US Africa Policy Assailed by Africans
London -– Neither overcast sky nor small crowd dampened the passion Duale Yusuf displayed as he denounced the destructive U.S. foreign policy in Somalia during a protest recently outside the American Embassy in this city’s posh Mayfair section.
“There is a Guantanamo Bay prison in Mogadishu where thousands of Somalis are being tortured. American drones are killing people in Somalia. We don’t need drones, we need peace, like in America and Britain,” said Yusuf, criticizing the latest upsurge in American military activity in his homeland in the Horn of Africa.
A few days before that London protest some American news outlets carried a report detailing increased U.S. military activities across the African continent supposedly designed to “fight militants” with measure that include supplying equipment, providing intelligence and expending “tens of millions of dollars.”
That report referenced $45-million in military equipment sent to Uganda and Burundi to support their forces in Somalia plus $24-million to Kenya, which invaded southern Somalia days before the protest.
Kenyan officials said their incursion into Somalia is to end murderous cross-border raids by the Al-Shabaab militia, an organization in Somalia that U.S. officials’ link to al Qaeda.
Yusuf, a member of the Somalia Youth Congress, expressed particular disappointment during his protest remarks with U.S. President Barack Obama for bringing more bombs than books to Africa, breaking promises to Africans that he would institute constructive rather than destructive policies.
“We tell Obama to remove the CIA from Mogadishu where they are torturing people. We are not terrorists in Somalia. We want schools, and hospitals like in the U.S. and Britain,” Yusuf said about his homeland wrecked by twenty years of civil war following the overthrow of an American-aligned dictator in 1991.
American military activities on the African continent have escalated steadily under the Obama Administrator, which has authorized assaults against terrorists suspected of links to al Qaeda, enlarged the U.S. military command in Africa (AFRICOM) and joined the British and the French in overthrowing Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi this year.
President Obama, weeks ago, announced the dispatch of 100 combat troops into central Africa to assist nations there in combating the renegade Lord’s Resistance Army which Human Rights Watch and other organizations say are responsible for a long reign of widespread atrocities including murders, rapes and kidnappings.
Obama stated in a letter to a top congressional leader that dispatching those troops furthers “U.S. national security interests and foreign policy.”