A breakdown in security in Libya has allowed militants and weapons to flow into other troubled areas in Africa, a top Pentagon official said Monday.
Some of the Libyan weapons have been moved into Mali, where a recent rebellion and a coup by Tuareg militants has "created opportunities for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM] to exploit instability and establish new and expanded safe havens," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Amanda Dory.
"The [Defense Department] is closely watching what this will mean for the stability of the region and the ability of AQIM to target partner and U.S. interests," she said.
Ms. Dory said the Pentagon is working closely with the State Department to coordinate efforts to address the threat of AQIM, as well as with 10 partner countries to build a regional capacity in the Sahel.
She outlined the Obama administration's new sub-Saharan Africa strategy Monday at a National Defense University conference, which hosted senior representatives of nearly 40 African nations.
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