AFRICOM: Tackling Challenges and Fostering Partnerships in Africa
ROME - Commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), U.S. Marine Corps General Michael Langley, addressed the media in a press briefing held at the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub. He discussed his priorities for his tenure, top regional security challenges in Africa, and his participation in the 2023 African Chiefs of Defense Conference.
General Langley began by expressing his condolences to the families of the three Somali National Army members who perished in a helicopter crash earlier this week. He emphasized that this tragic incident serves as a reminder of the real costs in the fight against terrorism.
AFRICOM's mission supports the U.S. National Security Strategy, which recognizes Africa as a geopolitical force. The U.S. is committed to working with African partners in a transparent and inclusive manner to achieve collective security and stabilization goals.
Reflecting on the African Leaders Summit last December and the recent Chiefs of Defense Conference, Langley noted the importance of strong U.S.-Africa relations for a shared future. He highlighted the 3D approach taken by AFRICOM in its partnerships, focusing on diplomacy by the U.S. State Department, development by USAID, and defense as charged to him by the Department of Defense.
In addressing challenges such as countering the spread of violent extremist organizations and improving collective maritime capacity, AFRICOM will continue to focus on strengthening existing partners and building new ones.
Langley also provided insights on the ongoing Flintlock and African Lion exercises, which aim to build capacity and interoperability to address security challenges. He touched on the security situation in the Horn of Africa, expressing cautious optimism about the progress made by the Somali Government against al-Shabaab and the fragile peace in the Ethiopia Tigray conflict.
Additionally, he emphasized the role of Djibouti in the stabilization of Somalia. Djibouti, alongside other regional players such as Ethiopia and Kenya, supports Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's national objective of disrupting and deterring al-Shabaab and their illicit activities inside Somalia.