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AFRICAN SECURITY MARKET : AFRICOM’S EMBEDDING WITH ROGUE REGIMES SETS U.S. A LOSER BEFORE COMPETITORS, CHINA AND RUSSIA

AFRICOM’s mission in Cameroon is in violation of its guiding principles. It’s no surprise that Cameroon has sunk into security chaos and economic downfall, just because security partnership  with AFRICOM has granted them the “capable and professional military” they needed to turn against their own people. AFRICOM’s failures in dictatorial regimes like Cameroon pave a boulevard to China and Russia in Africa.

Ndzana Seme, The African Independent, 8 February 2019.

 

Africa, which is thrice the size of the United States, has the fastest growing population in the world, which would also be the fastest growing economic market in the next 30 years.

 

“The U.S. Africa Command Area of Responsibility encompasses 53 countries with a population of 1.3 billion. By 2050, this figure is forecasted to almost double to over 2.54 billion, with one out of every four people on the planet living on the African continent,” said General Thomas D. Waldhauser,  US Marine Corps Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in his statement before the Senate Committee of Armed Services on February 7, 2019.

 

The relationship or correlation between national security and a nation’s economic growth is blurred.  Just as economic growth is a national security issue, since policies on trade that foster prosperity also strengthen a nation’s military and political power, undemocratic governments tend to spend quite all State resources to build authoritative regimes’ security infrastructures while neglecting to produce the public investments necessary for the economy.

 

AFRICOM was built on the belief that “Africa is an enduring interest for the United States, and security is a pre-requisite for economic growth and development,” yet it falls short to show the correlation between the two in the African countries it had partnered with since its creation in 2007.

 

“As a partner-based command, U.S. Africa Command assists African nations in building capable and professional militaries subordinate to elected civilian authority and respectful of human rights, the laws of armed conflict, and international humanitarian law,” said General Waldhauser.

 

In Cameroon, the economy is crumbling because the battalion of rapid intervention (BIR) and other military units, which are “capable and professional militaries” AFRICOM has built with its partner, Paul Biya’s government, are not subordinate to elected civilian authority since all elections in the country are rigged.

 

All protests against rigged elections are violently repressed, labeled terrorism by Biya’s regime, with opposition leaders Maurice Kamto and over 200 contesters of the October 7, 2018 presidential election being currently imprisoned, many others wounded with live bullets and in hiding.

 

Since November 2016 that they have progressively shifted from the war on Boko Haram to the war on the revolted Cameroonian citizens arbitrarily labeled terrorists, Paul Biya’s BIR and military are not at all “respectful of human rights, the laws of armed conflict, and international humanitarian law” as they execute a genocidal repression of the revolted Anglophone minority just because their victims demand restoration of the Federation, else separation.

 

AFRICOM’s mission in Cameroon is in violation of its guiding principles. It’s no surprise that Cameroon has sunk into security chaos and economic downfall, just because security partnership  with AFRICOM has granted them the “capable and professional military” they needed to turn against their own people.

 

AFRICOM’s failures in dictatorial regimes like Cameroon pave a boulevard to China, which injects “considerable amounts of financing into the continent, including offering key loans to strategically-located countries,” thus “gaining greater access to Africa’s mineral and other natural resources, opening markets, and accessing naval ports.”

 

General Waldhauser declares that “In the short term, the complete financial packages can make China appear to be an attractive partner for African nations.”

 

So can Russia, which “has taken a more militaristic approach in Africa,” especially in Central African Republic where “Russian interests gain access to natural resources on favorable terms.”

 

In Libya, agreements brokered with rival factions “are aimed at accessing Libya’s vast oil market, reviving arms sales, and gaining access to coastal territories on the Mediterranean Sea, providing Russia closer access to Europe’s southern border,” said General Waldhauser.

 

Ultimately, partnering with undemocratic, power mongering regimes as Biya’s in Africa will render AFRICOM’s mission ineffective.

 

The solution for AFRICOM’s success is to comprehensively shift from siding with governments to siding with the people in undemocratic African countries; if necessary, for the US interest, by taking down oppressive regime partners that are vomited by their people.

 

Ndzana Seme, 02/08/2019

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