US Military Intervention in Africa: The East African Response Force, A Creation of the Pentagon
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Pan-African News Wire and Global Research: February 11, 2014
Growing instability in East and Central Africa will be the focus of Washington’s intervention
Over the last two months developments in Central and East Africa has dominated the news coverage of the continent. The split within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLA), a close ally of Washington, and the deployment of French and African troops in the Central African Republic, has brought the escalation of Pentagon troops in these states.
Recently the Department of Defense announced the formation of an East African Response Force. This new unit is part of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) which has been strengthened and enhanced under the administration of President Barack Obama.
A recent drone attack in southern Somalia is representative of the growing aggression of Washington in Africa. The government of Djibouti, a former French colony where the U.S. has a military base with over 4,000 soldiers at Camp Lemonnier, released a statement saying that such strikes are “vital” in the so-called war on terrorism.
The drone strike was launched from the Pentagon military installations in Djibouti. Prior to the creation of the East African Response Force Washington operated in the region under the framework of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).
U.S. Brigadier-General Wayne Grigsby, who is the commander of CJTF-HOA, says that his forces are in East Africa only to assist governments in their military campaigns to defeat the so-called terrorist threat posed by Al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based guerrilla organization which has fought the Washington-backed regime in Mogadishu for the last six years.
“Our mission here is to enable our East African partners to actually neutralize violent extremists throughout eastern Africa,” Grigsby said. Yet if this was the case then why would it be necessary to have such a formidable military force in the Horn of Africa region that conducts periodic bombings and commando raids in Somalia. (Shabelle Media Network, Feb. 7)
However, Brigadier-General Grigsby does say that “It also enables strategic access and freedom of movement. The purpose is to protect the United States and its interests abroad.”
Consequently, even the military leaders themselves must acknowledge that the underlying reasons for the build-up in Africa are clearly related to the economic and class interests of Washington and Wall Street. East and Central Africa is a vast repository of oil, natural gas and strategic minerals.
(read the full report at Global Research)
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