Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Travels to Djibouti, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 14, 2011

Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro will travel to Djibouti, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo January 14-23. He will meet with senior civilian and military officials in Djibouti, January 15-17; Kenya, January 18-19; and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, January 20-22, to build on security cooperation initiatives aimed at meeting shared security challenges.

The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) is the Department of State’s primary link to the Department of Defense, and oversees more than $5 billion in annual security assistance programs, offering 42 partner nations in sub-Saharan Africa training opportunities and, in some cases, equipment essential to building modern, professional armed forces across the continent. The PM Bureau also leads the U.S. Government’s diplomatic response to piracy in eastern Africa through the 60-nation Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

Among other activities, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has helped train and equip nearly 140,000 personnel from 37 nations around the world – including 25 partners in sub-Saharan Africa – to meet the growing global demand for peacekeepers through its Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), implemented in the region through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) Program.

In addition, the Bureau’s Conventional Weapons Destruction Program has promoted regional security and post conflict recovery by safely disposing of more than 200,000 small arms, 2,500 tons of munitions, and returned more than 25,000,000 square meters of land in 27 African nations to productive use through efforts to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance though the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program.

PRN: 2011/057