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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  May 12, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT

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fighter element that had traveled to somalia, including american citizens. so that's been a focus. and the concern is that al shabaab, representing an al qaeda affiliate, does also advance -- attempt to advance the al qaeda agenda. similarly with boko haram recently there's been an affiliation with islamic state. so that gives us great concern to look at the group to determine whether or not they will because of that affiliation begin to change their focus toward more targeting of international interests, western interests, or even externally. >> okay. i'm going to save the rest of my time for interjections. ranking member cardin. >> well, thank you. and i thank all of our panelists for their incredible work in a very challenging assignment. and as i said in my opening statement, as the chairman said in the opening statement, there's no simple solution to the violence that's taking place, the terrorism that's taking place. and clearly, we need a security response, including direct
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support against terrorism. so i strongly support that. but as you each pointed out, the recruitment of terrorists is because there's a void, and there are individuals who feel that they have no other choice and they're prime for recruitment. so my concern is, are we giving countries a free pass who are our partners in our counterterrorism campaigns on human rights and poor governance? i say that, and i give you many examples. in ethiopia, they just had a parliamentary election. not a single opposition leader, the person was elected. we've seen the security forces there who have killed hundreds of protesters. in chad we have a dozen military officers who have been arrested because they wouldn't vote for the president. in somalia we have a report in yesterday's "washington post"
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that they're using children for spies. we've had extrajudicial killings by the military in nigeria and kenya. and yet, i don't see a response by the america, u.s., in regards to these activities. am i wrong? are we giving them a free pass? should we be giving them a free pass? >> thank you for that question, senator. in every single one of the cases you mentioned, we condemn human rights abuses. we regularly condemn those ab e abuses by security forces and by governments. and we make clear to these governments that this is a core value for the united states. at the same time, we are committed to firmly working with our partners to address efforts to defeat terrorism. we can't draw a line and say we're not going to work with you
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on terrorism because of human rights violations, but we reinforce with these governments on a regular basis that they must respect human rights and civil liberties and -- >> how do you do that? how do you reinforce that they must? >> we start with a diplomatic discussion. so in the case of ethiopia, we had intense discussions with that government over the past year. and you may know that as a result of those discussions, we are having a human rights dialogue being led by our assistant secretary for human rights, tom melinowski with the ethiopians. it's a challenge. we don't always get our messages through to them, but they are hearing that these are concerns. and in many cases, they are upset that we are expressing concerns about human rights -- >> could you share with me and this committee the specific methods you've used to transmit
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your concerns on human rights violations and the lack of democratic progress? i'd be interested. i mean, i see the strong voice of the united states on counterterrorism issues, which i expect to see and want to continue to see. i have not seen the same degree of effort and energy in regards to concerns on the poor governance and violations of human rights. >> well, first of all, we start with our embassies, with our ambassadors, engaging with governments and embassies -- >> that's quiet usually. >> sometimes it's quiet and sometimes our ambassadors don't get meetings because they're not quiet. they're very, very public in their expression of concerns. it also occurs through meetings that i have on a regular basis with heads of states. it's at the top of the agenda.
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they push back. they say we don't respect them as partners because we're raising human rights concerns, we don't understand the situation in their countries. and my response has always been, please understand, this is a core value for us. we also work with their militaries in terms of providing human rights training. we fund those directly. with do leahy vetting on a number of countries, in fact, all countries that we are involved in doing any military training with. and there's been some countries where we've had to make the hard decision not to work with their military and their security services because they have committed human rights. >> fy '13 to '15, the security assistance budgets for africa have gone up from $500 million to $1 billion. the democracy in governance has fallen during that period of time. i would think that democracy and governance is a clear indication
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of our commitment on a good governance and human rights. there is certainly a shortage of funds. there is no question about that. i would like to see a larger pie for our global efforts on all these areas. as i understand it, a large amount of the decisions as to how those funds are allocated are based upon who is the most effective in advocating for need. have we been ineffective in advocating for democracy and governance? >> i would like to say no, because it is the top of my agenda. >> but why has there been decline in those funds? >> i have to say i'm not an appropriator. if i were an appropriator, i'd be giving the money to democracy and governance -- >> a lot of this is a complicitous operation by people at the state department and the appropriators. >> from the africa bureau standpoint, senator, you're
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speaking to the choir. i don't have enough resources on democracy and governance, and i think usaid will agree with me on that. we could use more resources in that area. know that putting money toward democracy and governance, putting money toward good elections, putting money toward building the capacity of civil society contributes to making countries more stable and respect for human rights, and we make strong cases from our standpoint to support democracy funding so that we have that funding to implement those programs. >> i would just urge you to do this in a way that is visible to those of us who support your efforts. because quite frankly, we don't see that. we're sending our own messages as loudly as we can, including at this hearing, that we want to see greater funds for democracy and governance. but if we don't get the feedback from what is happening in the
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missions, in the department, it makes our job much more difficult. it looks like that countries are getting a free pass, as long as they are on our coalition team. what they do within their own country is of little importance to our foreign policy mission, which as you're telling me, it's just the opposite. so showing that, not just by a quiet diplomatic contact but by how we are making that point would certainly, i think, help us in accomplishing our mutual desire for good governance. >> good. thank you. >> thank you. >> senator isakson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. can anybody tell me what happened to joseph koenig? >> he's still out there. there has been a strong and proactive effort against the lra. we've been working with the au and with the ugandans and other partners. and we were able to get his number two, who is now currently
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in the hague being tried. but coney has been elusive. but our efforts continue very robustly to get him, and the job is not over until that is done. >> and one time we committed 100 special troops and forces to c.a.r., i believe to go after coney. are they still deployed? >> i believe they are. i can't give you the exact numbers, but i did meet with the team when i was in uganda the last time and they are still working there. >> although not recognized as an institutional terrorist, there's probably no worse terrorist than joseph coney in terms of children and women. i'm glad we're still committed to trying to bring him to justice, as hard as that appears to be. >> yes, sir. >> talk about the african union for just a second. does the african union address the issue of terrorism on the continent? do they have a game plan to deal with terrorism? >> we're working very closely with the african union on terrorism on the continent. it's high on their agenda. in the case of nigeria, they
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have been very much a part of the creation of the multinational joint task force in chad, and we've provided them some funding and some assistance in their efforts there. it is the mission in somalia. amasom is an au mission, and it's the largest au mission on the continent of africa with troop-contributing countries from the region. so it is high on their agenda. we are partnering with them along with our european colleagues to make sure that they have the capacity and the funding to address what has been a very challenging and difficult threat for them as well as us on the continent. >> i know we use human rights issues and labor issues in the approval and participation of a goal with united states and african countries. in fact, i was in the au three years ago when we chastised swaziland for their lack of humanity to their laborers and
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used that as a predicate for them staying in the african agreement for them to stop it. are we leveraging our trade power and economics in africa particularly in regards to terrorism? >> we are. swaziland is still not a part of agoa. we regularly send letters of warnings to countries if they are not on the right side of human rights and caring for their people. and agoa is very important to them, and it's huge leverage. and in many cases, it has worked to get governments to turn policies around. and if they have not, we have kicked them out of agoa. >> i know we do on labor issues and human rights issues. do we do it on them fighting terrorism as well? >> we do, but we do understand that they have a challenge. they have a capacity challenge. but there are also all of the other challenges that i mentioned and senate yor cordon
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mentioned in his statement -- lack of governance, corruption that have limited the capacity of governments to fight terrorism. but i think they all have come to understand that if they don't fight terrorism, they're not going to be around to do anything else. so they have come to that very strong realization that they have to partner with their neighbors as well as with the international community to ensure that terrorists don't take over their countries. >> china invested a lot of money for its own benefit in africa. it extracts a lot of rare earth minerals and raw materials and things of that nature and builds roads and highways. do we ever engage with the chinese on the issue of terrorism on the continent of africa to try to get them in some way to help us or help the continent to fight it? >> we do. i was in china about four weeks ago for our annual consultation with the chinese, and that was on our agenda. usaid was there recently as well on consultations to look at how
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we can better coordinate with the chinese on what they are doing in africa, both economically as well as politically. >> my experience is that terrorism flourishes when there's a presence of no education, poverty and disease and lack of hope. and africa probably is the poster child for those qualifications. and the more we can do, like the electrify africa bill and the water bill that we've done here and the food security bill, the more we can uplift the african people, the better fight we can have against terrorism. would that be a fair assessment? >> i'll turn to my colleague at usaid, but i absolutely agree with you. >> i'll agree, but i'll also, you know, say that we have data that shows that this is actually the case. we see that we're -- ten years of research over all of these countries that usaid has worked in across the world has shown very clear evidence that when we see governments actually able to
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deliver services, such as energy, access to electricity, health care, education services, there is a corresponding decrease in the amount of feelings of marginalization, feelings of inclusion, and we've also seen that those countries are usually not the same ones that are correlated with conflict and instability and that it's been very clear that there's also a clear correlation between where there's the absence of the delivery of services and where people do feel marginalized and that they don't have access to opportunities that those countries are at risk of conflict, and it's very glaring. now, the links between violent extremism, that's the next step. already when you're engaged in conflict, then sort of your sympathy to sort of going that next level is not as far of a stretch. and so, we know that these are things that actually matter. we know that development is actually a very important tool in this space. >> well, just based on my observation, it appears that where we've made challenge compacts and where we've helped build the infrastructure of
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these countries there's been less of a presence of terrorism than there is in those countries where we didn't. and i think that's a good thing for us to continue to invest money, and i'm a big supporter of the million challenge grants and a big supporter of our engagement on that. thank you very much for your service, to all of you. >> thank you. i have about a minute and a half reserved. i'm just going to ask a quick question. all of us i think are really proud of the work we've done together on electrify africa, on food aid reform, on clean water, and we have other efforts that are under way. really proud of that work. and i appreciate you mentioning the benefit that is to people, mass numbers of people, millions of people. on the other hand, to bring up a topic that senator cardin alluded to, and you did a moment ago, ms. thomas-greenfield -- when we work with governments that we know are abusing their own citizens or they are corrupt, they are absolutely
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subjecting their citizens to terrible atrocities themselves, those governments, when we work with them to counter terrorism, how does that work against u.s. interests relative to causing many of the extremists there to really harbor ill will towards the u.s. itself? by seeing us associated with governments that they believe are corrupt and not treating their citizens appropriately. >> i think we have to work with governments to fight terrorism, but we also have to continue to work with these governments to address human rights deficiencies in their countries. and i think that the people of those countries want us to continue to engage. they want our voices to be heard. they know that when we're engaging with these governments that we're also raising concerns about human rights, and we have
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gotten some people released from ja jail, and we've gotten some governments to moderate their actions against their citizens. it's not a perfect solution, but i truly believe that our engagements with them help on the issues of human rights. our engagement -- i will give the example of barindi, where we believe the military there has been less active and violent against citizens because of our engagement with them, because of the human rights training that they got from our people, working closely with them. the government has been a problem, but we have seen that that military has been less of a problem than most people expected. >> briefly. yes, sir. >> just to add. in addition to what was noted earlier that all of our
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civilian-delivered assistance is subject to requirements for vetting under the leahy law, we work with governments to strengthen their rule-of-law frameworks under which they would carry out an effective counterterrorism policy. so we reject the notion that there's a conflict, inherent conflict in effective counterterrorism practice and protection of human rights and civil rights of the people. we have worked to embody that concept in what is known as the rebot memorandum, which is a document that the united states government helped to develop through the global counterterrorism forum, and this forms the basis of assistance that we deliver increasingly across the continent in cooperation with the department of justice and prosecutors that we fund from the state department to work with governments to establish strong ct legislation but that also protects the human rights of the people. so this is a major challenge in
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africa. and i would say that on the one hand you have partners who are willing and capable but need a lot more assistance to become fully capable to fight terrorism challenges, but they have weak governance and weak governance structures. and this is where we have to strengthen those structures of government so that as they conduct military-led and security-led operations to detain terrorists and to prevent terrorist attacks, they do so in a framework that enables for those people to be prosecuted and detained effectively in accordance with international human rights standards. it's a long-term effort, but we're very much engaged in that work currently. >> thank you. senator markey. >> thanks, mr. chairman, very much. i'm just going to follow up on senator corker's point, which is that while nigeria's people most need help with daunting governance and corruption
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issues, the united states is planning to sell the government attack aircraft known as the a-29 super takano to nigeria. and it would be to fight boko haram, a group everyone opposes. but the nigerian military has a longstanding history of human rights abuses, including under the current administration. just last month, amnesty international accused of nigerian army of killing hundreds of members of the shia minority sect in december. and unfortunately, that's happening in other countries in east africa as well. so what is your perspective on that, given the fact that the people of nigeria increasingly are seeing u.s. aid move from humanitarian or anticorruption efforts over to more military aid for those who they believe internally are the ones who are greater risk to the security of
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their families? >> our aid is not moving away from corruption. the new president of nigeria has made clear that corruption is one of his highest priorities. he named three priorities when he came in to power. that was dealing with boko haram, dealing with corruption and dealing with the economy. and we are working very, very closely with this government. in fact, the secretary is in london at a meeting hosted by the uk on corruption, and president bahari is there. on the issue of assisting the nigerians in fighting boko ha m harhara haram, they have huge capacity issues. as you may know, last year we turned them down on a request to cobris because we were concerned about their ability to use those and not have them have an impact on their communities. >> let me ask the question another way. if there is no success in convincing the people of nigeria
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that their government is not corrupt, that their government is not fair, will any of this military aid ultimately create the conditions for a successful effort to defeat boko haram from the inside of the country? will we ever be successful? >> we have to be. and it has to be -- >> i know we have to be, but -- >> it has to be multifaceted. we have to do the security, but we absolutely have to do the capacity-building, the development assistance, the good governance with this government. we have to do both. we can't do one or the other or we will fail. and it will be long term. but i have to say, the nigerian people want us there to assist them on the security side as well, because they know that their government doesn't have the capacity alone. they want thus on both of those areas, not -- >> let me ask you this, nes internally, how do you think it will affect the views of the
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people inside nigeria as we increase military aid to the very people who they fear are using it to harm them, harm the shia inside the country, for example, the government forces themselves? how do you think that will affect how they perceive how the united states is playing inside of nigeria, and what could be the consequences of that, if that persists? >> the polls show that we are extremely popular in nigeria and that the nigerian people are victims of boko haram. and they know that there has to be some kind of security and military solution to addressing boko haram, and they want us there to help their military. and i think they think that if we're there to help, their military will be less abusive to their people. and that is a point that we've made to the nigerians. we are training two battalions of nigerian soldiers right now. they have human rights training as part of that training, and
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all of them have been leahy vetted to ensure. so we're working with the government to moderate and stop human rights abuses by the military. but on the security side, i think the nigerian people who are victims of boko haram also want to see us help their military address the security threat that they are facing. >> okay, well, i just think we are on a thin edge here. we just have to be very careful, especially if the government does not control adequately its own military internally, the harm that it does to the overall morale inside the country, makes it much more difficult to ultimately combat boko haram, so i just think it's important for us to keep an eye on that. and in congo there is significant political tension because the president is trying to prolong his stay in power beyond the constitutional two-term limit. his security agents are harassing opposition politicians
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in a very serious way. mass protests of him trying to stay in office seems imminent. what is the likelihood that the protests could spark further disability, particularly if the security forces continue to crack down in response to the democratic instincts people have, as has been the case in the past? i sent a letter to secretary kerry in february suggesting that the u.s. should communicate to president kabila to publicly state his intention, to respect the constitution, to step aside at the end of his second term in december, and that if he failed to do that and made appropriate preparations for elections, then we should implement sanctions if he does not do that. in response to my letter, you seem to suggest that kabila's actions in the next few months would determine whether or not state would enact sanctions.
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and you testified to the committee much around that same time, it seems to me that the political environment is deteriorating in congo and kabila has not demonstrated an interest in preserving his democratic legacy. has the time arrived for sanctions to be imposed on the government of congo? >> thank you for that question. and yes, we are looking very, very actively at sanctions as they relate to those who are involved in violence, and we have conveyed that to kabila and his people. the secretary met with him a few weeks ago in new york, and our special envoy has been proact e proactively engaged in the region over the past few months. we are still hopeful that we can get the government of congo and president kabila to do the right thing. their constitution is very clear that his term ends in december,
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and they must have an election. and we have conveyed that to him. we are also working very closely with our other partners, with the eu, with the french and others to make sure that we're all on the same sheet of music on that issue. >> yeah. the election is scheduled for the end of this year. it's only may. there's plenty of time to set up an election. right now they're talking about the end of 2017 as the earliest. that would be a clear violation of the constitution. >> absolutely. >> i hope that we make it very clear to him that we will not accept that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senate y senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to all of you for being here today and for your ongoing work. can you talk about the importance of women's empowerment in contributing to development in africa and what we're doing, what you would
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identify as the best examples of successful programs? >> so, i love that question. i think that we increasingly, especially in talking about conflict and instability, need to talk about the role of women in peace and security. in fact, that is an actual u.s. government policy, which is entitled "u.s. women peace and security strategy," which talks about the fact that women are critical agents of not only as victims but also as agents of change when we're talking about instability and conflict but also violent extremism. our programming runs the gamete, depending on what the situation or scenario is in areas where they are vulnerable communities or where we see they don't have a lot of access to legal recourse, economic opportunities, and they often are coerced or used as instruments of terror or violence or suffer from
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gender-based violence. we seek to figure out ways of empowering local women, communities, allowing them training, work through economic empowerment, access to education, which is another sort of critical element we're seeing. when women have access to education and when girls have access to education, we've seen child marriage rates have fallen, and their susceptibility to feelings of acceptance with violent extremist groups also decreases. so again, we think it's very important to target women and girls in these environments because we've also seen that not only are they able to make a critical difference in their own lives, but they're also critical agents of change in the rest of their communities. >> and i don't know whether you or, is it mr. siberell? want to address this. but can you also talk about how the efforts to recruit people to terrori terrorism, to isil, to boko
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haram, how the difference that we're seeing between the ability to recruit men and women? i know there's been an increasing effort to use women as suicide bombers, but can you talk a little bit about what we see about who's easier to recruit? >> well, i think for most of the groups, the emphasis continues to be on recruiting young men, but in the case of boko haram, of course, notoriously, they have used girls in suicide bombing operations, which is absolutely despicable. some of those are obviously coerced into that activity. i would just build on something my colleague just noted about the role of women in particular in identifying the seeds of radicalization. women play a critical role in most communities in being close to the people and having an ability to understand whether or
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not there are influences coming into the community that could lead to a process of radicalization and recruitment into terrorist groups. so this is one of the areas that we would like to develop in our cve programming. we have a program that has been under way in nigeria through u.s. institute of peace in which they are developing a network of influential women, women who already have a role in society, to bring them together into a network and to train those women on observing and understanding whether there may be signs of radicalization. and these are the kinds of programs i think that will be very important as we get down to the community level and address the drivers to radicalization to violence. >> one of the things that we've heard about the success of isil has been their ability to recruit people to a caliphate, the idea of the caliphate is very important. are we seeing that same kind of interest in africa in terms of the messaging to try and
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recruit? >> the numbers coming out of africa that we are aware of in terms of foreign terrorist fighters, those that have actually been inspired to travel or to attempt to travel to syria and iraq are much lower than for other parts of the world, whether it be north africa, the maghreb countries, even european states, the caucusis and even into southeast asia, the numbers are higher. but that said, there is evidence of some african -- recruitment among africans into isil. and their propaganda is very shred in identifying and using recruits that will come from those groups and appealing to those individuals to join the caliphate or come to iraq and syria. of course, isil has been attempting to infiltrate into other areas of the continent, in particular in somalia, and there is evidence of a struggle and, basically, a conflict internally between al shabaab and elements that had sought to adhere or to
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affiliate with isil. they haven't seemed to have the success there, but it does identify that this is an ongoing concern we have to watch very closely. >> and is the cost of getting to syria, to iraq part of the challenge with recruitment, or is it other -- is it the messaging that's the issue? >> i think there are probably a lot of factors. that would be one. you know, one of the things that has made this conflict in iraq and syria such a threat to all of us is the relative accessibility of the conflict to people in europe or in north africa. to fly to turkey, as an example, you can get into syria quite easily, and that's been the historical route. i think it's harder for people in sub-saharan africa to make those connections and to get up. it costs more, so it is more difficult logistically to do that. >> of the estimated 60 million refugees in the world today, i understand that about 15 million are in sub-saharan africa.
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i assume, but maybe i shouldn't, that terrorism and instability are driving those migration flows. can you also -- can you talk about that and also talk about the extent to which climate change is playing a role in the migrations that we're seeing in sub-saharan africa? >> sure. i think we see that the horn of africa and the sahel, not surprisingly, are huge areas of where we are seeing the largest numbers of refugee movements right now. and i'll just say internally displaced persons as well, because even though people aren't necessarily leaving their borders, they're definitely moving out. when we see the uptick in instability in somalia, for instance, we are even seeing people willing to get on boats to go across to yemen, which we know hasn't been secure at all. a lot of that is because people know that they're not secure or safe. and when we do our surveys, we've seen time after time that when people don't feel secure
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and safe, they will move across borders. they also move across borders when not only they don't feel secure and safe, but they don't feel that there is any opportunity for them to exist on their own in the country of origin. so we've seen situations where even when insecurity is paramount, such as in the democratic republic of congo, where we see large refugee movements, what often causes people to move across borders and move further is when markets start closing down or there's not an ability to make a living. so you've got dynamic populations in those countries that in a sad way are used to coping and dealing with instability in very creative ways. but the concurrent pressures of instability and the lack of opportunity are what are pushing them to move further afield. >> so then climate change is a big contributor. >> and climate change, sorry, is a big contributor in both. we've seen the el nino effect right now, drought in ethiopia, kenya and somalia is definitely
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a big factor. in 2011 we know that the famine was partially caused by drought, mostly caused by al shabaab cutting off access to food. it was a big reason that people had to cross borders, and we saw the largest migration of somalis. it's put pressure on neighboring countries, such as kenya and south sudan, even sudan and ethiopia, and we're seeing that those pressures are increasing local tensions. in the sahel, we see very much the same story, recurrent drought and problems of the stability to have accessible land has caused people to move to urban centers. again, with the lack of opportunity with some of these centers, we're seeing increased radicalization as well. >> thank you. thank you. >> senator rubio. >> thank you very much. let me just begin, this is a question of ms. greenfield, secretary greenfield. would you describe boko haram as an anti-christian terrorist
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group whose main motivation is to rid the country of terrorism? in 2014, their leader said "this is a war against christians and their democracy and constitution. our law says we should finish them when we get them." >> i would say they're more than that. i think that is part of their ideology, but they've killed more muslims in the north than they have killed christians. they are a terrorist organization and they have no boundaries. >> would you support designating nigeria as a country of particular concern for religious freedom? >> i would not designate nigeria as a country because we have huge, huge and very active christian populations in nigeria throughout the southern parts of nigeria into the main belt and even into northern nigeria, and we have a huge muslim population there as well. so both communities, until boko
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haram, were able to live together and work together harmoniously. and i think that that can continue once boko haram is brought into justice. >> now, from usaid, what programs exist to assist the victims of boko haram, in particular the psychological programs for women and girls who have been victims of sexual violence? >> i think you put the nail on the head. we have comprehensive program right now that is in design to really target the northeast of nigeria and looking at the victims of boko haram. we are working with communities right now, because as we've seen, when people who are leaving boko haram or who have been the victims of boko haram return to their communities, sometimes they suffer from a second wave of victimization. and so, we're working to educate communities -- >> in terms of like stigma? >> stigma, and it's been
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heartbreaking, actually. and so, we're working to educate communities as to what it actually means, what people suffer, what they go through, and the fact that they can still be productive members of communities and societies. we also offer psychosocial support and care. a number of the chibat girls that we returned home are receiving that care right now. we also are making sure we are working with local clinics and medical providers to train them in the right techniques. and then we are also working with community influence-makers, religious leaders, so that there is a message that can be amplified through various channe channels, that there is recovery that's possible. where possible, we're restarting basic social services, such as education. we're putting more money into emergency education in the north and we're hoping that where we
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can, we can increase access, and we're also providing assistance to those who are internally displaced through basic humanitarian assistance, supervision of food and health care. >> with all this instability in sub-saharan africa, how's it affected your ability to implement programs? for example, have there been any programs that have been suspended due to security concerns? >> i mean, in -- throughout sub-saharan africa when we work in unstable environments, we have programs that have to exercise flexibility. and so, we have multiple times suspended and restarted programs. and i think our model of working in these climates has to be based on this idea of really developing longstanding, long-term, long-visioning networks with these communities so that when insecurity prevents us from moving into an area for a period of time, we have through our networks and through understandings of local people on the ground and our staff who
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often are from the regions and speak the local languages, they understand when we can come back and they also understand how we can still have access and figure out creative ways of providing assistance to those intended beneficiaries. and so, again, i would really emphasize the flexibility of the programs, understanding that it's not sometimes always a continuous flow of programming without stops and starts, especially in areas where there's a lot of -- >> that has to be highly disruptive. for example, if you're assisting a victim of sexual violence, and in the middle of that program that we're offering security concerns require us to eliminate people from that setting and then it's suspended and then restarted. is this a commonplace problem, the stops and starts because of the security environment? >> so, it's not that the program will stop entirely. usually what we try to do is we have a combination of working through local implementing partners. and so, a lot of times what
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happens is we've managed to train the trainers so that they still receive some types of support even as maybe international ngos or some of our own staff will have to pull back. and so, we try to layer on different types of interventions to ensure that we have creative ways of making sure that we are able to reach the beneficiaries, but it is disruptive. and when in extreme cases where we have to completely not be in a particular area for some time, of course these are hugely disruptive. what we've found, though, is that over time, when it's been for sustained periods of time such as that, in most of the places we work in in sub-saharan africa, the population's also moving as well. >> on the counterterror front, there's been rumors that the leader of boko haram is perhaps fighting in syria with isil. could you shed any light on that? i've seen some open source reports about that. >> i have not seen that. he periodically appears in videos that are distributed and
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that we are aware of. and one of the things that we've noted is of the -- and watched for -- is after the affiliation of boko haram with the islamic state, whether there was any difference in the quality of their media output, which is usually an indicator of an actual strong link. we've seen a little bit of that, but i have not heard or i don't know that there's any reporting that i've seen that he is actually in syria. >> are there any countries that you're particularly concerned about in terms of recruiting i.s. fighters? and how significantly do you assess the threat of more and more fighters flowing out of east africa to be? >> yes, we're quite concerned about isil or daesh, islamic state's attempts to infiltrate and affiliate with existing insurgencies or terrorist organizations. we know that they have been attempting to move into somalia. shabaab itself has recognized this as a threat and there's
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been sort of a fierce struggle internally to hold off isil. but that then raises the possibility that they will look at other, you know, somali communities in the region to include kenya elsewhere. so this is something that we are very concerned with and we know that isil will have -- will want to continue to build its network of affiliates, so we have to remain atune to that. libya is a major isil affiliate and there is always a threat that the connections might be made from libya throughout the region, and we're watching that very closely as well. as for individuals traveling to the conflict, as you noted a minute ago, there has been some incidents of that, but the numbers from sub-saharan africa generally speaking are low compared to numbers of foreign fighters from europe from north africa, from the caucusis, from southeast asia in comparative terms. >> thank you.
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senate y senator. >> thank you for being here today. chairman corker, you opened with a provocative question, which is given some of the statistics and the deaths, why is there less focus generally in the media, in the public sphere about some of these challenges in africa and elsewhere. the sfrc staff asked the africa center for strategic studies at the national defense university to prepare some material for the hearing, and there's a really good one-pager on the number of fatalities that have been experienced in africa, and i just would like to introduce it for the record because -- >> absolutely. it didn't seem to provoke much, but it was meant to be provocative. >> but it bears out your point exactly. and one of the reasons i really admire my colleagues on the committee is that there are many on this committee who spent a lot of time in africa, and noncommittee members, too, in the senate spent a lot of time on it. and hearings like this are really helpful. just a thought on this. i don't have to be dproemtic because i'm not a diplomat. on the question of the
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differential in attention. you've got to acknowledge that race -- we have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if race is part of the reason. because if we look backward at our own history, often things get explained in retrospect and race is part of the reason. i mean, we put japanese americans in internment camps, not german americans. what explained the difference? german americans looked kind of more european like the powers that be than japanese americans did. there's a school of thought that explains the differential action of the united states in the '90s in terms of intervening dramatically to stop genocide in the balkans but not intervening dramatically to stop genocide in rwanda, and kind of, well, why did we intervene one and not the other? and some of the answer to that isn't too pleasant. so, i think that part of the reason to have a hearing like this and part of the reason i applaud my colleagues who spend
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a lot of time in africa is we have to as leaders kind of challenge, and in some ways, it's kind of a media portrayal, too, that you know, terrorist attacks in cohad aren't worthy f the attacks in brussels or paris, and even those in ankara and istanbul and the sinai don't get as much attention. so, all of these are important, and having a hearing like this tries to put it on an equal scale and not suggest that some lives are worth less than others. i think there are some other reasons. the middle east, we've needed something. we've needed oil. and so, that has probably made us more focused on the middle east, and we haven't focused as much on africa because maybe we didn't perceive that we needed something as much. but also -- and again, this is a good reason to have a hearing like this -- our foreign policy as a nation has just had an east-west axis that's been undeniable. we've cared about europe, we've cared about the middle east,
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we've cared about the soviet union, now russia, we've cared about china. but if you look at the diplomatic effort that focuses south of the equator in africa and the americas, it's just been less. and so, that's something that's good about a hearing like this. i wanted to ask a question. i'm actually going to make you do homework for me, because we're writing the defense authorizing bill this week and i'm on armed services. and we're going to grapple with some issues, and especially some issues dealing with africom. africom is an interesting regional command on the military side because probably more than any of the other co coms, it really integrates cross-disciplinary -- military, diplomatic, usaid, in trying to deal with challenges in africa. and i'm just -- as folks who aren't part of the dod, talk to me about your perceptions of africom. the one proposal is to fold africom back in to ucom and not have there be a specific
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africom. i'm curious as to your thoughts on that. second, talk to me about the efficacy, following up on senator markey's questions, less about the arms sales, but about the training and exercises we do with african militaries. i know many of our u.s. ambassadors ask through africom that we devote, you know, marine units and other units into africa to do training on counterterrorism, counterpoaching, counter human trafficking to build capacity. in your view as professionals in this area, how successful are those training efforts that we do with african security forces? >> i'll start and then i'll turn to my colleagues. i hope that africom is not folded back into ucom, because what africom has meant for us is that we have a military that is more focused on africa and has over the years become more understanding of africa, and they have become a great partner for us. and we very much appreciate that
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partnership with africom and with the military. as a member of the authorizers for armed services, that's auth that's an area where we do have concerns. those concerns are as their authorizes are being considered, they're crossing some lines into the areas of diplomacy and development and those are authorizations that we would like to keep and where we feel we have better skills, we have better skillsets to carry out those responsibilities, particularly in the area of community development, in areas of working on governance. some of those authorizations need to be guarded for the state department and for usaid and we have raised concerns there.
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but in terms of our relationships with africom i think they're better than at any time when we were working with cincom. i think we have areas of disagreement and we have been able to established communications and i think we've had positive impact on the ra . region. with all the thraining they hav with the african military they have civil rights training and i think they have paid dividends for us and we have been able to use the relationships that the military has used with the military counterparts to get messages through to those militaries. in terms of lethal weapons, we
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looked very closely as what we are providing and as i mentioned to senator markey when nigeria asked for cobras last year we did not think those would be appropriate and the impact they would have on the communities and we said no. we think these are a better piece of equipment. we can train them on how to use this equipment effectively and not have a negative impact on communities and on civilians. so we're working very closely with them to address those concerns to make sure that they don't have the negative impact. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator markey is the ranking member on africa.
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>> we couldn't work that out. thank you. go ahead. >> mr. chairman, and the ranking member, i want to thank you both for convening this hearing and your great engagement on this topic today and we've all enjoyed a chance to work over many years together. just two opening statistics. i do think you reminded all of us that there are positives and negatives to the security situation in africa. as some of you know i host an africa opportunity every year. africa is a continent of 54 countries. the world bank says seven out of 10 of the fastest growing economies in the world and eight out of ten of the peace keeping operations are in the continent. we should remained focussed on engaging with extremism on the
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dmoent and recognizing the significant growth opportunities to reinforce our values and to work together with our many allies and partners. i also want to thank the countless dedicated foreign service officers and civil service at the state department who work so hard to promote our interests in africa as well as those in dod and law enforcement who do so much in terms of training and outreach. it's always to me interesting how hard they work and i'm impressed with their determination and drive while working in difficult and dangerous and remote conditions. let me ask this panel, what lessons we've learned from fighting terrorism in africa. we've got in front of us just broadly speaking three case studies with a focus on mali in the region with a focus on
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nigeria and we have very different levels of u.s. edge gau engagement and challenges present by somalia that was a completely failed state but there's a military interest where we've played a significant role and they've made substantial success. in the region where we are expanding less in money, but ba it should get and deserve higher attention and priority. the united states gets more oil from the continent of africa than we do from the middle east. so if it was merely about resource prioritization we long ago would have put africa at the top of our list and i'm concerned that we are allowing others to become dominant players in africa and we are
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lagging. last we've really predominantly left the hard work to the mission and the u.n. and the french. these are different responses, but in all three there are no significant u.s. troop deployments. we may be central to the activity in somalia and nigeria but it's a different scenario than we've seen in iraq and currently in syria. so where we're getting the best bang for our buck and making the best progress in terms of our values and security and what role does this play in the work. if you would in series, what's the strategic framework for making progress? >> i'll start and then i'll turn to my colleagues. i think you asked early what lessons we have learned and i think the most valuable lesson we've learned is this has to be multi faceted. it cannot be focussed on
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security and military. we have to bring in the civilian agencies and we also have learned we can't own it. we have to build the capacity of local organizations, local military, local security services, local civil society. we have to build their capacity to own it and we have to be supportive of them. third i think we've learned that we have to partner so in the case of mali, we have been extraordinarily proactive, but we're not in the lead. we have been involved in the peace negotiations. our military has been extraordinarily supportive of the french effort there. there have been so many problems across the con netinent and we e to spread ourselves thin and we
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have looked for partners to make sure we're having impact on the situation. finally, this has been said in the room by everyone, we have to be concerned about human rights. we have to ensure that these governments understand that human rights are important for us and as i've said before it's a core value and they expect to hear from us on human rights issues. if we don't raise human rights i think every one of them would be in shock. so we generally start out in that area with all of these governments. >> if i might interrupt before we continue, we had an exchange earlier about the prioritization where the senator said we are both appropriatorappropriators. we are under funding democracy and governance dramatically and
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that's something i've made in my request this year because we send the wrong message and i appreciate senator markey raising concerns about drc and their shrinking space for elections. if we don't fund our values and our values are around democracy and space for opposition parties and journalists they draw conclusions. please if you would. >> sure. i know very quickly what else is that core lessons learned, partnership, partnership, partnership, whether it's through other donors and partners, but also bringing in the private sector. africa is also a continent of opportunities and we have a diverse set of partners that are interested in stability and stablization. they can be the drivers that help us fuel and fund these economic opportunities that we're talking about for young people for actually making the case of host governments of why inclusion policies are
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important, to make sure they're working with us to be sure that the international norms are seen as something that's an imposition from a western government but something that's a standard to which everybody should aspire to. so i think we have a lot of opportunities here through partnering with governments and the private sector and local communities, making sure we are touching with people on the ground. >> i agree with you. the senator raised the mcc. i was pleased that because of electoral irregularities and failure to address corruption suffered a really unwelcome setback for them and this week the world economic forum is in kadaly and the administration is sending an embassor. if you would. might i have the time to conclude? thank you. >>


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