AFRICOM Commander Visits Benin to Strengthen Bilateral Security Partnership

General Langley’s visit underscores our diverse expanding partnership to help the Beninese people by our joint efforts to defend against violent extremism and to promote economic development



By U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs United States Africa Command Cotonou, Benin May 07, 2024
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Cotonou, Benin – U.S. Marine Corps General Michael Langley, Commander, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Major Michael Woods, Command Senior Enlisted Leader visited Benin May 1-3, 2024, on his first trip to Benin since taking command.

This historic first visit marks a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between the two nations, highlighting their shared commitment to strengthen democratic institutions, respect human rights, and foster prosperity for the people of Benin.

U.S. Ambassador to Benin Brian Shukan welcomed General Langley on his first visit to Cotonou in his current role. He stated, “General Langley’s visit underscores our diverse expanding partnership to help the Beninese people by our joint efforts to defend against violent extremism and to promote economic development.”

General Langley engaged in constructive dialogues with senior Benin civilian and military leadership, including the President of Benin Patrice Talon, as well as the Chief of Defense Staff Major General Fructueux Gbaguidi, emphasizing the importance of collaboration in addressing common security challenges and advancing mutual interests. "Benin holds a strategic position in West Africa, and our partnership with the Benin defense forces is crucial in countering violent extremism and promoting stability in the region. This visit has further solidified our commitment to working alongside our Beninese counterparts in enhancing security cooperation and addressing emerging threats."

The U.S. partnership with Benin spans over six decades, dating back to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1960. The U.S. remains steadfast in its support for Benin's efforts to promote democracy, enhance security, and improve the prosperity of its citizens.

Langley added, "The U.S. values its longstanding relationship with Benin, which is rooted in shared democratic values and a commitment to regional security. We are proud to support Benin in its endeavors to strengthen democratic institutions, promote economic development, and enhance the well-being of its people."

This visit also celebrates the 10th year of partnership between Benin’s military and North Dakota National Guard. This enduring partnership has facilitated exchanges of expertise, training, and resources, enhancing interoperability and capacity building. Through joint exercises and cultural exchanges, the program has strengthened bonds between North Dakota and Benin, further bolstering the broader US-Benin partnership and contributing to regional stability.

Through professionalization and capacity building assistance, the U.S. continues to support the development of Benin's military and security forces, with a focus on enhancing domestic and regional security. This collaborative approach underscores the shared commitment to promoting peace and stability in West Africa.

U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is one of 11 U.S. Department of Defense combatant commands, each with a geographic or functional mission that provides command and control of military forces in peace and war. U.S. Africa Command employs the broad-reaching diplomacy, development, and defense approach to foster interagency efforts and help negate the drivers of conflict and extremism in Africa.

For more information, visit our website (https://www.africom.mil)), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AFRICOM/ ) and Twitter (@USAfricaCommand), or contact U.S. Africa Command Media Relations at africom-pao-media@mail.mil. 

Please also see the website (https://bj.usembassy.gov), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/usembassybenin), and Twitter (@USEmbassyBenin) for the U.S. Embassy in Benin. 

For further information, please call the U.S. Embassy at +229 21 30 06 50. 

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