Africa: U.S Defense Secretary Reiterates Commitment to African Partners

Luanda — The United States of America (USA) is deeply committed to ensuring that Africa enjoys all the protections of international rules and standards that promote security and prosperity.

The statement was made this Wednesday, in Luanda, by the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, when he spoke about the new angles of US policy towards Africa and the power of partnership, at the end of a tour of the African continent, which previously took him to Kenya and Djibouti.

Lloyd Austin reiterated the commitment of the North American Government and the President of the United States to the future of Africa, redoubling efforts to prevent conflicts, especially through its strategy to prevent conflicts and promote stability.

He highlighted the need for the continent to overcome the most urgent common threats it faces, and expressed optimism regarding a shared future in which there is peace, prosperity and, above all, freedom.

The U.S Defense Secretary referred, among others, to the fact that military cooperation with African partners is now stronger, there is collaboration in strengthening ties, always based on equality and mutual respect, the joining of new partners and building coalitions to oppose aggression and defend sovereignty.

He noted that the United States is empowering its partners to find local, national, and regional solutions to the dangers they face, as well as working to help create stronger institutions to combat the long-term forces that shape extremism.

According to Lloyd Austin, threats include violent extremism, piracy, cyber vulnerabilities and climate catastrophes, often made worse by tenuous governance, predatory institutions or persistent poverty.

"So we are determined to work with our valued African partners to develop the capabilities they need to keep their populations safe," he said, adding that the extraordinary US Africa Command, led by General Michael Langley, provides a range of support to partners' security forces.

Likewise, he said, to increase their capabilities, President Biden created, last year, the "21st Century Partnership for African Security".

The Secretary of Defense mentioned the cruelty of extremist organizations or terrorist groups, such as Al-Shabaad and ISIS, which deliberately target innocent civilians and cause the destruction of communities on the continent, as well as waves of suffering and instability that cross borders.

In this sense, he argued that African security forces must be able to combat these groups, defend their sovereignty and protect their people, a task that he considered AFRICOM's central point, the States Command for Africa.

For lasting success, he said, African countries need responsive, transparent and civilian-led institutions that respect human rights, uphold the rule of law and work for all their people.

He also considered it important that there is greater participation of women in issues of peace and security at the continent level and highlighted joint work to deepen partners' cyber security, as well as to expand information sharing in this area, in order to help African countries to combat the digital evil of external disinformation.

On the other hand, he spoke of close cooperation in the space area, with emphasis on Nigeria and Rwanda, countries that recently signed the Artemis Accords, which establish common principles to guide space exploration, and joint efforts in the field of health, against infectious diseases and medical readiness.

Lloyd Austin made a 24-hour visit to Angola, as part of a tour of Africa, which will take him to Djibouti and Kenya.

In the country, the North American official was received in an audience by the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, and witnessed the opening of talks between military delegations from Angola and the USA.

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