US Army to train some African countries in cyber, land and maritime defence

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
US soldiers carry a wounded person to a helicopter.
US soldiers carry a wounded person to a helicopter.
Justin Sullivan
  • Botswana, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti and Somaliland in United States Army exercise code-named "Justified Accord".
  • Twenty-five African armies to take part in US army's Exercise Obangame Express 2023.
  • The US wants to help African countries improve their defence against extremists.

Divisions of the United States Army in Africa will hold a series of engagements and training with its African partners beginning next month.

Armed forces of Botswana, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia will take part in the exercise code-named "Justified Accord" from late this month.

According to the US Army's Southern European Task Force - Africa, Justified Accord 2023 (J23) is "designed to increase multinational interoperability in crisis response and counterterrorism operations, and prepare regional partners for United Nations and African Union mandated missions".

The exercise will feature live fire and maritime exercises, a cyber course, field training, and special operations.

The US Army's Africa Command said the training would include approximately 800 participants from 20 partner nations, including six African countries.

Activities will take place largely in Nairobi and Isiolo in Kenya, with other activities taking place in Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana, and Djibouti.

READ | Protesting Zimbabwe health workers could face jail after new law passed

Last week, personnel with the US combined joint task force for the Horn of Africa travelled to the port of Berbera in Somaliland on a sight survey.

"The US military routinely surveys potential operating locations to prepare for contingencies and exercise readiness or adjust force posture as directed," said the US combined joint task force in a statement.

The 10-day training exercise is meant to help the US Army Africa and East African participants improve their capacity to respond to regional security threats posed by violent extremist organisations and to more effectively counter the associated ideology. 

It also helps to forge partnerships with US Army Africa and the East African military forces. Meanwhile, the Exercise Obangame Express 2023 (OE23) - the largest multinational maritime exercise in Western and Central Africa - will start its 12th year with 29 participating nations at an opening ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, on 23 January.

READ | Former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka part of AU's Ethiopia-Tigray peace talks team

In a statement, the US Naval Forces Europe and Africa said OE23 "is designed to improve regional cooperation, information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of participating nations to counter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and other sea-based illicit activity".

In order to secure the ongoing sustainable use of marine resources and to promote the security and stability of international maritime trade, the United States Africa Command supports its African partners in defending their maritime economies.

African countries that will take part are Angola, Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and the Economic Community of West African States   and the Economic Community of Central African States.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Somaliland would take part in the exercise. It is, in fact, Somalia which will be taking part. This has been corrected. We apologise for the error.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Do you think the wardens deployed across Gauteng will make a dent in curbing crime?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, proper policing is needed
80% - 2701 votes
Yes, anything will help at this point
20% - 679 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.