Coup spokesman Capt. Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho reads a statement in a studio in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso flanked by fellow soldiers (Photo: RTB via Associated Press)
The Black Alliance for Peace AFRICOM Watch Bulletin #42 focuses on the role of AFRICOM in creating coups across the continent and speaks with Ameth Lô, who is a member of the Group for Research and Initiatives for the Liberation of Africa in Toronto, Canada. And as always the Bulletin presents the latest analysis and reporting.
AFRICOM Watch Bulletin was originally published in Black Alliance for Peace.
The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has worsened the security situation in the Sahel through its many exploits on the African continent. During the dismembering of Libya, captured Libyan arms had been deployed to various armed groups including al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb. The result is enhanced military capacities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, civil war in Mali and destabilization and armed conflict in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, as well as many coups by officers trained by AFRICOM.
The most recent coup took place on the night of September 29 to 30, 2022, when the populations of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso were once again surprised by heavy and light weapon fire. Later, precisely at the end of the evening of Friday, September 30, a declaration was read on national television by young officers led by Captain Ibrahim Traore announcing the dismissal of President Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba from the Presidency of the Patriotic Movement for the Safeguarding and Restoration (MPSR) and the Presidency of Burkina Faso. Just as in January 2022, the perpetrators of the new coup, also members of the MPSR of Damiba, justify their act by the failure in the fight against terrorism of their predecessor, his incompetence, the deviation from their initial objectives and the persistence of corruption.
As AFRICOM’s prescence and activity across the continent has grown, so has the terrorism it is meant to curb. Power vacuums caused by U.S. military intervention fortify the political will and strength of terrorist groups. Terrorist activity doubled from 2012 to 2018, and the number of countries experiencing attacks increased by 960 percent during that time period. Moreover, there was a ten-fold increase in violent events, jumping from 288 incidents in 2009 to 3,050 in 2018. By all metrics, the war on terror has been an abysmal failure in Africa. The one thing AFRICOM has dramatically succeeded at is boosting corporate profits associated with the lucrative counterterrorism industry that the war on terror has made possible.
In opposition to this criminal effort, the Black Alliance for Peace and U.S. Out of Africa Network has organized the ongoing International Month of Action Against AFRICOM to demand the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa and the closure of U.S. bases throughout the world. Please join us in this effort by taking action using this toolkit.
U.S. Out of Africa: Voices from the Struggle
AFRICOM Watch Bulletin speaks with Ameth Lô, who is a member of the Group for Research and Initiatives for the Liberation of Africa in Toronto, Canada.
AFRICOM Watch Bulletin: What should we think about the recent coup in Burkina Faso?
Ameth Lô: This umpteenth coup d'etat is the result of the decay of the national army made up today of clans preoccupied with business and the management of power. On the strength of the observation of the numerous untimely interventions of the army in national political life, we believe that it must urgently return to the barracks and stick to its sovereign role of defense of the national territory, in a word, to be a republican army.
AWB: How does this coup relate to imperialist domination?
Lô: The coup of September 30, 2022, with the announcement of France's involvement to support the ousted president, enjoyed popular support. I salute the clear expression of the anti-imperialist sentiment of the Burkinabe people, in particular of its youth. However, on this question of imperialist domination, we believe that it is not a question of leaving a given imperialist bosom to put oneself under the thumb of another imperialism. That said, what matters is the diversification of partnerships, while respecting national sovereignty.
AWB: What do you think about the coup leader?
Lô: The declarations of Captain Ibrahim Traore speaking of "unfortunate political adventures,” of “the continuous deterioration of the security situation," of "restoration by forces of an old order," amply confirm his analyses on the governance of the MPSR under Lieutenant Colonel Paul Henry Sandaogo Damiba. You will remember that the latter, instead of the assessment of his action that he had promised for September 4, 2022, had indulged in insults uttered against the people of Burkina Faso.
AWB: How can we strengthen the class struggle on the African continent?
Lô: It is imperative for both socialists and pan-Africanists to reconnect with the traditions of radical struggle on a transnational level for the emergence of a new society. We need to reconnect with viable forms of transnational solidarity in order to promote the class struggle of oppressed layers of the population. This course requires that the Eurocentric Left recognize that deep-going shifts in the international relationship of forces will involve a lowering of the standard of living in the richest countries. These living conditions have been made possible only through the systematic pillage of resources from the countries of the South and from Africa in particular. Is the new Left prepared for such an eventuality? The future will tell.
AWB: Thank you for your insights and analysis!
News and Analysis
Demonstrations in Support of Recent Coup in Burkina Faso Highlighted Solidarity with Russia
October 16, 2022 by Abayomi Azikiwe
The West African state witnessed youth-led attacks on a French embassy and installations amid security challenges.
When Will the Stars Shine Again in Burkina Faso?: The Forty-First Newsletter (2022)
October 13, 2022 by Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research
On 30 September 2022, Captain Ibrahim Traoré led a section of the Burkina Faso military to depose Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who had seized power in a coup d’état in January. The second coup was swift, with brief clashes in Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou at the president’s residence, Kosyam Palace, and at Camp Baba Sy, the military administration’s headquarters.
Dissecting AFRICOM, and Environment, Oil, and the UN in the DRC
October 12, 2022 by AfricaNow!
The show begins with a discussion with Aziz Fall, Member of the Group for Research and Initiatives for the Liberation of Africa (GRILA) and Netfa Freeman of Black Alliance for Peace on the U.S. militarization of Africa through U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Maurice Carney, Executive Director of Friends of the Congo provides an update on critical environmental issues and the role of the UN in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
For peace in the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda must be brought to justice
October 11, 2022 by People’s Dispatch
Kambale Musavuli talks about the first installment of reparations that Uganda has paid to the Democratic Republic of Congo for war crimes and atrocities in the 90s. He also explains why the process of ensuring justice is far from complete.
Pentagon doesn’t know if it trained Burkina Faso coup leader
October 10. 2022 by Nick Turse
Capt. Ibrahim Traore deposed the last guy who overthrew the government — Lt. Col. Sandaogo Damiba — who did extensive training with the U.S. and AFRICOM.
Imperialist Militarism and the African Crisis
October 8, 2022 by Abayomi Azikiwe
The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and all iterations of foreign interference bring instability to the African continent.
On the Coup D'etat in Burkina Faso: Declaration of the Trade Union Action Unit
October 5, 2022 by Trade Union Action Unit
Following the recent coup where a disgruntled army captain ousted the sitting transitional military government (that came to power in a coup in January 2022), the trade union group released a statement containing a ten-point plan for dealing with the national crises.
A Guide to #ShutDownAFRICOM
October 4, 2022 by Ready for Revolution
On October 1st, the criminal and genocidal US military command, AFRICOM, will have been in existence for 14 years. In those 14 years, a sizable amount of awareness on the program has been raised by committed individuals and organizations who want to see our homeland released from the clutches of the US empire. But as that fourteenth year begins, the necessity of ending this initiative, once and for all, grows more and more dire. #ShutDownAFRICOM
Colonialism, Compradors & The Militarized Crisis of Capitalism in Africa
October 1, 2022 by Black Alliance for Peace
The Black Alliance for Peace organized this cutting edge webinar, “Colonialism, Compradors & The Militarized Crisis of Capitalism in Africa,” to kick off the 2022 International Month of Action Against AFRICOM. The online discussion featured analysis from organizers in hotspots on the ground in Africa and from others with uncompromising and lucid views on the state of affairs in Africa and strategies to get the “U.S. Out of Africa” and “Shut Down AFRICOM.”