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US Military Begins New Command Structure for Africa

The U.S. Defense Department starts its new Africa command Monday.

The restructured command for the region is known as AFRICOM.

The U.S. military says the reorganization will help with the distribution of aid and training on the continent, and coordinate activities in the fight against terrorism.

Many African countries are opposed to the new U.S. military structure. They say the Pentagon has not fully explained the new command, which had been split among three other U.S. regional commands.

Some critics, like South Africa, have expressed fear the new system will lead to more meddling and possible military intervention.

Many Africans have voiced concern the change will expand America's military presence on the continent. But the U.S. says there will be no new military bases.

The new commander of AFRICOM, General William Ward, says the new structure will improve security in Africa.

Most of Africa has been under the European Command (EUCOM). AFRICOM also assumes control of the Horn of Africa that was under U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and the islands of Madagascar and Mauritius that fell under the Pacific Command (PACOM).

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.