It’s time to expedite African Standby Force

The African Union has done extremely well in its latest manoeuvres to come up with home-grown solutions for its hotspots in particular and security in general.

Apparently, Africa has realised that for the continent to develop it needs its own security tenure, that guarantees political, economic and social stability, rather than rely on outsiders who have their own agenda.

Most of Western Europe and the United States of Americas have interfered in African affairs using humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and anti-terrorism as smokescreens behind which to hide their regime change agenda and exploration of wealth on the continent.

Modern history is full of examples of participation of the US military forces in solving different conflicts in the world. But it is hard to find any example of a positive outcome of such participation leading to appearance of “democratic values” anywhere.

Instead, wherever the US has intervened militarily, it has caused more harm than good, killing millions of civilians and destroying property as well as dabbling in regime change. During that intervention, the US plunders natural resources of that country, making itself ultra-rich.

The whole hullabaloo about democracy, good governance, accountability and protecting human rights, eventually emerge as mere means of justifying war. Libya is in a mess, Iraq is in a mess, Syria is in a mess, Ukraine is in a mess and all those conflicts including many others I have not mentioned, you smell the US hand.

The concept of “fighting terrorism” has started to be used by the Pentagon as a pretext to create more and more US military bases all over the world. But this trend, especially in Africa, threatens sovereignty, integrity, dignity and independence of decisions taken by African governments. In the end the US positions itself and the world policeman, who knows what is good for every country, regardless of obtaining circumstances.

For a long time Nigeria used to be a stronghold in West Africa which resisted US military personnel to venture into its territory. But things changed when the African country suddenly appeared a threat in the face of “Boko Haram” and let the Pentagon (which had been always wanted to have its positions in one of the key countries of a continent) to put pressure on a new government of Nigeria to increase the number of US military personnel in the country hiding behind the fight against terrorism.

Taking into consideration that Nigeria is one of the major suppliers of crude oil to the US, there is no doubt about the justification of such US activity in Nigeria. It is not about the abducted women, it is not about human rights, it is never about democracy but it is about oil, oil and oil. Nothing more, nothing less.

The bright example of US military expansion into Africa is its AFRICOM base “Camp Lemonier” in Djibouti. Since 2002, the number of military personnel there has increased by 450 percent. Moreover, the US has signed a $70 million deal to continue using this base till 2077. It is necessary to remember the goals (that were announced when the base was creating) haven’t been achieved.

The only real goal of this base is to protect US power projects in Africa. “Camp Lemonier” also became a starting point for further expansion of US military contingent in Africa.

The use of remote-controlled drones (that is aimed to reduce loss of US pilots) resulted in the deaths of a lot of civilians. Even the reports of such pro-American organisations like “Amnesty international”, “Human Rights Watch” and “New America Foundation” prove it.

According to these reports about 20 percent of killed people are civilians. These facts only lead to a growing number of radicals among suffering civilians. This has turned many civilians into anti-US groups as they wonder why they are losing their loved ones to drones.

African leaders, therefore, have a serious mandate to stop the US military establishments because in the end, the US bases actually invite terrorism for the hosting country. It is better to completely shut out US military interventions in Africa by speeding the effectiveness of the AU Standby Brigade.

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