Somalia: U.S. Embassy Statement On the Visit of AFROCOM Commander to Mogadishu

African Mission for Somalia (Amisom) soldiers fighting the al-Shabaab insurgents in the front line in Mogadishu on June 20, 2011 (file photo).

The commander of U.S. Africa Command visited Somalia on November 5 as part of his trip to the African continent.

General Stephen Townsend met with the President of Somalia, the U.S. Embassy Mogadishu Chargé d'Affaires, Brian Neubert, and senior US and Somali military leadership in Mogadishu.

The visit offered an opportunity to meet with the troops and assess the progress of the campaign against terror networks in the region.

"Our commitment to helping our Somali partners improve security and develop their defense institutions is a top priority," said Gen. Townsend. "Security also requires continued efforts and coordinated support from the international community to make it work."

The U.S. provides assistance to Somalia in the areas of diplomacy, development, and defense.

Townsend noted the threats posed by the terrorist networks to African partners, US interests in the region and US homeland, calling for vigilance and cooperation to keep both Somalia and the region safer.

"Terrorists need to know that we will pursue them relentlessly to disrupt and degrade them today and prevent their spread tomorrow," he said.

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