The West African sub region, is facing intense security challenges following the increased activities from violent extremists groups.
Mali and Burkina Faso, have become theatres of violence, with various armed groups attacking, kidnapping and killing on a daily basis.
Analysts believe the terrorists are seeking to reach coastal states along the Gulf of Guinea, such as Togo, Benin and Ghana, where they can have direct access to the sea and transport logistics to aid their cause.
The growing threat of terrorism in Sahel is not only dangerous for the West African subregion, but it also puts Europe under direct threat due to its proximity to the African continent.
Equipping armies on the continent with the skills and resources to counter the threat is therefore crucial towards safeguarding the peace and stability of the world.
As part of this effort, the United States and its partners initiated a joint military training under the code name, Operation African Lion, which has, over the years, been carried out in Morocco and Tunisia.
However, the 2022 program saw the addition of Senegal and Ghana all hosting month-long training camps.
More than seven thousand troops from the participating countries had the opportunity for shoulder-to-shoulder training, to ensure a coordinated multinational response.
In a digital press briefing on the initiative, the Commander of the US Army Southern European Task Force, Major General Andrew M. Rohling explained that, Ghana and Senegal were included this year because the exercise fits the security needs of both countries.
“They intertwined well with our interoperability objectives that we were hoping to get at African Lion,” he stressed.
The exercise in Ghana saw the Ghana Armed Forces and their US partners participate in a joint simulated attack on the Daboya Military Training camp, which partner forces were able to neutralize.
According to Major General Rohling, the simulated exercise “will help each participating country, no matter how they participate, prove themselves to be a little better and a little more capable of exercising their military and their governance as best sees fit. So I think that if you have the opportunity to rehearse in training and rehearse in simulation and rehearse with your partners, it makes you a stronger country when you face a real threat.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama after watching the exercise, assured Ghanaians that, the military are ready to counter any attack by extremist groups. Adding that, the troops are also preparing to join a multi-national operation to fight the growing presence of the jihadists in the gulf region.Read Full Story