Morocco is a "fantastic host" and irreplaceable for the United States

The head of the United States Command for Africa (Africom), General Stephen J. Townsend, praised all the work provided by Morocco during the 18 years of joint military exercises of the African Lion. It will be difficult to find a country in Africa that will be able to offer what Morocco is able to provide, he said.

After the incisors of the anti-Moroccan and pro-polisario militia senator, James Inhofe, the head of the United States Command for Africa (Africom) held a briefing on Tuesday to explain several points concerning the African Lion.

The American senator and chairman of the Defense Committee, had requested the transfer of the next edition of the African Lion military exercise to another country, justifying this, according to him, by ” obstacles “ presented by Morocco in the Sahara dossier.

But the head of the United States Africa Command brushed aside all these criticisms by underlining the unique and difficult to replace role of Morocco in these combined military exercises, highlighting all the things that the kingdom brings for the success of the ‘African Lion.

The Africom chief said that the US Congress, when passing the Defense Act, required the command to “consider diversifying the exercise”, extending it to other regions, and that was done for the 2022 joint exercise, he recalled.

The exercises were organized in particular in Tunisia, Senegal and Ghana, while maintaining its base and the bulk of its operations in Morocco. “What we did this year is we took a hub and spoke approach, with a core, a central part, in Morocco, a branch in Tunisia which was not insignificant, with 500 of our soldiers, and other branches in Senegal and Ghana »explained General Stephen J. Townsend.

“We are looking for other places. But here are the facts: Morocco has been our host for 18 editions of Exercise African Lion. They (Moroccans, editor’s note) have a tremendous ability to organize it. Their military skill is very high. They also have the infrastructure, the training grounds, everything. They are a fantastic host”added the head of Africom.

The deployment in other regions of Africa, “We are participating because we believe in civilian control of the military, and our civilian leaders in our government have told us to do so. So we do it faithfully”said the senior US military official.

Before adding that despite everything: “I think it will be difficult to find a country in Africa that can come close to what Morocco has been able to do for 18 years” emphasizing that Africom will continue to work with Morocco on future editions of the African Lion.


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