the increased use of Reserves in Operation Corona (border protection) and in continental peace support operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan.

Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

At least 30 South African social justice organisations want the Seriti Commission of Inquiry dissolved.

The call comes after weekend revelations by the Sunday Times that President Jacob Zuma allegedly received bribes in the form of cash, overseas trips and clothing from French arms company Thales.

Speaking on behalf of the organisations which have endorsed the call for the Commission’s dissolution, Murray Hunter of the Right2Know Campaign said they had five major concerns about the Seriti Commission.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

When a little-known group of Algerian militants beheaded a French tourist last week, they were not only lashing out at the West, but also staking an unmistakable claim in the shifting ground of jihadist power politics.

Herve Gourdel's murder by the Caliphate Soldiers, ostensibly to punish France for Western military strikes on Islamic State forces in Iraq, was testament to the pull now exerted by the al Qaeda-offshoot in the battle for the loyalties of jihadists.

A week before Gourdel was kidnapped and killed, the Soldiers' Algerian commander Abdelmalek Gouri, also known as Khalid Abu Suleiman, had split with al Qaeda's North African wing to support Islamic State, whose battlefield successes and declaration of a "Caliphate" in Iraq and Syria have stolen al Qaeda's thunder.

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