Gen. Ham’s visit is the first by any Commander of AFRICOM since the body was established about four years ago to take charge of US security interest in Africa.
The AFRICOM Commander told a select group of journalists that Nigeria’s role in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is important for regional security, saying the US looks forward to joint cooperation in the areas of communication, logistics and training.
Ham has already held meetings with the National Security Adviser, Gen Owoye Andrew Azazi, Acting Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim and the leadership ECOWAS and its Peace and Security Directorate.
The US, the AFRICOM leader stated, is ready to offer technical assistance to Nigeria in containing internal insurgency, especially with the latest trend of the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) by some violent groups in Nigeria.
He also stated the worry of US on the growing cooperation between outlawed groups within and outside Nigeria [ FYI: Boko Haram, via wikipedia], adding that part of the reason for the visit was to find out how the US could help in preventing collaboration between these groups.
Gen Ham said the US was specifically interested in the Nigerian military “simply because our two nations share great communality of interest for security challenges. So, we look at the future and look at whatever can undermine the security in your country and in mine. We share a lot in common. So, in this visit, we are looking at opportunities to meet with Nigerian leaders to explore avenues for us to strengthen and improve on the existing partnerships between the armed forces of the US and that of Nigeria.’
Phantom Report: US security interests in Nigeria = oil –> Nigeria steadied oil production at 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) at the weekend and crude prices on the international market rose. >> All Africa March27th ,2011