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U.S. Army Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, hands the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa flag to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William L. Zana during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 15, 2021.
U.S. Army Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, hands the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa flag to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William L. Zana during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 15, 2021. (Grady Epperly/U.S. Air Force)
U.S. Army Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, hands the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa flag to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William L. Zana during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 15, 2021.
U.S. Army Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, hands the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa flag to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William L. Zana during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 15, 2021. (Grady Epperly/U.S. Air Force)
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William L. Zana, incoming Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa commander, speaks to the audience during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 15, 2021.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William L. Zana, incoming Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa commander, speaks to the audience during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 15, 2021. (Grady Epperly/U.S. Air Force)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Zana has assumed command of the military’s mission in eastern Africa, overseeing operations based out of the Pentagon’s hub in Djibouti.

Zana replaced U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Lapthe Flora during a ceremony Saturday at Camp Lemonnier, where the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa is based. U.S. Africa Command’s Gen. Stephen Townsend presided over event.

Zana, a 34-year Army veteran, previously served as the deputy director for politico-military affairs for Africa at the Defense Department Joint Staff. He also served in Djibouti as the deputy commander of CJTF-HOA.

“It is an honor to return to service here in Djibouti,” Zana said in a statement. “Our African, international and U.S. partners have formed strong bonds, and I look forward to strengthening our friendship and collaboration in support of our nations.”

Flora relinquished command after serving in the post since June 2020. The next move for Flora, a general in the Virginia National Guard, wasn’t announced.

During Flora’s tenure in Djibouti, U.S. forces conducted a major troop relocation when it exited neighboring Somalia earlier this year. The effort, ordered by the former Trump administration, resulted in military equipment and hundreds of personnel being repositioned to other countries in the region.

news@stripes.com

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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