U.S. Africa Command’s deputy to the commander for Civil-Military Engagement, Ambassador Andrew Young, and U.S. Special Operations commander, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, engaged in a weeklong trip to key partner nations in East and West Africa, Sept. 14-21.
The trip, which included stops in Somalia, Djibouti, Chad and Niger, demonstrated AFRICOM’s whole of government approach in Africa. The visit highlighted continued U.S. commitment to engagement throughout the continent and the sustained efforts to maintain pressure on malign networks in both East and West Africa.
"Seeing first-hand the determination of African security forces in East Africa and the Sahel to confront existential threats from terrorist organizations allied with ISIS and al-Qaeda is encouraging as these forces defend their populations while respecting our values," said Young. "We're working with a wide group of African and international partners to defeat these groups to help create the conditions for a safer and more prosperous future."
During the trip, both Young and Anderson conducted key leader engagements with African and international partner civilian and military leaders. At trip stops, leaders focused on the regional VEO threats and collective solutions to degrade these terrorist networks.
Specifically, in East Africa, discussions focused on the continued collective pressure on al-Shabaab’s terrorist network and a prevailing commitment to training and cooperative operations with partner forces.
Additionally, key leader engagements highlighted the unique role of the U.S. as the partner of choice in providing security training to East and West African partner nations.
“The problem sets I see across the continent can only be solved through partnership, long-term willingness to invest in governance, and African nation leadership with international support. As a military commander, I see the military as a tool of last resort that must support the greater tools of development and governance,” said Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Special Operations Command Africa commander.
U.S. Africa Command is dedicated to assisting partner nations throughout the continent in their efforts to bring stability and security to their people. The command views its mission through a whole-of-government lens, and strives to create conditions that lead to enhanced security, economic development and responsive African governments that serve the interests of their citizenry.