Why US Security Chiefs Are Trooping To Nairobi.
Top US security chiefs are trooping to Nairobi over increasing instability in the region.
The officials are engaging Nairobi to lead in various talks that can help tame the deteriorating situation in the Horn of Africa, officials aware of the trend said.
The latest commander to visit was Commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) General Michael Langley who is in Nairobi for a series of meetings with security chiefs.
“From Somalia, Ethiopia, DRC, Sudan, Burundi and South Sudan things are not looking better. Nairobi is the only focal point to use to address the increasing threats,” an official aware of the situation said.
Gen Langley’s visit on Tuesday came two weeks after US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns met President William Ruto at State House, Nairobi, on January 15, 2024.
He also met other security bosses in Nairobi.
Burns also visited Somalia as part of his trip to the region. His visit came at a time of increased security threats across the region including the Middle East and Horn of Africa.
It also followed the visit of the US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin III in September 2023.
Kenya is among key strategic partners in the US security activities including terrorism and transnational organised crime.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale on Tuesday, January 23 held discussions with Gen Langley at the Defence Headquarters in Nairobi.
Duale hailed the United States for its pivotal role in advancing peace, security, and stability in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region.
Duale highlighted the strong collaboration between Kenya and the US Africom office, emphasizing the cooperative efforts in counter-terrorism, maritime security, and peace support operations.
“This collaborative effort signifies a commitment to strengthening the partnership between the two nations in addressing regional challenges and fostering global stability,” Duale said.
He argued the two countries to continue to partner in the field of intelligence sharing, maritime security, joint training and military assistance through Excess Defence Articles (EDA).
Kenya and the US also have an active framework for Defence Cooperation running between 2023-2028 for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
Additionally, the two countries continue to interact through national Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) and biennial ministerial Bilateral Defence Forum (BDF).
Duale was joined in the meeting by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Francis Ogolla, Defence Principal Secretary Patrick Mariru, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Jonah Mwangi, among other senior military officials.
Gen Langley is a US Marine Corps General who has served as the commander of Africom since August 9, 2022.
Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, U.S. Africom is one of seven joint service geographic combatant commands.
The unit is responsible for all U.S. military operations and activities to protect and advance U.S. national interests in Africa.
The area of responsibility of US Africom consists of 53 African states.
U.S. Africa Command began initial operations on October 1, 2007, and became fully operational on October 1, 2008.
U.S. Africa Command, with partners, counters transnational threats and malign actors, strengthens security forces and responds to crises to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability and prosperity.