Abuja, Nigeria - The Commander of the United States African Command (AFRICOM), Gen. Carter Ham, Friday cautioned African government not to rely solely on military solution to fight the war against terrorism, saying "this will never guarantee long-term resolution of national crisis".
Rather, he said, such long-term solution to terror attacks can only come through non-military solutions, including good governance and dialogue.
Gen. Ham also explained that the US was not directly involved in the current military campaign that dislodged Islamic terrorists from Mali because the Malian government did not as America for help.
"The Malian government asked for French intervention. And the French asked us for support. This we obliged. Yes, we are not playing a leading role in Mali. We are only playing a supportive role.”
Gen. Ham told Nigerian journalists in Stuttgart, Germany, that “there is perhaps some necessity for some military action. But the military reaction would not be the solution. The solution lies in the non-military solution and activities that would address the causes of dissatisfactions. So, I think it is important to keep this in perspective, that even in circumstances that military efforts are required, they are not going to solve the long-term jam.”
He said: “When you look at the places that the terrorists had been able to take root, they are typical in places where there is absence of legitimate government. Afghanistan is a good example. Somalia previously was a good example and now northern Mali where there is an absence of legitimate government.
"Secondly, terrorism take root in places where people, mostly young men, don’t have hope; they don’t have the prospect for education, for job or ability to take care of their families."
PANA reports that already, the US has flown 17 C-17 airlift sorties in support of the French military, moving 496 passengers and more than 391 tonnes of supplies and equipment into Mali. The US Air Force has also flown one refuelling mission on Sunday, offloading 33,000 pounds of fuel.
They have 20 non-combat troops in the Malian capital, Bamako. They include 15 working with French in planning the operations and another five working with its Defence section in Bamako to coordinate the airlift operations.