By Andrew Mukamba
SINCE it was established as an independent command in 2008, AFRICOM, or the United States Africa Command, has been gradually expanding its presence in Africa.
Under Barack Obama, the first African-American president, the US launched a full-scale invasion of Africa.
It is as if Africa’s proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master’s black colonial elite, whose “historic mission”, warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, “is the promotion of capitalism rampant, though camouflaged”.
In 2015 Africa Command had 36 outposts scattered across 24 African countries.
These include low-profile locations – from Kenya to South Sudan to a shadowy Libyan airfield – that have never previously been mentioned in published reports.
Today, according to an AFRICOM spokesperson Chuck Prichard, the number of these sites has actually swelled to 46.
The trajectory of America’s African footprint has increased by 10 locations – a 28 percent jump – in just over two years.
Lemonnier, the crown jewel of America’s African bases, has expanded from 88 acres to about 600 acres since 2002, and in those years, the number of personnel there has increased exponentially, as well.
AFRICOM chief Waldhauser explained this during his March press conference that, “Because of the size of Africa, because of the time and space and the distances, when it comes to special crisis-response-type activities, we need access in various places on the continent.”
The command’s major areas of effort involve: a shadow war against the militant group al-Shabaab in Somalia (a long-term campaign, ratcheting up in the President Donald Trump era, with no end in sight); attempts to contain the endless fallout from the 2011 US and allied military intervention that ousted Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi (a long-term effort with no end in sight); the neutralising of “violent extremist organisations” across northwest Africa, the lands of the Sahel and Maghreb (a long-term effort with no end in sight); the degradation of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin nations of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad (a long-term effort – to the tune of US$156 million last year alone in support of regional proxies there – with no end in sight); countering piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (a long-term effort with no end in sight), and winding down the wildly expensive effort to eliminate Joseph Kony and his murderous Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa (both live on, despite a long-term US effort).
The US advocates for endless military interventions, pretending to ignore the real causes of terrorism, the reasons why it expands, hiding its role in it, and thereby clearly showing its real intent: fuelling terrorism to destabilise and destroy nations, thus justifying military invasion and achieving their conquest of the African continent’s richest lands, under the pretext of saving the world from terror.
With the Trump administration escalating its wars in Africa and the Middle East, and the potential for more crises – from catastrophic famines to spreading wars – on the horizon, there’s every reason to believe the US military’s footprint on the continent will continue to evolve, expand, and enlarge in the years ahead, outpost by outpost and base by base.
Hence, Africa turned out to be at gunpoint of the US weapons, which threaten its freedom and sovereignty. This alarming situation demands from our leaders to thoroughly consider it at the coming summit of the African Union, and to take urgent measures to curb the US military presence on the continent.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015