Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gen. Ham, commander of AFRICOM, spoke on Mon. at AUSA about U.S. efforts in Somalia, Libya, Mali, and Nigeria

ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Dec. 4, 2012) -- While the United States has military forces in Africa, they are mostly limited to small groups who have specific, time-limited tasks. That setup, said Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander, U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, is ideally suited to Africa, where militaries there are able to, and should take care of their own, with the help of some U.S. support.

"We think we do that best by developing and strengthening the defense capabilities of our African partners, so they are increasingly capable of providing for their own defense, and for contributing to regional defense, stability and security," Ham said, during a presentation, Dec. 3, at the Institute of Land Warfare's Gen. Bernard W. Rogers Strategic Issues Forum.

The general said that AFRICOM is predominantly involved in a supporting and enabling role, though he said AFRICOM remains ready to execute the operational military directives of the president, such as in Libya.

The United States has other policy tools in place in Africa, furthering U.S. goals there to promote opportunity and development, spur economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions and advance peace and security. It is the advancement of peace and security where AFRICOM plays its most dominant role, Ham said.

The U.S. military in Africa plays out its role there, primarily through partnerships with African militaries, by providing training and guidance, to strengthen those militaries and to enable them to fight their own battles.

"Strengthening of the defense capabilities -- it's the bread and butter of what we do at U.S. AFRICOM," Ham said. The command is also ready, he said, to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as to respond to and prevent mass atrocities.

In Africa, he said, quoting DOD strategic guidance, the US will have an "innovative and light footprint approach."

"We don't need large-scale U.S. armed forces operating in Africa," Ham said. "We are much better when we have small tailored forces, that are there for a specific purpose, usually time-limited, to accomplish a specific objective."

As defined in the Department of Defense's 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, the Pacific region has been named a priority, but Ham said that the new guidance doesn't mean the U.S. is no longer interested in Africa. To the contrary, a primary goal stated in the same guidance indicates that the countering of extremist organizations is also a priority.

"It's a sad fact that violent extremist organizations are present in Africa," Ham said. "So that becomes our highest priority."

The general spelled out four specific extremist hotspots in Africa that are of concern to the United States.

SOMALIA

In Somalia, he said, the presence of the extremist group al Shabaab, an affiliate of al Qaeda, is of concern. "They have controlled Somalia for the past nearly 20 years," he said.

But now, the general said, Somalia has an elected president, a constitution, and a parliament. Al Shabaab is out of Mogadishu and "mostly out of Kismayo."

That success is in part due to the efforts of the African-led effort, Ham said.

"It's happened because the Africans decided that they were going to put forward the effort to do this," he said. "And I think this is perhaps a model for us to think about for other endeavors in Africa and other places. I think the reason the African Union mission in Somalia has been successful is because it has been African-led, it has been African troops on the ground."

The U.S. provides training, equipping and logistical support of the African forces who have worked in Somalia, Ham said, "but it is African forces who are fighting this fight, and led by African commanders and I think that is what has made the difference. And I think it's a pretty extraordinary achievement and maybe indicative of what might be possible."

Now, he said, Al Shabaab in Somalia, is "essentially in survival mode, because they are under duress from many directions." He was clear, however, that the extremist group is not defeated, and there is work still to be done. The focus now, he said, is to help train Somali forces to provide for their own defense, and not just to rely on outside African forces.

LIBYA

After NATO operations in Libya, and the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011, the Libyans have formed a "fragile government" that Ham said extremist organizations, some with ties to al Qaeda, are looking for opportunities with.

With a lack of governmental institutions such as a military force, a police force, border security forces, or a national intelligence service, Ham said, extremist groups in Libya "seek to establish or in many cases re-establish networks that have been previously operating inside Libya."

AFRICOM efforts, Ham said, must help strengthen the Libyan government so they can deal with the threats.

MALI

As a result of a military coup earlier this year, an absence of government in northern Mali has left it a "safe haven" for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a militant Islamic group, Ham said.

"The absence of government is very evident in northern Mali," Ham said.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, is the wealthiest affiliate of al Qaeda, and earns money from kidnapping for ransom, the drug trade and other trafficking.

"They have a lot of money and they have a lot of weapons," Ham said. "In the aftermath of fighting in Libya, many of the fighters who had been paid mercenaries, paid by Mr. Gaddafi, when they realized that they were either not going to be paid or that he was no longer going to be in power, they left Libya and they brought their weapons with them and many of them came to northern Mali, where they present a real threat."

Ham said the well-financed AQIM are establishing training camps and a "very sophisticated recruiting effort" to strengthen their goals.

"I think this is a very dangerous situation, not only for the Malians, but for the region, and more broadly for Europe and eventually for the United States," Ham said. "It's clear to me that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb aspires to attack in Europe and in the United States."

But there is an opportunity now, Ham said, with an African-led endeavor, to re-establish security in northern Mali.

NIGERIA

Finally, in Nigeria, Ham said, is the growing threat of the Boko Haram terrorist organization, which operates in the mostly Muslim northern part of the country.

"They seek to undermine the central government in Abuja," he said, and impose Islamic law across the northern portion of Nigeria.

"They are increasingly violent in their behavior; attacking universities, colleges, and Christian churches throughout the country. It's a very dangerous organization. They are not yet capable of extending their activities beyond the borders of Nigeria, but I think it's a matter of time before they are able to do so."

GROWING CONNECTIONS

Ham said he's concerned that the extremist and terrorist groups across Africa are now developing connections, and sharing funding, tactics, techniques and procedures, explosives, munitions and weapons.

The groups, he said, are "collaborating and coordinating their efforts. It's that synchronization (of) these various extremist organizations that to me is really worrisome."

AFRICOM must now focus efforts on a regional basis, Ham said. "The threats present themselves regionally in an interconnected manner and I think it will require a regional approach to counter them."

The U.S. is working with the African Union to help them address the threats.

Ham also addressed the threat of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army, and said the United States is "committed to helping the four countries involved," including Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The U.S. will help those countries "coordinate their efforts from an information standpoint, from an intelligence standpoint, from a humanitarian standpoint, from economic development standpoint, and yes from a military standpoint, to capture Kony and his senior leaders and bring them to justice."

The Lord's Resistance Army claims to want democracy in Uganda, but has been accused of human rights violations such as sexual slavery with children, rape, murder, kidnapping, and using children as soldiers in their fight.

Ham said efforts to stymie the LRA have been fruitful, in that they have weekened the group.

"We have seen very clearly that Kony and his leaders are much more focused on survival than they are on conducting the kinds of activities they have over the past many years," Ham said.

African and U.S. efforts, he said, have contributed to defections and escapes from the LRA, and those people have provided information that may eventually help bring Kony to justice.



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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

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