Zambian President struggles to put down speculation of US military base plans in Zambia




Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema

LUSAKA – The beleaguered Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has broken the silence over the controversial setting up of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) office in the neighbouring country.

Writing on Twitter on Wednesday, Hichilema said, “There are only Zambian military bases in Zambia. Let’s not be debating falsehoods.”

Recently, a statement by the US embassy in Zambia revealed that the US had invested over US$8 million to assist in the pre-deployment training of Zambian battalions to be deployed on the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic.

LEAD President Linda Masarira warned Hichilema that, “Be careful that you will not isolate yourself in the SADC region, where South Africa is a regional power that stands to lose everything if America establishes itself as the regional power of SADC through AFRICOM. I advise you to consult your SADC counterparts first.”

Regarding the newly established office, AFRICOM wrote on Facebook that, “Building on the foundation of U.S.-Zambia shared security interests, the new Office of Security Cooperation will enhance military-to-military relations and expand areas of cooperation in force management, modernization and professional military education for the Zambian security forces.”

Source – Byo24