News / Africa

Report: Western Presence Fuels Yemen, Somalia Insecurity

Yemeni security forces and forensics personnel attend the scene where an attack took place on a convoy carrying a senior British diplomat in San'a, Yemen, 06 Oct 2010
Yemeni security forces and forensics personnel attend the scene where an attack took place on a convoy carrying a senior British diplomat in San'a, Yemen, 06 Oct 2010

A new report says Western security measures in Yemen and Somalia are fueling militancy because local populations see it as a form of aggression.

Yemen expert Ginny Hill co-authored the report that was published by the London-based research group Chatham House.  

"The U.S. administration has been providing training and military equipment to the Yemeni armed forces for several years now," said Hill.  "And there has been an increase in that cooperation and that relation over the course of the last year.  There have been a number of strikes where the U.S. is alleged to have been involved.  The key thing to note is that al-Qaida's leadership remains intact despite the increase in resources and the increase in activity."

Yemen became a focus of Western security concerns after a Yemen based group linked to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for a failed attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound flight last December.

Earlier this month, militants in Yemen's capital attacked an armed British embassy car that was carrying a senior British diplomat.

Hill says there is a danger that Western-backed security measures could contribute to tension inside Yemen.  

"It is driving a wedge between the president and the tribes and in a country where there is an enormous amount of hostility towards American foreign policy in the region, it is contributing to perceptions that the government of Yemen does not legitimately represent its population," Hill said.

She says rather than a military focus, the drive should be towards bringing economic and political stability to the country.

Co-author Sally Healy, also from Chatham House, says the report wanted to highlight the acute differences between Somalia and Yemen.  She says it is dangerous for security experts to lump them together.

Western policies in both countries, she says, should look at the real issues in each country.

"It should be imbedded in political settlements that make sense locally, and just giving security assistance to an ally or a friend in the region does not stabilize the situation if there are a lot of outstanding political problems yet to be resolved," Healy said.

A new prime minister has recently been appointed in Somalia.  Since the current government was formed in 2004, it has had two presidents and three prime ministers.  Rebel groups control much of the south and center of the country.

The report says Washington is arming, training, and funding local proxies in Yemen in order to combat terrorism.  It says Washington channels its support for the transitional government in Somalia through the African peacekeeping force.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid