News

    US Military Leaders Give Details of New Africa Command

    The U.S. military released more details Friday about its plans for a new Africa Command center or AFRICOM. The center is going to coordinate U.S. military activities for almost all of the African continent. VOA's Marissa Melton reports.

    Rear Admiral Robert Moeller told members of the foreign press in Washington Friday that the new African command center will pull together responsibilities for Africa that had formerly been divided up among U.S. Central Command in the U.S. state of Florida, U.S. Pacific Command in the Pacific island state of Hawaii, and U.S. European Command, located in Germany.

    "Three geographic combatant commands have responsibility for the continent, with the European command having the largest number of countries with whom they work. When we get to a full operational capability, AFRICOM will be responsible for the entire continent, less Egypt."

    Moeller said U.S. Central Command will continue to handle Egypt, along with the Middle Eastern countries, as it has in the past.

    The command center is meant to coordinate military activities as well as help with humanitarian aid operations conducted by U.S. government agencies such as the State Department and USAID. Officials say AFRICOM troops will also train African peacekeeping troops and help establish stability in troubled areas.

    Moeller is transition team leader for the new project. He said a location for the new center has not been decided yet, but discussions on that will start right away. "We anticipate beginning soon, within a matter of weeks most likely, a series of detailed conversations with countries around the continent to get their perspective on this idea of a headquarters location on the continent," he said.

    One reporter asked if the decision to establish AFRICOM resulted from some worldwide "scramble for Africa," a struggle for economic or political power on the continent. Another asked if the center would be a headquarters for anti-terror investigations. Theresa Whelan, deputy assistant defense secretary for Africa, said a flat "no" to both.

    "The purpose of this command is to help promote greater security, cooperation, and dialogue between ourselves and our African partners. That's the intent. To build capacity within Africa for security because security is the framework, the foundation, of stability required for economic development, social development. So this isn't about chasing terrorists around Africa," she said.

    The transition team, led by Moeller, is working now at the European Command Center to start merging the operations of the three command centers that have been handling African affairs. AFRICOM is expected to begin operations later this year. President Bush has said he wants the command center to be fully operational by September of next year.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora