The US military’s Africa Command (Africom) has cancelled this year’s edition of Exercise African Lion due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Africom on 16 March said out of an abundance of caution, the decision to cancel the exercise was made based on international travel restrictions associated with COVID-19 and to minimize the risk of exposure to US and partner nation service members.
African Lion was scheduled to take place from 23 March to 4 April in Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal. US Africa Command previously released on 10 March that the exercise would be scaled back to protect against COVID-19.
While African Lion 2020 has been cancelled, planning continues for 2021.
The exercise is the latest in a series of local and international events to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. Last week Africom announced it was cancelling the multinational maritime exercise Obangame Express off West Africa. The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Carney arrived in Cape Town over the weekend on its way to take part in the exercise but will now instead embark on a routine patrol in the European and African areas of operation.