Partnering With African Nations To Promote Regional Peace and Security

Over the past decade, nations across the African continent have come together to take charge of their regional security. The United States welcomes the efforts of our African partners to address African security challenges, and supports its partners through a wide range of security assistance programs. I recently joined my colleagues, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Amanda Dory, to update Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the progress we have made and challenges that we have faced to date as we work to promote peace and security in Africa.

There are many areas where security in Africa has improved, oftentimes with U.S. support.  Post conflict military reform has made great progress in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone; regional organizations are strengthening maritime security; and African peacekeepers are taking the bulk of the continent’s peacekeeping burden.  Despite progress in the region, a number of significant and complex security challenges remain. Conflict persists in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia, and South Sudan. Terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Shabaab, and Boko Haram, threaten communities and States. Many African countries still have difficulty monitoring their maritime borders, leading to piracy and other significant economic and security threats. Narcotics trafficking fuels corruption and undermines governments. And while some sub-Saharan African countries have achieved rapid economic growth in recent years, nearly 70 percent of sub-Saharan Africans live in extreme poverty, contributing to insecurity by fueling desperation.

Our African partners have asked us to help them build stronger governmental institutions and reform security sectors so that they can strengthen responses to these long-term challenges.

In particular, we prioritize four main areas of focus for U.S. Security Assistance to Africa:

We share security responsibilities with our African partners who have shown their desire to combat security challenges head-on; we believe that this partnership will result in a strengthening of our shared peace and prosperity.

About the Author: Puneet Talwar serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.

Comments

Comments

Eliot W.
|
Maryland, USA
June 26, 2015
This is great! I've been waiting for something like this for years.
Posted by Puneet Talwar
June 25, 2015

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