News / Africa

    Report: US Expands Air Surveillance Across Africa

    U.S. Surveillance Facilities in Africa
    U.S. Surveillance Facilities in Africa
    VOA News
    The Washington Post reports the U.S. military has set up small air bases across Africa to conduct surveillance of terrorist groups.

    The newspaper, quoting U.S. and African officials, says about a dozen bases have been set up since 2007 in a number of countries, including Burkina Faso, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and the Seychelles.

    A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)
    x
    A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)
    A PC-12 Pilatus on the runway at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez)
    Instead of drones, The Post says the surveillance is conducted by small planes - usually single-engine PC-12s with only a pilot aboard. The report says the unarmed planes are equipped to record video, track infrared heat patterns and catch radio and cellphone signals.

    A spokesman for the Kenyan Defense Forces, Colonel Cyrus Oguna, denied that there are U.S. air bases in Kenya.

    "As far as we are concerned, U.S. is not using any Kenyan air space or any bases from where they can be able to launch observation vessels.  However, I know that we do have bilateral arrangements in terms of sharing information and intelligence to fight terror," he said.

    U.S. officials in Washington declined to answer reporters' questions Thursday about the newspaper report.

    According to The Post, U.S. military Special Operations forces supervise the surveillance, but the program relies heavily on private military contractors and support from African troops.

    • A single-engine turboprop PC-12, the type of plane the U.S. military is reportedly using to record video, track infrared heat patterns, and catch radio and cellphone signals in Africa.
    • Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations, July 31, 2006, Congo near the Sudan border.
    • Troops from the Central African Republic stand outside a building used for meetings between them and U.S. Army special forces seeking the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, Obo, Central African Republic, April 29, 2012.
    • U.S. Special Forces soldier trains troops from Senegal combat techniques in Kati, Mali, during a joint training exercise with units from several African countries where al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is active, May 12, 2010.
    • Fighters from Islamist group Ansar Dine stand guard as they prepare to hand over a Swiss female hostage in the desert outside Timbuktu, Mali, April 24, 2012.
    • Suspected members of the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram are detained by the military in Bukavu Barracks in Kano state, Nigeria, March 21, 2012.

    Targets of the surveillance include al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia, Yemen and Africa's Sahel region, and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa.

    U.S. officials have repeatedly warned of the threat to regional stability presented by such groups and others like Nigeria's Boko Haram.

    The Post previously reported that the U.S. has a secret program in east Africa and the Arabian peninsula that uses drone airplanes to watch militants in Somalia and Yemen.

    The newspaper said its latest report was based on unnamed U.S. military and government officials, African officials, U.S. government contracting documents, unclassified military reports and diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

    You May Like

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: African from: Africa
    June 15, 2012 5:34 PM
    Sometimes what US considers terrorist group are truly a genuine oposition to the dictator the US administration supports, and they are helping the regime survive for an exchange the regime allows the US military to have access to their air and land spaces. Ironically there is no legitimate regime in Africa that comes with election. Almost all African regimes come to power by overthrowing the previous regime. Hence, who is terrorist organization, the regime that is doing harm to the population or the freedom fighters defending their civilians?

    by: JP from: COLORADO
    June 15, 2012 3:41 PM
    Kudos to those brave warriors out in harms way protecting once again our leaderships' underlings freedom to have announced - leaked - our hand of cards (security be dammed) to the world and those intent on our demise.

    Will the internal bickering at the very top protecting our national interests ever cease and once again focus on America....

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.