Africa’s biggest military exercise ramps up Morocco-US ties

African Lion exercise

Morocco-US relations have reached new heights since the US recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over the greatly disputed Western Sahara as the two nations join forces to lead Africa’s biggest military exercise, ‘African Lion 2024’.

African Lion – an annual, multinational military exercise that strengthens and cements Morocco’s 20 years of military ties with the US – commenced on 20th May and is set to finish on 31st May, AFP reported.

Mohammed Berrid, the Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces of Morocco described the long-standing ties between the US and Moroccan militaries as “excellent and “historically rooted.”

READ: Will Morocco join NATO?

However, since Morocco’s normalisation with Israel was influenced by the US government in exchange for Western Sahara sovereignty, many have called for an end to the Abraham Accords that enabled the normalisation, Time Magazine reported.

Despite Morocco’s discontent with Israel’s actions and the “worsening of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip last November, Morocco remains well acquainted with the Accords to keep its US recognised sovereignty of Western Sahara intact.

The African Lion exercise consists of 7,000 elements of the armed forces from 20 countries in Africa and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and includes tactical exercises across the land, sea, and air by day and night.

US Army Major General Todd R. Wasmund, who co-chaired the exercise and activities alongside Morocco’s Major General Mohammed Benlouali, expressed his gratitude to the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces.

“I want to thank the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces…for 20 years of partnership, for the hospitality, friendship and spirit of collaboration you always extend when we come together for this event,” Wasmund stated.

Gen. Benlouali stated that the African Lion exercise “documents 20 years of distinguished cooperation, partnership, and enduring commitment to achieving security and peace.”

While the collaborations organisers rave about partnership and peace, the US hypocritically has recently sent a $1 billion arms package to Israel, which will likely contribute to the killing of the few thousand remaining civilians that seek shelter in Rafah.



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