U.S. Africa Command chief Gen. Carter Ham said the Algerian government was not
known to have sent mercenaries to fight the rebels in Libya.
"I have seen absolutely no reporting that indicates that Algeria is
suporting the movement of fighters to Libya," Ham said during a two-day
visit to Algiers on June 1. "To the contrary, Algeria has been supporting,
and strongly so, regional security and countering terrorism."
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Ham's statement, made during a briefing, came amid concern by the
administration of President Barack Obama that the Algerian regime of
President Abdul Aziz Bouteflika was sending fighters and weapons to
Gadhafi. In April, several military cargo planes arrived in Tripoli
Algiers, which denied assistance to Gadhafi.
This marked Ham's first visit to Algeria as Africom commander. Ham, who
met Bouteflika, said he was "commited to strengthening and expanding this
relationship and working with Algeria in a number of areas regarding mutual
security cooperation interests."
Officials said Ham's discussions focused on regional security
coordination. They cited the civil war in Libya, the Al Qaida threat and