United States Army Africa conducts exercises in Ethiopia

The United States Military, in partnership with The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troop and police contributing countries, allies, the African Union, and other international organizations are set to conduct Justified Accord 2017 (JA17) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Formerly known as Eastern accord, the table top exercise will take place from March 20-24, 2017, according to the press statement from the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa.

JA17 is an AFRICOM-directed and U.S. Army Africa (USARAF)-led combined and joint exercise with approximately 100 military and government personnel participating from 10 nations.

This year’s iteration will bring together African partners and Allied nations in a classroom setting to discuss topics related to peacekeeping operations. This exercise will include structured vignettes and practical applications related to transitioning AMISOM to a Somali-led mission. The end goal of JA17 is to increase interoperability, to further relationships with partners in the region, and to build upon the plan for a more robust exercise for JA18.

Justified Accord does link with previous exercise in that we will spend the week looking at a very specific scenario instead of a general scenario,” according to a pre-prepared for delivery remarks by Brigadier General Jon A. Jensen, Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Africa at the Justified Accord 2017 opening ceremony.

“Our specific scenario is the AMISOM. Traditional key peacekeeping topics such as International Humanitarian Law, Protection of Civilians, and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief remain core key competencies of our training, but we will also spend time looking at and discussing key components of the eventual transition of the AMISOM mission to Somali-led,” he said.

“We have many long hours ahead of us this week. The topics will be complex; and while we may not be expending ourselves physically, the intellectual and mental energy needed this week will be taxing. I ask my fellow exercise participants to bring your best every day – participate fully each day – challenge assumptions made – and take time to develop new friendships,” he noted.

Once the exercise is complete, all exercise participants will return to their home countries and stations.