Above US military training in Africa . Source Wikimedia.
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“United States foreign policy towards Africa has not fundamentally changed since World War II. Washington’s aim is to dominate the land, resources and labor of the African people,” Abayomi Azikiwe, the editor of the Pan-African News Wire, told Muslim Press in an interview.
In what follows, the full transcript of the interview has been presented.
Muslim Press: What has been the result of U.S. foreign policy in African countries? How has U.S. foreign policy in Africa changed since Donald Trump became president?
Abayomi Azikiwe: United States foreign policy towards Africa has not fundamentally changed since World War II. Washington’s aim is to dominate the land, resources and labor of the African people. Successive administrations backed the colonial policies of Britain, France, Portugal and the former settler-colonial regimes of Rhodesia and South Africa. In Feb. 1966, the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson engineered a military and police coup against the First Republic of Ghana under President Kwame Nkrumah. Later in Oct. 1975, the administration of President Gerald Ford deployed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to support a military intervention into Angola by the former racist apartheid South African Defense Forces (SADF) to prevent the genuine independence of that former Portuguese colony. Successive administrations funded the counter-revolutionary UNITA organization which worked closely with apartheid South Africa to undermine the sovereignty of Angola and block the independence of Namibia. It would take the assistance of the Republic of Cuba led then by President Fidel Castro Ruz to eventually defeat the SADF, paving the way for the consolidation of Angola, the independence of Namibia and the destruction of apartheid in the Republic of South Africa. By 2008, the administration of President George W. Bush, Jr. had established the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). This military command structure has furthered the imperialist militarization of the African continent. AFRICOM under President Barack Obama was enhanced through the expansion of Camp Lemonnier in the Horn of Africa state of Djibouti. Routine bombing operations are conducted in Somalia utilizing the AFRICOM base in Djibouti and other outlets in the region. U.S. presence in Djibouti serves as a springboard for the ongoing genocidal war against the people of Yemen and Syria. Since taking office in January 2017, current President Donald Trump has deployed additional troops to Somalia. The administration has threatened African governments over their normal relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Trump administration represents a continuation of previous presidents and their desire to hamper African liberation, unity and economic development.
MP: To what extend has oil been the reason for the West’s colonial policies in Africa?
Abayomi Azikiwe: Oil production is still a major factor in U.S. foreign policy. As a result of the domestic policies of the Obama administration the price of oil and other commodities produced in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Russia have undergone precipitous declines. The aim is to arrest the capacity of states which have independent outlooks, or even the potential for acting outside the realm of the interests of Washington and Wall Street, from acquiring the ability to determine their own destinies.
MP: How do you view the situation in Libya? For what goals has such a prosperous nation been sacrificed?
Abayomi Azikiwe: The North African state of Libya has been destroyed due to the Pentagon-NATO carpet bombing and surrogate ground operations of 2011. This once prosperous nation has never recovered. Instead it remains divided with at least three identifiable sources of purported authority. ISIS was able to set up a base there and was only defeated after tremendous human losses and injuries.
Libya has become a major source of instability and terrorism throughout North and West Africa. It is also a principal hub for human trafficking. Just recently several thousands of Africans from other states were found in captivity where they lacked food, water and other amenities. Thousands of people have died just this year off the coast of Libya seeking to flee to Europe. The United Nations has drafted yet another plan to bring unity and stability to Libya. We will be watching closely to see how this latest machination unfolds. The only goal of the U.S. is to dominate Libya which has large deposits of oil and natural gas. The country is located in a strategic area in the North of the continent along the Mediterranean Sea.
MP: You have called on the U.S. government to end all of its military involvement in Africa. What would be the consequences of that?
Abayomi Azikiwe: Washington must close down its bases, drone stations, airstrips, joint military operations, consulting projects and training programs with all African Union member-states. None of these efforts have brought peace and stability to the continent. What has happened is quite the opposite. Since the advent of AFRICOM, the situation has been far more unstable in the region. The consequences of U.S. withdrawal will be similar to what happened in Vietnam, Lebanon, Angola and other geo-political regions. The people will unite to resolve their own problems and challenges. This is the path that the U.S. does not want to see. Consequently, Africa must follow the line of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as outlined in his 1963 seminal work entitled “Africa Must Unite.” Nkrumah called for a continental government under socialism, the closing of all foreign military bases held by the colonialists, neo-colonialists and imperialists. The continent should construct an All-African Military High Command to address internal problems and to defend the region from outside interference.