National News

Campaign to 'get the U.S. out of Africa' launched by Black Alliance for Peace

By Nisa Islam Muhammad -Staff Writer- | Last updated: Nov 25, 2018 - 12:14:45 PM

What's your opinion on this article?

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. John Hashem, U.S. Africa Command J5 Deputy Director for Plans and Strategic Integration, meets with foreign liaison officers from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Oct. 30, 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany. The liaison officers were visiting the AFRICOM headquarters to meet with staff and receive briefings.
On the tenth anniversary of the establishment of AFRICOM—the U.S. Africa Command—the Black Alliance for Peace launched U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM, a campaign demanding the end of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Africa.  AFRICOM, the group argues is centered around geopolitical competition with China.

The alliance is also calling for closure of all U.S. foreign military bases as well as NATO bases on the continent. The campaign is asking people to sign a petition directed to the House Armed Services Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).  They also want the CBC to oppose AFRICOM and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent.

“The United States and the Pentagon claim that the purpose of AFRICOM, is to fight terrorism on the continent and to help African militaries do that.  The Black Alliance for Peace sees clearly this is not the case,” explains Vanessa Beck, Black Alliance for Peace research team lead and coordinating committee member.

“AFRICOM has increased militarization and further indoctrinates not just the military but also the people living in the communities occupied by the U.S. bases.  It indoctrinates them into an acceptance of the U.S. imperialism and militarism.”

Black Alliance for Peace contends that AFRICOM is a dangerous structure.  It was established in 2007, by then U.S. President George W. Bush.  Soon after, a majority of African nations, led by the government of Libya, rejected AFRICOM.  This rebuke forced the new command to instead work out of Germany.


“Then came the Obama administration that paved the way for the proliferation of AFRICOM on the continent, as quisling African leaders fell over themselves to cooperate with the first Black U.S. President,” wrote Netfa Freeman, in a Black Star News article.  He’s an organizer with the Pan-African Community Action (PACA).

“A now acceptable scenario has resulted in 46 various forms of U.S. bases as well as military-to-military relations between almost all of the 54 African countries and the United States. U.S. Special Forces troops now operate in more than a dozen African nations reflecting a 1,900 percent increase in the U.S. military presence in Africa.”

According to an Aug. 2 article on, titled, “Report: AFRICOM looks to cut special ops missions, pull out hundreds of troops from Africa,” there are currently 6,000 U.S. troops on the continent, spread over 53 countries according to Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in remarks to reporters at the Pentagon in October.

The U.S. and NATO attack on Libya in 2011 that led to the destruction of that country and the murder of its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, encouraged corrupt African leaders to allow AFRICOM forces to operate in their countries and establish military-to-military relations with the United States.

AFRICOM is celebrating 10 years in Africa.  According to its website, “The single most important focus then, as it is today, was developing enduring partnerships. The creation of USAFRICOM has provided coherence to U.S. military efforts in support of the U.S. Strategy for Africa, enabling our nation to better focus efforts and resources on programs that make the most difference.”

Dr. Randy Short, an activist and political commentator, believes the U.S. strategy for Africa is the problem not a solution.  He told The Final Call, “The U.S. needs to get the hell out of there!  Our land isn’t yours, our labor isn’t yours, our minerals aren’t yours, our jewels aren’t yours, our organs aren’t yours.  Nothing in Africa belongs to America.”

He added, “America owes Africa reparations and all America wants to send to Africa is LBGTQ, Depo Provera (injectable contraceptive) and weapons and things of war.  Africa needs life, Africa needs peace, Africa needs development, Africa needs to see the compassionate, heart of America as exemplified by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and not this garbage that comes through AFRICOM.”

Black Alliance for Peace states AFRICOM is the flip side of the domestic war being waged by the same repressive state structure against Black and poor people in the United States. The group’s campaign links police violence and the domestic war waged on Black people in America to U.S. interventionism and militarism abroad.

“Not only does there need to be a mass movement in the U.S. to shut down AFRICOM, this mass movement needs to become inseparably bound with the movement that has swept this country to end murderous police brutality against Black and Brown people,” explained Ms. Freeman, who is also a part of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

It has taken $267 million to fund AFRICOM in 2018, according to Ms. Beck.  “That money is stolen from Africans/Black people in the U.S. to terrorize and steal resources from our sisters and brothers on the African continent,” she said.

“Instead, that money should be put toward meeting our human needs in the U.S. and toward reparations for people in every African nation affected by U.S. imperialism.” (Final Call staff contributed to this report.)