DJIBOUTI, Djibouti -- Foreign Liaison Officers and U.S. military members assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa met for the first time in a formal meeting with officials from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Jan. 16 in Djibouti.
The purpose of the meeting was for both parties to familiarize themselves with each other’s missions and goals through a short information exchange and set the stance for future meetings.
“We started this expression and exchange of ideas in hopes that we will be able to share information about our work,” said Dr. Simon Nyambura, director, IGAD Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violence Extremism. “The future goal would be to work on projects together, both military and civilian in our respective governments.”
The vision of IGAD is to be the premier regional organization for achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration in their region. The organization stems from the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development, but transitioned to IGAD in 1996.
“We need everyone in society to be part of this effort,” Nyambura said.
The CJTF-HOA team shares similar goals with IGAD. Combined operations conducted by CJTF-HOA enable international partners to combine limited resources towards achieving shared goals, such as countering terrorism and improving security.
Nyambura said even though it is rigorous and challenging, one of IGAD’s main goals is the development of regional strategy for preventing and countering violent extremism in Eastern Africa. He added this work would not be possible without regional and international partners.
Republic of Korea Marine Maj. Hyunchang Choi, FLO assigned to CJTF-HOA, organized the meeting on a rotating schedule to ensure continuity as new FLOs and rotations of leaders join CJTF-HOA.
“We can learn many different parts of each country’s issues and challenges and continue improving economies, society, food programs and education,” said Choi. “The core value and reward of this continued relationship will be the critical ideas we can share.”
Along with the other attendees, Nyambura shared goals, strengths and areas of improvement throughout the meeting.
“The most positive outcome from today was getting to know each other and each other’s work, so we can understand what each team does and things they can do,” Nyambura said. “We all share the same ideas of peaceful nations and a stable international system.”