Terrorists in West Africa may be soon have a harder time planning and executing attacks on innocent civilians, going by a new partnership between Burkina Faso and the District of Columbia National Guard (DCNG).
U.S. military officials and representatives of Burkina Faso’s military met at the Penntagon on May 1 to strategize on how to tackle the rise of terrorism in West Africa, reported Washington top radio (WTOP) J.J. Green.
According to WTOP, Maj. Gen. William Walker, combatant commander of DCNG, louded the new partnership, saying: “We have more West African born soldiers and airmen than, we believe, any other of the 54 National Guards and those soldiers and airmen are everything from public affairs officers to medical doctors,” he said.
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There have been more than 200 terror attacks in the last three years and according to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, terrorist events, “related to Al Qaida in the Land of the Magreb (AQIM) affiliates and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), rose from 24 to 136 in 2018.”, WTOP said.
U.S. Africa Command Deputy Director of Plans Brig. Gen. Steven deMilliano said the partnership, “reinforces our whole of government approach that we’ve taken to our security cooperation in the endeavors that we have on the continent for security, stability and prosperity; not only in Burkina Faso, but for their neighbors as well.”
According to Col. William Hummer, National Guard Bureau’s director of international affairs, “Burkina Faso, this past month launched an operation to address insecurity in the eastern part of the country.
The Burkina Faso Security Forces put 20% of their military into this fight to confront terrorism.”
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, who was in attendance at the meeting said the partnership comes at a critical time.
“Burkina Faso is in a tough fight against terrorism. There’s been a surge in terrorist attacks. This surge in attacks is targeting the state, this fragile democracy and the values that we share with our partners.”