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September 25, 2013

US Moves Drones from Key Africa Base

by VOA News

The U.S. military has moved its fleet of drones from a key Horn of Africa air base to a more remote location.

A Pentagon official tells VOA that the unmanned aircraft have been moved from Camp Lemonnier, a U.S. base in Djibouti, to another location in the country.

The official says the new location alleviates traffic issues that resulted from having drones share the same runway with regular base traffic and commercial air traffic. Camp Lemonnier is located at the Djibouti international airport.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the relocation took place after a string of crashes raised fears in Djibouti about the risk of collisions between drones and passenger planes.

The newspaper says local officials had expressed concern about several accidents involving drones in recent years.

Camp Lemonnier is the primary base of operations for the U.S. Africa command in the Horn of Africa.

The military uses the hub to launch counterterrorism operations in nearby countries, including Yemen and Somalia.