Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba Demands For Zambian Govt, USA Embassy To Publish MOU On AFRICOM
MWAMBA DEMANDS FOR GOVT, USA EMBASSY TO PUBLISH MOU ON AFRICOM
Lusaka- Friday, 13th May 2022
Former Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Emmanuel Mwamba has written to the Minister of Defence Hon. Ambrose Lwiiji Lufuma demanding the publication of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governing the establishment of the Security Office of Cooperation of the U.S AFRICOM.
Mr. Mwamba has also written to the USA Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Zambia, Mr. John Armiger demanding the publication of the MOU.
Mr. Mwamba said previous Presidents; Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, Rupiah Bwezani Banda, Michael Chilufya Sata, and Edgar Chagwa Lungu all rejected United States request to open a military base or Security Office in Zambia.
Mr. Mwamba also said Africa was promoting its own security architecture and infrastructure such as the SADC Brigade or the AU Stand-by Force.
He said Africa was encouraging members not be embroiled in geo-political conflicts and challenges of superpowers so that Africa was not a victim as it has been in the past.
Mr. Mwamba said he had noted both assurances from Government and the USA Embassy and it was for that reason that if the sincerity was genuine,the MOU must be published.
Below is the letter to the Minister and the Embassy;
AMB. EMMANUEL MWAMBA
13th May 2022
Hon. Ambrose Lwiiji Lufuma MP
The Minister of Defence
Mr. John Armiger
Acting Deputy Chief of Mission
USA Embassy in Zambia
PUBLISH MOU ON AFRICOM
I wish to start my letter by acknowledging your press statement issued on 2nd May 2022 that stated that Zambia has no intention of establishing any military bases with the USA African Command (AFRICOM).
I further refer to an announcement made on 25th April 2022 by the USA Government through the USA Embassy in Zambia that the U.S Africa Command (AFRICOM) will open an Office of Security Cooperation at the USA Embassy when visiting AFRICOM Brigadier General Peter Bailey, Deputy Director of Strategy, Engagement and Programs, made an announcement during a meeting with His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema.
Brig. General Bailey together proceeded to attend the official opening ceremony of pre-deployment training for the eighth Zambia Batallion(ZAMBATT VIII).
Brig. General Bailey together with Country Desk Officer, Lori Enright, also attended a Women, Peace and Security Joint Meeting of the Zambia Army, Zambia National Service.
CONCERNS ON US AFRICOM
US. AFRICOM, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany,and is one of the 11 USA Defence Combatant Command and promotes USA national Interests in Africa.
It is public knowledge that both the African Union(AU) and Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) have expressed concerns about the establishment, location and activities of AFRICOM in Africa.
Member states have been encouraged to promote military-to-military cooperation with currently existing bilateral engagements through the office of Defence Attaches at designated embassies.
Member states have also been encouraged to promote Africa’s own Defence and Security architecture and Infrastructure such as the SADC Brigade and the Africa Union Stand-by Force.
Member states have also been advised not to open military bases or security offices of AFRICOM or any other combant units or commands from other foreign states on their soils.
Owing to Africa’s history and the need to ensure that stronger states or super powers play a positive and constructive role in the Peace and security of Africa
The forged relationships should not turn or perpetuate Africa’s threats on its Peace and Security and into a perpetual conflict zones of super power geo-political differences, it is envisaged that Africa will promote its own security architecture.
We recognize that the United States and Zambia enjoy long-standing and historical relationship and is one of the largest bilateral partner and its support to the health, defence and security and cultural sectors are highly appreciated.
CONCERNS ABOUT AFRICOM
It may be noted that Governments of; President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, President Rupiah Bwezani Banda, President Michael Chilufya Sata and President Edgar Chagwa Lungu all declined USA’s proposals to escalate their military-to-military cooperation through AFRICOM and then longstanding requests to open a military base or security office such as this one.
So learning of the development that AFRICOM will open a Security Office of Cooperation raised more concerns steeped in historical opposition of this matter.
It for this reason that we urge you to publish the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governing the opening of this Office.
This will help allay concerns and fears around this matter.
Source – Zambianobserver.com