Insecurity:Us says it won’t relocate Africa Command to Nigeria – US rejects Buhari’s request
Written by Emmanuel Okorie on May 8, 2021
The United States has rejected a request by Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari for it to relocate its Africa Command from its current base in Germany to Nigeria or any other part of Africa, noting that it has no plan to do so, in a email to PUNCH.
In bid to tackle growing insecurity in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, Buhari in a virtual meeting with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on April 27, appealed to the US government to consider relocating AFRICOM to Africa to assist Nigeria and other adjoining countries to combatBuhari has said, “The security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to us and impacted more negatively, by existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad Region.“Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing them and addressing their root causes.“The support of important and strategic partners like the United States cannot be overstated as the consequences of insecurity will affect all nations, hence the imperative for concerted cooperation and collaboration of all nations to overcome these challenges.“In this connection, and considering the growing security challenges in West and Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and the Sahel, weighing heavily on Africa, it underscores the need for the United States to consider relocating AFRICOM headquarters from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation.”However, the US government on Thursday ruled out any plan to relocate AFRICOM from its current base in Germany to Nigeria or any part of Africa.According to the United States Department of Defence’ Pentagon, previous studies have shown that the cost of relocating AFRICOM from Germany to Africa is very huge.In an emailed response to Saturday PUNCH, the Pentagon said although it would continue to value Nigeria and other countries in Africa as important partners, the American government would not consider relocating AFRICOM to any part of the African continent at the moment.PUNCH had asked if the US would consider Nigeria’s request to relocate AFRICOM to the continent.“It would be inappropriate to speculate on any future actions. However, at this time, moving this headquarters (AFRICOM HQ) to Africa is not part of any plans, but USAFRICOM’s commitment to their mission, our African and other partners, remains as strong today as when we launched this command more than a decade ago,” US Pentagon spokesperson, Ms Cindi King, said.King also ruled out any plan to consider Buhari’s request in an ongoing global US defence review, according to PUNCH.She said, “Although there is an ongoing Global Posture Review, the relocation of Combatant Command headquarters is outside the scope of its assessment. In the case of AFRICOM, previous studies have concluded that the cost associated with the relocation of this headquarters is significant and likely to incur the expense of other engagement opportunities and activities that more directly benefit our valued African partners.“We greatly value the partnership with Nigeria and appreciate President Buhari’s recognition of the United States’ positive contribution to African peace and security, as well as other regional partners that have made similar past pronouncements. The United States remains committed to continuing our close partnership with African countries and organisations to promote security and stability.”