Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander, U.S. Africa Command, arrived in the Republic of Chad today for discussions with senior Chadians that is scheduled to be highlighted by a visit with President Idriss Déby Itno at Chad’s Presidential Palace.
Rodriguez’s fourth visit to Chad follows a two-day visit to Nigeria where he met with Nigerian officials to discuss defense and security issues. Along with President Déby, Rodriguez is also scheduled to meet with Minister of Defense Benaindo Tatola; Chief of Defense Lt. Gen. Brahim Seid Mahamat; Operation Barkhane Commander, French Maj. Gen. Patrick Brethous; Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Commander, Nigerian Maj. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun; and other senior officials.
In his meeting with President Déby, Rodriguez is expected to discuss the current efforts against violent extremist organizations; Chad’s support of the MNJTF; and salute Chad’s ongoing cooperation with AFRICOM exercises. Rodriguez is also expected to congratulate Déby on the significance of Chad providing the Chairman’s position to the African Union and the conclusion of Chad’s two-year term of service as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
“Chad has an increasing leadership role within the region, on the continent and in the international community,” Rodriguez said.
With regard to the overall visit, Rodriguez noted that he looks forward to meeting with Chadian senior leaders and hearing directly from them about defense and security issues.
“I look forward to serious and productive talks about what their vision and ideas are for how the United States can best support Chad in its defense against Boko Haram and in their efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the region,” said Rodriguez. “We are working together to build a better future not just in Chad but throughout the Lake Chad Basin and west and central African regions.”