US-backed military training ends in Senegal

Monday February 29 2016

Senegalese soldiers take part in an annual military exercise, known as Flintlock, on February 24, 2016, in Thies, about 70km from Dakar. The exercise has been bringing together African, European and US counter-terrorism forces every year for the past decade. PHOTO | AFP

Senegalese soldiers take part in an annual military exercise, known as Flintlock, on February 24, 2016, in Thies, about 70km from Dakar. The exercise has been bringing together African, European and US counter-terrorism forces every year for the past decade. PHOTO | AFP 

DAKAR, Sunday

About 17,000 special operation forces from 30 countries in Europe, Africa as well as the United States have ended anti-terrorism training in Senegal.

The technical aspect of the three-day and annual event officially ended Sunday in Thies, about 70 kilometers from Dakar under the auspices of the US military command in Africa (Africom).

Senegal and Mauritania jointly held the seventh edition of the military cooperative training dubbed ‘Flintock’ and described as the largest ever.

Flintlock is the Special Operations Forces exercise in Africa, a region that was coming under increased threat of terror groups linked to the Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State forces.

Some of the training focused on information sharing, communications, first aid, logistics and civil diplomacy.

The troops were quizzed in the use of the state of the art military equipment and engaged in evolving combat techniques.

‘‘The holding of the event in Senegal for the third time indicates that there is no hate ideology in this country,” the United States Ambassador to Senegal James Zumwait said at the opening session.