Senior U.S. military commander concludes trip to East Africa


Senior U.S. military commander concludes trip to East Africa

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The boss of the US Africa Command, General Stephen Townsend, concluded his trip to East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the western part of the continent, where the fight against Al-Shabaab has occupied an important place.

In his company, Townsend was accompanied by the President’s Assistant Homeland Security, Dr Liz Sherwood-Randall, and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, Chris Maier, visited the staff. and operational facilities in Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and Niger, October 25-29.

During their trip, senior US security officials discussed counterterrorism issues, with Washington’s role being assessed as well. The United States is a major security partner on the continent, with nearly 7,000 troops across Africa.

The delegation recognized the soldiers at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Manda Bay, Kenya, who are responsible for supporting local and regional partners in the execution of the counterterrorism campaign against al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab militants control vast swathes of rural central and southern Somalia and have even sprung outside the Horn of Africa nation. In particular, Somalia has struggled to contain the militants, who wish to overthrow the fragile Somali administration backed by the UN.

The trip comes as the United States assesses whether it is sending troops to Somalia, just months after an unprecedented withdrawal. Initially, there were nearly 700 American troops in the country, even as the United States continues to support Danab’s special forces.

In Niger, Townsend led the delegation to Agadez and Niamey air bases to meet with US forces working with Nigerien partners to monitor and disrupt security threats, support hostage recovery efforts and project power. in West Africa, noted the US Africa Command.

While in Niamey, the delegation met Nigerian President Mohamed Bazoum and discussed ways to further combat terrorist groups in the Sahel. The party also met with officials from the US Embassy and French Ambassador to Niger Alexandre Garcia and Force Commander Barkhane, Major General Laurent Michon, to enhance US-French counterterrorism cooperation in the region. .

“This trip was a great opportunity to show how our troops across the continent are protecting the homeland and supporting our partners to build stability in Africa,” Townsend said. “Dr. Sherwood-Randall and I also had a productive meeting with Nigerien President Bazoum, where we discussed our joint efforts to increase security in the Sahel.



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