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Commander of United States Africa Command Visits Somaliland

A delegation led by The Commander of United States Africa Command, General Stephen J. Townsend visited the Republic of Somaliland and met with the President and members of his cabinet, and commanders of various armed services of Somaliland. In addition to other high-ranking military officials, the delegation includes Mr. Larry André, the United States Ambassador to Somalia who is visiting Somaliland since his appointment early last year. General Townsend is the highest-ranking military official to visit the Republic of Somaliland since it declared its independence in 1991.

According to a statement from the President’s Office, the delegation led by General Townsend proceeded to Berbera, where they toured the newly renovated port and airport. In August 2021, officials from the United States Department of Defense surveyed both facilities and tested the runway of Berbera Airport with C-130J-30 Super Hercules — one of the largest transport aircraft in the Airforce’s fleet. The United States currently maintains Camp Lemonnier, a major military base in Djibouti.

The historic visit from the delegation led by General Townsend comes less than two months after President Bihi’s visit to the United States, where he held meetings with members of the United States government, Congress, and Senate on bilateral ties and security cooperation between the Republic of Somaliland and the United States.

“This is a direct result of the historic visit of President Bihi to the USA and the genuine wish of the two sides, both Somaliland and the USA, in advancing cooperation on areas of common interest to the highest possible level.”, said Mr. Bashir Goth, Somaliland’s Representative in the United States who was instrumental in the President’s visit to DC and has completely revamped the ties between the two nations on General Townsend’s historic visit.

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