Africa Action Addresses Deaths in Uganda and the Flawed War on Terror and Africa
Thursday, July 15, 2010 (Washington, DC) – Today, President Obama announced that the U.S. will “redouble U.S. support for Africa against terror” after twin bombs exploded in two different areas of Kampala, Uganda on Sunday, killing a total of 76 civilians. In response to his speech, Africa Action warns that, as the U.S. pursues its so-called “war on terror,” a greater investment in military solutions would be a grave mistake.
Instead of sending increased military support, Africa Action calls on the U.S. to fulfill its commitment to reassess the current war on terror. In doing so, President Obama must address the resentment and perception that it is based on short-term strategic objectives, rather than a people-centered security strategy.
Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action said today, “For years, U.S. military support has failed to bring real security to African people.” He adds, “In fact, U.S. military action against terrorism appears to encourage authoritarian repression and deal-making at the highest-level. President Obama will need to address the resentment building on the ground that innocent civilians are now being targets in a war they did not vote for.”
Africa Action notes that in 2006, the U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia spurred even greater resentment among the people and forced millions of Somalis into deeper levels of poverty. Today, the U.S. continues to support the unpopular and ineffective Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Somalia, including $200 million to the TFG to finance weapons purchases, despite its well-recognized inability to stabilize the country.
Michael Stulman, Associate Director for Policy and Communications said today, “It’s unclear how even greater financial support to the TFG would achieve anything more than death, destruction and a greater resentment on the ground. President Obama should explain what the long-term consequences of this U.S. policy will be.”