Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

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Why African States Host Foreign Military Bases

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This is despite the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council’s ongoing concerns about the proliferation of foreign military bases on the continent. The AU is also concerned about its inability to monitor the movement of weapons to and from these military bases. Regardless, a host of bilateral agreements between AU member states and foreign powers underlie the spread of foreign military forces across the continent. At least 13 foreign powers have a substantial military presence on the continent. The US and France are at the forefront of conducting operations on African soil. Moreover, private military groups are active in several conflict zones on African soil. Northern Mozambique is the most recent case. These dynamics coincide with claims that Russian MiG-29 and Su-24 warplanes have now conducted missions in Libya in support of Kremlin-backed private military forces to extend Moscow’s influence in Africa. Currently, the US has 7,000 military personnel on rotational deployment across the continent, including Uganda, South Sudan, Senegal, Niger, Gabon, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo. France has more than 7,500 military personnel currently serving on the continent. Its largest presence is in the Sahel, especially in the border zone linking Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. China has been particularly active with its military presence in the Horn of Africa. It has become more engaged since 2008 when it participated in the multinational anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION

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