April 20, 2024

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U.S. Africa Command Head Advances U.S.-Nigeria Cooperation

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley and Sgt. Maj. Michael Woods visited Nigeria on January 10-11, 2024. They discussed strengthening U.S.-Nigeria cooperation, countering extremism, and regional security with Nigerian military leaders. Gen. Langley emphasized the importance of collaboration in addressing West Africa’s security challenges.

Langley and Woods engaged with Major General EV Onumajuru, Chief of Defense Training and Operations. The leaders 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. Langley reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing cooperation with Nigeria, which has the largest population, economy, and democracy in Africa.

“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,” Langley said. “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.

“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,” stated U.S. Mission Nigeria Chargé d’Affaires David Greene.  

Langley also met with Nigerian alumni of the embassy’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and other programs, 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 recognized for their accomplishments.

U.S. Africa Command is one of seven U.S. Department of Defense 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 defense collaboration.

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