The united States announced a restriction on its servicemen barring them from travelling to five countries in West Africa. According to Reuters, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo who is a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command made this known on Wednesday, March 16. The order restricts unofficial visit by service men to Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Ghana,
This order was given due to the recent terrorist attacks in the region.
Falvo said: “It’s just increased vigilance given the recent events that have happened in that area of the world.” On Sunday March 13, 19 people were killed at a beachside resort in Ivory Coast.
The attack was reportedly carried out by Al Qaeda’s branch in North Africa. The same group also claimed responsibility for a January attack on a hotel and restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou that killed 29 people as well as a November hotel siege in Mali. A spokesperson of Pentagon, Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Baldanza said the order does not restrict official travel but the unofficial visits were banned till June30.
“Given the recent attacks in western Africa, we felt it prudent to make this decision at this time in an effort to ensure the safety of our personnel,” Baldanza said.
The U.S. Africa Command has between 1,000 and 1,200 forces on the continent mostly in training and support roles to help local security forces combat militants. Meanwhile,the US as condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist bombing at a mosque on March 16 near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria. Dozens of people were killed and injured. In a statement by the US diplomatic mission in Nigeria, US extend its deepest condolences to the families of the latest victims of Boko Haram’s senseless brutality.
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