African revolutionaries now have to sleep with eyes open because the United States of America does not stop at nothing in its plan to establish Africom, a highly equipped U.S. military permanently stationed in Africa to oversee the interests of U.S. imperialists. At the end of last year, the U.S. government stepped up its efforts to establish a standing army in Africa, called Africa Command (Africom, African Command) as the last tool of the subtle colonization of Africa.
Before the end of last year, General William E. Garrett, commander of the U.S. military to Africa, met with military attaches of all African embassies in Washington to sell to their governments the idea of a U.S. military base in Africa.
The latest reports from the White House this month of January show that 75% of the work of the army was carried out by a military unit based in Stuttgart, Germany, and the remaining 25% are dedicated to achieving an African country that houses the army and make things go.
Liberia and Morocco have offered to host Africom, while the Development Community (SADC in its acronym in English) closed all possibilities of any of its member states hosting the U.S. military.
Other countries have remained silent.
Liberia has a long relationship with the United States, due to its history of slavery, while the misaligned Morocco, which does not belong to the African Union nor holds elections, desires this U.S. military so that it will help to repress any democratic uprising.
The refusal of the SADC is a small victory for the African peoples in their struggle for independence, but other regional blocs in Africa are striving to reach a common position, which is worrying.
The army itself of the United States wants a more strategic country than Morocco and Liberia, since the army will be the epicenter of influential, articulated and protective economic policies and U.S. foreign relations.
The other danger is that Africom will transform Africa into a battleground between the United States and anti-American terrorist groups. Africom is not more than a smokescreen behind which the U.S. intends to hide its plans to secure oil and other natural resources from Africa.
African leaders must not forget that the United States and Europe have always used military force as the only effective way to fulfill their agenda and ensure that the governments of each country are run by people submissive to the discipline of the U.S..
Being based in Africa, Africom will ensure that the tentacles of the United States come easily to each African country and thus influence each event for the benefit of the United States.
By hosting the U.S. military, Africa cedes its independence to the United States military and begins the process of recolonization by an army that can stifle any attempt by Africa to showcase its military capability.
The fundamental question is: once established, who will gain from Africom? With what means?
By its origin, AFRICOM will be technically and financially superior to any African army and decide at will to change regimes in any country, and further, direct and accelerate the North American exploitation of natural resources.
There is no doubt that when the U.S. military is operating, all the successes of independence in Africa will be repealed.
If the current African leaders give in to U.S. wishes and accept its army operating in Africa, they will remain in history as the generation of politicians who accepted the prevalence of the evils to come.
William Shakespeare would turn over in his grave and exclaim: "... All that is needed for evil to triumph it that good men do nothing."
We will not be able to forget that Africans, who still feel the humiliation, subjugation, brutality and inferiority complex caused by colonialism, do not need need other forms of colonialism, even if subtle.
Africom was a controversial issue since former U.S. President George W. Bush first announced it in February 2007.
African leaders should not forget that with the administration of Barack Obama, U.S. policy for Africa and the developing world has not changed one iota. It remains a military policy in support of material benefits.
Holders of senior positions in both of the Bush administration and Obama's claim that the main purpose of Africom is to professionalize security forces in key countries across Africa.
However, none of these administrations talk about the impact of the establishment of Africom to move on minority parties and on strong leaders considered infidels to the USA, or whether the U.S. will use Africom to promote friendly dictators.
The training programs and weapons, and the transfer of weapons from Ukraine to Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Ethiopia and the transitional government of Somalia clearly indicate the use of military power to maintain influence [American] on governments in Africa, which remains a foreign policy priority of the United States.
With the Orange Revolution, the United States brought to power the current leaders of Ukraine and are now giving them carte blanche to provide weapons to African conflicts. African leaders should show solidarity and block any movement by the United States to establish bases in their mother country, unless they want to see a new round of colonization.
If an Africom base is allowed to be established in Africa, Kwame Nkrumah, Robert Mugabe, Sam Nujoma, Nelson Mandela, Jules Nyerere, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Kaunda, Agostinho Neto and Samora Machel, among others, have fought wars of liberation in vain.
Thousands of Africans who died in prisons and in the colonial war fronts have shed their blood in vain if Africa is re-colonized.
Why should the current crop of African leaders accept systematic recolonization? What have they learned from the bondage of colonialism, apartheid and racism? Why won’t the current crop of African leaders treat the U.S. administration on equal terms and tell the prized one that they do not need a foreign army, since the African Union is preparing its own army?
African leaders do not need prophets coming from Mars to know that the American fascination for oil, the war against terrorism and the army will now focus on Africa after the adventure in Iraq.
* Tichaona Nhamoyebonde is a political analyst and resides in Cape Town, South Africa
Translated from the Portuguese version by: