By the end of April, U.S. Africa Command intends to issue a new quarterly report on the status of ongoing civilian casualty allegations and assessments. Each quarter, AFRICOM will issue an update providing any new allegations and updating the status of assessments that have been closed or remain open. This initiative is designed to increase transparency regarding civilian casualty allegations that are reported to the command and will demonstrate the U.S. military’s constant commitment to minimizing collateral damage in the pursuit of military operations.
“Since I took command last year, we have been reviewing and revising our CIVCAS tracking, assessment and reporting procedures,” said U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command. “To demonstrate our transparency and commitment to protecting civilians from unnecessary harm, we plan to publicize our initial report by the end of April and we will provide quarterly updates thereafter.”
The destructive and growing threat in Africa from violent extremist organizations is significant and impacts not only Africans, but also the U.S. and international allies. U.S Africa Command, in conjunction with African partner nations, continues to conduct operations to counter terrorist networks to enhance regional security in Somalia, Libya, and other African nations. U.S. Africa Command remains committed to supporting African partners as they work to establish and maintain security and stability throughout Africa, conditions which are important to advancing U.S. interests in the region.
“It is critically important that our partners and the public understand our commitment to minimizing collateral damage while achieving precision effects. Where this does not occur, we’ll look to be the first to the truth.” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. “Our kinetic operations in Africa follow a strict, disciplined, and precise process. Nobody is more devoted to the preservation of innocent life than the U.S. military, and our actions and processes reflect that fact.”
Issuing a quarterly report is part of an effort to increase transparency and to further expand reporting mechanisms. It is an opportunity to gain feedback and provide updates on the status of assessments.