Friday, February 22, 2008


Just received this thought-piece from the Institute for Global Dialogue in SA:

The African Union and Regional bodies have rejected the establishment of
AFRICOM on the continent and SADC has been especially strong in their
wording about rejecting AFRICOM in the region. Debates are happening at AU
level but they are not being made public.

Bush's 5-country visit is an indication that the US is opting for bilateral
agreements with countries that would accept US aid. Tanzania has just
received a $700million aid package during Bush's visit. This divides the
African continent into individual countries that could be cajoled and
bullied into bilateral relations that could mean access to the US military
in the future. It is my contention that the US government is focussing on
meeting with weak or fragile states who will be in need of foreign aid for
their development.

What needs to be done is that the AU should publicise their debates on
AFRICOM. Citizens should know whether there is a unified AU stand on
military access to Africa. The US has said there will be no bases or
increase in military personnel on the continent but if bilateral agreements
are entered into the AU cannot counter the national decision (national
sovereignty is protected at all costs).

A coordinated civil society coalition should demand information on AFRICOM
from their national governments, regional bodies and the AU. Militarisation
of Africa will only be at the cost of the civilians who will have to deal
with less social spending and more militaristic behaviour in society by our
governments and foreign militaries.

The role of the military in Africa should be reviewed. I'm all for a
military that responds to humanitarian crises and whose main aim is to
promote peace and human security at national, regional and continental
levels. I do not want a military that will be implicated in 'leap frog' or
'lily pad' approaches into conflict areas, especially those in which
American military interests are of utmost importance.

Michele Ruiters, PhD
Senior Researcher - IGD
Tel +27+11 315 1299/ Fax +27+11 315 2149


ama,  7:53 pm  

Totally agree. I have watched with concern when 10 years ago Bill Clinton came to Ghana, now it's Bush. Though I would not classify Ghana as one of the weaker African states, we ( that is our government) has the propensity to lick and kiss USA's arse all over.

At the back of my mind is the much repeated saying about America... No permanent friends, only permanent interests. That frightens me, cos how can America's self interest be beneficial to Ghana??

Anonymous,  6:11 am  

What's with the knee-jerk rejection of AFRICOM? Can someone please enlighten us on the idea?why it should be rejected? Why it's such an unthinkable idea-other than the empty nationalistic rhetoric I have been hearing all over. I do understand this may reflect the current anti-america mood but do lets discuss it intelligently if we must.

Anonymous,  3:58 pm  

anon 6:11, i dont know how you came to the conclusion that rejection of africom is kneejerk. at any rate, can you tell me why it should be accepted.

Chxta 11:25 pm  

@ Anon 6:11, where were you when the AFRICOM shabazz was dissected, analysed, chewed, regurgitated, and finally spat out?

STB 3:18 pm  

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