Djibouti — The president of Somalia Hassan Sheikh held a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Djibouti on Sunday as his country relies on American support.
Austin who arrived in Djibouti on his first trip to Africa as Secretary of Defense assured President Hassan Sheikh of U.S. continued help in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants.
Both sides discussed ways to eliminate Al-Shabaab in Somalia and the increase of US support for the Somali national army forces, according to the presidency, Villa Somalia.
Lloyd Austin praised the SNA gains made in the war against Al-Shabaab, adding that the US is committed to helping Somalia ensure security and become free from terrorism.
Djibouti is home to the U.S. military's major base on the continent, and Austin said Camp Lemonnier was "critical" to "countering violent extremism and supporting security throughout the region."
A U.S. defense official described al-Shabab as a "difficult challenge" and "not one that is going to stop overnight", according to VOA English Service.