Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

Africa Re-Enslaves Itself

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The African Union has been transformed into a vassal of AFRICOM.”

Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister of Ghana, will forever be remembered as a great Pan-Africanist whose goal was the establishment of a United States of Africa. Instead, in 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown by a United States-backed coup. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi assumed the presidency of the African Union in 2009, vowing to work towards a United States of Africa with “a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport,” so that Africans could “move freely around the continent." Two and a half years later, Gaddafi was overthrown and killed by forces backed by the United States. The 53-member African Union had stood by, seemingly helpless to halt the overthrow of a sovereign African state by the Euro-American war machine.

Fifty-five years after Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana won its independence, the military force that counts most in Africa is the United States. Increasingly, the African Union has been transformed into a vassal of AFRICOM – the U.S. Military Command on the continent. The war in Somalia, which now involves the whole of the Horn of Africa, is, on paper, an African Union military operation. But the AU is just a front for the U.S., which provides all the training, weapons, equipment – everything the 15,000 African soldiers from five different nations need except their salaries, which are paid for by the European Union and the United Nations. The recolonization of Africa is well underway, but it will not require a huge American or NATO occupation force. The nations of the African Union will provide the troops for their own subjugation.

The African Union pretends not to be a puppet of the United States, but even the Los Angeles Times cannot avoid the conclusion that the Somali mission is “largely a creation of the State Department and Pentagon, trained and supplied by the U.S. government.” Rwandan soldiers have been doing the Pentagon’s bidding in Africa so long, and so loyally, a group of them has been brought to Alabama to learn how to operate the U.S. Army’s drones. Kenya soldiers are also undergoing drone training, so that they might better find, fix and destroy America’s African enemies.

The nations of the African Union will provide the troops for their own subjugation.”

That’s all most African armies are good for, now that 53 of the continent’s nations have become military partners with AFRICOM. African officers learn from Americans how to communicate with their troops, how to deploy them in the field, and what tactics are best for defense and attack. They train on American equipment, using American intelligence, and are probably indirectly paid by the Americans. Many of these militaries have closer ties to their American counterparts – to AFRICOM – than to their own governments. As a defense against U.S. aggression in Africa, these guys are quite useless. But they fit perfectly into President Obama’s calculation, that the American public has a great tolerance for war, as long as Americans are not the ones who are dying. By subordinating the African Union to the Pentagon’s purposes, Obama has made it possible for the U.S. to militarily dominate the continent, at very little political or economic cost. Essentially, the Africans are being paid to kill and enslave themselves.

Come to think of it, we’ve heard that story, before.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Direct download: 20120801_gf_AfricanUnion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:23pm EDT