AFRICOM and the re-colonization of Africa


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI
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Later on in the same AFRICOM press conference, Ambassador Dell let slip a secret of the US plan for the re-colonization of Africa. Couching his words in the diplomatic rhetoric of partnership when referring to AFRICOM-sponsored joint military training, the ambassador said, “An American captain, a Nigerian captain going through a course together, they develop lifelong relationships and friendships.” After lauding the values of the “culture of the American military,” he disclosed the intent of the plan: cultivating an African colonial officer corps loyal to the US and American values, which “these educational experiences can impart to officers who join us from other countries and that they bring back to their own military culture.” 

By Yuram Abdullah Weiler

Thu Mar 7, 2013 10:16AM GMT

“It won’t surprise you that Mali is at the top of the list right now and has been certainly for the past few weeks.”

General Carter Ham, commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) 

In what appears to be a rerun of events prior to the AFRICOM-led NATO invasion of Libya, the United States has admitted its involvement with France’s neocolonial foray to reclaim its former North African colony of Mali. 

“We continue to be engaged in activities in Libya, Somalia, Gulf of Guinea, which is very important to Nigeria… but I would say, at least for today, Mali is probably at the top of the list,” disclosed AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham during a press conference with Nigerian journalists in Stuttgart, Germany on February 8, 2013. 

“A unique mix of uniformed personnel and interagency civilians,” said former commander General William “Kip” Ward, adding that AFRICOM’s task is helping Africans with their own security and not, of course, militarizing US foreign policy. 

Like the European Command from which it evolved in 2008, AFRICOM is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and has attaché offices in 38 African nations as well as numerous subordinate commands located in Germany, Italy and the Horn of Africa. When asked why his unit is headquartered in Stuttgart instead of in Africa, General Ham responded, “There was some resistance in some countries in Africa to the existence of Africa Command and certainly resistance to the presence of the headquarters in Africa.” He deftly avoided disclosing the embarrassing fact that AFRICOM has been unable to secure a suitable location for its headquarters from one of its 43 African “partners.”

General Ham next enumerated the differences between US military involvement in Mali and Afghanistan. Incredulously ignoring the 2001 US invasion that toppled the Taliban, the general insisted that “there was no government in Afghanistan. … So there wasn’t a government to deal with.” 

He also pointed to “U.S. laws that prevent us from having a direct military-to-military relationship with the Malians.” Further clarifying US involvement in Mali, Ambassador Christopher Dell explained, “The Malians did not ask the United States to intervene directly… The Malians turned to the French for help. The French have asked us for support.” 

Mali was once part of a vast French colonial empire that covered much of northern, central and western Africa, including the current countries of Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, and many others. 

France, which rejoined NATO in 2009 and was also on the point of the AFRICOM-led NATO Libya conquest, invaded Mali on January 11, 2013 allegedly at the request of its government. According to the Western spin, Islamic extremists linked to “al-Qaida” took over the northern part of the former French colony using arms from Libya, while renegade Malian soldiers deposed the “legitimate” government in Bamako. Hence, the French reoccupation is simply a necessary mission to restore Mali’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Of course, no mention is made about the West exploiting Mali’s vast natural resources, which include gold, uranium, diamonds, iron ore, bauxite, manganese, lithium and petroleum. 

The ethnic Tuareg insurgency against the corrupt, Western-backed Mali political elite is decades old, but after weapons flowed in from Libya, the Tuaregs were able to take control of the north, briefly declaring an independent state of Azawad. Quickly realizing that the flood of Libyan arms had lured them into a plot to justify French military intervention, the Tuaregs of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA) backed away from the Ansar Din in demanding an independent state, so the West had to import al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) from Algeria and spinoff group the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) for the requisite Islamic terrorist pretext to justify intervention. And of course one of AFRICOM’s primary military tasks is to “Deter or defeat al-Qaida and other violent extremist organizations operating in Africa and deny them safe haven.” 

While the AFRICOM/NATO/CIA/al-Qaida nexus remains shrouded in secrecy, clues to its nature can be gleaned from the sequence of events. 

On February 10, 2012, AFRICOM, in anticipation of a March 22 “coup” by rebel soldiers of the government in Bamako, cancelled a joint military exercise that was to be hosted by Mali from February 27 to March 18. Participants were to include Mali, the US, and chief NATO allies Germany, Canada, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United Kingdom. 

To help justify Western interference, the US propaganda outlet Voice of America began reporting on Tuareg rebel “atrocities,” while French Development Minister Henri de Raincourt accused “al-Qaida” of involvement.

As scheduled, on March 22, 2012, Mali Army Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who received officer training in the US, overthrew President Amadou Toumani Toure supposedly because of his weakness in confronting rebels in the north. The coup, about which AFRICOM denied foreknowledge, prompted a cutoff of US military aid on March 26, and economic sanctions by members of the US-French dominated Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on April 2. 

As a result of these rapidly occurring yet remarkably well coordinated events, the poverty-stricken nation was plunged further into turmoil. Approval by the Security Council’s colonial powers was slower, but was finally achieved on December 20, 2012 with the unanimous passage of UN Resolution 2085 that “authorized the deployment of an African-led mission to support efforts by national authorities to recover the north.” 

So, when “al-Qaida” extremists (undoubtedly backed by the CIA) launched an ill-timed attack on January 7, 2013, capturing the city of Kona, which lies on Mali’s north-south border, all the necessary pretexts and approvals were in place to rationalize the French invasion, which promptly began on January 11. By January 21, the US Air Force was airlifting French troops into Mali, and not surprisingly, French President Francois Hollande said his forces would be there for some time to come. 

The NATO conquest of Libya was a crucial step in expanding AFRICOM’s footprint on the continent, since Qaddafi was the only significant opponent to US re-colonization plans. Also important is the key role played by the CIA in recruiting and dispatching “al-Qaida” extremists from its base in Benghazi. For example, the US troop surge into Iraq in 2007 was paralleled by a surge of “al-Qaida” recruits from the Benghazi and Darnah regions of Libya. Judging by comments reportedly in his diary, former Libyan Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens knew of the CIA-sponsored flow of arms and terrorists into Syria and Mali. 

Reports also indicate that he had contacts with the main al-Qaida connected Libyan arms broker (and CIA operative) Abdelhakim Belhaj, who arranged arms shipments to US-backed Syrian rebels. So most likely, Stevens’ assassination on September 11, 2012 by “al-Qaida” was tied to this activity.

Also part of AFRICOM’s nefarious conquest strategy is infecting the “hearts and minds” of Africa’s youth. To indoctrinate African youth in the deadly American warrior culture, AFRICOM sponsors events in which they can meet with US military representatives who demonstrate examples of the latest lethal weaponry in the US arsenal. 

In one such event , the young African students who inspected an M1126 Stryker, an eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle, were part of a program “which works with children to help develop life skills, and future opportunities.” According to the AFRICOM representative, “A lot of video games are based on the Stryker’s technology, so most of the kids already knew how to use the control stick.” 

Another of AFRICOM’s psyops projects is the Defence Reference Laboratory (DRL) located in Abuja, Nigeria. “The DRL is a critical piece for healthcare, enabling world-class diagnostic and laboratory monitoring services for military personnel and the civilian population living in the surrounding communities,” according to US Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulle. While humanitarian aid facades play well on the American home front, in truth, and contrary to the words of its previous commander General Kip Ward, AFRICOM is all about oil, containing China, global domination and related US self-interested policy goals. 

One might ask why so much US attention is being focused on Africa. AFRICOM commander General Ham explained that Africa has “six or seven of the fastest growing economies in the world.” Vice Admiral Robert Moeller bluntly stated that AFRICOM was about preserving “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market.” In other words, AFRICOM is tasked with the mission of maximizing profit opportunities for US multi-national corporations. And exploiting the fear of terrorism to further justify AFRICOM’s ever-tightening grip on Africa, Major General Charles Hooper, Director of Strategy, Plans and Programs says that he worries about “an American with a U.S. passport receiving indoctrination, training, and support in East Africa and returning to an American city to conduct a terrorist attack.” 

Later on in the same AFRICOM press conference, Ambassador Dell let slip a secret of the US plan for the re-colonization of Africa. Couching his words in the diplomatic rhetoric of partnership when referring to AFRICOM-sponsored joint military training, the ambassador said, “An American captain, a Nigerian captain going through a course together, they develop lifelong relationships and friendships.” After lauding the values of the “culture of the American military,” he disclosed the intent of the plan: cultivating an African colonial officer corps loyal to the US and American values, which “these educational experiences can impart to officers who join us from other countries and that they bring back to their own military culture.” 

This is precisely what happened in the case of Mali coup leader Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who was selected for training by the US State Department. And by pitting AFRICOM-trained military officers against CIA-supplied “al-Qaida” terrorists, the US achieves domination over African countries by maintaining predetermined levels of internal violence. 

Marine Colonel Philip Lark, the deputy director for a recent US Department of Defense seminar in Garmisch, Germany, on the subject of violent extremism said, “Extremists of all determinations pose a dangerous threat to global security… fighting extremism must be done with both determination and insight.” One can only hope that a few of the participants at that seminar will have the determination and insight to fight the world’s most violent extremists: the US Imperial High Command and its various branches and agencies like AFRICOM. 

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