News / Africa

US Denies Direct Military Aid to Somali Transitional Authorities

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson (File Photo)
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson (File Photo)

The U.S. State Department's chief Africa diplomat said Friday the United State is not providing direct military aid to Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, the TFG. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson also told reporters the military position of the TFG is not as precarious as depicted in most news reports.

The United States has acknowledged giving military advice and in the past brokering delivery of some weapons to the transitional authorities, while also providing training and logistical support for African Union peacekeepers in Somalia.

But Assistant Secretary Carson says the United States has no military advisors or troops on the ground in Somalia and does not want to Americanize the long-running conflict there.

Carson spoke to reporters at the State Department with the aim, he said, of refuting recent press reports - including an account by the New York Times - that covert U.S. forces may stage air strikes or otherwise become directly involved in helping the TFG in a planned offensive against Islamic insurgents. "The United States does not plan, does not direct, and does not coordinate the military operations of the TFG and we have not and will not be providing direct support for any potential military offensives. Further we are no providing, or paying for military advisers for the TFG. There is no desire to Americanize the conflict in Somalia," he said.

Fighting in the Somali capital Mogadishu has increased in recent days with insurgent fighters of the al-Shabab militia, said to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, fighting government troops and African peacekeepers near the national palace.

The transitional administration of President Sheikh Ahmed Sharif is frequently described in news reports as controlling only a small area of the capital, but Carson said the tenacity of the TFG has long been understated. "I think the TFG has demonstrated an enormous capacity to survive. When Sheikh Sharif took office as the head of the TFG approximately 16 months ago, there were individuals who predicted that his government would fall within a matter of months and that he would not be able to reside and govern from Mogadishu. That has not been true," he said.

At the same time, Carson said the long-term solution in Somalia is political not military, and that the TFG needs to widen its base to include major clans and sub-clans, along with Islamic moderates who want peace and denounce Al-Shabab.

The senior U.S. diplomat said a United Nations report this week that as much of half of the international food aid delivered to Somalia is being diverted to Islamist militants and others is a troubling allegation, but that the United States is still studying the document.

Officials say annual U.S. food aid contributions to Somalia are about $150 million a year, and that a similar amount goes to support the Ugandan-led African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM, formed in 2007.

Carson said direct U.S. aid to the TFG last year was about $12 million. He urged African states with an interest in regional stability to step up and contribute forces to AMISOM, which has never reached its authorized strength of 8,000 troops.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid