Monday, September 03, 2007

Gen Tembo calls for caution on AFRICOM

Gen Tembo calls for caution on AFRICOM
By Mutuna Chanda
Monday September 03, 2007 [16:33]

Lieutenant General Christon Tembo has advised African leaders who feel that they can counter any hidden agenda that could come from the establishment of the Africa Command (AFRICOM) by the United States to allow it in their countries. Lt General Tembo warned that the establishment of AFRICOM was a double-edged weapon that needed to be studied thoroughly.

“In terms of African interests it may be good in that in the process, you would receive aid and support through military weapons but on the other hand, you would be opening yourselves to foreign manipulation,” Lt Gen Tembo said.

“So we need to be cautious because I know what it entails. It sounds great from the outside but those who know what is involved in such ventures will tell you.”

He said countries that had allowed the US to establish commands such as Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan understood the implications.
Lt Gen Tembo however said once individual countries examined the implications of hosting a US Africa Command and they were clear they could counter any hidden agenda, they could go ahead.

Lt General Tembo said he agreed with President Levy Mwanawasa’s position that Zambia would not support the establishment of the US Africa Command on the continent. Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata has also agreed with President Mwanawasa’s stance on AFRICOM.

President Mwanawasa last Friday said Zambia was not supportive of US intentions to establish its Africa Command on the continent.

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