Terrorism Africa News
Just as the United States military steps up its presence in Africa some Africans are beginning to voice their opposition. It seems that the opposition is being stepped up because of a story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, yesterday, reporting that the government of Kenya has made an urgent appeal to the Obama administration to provide intelligence and logistical support to Kenya’s stalled, month-old military operation in Somalia against the Shabaab. On the same day, Allafrica.com carried a convincing and emotional essay by Motsoko Pheko, opposing the presence of USA military bases in Africa.
The LA Times story states that US Administration officials are considering Kenya’s request, which came through the State Department, to provide military surveillance and reconnaissance that could include imagery from drone aircraft.” Over the past month the CIA and special operations forces carried out helicopter assaults and fired missiles from drone aircraft against Al-Qaeda target in Somalia. Kenya’s request for “intelligence and logistical support” is most likely a call for drone surveillance, which necessitates the presence of US Military personel who are trained to interpret the images and data gleaned from the drone cameras and sensors. Some sources say that the US has, or will soon have, military bases in Uganda, Djibouti, Senegal and São Tomé and Príncipe which it plans to use for small-scale “jumping off points.”
Motsoko Pheko, who is a politician, author, and founder of Daystar University in Kenya, the largest liberal arts college in Africa, expressed his adamant opposition to US military bases in Africa calling the action self serving and blatant neocolonization. For evidence he recounts the murderous presence of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda since the overthrow of Idi Amin, but the USA never attempted through Uganda administrations or the African Union to assist in putting them down. Yet now, Pheko notes, when oil has been discovered in Uganda, the USA has sent advisers to help. He states bluntly, “Acquisition of Africa’s resources is the chief purpose of Africom, not the development of Africa.”
Pheko quotes President George W Bush, when he instituted Africom, as saying, “the United States’ Africa Command ‘will co-ordinate all United States security interests throughout Africa.’ Pheko points out that the US has often seen a security concern where petroleum is present. He believes that Africa needs efficient mechanisms to respond on its own to bring stability on the continent, but he views Africom as a destabilizing influence and calls upon all African leaders to “refuse the presence of Africom on the African soil.”