A US army general has revealed intricate details of the global superpower’s strategic and military focus in Africa, exposing Washington’s growing unease with China and Russia’s deepening influence on the continent.

The head of US Africa Command, General Stephen Townsend, in a statement to the Senate’s Armed Services Committee warned that Moscow and Beijing’s dalliance with Africa has given the two emerging powers leeway to “seize opportunities to expand their influence across the continent.”

The US Africa Command is a unit of the United States’ Armed Forces responsible for military operations and relations with African countries.

“Their coercive and exploitative activities undermine and threaten many African countries’ stability,” General Townsend told the US Senate Committee in a statement dated January 30.

He noted that China is outpacing all of its competitors in Africa, where, with the construction of a military port and helicopter landing pads, it is converting its first overseas military base in Djibouti into a power projection platform.

China and Russia have heightened efforts to court African countries by hosting high-level investment conferences in their capitals while top executives of their state-backed companies criss-cross the continent signing business and military deals with African countries.

By ALLAN OLINGO
East African

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