US warns: Boko Haram, others remain a threat

Biden

The United States has said that violent extremist organisations including Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab remain a threat to the African continent.

It also said the activities of the Peoples Republic of China on Africa might increase instability in the continent.

The Deputy Commanding General, United States Army (Europe-Africa) Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, and the Commanding General, US Army (Europe and Africa), Gen. Christopher Cavoli, said these at a telephonic briefing with journalists on Tuesday.

The comments came amid Nigeria and other African countries’ dependence on Chinese loans to finance their infrastructure projects.

Chinese credit accounts for 80 per cent of all bilateral loans to Nigeria, and according to data from the Debt Management Office, as at March 2019, Nigeria’s total debt to China stood at $2.554 billion.

Rohling said the US would not cooperate with China but would prefer to be an alternative to the Asian country on the continent.

Responding to a question on China’s activities on the continent, Rohling stated, ‘’Africa is an emerging front on global power competition, and China is looking to compete in Africa and they’re seizing opportunities across the continent.

‘’Our strategic approach, the United States strategic approach, continues – is that of continuing to position the US and our allies as the partners of choice in Africa.  We continue to provide a preferable alternative to partnering with an actor who may undermine the economic, political, and security institutions as well as increased instability across the continent of Africa.’’

The deputy commander noted that the US competitive security edge over China lies primarily with ‘’the superiority of our equipment, of our training, of our education, and the other security assistance that we provide; and secondly, it’s our support to counterterrorist operations across the continent.’’

Rohling  pointed out that the  capacity-building for partners include counter-IED training for countries across the continent, logistics, engineering, medical and mission-command training, adding that over 600 surgeries were also conducted between 2018 and 2019, noting that six more of those medical exercises had been planned for this year.

He said violent extremist organisations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram and others remained  a threat, emphasising that ‘’they’re a brutal, capable enemy, as they’ve planned and conducted numerous violent attacks on African citizens, US military service members, international military forces.’’Punch

 

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