Washington (CNN) – In a sit-down interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation Tuesday, President Barack Obama warned Africans that terrorists groups operating in their midst do not value African lives.
"What you've seen in some of the statements that have been made by these terrorist organizations is that they do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself," Obama said according to a transcript released by the White House Wednesday. "They see it as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains."
The president issued his warning as part of a longer discussion about the recent bombings in Uganda and the presence of radical Islamic terrorist organizations on the African continent. Al Shabaab, a Somali Islamist group with links to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for a trio of bombings in Uganda's capital city Sunday night. In the interview, Obama said the government intended to do more to stop such groups.
"Al Shabaab has now taken credit, taken responsibility for this atrocity, and we are going to redouble our efforts, working with Uganda, working with the African Union, to make sure that organizations like this are not able to kill Africans with impunity," the president said.
After praising South Africa for the way it hosted the recent World Cup event, Obama shared his vision for how the United States can work to help African countries help themselves.
"When I was in Ghana last year, I was very clear on what I think the agenda has to be - Africa for Africans. That means that we can be partners with Africans, but ultimately, on whether it's issues of eliminating corruption, ensuring smooth transitions of democratic governments, making sure that businesses are able to thrive and prosper and that markets are working for the smallest farmer and not just the most well-connected person - those are issues that Africans can work on together."
Obama added, "we want to provide resources, but we want to partner with those who are interested in growing their own capacity over time and not having a long-term dependency on foreign aid."