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Complex problems in Africa require African-led, African-sourced solutions


Madam Virginia Palmer, the U.S Ambassador to Ghana, says Africa’s complex problems require African-led and African-sourced solutions.

She said through Flintlock exercise 2023 and decades of military-to-military cooperation, the United States had demonstrated that its bilateral relationship was strong, productive, and mutually beneficial, helping to address some challenges on the continent.

Madam Palmer was speaking at the Flintlock Distinguished Visitors (DV) Day event at Sogakope in the Volta Region.

She said: ‘Our approach brings to bear the diplomatic, development, and security tools of the U.S. government in collaboration with our partners for a more peaceful and prosperous region.’

Flintlock started in 1968 as a series of joint combined exchange training between the United States European Command and allied European countries during the height of the Cold War.

In 2005, the ‘Flintlock’ series was redesigned into a single multinational training exercise with a new purpose to address the key themes of counter terrorism, counter illicit trafficking, collective security, and partnership in a new exercise area in Africa.

Since then, Flintlock has been conducted annually under the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership from just a small handful of African and International partners.

The two-week field training exercise is now a multinational exercise comprised of nearly 30 African and International partners, operating across five sites, spanning two countries (Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire) and conducting command post exercises, field training exercises, and now, for the first time, maritime training exercises.

The exercise is designed to strengthen the ability of key partner nations to counter violent extremist organisations collaborating across borders and provide security for their people, while respecting human rights and building trust with the civilian population.

It is United States Africa Command’s premiere and largest Special Operations Forces exercise in Africa with over 1,400 combined forces, the U.S. Special Operations Command, Africa and Ghana Armed Forces.

She said the exercise demonstrated that Ghana’s efforts to strengthen regional security were backed by international and regional partners, standing side-by-side with its African Partners to push back on threats against its common values and democratic norms.

The Ambassador said Flintlock was a long-running multinational effort and that the US’s commitment to security in the region was long-term, and described the exercise as very timely, with security threats coming from violent extremism in the Sahel.

Rear Admiral Jamie Sands, the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, said:’From the maritime training to the expanded headquarters and staff activities at the JMHQ and the outstations, we are coming together to set the groundwork to solve the security challenges that pose threats across the region.’

The participating African nations are Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroun, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia.

International participants are Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Source: Ghana News Agency



February 2024