CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – U.S. Department of State representatives and interagency guests joined military leaders from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa on the second day of the three-day East Africa Security Forum at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Dec. 12.
Diplomats representing 12 East African nations exchanged expertise with CJTF-HOA leadership on the East Africa region ranging from economy, cross-border security, strengthening partnerships and refugee issues.
“It’s very important for us to get together and compare notes for what’s going on across the region,” said Stephen Banks, Deputy Chief of Mission to Eritrea. “I’m looking forward to hearing from my colleagues about where the region as a whole is going.”
It is important for the Department of Defense and Department of State to work in harmony to cement partnerships in the region, Banks said.
During EASF, diplomats compared notes face-to-face without the distractions of their everyday duties while addressing issues that most affect their respective nations.
“Uganda has one of the most open refugee policies in East Africa,” said Amb. Deborah Malac, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda.
Uganda is currently hosting the highest number of refugees in the country’s history. South Sudanese refugees in Uganda have exceeded one million, while new arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to increase.
The EASF is slated to conclude December 13, 2018.