Statement of the Research and Initiative Group for the Liberation of Africa


On 29 July 2020, General Stephen Townsend, recently appointed Commander of AFRICOM, revealed that AFRICOM will be leaving its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany: « While it will likely take several months to develop options, review locations and make a decision, the command has begun the process. » He added: « We will ensure that we continue to support our host nation and our African partners, as well as our families and forces, throughout the process. » We welcome this decision to withdraw the troops dedicated to Africa. GRILA was one of the first on the continent to stand in the way of post-apartheid expansionist agendas, notably with Warren Christopher’s African Crisis Response Force, and to propose our pan-African option, Africa Pax.[1] GRILA was also the first group to speak out against AFRICOM at its inception in 2007, as well as at its installation in Stuttgart a year later. On 25 May 2013, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of African ‘independence’, we issued a statement co-signed by 50 prominent African and German personalities, entitled ‘AFRICOM out of Africa'[2]. We campaigned for the withdrawal of the AFRICOM base and against the military occupation and aggression of the African continent. Furthermore, we almost succeeded in convincing a large part of the German population that the AFRICOM base violates their own constitution. Unfortunately, the terrorist attack in Berlin jeopardised our peace effort. During this period, Germany has become more proactive and has now taken a more aggressive stance on the African continent. We remain grateful to German peace activists like the Gesellschaft Kultur des Friedens, and to some of the progressive German MPs and members of civil society, and also to American activists like the Black Alliance for Peace, who have courageously opposed AFRICOM in recent times. As predicted in the film AFRICOM go home, foreign bases out of Africa[3], an independent study by the University of Maryland (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) illustrates the dramatic increase in transnational attacks since AFRICOM’s creation. France and the United States bear the burden of military responsibility for this. On 19 March 2011, AFRICOM launched Operation Odyssey Dawn, the first phase of a war, which was subsequently led by France, overthrowing the government in Tripoli. The grim result is the dislocation of Libya amidst the subversive activities of France, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates, jihadist forces, Syrian mercenaries, Libyan tribes, Sudanese and Chadian ethnic militias, and all sorts of trafficking. This destabilisation in the Sahelistan model extends to Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, creating dislocation in the sub-region as far as Mozambique. US administrations change, but the system remains.lre la suite sur � Panafrikan solidarity, pan-African solidarity-Research and Initiative Group for the Liberation of Africa514 499