US Military Officials Lobby Nigeria On AFRICOM

Worried by Nigeria’s opposition to the possible siting of military bases in the country under the aegis of the newly-established US Africa Command (AFRICOM), US military officials have met with key Nigerian officials to explain the security initiative for Africa.

General William Ward 

Deputy to the AFRICOM Commander for Military Operations, Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, and the Deputy to the AFRICOM Commander on Civil-Military Activities, Ambassador Mary Carlin, said they had spent the past three days explaining the concept of the command to the officials.

They told journalists in the capital city of Abuja Thursday that far from the perceptions of many, AFRICOM would not interfere with the sovereignty of countries in the continent.

But they said that AFRICOM would primarily focus on creating and building capacities and capabilities for nations across the continent.

“It has nothing to do oil resources in the Gulf of Guinea. The resources there are Nigerian. They belong to Nigeria and to the countries of the region. What we do is work with partner nations to make sure that the resources are available for the global community, and for what they are intended for,” Moeller said.

The duo of Admiral Moeller and Ambassador Carlin have already met with Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Owoye Azazi; National Security Adviser, Minister of Foreign Affairs, President of ECOWAS and other top officials of Defence, Foreign Affairs and ECOWAS.

Before arriving Nigeria Tuesday, they visited the President of Burkina Faso and chairman of ECOWAS, Blaise Campaore.

Ambassador Carlin admitted that AFRICOM had “been misunderstood”, saying the result of her discussions with top Nigerian leaders showed that they should have come for consultation “earlier.”

Admiral Moeller noted that “the US AFRICOM does not intent to station large troops in the African continent. We don’t have need for stationing garrisons in the continent. But small number of forces can come into the continent, carry out a particular duty and leave.

“If some future expansion makes it imperative for the AFRICOM to come in and stay, it will be on the invitation of the leadership of the host country. We will only discuss future presence with such countries,” he said.

Moeller added: “We have not invited Nigeria to sign in and Nigeria has not invited us to come.”

Ambassador Carlin added that “AFRICOM has no intention of undermining the sovereignty of any African nation.”

She also said in future, the body would bring in military personnel of partner nations into the headquarters of AFRICOM in order to “allow us to be better organized to reach our goal of a peaceful and better Africa.”

She said Stuttgart would remain the headquarters of the Command “for a long while”, saying that it is planning to tackle the issue of security and peace with the continent with the African Union (AU).

This, she said, would enable it work in partnership with the five regional groups in the continent.

AFRICOM, which started operations in October, has elicited varying reactions across the continent, with several nations openly expressing opposition to what they feared would be the military domination of the continent by the Americans.

The opposing African leaders have instead called on the US to assist Africa to set up its long-planned African Standby Force.

Abuja – 29/11/2007
Panapress

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5 responses to “US Military Officials Lobby Nigeria On AFRICOM

  1. If Nigeria yields to these pressures, these people are in SERIOUS TROUBLES:
    (1) Owoye Azizi;
    (2) The National Security Adviser;
    (3) Ojo Maduekwe.

    This is a very Important matter! The US SHOULD NOT be allowed to set up AT ALL here!

  2. Abubakar Shehu Musa

    Nigeria will very soon be a great country. The United States of American is trying ALL it could to prevent this. It is afraid that once a nation becomes great (especially economically, it could (and most likely) be thinking of building a Nuclear Power! The US hates this, and is very afraid of any country that has it.This is one of the reasons it hates Iran.
    Our leaders, especially our President Yar’adua MUST NEVER allow the US to have foothold in Africa!

  3. That the deployment of ‘Africom’ on African soil poses a serious, and potentially devastating threat to Africa’s development, is of course beyond question,
    In fact, we would go further, We contend that the emergence of ‘Africa’ as a place worthy of the hallowed name ‘ HOME’ The product of our informed and settled Will ‘A truly Liberated, Unified and Transformed ‘Sovereign, Human, Humane, Human-Centred and Human-Sensitive Continent and People is in peril.
    We face a grave threat if we do not confront and repel the ‘Twin Dangers’ of creeping Re-Colonization and Neo-Con American Imperialism- It is imperative that we successfully resists and reject the Neo-Cons attempt to deploy ‘Africom’ on African Soil.
    We fully understand that in the Neo-con’s Imperial Strategy ‘Africa’ looms large, given the extraordinary quality and quantity of our ‘Resources’, and our Strategic Location -commanding both the ‘Atlantic& Indian Oceans- we effectively control the two main arteries of global trade, Cape and Suez.
    The Neo-Cons are aware that effective Imperial Global Domination necessitates and indeed requires the Domination and Control of Africa, to control Africa, they understand the need to control and dominate Nigeria, hence the current attempt to bribe, persuade, cajole’ threaten and bully. In a word Re-Colonize.
    It is the same logic of Empire which drove the British, French, Spanish etc to rape plunder and pillage Africa and the rest of the World, it is that logic which is now driving the Neo-Cons Imperial Delusions.
    This Historical and Geo-Political filter enables us to Identify the grave Danger posed to Africa by the ‘Neo-Cons in general and Africom in particular.’
    The deployment of Imperial forces on our soil for our own good, playing off our Leaders, Arming one or other faction or group, Imperial forces deployed in support of some sycophantic, spineless, venal, corrupt faction or individual! All this ’Sounds familiar?’ Well it ought to…this was the ‘Historical and Geo-Political currency which fashioned the chains of both Slavery and Colonialism…Africa has been here before,We called it ‘Slavery and Colonialism’ THEN’ We are calling it Slavery and Colonialism ‘NOW’!!!!!!
    Indeed, as we embark on this momentous and spectacular quest to re-configure our World and Transform the reality of our Nation from ‘The Cape to The Euphrates/Al Furat, we reject not just ‘Africom’ but demand the removal of all foreign Military bases from OUR soil! From “The Cape To The Euphrates/Al Furat”.

  4. America, ur dollar is fallen, ur economy is in recession, concentrate on revamping ur economy not security of Africa. If America want to help Africa in any way, they should repatriate all our wealth our politician have stock piled in that country. this is the only help we want. We in the Niger Delta are very bitter with our sons that Chevron and ExxonMobil have used Nigerian soldiers to kill and our oil that Nigeria connives with them to steal. There will be an unprecedented crisis that will completely grind oil exploration if America venture into Nigeria. Please, dont pushed Nigerians to suicide bombing, We are very very angry and bitter at the moment.
    America stop this colonial idea before it backfires.

  5. so many lies. and the marketing team may even have convinced themselves that they’re true. which makes them look even more pathetic.

    carlin is quoted as stating that AFRICOM is necessary “to reach our goal of a peaceful and better Africa”.

    so how do you think they’d feel about the nigerian military setting a goal & taking the initiative to make a “better” usa?

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