U.S. Commander for Special Operations Command Africa Brigadier General Donald Bolduc on Monday 8th February 2016 warned of increased militancy threat saying action need to be taken before they strike harder in the region.
Bolduc warned of ISIS/ISIL (used for the militant group Islamic State) resurgence pointing out that the militant group becoming more effective in North Africa.
Boko Haram which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State is waging deadly attacks in the Lake Chad Basin and AQIM adopting asymmetrical attacks.
The Middle East based Islamic State has exploited the power vacuum in Libya to expand its self-declared caliphate. The militant group controls large areas in Iraq and Syria.
With these militancy scenarios, U.S. in collaboration with France and Germany set to train around 1,700 African Special Forces on combating terror. This year’s training programme will take place on Senegal’s central city of Thies.
TRAINING AND SUPPORT
According to Nathan Broshear, spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, the exercises called Flintlock, after a type of firearm, to symbolize readiness for any threat.
Bolduc stressed the need of regional cooperation, intelligence sharing saying United State will walk with African countries facing militancy challenges pointing out Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon facing the challenge of a common enemy — Boko Haram.
The United States will support a regional task force against the Nigeria-based group Boko Haram.
At the request of African partners, the exercises will also include anti-Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) training.
The programme, an annual event since 2005, will run from February 8 through 29. Some exercises will also be held in Mauritania.