SADC, the 14-country Southern African Development Community, has said NO to hosting the US Africa Command, as Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said on Wednesday.

There is broad consensus among African countries that foreign forces – specifically in the form of the United States’ new African Command – would not be welcomed to establish themselves on the continent.

Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota expressed this sentiment Wednesday . . .
. . . Africa has to avoid the presence of foreign forces on her soil,” Mr Lekota told reporters on Wednesday.

“If there was to be an influx of armed forces into one or other of the African countries, that might effect the relations between the sister countries and [would] not encourage an atmosphere and a sense of security,” he added.
. . .
In reply to a question as to whether this decision had been communicated to the United States, he indicated that a decision made by the continental body, the African Union (AU), would likely be communicated by the Addis Ababa administration through the relevant channels.
. . .
Should a particular country choose to break ranks with this decision, he said: “I would imagine that any country that wants to go against the decision of the Africa Union would consider what the implications might be – where other sister countries may refuse to cooperate with it in other areas other than that particular area.”

This is very good news. This is a NO to occupation, recolonization, and imperialism. It is still not a big enough no, but it is a step in the right direction. And it makes things a little more difficult for any other country to host Africom, or any who might be enticed in that direction.

The following comment provides more detail, so I have copied it into this post.

Comment:

transcript of lekota’s stmts here

zambia’s president mwanawasa, also the chair of the SADC, announced that his nation was turning down a request to provide a u.s. military base
Zambia refuses US military base
The Zambian government has turned down a request by the United States to establish a military base in the South African country.

“As Zambia, we will not be giving sanctuary and I think I can speak on behalf of the SADC region that none of us is interested,’ said President Mwanawasa, while rejecting United States’ plan to establish a military base in his country.

no word on zambia’s previous agreements to allow u.s. military planes to refuel at zambian airfields (“lily pads”) or its partner status in the u.s. ACOTA and IMET programs.

By b real, at 1:29 PM, September 01, 2007