Since the post-World War II period national liberation movements and independent countries in Africa have developed solid diplomatic and economic relations with the former Soviet Union and today’s Russian Federation. It is this history which underlines the refusal of numerous African governments and mass organizations to side with the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in its efforts to encircle Russia in order to leave it as a diminished state dependent upon the dominant imperialist nations globally. In the immediate aftermath of the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the racist treatment of approximately 16,000 African students as well as thousands of others from Asia gained international news coverage.
Considering the public media attention and concern about possible expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), it is worth reminding people about NATO’s bloody history in Africa. NATO was founded in 1949 after WWII at a time when African countries were still under the yoke of colonialism. In fact most of the original founders of NATO had been Africa’s principal colonizers such as UK, France, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and the USA as lead NATO organizer and dominant partner. The organization was established as a collective defense against the Soviet Union with the requirement (Article 5) that any attack on one was considered an attack on all and therefore requiring a collective response.
Troops trained by AFRICOM have been behind nine coups d’etat on the African continent in the thirteen years of the military command’s existence. All but one of the G5 Sahel countries have experienced a coup in that period, and the military training that the U.S. and France provide to troops in these countries through the various AFRICOM exercises and the French Foreign Legion among other installations, present a serious concern. A 2017 study using data from 189 countries shows that greater numbers of military officers trained by the U.S. Military increase the probability of a military coup, and as Netfa Freeman wrote previously , AFRICOM serves as a “coup incubator” by emboldening a military class on the African continent that the U.S. can’t control.
In a blatant threat to China’s presence, Djibouti recently hosted the US-led “Allied Appreciation Day,” in which Britain, France, and Japan showcased “a variety of equipment that is part of their military operations in the Horn of Africa” (HOA). The Pentagon’s Combined Joint Task Force-HOA reported that the events fused Armistice, Remembrance, and Veterans’ Days. Attendees participated in “demonstrations featuring a variety of allied military capabilities to include a military flyover.” Successive Djiboutian regimes have clung to power by promoting their small country in the Horn of Africa as a vital tool in the West’s quest for global dominance. During Europe’s late-19th century Scramble for Africa, the French colonists understood the strategic importance of the region for trade ships and naval deployments.
The UN World Food Program’s (WFP) suspension of food aid to Dessie and Kombolcha after the liberation of these two strategically important cities in the war-torn northern Ethiopian state, Amhara, is a “travesty of the highest degree”, said Horn of Africa TV’s editor, Elias Amare. The UN has cited as its reason the looting of WFP’s warehouses and the intimidation of its staff in these cities by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF started the war by attacking a federal army base in Tigray in November 2020, and subsequently invaded the neighboring states of Amhara and Afar in July 2021. However, the UN’s decision to suspend aid to the two cities came after the TPLF was pushed out of it by the joint force of the national army and Amharan militias.
The U.S. has built military-to-military relations with 53 out of the 54 African countries that include agreements to cede operational command to AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command. The broad network of AFRICOM military bases, as well as those from France and other world powers, are examples of how African states are surrendering their sovereignty through neocolonial relationships with Western countries. African self-determination and national sovereignty are impossible as long as the U.S. and its European allies are allowed to use military power to control African land, labor, and resources. As Netfa Freeman pointed out in a recent article, “an indoctrination about the inherent goodness of the U.S.-European role in Africa accompanies this military training with blindspots about the true legacy of colonialism.”
Cobalt, A Key Metallic Element Used In Lithium Batteries And Other “Green” Technology, Is Sourced From Slave Labor In The Democratic Republic Of Congo. As The West Points The Finger At China, The US Africa Command Is Indirectly Policing Mining Operations That Profit US Corporations.
It's a very interesting environment, and it's interesting that you connect up the issue of media, CNN, for example, and Facebook. That's a very important and interesting kind of connection. Why? Oh, I think we forget that Facebook is supposed to be merely a platform for the exchange of information and ideas. But there's tremendous pressure on Facebook to, in fact, operate as a publisher by deciding what content is appropriate for users to share and what content is inappropriate. CNN, of course, is a privately owned corporation. But Black Alliance for Peace suggests that CNN is part of what we refer to as the ideological apparatus of the state. That is, even though it's privately owned, there's not much space between its positions, the worldview that it advocates, and that of the US state and the ruling elements that we say control the US state. So, in the current media environment, private Western corporations—which pretend to be "objective" media outlets—work in tandem with the state.
The World Food Program recently reported that 7 million Ethiopians across three northern states—Afar, Amhara, and Tigray—risk starvation: more than 5 million of whom are in Tigray; a region that borders Eritrea and consists of seven million Ethiopians. The governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea are united against the potentially secessionist Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front. As usual in war, ordinary civilians pay the price. But over the years, the Pentagon has armed and trained the Ethiopian military. While feigning concern for human rights, Washington appears to be taking a “wait-and-see” approach, especially as the current Ethiopian government has fallen out of favor with the US.
We are clear that the training of African police and military by the US and its NATO allies, in counter insurgency measures to confront the mass uprisings against repression, as taking place right now in Sudan using violent suppression, is right out of the imperialist playbook. For decades the U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, the E.U., and Israel have assisted in the training, financing, and arming of the militias and forces within Sudan. We must call for an end to the training of African defense and security forces by imperialists and neo-colonial entities and for the demilitarization of the African continent. The Black Alliance for Peace and the U.S. Out of Africa Network express solidarity with over a million Sudanese people who have taken to the streets in cities and towns across Sudan to resist the military coup that took place the morning of October 25, 2021.
The US Out of Africa Network, which is coordinated by the Black Alliance for Peace, launched a month of action on October 1, the 13th anniversary of the launch of AFRICOM (the US' Africa command) to educate the public about what AFRICOM is doing and to build the movement against US imperialism on the African continent. Clearing the FOG speaks with Tunde Osazua, who organizes the network, about the harm the US is doing on the continent such as the increase in violence and terrorist acts against the people as well as supporting coups and an economic war. What the US is doing in Africa is largely in violation of international law and it is creating a growing sentiment in opposition to the United States. AFRICOM is just one of eleven commands around the world that are run by the United States.
West Africa has just experienced its fourth attempted coup in just over a year, and seven coups over the last 13 years were carried out by African troops trained by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). One was directly carried out by AFRICOM forces – Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya in 2011, its first major military operation. On Sunday, September 5, 2021 soldiers detained Guinean President Alpha Condé and claimed control of the government. They suspended the constitution and closed all of the country’s borders. In a video recorded in the capital Conakry, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya of the Guinean Armed Forces (GAF) announced that the National Assembly had been dissolved.
The Black Alliance for Peace's Africa Team and the U.S. Out of Africa Network are organizing an international month of action to raise the public's awareness as a contribution to the effort to build a popular movement for demilitarization and anti-imperialism on the African continent. This month’s events will focus on raising the public's awareness about the use of western military power to impose western control of African land, resources, and labor on behalf of the world’s corporations. AFRICOM continues to militarily occupy Africa, with thousands of U.S. troops now stationed in some 30 African countries with dozens of U.S. bases across the continent, while it carries out bombings in places like Somalia.
Last month, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times. It might as well have been written by the Pentagon. Buhari promoted Brand Nigeria, auctioning the country’s military services to Western powers, telling readers that Nigeria would lead Africa’s “war on terror” in exchange for foreign infrastructure investment. “Though some believe the war on terror [WOT] winds down with the US departure from Afghanistan,” he says, “the threat it was supposed to address burns fiercely on my continent.” With Boko Haram and Islamic State operating in and near Nigeria, pushing a WOT narrative is easy. But counterterror means imperial intervention.
Over a week after the coup in Guinea was orchestrated by a US-trained military unit, the military junta that seized power initiated a four-day-long conference with political parties, business leaders and traditional leaders on Tuesday, September 14. The stated reason for this conference is to reach an agreement on the duration and arrangements for the transitional period before civilian rule can be restored. It was clear from the outset that few of the main opposition parties sitting opposite the junta on the table were keen on pushing for a speedy transition to civilian rule. Smaller political parties reportedly did not get through the registration to attend the conference. “It’s very difficult to want to impose on (coup leader) Colonel (Mamady) Doumbouya a civilian president – but it would be desirable that the prime minister was a civilian...