The United States has donated equipment including logistics vehicles and armoured storage containers to Burkina Faso’s military in order to build the country’s capacity to fight terrorism.
The US Embassy in Ougadougou said equipment worth $650 000 was handed over on 30 December 2019 and included armoured containers for the storage of weapons and ammunition.
In late December the embassy said it had handed over $983 000 worth of equipment to Burkina Faso’s armed forces, including transport and communications hardware, which will be used by the joint G5 Sahel counter-terrorism force.
The logistics equipment included at least six Mercedes trucks. In the past, the United States has donated Mercedes Atego trucks to Burkina Faso and other African partner nations. Burkina Faso’s Counter Terrorism Company received ten Atego vehicles, helmets, body armour, medical kits and communications equipment in 2014.
The force, known in French as the l’Unité d’Intervention Polyvalente (UPI), was set up as a special counter-terror police unit with military and organisational assistance from the US Army Africa Command (Africom) in January 2013 against the background of a regional spate of terror acts and kidnappings of foreigners by Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and allied groups operating from northern Mali.
“United States assistance to Burkina Faso’s security has increased exponential in order to help a valuable partner face real security challenges while building Burkina Faso’s capacity to fight terrorism,” the US embassy said.
Burkina Faso recently joined the United States’ State Partnership Programme, with the country partnering with the state of Columbia from February 2019. There are currently 15 State Partnerships between the United States and African nations: Benin, Ghana, and Togo are partnered with North Dakota; Botswana and North Carolina; Burkina Faso and DC; Djibouti and Kentucky; Kenya and Massachusetts; Liberia and Michigan; Morocco and Utah; Niger and Indiana; Nigeria and California; Senegal and Vermont; South Africa and New York; Tunisia and Wyoming; and Rwanda and Nebraska.