ACTION ALERT On Oct. 27: Protest AFRICOM at the IPOA Summit in DC
October 27, 2008
The meeting of the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) follows on the heels of the Pentagon's October 17 commemoration ceremony for the newly established US Africa Command at AFRICOM's headquarters at a US base in Stuttgart, Germany. An African Union representative pledged support for AFRICOM's agenda and Mali announced plans for FLINTLOCK, a joint-US military exercise set for November 3-20.
AFRICOM Rally and Protest at the
International Peace Operations Association (IPOA) Conference
We need you and everyone who cares about Africa, peace, poverty, militarism, the environment, and the rest of the World to say:
"No To AFRICOM!"
This Monday, October 27, 2008, 4:30-8:00pm
Rally will begin at 4:30 at Taft Memorial Park with speakers and music (location: C St. NW and Louisiana NW near Union Station). We will then march to and protest outside the IPOA Conference at the Liaison Hotel on Capitol Hill (415 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001)
Whether victims of domestic policing or foreign occupation, anti-war activists or liberation fighters, environmentalists or people of faith, citizens must stand united against the military's newest exertion of power! U.S. Government spending our tax dollars should not enable the Department of Defense to pursue its Middle East agenda in Africa.
This year, IPOA is hosting its annual conference on "Engaging AFRICOM." IPOA is a trade and lobbying association that represents the "peace and stability" industry - military contractors and mercenaries. IPOA only encourages and enables the militarization of Africa through AFRICOM, the Pentagon's latest frontier in military expansionism.
Join us on October 27th to protest AFRICOM and the IPOA Conference. Speakers and musicians will take the stage at Taft Memorial Park for a rally, followed by a protest outside the IPOA Conference at the Liaison Hotel.
Resist AFRICOM is a campaign comprised of concerned U.S. and Africa-based organizations and individuals opposed to the new U.S. military command for Africa (AFRICOM).
Visit: www.resistafricom.org for more information.*
Africa Faith and Justice Network
Environmentalists Against War
Foreign Policy in Focus
Hip Hop Caucus
Institute for Policy Studies
African People's Socialist Party
International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM)
American Friends Service Committee Youth in the Know Program
School of the Americas Watch
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
Washington Peace Center
International People's Socialist Party
The African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation
Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International
TRANSCRIPT: African Union Representative Pledges Support for US Africa Command
By Brigadier General Jean De Martha Jaotody, Head of Operations and Support Unit, Peace Support Operations Division, African Union
AFRICOM Public Affairs
STUTTGART, Germany (October 17, 2008) Brigadier General Jean De Martha Jaotody, Head of Operations and Support Unit, Peace Support Operations Division, African Union, expressed support for the newly established U.S. Africa Command during a commemoration ceremony on October 17, 2008, at the command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
In a speech before U.S. Africa Command staff, visiting dignitaries, and other guests, Jaotody said, "...the establishment of the Africa Command is a clear testimony of the cordial relationship that exists between Africa and the government of the United States of America."
He noted that U.S. Africa Command and the African Union share a common mission: preventing conflict and promoting stability in order to address the root cause of underdevelopment and poverty on the continent.
Acknowledging past and present support received from the United States to the African Union's mission, Jaotody outlined significant contributions, including assistance in strengthening the peacekeeping capacities of the African Union in preparation for deployments to Darfur, Somalia, and Uganda, among other regions.
According to Jaotody, U.S. Africa Command's mission brings improvements not only to Africa, but also to the peace and security of the international community.
"A stable, healthy and more prosperous Africa will contribute to global security and a strong world economy," he said.
Cautioning against a "quick-fix" approach, Jaotody said, "The U.S. has a historical chance to partner with Africa in a meaningful way by avoiding quick fixes, nor expect immediate results from its partnerships."
"The AU believes that AFRICOM represents an opportunity to strengthen and expand United States and African relationships in this regard. We pledge to take this partnership seriously, and that our combined effort would help Africa to attain sustainable peace and security in the continent," he concluded.
The Complete Transcript of Jaotody's Speech Is Available Below:
General William Ward, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, distinguished African ambassador assigned to Germany, distinguished U.S. ambassador assigned to Africa, our distinguished host, the government of Germany, senior representatives from the Department of State, Department of Defense, USAID, the director of Africa's Center for Strategic Studies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor and privilege for me to participate on behalf of the chairperson of the African Union Commission, His Excellency Mr. Jean Ping, and indeed, on my own behalf, in celebrating the official establishment of the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, taking place in this beautiful city of Stuttgart.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate General William Ward, the first commander of U.S. Africa Command, for inviting the African Union Commission to participate at this important gathering. Further, please allow me to thank and commend the government and people of the United States of America, for the preeminence of thought made in hosting this important gathering. The chairperson of the AU Commission expresses his regrets for his inability to attend this important occasion due to previous commitments equally important.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the establishment of the Africa Command is a clear testimony of the cordial relationship that exists between Africa and the government of the United States of America.
In this regard, I wish to state on the outset, on the many cross-proposals and broad outlines of AFRICOM's stated mission in Africa that we share: The prevention of conflict and the promotion of stability in our region; addressing the root cause of underdevelopment and poverty, which are making Africa a fertile ground for breeding terrorism. We need to (give?) our strength to undertake this support operation through training and capacity-building are all issues that we believe are essential to address the peace and security challenges for the African continent.
Africa will continue to seek Africa's solutions to its problems, and from AU's recent experiences, ranging from Comoros to the DRC, Burundi, Darfur, and Somalia, it was evident that we have to continue to develop our institutions and sufficient capabilities for planning, training, intelligence, logistics, and mobility, and all this requires sustained resources.
But, as you are aware, the challenges we faced in Darfur, for example, and continue to face in Somalia stem from lack of predictable financial support and sustainable logistical capabilities. And unless these issues are addressed through bilateral and multilateral partnerships, they would significantly degrade our ability to attend to our peace and security challenges, to deploy sufficiently-trained and adequately-capable peacekeeping troops.
It is our hope that the establishment of our own African Standby Force would be crucial in helping us to manage, and eventually to resolve conflicts from our continent for good. Outside the security framework, relations between Africa and the United States need to continue to be strengthened, building on existing cooperation frameworks, including the Millennium Challenges, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, enhancing our military efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy, and economic growth in Africa are concord(?) in the strengthening of bilateral and multilateral security and economic cooperation with African states.
There is an integral link between defense, diplomacy, and development. And it is our hope that AFRICOM would advance these interrelated policy objectives in Africa. In this connection, the AU wishes to note with great pleasure the appointment of the first U.S. ambassador to the African Union, which symbolizes the growing relationship between the African Union Commission and the United States government.
Africa's endowment with limited resources, especially oil and strategic minerals, the increasing threat from international terrorism further undermining fragile states in Africa, and the need to combat such threats, requires cooperation, not only at the regional level but at the strategic and continental levels.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, we believe that the United States has compelling strategic interest in Africa, covering a spectrum of cross-cutting issues. Indeed, the fact that AFRICOM has evolved into a single structure attests to the recognition of Africa's emerging strategic importance and the determination to address the peace and security challenges in the continent in a holistic manner.
We are in full cognizance of the fact that peace and stability on the continent will impact not only on Africans, but to the interests of the United States, and to the international community as a whole. However, it is imperative that we have to clearly clarify, define and elaborate on the nature of our relationships.
Africa's march towards conservation of its fragile democratic processes, efforts to accelerate sustainable development and the strengthening of state institutions are part and parcel of AU's effort to act in peace and security in Africa. And AFRICOM efforts in its new endeavors would be no doubt reflective of these multiple objectives.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, we in the African Union established a number of key institutions as part of an overall continental security architecture in order to address the monumental tasks of reestablishing peace, security and stability in the continent, which in turn has led to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council and its components, i.e., the African Standby Force, the Continental Early Warning System and the Panel of the Wise.
A common African defense and security policy were also adopted by the heads of state and government at the second extraordinary summit of African Union in Sirte on 28 March, 2004. With regard to the African Standby Force, it was in July 2004 that the assembly of the union approved the policy framework document for its establishment and the military staff committee, which would be one of the major building blocks of the new continental peace and security architecture.
The policy framework document stipulates that the ASF will be composed of five regional brigades, one for each region, all comprising multidisciplinary contingent stationed in their respective countries of origin, ready for rapid deployment in accordance with various scenarios.
The African Standby Force would assist the Peace and Security Council to perform its responsibilities with respect to the deployment of peace-support missions and interventions, pursuant to the Articles 4H and G of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
The establishment and consolidation of the African Standby Force is an area where the support of our international partners is much needed. As you are aware, there are ongoing discussions with all our partners, including the United States, in this regard and to find workable modalities for the effective vitalization of ongoing financial and military assistance.
Here I wish to note that United States engagement started with the defunct Organization of African Unity through the rehabilitation of the building of the Conflict Management Center, the construction and the equipping of a military logistics depot based in the African Union Commission at Addis Ababa.
It continues with the planning and logistics assistance for the deployment of AU troops in Darfur regions of the Sudan, and included a series of high-level visits that led to the agreement to develop a broader program of United States governmental support for the AU strategies to operationalize its peace and security protocol.
The (inaudible) is sustained through the U.S. contribution to the deployment of African mission in Somalia, or known as AMISOM, the deployment and sustainment of the Ugandan battalions and the equipment the provision of equipment to the Burundian battalion.
The U.S. is also engaged in strengthening AU capacities in non-peacekeeping components of the Peace and Security architecture by focusing on institutional development strategies and operational programs. You would recall that in the protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the need for establishment of a continent-wide early warning system was clearly stated, so as to facilitate the anticipation and prevention of conflict.
The protocol so far stipulates that continental area warning system shall consist of an observation and monitoring center, to be known as the situation room, located right in the Conflict Management Division of the Union and responsible for better collection and analyses, with the support of AU partners. Initial steps have already been taken towards the establishment of the continental early warning system.
Here I wish to acknowledge that the U.S. is currently providing support for the continental early warning system through the provision of software, computer and communication equipment as a specific programmatic building block to support AU's development and peace and security mandates.
Related to the establishment of the ASF and a continental early warning system is the development of the common African defense and security policy, which was provided in Article 5-2 of the constitutive act of the African Union, and was premised on the common African perception of what is required to be done collectively by African states to ensure that Africans' common defense and security interests and goals, especially as set out in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, are safeguarded in the face of common threats to the continent as a whole.
Certainly, while outlining this broad architecture, we are also mindful of the constraints and challenges that we outlined above in the area of capacity building, early warning and post-conflict reconstruction so that our expanded responsibilities would attain their objectives.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is evident that the new AFRICOM security framework is still taking shape. This means that the U.S. has a historical chance to partner with Africa in a meaningful way by avoiding quick fixes, nor expect immediate results from its partnerships. We prefer that we develop this (inaudible) approach, insisting commitment to pursuit of long-term strategic objectives, which will address legitimate United States national interest, as well as advance the interest of Africa's peace and security agenda.
In other words, stability and prosperity in Africa are important to the long-term interest of the United States. The AU believes that AFRICOM represents an opportunity to strengthen and expand United States and African relationships in this regard. We pledge to take this partnership seriously, and that our combined effort would help Africa to attain sustainable peace and security in the continent.
Finally, on behalf of the chairperson of the African Union and the AU Delegation hereby present, indeed on my own behalf, I wish the delegation commemorating the establishment of Africa Command great success. I thank you for your attention.
Government of Mali Hosts Military Exercise in Bamako, Mali
US Military Personnel to Participate
AFRICOM Public Affairs
STUTTGART, Germany (October 22, 2008) The Government of Mali, in collaboration with other African and European nations and the United States, will host a joint military exercise in Bamako, Mali from November 3 - 20, 2008. This exercise, called FLINTLOCK, is the latest in a series of exercises conducted between Malian and U.S. military forces and partner nations throughout Africa.
The principal purpose of FLINTLOCK is to assist partner nations to establish and develop military interoperability and strengthen regional relationships, in support of future combined humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. It includes participants from the Trans-Saharan nations and the U.S. as well as advisors from multiple European countries.
While in Mali, Malian and United States military personnel will conduct Medical Civic Action Programs (MEDCAP) and Veterinary Civic Action Programs (VETCAP) aimed at providing select medical and veterinary services to rural communities in Mali.
FLINTLOCK will additionally feature the presence of American military aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules and the CV-22 Osprey, an airplane that flies both like an airplane and a helicopter, that are part of this training exercise.
FLINTLOCK is the premier exercise to support future training and engagement in the Trans-Saharan Region. FLINTLOCK is a series of military exercises conducted with theater security cooperation partners in Africa, under the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) program. The TSCTP initiative is an integrated, multi-agency effort of the U.S. Dept. of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.