The United States military has called for measures to strengthen U.S.-Nigeria cooperation, counter extremism, and regional security with Nigerian military leaders.
This emerged from a meeting of top U.S. and Nigerian military leaders during a visit by the Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley, and the command’s Senior Enlisted Leader, Sgt. Maj. Michael Woods, who were in the country on January 10-11, 2024.
A press release by the U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs unit said Langley and Woods engaged with Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Major General E.V. Onumajuru, where they discussed opportunities to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two nations, efforts to counter violent extremism in the region, and Nigeria’s leadership when addressing regional security.
In a speech, Langley emphasised the importance of collaboration in addressing West Africa’s security challenges and reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing cooperation with Nigeria, which has the largest population, economy, and democracy in Africa.
He said: “Cooperation and training between the U.S. and Nigerian militaries is vital in addressing the evolving security landscape in West Africa and advancing common interests.
“This visit underscores the United States’ commitment to work in partnership with West African nations in promoting security, stability and prosperity across the region.”
Around West Africa, extremist groups exploit weak governance and environmental stressors, causing instability.
This insecurity not only affects the region but also poses a global threat by fostering terrorism and exacerbating humanitarian crises.
The U.S. Mission Nigeria Chargé d’Affaires David Greene noted: “Instability in West Africa requires collaboration – including intelligence sharing and capacity building – to address.
“In partnership with Nigeria, the United States aims to counter terrorism, provide humanitarian assistance, and achieve the security needed for economic growth.”
Langley also met with Nigerian alumni of the embassy’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and other programmes, where he shared his perspective on leadership and learned about the alumni’s achievements. Langley and Woods further met with embassy diplomatic and military personnel, several of whom he recognised for their accomplishments.
U.S. Africa Command is one of seven U.S. Department of Defence geographic combatant commands.
The command is responsible for all U.S. military operations, exercises, and security cooperation, and conducts crisis response on the African continent to advance U.S. interests and promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.
The visit highlights U.S. Africa Command’s 3D approach, which leverages diplomacy, development, and defence collaboration.