RealNews

US Security Assistance for W. African Countries Delayed

West African officials may be getting impatient over the time it is taking U.S. authorities to implement a new counter-terrorism program announced last year. Seven months ago, the State Department announced what it called the Pan Sahel Initiative, a $6 million security training and equipment program to assist Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger in countering terrorist operations and border incursions. But at the Pentagon, which is implementing the program, a spokesman tells VOA that while there have been preparatory talks and visits, so far no equipment has been transferred and no training has been conducted. The spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Humm, says those activities are not expected until “late summer or early fall”, that is, sometime between August and November. The disclosure of the delay follows private expressions of concern by some U.S. government sources that officials in the four countries who were promised aid under the program might be getting impatient. Full Story

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