Defense Minister, U.S. Assistant Secretary Discuss Peace, Security In Horn Of Africa

Defense Minister, U.S. Assistant Secretary Discuss Peace, Security In Horn Of Africa

Addis Ababa, December 6, 2019 (FBC) – Ethiopian Defense Minister Lemma Megersa held talks with Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs in Washington yesterday.

The two sides discussed the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Horn of Africa.
“Ethiopia’s peacekeeping deployments to Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan are vital contributions to the region,” Nagy Tweeted.

In a related development, an armed forces full honor wreath ceremony was held yesterday in honor of Lemma at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington, VA.

The ceremony was hosted by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Omar Jones, the commander of Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the Military District of Washington.

Lemma traveled to the Washington early this week and co-chaired the 9th annual U.S.-Ethiopia Bilateral Defense Committee with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs Pete Marocco.

During the visit, Ethiopia and the United States shared views on regional security, peacekeeping, intelligence and military relations, with the goal of strengthening their security partnership.

Both nations reaffirmed their commitment to the Ethiopia-U.S bilateral relationship and highlighted the significant increase in security cooperation between the two countries over the last 18 months.

The Ethiopian delegation also met with Performing the Duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense James Anderson and the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Joseph Kernan.

Anderson thanked Ethiopia for their leadership and military contributions throughout the region and commended Lemma for the ongoing security sector reforms Ethiopia is undertaking.

U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor expressed gratitude to the Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian National Defense Force for their participation, continued close partnership and commitment to future collaboration.

The Bilateral Defense Committee enables Ethiopia and the U.S. to identify new opportunities for bilateral collaboration in areas such as counterterrorism and intelligence, which enhances an already robust partnership between the two countries, and helps bring peace and security to East Africa.


Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs Pete Marocco and Ethiopian Defense Minister Lemma Megersa co-chaired the 9th annual U.S.-Ethiopia Bilateral Defense Committee meeting in Washington yesterday.

(defense)–During the visit, the defense leaders shared views on regional security, peacekeeping, intelligence and military relations, with the goal of strengthening their security partnership, a defense official said in a readout following the meeting.

Both nations reaffirmed their commitment to the bilateral relationship and highlighted the significant increase in security cooperation between the two countries over the last 18 months, the official said.

The Ethiopian delegation also met at the Pentagon with James Anderson, who is performing the duties of the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Joseph Kernan. Anderson thanked Ethiopia for their leadership and military contributions throughout the region and commended Lemma for the ongoing security sector reforms his nation is undertaking.

U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor said he was very grateful to Ethiopia’s civilian and military leaders for traveling to the U.S. for the event, and ”for the close partnership that exists between us; and for Ethiopia’s commitment to building our collaboration even further in the days ahead.”

The Bilateral Defense Committee enables the U.S. and Ethiopia to identify new opportunities for collaboration in areas such as counterterrorism and intelligence, which enhances an already robust partnership between the two countries, the defense official said, and helps bring peace and security to East Africa.

Ethiopia plays a critical and significant leadership role in East Africa, the official said. ”Its willingness and capability to develop security throughout the region furthers our mutual goals and shared security interests,” the defense official added.

Ethiopia has the third-largest military in Africa and is the world’s largest contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions, the official said.

The nation plays a vital role in the African Union Mission in Somalia, the defense official said, and in peacekeeping efforts in Sudan and South Sudan. ”The Department of Defense applauds these efforts and looks to help strengthen Ethiopia’s ability to further promote peace and stability in the region,” the official said.

Ethiopia was a top recipient of International Military Education and Training funds over the last year. More than 300 ENDF officers and noncommissioned officers took part in U.S. funded training last year.

In July, Ethiopia hosted U.S. Africa Command’s Justified Accord exercise — a regional multi-actor military exercise that allowed regional leaders to discuss common practices and challenges related to AMISOM. This exercise hosted the largest training contingent of U.S. military personnel in Ethiopia in the past 30 years, the defense official noted.