U.S. Marine Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), met with senior government officials during a visit to Somalia on 27 November.
During the visit, Waldhauser met with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as President Farmaajo, and key Somali defense officials.
“AFRICOM and the U.S. government support the Federal Government of Somalia, the people of Somalia, and the African Union and its mission to Somalia in their efforts to achieve sustained progress in governance, development and security,” said Waldhauser.
AFRICOM, in close collaboration with the U.S. Mission to Somalia and the U.S. Agency for International Development, provide support to President Farmaajo and his administration across the “3 Ds”: development, diplomacy and defense. Under this strategic framework, the U.S. takes a whole-of-government approach to addressing security issues and broader challenges alongside Somalis, because the solutions in Somalia require efforts beyond just the military, AFRICOM said.
“I’m proud of the strong relationship we have established with President Farmaajo and his government,” said Waldhauser. “President Farmaajo and his administration have made measurable progress and it’s clear they are dedicated to reaching the goal of a safe, stable and prosperous Somalia.”
U.S. foreign policy objectives in Somalia are to promote political and economic stability, prevent the use of Somalia as a safe haven for international terrorism, and alleviate the humanitarian crisis caused by years of conflict, drought, flooding, and poor governance. The U.S. is committed to helping Somalia’s government strengthen democratic institutions, improve stability and security, and deliver services for the Somali people.
For its part, AFRICOM is committed to serving as the security component of the broader political-diplomatic efforts of the U.S. Mission to Somalia, whether it is in protecting U.S. personnel and facilities, or in supporting Somali forces through train and equip, as well as advise and assist missions, AFRICOM said.
“It is imperative to understand that everything we do in Somalia is at the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and part of our military support to public diplomacy efforts of the State Department,” said Waldhauser. “AFRICOM and the Department of State are working as part of a substantial international security assistance effort in support of our Somali partners.”
Prior to meeting with President Farmaajo, Waldhauser met with U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto. Yamamoto is one of the highest-level U.S. ambassadors on the African continent, a symbol of the significance the U.S. places on its relationships with the people and government of Somalia.
The two interagency leaders discussed the progress the Somali government has achieved in terms of improving stability, strengthening democratic institutions, and delivering results.
“In the end,” said Waldhauser, “the objective is to support the Somali government as it progresses towards delivering the future that the people of Somalia deserve.”