The United States has insisted that extremist organisations like Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab remain threats on the African continent.
It also claimed China’s activities in Africa might increase instability in the continent.
The Deputy Commanding General, United States Army (Europe-Africa) Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, and the Commanding General, US Army (Europe and Africa), Gen. Christopher Cavoli, stated these during a telephonic briefing with journalists on Tuesday.
Rohling’s comments came amid Nigeria and other African countries’ dependence on loans from China to finance their infrastructure projects.
Chinese credit accounts for 80% of all bilateral loans to Nigeria, and according to data from the Debt Management Office (DMO), as at March 2019, Nigeria’s total debt to China stood at $2.554 billion.
Responding to a question on China’s activities on the continent, Rohling stated, “Africa is an emerging front on global power competition, and China is looking to compete in Africa and they’re seizing opportunities across the continent.
“Our strategic approach, the United States strategic approach, continues – is that of continuing to position the US and our allies as the partners of choice in Africa. We continue to provide a preferable alternative to partnering with an actor who may undermine the economic, political, and security institutions as well as increased instability across the continent of Africa.’’
Rohling emphasised that violent extremist organisations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram and others remained a threat, noting that “The violent extremist organisations such as al-Shabaab and Boko Haram and others remain a threat.
“They’re a brutal, capable enemy, as they’ve planned and conducted numerous violent attacks on African citizens, US military service members, international military forces, and as General Cavoli mentioned earlier in his comments, civilians such as the Ambassador Attanasio from Italy – yesterday he was very unfortunately killed along with his carabiniere security officer.
“But the United States is committed to working with our African partners to counter and contain violent extremist organisations, and we’ll continue to do so over the course of time.”