Africom commander meets with Djiboutian Foreign Minister


US Army General Stephen Townsend, commander, US Africa Command, and US Ambassador to Djibouti Larry E Andre met with Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf on 26 November and discussed security in Djibouti, the region and their dedication to working together on the mutual goals of regional stability, security, and prosperity.

The visit highlighted the strong partnership and ways Djibouti and the United States continue to work together to ensure security for the region, the US military’s Africa Command (Africom) said.

“Djibouti is a critical security partner, providing essential support for our activities across East Africa and to the African Union Mission in Somalia. Djibouti has demonstrated its commitment to regional security and we are proud to partner with them,” said Townsend.

The leaders underscored the importance of the longstanding US-Djibouti security partnership. Djibouti provides essential support for US military activities in the Horn of Africa, East Africa, the Western Indian Ocean and beyond.

US Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa is Headquartered at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. It represents the largest enduring US military presence in Africa. CJTF-HOA’s mission is to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional security and stability, dissuade conflict, and protect US interests, Africom said.

“Global competitors understand Africa’s importance to their strategic interests. What we do in East Africa matters to US national security and it is important our forces understand the positive impact they are having,” said Townsend.

The US supports the development of Djibouti’s military, to include the Djibouti’s Rapid Intervention Battalion, a quick reaction infantry force trained and equipped by the US.

Djiboutian forces regularly participate in US Africa Command training events to include Justified Accord and the Cutlass Express exercises where an exchange of ideas, mutual learning, and interoperability across domains occurs between the US, African, and international countries.