Major General Roger Cloutier, US Army Africa commander, has conducted phone or video teleconference meetings with senior military leaders from Botswana, Djibouti, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as Ghana and Senegal, introducing incoming commander Major General Andrew Rohling and affirming ongoing partnerships.
The US military said the teleconferences took place on June 10 and 11.
During the meeting with Major General Molefi Seikano, Botswana Land Forces commander, Cloutier commended Botswana’s whole-of-government approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing the Botswana Defence Force’s supporting role. He also acknowledged the BDF’s ongoing counter-poaching efforts.
Cloutier expressed appreciation to Brigadier General Ali Mohamed Taher, Djibouti Armed Forces deputy chief of defence, for hosting US forces and emphasized continued partnership and commitment to Djibouti’s Rapid Intervention Battalion.
In his conversation with Major General Thomas Oppong-Peprah, Ghanaian chief of army staff, Cloutier applauded Ghanaian Armed Forces for their role as a leading troop-contributing country within United Nations peacekeeping, and recognized their role in regional security efforts in West Africa.
Cloutier thanked General Belkhir El Farouk, the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces Southern Zone commander, for Morocco’s assistance in redeploying personnel and equipment after the African Lion exercise was cancelled as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. Cloutier and Farouk discussed future plans for the African Lion exercise scheduled for 2021.
Cloutier and Brigadier General Fulgence Ndour, the Senegalese chief of army staff, discussed the United Accord exercise that is slated for September. The exercise prioritizes relationship building and increasing readiness in support of UN and African Union mandates in West Africa.
In his discussion with Brigadier General Mohamed El Ghoul, the Tunisian Army chief of staff, Cloutier discussed Tunisian involvement in the regional exercise African Lion 2021 and future security cooperation events planned with US Army Africa.