U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, accompanied by the Command’s Senior Chief, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Major Richard Thresher, completed a trip to several countries in the East Africa region and Angola, May 11-20.
During his travels, he visited civilian and military leaders in Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda and Angola. The trip provided U.S. Africa Command leaders the opportunity to meet with civilian and military leaders from each country to emphasize the importance of partnership in addressing regional threats and achieving shared security goals.
The first leg of the trip was in Hargeisa, Somaliland, where Townsend and U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Larry E. André, Jr. Hearne met with Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland to discuss an expanded and enriched partnership.
Townsend also traveled to Berbera and Moghadishu, where he met with Somali Defense Force Chief Brig. General Odawa Yusuf Rage and the Force Commander of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya. Townsend also conducted a routine battlefield circulation and reconnaissance of joint service members at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.
In Djibouti, Townsend presided over the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) change of command ceremony in which Maj. Gen. Bill Zana handed over responsibility to Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley.
“I came to Djibouti, the only permanent American base in Africa, to hand over command of CJTF-Horn of Africa from one great leader to another,” Townsend said. “Stability and security in East Africa is an important national security interest of the United States and no one has been more dedicated to it than Major General Bill Zana. The leadership of Bill at CJTF-HOA has been instrumental in achieving U.S. objectives in East Africa and maintaining our superb long-term relationships with our Djiboutian partners.I am optimistic for the future as Major- General Jami Shawley assumes command of the CJTF-HOA. I know she will continue our mission to keep pressure on terrorists and other malign actors in this region and will continue to engage with our African and international partners who are so critical to our collective success.
In Kenya, Townsend and U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Kenya Eric W. Kneedler met with Kenyan President Uruhu Kenyatta to discuss mutual security concerns and express their gratitude to Kenya for its continued security leadership and collaboration. regional. Townsend and Kneedler also participated in a pass and review at Kenya Defense Force Headquarters.
Townsend then traveled to Angola where he accompanied US Ambassador to Angola Tulinabo S. Mushingi in a meeting with Angolan President João Lourenço. It was the first trip for Townsend to Angola, which signed an agreement five years ago with the United States to deepen defense cooperation. During his visit, the leaders’ conversations focused on mutual security concerns, and Townsend welcomed the opportunity to find additional ways to strengthen relations with Angola.
The final leg of Townsend’s trip was to Rwanda, where he and US Charge d’Affaires in Rwanda Deb MacLean met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Townsend expressed appreciation for Rwanda’s longstanding partnership with the United States, including longstanding cooperation with the Rwanda-Nebraska National Guard State Partnership Program, as a demonstration of the Rwanda’s vision for a stable, secure and prosperous Africa.
|Date posted:||25.05.2022 03:58|
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