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Coming Soon: Obama’s Big Move in Central Africa

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    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    President Obama would have you believe that 100 elite U.S. Special Forces soldiers are running around in the African Bush looking for what’s left of the Lord’s Resistance Army. “The real target is South Sudan, where the United States is setting the stage for an African proxy oil war with China.” The Green Berets are in central Africa to coordinate military operations by Washington’s African clients. “The United States and Europe can no longer compete economically with China in Africa, and must now resort to raw force, through African puppet armies.”

     

    Coming Soon: Obama’s Big Move in Central Africa

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The U.S. needs its own Special Forces units in place to coordinate its puppet African armies.”

    It’s now becoming apparent why President Obama sent 100 U.S. Special Forces troops to central Africa, back in October of last year. The president’s official explanation was that the Green Berets would be helping Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the new nation of South Sudan to hunt for remnants of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The L.R.A., which has a reputation for killing civilians, was driven from its home in Uganda and now numbers only a few hundred scattered fighters. It poses no threat to any government in the region, and is not a plausible cause to dispatch significant numbers of U.S. Special Forces. Obama is using the L.R.A. to give his military mission a humanitarian cloak – that he’s going after rogue bad guys in the bush who threaten African civilians. The actual mission has to be something much larger.

    It looks like the real target is South Sudan, where the United States is setting the stage for an African proxy oil war with China. Last July, South Sudan won independence from northern Sudan, a country that has been targeted for regime change by presidents Bush and Obama. Sudan’s oil lies right at the border between North and South, and the fields are under production by Chinese companies. The South Sudanese fought a decades long war against the north, during which they were heavily armed and financed by the U.S., Europeans and Israel. The newly independent nation is among poorest and least developed in the world – and broke. South Sudan is also already engaged ethnic civil wars of its own that have killed or displaced many tens of thousands. But chaos is precisely the environment that Washington prefers, in Africa – so that it can establish a new order that is to U.S. advantage.

    Obama is using the L.R.A. to give his military mission a humanitarian cloak.”

    Reporter Thomas C. Mountain, who calls himself the only independent western journalist in the Horn of Africa, points out in a recent article that the United States pays the salaries of South Sudan’s army, and also pays the costs of the thousands of United Nations so-called “peacekeepers” who have been sent to South Sudan to help contain the ethnic violence. Those UN peacekeepers are mostly soldiers from Ethiopia, a U.S. client state that, along with Kenya and Uganda, is waging a proxy war under U.S. sponsorship in Somalia. The Ethiopians worked very closely with U.S. Special Forces, right down to the company level, in the 2006 invasion of Somalia.

    Now, in the heart of central Africa where South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and the Central African Republic meet – all of them U.S. client states – the U.S. needs its own Special Forces units in place to coordinate its puppet African armies, and to keep all of them focused on the larger mission. Reporter Thomas C. Mountain says that mission is to destabilize northern Sudan and China's oil operations, there.

    That makes perfect imperial sense. The United States and Europe can no longer compete economically with China in Africa, and must now resort to raw force, through African puppet armies. The U.S. has mobilized all its proxies in East and Central Africa for a big push that will need close coordination on the ground. Obama's Green Berets aren't hunting for the rag-tag Lord’s Resistance Army; they're out to control the resources of half the continent.

    For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

    BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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    Special Ops is for Museveni... Just in case he gets "uppity"

    WSWS:

    Last week South Sudan Interior Minister Alison Manani Magaya claimed that North Sudan is providing support and training camps for the LRA to mount cross-border attacks from Uganda into South Sudan.

    “They have a training camp at the border between Western Bahr el Ghazal and Darfur, where they are being trained and supplied,” Magaya said.

    He added that 27 entry points along the Uganda-South Sudan border will be “reinforced” against the threat posed by the LRA.

    The US intervention is also dictated by rising concerns over the loyalties of the Ugandan government, as well.

    According to a US cable released by WikiLeaks, Washington closely follows China's growing economic influence in Uganda.

    A cable, dated February 17, 2010, illustrates these concerns:

    “China's economic ties to Uganda continue to accelerate on all fronts making it one of the country’s top foreign investors... Greater Chinese investment and assistance in Uganda has generated some resentment due to local perceptions that Chinese investments favor their own businesses.”

    Uganda also has growing economic ties to Iran.

    Iran and Uganda have pursued closer relations, with the agreement by Iran to fund Uganda’s oil sector.

    At a Tehran meeting in May 2009, President Museveni and Iranian President Ahmadinejad met together with Iranian commerce officials to hammer out an agreement for increased bilateral economic cooperation.

    It included provisions for the construction of an oil refinery in Uganda and measures allowing Ugandan petroleum officials to train at the Petroleum University of Technology in Tehran.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/ugan-o17.shtml

    Economist:

    Iran has been trying to use its oil to get into Uganda too.

    On a recent visit to Iran, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, tantalised his hosts by hinting that they might consider building a refinery and pipeline for Uganda’s recently discovered oil.

    http://www.economist.com/node/15453225

    WSWS:

    There are also several recently discovered deposits of oil in nearby countries, including Uganda and South Sudan.

    An oil pipeline is slated for construction to transport oil to Mombasa, a port on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast.

    The proposed pipeline would run from a refinery in Kampala, Uganda and meet a projected pipeline coming from newly independent South Sudan to traverse northern Kenya and end in Mombasa.

    China’s state-owned oil companies are among the investors lining up to exploit both Uganda’s and South Sudan’s oil deposits.

    The planned oil pipeline passes through the unstable regions in northern Kenya where the Kenyan government alleges al Shabaab attacks have occurred.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/keny-o26.shtml

    North Sudan and Somalia is on hit list..

    Courtesy of General Wesley Clark

    1. Iraq
    2. Syria
    3. Lebanon
    4. Libya
    5. Somalia
    6. Sudan
    7. Iran
    (8. Pakistan?)

    http://www.salon.com/2011/11/26/wes_clark_and_the_neocon_dream/singleton/

    Debka.com:

    Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga ended his visit to Israel this week with a promise in hand from President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to help establish a new alliance to combat the spread of fundamentalist Islam into the predominantly Christian African nations Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan.

    Their combined populations total 138 million.

    DEBKAfil’s military sources report that Israel has agreed to supply Kenya with drones, fast naval boats, military instructors, munitions, armored vehicles and electronic surveillance equipment.

    Israel owns a strong interest in curtailing the presence in these strategic lands not only of Islamist terrorist groups but also of Iran.

    It needs naval bases along the Gulf of Aden and eastern Indian Ocean where Iran has in the past year built up a naval presence close to Israel’s southern border.

    Debkafile’s military sources note that this interest places Israel squarely in the middle of two African wars:

    Kenya’s campaign in southern Somalia; and the inevitable flare-up of major hostilities on the volatile border between the newly-created republic of South Sudan and Khartoum.

    Economist:

    In east Africa Iran has helped turn Sudan, another mainly Muslim country, into—by some counts—Africa’s third-biggest arms maker; in 2008 the two signed a military co-operation accord.

    Iran has also been cultivating some less likely allies in the region.

    Last year Mr Ahmadinejad visited mainly Christian Kenya, being joyously welcomed in the port of Mombasa, on the Muslim-inhabited coast.

    He struck a deal to export 4m tonnes of crude oil to Kenya a year, to open direct flights between Tehran and Nairobi, the two capitals, and to give scholarships for study in Iran.

    Wherever Iran has embassies it also sets up cultural centres.

    Israel is particularly worried by Iran’s eagerness to warm relations with Sudan and Eritrea, a strategic spot on the Red Sea that could threaten Israeli shipping.

    Eritrea also arms the fervently anti-Israeli Somali jihadists.

    Sudan may already serve as a conduit for Iranian weapons to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that Iran backs, and to Hizbullah.

    http://www.economist.com/node/15453225

    Debka.com:

    After a spate of cross-border kidnappings and attacks by Al-Shabaab bands, thousands of Kenyan troops drove into southern Somalia on Oct. 16.

    Officially, Nairobi minimized the incursion as necessary to push the al-Qaeda-linked Somali bands back from its border.

    But more ambitious strategic goals emerged as Operation Linda Nchi unfolded.

    The Kenyan army was on its way to the capture of the Indian Ocean port of Kismayo.

    With a population of 200,000, this commercial capital of the autonomous Jubaland region of Somalia lies 328 miles southwest of Mogadishu near the mouth of the Jubba River.

    Kismayo is the key to controlling most of southern Somalia.

    Today, it is a strategic Al Shabaab stronghold.

    Washington and Paris insist they are not involved in the new Horn of Africa conflict.

    At the same time, American unmanned aircraft are quietly helping the Kenyan army gather intelligence and direct its artillery fire, while French warships and supply vessels operating out of Kenya's Mombasa port are ferrying supplies, arms and fresh Kenyan troops to the Somali coast.

    Kenyan Defense Minister Yusuf Haji, who is personally commanding the Kenyan expedition to Somalia, aims to shift Al Shabaab back to a line 300 kilometers from Kenya’s northeastern border.

    Expelling the Islamist terrorists would transform his ally and fellow clansman, President Yusuf Haji of Jubaland, into the strongest ruler in war-torn Somalia and head of its most stable province.

    Kenya also has a detailed plan for building a big new modern port at its own Lamu Town or Lamu Island, the country's oldest inhabited town and one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa.

    If Kenya, a safari mecca and one of the continent's most stable countries, can bring all its plans to fruition, it will end up in control of the three largest East African Indian Ocean ports, Mombasa, Lamu and Kismayo.

    The US and France will gain the use of the three largest naval and air force facilities in the region.

    WHAT COMPETITION?

    Neither Europe nor America ever sought to compete with China or with any other nation for business or development opportunities in Africa. Most of the elites in these two regions of the world have always seen Africa as a  place where White people go to take what they want (labor, land, natural resources) without any concern for the well-being of those who live there. Given the history of the last 500 years or so, one would think that most African "leaders" would be wary of anything the West says or does when it comes to Africa. Maybe a few more generations of Africans need to experience more duplicity and  abuse from their Western "benefactors" before reality finally sinks in.

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