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Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso hosted a Women, Peace and Security Reception during Flintlock 2019.
Women and men from African and western partner nations, attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception Feb 19 during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019.  Attendees discussed the growing support and integration of women to tackle some of Africa’s most complex and difficult challenges.  Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 1 of 9: Women and men from African and western partner nations, attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception Feb 19 during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019. Attendees discussed the growing support and integration of women to tackle some of Africa’s most complex and difficult challenges. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, makes opening remarks at an embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock Feb. 19.  Ambassador Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic role women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 2 of 9: U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, makes opening remarks at an embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock Feb. 19. Ambassador Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic role women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command, director of intelligence, addresses a crowd during a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Feb. 19. She emphasized women’s roles for a secure, stable and prosperous Africa.  “We face hard, complex problems in Africa, and the greatest diversity of thought and perspective, as well as access to the best talent, is essential,” Berg said during her speech.  Berg along with others pushed for a greater integration and utilization of women both on and off the battlefield.  Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 3 of 9: Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command, director of intelligence, addresses a crowd during a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Feb. 19. She emphasized women’s roles for a secure, stable and prosperous Africa. “We face hard, complex problems in Africa, and the greatest diversity of thought and perspective, as well as access to the best talent, is essential,” Berg said during her speech. Berg along with others pushed for a greater integration and utilization of women both on and off the battlefield. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace, and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 4 of 9: Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace, and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
Dr. Justine Coulidiati-Kielem, regional coordinator Women of the G5 Sahel Platform, delivers a keynote address at a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the African-led special operations exercise Flintlock 2019 Feb. 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 5 of 9: Dr. Justine Coulidiati-Kielem, regional coordinator Women of the G5 Sahel Platform, delivers a keynote address at a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the African-led special operations exercise Flintlock 2019 Feb. 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 6 of 9: Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19.   Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 7 of 9: Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, takes a photo with attendees and guest speaker Dr. Justine Coulidiati-Kielem, regional coordinator for Women of the G5 Sahel Platform, at an embassy hosted Women, Peace, and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19.  Amb. Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic roll women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 8 of 9: U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, takes a photo with attendees and guest speaker Dr. Justine Coulidiati-Kielem, regional coordinator for Women of the G5 Sahel Platform, at an embassy hosted Women, Peace, and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Amb. Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic roll women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, makes opening remarks at an embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock Feb. 19.  Ambassador Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic role women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
9 photos: Event Brings Awareness to Critical Role of Women During Conflict
Photo 9 of 9: U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, makes opening remarks at an embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock Feb. 19. Ambassador Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic role women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released) Download full-resolution version
Women and men from African and western partner nations, attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception Feb 19 during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019.  Attendees discussed the growing support and integration of women to tackle some of Africa’s most complex and difficult challenges.  Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, makes opening remarks at an embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock Feb. 19.  Ambassador Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic role women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, U.S. Africa Command, director of intelligence, addresses a crowd during a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Feb. 19. She emphasized women’s roles for a secure, stable and prosperous Africa.  “We face hard, complex problems in Africa, and the greatest diversity of thought and perspective, as well as access to the best talent, is essential,” Berg said during her speech.  Berg along with others pushed for a greater integration and utilization of women both on and off the battlefield.  Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace, and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
Dr. Justine Coulidiati-Kielem, regional coordinator Women of the G5 Sahel Platform, delivers a keynote address at a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the African-led special operations exercise Flintlock 2019 Feb. 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
Women and men from African and western partner nations attend a U.S. Embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the annual special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19.   Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, takes a photo with attendees and guest speaker Dr. Justine Coulidiati-Kielem, regional coordinator for Women of the G5 Sahel Platform, at an embassy hosted Women, Peace, and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock 2019 Feb 19.  Amb. Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic roll women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Andrew Young, makes opening remarks at an embassy hosted Women, Peace and Security Reception during the multi-national special operations exercise, Flintlock Feb. 19.  Ambassador Young stressed the importance of the vital and strategic role women play in the development and stability of Africa’s future. Flintlock 2019 better enables African and western partners to conduct real world missions structured around a coherent campaign plan and seamless integration. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 (SW/AW) Evan Parker / released)

U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso hosted a Women, Peace and Security Reception during Flintlock 2019, U.S. Africa Command’s premier and largest special operations and law enforcement exercise in Africa.

The event brought together exercise attendees and members of the local community to discuss the role women play in solving some of Africa’s most complex challenges including the threat posed by violent extremist groups.

“Women’s voices are not being heard in the fight against terrorism,” said Dr. Justine Coulidiati-Kielem, regional coordinator of the Women of the G5 Sahel Platform. “I am convinced that without women, we will never achieve peace.”

A woman contributes to social cohesion in African societies by uniting families, sometimes of different ethnic groups and she plays a crucial role in the education of young people, Coulidiati-Kielem said.

“In households, they are the first to be able to detect at-risk attitudes among their husbands or children,” she said. They can thus prevent their loved ones from falling into indoctrination [by terrorist groups] and armed struggle.”

Flintlock is an annual African-led, integrated military and law enforcement exercise that has strengthened key partner nation forces throughout North and West Africa as well as western special operations forces since 2005.More than 2,000 service members from more than 30 African and western partner nations, are participating in this year’s exercise.

“As this special operations exercise is taking place, it raises the importance of women in both diffusing this conflict as well as creating the environment in which an enduring peace can survive,” Berg said.

This year, Women, Peace, and Security themes are woven throughout the exercise including a senior leader seminar and within the exercise scenario itself, she said.

“Women’s participation in security is not peripheral; it is a key part of ensuring lasting, meaningful security in conjunction with defense, development and diplomacy efforts,” Berg said. “If we are to succeed, and we must, every one of us must see the inclusion of women as essential weapons to address long-term security.”

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