Senegal and the United States have signed a defence cooperation deal aimed at easing the deployment of US troops to the country.
In a joint press briefing, U.S. ambassador to Senegal James Zumwalt said the agreement would help forces in both countries to reinforce their cooperation to better deal with threats of common interest.
According to the U.S. Africa Command, around 40 U.S. Department of Defense personnel are currently stationed in Senegal. The U.S. embassy in Dakar said that the number would not increase under the deal.
“This agreement is about access, it’s about coming when there is an urgent desire and when both sides agree,” Zumwalt said.
On the other hand, Senegal’s Foreign Minister said the accord was one of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa and will bolster the country’s ability to respond to growing security challenges.
“Crises are not always predictable, that’s why this agreement is a long-term agreement,” he said.
The agreement is meant to aid the West African nation to counter different crisis such as terrorism which have recently affected neighbouring countries.
Senegal faces a growing threat from Islamist militants due to its close ties with France and also has forces fighting alongside regional armies against the militants.