dinsdag 21 januari 2014

Flintlock 2014

A member of the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) oversees a Malian fire team while conducting counter-terrorism operations in an urban terrain environment during Flintlock 10 in Theis, Senegal. The MARSOC are specialized Marines conducting special missions in unique areas, focused on capacity development under the auspices of the Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Partnership. Flintlock 10 is a special operations forces exercise focused on military interoperability and capacity-building and is part of an AFRICOM-sponsored annual exercise program with partner nations in Northern and Western Africa. The exercise, which includes participation of key European nations, is conducted by Special Operations Command Africa and designed to build relationships and develop capacity among security forces throughout the Trans-Saharan region of Africa. Approximately 1,200 European, African Partner Nation and U.S. personnel from 14 nations are involved in military interoperability activities across the Trans-Saharan region during this event. (DoD photo by Max Blumenfeld/Released) Source
Flintlock is an annual counter operation and exercise organised by Africom in Northwest Africa with Dutch participation. This blog serves as a collection of media reports writing about Flintlock. (The name comes from a firearm-ignition mechanism). GlobalSecurity on the history of Flintlock. and Facebook. See Also: Flintlock 2013 (untill 14 Nov 2013)

Perconferentie Niger voor Flintlock 2014, http://lesahel.org/
June 1

Will Hartley, Together: Multilateral counter-terrorism exercises, Jane's Intelligence Review, June 2014, pp 14-17.
Multilateral exercises involving Western militaries and those from developing countries in Asia and Africa have increased in the last two decades. Hartley examines how these help respond to ‘new’ security threats, particularly terrorism.

16 May
Joeva Rock, OP-ED: MilitarisedHumanitarianism in Africa, May 16 2014 (IPS)
(...) Rather than the “shock and awe” of Iraq, the military has attempted to put a friendly face on its expedition to Africa. This past March, writing in the New York Times, Eric Schmitt marveled at AFRICOM’s Operation Flintlock, a multinational and multiagency training operation in Niger.
Schmitt wrote glowingly about fighting terrorism with mosquito nets: “Instead of launching American airstrikes or commando raids on militants,” he wrote, “the latest joint mission between the nations involves something else entirely: American boxes of donated vitamins, prenatal medicines, and mosquito netting to combat malaria.”
Humanitarian and development missions like the ones outlined in Schmitt’s article are at the forefront of AFRICOM’s public relations campaign. But promoting AFRICOM as a humanitarian outfit is misleading at best.
To put it simply, these projects are more like a Trojan Horse: dressed up as gifts, they establish points of entry on the continent when and where they may be needed.(...)

19 March

(...) Coordination between authorities in Niger and Nigeria, meanwhile, has been hampered by poor communication. With cellphone networks unreliable, officials were forced to communicate by letters that can take three days to get between Niger and Maiduguri, according to a confidential 'early warning report' obtained by Reuters.
The document, compiled by officials from the United Nations and West African bloc ECOWAS who visited Diffa late last year, warned that Boko Haram's presence was "a serious threat that will require increased attention".
Some Western nations seem to agree. It was no coincidence that Diffa was chosen this year to host an annual U.S.-sponsored military exercise, Flintlock - though concerns over security prompted foreign troops to restrict their movements.(...)

David Lewis, INSIGHT-Niger fears contagion from Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists, Reuters, March 19, 2014

14 March

With training and partnerships, US military treads lightly in Africa, The Peninsula, March 14, 2014

By David Lewis On a dusty training ground in Niger, US Special Forces teach local troops to deal with suspects who resist arrest. "Speed, aggression, surprise!" an instructor barks as two Nigeriens wrestle a US adviser out of a car.
The drill in the border town of Diffa is part of Exercise Flintlock, a counter-terrorism exercise for nations on the Sahara's southern flanks that the United States organises each year. Washington's aim is to tackle Islamist militants in the Sahel region while keeping its military presence in Africa light.
A growing number of European nations taking part shows their increasing concern about security in West Africa. Central to the international effort is a blossoming relationship between the United States and France, the former colonial power and traditional "policeman" of the turbulent region.
When Paris deployed 4,000 troops to fight Islamist militants in neighbouring Mali last year, the US military lent a hand by airlifting French soldiers and equipment, providing intelligence and training African forces to join the operation.
French troops are stretched by hunting the militants in Mali and tackling religious violence in Central African Republic, so only a handful participated in Flintlock. Nevertheless, they welcomed their new partnership with Washington.
"The Americans want to get involved in Africa. That's good for us. We know that with the Americans it will be more efficient," said a French Special Forces officer, who asked not to be named. "We use American logistics - that's what we are missing. On the other hand, we provide the local knowledge." The United States fast-tracked the sale of 12 Reaper drones to France last year, the first two of which started operating in Niger in January alongside US drones already there.
In a reminder of the partnership, a drone quietly taxied past troops and dignitaries at Flintlock's closing ceremony in the capital of Niamey before taking off to scour the Sahara.
Military experts say direct US military action in Africa is limited to short raids on "high-value" targets in places such as Somalia and Libya, while French troops take on longer, bigger operations.
J Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the US-based Atlantic Council, said this arrangement suited US military planners who face budget cuts and a diminished American appetite for combat after conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, he warned that the French military was at the limit of its ability to strike militants hard. "If the French are not able to provide that blunt instrument, is the US willing to do so?" Nine years after the Flintlock exercises began, the enemy has evolved from a group of Algerian-dominated fighters focused on northern Mali and now threatens nations across the Sahara and the arid Sahel belt to the south.
For most of 2012, militants occupied northern Mali, a desert zone the size of France. Scattered by a French offensive last year, many are believed to be regrouping in southern Libya.
Hundreds of people are being killed every month in clashes with Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria. Many in Niger fear this conflict could spill over the border and the government in Niamey has appealed for more military support.
"Instability in neighbouring states has given everybody a new incentive," General James Linder, commander of US Special Operations Command Africa, told Reuters while visiting Niger This year's three-week Flintlock exercise - involving over 1,000 troops from 18 nations - was the biggest yet and runs alongside more permanent training by US Special Forces in Niger, Mauritania, Senegal and Chad.
Training in Diffa, only a few kilometres from where Boko Haram militants are fighting the Nigerian army across the border, ranged from basic patrolling skills and setting up checkpoints to sharing intelligence and providing medical care.
In a region where armies often lack basics such as ammunition for target practice and fuel for vehicles, the quality and tempo of the US-sponsored exercise eclipses the training most soldiers in the region receive in a year.
Colonel Mounkaila Sofiani, the local Niger commander, said Flintlock and other US initiatives helped his country to tackle threats from the west, north and south better. "Little by little people are being trained," he said. "Once there are enough, they'll form the spine of a reliable force." Training is meant to build up coordination between armies but Sofiani said just finding radio equipment compatible between nations is difficult. In the field, officers exchange mobile phone numbers to bypass blockages in official channels.
A lack of trust between governments also hinders responses. At a recent meeting of intelligence chiefs, the Nigerien and Libyan representatives argued over the risk of instability spreading from Libya's lawless south, a diplomat told Reuters.
Coups in Mauritania, Niger and Mali since the Flintlock exercises began also halted cooperation until civilian rule was restored. Mali's 2012 coup, led by a captain with US training, opened the door to the Islamist takeover of the north, prompting questions about what the years of exercises had achieved.
Pham said better military capabilities had not been matched by improvements in governance, citing a failure by Mali to tackle corruption. REUTERS Chad's military, however, has won praise for leading the charge alongside French troops in flushing out the militants from Mali's desolate northern mountains. U.S. officials stress the exercise is African-led and are wary about people reading too much into U.S. troops being on the ground near African conflicts. But the show of foreign support is popular in Diffa. "It sends a message to Boko Haram and others," said Inoussa Saouna, the central government's representative in Diffa. "Before Mali, we thought terrorism was a problem for whites but now we've experienced it ourselves."
11 March

"The problems of the Sahel are not restricted to Africa, but concern the whole world," France's defence and national security chief Francis Delon said. Mauritanian analyst Abu Bakr noted, however, that it was difficult for Sahel countries "to cope with security risks individually".
One solution is through enhanced security partnerships, he suggested.
"Because they are sponsored by the armies of the biggest countries in the world," joint military exercises such as Flintlock "enhance the capabilities of Sahel defence forces and support them against any potential terrorist threat", he added.
North Africa; Maghreb Jihadists Killed in Mali Airstrike, Magharebia (Washington DC), March 11, 2014 

AFRICOM GO HOME, Bases étrangères hors d’Afrique est un film document dans le cadre du cinquantenaire des «indépendances» africaines, (OUA 1963 -2013). - See more at: http://www.afrokanlife.com/politique/africom-go-home-un-documentaire-du-professeur-aziz-fall/#sthash.GNusKD90.dpuf
AFRICOM GO HOME, Bases étrangères hors d’Afrique est un film document dans le cadre du cinquantenaire des «indépendances» africaines, (OUA 1963 -2013). - See more at: http://www.afrokanlife.com/politique/africom-go-home-un-documentaire-du-professeur-aziz-fall/#sthash.GNusKD90.dpuf
AFRICOM GO HOME, Bases étrangères hors d’Afrique est un film document dans le cadre du cinquantenaire des «indépendances» africaines, (OUA 1963 -2013). - See more at: http://www.afrokanlife.com/politique/africom-go-home-un-documentaire-du-professeur-aziz-fall/#sthash.aaJLS3qK.dpuf

6 March

(…) The American strategy in Africa also hinges on European partners. In January, France began to reorganize its 3,000 troops in the Sahel region - a vast area on the southern flank of the Sahara that stretches from Senegal to Chad - to carry out counterterrorism operations more effectively, officials said. France will concentrate its air power in Chad, its new reconnaissance drones in Niger, its special operations troops in Burkina Faso and its logistics hub in Ivory Coast.

Against this backdrop, the United States Africa Command is running an annual exercise conducted since 2005 called Flintlock. This year, about 600 African troops and 500 Western trainers and support personnel, including about 300 Americans, participated here and in two cities in central Niger, Agadez and Tahoua.

In temperatures often soaring above 100 degrees, African troops in groups of up to 40 teamed up with advisers from the United States or European allies like Italy, France, Britain and Norway. They practiced marksmanship, patrolling harsh desert terrain and conducting checkpoints against suspicious vehicles.

The daily training has also revealed barriers that extremists could exploit.
Simple communications are often challenging. A Norwegian trainer's explanation of patrolling tactics in English had to be translated into French and then again by another interpreter into Hausa, a language spoken by many of Niger's troops. Any questions started the time-consuming linguistic chain in reverse.

In his office near the exercise, Col. Mounkaila Sofiani, the regional commander of Niger's forces here, who has trained in Morocco and Senegal, and at Fort Benning, Ga., acknowledged the threat from Boko Haram, but insisted his military did not need a permanent American troop presence.
''If our troops are well trained,'' he said, ''we can handle these situations ourselves.''

4 March

3 March

By Maj. Will Cambardella
Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara Command Public Affairs
AGADEZ, Niger - Canadian Special Operations Regiment shows Sergeant Sawani Anza Adamou, 22nd Battalion, how an inclinometer is used to determine wind speeds during air resupply drop operation in Niger as part of Exercise FLINTLOCK 2014. 

African-led Exercise Flintlock Kicks off in Niger 

AGADEZ, Niger , Mar 3, 2014 — The Niger Army’s 22nd Battalion trained with American, Canadian and Spanish troops supporting Flintlock 2014 on necessary learning objectives for a successful airborne supply delivery here, Feb. 21.

The Niger Armed Forces, otherwise known as the Forces Armées Nigeriennes, or FAN, are receiving instruction via “train-the-trainer” techniques to be able to teach other troops following the three-week exercise. The intent of this training is to enable the Nigerien Forces to resupply themselves, said one Canadian Joint Terminal Attack Controller. “Force projecting allows them to forward-stage in order to interdict AQIM [Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] movement.”

Morning training commenced with an overview block of instruction in French on Landing Zone and Drop Zone (DZ) markings, as well as terrain feature recognition. Next, the follow-on instructor disseminated inclinometers to the troops, encouraging the students to demonstrate they understood the equipment well enough to instruct it to others, specifically in orientation and cardinal direction.

The 22nd Battalion’s Sgt. Chef Boubacan Tinga provided DZ formulas during the class, “The drop zone needs to be at least 500 meters in length,” explained Sgt. Chef Tinga. Tinga further illustrated the difference in multiplication tables for paratroopers versus bundles.

The Spanish instructors provided a block of instruction on infiltration/exfiltration techniques to include safety, security, staging and appropriate communication during day and night operations. Special Air Force Operator, 1st Lt. Alfonso provided instruction on using a signal mirror during the day to reflect light and placement of vehicles at night to harness light from headlights. He also emphasized the importance of determining wind speed, strain and direction. 

“Always tell the pilot where the wind is coming from,” said Alfonso. “The more powerful, the more the pilot needs the wind direction—every helo lands facing the wind.”

The troops then proceeded to set up the DZ at the point of impact with red marking panels. Then a C-130 crew air dropped a bundle on flat hard terrain—as instructed.

“This is good training for these guys,” said the Air Liaison Officer, Lt. Col Chris . “They now have a new capability in their toolkit that will help them help themselves in the future.”

The Flintlock exercise is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) sponsored, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara conducted Special Operations Forces (SOF) exercise, beginning Feb. 19 and going through March 9, throughout several locations in Niger.

1 March

Militaires marocains et algériens côte à côte au Niger

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Fort de ses succès diplomatiques au Mali, le Maroc passe au niveau supérieur. Le royaume cherche à jouer un rôle dans la sécurisation de la région du Sahel. La participation aux manœuvres militaires de « Flintlock 2014 », qui se déroulent au Niger, sous commandement américain, constitue d'ailleurs, un premier pas. Les Algériens y sont également présents.

Le Maroc tient à renforcer sa présence au Sahel. Du 26 février jusqu’au 9 mars, des membres des Forces armées royales (FAR) participent à la 9ème édition des « Flintlock ». Ce sont des exercices militaires, organisées au Niger par l’Africom, qui connaissent la participation d’environ un millier de soldats en provenance de vingt pays africains, européens et américains (Canada et Etats-Unis).

De la diplomatie à l’action militaire

Le royaume prend part à ces manœuvres en sa qualité de membre à part entière alors que durant les opérations qui se sont déroulés en 2013 dans le territoire mauritanien, il avait le titre de pays observateur. Une « promotion » qui atteste, si besoin est, du succès de la nouvelle politique du Maroc dans le Sahel.
Une région est devenue hautement stratégique pour Rabat. La crise malienne a offert aux officiels marocains une réelle opportunité de revenir en Afrique. Depuis, ils n’ont cessé de gagner du terrain. Le « Flintlock 2014 » leur permet donc de passer de la diplomatie et la logistique à l’action militaire.

Marocains et Algériens côte à côte au Niger

L’objectif principal de ces opérations demeure l’amélioration des capacités des militaires dans leur lutte contre les groupes terroristes et le crime organisé, bien établis dans toute la région sahélienne.
Le « Flintlock » de cette année a permis aux militaires marocains de côtoyer leurs homologues algériens sur le même terrain de guerre mais sous commandement américain. Sachant que les deux pays sont en concurrence déclarée pour asseoir leurs influences au Sahel.
Ce n’est d’ailleurs pas la première fois que des militaires des deux Etats voisins participent à des exercices sous commandement américaine ou de l’Alliance atlantique (OTAN). A titre d’exemple, le Maroc et l’Algérie répondent toujours présents aux manœuvres navales « Phoenix express », organisées depuis huit ans par la marine US, dans les eaux de la Méditerranée.


Exercices "Flintlock 2014"Sam 1 Mar 2014 – 15:34, http://far-maroc.forumpro.fr/t3819-exercices-flintlock-2014

28 Feb

Militairen oefenen in Afrikaans klimaat

Zo’n 45 man Special Forces van het Korps Commandotroepen en het Korps Mariniers zijn in Afrika voor de Amerikaanse oefening Flintlock 2014. De militairen trainen samen met eenheden uit Senegal en Burkina Faso en met Amerikaanse en Europese collega’s. Kennis verkrijgen van en ervaring opdoen met opereren in het Afrikaanse klimaat en terrein staan centraal.

Aan de oefening doen bijna duizend militairen uit veertien landen mee. Met de Afrikaanse partners oefenen de Nederlanders allerlei militaire vaardigheden, zoals patrouilleren, verkennen, navigeren en het inrichten van controleposten. Nederland doet voor de zevende keer mee aan Flintlock. De oefening duurt tot 9 maart.

24 Feb.

During the ceremony the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Trans Sahel Commander Col. Kenneth Sipperly, who is the Flintlock 2014 exercise coordinator, said, “Although Flintlock is considered an exercise, it is really an extension of ongoing training, engagement, and operations that help prepare our close Africa partners in the fight against extremism and the enemies that threaten peace, stability, and regional security.”

NIAMEY, Niger, Feb 24, 2014 — Flintlock, the annual African-led military exercise for interoperability in security, counterterrorism and humanitarian aid, officially kicked off today with an opening ceremony celebrating the spirit of cooperation.
The exercise, which beyond U.S. participation includes Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, France, Germany, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Senegal, United Kingdom, and the host nation of Niger, focuses on building partner capacity to help strengthen stability across Africa. This year, there are 18 different African and Western country participants.
For the next three weeks, more than a 1,000 different soldiers from across these countries will practice military drills such as airdrops of personnel or equipment, live fire ranges, and delivering aid to remote areas with limited medical care.
While not focused on any particular operation or security situation, Flintlock 2014 focuses on the development of the mutual security capacity while strengthening bonds among exercise participants, according to officials.
“Your presence reflects your interests in our regional partnerships,” said Nigerian Col. Mahamane Laminou Sani, the Flintlock country coordinator. “By sharing their experiences, expertise, and camaraderie we share our interests in promoting stability in the region.”
Some of the major tactical components of Flintlock 2014 include small-unit combined training activities against counter-terrorism, along with humanitarian relief operations providing basic medical, dental, and veterinary access for select communities in Niger.
The host nation led the development of the exercises’ training objectives to help build relationships between participating nations.
U.S. leadership attended the ceremony along with their counterparts and they said they agree that security is necessary for growth and stability. Special Operations Command Africa Commanding General Brig. Gen. James Linder joined African nation partners for opening ceremony activities.
During the ceremony the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Trans Sahel Commander Col. Kenneth Sipperly, who is the Flintlock 2014 exercise coordinator, said, “Although Flintlock is considered an exercise, it is really an extension of ongoing training, engagement, and operations that help prepare our close Africa partners in the fight against extremism and the enemies that threaten peace, stability, and regional security.”
“Working together to guard against the effects of extremism will be realized by the future generations of all our countries,” he said.
The Nigerian Chief of Staff M. Karidio Mahamadou agreed, adding that, “This exercise is occurring at a time when our nations are faced with multiple obstacles within our region which requires strong resolve to confront extremism.”
Flintlock exercises have been conducted across north and western Africa since 2005 to improve the security capacity of regional military forces.

Follow and share your comments on Facebook and Twitter at #Flintlock2014
Scott Nielsen, African-led Exercise Flintlock Kicks off in Niger, U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs February 24, 2014.

23 Feb.

Up to 1,000 soldiers and army officials from 18 African countries began a joint military training exercise in Niger against terrorism in the Sahel region.
The joint military exercise dubbed "Flintlock" is being conducted in Niger's Agadez, Diffa and Tahoua regions between Feb. 20 and March 9.
The "Flintlock" exercise was initiated in 2005 with the objective of developing capacities of defense and security forces and promoting inter-state collaborations to protect the people of Sahel countries.
At the opening of the training session, Nigerien army chief Seini Garba hailed the holding of the Flintlock training to promote security in the Sahel region, a belt along the southern edge of the Sahara desert being made a haven for terrorism and cross-border crimes.
Gen. Garba said Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou had reaffirmed his support for the program to promote strategic partnerships and information sharing among the different armies.
The "Flintlock 2014" training program is being coordinated by the U.S. military and Nigerien Col. Lamine Mahamane.
The military training began just after the third council meeting of foreign ministers held in Niamey to discuss cooperation in war against terrorism and an African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahel-Saharan region.
18 Nations In Joint Anti-Terrorism Exercise, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Beijing), February 23, 2014

20 Feb.

The war game reflects the Pentagon’s increasing preference for light, secretive Special Operations Forces in the ongoing international campaign against terrorists and other “irregular” threats.
Joe Trevithick, America Is in Niger to Help Train Commandos From 18 Countries
Flintlock exercise is evidence of growing Special Ops war in Africa, War is Boring, February 20, 2014.


Foreign ministers from the Sahel and West Africa met in Niamey on Wednesday (February 19th) to hammer out a response to terrorism and organised crime across the region.
The gathering included top diplomats from Algeria, Mauritania, Libya and others in the Fusion and Liaison Unit (UFL), who met with their counterparts from Senegal, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire.
The ministers discussed the political and security situation in the Sahel-Sahara region, closer security co-operation and the implementation of the African Peace and Security architecture. They were joined by intelligence and security chiefs from their respective countries and representatives of the African Union and ECOWAS.
"The recent events in Gao in Mali involving the kidnapping of an ICRC team, for which MUJAO has claimed responsibility, clearly show how fragile the security situation in our region is and illustrate the urgent need for closer co-operation between the relevant actors," Nigerien Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum said in his opening speech.
Bazoum added: "Niger is suffering the collateral fallout of the Libyan and Malian crises, and at a very early stage it began seeking ways of safeguarding its extra-community borders through a partnership guaranteeing human rights and the free movement of people."
In his view, "the political and security situation in Libya is still characterised by rather worrying tensions. We must think about it so that we can help to start a new trend."
During a speech about the counter-terrorism strategy devised by his institution, ECOWAS Commission Chairman Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo underlined that: "This strategy is based on three main pillars, namely prevention, suppression and rebuilding."
"There is no doubt that if they are well co-ordinated, the strategies initiated by various organisations should make a significant contribution to socio-economic development and stability in the Sahel region, in accordance with the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law, so as to prevent new crises in the future," he said.
For his part, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra highlighted the close co-ordination between his country and Niger.
"We also know the determination of Niger, which is shared with Algeria, with regard to everything that concerns the battle against terrorism and organised cross-border crime," Lamamra told the press on the side-lines of this third ministerial meeting of the member states of the African Union's "Nouakchott Process" to build Sahel stability.
He also said that the contributions made by Algeria and Mauritania "consisted of making their own borders secure and ensuring that terrorist and criminal groups have nowhere to retreat to within the two countries".
"In the face of the threat on our borders, the Nouakchott Process must maintain a more sustained pace and innovate continually to adapt to the changes on the ground," said Smail Chergui, the African Union's commissioner for peace and security.
Chergui added: "Building intelligence and security capabilities in the Sahel-Sahara region is more than necessary to deal with the terrorist threat. This means that the strategies identified must be strengthened to tackle this scourge." 
Niger Hosts Sahel Security Summit, Magharebia (Washington DC), February 20, 2014

19 Feb.

Zo’n 45 militairen van het Korps Commandotroepen en de special forces (NLMARSOF) van het Korps Mariniers zijn in Afrika voor de Amerikaanse oefening Flintlock 2014. De militairen trainen samen met Afrikaanse eenheden uit Senegal en Burkina Faso en met Amerikaanse en Europese collega’s. Het opdoen van kennis van en ervaring met het optreden in het Afrikaanse klimaat en terrein staan centraal.     
Aan de oefening doen bijna 1000 militairen uit zo’n 14 verschillende landen mee. Met de Afrikaanse partners wordt geoefend in militaire vaardigheden zoals patrouilleren, verkennen, navigeren en het inrichten van controleposten. Nederland doet voor de zevende keer mee aan Flintlock.
De luchtmacht zet een Hercules C-130 transportvliegtuig in voor de logistieke ondersteuning van de oefening. De oefening Flintlock duurt tot 9 maart.
Militairen oefenen in Afrikaans klimaat, Nieuwsbericht, 19 februari 2014

6 Feb.

Mi-février, un nouveau détachement de forces spéciales américaines et françaises est attendu au Niger. Officiellement pour participer à l'exercice Flint Lock 2014. Exercice régional qui s'est déjà déroulé par le passé au Mali et en Mauritanie.

22 Jan.

No new information

20 Jan.

L’édition de cette année [de Flintlock] intervient dans un contexte marqué par l’escalade de la violence en Libye, où des groupes extrémistes liés à Al-Qaïda, tels que ceux d’Ansar al-Sharia, se sont implantés dans plusieurs villes de l’est. La zone est d’ailleurs régulièrement survolée par des drones dont la mission se charge de la collecte d’informations.
Sahel : Démarrage en février des exercices « Flintlock, 20 janvier 2014 par Samuel Benshimon, Sahel Intelligence.

17 Jan.

Military service members from African, European and North American countries will gather in Niger next month for the "Flintlock" exercise.
The two-week drill, which focuses on Africa's fight against terrorism and trafficking, includes air and land operations.
Held every year n nations across the Sahel region, the exercises are planned by US Special Operations to develop the capacity and collaboration among African security forces to protect civilian populations.
Jemal Oumar in Nouakchott, Sahel military forces train together, Magharebia – 17/01/2014

3 Jan.

Similarly aspects of Operation Enduring Freedom Trans-Sahara (OEFTS) such as the Flintlock system have worked to shore up essential communication and infrastructure within 25 countries. Given that AFRICOM was first proposed as an idea in 2000, this is a remarkable degree of growth and cooperation that reflects the growing level of importance with which Africa now factors into US policymakers’ decisions.
Sean Durns, Growing US securitypresence in Africa allows safer investments, http://globalriskinsights.com/, January 3, 2014

Previous Flintlock blogs on Broekstukken:
military-exercises-and-arms (21 mar 2014)

Flintlock in the press 2013
The Dutch and the War on Terror … in Africa  (11 Feb 2011)
Nederlanders in War on Terror….in Afrika (03 Feb 2011)

Previous Mali blogs on Broekstukken:
Mali in de pers (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr 2014)
Wapenleveranties aan Libië en de buurlanden (07 Sep 2012)