U.S. Ambassador Brian Shukan officially transferred 1.3 billion CFA worth of equipment to Benin’s Armed Forces (FAB) on November 29 at the Military Camp of Parakou, as part of the Border Security program known as BORSEC II. The donation included, boots, gloves, ballistic glasses, searchlights, radios, screens, first aid kits, trench tools and binoculars.
Through the BORSEC program, over 700 Beninese soldiers have received training on border security tactics such as land navigation, battle drills, patrolling, and emergency medical care. The training also included the strengthening of relations between local populations and the military.
BORSEC also aims to institutionalize the type of training soldiers receive under the program within the conventional land force of Benin. “Faced with the threat of insecurity and terrorism, it is imperative that we unite, share our knowledge and resources, and coordinate our actions to eradicate this threat,” Ambassador Shukan said during the donation ceremony. “The United States is proud to play an active role in this program, providing cutting-edge equipment that will enhance the capabilities of the Beninese Armed Forces.”
Ambassador Shukan and General Chief of Defense Staff of Benin Armed Forces, Brigadier General Fructueux Gbaguidi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Foundational Skills and Leadership Development Program funded by the U.S. Government. The goal of this program is to build the capacities of the FAB to fight terrorism in northern Benin through a multi-phase project to equip and support soldiers’ training at the Bembèrèkè Military Training Center and in FAB units deployed along the border. The program will work with recent FAB basic training graduates to reinforce skills such as land navigation, weapons handling, troop movements, emergency first aid and building positive relations with the civilian populations.
Brian Shukan expressed his thanks to the courageous men and women who risk their lives every day to fight terrorism, commending their dedication, professionalism, and sacrifice.
To request more information, please call the U.S. Embassy Cotonou Office at Tel: +22921 30 06 50.