By Shola Akingboye, 28th April, 2021
Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari is demanding that the headquarters of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) which is currently located at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart –Germany, should be relocated to Africa.
This came following the protracted insecurity situation in Nigeria and as calls for total withdrawal of foreign troops from the continent gathers momentum among Africans.
President Buhari made the plea during te virtual meeting with the United States Secretary of State, held on Tuesday the 27th of April, 2021.
The meeting Buhari was at the instance of the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, which came as his first virtual trip to Africa since US President Joe Biden came into office.
Other issues that top the meeting agenda was strengthening democratic governance, building lasting security, and promoting economic ties and diversification.
Recalls this is coming as issues of Boko Haram insurgency to banditry, kidnapping, militancy, farmers-herders clashes, and the entire security situation in Nigeria worsened, especially in the last few months.
“In my call with US Secretary of State Blinken, I asked the US to consider re-locating the AFRICOM HQ from Germany to Africa—near the Theatre of Operation.” President Buhari officially stated.
According to the President, the move is necessary to help curb the regional security challenges; he added that, his demand is “against the backdrop of growing security challenges in West & Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region & the Sahel.”
The statement however recognized efforts by the Nigerian forces in addressing the challenges. “I also reiterated that Nigeria and her security forces remain resolutely committed to containing security challenges in our nation and region, and addressing their root causes.”
President Buhari added that,” the support of important and strategic partners like the United States of course cannot be overstated.”
Meanwhile, the United States is yet to release an official response on the Nigerian President’s call; AFRICOM which became fully operational in October, 2008 is a security body tasked with the responsibility to advance all US Department of Defense operations, exercises, and security cooperation on the African continent, its island nations, and surrounding waters