Wed, 6 March 2013
Washington Aims to Turn Congo Military Mission into a U.S. Proxy Force
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“It will be up to Angola and South Africa to ensure that the new peace-enforcement brigade does not become a front for the United States.”
Renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo has left hundreds dead and added thousands to the list of nearly two million displaced persons. Congolese government troops are again battling so-called rebels backed by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda, two of the United States’ closes allies whose seizure of much of eastern Congo is the primary cause of the death of six million Congolese since 1996, half of them children under the age of five.
Only last month, Uganda and Rwanda and eight other African nations signed an agreement promising not to interfere in Congo’s internal affairs. The accord was brokered by the United States, the United Nations and the African Union, but Washington holds most of the cards in the region.
The U.S. arms and finances the Ugandan and Rwandan regimes, and has staunchly protected its African allies from sanction at the United Nations. In that sense, the genocide in Congo is a U.S.-sponsored holocaust. The UN, whose 17,000 peacekeeping troops have done nothing over the years to protect Congo’s territorial integrity, is so deep in the United States’ pocket, it is considering inviting U.S. drones into the region. And the African Union has hopelessly compromised itself by lending its name and legitimacy to an 18,000-troop mission in Somalia that is, in effect, a proxy force for United States policy in Africa. The same thing is likely to happen in the Democratic Republic of Congo if the recent agreement leads, as planned, to creation of a peace-enforcing brigade with the authority to actually use its guns. If the U.S. and the Europeans pay for this nominally African force, and train and equip it, as they do in Somalia, then the U.S. will actually be running the show in Congo.
“The U.S. has been destabilizing Congo since the Clinton administration.”
Washington already stations Special Forces troops in Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, the Central African Republic and South Sudan – all signatories to the Congo peace accord, along with Burundi, Angola, South Africa and Tanzania. It will be up to Angola and South Africa to ensure that the new, peace-enforcement brigade does not become a front for the United States, like the Somalia operation.
The U.S. position towards Congo can be gleaned from a talk given, last month, at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, by outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson. Members of Friends of Congo were in attendance, and reported that one would not be aware, from listening to Carson, “that a substantial portion” of eastern Congo “is still under occupation” by the Rwanda-backed rebels. The truth is, Rwanda’s proxies in Congo are also America’s proxies. The U.S. has been destabilizing Congo since the Clinton administration –fomenting chaos and genocide as a weapon of foreign policy, as it has done in Somalia, and is now doing in North Africa and Syria. The U.S. objective is to bring the whole of Africa into the American military orbit. Washington’s version of “peace” is submission, dependence and surrender of national sovereignty, and there is no limit to how many Congolese they are willing to kill.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.