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USA arms war-torn Africa under the guise of humanitarian aid

22.07.2008
 
USA arms war-torn Africa under the guise of humanitarian aid

The USA has started to expand its military presence in African countries through humanitarian channels, which can only aggravate the tense situation in the continent.

The Pentagon used to control only three percent of the funds assigned as humanitarian aid to Africa ten years ago. Nowadays, the Pentagon is in charge of 22 percent of those funds, Refugees International (RI) said. Experts are certain that it is absolutely impossible to achieve peace and stability in Africa with the help of US-made weapons and uniforms.

The anti-terrorist struggle, which the USA tries to conduct all over the world, implies the prevention of any type of threat which may come from so-called weakening states, the number of which is more than enough on the continent. RI’s experts proved on the example of Liberia and Congo that the US administration had been running out-of-balance policies on the continent. The funding of diplomatic efforts and various programs has been reduced, whereas the military aid has been increased.

“The headline is that at the moment [US] policies are out of whack,” said Refugees International President Ken Bacon. “That is affecting our ability to act effectively and coherently in Africa and to carry out the war on terrorism in a coherent, long-term and effective way.”

The US-led policy in such explosive countries as Liberia and Congo is the cheaper version of military actions conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan. Humanitarian missions have been minimized to the presence of US military men, who establish their own law and order in Africa. The Pentagon takes the initiative of the USAID and other civil organizations. The amount of USAID-controlled funds in Africa has decreased from 65 to 40 percent during ten years, RI said. Africa continues to receive humanitarian aid, albeit in the form of NATO soldiers only.

The US concept of security in Africa stipulates the arming of local elements. The Pentagon has already spent about $50 million on mercenaries to train 2,000 soldiers in post-war Liberia with its four-million-strong population.

“Foreign aid is increasingly being overseen by military institutions whose policies are driven by the Global War on Terror, not by the war against poverty,” the report from Refugees International states.

The US aid contributes to the militarization of the region. Therefore, it is not ruled out that it will never be possible to establish peaceful communities in post-conflict African states.

The USA will soon set up a new organization, Africa Command (Africom), which will try to reach balance between US financial efforts in Africa, the interests of the Department of State, USAID and the Pentagon. Most likely, Africom will follow Pentagon’s instructions only.

Agencies








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