Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Regional Crisis Response on Display at Justified Accord


With smoke grenades providing cover, a platoon of Soldiers from Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania exchanged fire with violent extremists and searched a makeshift village, building by building.

A Kenyan Air Force F-5E Tiger II jet fighter flew close to the ground to discourage further fighting before helicopters arrived to evacuate a casualty. The platoon needed just 28 minutes to completely clear the village of militants.

The dramatic scene in Kenya on March 7 marked the conclusion of Justified Accord 2024, the largest military exercise in East Africa.

“Everyone has made new friends and should be very proud of the results of your training,” Kenya Deputy Army Commander Maj. Gen. David Tarus told participants during the closing ceremony at the Counter Insurgency Terrorism and Stability Operations center in Nanyuki, Kenya.

Justified Accord is conducted annually in partnership with United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF).

From February 26 to March 7, more than 1,000 participants from 23 nations worked to build readiness, prepare for African Union- and United Nations-mandated missions, and increase interoperability in support of crisis response, humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

Kenya Army Lt. Col. Mohamed Omar said JA24 was a chance for participating countries to build capacity and share knowledge throughout the trainings they received.

“We are building cooperation and relationships, which will ultimately give us an opportunity to deal with a common threat, a security threat in this region of our Horn of Africa,” he said.

Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with al-Qaida and based in Somalia, poses a continued threat to the region. Several Horn of Africa countries contribute troops to the AU stabilization mission in Somalia.

Somali participants in this year’s exercise included members of the elite Danab commando brigade.

“We are here to exchange ideas and to also pick each other’s brains from different nations,” Danab Warrant Officer Mubarak Abdi Mohamed said. “I think that is the most important thing, to learn from each other and to have contacts and friends in all these nations here with us. That is why JA is important for us — to make connections.”

Danab 2nd Lt. Abdirahim Muse Mohamed said the exchange of learning was a highlight, as was the experience of being in Somalia’s more stable neighbor to the south.

“We are very interested to know how things are in peacetime,” he said. “There are no military checkpoints everywhere in this country.”

JA24 also featured a staff officer course; a Women, Peace and Security panel; rule of law instruction; a veterinary exchange with K-9 tactical combat casualty care; and a command-post exercise at Nairobi’s Humanitarian Peace Support School.

In Nanyuki, the Kenya Defence Forces hosted a multinational field training exercise, urban operations training, and a medical civic action program that saw as many as 1,000 rural Kenyans receive medical care.

Second Lt. Mohamed Abdoulaziz and his Djiboutian Bataillon d’intervention rapide (BIR) conducted urban operations training on February 28.

“We are learning a lot of new skills we have never had before, like encountering drones,” he said. “We do not train with that in our country. In our country there are also no forests like this, so we are learning how to take cover in the forest and battle through the trees.”

U.S. Capt. Alexander Roose, whose battalion in the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade works closely with Djibouti’s BIR, said participants’ skills grew by “leaps and bounds” after training to eliminate improvised explosive devices and unmanned aircraft systems.

“It’s a pretty significant event,” he said. “[Justified Accord] seeks to align multiple East African nations in order to create interoperability. We’re going to use this partner force specifically to solve African problems with African solutions.”

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