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CJTF-HOA Invites Coalition Partners to Djibouti for Conference

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070608-12
Release Date: 6/8/2007 4:48:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mary Popejoy, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- Military officers from several East African countries traveled to Djibouti, Africa, to attend the first-ever East African Security Cooperation Conference June 4-7.

The goal of the conference was to help senior military officials from partner nations better understand the mission of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).

“We hope they take the information they’ve received here and deliver the content to the decision makers of their respective country,” said Capt. Bob Wright, director of Strategic Communications.

Wright added that in addition to information, he hopes the conference improves dialogue as well.

“We hope the nations that haven’t had significant dialogue between them in the past can now better relate to other countries in the region,” he said.

According to Col. Khemraj Servansing from Mauritius, attending the conference allowed him to do just that.

“This is a great opportunity to share information, knowledge, network with people and talk about issues that impact us all in this area of the world. It also helps to establish friendships so we can keep in touch more regularly,” said Servansing.

For Maj. Charles Bakahumura of Uganda, the conference was an opportunity to discuss how CJTF-HOA and the country representatives can work together toward peace.

“It’s good to be able to interact with the U.S. military and other countries so we can better understand common threats that affect the region and how to deal with them together,” he said.

Getting the different countries' military officers out of their comfort zone to engage others and learn more about CJTF-HOA in a different country is just one way to help promote stability in Africa.

“We want Africans to help Africans. We are here to enable where we can because it is the best way to move ahead, instead of having the U.S. and its coalition partners just provide solutions,” said Wright.

CJTF-HOA began operations at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti on May 13, 2003. The task force’s mission is to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in order to prevail against extremism. The mission is accomplished by partnering with nations on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, civic-action programs to include medical and veterinary care, school and medical-clinic construction and water-development projects.

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