Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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U.S. relies on Senegal to fight terrorism in Africa: Pompeo

Saturday 22/February/2020 - 07:02 PM
The Reference
Nahla Abdelmonem

With an aim to deepen as part of deepening the African-American partnership, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has conducted a multi-purpose visit to the continent, which began on February 15, 2020 in the western region that rages with terrorists and sectarian conflicts, particularly Senegal, where he stayed for two days, before heading towards Angola and Ethiopia.
Pompeo also visited Angola and Senegal, where he highlighted America’s commitment to pursuing its strategic interests and supporting its African allies.
According to Pompeo, the United States is committed to sending counter-terrorism resources to Africa to aid the continent’s ongoing fight against terrorist forces.
Speaking alongside senior Senegalese officials during the first stop of his multi-nation visit to Africa, Pompeo said the Trump administration is currently reviewing its security plans for West Africa and will ensure nations in the region receive all the support they need in the fight against terrorism.
In his meetings with the Senegalese president and foreign minister, Pompeo has warned about terrorism, which endangers 350 million people in West Africa as well as America, pointing out that Washington is counting on Senegal.
"We’ll get it right and we’ll get it right collectively," Pompeo said of the number of American forces likely to be sent to the region to assist with security.
As the lead stop on his first-ever tour of sub-Saharan Africa as secretary of state, Pompeo discussed key regional security issues, as well as private investment opportunities for American businesses.
"We have an obligation to get security right here in the region that will permit economic growth," Pompeo said.
He also added that the U.S. has made significant effort, and the international community is commending and on Mali and other countries that the U.S. works closely with.
Pompeo said the U.S. will work with Senegal, other West African countries and France to counter the growing threat of extremist violence.
“We have an obligation to get security right here, in the region — it's what will permit economic growth and we're determined to do that,” Pompeo said. “And I'm convinced that when our review is done, we'll have a conversation with not just Senegal, but all the countries in the region.”
Washington has obligated more than $106 million in security assistance to support Senegal's security institutions since 2014. The U.S., via the Departments of State and Defense, helps train and equip the Senegalese military and police to counter the evolving threats of regional terrorism and cross-border violence that spills over from the Sahel region.
For his part, Ali Bakr, an expert on terrorism and terrorist groups, told The Reference in an interview that the weak geographical borders between countries of the African continent and the decline in the efficiency of security services caused a surge in extremism and the supply of weapons in the region.
He further added that the Sahel region is witnessing a growing influence by Daesh, to compete with the old presence of al-Qaeda, and due to the sharing of borders between Mali and Senegal, the latter is affected by the ongoing operations and attacks, so it is a good station for managing the war against terrorism in the region.