News / Africa

US Sending Spy Drones From Ethiopia into Somalia

African Union peacekeepers are seen in the Deynile district of the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, October 20, 2011.
African Union peacekeepers are seen in the Deynile district of the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, October 20, 2011.

U.S. officials have acknowledged they are sending drone aircraft from Ethiopia to conduct surveillance in Somalia, but say it has nothing to do with Kenya's ongoing military operation there. Kenya has vowed to continue fighting until it has curtailed the activities of the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

U.S. military officials say they have begun launching drone aircraft over Somalia from a position in southern Ethiopia. Officials say the drones, piloted by remote control, are only for surveillance and not for airstrikes.

A U.S. military spokesman, Lieutenant Commander James Stockman, told VOA in an e-mailed statement that 'there is no relationship between the aircraft operations in Ethiopia and the Kenyan operation in Somalia." He said there are no U.S. military bases in Africa, except in Djibouti, and that a “limited number of personnel” are working on the Ethiopian program.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia two weeks ago in pursuit of al-Shabab militants blamed for several kidnappings and attacks across the border in Kenya in recent months.

Asked in a Twitter conversation whether Kenya is receiving any intelligence from the U.S. drone program, Kenyan military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir replied, "Intelligence sharing between states happen[s] normally everyday, nothing has been enhanced from the normal."

The Kenyan Army has given no timeframe for its military operation in Somalia, as troops push toward al-Shabab's seaside stronghold of Kismayo.

"Kenya has no plans or intentions to stay in Somalia an hour beyond necessary," said Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua. Once our objective is met as per the framework of AU and IGAD, Kenyan troops will withdraw and leave the security operations to AU troops and TFG troops."

While Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, or TFG, has provided troops for the operation, so far, AU forces, known as AMISOM, have stuck to their peacekeeping mission in the capital Mogadishu.

AMISOM spokesman Paddy Akunda says there are currently no plans to provide support for Kenya's mission.

"No we are not involved with the Kenyan incursion down south, we understand their security concerns. It's a Kenyan affair. It's between the Kenyan government and the TFG," said Akunda.

Asked if AMISOM had any plans to join the Kenyan operation at a later point, Akunda said we will "cross that bridge when we get there."

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid