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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid