VICENZA, Italy -- Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, the U.S. Army Africa commander, conducted phone or video teleconference meetings with senior military leaders from Botswana, Djibouti, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as Ghana and Senegal, June 10 and 11, respectively. Cloutier introduced Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, the incoming USARAF commander, to each senior leader and affirmed USARAF’s ongoing partnership.
During the meeting with Maj. Gen. Molefi Seikano, the Botswana Land Forces commander, Cloutier commended Botswana’s whole-of-government approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing the Botswana Defence Force’s supporting role. He also acknowledged the BDF’s ongoing counter-poaching efforts.
Cloutier expressed appreciation to Brig. Gen. Ali Mohamed Taher, the Djibouti Armed Forces deputy chief of defense, for hosting U.S. forces and emphasized continued partnership and commitment to Djibouti’s Rapid Intervention Battalion.
In his conversation with Maj. Gen. Thomas Oppong-Peprah, the Ghanaian chief of army staff, Cloutier applauded Ghanaian Armed Forces for their role as a leading troop-contributing country within United Nations peacekeeping, and recognized their role in regional security efforts in West Africa.
Cloutier thanked Gen. Belkhir El Farouk, the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces Southern Zone commander, for Morocco’s assistance in redeploying personnel and equipment after the African Lion exercise was canceled as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. Cloutier and Farouk discussed future plans for the African Lion exercise scheduled for 2021.
Cloutier and Brig. Gen. Fulgence Ndour, the Senegalese chief of army staff, discussed the United Accord exercise that is slated for September. The exercise prioritizes relationship building and increasing readiness in support of U.N. and African Union mandates in West Africa.
In his discussion with Brig. Gen. Mohamed El Ghoul, the Tunisian Army chief of staff, Cloutier discussed Tunisian involvement in the regional exercise African Lion 2021 and future security cooperation events planned with U.S. Army Africa.