Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Nigeria Rejects US Military"

I am heartened to see Nigeria stand by the African Union decision to keep the US military from establishing a military base for AFRICOM on the continent. No more American wars on the bodies of Africans is indeed an ideal to strive toward!

Below is a repost of a News24 report by Bashir Adigun (19/11/2007 21:05 SA).

***Abuja - Nigeria formally announced on Monday that it won't host the US military's new Africa-wide military command, taking Africa's most-populous nation and a top source of American oil imports out of contention.

Nigerian leaders have been vocal critics of the new US military command for Africa, which is seeking a home on the world's poorest continent.

The government made its position official on Monday as President Umaru Yar'Adua met with state governors and federal lawmakers.

Nigeria is also against the US command basing its headquarters elsewhere in West Africa, where the country of 140 million is a major military and diplomatic heavyweight, said Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki, who announced the government's position after the meeting.

US military officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The US has said it aims to better protect America's strategic interest in Africa and assist African countries with military training and conflict prevention.

But a number of African countries - including Libya and South Africa - have expressed reservations about a move that could signal an expansion of US influence on the continent and may focus primarily on protecting oil interests.

Africom currently operates out of existing US bases on the continent with a headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

War-wrecked Liberia, settled by freed American slaves in the 1800s, is the only African nation that has publicly offered to host a headquarters.

Nigeria, an OPEC member and one of the top suppliers of oil to America, has seen militant unrest in its southern petroleum region cut production by about one quarter in recent years.***

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