By Spy Uganda
Kampala: A US naval ship docked in the Sudanese Red Sea coastal city of Port Sudan in order to enhance maritime security in the region, the US Embassy in Sudan said on Wednesday.
The visit comes after decades of the US embargo on Sudan and aims at strengthening the military partnership between the two countries.
“The Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City arrived in Port Sudan, Sudan. This is the first US Navy ship to visit Sudan in decades and highlights the willingness of the United States Armed Forces to strengthen their renewed partnership with the Sudanese Armed Forces,” the embassy statement read.
In January this year, US Africa Command’s deputy commander for civil-military engagement, Ambassador Andrew Young, and director of intelligence, Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, visited Khartoum to expand cooperative engagement.
Russia and Sudan have also signed a military agreement last December, allowing Moscow to set up a naval base on the Sudanese Red Sea territorial water.
In December last, the US has removed Sudan from the list of the countries sponsoring terrorism and facilitated financial assistance to the country amid an economic crisis.
The ship docks in Sudan after Mombasa where it had docked for weeks and this was the first U.S naval ship in over a decade to dock at the port after USS Porter’s visit in 2007.
The United States is Kenya’s largest bilateral benefactor, especially when it comes to enhancing the maritime security capabilities of the Kenya Navy and the Coast Guard.
“Our visit to Mombasa confirms our resolve and commitment to the preservation of security and stability in Kenya and Africa,” said Capt. Michael Concannon, the commanding officer of USS Hershel “Woody” Williams.
The vessel was deployed to the eastern coast of Africa to advance American interests in maritime security and stability in Africa. She also supports the growing strategic partnerships between the U.S. and African countries through training and security for freedom of navigation.
The visit came at a period when there is debate about the increasing Chinese naval influence in Africa, but the United States’ capacity-building efforts – especially in maritime security – remain phenomenal. Since 2003, the U.S. Department of Defense has provided the Kenya Navy with over $161 million of hardware assistance and equipment training; $3 million of professional development; and over $1 million of maintenance upgrades for naval equipment, according to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
In 2018, the United States completed its largest maritime security cooperation program in Sub-Saharan Africa by donating 10 Metal Shark boats, reinforcing the Kenya Navy’s maritime domain awareness capability, and support the Kenyan blue economy.