Thursday, May 19, 2022

AFRICOM Commander visits Botswana

The Commander of the United States Africa Command, General Carter Ham, is scheduled to visit Botswana this week, the United States Embassy has revealed.

The United States Africa Command, also known as AFRICOM, is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the U.S. Department of Defense. As one of six that are regionally focused, it is devoted solely to Africa.

U.S. AFRICOM is answerable to the Secretary of Defense for U.S. military relations with 54 African countries.

Ham is set to meet senior government officials and Botswana Defence Force (BDF) officials.
A communication from the embassy states that Ham, who will be on a two-day visit to Botswana, will take part in the closing ceremony of the ongoing joint military training exercise at Thebephatswa Air base.

“The joint training activities conducted under Southern Accord 12 have enhanced the capabilities of military personnel from both countries in a variety of areas, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, anti-poaching, peacekeeping, and convoy operations, and aero-medical evacuation.

The Exercise included both classroom instruction and field exercises. The United States has in the past two years conducted similar Joint Military Training Exercises with African countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” the press statement states. “In addition, BDF and U.S. personnel conducted outreach programs in several rural communities, including Malwelwe, Mantshwabisi, Serinane, and Monwane. These outreach activities included dental and medical examinations, veterinary assistance, and support for safe male circumcision.”

According to the embassy, U.S. AFRICOM is committed to supporting U.S. Government objectives through the delivery and sustainment of effective security cooperation programs that assist African nations to build their security capacity and to enable them to better provide for their own defense. The command was created by presidential order in 2007 and was officially activated in October.

American growing interest in Botswana has recently raised suspicion among other African countries that Botswana is holding discussions with the U.S to host AFRICOM military bases.

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