U.S. Deploys Naval Ship to Boost Safety on East African Waters

The U.S. has reportedly stationed the first naval ship to Eastern Africa in over a decade to boost maritime security and allow freedom of navigation in the region, two months after Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta received the U.S.-Africa Command General Stephen Townsend in Nairobi. The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams can be used for a broad range of military operations, acting as a mobile sea base to support multiple operational phases. Its deployment comes amid a diplomatic crisis between Somalia and Kenya. Extremist groups operating in East Africa, including Al-Shabaab, Ansar al-Sunna and the Islamic State, are reportedly taking advantage of the gaps in the region's maritime security. These groups fund a portion of their activities through maritime smuggling that involves drugs, arms and human trafficking.

InFocus

Kenya's Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma (centre) with Director General, Kenya Coast Guard, Vincent Naisho Loonena (left) during a tour inside a U.S. Naval Ship which is deployed along the Eastern Coast of Africa to provide Maritime Security.

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