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tv   Hearing on U.S. Policy in Africa - Part 2  CSPAN  January 26, 2022 4:51pm-6:08pm EST

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on the ground to combater extremism to maintain networks through advanced counterterrorism objectives.iv by extension, we must also have the efforts curtail efforts of regions and seek to keep civilians safe. i was grateful to join the bipartisan segregation act to come up with today to curb the influence by actors such as russia. there's more work to be doneeern regards to china's interest in investment and i look forward to hearing from our witnesses and any recommendations they may have. we appreciate the witnesses for their expertise and wepp appreciate chair fast and i yield back. >> thank you very much. my partner, who is the chaird agrees, i think we should recess. >> agreed.
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>> okay, thank you.ha committee is in recess, we'll be back, hearing is back in session. i see the chair of the subcommittee is here and i believe the ranking member should be with us shortly but i want to go ahead and introduce our witnesses. we appreciate you being here today and let me remind you under community rules each witness should limit their oral presentation to the written state. our first witness is deputy assistant secretary mike gonzalez who joins the bureau of african affairs in october 2020. this includes west africa and regional peace and security previously served as director os africa and state department of intelligence ande research is a
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career member of the senior foreign service served as deputy chief of mission is economic analyst the antitrust division of the u.s. department in 2009 he received a wr award for constructive for the american foreign services association. the assistant to the administrator, robert jenkins. he serves as assistant to the administrator to the bureau or conflict a stabilization. a career member of the senior executive service, previously deputy assistant administrator for the bureau for democracy conflict and humanitarian assistance director of usaid's office of transition initiative prior to joining usaid in 1998
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designed to implement the emergency relief recovery programs with seven sedan. he worked under archbishop desmond in south africa. between the churches peace and justice office township communities, i'd like to welcome our witness and you may begin.ou >> thank you so much. ranking member smith and members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to testify on conflict in africa. peace and prosperity in africa directed united states. unfortunately, almost half, 3400 conflict in 2020 on the content. beyond loss of life and livelihood, conflict is away from critical public service in the effort.
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while each conflict is different, there's a clear trend fueled by deficient governance. in some cases, weak capacity and limited resources prevent thees state in delivering the conditions for the opportunities people expect. high rates of an employment exacerbate instability and increase young people's vulnerability to extremist messaging and recruitment under the promise of a a better life. more predatory government action such as corruption, human rights abuses and favoritism or political oppression and grievances. conflict both among groups in the state by exploiting rather than serving people. government pushed community support conflict. terrorists and extremist organizations such as al qaeda and isis exploit these weaknesses inviting grievances. other external actors exacerbate conflict in africa. russian mercenary such as this group have fueled violence,
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resource exploitation and human rights abuses in syria, libya and central africa in place to expand. pthey proven the african countries are weaker, poorer and less secure while being paid handsomely in cash no longer available to benefit the public addressing conflict requires comprehensive approach, we can focus solely on security aspects of conflict because too often the symptoms of deeper dynamic. development and defense partnership to bolster capabilities, responsiveness ans credibility african institution national and local level to enhance public health to improve service delivery and economic opportunity. demonic efforts are vital to prevent the spread de-escalate conflict. our professional must engage government and societal leaders to mitigate conflict and
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provides support prevention conflict resolution and humanitarian assistance efforts. enable african partners to develop their own security everybody by pulling capacity, we promote impacts through comparatively limited investments. whether the medic engagement programs for counterterrorism partnership, state department initiatives support local level conflict prevention an early warning systems. we engage to build cohesive communities and extremism andti support government efforts to manage advisors within military elements and support community w networks to foster trust between civilians. moreover, we leveragee americans initiatives to help african partners achieve their full potential. we invest in the next generation of leaders to deliver brighter
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futures for their own country. the health system that enables government to deliver service to the people. the challenge corporation, each offer catholic investment to fuel growth and opportunity the committee for your instrumental level in creating and ensuring the success of these initiatives. we appreciate the committee's leadership addressing conflict in africa particularly for those traveling to the continent and personally engaging. your direct engagement with african partners exemplifies our approach by having a legislative element to our partnership. as i wrap up in the united states is a committed partner with african peoples, governments and institutions. we work intently across agency lines to support and enable them to stamp violence from secular
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citizens and hours and realize full potential in an increasingly interconnected ination. we are under no illusion about the challenges associated conflict with the spread of violent extremism if there are no quick fixes or magic solution, ultimately it's the responsibly of africans leaders to meet the needs and aspirations of the population and address conditions that fuel conflict. the united states is and remains committed for our african partners in these efforts and i think you and look forward to these questions. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, ranking member smith, ranking member wilson and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. no matter how you look at the problem of violent extremists in africa, the trends are going in the wrong direction. the red cross recently tallied 296 nonstate armed groups here
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in africa. more between april and june of this year than any other three-month period. i was displaced to billing people, four times as many people displaced in 2019. across this area, extremists challenge state authorities and recruit this effective youth and align themselves with al qaeda and the allowed islamic state. looking across africa, extt violence is spreading. places like cote d'ivoire are dealing with attacks from violent groups. northern mozambique grabbed headlines when insurgents claiming links with the islamic state organized attacks in the capital. mozambique illustrates important
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considerations. by attaching the islamic by attaching the islamic state and virtually guarantees international headlines that obscure is more than than it reveals there is a group of committed fighters this insurgency recruits and drives on local conditions. take away the islamic state label and you still have the exclusion. meanwhile in ethiopia we are witnessinga, just how quickly contentious politics can escalate them boil over. they are all concerned about the prospect of violence in somalia. al-shabaab is one of al qaeda's most successful and well financed the current -- only benefit to al-shabaab and it presents the most director at comerica. these conflicts and wars take a llhuman toll and that alone is enough to give us pause buffer
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with ration of violent extremist activity in africa has implications. ungoverned spaces offer violent extremist groups room to grow and to plot against western targets. success requires the right balance of development defense and diplomacy will we call the 3d's. this is how we interact an environment where armed extremist work. we need the department of defense and cannot ignore the security aspect and i've spoken with their leaders at u.s. africa command in collaboration with military dialogue. in a 2017 report on extremism in sub-saharan africa the u.n. found a majority of subjects it joined violent extremist groups bound to negative interactions
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with authorities particular with military and security forces. this is one of the dangers of the security action alone -- i firmly believe you as developments play of a role to play in preventing the further expansion of violent extremism in africa. n usada programs challenge the narrative. we know our programs marginalize communities and security forces. our programs can improve angovernance and give the opportunity opportunity and allow for freedom of expression for these programs will require the to right funds with the right flexibility and it requires authority on how and with whom- we can work for development assistance along will come up short or even the best designed program cannot stop dozens of young men on motorcycles. that's why i'm happy to be here with michael my colleague.
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it will require to paul maddock support with governments in the region. chair bass, chair deutsch i want to thank you for calling this hearing. it's notth always easy to get to these issues amid so many fires in the world. i'm optimistic that we can make progress pic in part because of the support from congress most lead the fragility act. that charge the state department the departments of defense and others to take an approach to each of these types of problems. to succeed usaid in other parts of our government will use a tool to prompt an unprecedented level of collaboration across o u.s. government to arrest the scoring threat. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much.
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chairman deutch would you like to ask questions first? >> sure, thank you. i appreciate that. i thank the witnesses and i also also -- i also set on the subcommittee and have had joined hearings on counterterrorism and countering violent extremism. the fact that now have the subcommittee has addressed this issue in recent days is they think clear indication that it's a global issue whose implications go far beyond original borders. it's critical to engage with our allies and best practices across all of our ct efforts worldwide including the biden eight administration that it expressed
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re-engaging direct diplomacy with our european allies and their west african nations so with all of that background when you made reference to the group weakening the countries target can you put the group in the context of the broader effort in our engagement with their european allies? >> thank you chair deutch to that question. that is certainly our intention and for all the wrong reasons.
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we see that they go in and exploit the environment that are vulnerable where there is aco security need. they make arad promises on what they can provide and they under deliver. countries believe that they are going toth maintain authority ad control over the security interventions and in reality we have seen time and time again that they have absolutely lost that authority. the group we see in central african republic and other places the rampant human rights violations that they are involved with and how they complicate tatters. we certainly are engaging on a very active basis. as recently as this morning conversations between myself and an envoy from the european country were discussing just this issue so we engage with our african partners directly to make sure their eyes are wide open and we engage also with
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their european and like-minded colleagues around the world to understand the challenges and applications to see how we can better collectively partner with our african partners to address the various security challenges that they face. also to put pressure on to ensurere unintended consequences and resources that are desperately needed by global population don't get distracted and gore to supporting security and not undermining it. >> i appreciate that and i want to follow up and i will ask you, you reference 296 nonstate armed groups, so following up on mr. gonzalez' comments to what extent should our threat to plug-in to multilateral mechanisms versus around direct diplomacy in the region, what is the right approach here if i can
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ask? >> thank you chair deutch. this is a problem for the entire world and it's going to be a problem that takes partnership in all aspects. last week i met virtually with my british counterparts and prior to that i met in person with my chairman counterpart with plans hopefully get together with the french as is a group looking particularly at the sahell right now. as explained this as a problem that goes across the entire continent. wythers the g5 companies are european allies whether there is the burden sharing in west africa with the french on the military side and in somalia we are hoping they can find some solutions that we issa to work together on this. obviously we have not found a solution. we think we know what works. we have to do that and ramp things up that we have a lot to teach each other and i'm hoping
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post-afghanistan the conversations i'm having with government officials from other governments people are very positive and let's assess what works and what hasn't worked and move forward together in a way that's mutually supportive and not at odds with each other. >> thank you very much. madam chair i hope we have an opportunity to look further into her efforts post-afghanistan and whether c our allies look differently coming out of that as we approach it and i want to thank you chair bass for holding this hearing and four giving us the opportunity to participate. it's really important and i so admire as you know your work in this area and to be able to work on this with you. thanks very much and i yield
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back. >> absolutely and thank you mr. chairman. i appreciated and we should do this more often. we have a lot in common and we should definitely do that. i want to follow your questions to mr. jenkins. you now as you mentioned to help that is being given in the sahell you mentioned the french and you mentioned the g5. i just wonder do we ever come together with our european partners andnd talk about how to bolster the african union because it's at some point in the future it would be nice to think when there are conflicts that they are managed by other african countries. there was a great example where the countries of ecowas intervened when a president refused to leave power and so i just want to know if that is ever a discussion that you are aware of with our uk partners? >> thank you chair bass i will
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be quick as i believe can represent gonzalez has more on this. we work with the secretary of the e-5 sahell and a lot of work directly with the african union in security helping them get a continental security strategy. also working on individual nationstates with their own strategies and you mentioned ecowas as well. we have looked to regional partners who are going to have a better idea than us. we are here to support where we can. they are the oness that should n the league because they know these issues. >> mr. gonzalez? >> thank you. i would say we absolutely coordinate with their international partners european
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and beyond in terms of collaborating on identifying ways in which we can both for african institutions and support the efforts that african institutions take the lead on. most recently in terms of ecowas and the dynamic role in supporting the dynamics in new guinea and mollie my conversations from canada to the eu friends in the uk and beyond very much focused on how can we best an optimally support them and we ask that question directly. we just don't do find the answers. we talked to her glee to the ecowas commission or the representatives of the united nations and theta african unionn how we can best support you and the collaboration and dialogue has been robust and fundamentally this is the
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biden's administrations partnership with africa working closely in court nation with african institutions. >> i hope for the day when these conflicts have been that they are dealt with and resolved. it wanted to ask you about a couple of them. one in ca are a big concern about the role of russia in the mercenaries who say they are independent and not affiliated with the russian government. if you have a comment about that and then also in terms ofol some of the violence that we see, how much of it is ideological? take mozambique for example. they don't have a history of this. how much is ideological and how much of it is the opportunist is basically when people feel they have no other alternative? would you like to respond first mr. jenkins or mr. gonzalez would you like to respond?
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>> i will take that. in terms of their public we are concerned about human rights abuses that are kremlin linked mercenaries as well as the armed forces of the republic. in terms of their direct dynamic. frankly the coordination of various actors we have a very large robust and critically important international u.n. peacekeeping operation on the ground there and will of coordination of what is going on by other act jars really puts the international efforts under stress. a particularlyt humanitarian actors and their peacekeeping operations try to access areas where others are operating. in terms of ideological versus -- frankly i think often what we see are long-standing historical grievances of
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communities against the center type issues prepaid will feel the state has and deliveredd for them and the extremist come in and offer something brighter in shinier that they can aspire to and it's appealing. frequently it's that kind of dynamic as well as opportunist and criminal -- the rather than ideology. will think you and i think it's important that we stay centered on that too because really the goal should be to address the root causes versus viewing it as a problem of violence or ideology and without i'd like to go to ranking member mr. smith. >> thank you very much madam chair and thank you forr the hearing and forward and says further insight and testimony. i want to ask if i could and i don't know if he you heard my opening comments but the concerned that i and many of us
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have concerning an international misperception including some about what they are all about. not herdsmen versus farmers. there may be some historical reasons to think that. today particularly on the bakari it would appear that this is an all-out attempt to eradicate and to kill. i have met with many leaders in nigeria including a little while ago today who say if a phonecall or message goes out theyo send the police to try to intervene. the there's a place at the militaries military's a no show. just two kilometers away from attack by the kobani with the nigerian army and they refuse to come. so people and women were slaughtered and people came in on motorbikes for a very fast
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type attack particular have their churches. also in town. the church of the brethren has seen something on the order of 48,000 people over the last 10 years. when you add it all up i see no difference frankly between call on ian boko haram and maybe you could speak to that, both of our witnesses. even when the aircraft that we use to counter aircraft aircraft and there are three instances where civilians were killed or are we sure that this was a mistake or were these individuals targeted? and they also go after shia muslims. there is animosity if you will towards people of for
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perspective and they get heard as well were killed the christians. i remember a bishop came in and testified at this hearing last year and he not only was criticized by bakari. when he talked he was all about reconciliation love manifesting the love of. also telling the truth and he spoke very boldly and very compassionatelyce and then saido kobani what is the difference between other terrorist groups. we all know that kalani sitake the head and the fact that i say that virtually everyone around here these military for structure in the police infrastructure all of it is
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packed with so lonnie and they have axes to it may look the other way. good luck jonathan. all of us have flaws. he at least had a cabinet that was ethnic and had people from all different persuasions. i remember and i'm sure. he remembers well they came from all different perspectives and that became a positive strength. so if you could mr. gonzalez speak to some of those issues and again are we investigating the fighter jets and fighter aircraft? is there any thought of barring any further is bear parts if they don't come clean and there maymido be more in the administration?
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>> and mr. gonzalez if you can answer briefly and mr. smith we will do another round. you can answer briefly so i can go to mr. phillips. >> thank you representative smith. there's a lot to unpack their and i think nigeria's many challenges over many years with many causes and deep-rootedo corruption, of national identity and the list can go on and on. does go well beyond any one leader. nigeria fundamentally is core to our interests are economic interests in stability and security interests and are regional global interest so we must engage for prosperous nigeria and we are committed to do that. think of the local level i take your point, i would argue however climate change is reducing resources and population growth is increasing demand for those and limited
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resources is causing conflict that a conflict in nigeria's multi-dimensional and so too is the fulani community. numerous leaders are crossed west africa and there are fulani herders and fulani farmers. a different approach that identifies the fulani or any individuald group is a major driver is not particularly helpful in identifying the nuance in ultimately we need to respond to the nuance. it also risks precipitating retaliation for their violence at the local level engagement with the communities on conflict resolution is key in clear and engaging in that an assistant administrator in jenkins can discuss that and at the national
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level i think the approach required us to help shape elliptical discourse to drive public demand for issue-based citizen responsive national supportive policies not only going into the elections in 2023. holding those who come out of those elections accountable for delivering for the country. a think as you mentioned -- six of them have arrived in six or in or out. so the u.s. is not involved in the incidences. >> do we know what it was? >> i can get back to it that end we saw the strikes that hit civilians just in the past week and a change in doctrine because of our engagement with the nigerian air force has been instrumental in getting them to acknowledge them put out a statement and an inquiry within 24 hours of that strike so there is a doctrine shift.
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due to the security of the people israel and that's why the state department that the bureau's are unanimous in support for providing helicopter support that the nigerians have asked for so be can help the nigerian air force protect civilians and give humanitarian assistance. >> i'm out of time, thanki you. >> mr. phillips. >> thank you chairwoman bass and greetings colleagues want to salute our t hearing timer in ts meeting and i have 33% left a my ipad. if i happen to drop please move to my next college that i want to focus my questions on ethiopia. we all know what is going on, the 5.2 million people needing
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emergency food assistance in more than 2 million have been displaced by violence in its extended to other reasons -- regions including ankara and thousands of people are being displaced with food insecurity worsening of the worst is humanitarian aidid is being blocked because of conflict by ethiopia and they arelo met in - met to lawyers -- military says we know. the administration announced the sanctions regime that allows us to part sanctions in connection with the conflict to my question is have they seen any change at all in behavior from these actors since the announcement was made? thee ink user. at this point we have not yet seen the tangible action we are looking to see. that's the point of the executive order it's gone on too long with tool action so this is the effort to step up the
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pressure on those who are responsible for prolonging conflict and obstructing progress and hindering access and those who commit human rights abuses. it's not targeted to one group or another. there is plenty of blame to go around in leaders on all sides have been quite vocal and using their rhetoric for inflaming situations and dehumanizing other committees and the purpose of the executive order is to exert that pressure so we can try to -- >> we talk about pressure. we have hearings and the tweet and we issue press releases and we have is conferences and we condemn. what tools do we have available to us that we may not be deploying to push for humanitarian access? what tools are we not employing? >> i think it's a phased approach. the restrictions are on security assistance and the public statements and we just now had
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have a a new african union negotiator for the horn of africa and going back to chair bassing's point the african institutions and putting our support behind the president. the executive order is the next step and up naming and shaming and squeezing people responsible under that executive order. this is something that has the highest level attention the state department and frankly across the administration. administration power secretary lincoln are on this issue. >> perhaps he could speak to some of the activities he is undertaken and what roadblocks he's facing and -- >> he shares this week with me. these two doors down and he's
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more absent than present because the saudis on their road meeting u.s. engages whethernd in ethioa were engaging with the african union and african institutions are frankly the international community and other partners. he was up in the dark engaging with thehe prime minister just last week and he is in khartoum currently so very much to engage in trying to explore every opening that we might have and having the administration identify what made the -- maybe those initial pressure points that we could lean on. >> the plot seems to have stalled. i do have a few seconds left. mr. jenkins if you may speak to any leverage or pressure points that the u.s. has with the ethiopian government to push for humanitarian -- >> as you nauert mensturate are
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his laser august on issues of ethiopia and seeking accountability for the atrocities that happened as ambassador in abdallah said there's enough blame to go around on both sides of that situation for you what we are also worried about our broader attention to is we did a prevention analysis internally that shows they were 13 possible other fault lines within ethiopia any one of which could ignite in many of them are separated. we are all focused on it asup we should be. hopefully the lid will not be blown off or could be t a far me dire situation. hopefullyll the bad situation wl be able to exert the level if it
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does exist to open up humanitarian access and quell the current violence and hopefully prevent that situation from his iowa airing -- spiraling into a worse situation. >> thank you both for being with us and madam chairwoman i yield back. >> representative mercer. representative mercer? >> i'm sorry madam chairman. thank you represent a bass. i appreciate it. mr. gonzález fulani the north and central nigeria is growing very violent on a daily basis. it is apparent that present the kari has exacerbated this decades long conflict by eliminating accountability for perpetual race of such violence in many fulani government
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especially in policing and the just judiciary. nigeria is the rapidly growing country on track with the third largest country by 2050 but is now on the vergeon of serious violence. does the state department agreed that nigeria is on the brink of disintegration and president of kari has failed so pulled this responsibilities to protect the rights of all nigerians? >> we are incredibly concerned about the security and stability in nature. there were mentioned to represent smith that it's lucky whether it's pirates or isis west africa that the threats against the people are many and frankly we have 208 million people who are protected by 375 or so thousand police and about
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100,000 troops with a ratio of theat security sector of civilis one night the global standard so there's inadequate resources that have gone to security and inadequate resources at the levels going towards a security strategy that can stem the tide. we are encouraged by president buhari's replacement of security sector officials in nigeria ando we are encouraged that the new chief of defense is recognized into this funding to the security which requires a' whole of government approach and not just the army or the armed forces. all levels of the government and we encouraged the chief of the air force is commissioning a nine-month doctrine review to ensure what the government does to respond to security doesn't inflame or fuel so again the
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challenges are many on the security side as well as on the civilian side and that's where our close relationship with an array of factors is vital to try and shape and shift what is really a keystone in the country. >> it sounds like you know a lot about it. are trying to figure what to do about however. as the state department been to nigeria or bent to it in it -- met with any of its parliament members to discuss this?ni >> i guess the most recent would be a week ago where i as well as our assistant secretary met with poor representatives of the nigerian governors association. we had about three intended visits that for one reason or another has fallen through. >> i doubt that climate change was the biggest concern. i'm not saying it's not a
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concern. targeted assassinations and mergers of large numbers of civilians within communities and primarily christians, not just christians. also shia and others. so you know the idea of president buhari not really answered my question as far as failing to protect the rights of all nigerians is making the problem larger than rather than just understanding that buhari has some responsibility here as do we we care about humanitarian efforts in nigeria. another question for you the policing of weapons trafficking into west africa is obviously contributing to the heightened violence. so is that something the u.s. government is policing? >> i would not save u.s. government is policing it. there are elements of the state department late my counterparts
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in the narcotics and law enforcement bureau are supporting through funds appropriated to build the capacity of african institutions and government elements for improving border security awareness of who and what is crossing through borders. these porters are incredibly porous and it's an extreme challenge. >> that's great. is there a fuller scale deep study on the conflict in nigeria in the previous administration that was terminated by the biden administration in january -- >> i'm sorry madam chairman. i didn't have the time or paid i yield back. >> thank you. we have moved to representative manning.
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representative manning? >> thank you very much madam chairman is sorry about that. thank you so much forr having this hearing along with chairman deutsch and ranking members. this is a critically important and difficult issue. let me start with mr. jenkins. terrorist organizations continue to exploit inadequate security and governance in many countries of africa with some of the most orbital people in the society says you have talked about and producing violence that furthers the cycle of instability. several of these countries that suffered droughts food insecurity and civic unrest creating more openings for terrorist groups to grow and thrive. can you talk a little more about how the usaid program seeks to
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break this cycle and can you point to some success stories? >> thank you representative. i can try to go through what we are doing in mali. i could give you description of what we are doing in somalia. a lot those when you talk about the object is sound very similar. that's why all of these crises and all these conflicts are different in the context is extremely important. the underlying problems are similar. it's a governance crisis and every one of these of the governing crisis. the exploitation and recruitment of the underlying more serious -- so our program looks in different places. they are all trying to one give a reason to have agency the
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ability of agencyl in their lie and give them meaning is what they are looking for. and to bring societies together and try to heal the divisions and openei up dialogue and try o get communities at the local level. also the national level to understand what is really happening in their country and in their village. many of these problems are misdiagnosed in the can easily say this is ideological, this is transnational crime. they can be all of those things at thee same time. let's go to north africa. people forget in libya the largest place outside of iraq and syria ice is isis losing control aid man that city of was liberated in 2016 immediately we went to work supporting the local government and $60 million for the local government alone in within one year 90% of the
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population that was displaced moved back in year after year they became moreit optimistic. we forget about liberia could liberia in the 1990s was anonymous with fragile states and failed states. in 2006 we have a new president and we got in there and got to work in the united states in a veryti big way and other partnes to that with allen johnson sirleaf it's a success storyry today. in kenya where we always cross our fingers and hope that things don't get bad like they have in the past. in kenya working with the kenyan government to help them. their ownrk counterterrorism center training all of their civil servants for solutions and going down to the county level where plans are indigenous to localities.
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>> thank you. that's very helpful. deputy assistant secretary gonzalez i am concerned that women and girls are often victimized by the rid of the outbreak of violence throughout africa and can you tell us how this stage is working to address gender-based violence in africa and how working with our partners in the region has improved gender equality for potential women at risk? >> i completely share your concern and i think it starts with the engages that we have and we bring her abbasid are soon to talk with heads of states where we flied this concern where we recognize gender-based violence is one of the top likes potential for atrocities in the future. also gender equality heald societies that are much less likely to go to war and to give
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women peace and security is critical of our security assistance package. i look at niger, an example where previously each year the nigerian government would take in 10 women and now it's over 300 was still a long ways to go. by having wind beat the providers of security along with men they engaged with society and engage with the vulnerable in a different way and helps provide that security and finally because i see my time is up a month and a half ago the secretary of political affairs and i bet with the president and i share and we were thrilled to hear his number one priority is educating girls because ultimately that's going to be what delivers a brighter future for their society. >> thank you very much i/o back. >> representative --
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>> thank you chairwoman bass. mr. gonzalez that wanted to see if you can tell us has the administration finalized a strategic plan for our policies toward somalia bensahel and the drc? >> sorry i've took a moment to find my mute button. i'm not engaged with the somalia policy. my understanding is that it is moving forward to the interagency. i am very much thing gauge in the sahell strategy and i'm pleased to say it is quite far along and certainly there's consensus across the interagency in terms of the case. the big territory with disparate environments so how we implement to respond to the nuances in each location recognizing the resources are limited and we can'tis do a thing and we can't
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select things everywhere so we must prayer toys. we are not going to succeed if we don't have a strategy so this administration is focused on developing t strategies that not only pursued. endorsed in washington. >> i ask because every time i've traveled to africa i've been briefed on the need to balance the. we haven't seen any evidence of that balance. a scene of the pentagon has been calling the shots especially in somalia so it's really important that we get a comprehensive strategy on all of these countries. public reporting has implicated that the drone strikes we have conducted this year in somalia were proved by -- rather than the white house and is that you. understanding to?
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and that would be a question for the department of defense. i'm not sure the protocols and how they exercise those authorities. >> you know with the legal races for the strikesve were? >> my understanding was there basting collective self-defense. inwe terms of the specific legalities i'm afraid i don't have any information. >> i have a letter to you also and i hope you'll ask for diet -- expedite some answers for me in that regard did you know how many designated foreign terrorist organizations that operate in the sub-saharanan africa prior to 2001 before our war on terror began? >> no maam, i don't. i can certainly get that forr you. >> ithe was zero. do you know how many are there now? s.t.e.m. i just cleared off the list a couple of10 days ago so i
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don't have the number off the top of my head. >> they are 10 at the moment. there've been 10 since 2001 and i think it's hard to claim thata her first approach to counterterrorism including drone strikes and security forces that violate human rights is working. are you familiar with the 2017 united nations development program entitled journey to extremeism in africa? >> i am in fact i think that's the report that assistant general jenkins cited as the figure as to why people experience it because 71% have experienced the case of abuse at the hands of authorities. >> yeah and it is really important that we do understand that very context that the root
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causes that this might be very different depending on where you are but the flashpoint for most of these people to join these organizations is human rights violations. how is it that we are effectivelys combating terrorim in africa by supporting security forces that are enacting these human rights violations which is something that mr. jenkins didn't answer and how can we say it's good for stability when there have been two coups in mali two and guinea and one in chad aulani year. >> going back to your first question about strategy because the sahell strategy captures this quite nicely. at the corner of our sahell strategy you recognize the cause is the government deficiency and it must be a response. it focuses on supporting
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government on the national level and in terms of what are the capabilities fighting corruption and transparency. >> i'm sorry it seems like their strategies to support the same governing bodiese that continue to cause instability and causing human rights violations which in turn has increased the number of people who are joining terrorism and has increased the level of terrorism that exists. we are involved with them. they continue to be destabilized every year so what are we doing different and what have we learned? >> i would argue we can't counter the security threat or the governments that if we are engaging withoc the government. full string governance at the national level and the local level. also engaging in security and
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enabling security solutions to become more capable and more responsive to the needs of citizens and frankly more accountable. i am credibly -- by african counterparts in terms of their world that they are activities and abusing civilians play in driving citizens in the hands of extremists and not only do we need to support and protect and hold accountable abuses of human rights because it's the right thing to do and it's our value system. fundamentally it's critical to providing security and stabilitn in public confidence in the state. >> they are appreciate that ands thank you chair roman for your generosity. it gets really important that we take accountability for the policies that we are engaging in and how that is fueling some of the things that are happening in the continent so thank you and i
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look forward to following up with you. >> represented sherman. >> thank you and i wanted thank the chairs for convening this hearing to the first question relates to ethiopia's -- i wonder if mr. gonzalez can tell us what are the legal constraints on ethiopia and filling fist am both under the traditional international law preparing states and according to any treaty outpatients that ethiopia has assumed? congressman. i'm not a lawyer and haven't been trained in the particulars of ethiopia's obligations. fundamentally -- >> does the u.s. have a position on legal rights?
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izzard disputes in an east africa. do we know whether ethiopia says the water goes to our country and we get to dam it up or is that their position? >> we know that ethiopia says that in the threats are there. ultimately the answer is a solution that is viable to the needs of all three of the member states and that's why we have tried over and over to -- directly as we have seen inn recent years. >> really quickly. i have to go to other legal experts review it think in addition to believing it would be great if everybody just works things out we would know what the legal rights of the parties are and that we are standing up not only for everybody getting along which is great. also for international law.
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turning again to ethiopia i would like to put in to record this september at 2021 situation report published by -- >> without objection? >> without objection yes, sorry. >> when you look at the casualties and complex the enormous casualties come from deprivation of food and medicine and disease hitting civilian populations. that is certainly the case with regard to this. we have 2.2 million people who have been internally displaced and we have had millions facing starvation and 70,000 who fled however the ethiopian government continues to block humanitarian
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aid including food aid from entering the region. is it our position that is a deprivation of human rights? >> we certainly perceived as a deprivation of human rights in terms of particular war crimes and determinations we are at the totality of information that the situation on the ground regarding any type of designation along those lines. >> what are we getting to give food to the people? >> clearing gauging with all entities. >> we are talking dold entities that have we gotten any food into the country in the last week and are the trucks moving in are the planes landing? >> not to my knowledge. >> i now mr. jenkins is right beside you there visually or virtually and i assume he confirms that.
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>> i can't confirm what's happened in the last week that we are seized with this issue and we have the disaster assistance response team in the country and yes we thinkee it'sf deprivation of fundamental human rights. >> as far f as you know we havet been able to get any significant amount of food through? >> not to my knowledge. >> and family mr. gonzalez we lost the war in afghanistan. to what extent will this inspire extreme islamic nationalist forces from engaging in terrorism both against united states. also among the african states that we respect and work with? >> i would expect it would certainlyy inspire them and all the more reason for us to continue to double down on our engagement with our african partners to respond.
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>> have we've seen any particular increase in improvements just in the last few weeks? >> i'm sorry embers are clock is off four minutes so i'm using my the time.eeprs we will go direct -- represented jacobs now. >> thank you so much madam chairman and thank you mr. jenkins and mr. gonzalez. i think as you talked about we really need to look at conflict in the comprehensive way. secretary blinken said that the best instability and violence are fueled by historical c grievances and of accessible -- and on top of that we know state security forces do help these groups who we need to make sure uncounterterrorism operations ae
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not enabling it and thinking about these challenges exclusively through the lens of counterterrorism is nonproductive. her assistance in africa. they have little or no effect on violence ended did find a more holistic long-term plan would yield better results. i'm here you talk about governments airing this hearing. when i worked at the advocacy department wasn't only the case that we focused on governance. i'm glad to see that and i think represent gonzález for caring thatha water. i'm so excited about the act and seeing that as soon as possible. i know we have talked a lot about the sahell and are aren't supported that produces wondering if the administration
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plans to appoint a special envoy? >> at this point there's most civic plan to do that. to have a strategy that's finalized in looking at the specific tactics that would be the most upper. to pursue it. that is on the table for the time being. since january 20 i and the tip of the assistant security has been serving the function. i engaged with ombudsman and their counterparts in regulating gauge with them. >> thank you. i want to move on to the situation in mozambique. we know that it is not only a case of ideological issues by population that includes exclusion from economic and
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political power and abuses by state security forces. so far our response has been counterterrorism and his security focus i think is very problematic.ri mr. gonzalez to have a plan to provide a conference of strategy to address these challenges that actually addresses the underlying grievances and not just security -- that will fuel more conflict? >> it's not all about security and in fact are campaign plan for the bout bulk of this year our campaign plan includes four lines of effort in the first when the security assistance because again providing a response to manifestations and
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the second is a really too strategic communications and engaging with the public's of the public is aware of dynamics and has insight into the threats that are coming. also countering violent extremism messaging. humanitarian assistance is their third line of effort and diplomatic engagement and in fact in terms of the government it has yielded the appointment of an assistance part of responding to mozambique and not so much a coordinator for the security component. i think the security gets a lot of attention and although turning around in the past couple of weeks. fundamentally the core of our strategy does look at this holistic approach to address the underlying drivers. >> i'm glad to hear that. i would say it's hard to message
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until you have counterbalanced to your messaging and you have the governance perform to go with this i hope you are working with the government of mazique to be more of politically interested in the people in the region. i'm sorry? >> in kits teen seconds mr. jenkins what can congress do to help usaid in peacebuilding in the continent? >> 15 seconds you took a great step with the global fragility act to make sure we implement that in second we need toes hava conversation aboutws more prevention and the conversation about last year is less earmarks in giving a flexible funding that allows us to not have to plan three or four years out. be able to react to something like the states in coastal west africa.
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more flexibility and to work with you to get a trusted variant and exactly as you are saying not just a ct strategy and that's why don't we -- it's all about the governance. >> thank you, thank you very much. representative vargas. >> thank you very much madam chairman i want to thank the chair and our participants and their witnesses. i want to start where we just weleft off. more prevention more flexibility you think that some the things we are doing now are better. what more should we be doing and what do you need? >> a few congressman. we have learned a lot in the last 20 years. i would direct people the stabilization assistance review that was agreed to in written by the state department to
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department defense and usaid in 2018 for the first time. we of the government defined what we mean by stabilization. about 15 pages of very concise lessons learned not just died iraq and afghanistan. mainly those two countries and also if you have time special report came out. what if we learned? it's okay to be slow. slow is better and it's okay to start small. shut up and listen. don't go in with the answers could just because the united states does not mean we are going to solve a problem with more people in and more money. we need to engage with the local community and engage them with their civil society and the local government and we need to listen to them when to stop doing things that are working in ramp up things that are working. all of that needs to be in a
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strategy where this success is going to be. we need the people to resource that planned and people to resource it in a way that we can move agility if things start to work better or stop working the way we want them to. we know these things and we found them for a long time. w we often don't expedite them. that is something we have to do more. we are currently learning lessons way too slow in acquiringr. the lessons. we just aren't acting on them. up one of the things that sounded like and i don't think you said it but maybe mr. gonzalez said it this whole issue of governance that it's tough working with governance when you know there is corruption. how do you do that successfully at the same time making sure the u.s. money is going to the right place? we just saw what happened in
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afghanistan and i think the american people are not happy about that which is understandable because we spent so much money there in the corruption and of focus. there really was a disaster and we cannot let the objective point us to the reality on the ground. we say this a lot. you have to help them more than they want our help or you can spend money. i can spend money any day of the week. that's not the objective. the objective is how do we work with these people and find them where they are yet we cannot tolerate any corruption or waste and find a partner at the national level. there's no proactive change agent find them at the provincial level. that slow down or for this is not a short-term endeavor. if it was easy and short-term we
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wouldn't have these problems. we have to be in for the long-haul and there will be ups there'll be downs. we need strategic patience that we need to be realistic and don't sell ourselves on six or 12 month solutions. these problems are generational. they are going to take time and they are going to take patience and they are going to take grit. that's a we should dedicate herself to not the shining object we think we can achieve in a few months. if that was -- if that was the way to achieve things we would have done it. this,lie i want to say obviously we have to be very concerned about security and it's a great concern to us. i agree if we don't look at this thing holistically and if we don't figure it out -- my niece was in the peace corps in tanzania and she was there for two years and unfortunately
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covid she came back and apply to stay there longer. a wonderful young lady and it was the greatest experience of her life. at the same time she said i just loved being there and people love americans. tanzania is a different area. the help we were able to receive in the developmental help or the chairwoman said this the other day. it's not really until development comes in a really meaningful way that wewh intertwine all of our economies. people need affluence and the ability to take care of themselves and their families and when that happens people feel okay they are part of the world and they have ownership in their lives or agency or whatever you want to call it. they have ownership of where they are going and we have got to figure that out. i don't think we have done a
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job especially with all the problems we are having in and elsewhere. understand why we are figuring out how to work in a deep economic way with africa. again my time is about up. >> you are almost as six minutes. >> i thank the chair. >> and i thank you mr. vargas for your constructive comments absolutely. members and their witnesses i want to thank you for your time today. i know we will have you back another time because this is an issue that is ongoing and how we focus in target or authorize legislation is the well is appropriate legislation will be very important so i want to thank you very much and the hearing is adjourned.
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