Obama’s Africa visit to cost $100 mln

2013-06-18 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Yes, he can! But it will cost a lot of money. President Barack Obama’s check list of things to pack for his visit to Africa is so long that it could cost Americans R1 billion ($100 million). For the Yanks are even bringing their own battleship. The visit will take place from June 26 to July 3 and is Obama’s first visit to southern Africa.

The Washington Post published the secret planning document on Obama’s visit to Africa, which made it clear just how strict the security measures are with which the U.S. protect their president.

The Telegraph reported that at least 445 agents from the security service and White House will be involved in the Africa visit.

The agents will arrive before and with Obama to plan and execute his visit in the finest detail.

A battleship — possibly an aircraft carrier with a fully equipped medical trauma centre on board — will be on standby off the South African coast for the duration of Obama’s visit. Battleships are not deployed singly and a whole fleet of battleships can therefore be expected. Military aircraft will also land a fleet of 56 vehicles, including 14 limousines, a fully equipped ambulance, a vehicle equipped to encode all telephone and video communications and a truck with equipment that scrambles the radio frequencies in Obama’s immediate vicinity.

Meanwhile, three trucks are transporting sheets of bulletproof glass to the hotels where Obama will stay, to replace the windows in his rooms in case of a sniper or a bomb attack.

Fighter jets will constantly fly over the areas in which Obama finds himself.

Cape Town will get front-seat views of this American display of might because Obama has decided he wants to come to the Mother City and visit Robben island.

The Obama couple would reportedly have gone on safari in Tanzania, but it was then decided to visit Robben island instead. Had they opted on the safari route, snipers would have been on hand to shoot any animal that looked like it might pose a threat to Obama.

The Africa visit includes a night in Dakar (Senegal), two nights in Johannesburg, a night in Cape Town and a night in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania).

The itinerary for first lady Michelle Obama differs somewhat from that of her husband, which complicates the security plan.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney last week answered questions about Obama’s visit and said relations between the U.S. and South Africa were very important.

Sources: Washington Post, Telegraph,


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