The Worker

On the Expansion of AFRICOM

Joint Statement of Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) and the Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP). Originally published on May 31, 2022.

The Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) and the Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP) are deeply concerned with the decision of Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema to make Zambia a center for the operations of the United States military with the opening of an AFRICOM office in Lusaka. This does not, at least at this stage, mean that US ground forces will be sent to Zambia. It does mean that the USA will train and direct Zambian troops in its interests. The pattern in Africa is similar to that pursued by the USA in Latin America for 150 years in which a country would be effectively occupied by its own army on behalf of the imperial power.

AFRICOM is Africa Command of the US armed forces. AFRICOM was formed in 2007 under George W. Bush but was considerably increased in size and influence under the Obama administration. The USA is the only country in the world, the only country in history, to divide the world into military commands.

The USA has around 800 military and naval bases around the world over most of the armies of Europe through NATO; in addition, it has virtual control and in Africa has military deals with most governments on the continent.

As often as possible, the USA avoids use of its own troops by engaging in proxy wars.

For instance:

Between 1998-2003, the Congo War, the biggest ever in Africa, according to United Nations figures, led directly or indirectly to the deaths of more than 5 million people. The war began when President Laurent Kabila re-negotiated mining contracts demanding that some of the profits be used to develop the Democratic Republic of Congo. Strategic minerals used for the US aeronautics and arms industries are found in Congo. It also supplies most of the world’s coltan used in cell phones. President Bill Clinton arranged to arm, train, and direct the armies of Uganda and Rwanda in the invasion of Congo with the further extension of the war to Angola being planned with the purpose of installing UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, as President there. The war was presented to the media as ‘purely an African tribal affair.’

In Syria, Islamic jihadists of ISIS and al-Nusra were armed to overthrow the government of President Bashir Assad. There is even now a US base in Syria against the wishes of the Syrian government and people, but according to information available, only 10 US servicemen were killed since 2011. Although the war is now less severe and the government is in control of most of the country, the war is ongoing.

At present, the USA has at least 30 bases in Africa in the following countries (alphabetical order), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Tunisia.

There are 3 bases in Kenya, naval bases at Mombasa and Manda Bay, and inland at Wajir.

In southern Africa, a massive base was built in Botswana in the early 1990s at Thebephatshwa, Botswana, a country with less than 2 million people. The Botswana government denied that this was a US base, but in the year 2002-2003, there was a build-up of US and British troops there threatening an invasion of Zimbabwe, whereby the Zimbabwe National Army gathered at the border threatening to invade Botswana. The Iraq War then became a priority for the imperialist forces who were also concerned with engaging Zimbabwean troops battle-hardened in the Congo War. In 2012 an agreement was made with the USA to build a permanent ‘base within a base’ at Thebephatshwa.

In Lesotho, a country completely surrounded by South Africa, there are listening posts on the mountain tops. Little Lesotho has now become a security threat to South Africa. The absolute monarchy of Eswatini/Swaziland too has a massive US Embassy and is a center for subversion against South Africa.

Now, following the deal between the USA and Zambia, a Bill, the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Bill is passing through the US Congress with almost no opposition. It seeks to give the US State Department power to punish any African country which has cordial relations with Russia. Specifically, once this Bill becomes an Act it is likely to be aimed at South Africa, a member of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).

In relation to the war by the Kyiv government of Ukraine against the People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, while South Africa has taken a conciliatory and non-aligned position, President Ramaphosa has openly blamed NATO for the war. This is not acceptable to the USA and we should soon expect US sanctions against South Africa. Most certainly, a move to unseat the ANC government at the next General Election in 2024 is being planned with the objective of its replacement by a government more conducive to the interests of the USA and its satellites and allies.

In 2011, we saw the horrific destruction of Africa’s most advanced country, Libya, by combined NATO and Arab reactionary forces (joined by ‘neutral’ Sweden). This was followed by a campaign of genocide against black Libyans and the reintroduction of slavery.

Without any hesitation, we, as African Communists, support the action of the Russian government in their military intervention to assist the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and to prevent the further extension of US and NATO hegemony.

We note with satisfaction that the Russian rouble is gaining against the US dollar. Western analysts are now predicting a collapse of the US stock market in 2023. There is now high inflation in the USA, UK, and EU fuelled by their backing of the Nazi-led Ukrainian forces against the Donbass People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk.

It is unfortunate to say, but peace and demilitarisation of the world is only likely to happen with the collapse of the economy of the USA and its European satellites. This now looks imminent.

The Communist Party of Kenya and the Zimbabwe Communist Party call for the liquidation of AFRICOM and NATO and all aggressive military alliances throughout the world.

We further demand the removal of all foreign troops from African soil.



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