April 23, 2024

Mikumi-National-Park_jpgJust a couple of weeks before President Barack Obama lands in Africa for a week-long official visit, interesting stories about his historic visit to the continent are coming up every day. News about Obama’s cancellation of a two-hour safari to Tanzania’s southern wildlife park of Mikumi has so far, attracted the most attention. The Washington Post covered the story over the weekend, quoting a source in the White House as saying the President would require more resources to beef up his security in case he gets attacked by lions, cheetahs, or other wild animals. “The safari would have required the President’s special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions, or other animals if they became a threat,” the document made available to the Washington Post said. The preparations even included sniper teams with high-powered rifles that would shadow the first family on a safari in Tanzania, ready to kill any animal that might become a threat. Misinformed perceptions of Africa aside, it begs the question: has the First Family’s safari fallen victim to the sequester, or are they just a bunch of scaredy cats? A comment on the story as it appeared in Kenya’s Daily Nation, a leading newspaper in East Africa, summed up the local response succinctly: “You should get a Maasai to deal with that. Bow and arrows or spears are enough to protect you, Mr. Obama. We do not use rifles in Africa.”

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