New Africom commander visits Djibouti


The new commander of the US Africa Command (Africom) General Stephen J Townsend, visited Djibouti between 6 and 8 August to meet with Republic of Djibouti senior defence officials and to attend meetings at Camp Lemonnier.

This was part of his first trip to the African continent since taking command on 26 July this year.

“The U.S. and the Republic of Djibouti enjoy an enduring, strong, and cooperative partnership,” said Townsend. “Our relationship with Djibouti is based on mutual interests, goals, and a shared concern about the security and stability of the region. We value our relationship with our Djiboutian partners and their positive role and commitment to making the region safer.”

Townsend’s three day visit provided insight into the current political and military situation in East Africa, as well as current operations and areas for further coordination, Africom said. The commander thanked Djibouti for its continued long-standing support in hosting Camp Lemonnier. He highlighted the important contributions of Djibouti’s AMISOM peacekeepers in Somalia, noting that “through their efforts under challenging conditions, Djibouti has contributed significantly to security in the region.”

“We look to build enduring relationships, not short term, nor transactional ones,” said Townsend. “We lead with our values, hard work, and a desire to strengthen partnerships on the African continent. We are committed to working together and advancing our partnership with Djibouti.”

Townsend was joined in his consultations by U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti Larry E. André. “Our two countries’ security forces enjoy excellent cooperation,” remarked Ambassador André, “and this cooperation enhances our rich bilateral relationship.”