Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland led an interagency delegation to Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso from October 16-20, 2022. The delegation included Assistant Secretary of Defense Celeste Wallander, AFRICOM Major General Kenneth Ekman, Deputy Assistant Secretaries of State Michael Heath and Gregory LoGerfo, and National Security Council Director Matthew Petit.
Across the region, Under Secretary Nuland and the delegation met with government, military and civil society leaders to discuss security, governance, and development issues. They stressed the United States’ commitment to work closely with willing partners to tackle the growing threat of terror across the Sahel. They underscored that good governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights, education, and a vibrant civil society are key to breaking the cycle of violent extremism. They also shared U.S. concerns about the destructive role that Wagner forces are playing in Mali.
At each stop, Under Secretary Nuland and the delegation met with civil society activists, election officials, entrepreneurs, and young leaders promoting education, political inclusion, and human rights