APRIL 3, 2019—Members of the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) delivered about 3,500 signatures today, calling on the Congressional Black Caucus to hold hearings on the impact of U.S. militarization in Africa. Letters and petition signatures were handed to Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairperson and U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) as well as to U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a CBC member and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. A letter was delivered to U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), asking the CPC to partner with the CBC on a congressional investigation.  

BAP calls for an end to AFRICOM and to all foreign interference in the affairs of African countries. War, drone strikes and sanctions have devastated nations and millions of people—they must end now.

The letter to the CBC notes the U.S. government’s lack of consultation with all African peoples, a violation of the human-rights principles of self-determination and national sovereignty. “Despite fierce opposition from many African states and peoples, AFRICOM was established 10 years ago. And in those 10 years, our research indicates there has been very little oversight into the impact of AFRICOM on the people and states in Africa.”

Vanessa Beck, co-coordinator of BAP’s Research Team and a member of BAP’s Coordinating Committee, says the 60 percent of the U.S. budget that goes toward the military is the flip side of U.S. disinvestment in human-needs programs. “Whether we are talking about mass incarceration, police exchanges with the settler-colonial state of Israel, or the transfer of military weapons to local and state police departments, the most oppressed people suffer in genocidal conditions,” Beck says.

BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka says the CBC was once known as the anti-war conscience of Congress. “The collective voice of elected Black leaders has been muted and overtaken by war drums,” he says. “Not one drop of working-class and poor people’s blood should feed the capitalist dictatorship’s illegal wars abroad and in the United States.”

BAP kicked off the U.S. Out of Africa! campaign October 1, the 10th anniversary of AFRICOM.

A second campaign will educate the public on the connection between domestic repression and U.S. wars abroad. It will be announced at BAP’s second-anniversary event, “No Compromise, No Retreat in the Fight to End Militarism and War”, at 7 p.m., April 4, in Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 5301 N. Capitol St., NE, Washington, D.C.


Media contact: info@blackallianceforpeace.com

Photo credit: Mid East News