Washington, May 12 (IANS) Two senior leaders of a US Navy SEAL team deployed to Africa have been relieved of their duties and sent home over sexual misconduct allegations, officials said.
“Special Operations Command Africa commander Maj. Gen. Mark Hicks suspended the Special Operations Command Forward — East Africa commander and senior enlisted adviser of their duties on May 10 due to allegations of misconduct,” Maj. Casey Osborne, a spokesman for Special Operations Command Africa, told CNN on Friday.
Gen. Hicks directed both individuals to return to their home station for further adjudication regarding the allegations, Osborne said.
One of the two senior leaders was accused of inappropriately touching a female service member while both face allegations of sexual harassment.
Even though the two were sent back to the US, they remained in their positions while the Navy’s Criminal Investigative Service looks into the allegations.
Many of the US Navy SEALs in East Africa conduct operations in Somalia where they advise Somali forces battling Al-Shabaab, the local affiliate of Al Qaeda.