News / Africa

US Vows to Continue Counter-terror Efforts Following Hostage Crisis in Algeria

The United States has condemned the terrorist attack on an Algerian gas facility by an al-Qaida-linked group, and its seizing of foreign hostages, including Americans.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the attack demonstrates the challenge in confronting extremist groups.  
 
Secretary Clinton addressed the deadly situation in Algeria during a media appearance with the visiting Somali president.
 
The White House earlier condemned the attack on the Algerian gas facility by an apparent al-Qaida affiliate, which said it was retaliating for Algerian cooperation with French military operations in Mali.
 
Secretary of State Clinton said, "This incident will be resolved, we hope with a minimum loss of life, but when you deal with these relentless terrorists, life is not in any way precious to them.  But when this incident is finally over we know we face a continuing, ongoing problem."
 
Referring to the situation in Mali, Clinton said the U.S. will do everything it can to work with partners in North Africa to confront and disrupt al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
 
In Mali, she said this includes support for French troops, and help for African troops being sent in, including pre-deployment training and sustainment packages.
 
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Algerian officials, including Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal who Secretary Clinton spoke with, agreed to keep all channels of communication open.
 
At the White House, Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama is being regularly updated by his national security team.
 
Carney declined to say whether the U.S. offered assistance to Algeria in a reported rescue mission, or whether the Algerian government consulted with the United States beforehand.
 
He addressed reports about potential loss of life.
 
"Unfortunately the best information we have at this time, as I said, indicates that U.S. citizens are among the hostages but we don't have at this point more details to provide to you.  We are certainly concerned about reports of loss of life and are seeking clarity from the government of Algeria," he said. 
 
An unknown number of the hostages are reported to have been killed.  Carney said the U.S. has not been able to confirm or rebut reports about links between the terrorist group in Algeria and al-Qaida, but said finding out who is responsible is a priority.
 
He said the U.S. and allies are vigorous in ongoing efforts against al-Qaida affiliates, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  Calling them a multi-headed beast, he said they pose threats to U.S. interests in the region.
 
John Campbell, senior fellow for Africa policy studies, Council on Foreign Relations, says counter-terrorism challenge now requires unified efforts against fragmented groups that may be linked to al-Qaida. 
 
"Basic to the administration's strategy has been 'African solutions to African problems.'  And what that has meant is developing the capacity of African nations to protect themselves against criminal and terrorist networks," he said. 
 
In her remarks Thursday, Secretary Clinton called counter-terrorism efforts in the region difficult but essential work, involving remote locations.  
 
Standing next to Somalia's new president, she said the U.S. will remain committed to the ongoing work of countering violent extremism, just as it was to trying to stabilize the situation in Somalia. 

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs