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U.S. Special Operations Commander Visits Côte d’Ivoire
February 28, 2022

25 February 2022

U.S. Special Operations Commander Visits Côte d’Ivoire

Gen. Richard D. Clarke, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (left), and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Milton J. Sands III, Commander U.S. Special Operations Command-Africa (third from left), speak with Gen. Lassina Doumbia, Ivoirian Chief of Defense Staff, Feb. 25 in Abidjan

U.S. EMBASSY Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire – Gen. Richard D. Clarke, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, visited Abidjan February 25 as part of a routine, regional circulation through West Africa. Clarke met with Ivoirian Chief of the Defense Staff, General Lassina Doumbia, and U.S., Ivoirian, and other partner nations’ special operations forces participating in the Flintlock 2022 military and law-enforcement exercise.

“We deeply appreciate Defense Minister Téné Birahima Ouattara, General Doumbia, and Côte d’Ivoire’s special operations community for their continued partnership in addressing violent extremism,” Clarke said. “Our countries share many of the same security concerns, and these challenges are best handled together. The ongoing Flintlock exercise is a great opportunity to improve military interoperability and capacity for the 10 countries involved. The International Academy for Combating Terrorism initiative as a regional training hub is a positive step toward addressing regional instability and countering violent extremism.”

The United States values and invests in Côte d’Ivoire as a partner in responding to the growing security challenges in the region. U.S. support to Ivoirian efforts to mitigate insecurity goes beyond traditional security cooperation. The United States provides a range of development assistance to improve Ivoirians’ health, education, and economic wellbeing that is ultimately aimed at, among other goals, reducing the risk of violence through improved community cohesion and increased government accountability.