Langevin Statement on Release of AFRICOM Civilian Casualty Assessment Quarterly Report

Apr 27, 2020 Issues: Armed Services

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities (IETC), today issued the following statement regarding the initial release of the U.S. Africa Command’s Civilian Casualty Assessment Quarterly Report, which details ongoing and completed civilian casualty allegations and assessments:

“By maintaining a presence in northern Africa, U.S. forces are countering violent extremist organizations while pushing back against the great power competitors emphasized in the National Defense Strategy. Sadly, many people in these countries are caught between corrupt, brittle national governments and violent extremist organizations. Our servicemembers in this region do a range of important missions, including training other militaries, conducting counterterrorism operations, and providing humanitarian aid. These missions provide benefits for the United States and its allies, while also denying other great powers the ability to exploit vulnerable nations. 

“Today’s public release by U.S. Africa Command of their first quarterly report on the status of ongoing and completed allegations of civilian casualties is important. It must always be a top priority to prevent civilian casualties to the maximum extent possible.

“While we applaud General Townsend’s efforts to increase transparency, the confirmation of two additional civilian casualties is tragic and underscores the need for continued transparency and accountability. When we do not address allegations of civilian casualties, we lose credibility and play into the hands of extremist organizations. We will continue to provide robust oversight of the Department’s activities involving the use of force to maintain clarity on our mission and to minimize civilian casualties.”