The US Army Africa has completed a joint planning and coordination exercise, named Unified Focus, in Doula, Cameroon.

The joint exercise was inaugurated at the Douala Naval Base, on 24 April.

The exercise was conducted to assess Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) nations and western partner nations' capabilities in encountering terrorism and violent extremist organisations (VEOs).

It also aimed to build the Multinational Joint Task Force's (MNJTF) capacity to promote national and regional security and shape security force assistance efforts, the US Africa Command stated.

US Army Africa deputy commander brigadier general Kenneth Moore said: "Our focus this week is to bring the members of the MNJTF together with non-military organisations and discuss ways to counter the violence and instability caused by Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa in the Lake Chad Basin.

"This year almost 100 participants from a total of ten nations have gathered together."

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"This year almost 100 participants from a total of ten nations have gathered together."

Participating nations included Cameroon, Chad, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Italy, France, the UK and the US.

During the week-long tabletop exercise, participants practised joint planning and coordination through a series of scripted scenarios, which involved instability and violence caused by Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa in the Lake Chad Basin.

Soldiers from participating nations worked together to bridge language and cultural barriers, as well as develop solutions to facilitate interoperability between the MNJTF, multinational military, and non-governmental organisations.

2nd Military Region of Cameroon commander major general Saly Mohamadou said: "Exercise Unified Focus is an US Africa Command exercise fully reinforcing and optimising the coordination of national and regional efforts for the best results in the fight against terrorism.”

Image: US Army brigadier general Kenneth Moore, US Army Africa deputy commander, greets Cameroonian major general Saly Mohamadou, commander of the 2nd Military Region of Cameroon, at the opening ceremony for exercise Unified Focus 2017. Photo: courtesy of Capt. Jason Welch.