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Al-Qaeda in MaghrebRegardless of the communiqué by the so-called al-Qaeeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in which it claimed responsibility for the blasts of Casablanca and Algiers more than two weeks ago, the timing and the recurrence of these operations will pave the way for America and give her the regional and international pretexts to forge ahead and execute what Defence Secretary Robert Gates had announced on 6 th February 2007 to Congress about the decision to establish a new U.S. Africa Command headquarters, to be known as AFRICOM. The headquarters will be operational by the end of 2008; it will coordinate all military and security interests throughout the continent. Hence, after that America used to coordinate her military and security operations in Africa through three Commands HQs, the Central, the European and the Pacific, AFRICOM will coordinate the military and security matters of all countries of the African Union except for Egypt, because of her special situation vis-à-vis the Middle East. This announcement was immediately followed on 7th February 2007 by a meeting in the Senegalese capital Dakar that gathered the Chiefs of Staff of the United States and eight countries from the Arab Maghreb and the Sahel under the theme of "fighting terrorism" in the Sahara region. The meeting was in fact designed to propagate the AFRICOM and to explore the readiness of the countries that America wants them to host the HQs of the New Command. If we excluded Algeria, who has already rejected the idea of being the host country for AFRICOM, though she allowed America to set up the biggest satellite-based Military Surveillance and Reconnaissance System in the area of Tamanrasset, Morocco, Djibouti and Cape Verde remain among the favourites to play hosts for AFRICOM. The republic of Cape Verde is strategically important due to its proximity from the oil-rich gulf of Guinea, that supplied all of America's oil needs that come from Africa, i.e. about 15% of her oil consumption; this rate is expected to rise to 25% or even 30% by 2015, which prompts America to undertake the direct protection of her energy supplies. As for Djibouti, it hosts since 2002 more than 1800 US soldiers in the Camp Lomonier Base. This US base is only 40 Km. away from the strait of Bab al-Mandab, which separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden.
It is clear that America would not hesitate in carrying out any terrorist act for the sake of propagating her projects and executing her strategic plans in Africa, especially in an area deemed as a vital extension of the Arab region, i.e. North Africa and the African Sahel. America aims to besiege that region with a host of military bases as she did in the Gulf, Yemen, Turkey and as she endeavours to achieve in Iraq and Syria. It is under the theme of "fighting terrorism" that America has decided to establish AFRICOM to fight Islam and to monitor the moves of the Muslims; also to eradicate the presence of the French headless cockerel in the Black Continent.
It transpires from the statements made by the US officials that the practical participation of the US army will include supervision, training, logistical support and military intervention whenever necessary.
Hence, under the theme of fighting terrorism, US-African partnership, supporting developing programmes and fighting AIDS etc, America will consolidate her presence in Africa and will exploit the African organisations such as the African Union as obedient tools to bolster her unilateral dominion over Africa. What Gaddafi says about establishing an African army and establishing a United States of Africa is but a lip service aimed at helping America achieve her plans and projects in Africa.