Human Rights

US targets Al Qaeda connections in Bissau

By Frederic Tendeng
The US government has clear evidence that there is a connection between drug traffickers operating in the West Coast of Africa and the terrorist network of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb”. This revelation was made by Madam Marcia Bernicap, the US Ambassador in Dakar, in the wake of a partnership agreement signed on Thursday between the Guinea Bissau government and the Obama Administration. The US Ambassador stressed that “the operations of these organized crime entities are very dangerous for the West African regional security, and beyond”. In this regard, the United States of America will on February send a special envoy to Guinea-Bissau to work with its authorities on how to combat organized crime. In addition to working in the field of combating transnational organized crime, the special envoy will also help to address the structural reform of Guinea Bissau’s security sector. Marcia Bernicap who is ambassador of the United States of America to Guinea Bissau and Senegal with residence in Dakar, met with Guinea Bissau’s Head of government, Carlos Gomes Junior. She used that meeting to stress that terrorism and drug trafficking in the sub-region are major concerns for the United States and assured Mr Gomez Junior of her country’s support. Asked by the press about the relocation in Bissau of the US embassy that is currently based in Dakar, Madam Bernicap did not elaborate much, but only said “the current US diplomatic representation in the Guinean capital is effective though being only of a technical team. Moreover, the relocation of the US embassy in Bissau will follow a gradual process that will begin very soon. In this perspective, the U.S will be opening a great library in Bissau. This will be followed by the return of the Peace Corps volunteers in the country,’’ she said.

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