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tv   Hearing on U.S. Policy in Africa - Part 1  CSPAN  January 7, 2022 7:26am-7:44am EST

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download the apps for free today. >> look at conflict in africa with officials from the state department and us agency for international development. the need to work with partner nations. >> africa, global health and global human rights will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare recess of the subcommittee at any point and all members will have five days to submit statements, extraneous materials and questions for the record subject to length, limitation to the rules. to insert something into the record please have your staff email the previously mentioned address, full committee staff. as a reminder to members please
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keep your video functions at all time even when not recognized by the chair. memos are responsible for mute and unyielding themselves, consistent with 965 and the accompanying regulations, staff only muted members and witnesses as appropriate when not under recognition to illuminate background noise. we have a quorum and i recognize myself for opening remarks. pursuant to notice, understanding conflict in africa. today's joined hearing entitled understanding conflict in africa is held by the subcommittee on african global health and global human rights along with the subcommittee on the middle east, north africa and global counterterrorism chaired by my colleague and friend, representative deutsche
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will be joining us a little later. i thank our witnesses for being here today. deputy assistant secretary gonzalez in the state department and assistant to the administrator robert jenkins of usaid which i look forward to hearing about the various types of conflict in africa, the effectiveness of the us government's mitigated responses to the conflict and what we are doing to prevent future ones. ranging from violent extremism, armed conflict and more traditional warfare these conflicts are very consistently require lawmakers to understand the drivers, social, economic or others, devised policy to address underlying cause and develop a framework to strengthen african governments and bilateral and multilateral response. as our witnesses highlight solutions to conflicts in africa, congress can take measures to strengthen current and future responses. my colleagues, i would like to know what more the us can do to
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resolve conflicts that are happening. for example the conflict in ethiopia. your answers will inform legislation in the future. violent extremism spurred by local and transnational actors for a variety of reasons, perceived injustice across government and society which has been on the rise since the 1990s. extremist activities in places like north africa, the sahara, nigeria, mozambique, make headlines and my colleagues and i would like to hear your thoughts as to why. although the origins and types of conflicts across africa very, they have similar results, civilian deaths, long-standing humanitarian crisis, population displacement, unnecessary suffering and regional instability. these are made more complex by
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other factors, international support over time. i'm aware the state department, usaid and dod have long-standing programming and stabilization and mitigation and prevention, to address the drivers of violent extremism in africa. i would like to hear how the us government can better cooperate with the african union and multilateral organizations to assist in peace and security efforts on the continent. as the biden administration positions itself to engage different with africa i would like our witnesses to address with the us government can do differently in our approach to conflict on the continent with the major global challenges caused by covid 19 and the situation in afghanistan. how will this change the narrative of its engagement with africa to one of mutual prosperity given complex security challenges.
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my colleague mister deutsch will go into more detail, it has effect on the country of africa, regarding conflict and stabilization. the conflicts by the taliban has lessons and we can learn from these developments, we applied to the hotspots for insecurity, and i recognize, i think he's on the floor. let me recognize chris smith, the ranking member of the subcommittee. >> thank you for your leadership. secretary gonzalez notes half of the world's armed conflict in 2020 were in africa, 15 at current count. i think chairwoman bass for convening this hearing on an important topic, understanding
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the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague africa. among the conflicts the most pressing in sub-saharan africa at present are in nigeria and ethiopia in part because of the importance these countries play on the continent. areas of conflict like the insurgents, with the ongoing conflict for the ever lurking potential for civil war in the democratic republic of the congo. focusing on nigeria and ethiopia we need to be aware cross-border and interrelated many of these conflicts are. it makes more sense to speak of regions like the horn rather than confining ourselves to lines on the map. as far as political leadership operates in jurisdictions these countries stand out and their
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potential disintegration could have outside impact on these. we are on the verge of disintegration and i am deeply concerned the state department may not fully understand why. it is an prepared for what is unfolding. the state department explained the conflict in nigeria by referencing the narrative of farmer, heard or clashes exacerbated by climate change. that narrative while containing similar to truth is nonetheless incomplete. prime response will be proposing nigeria to the brink of disintegration lies with president bobhart imac. a responsibility to protect all nigerians regardless of ethnic group or religious background. armed groups, islamists extinguish in south africa and
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it comes from have no religious extremists who target them. these could be predominately christian farmers in the middlebelt. and southwest or the southeast, shia muslims. it is the failure of president bihari to curb this, organizations such as the cattlemen's association which is pushing nigeria to the brink. to stop the incursion of well armed insurgentss and seen -- encourage it. to stop the flow of weapons, not only from the gulf states but from turkey and also inserted into all key positions
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in nigeria institutions especially military and security positions such as the national security adviser, inspector general of the police and the drug enforcement agency and minister of police affairs and chief of the army staff. this extends to other institutions as well such as the chief justice of the nigeria supreme court and his replacement by ibrahim mohammed. they marginalized other ethnic groups, and the multiethnic society pushing the country towards war and as nigeria goes so goes west africa yet our state department appears wedded to the incomplete narrative. the department of democracy, human rights and labor sets to do an "in depth" the dive study of who was committing the killings in the middlebelt in nigeria. the project was scuttled this past january.
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why was that? we will begin that probe. regarding ethiopia there has been failure by the state department to collect the atrocities, and it is multiethnic and religiously diverse nation. each major group for victims and victimizers, the state department has for the most part called out atrocities by the ethiopian government and regional enforcement on the equally reprehensible atrocities committed by the people's liberation front which precipitated the immediate conflict last november. by doing so, by painting them as victimizers, the atrocities committed against ethnic horror that happen last november the question arises, as a state department, perhaps unwittingly
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abetted the scapegoating narrative singling out one ethnic group as perpetrators of violence and impulsively absolve other ethnic groups of the same atrocity fueling additional tensions and conflict. what they should do is recognize who is committing the atrocity, who is the victim regardless of who that implicates. in contrast administrator samantha power of usaid has been evenhanded in her approach calling for a category for all who commit atrocities and recognizing victims regardless of their ethnic affiliation. it is the correct way to address that, under the forces creating division and discourse in the horn, ethiopia, somalia such as others other regimes responsible for so much suffering. there is stability, an independent area from somalia. i would like to hear comments
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how to better recognize somaliland in the global community with an eye towards a sustainable peace. i think you, and healed back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mister smith. i now see the chair of the subcommittee on middle east, north africa and global, representative deutsch is with us. they've called votes but we have a few minutes, maybe we can get the chair and ranking member. >> thanks for holding today's joint hearing and thanks to your ongoing commitment to highlighting these issues and all the issues facing africa. we will examine the conflicts across the african continent where nonstate actors have wreaked havoc. violent extremist groups like
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al qaeda and the islamic and others have been inspired and in many cases actively recruited and funded by al qaeda and isis. in the 20 years since 9/11 terror threats have metastasized, africa became fertile ground for training and recruiting. horrific human rights abuses have taken place with dire humanitarian crises have arisen in the wake of their terror. the us funded humanist arena development programs across africa the last 20 years the majority of our military has been rooted in counterterrorism operations. comparatively military -- in the years after 9/11 the us has significantly increased joint counterterrorism operations with african forces. we recall a brutal 2017 attack by the islamic state in the greater sahara that killed four us troops so where has that led us? as we decimated outside in
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afghanistan, what is the impact in africa? we've not had the same level of success assisting african partners in reclaiming territory and pushing back against these actors in a tempting to cut off support for these groups, the humanitarian crises across the continent have been impacted. this is an issue where you were focused and spend more on that in this hearing today. i do not subscribe to the us as the world's policeman the counterterrorism partnerships are vital to protecting not just our homeland but our interests and partners abroad. we must adjust we evolving threats and place the same importance on diplomatic and humanitarian missions. as we continue to see the great power competition china manifests across africa we must ensure we are dedicating the
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necessary resources to counterterrorism efforts and it may come with more strings attached for values in place in democracy and human rights, moral commitment we stand firmly behind. i think our witnesses look forward to today's discussion. >> we go to the ranking member and recess. mister wilson. >> thank you for calling this hearing to discuss conflicts and terrorism trends in africa. with a young population at the fastest growing economy in the world, no doubt of this strategic importance on the continent. progress towards stability is undermined by week government, and lack of economic opportunity. increasing external influence particularly from china and russia is undermining us security and economic
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objectives. the advocacy report strategic studies report a doubling of militant extremist groups in the year 2019, concerning and sad trend. efforts to counter isis and al qaeda networks, isis and al qaeda affiliate gained strength and legitimacy across the continent. the us must work with african partners effectively address these terrorist threats and target drivers of extremism and radicalization. appreciate the opportunity to highlight in the hearing last week the important of continued engagement with european partners and partners on the ground to combat extremism and maintain networks to advance counterterrorism objectives. by extension we must also add efforts to curtail efforts of malign actors in the region and keep civilians safe. i was glad to join chairman ted deutch in the act to come up
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with suspension today to curb the influence on russia. there is more work to be done given interests in devious investments and i look forward to hearing from our witnesses on recommendations they may have. appreciate the expertise and we appreciate that, i yield back. >> thank you very much. if my partner who is the chair, we should recess until after votes. thank you. the committee is in recess. we will be back. this hearing is back in session and i see the chair of the subcommittee is here and i believe the ranking member chris smith to be with us shortly but i want to do to go


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