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U.S. General in charge of Horn of Africa fired

By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent
updated 6:37 AM EDT, Fri April 5, 2013
Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker was fired last week as commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker was fired last week as commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The general was fired for loss of confidence
  • It's the second dismissal since November from U.S. commands in Africa
  • In November another general was demoted for accepting favors

Washington (CNN) -- Maj. Gen. Ralph Baker, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, was fired March 28, according to a Washington Defense official.

The command is headquartered in Djibouti and runs U.S. military operations in East Africa, including some counterterrorism operations.

Baker, a two-star general, is appealing the firing, which was ordered by his boss, Gen. Carter Ham, the commanding general of all U.S. military operations across Africa.

He was relieved of his duty for loss of confidence, three Defense officials told CNN.

It's the second embarrassing dismissal of a high ranking officer involved in the U.S. military hierarchy in Africa in five months.

Gen. William "Kip" Ward, the first four-star general to command U.S. military operations in Africa, was demoted for excessive spending from duty at U.S. Africa Command (Africom).

He lost one star and retired a lieutenant general.

Ward used his rank to shuttle his wife on shopping sprees, enjoyed a lavish beachfront trip and once accepted a Defense contractor's gift of going backstage to meet actor Denzel Washington.

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