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US undertakes military drills in Ghana and Ivory Coast

The United States is leading a military exercise in Ghana and Ivory Coast this month in an attempt to deal with jihadist threats.

The 15-day military exercise led by U.S. Special Operations Africa Command (SOCAF) started on 1 March and would involve at least 1,300 army personnel from 30 countries.

Codenamed “Flintlock 2023″, the exercise aims to strengthen the ability of participating nations to counter violent extremist organisations and collaborate across borders.

The US has held the Flintlock military drills annually in West Africa since 2005.

Last year, Ivory Coast hosted Flintlock 2022 with over 400 participants from ten nations.

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This year’s iteration aims to continue to build the collective capacity of allies and partners to address key security challenges.

Flintlock aims to build the capacity of key partner countries in the region to counter violent extremist groups, collaborate across borders and keep their people safe, while respecting human rights and building trust with civilian populations.

“Flintlock will allow all of these countries to showcase their talents as they work collectively to address the security challenges facing the region,” SOCAF Deputy Commander Colonel Robert Zyla told reporters in Ghana’s capital Accra in January.

“Violent extremism not only threatens the stability of Africa, but also that of our partners around the world. A safer and more secure Africa will result in a more prosperous global society and security environment,” he added.

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