Remarks for Tulinabo Mushingi
U.S. Ambassador to Senegal
DS/ATA Regional Training Center Groundbreaking
January 9, 2018
Mr. Chef d’État-major général des armées
Mr. Commander of Base CET-7
Mr. Representative of the National Gendarmerie
Mr. Representative of the National Police
Law enforcement and constabulary officers
Let me begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, meilleurs vœux, and at-toum Diamm.
I am enthralled to be here today in Thiès at the CET-7 military base with the Chef d`État Major Général des Armées Cheikh GUÈYE, as well as representatives from the Haut Commandant de la Gendarmerie et Directeur de la Justice Militaire Meissa Niang and the Inspector General of Police Oumar Mal to preside over the groundbreaking for the Diplomatic Security Antiterrorism Training Center.
Senegal is a vital partner in West Africa, and the construction of this regional training center reinforces the crucial role that Senegal plays as a regional leader in our counterterrorism efforts.
Today’s challenging security environment coupled with mounting threats of violent extremist groups across the region has placed the need for training and education at the forefront of counter terrorism efforts.
Investing in human capital in this fight is crucial and adequate classroom space is therefore part and parcel of capacity building.
Today, led by our Embassy’s Regional Security Office and thanks to the Diplomatic Security Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, we continue with President Sall’s “integrated solutions” by partnering once again with Senegal’s law enforcement and defense security forces to create a space that serves Senegalese constabulary in the fight against extremism.
This is but one part of a significant level of engagement between the US Embassy’s Law Enforcement Working Group, which consists of officers from the FBI, DEA, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DOJ-OPDAT and our Diplomatic Security Regional Security Office, and the Senegalese military and constabulary forces.
During the past twelve months, the US Embassy’s Law Enforcement Working Group has donated over 400,000,000 CFA worth of non-lethal equipment to the National Police, inaugurated a new national drug laboratory for the Gendarmerie, hosted a regional meeting of FBI National Academy graduates, conducted mock prison riot training for Senegalese corrections officers, initiated a new joint drug task force with the Gendarmerie, and conducted counterterrorism training for first responders via the CICO (le Cadre d’Intervention et de Coordination Interministériel des Opérations de Lutte Anti-terroriste).
As President Trump noted in his recent National Security Strategy remarks, the United States seeks a stable and prosperous Africa, that is able to provide for their citizen’s needs, and capable of managing threats to peace and security, domestically and abroad. This Center will do just do that.
In addition, the Regional Training Center is the first significant area of cooperation with Senegal under our new Defense Cooperation Agreement.
This set of three classrooms and the warehouse represents a maturing of our commitment to work together in the fight against violent extremism.
This facility will empower us to train up to 200 students at any one time in a 3 classroom setting. This will allow for small group instruction for some of our Rural Border Patrol Operations classes as well as entire unit blocks of instruction for peace keeping missions in the region.
The warehouse will support counterterrorism programmed training with didactic as well as operational equipment. For example, some of the gear supports Senegal’s border security reinforcements and Senegal’s post blast investigative capacity.
The value of this center is close to 830 Million Francs CFA and I am looking forward to the ribbon-cutting ceremony later this year.
To our friends in the Senegalese Armed Forces, thank you for your cooperation on building capacity that will assist you and your constabulary partners in the Gendarmerie and National Police better respond to the scourge of terrorism.
We are in this fight together and we sincerely hope this regional training center will help you with your mission.
Thank you all for your attention.