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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs