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Pentagon includes Russia and China among US threats in Africa

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United States believes that Russia and China pose a threat to them on the African continent. This statement was made on Wednesday during a telephone briefing for journalists by the commander of the US Army in Africa, Major General Roger Cloutier.

Klutier found it difficult to name specific countries in which, according to the United States, there is a “Russian presence”, and as arguments for his thesis he cited a statement about the actions of “Russian mercenaries” in Africa, which was repeatedly refuted by Moscow. In addition, according to the general, “they [Russia] are extracting natural resources here.”

Among the other US threats in Africa, a senior military named the activities of militants who joined Al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) by the Al-Shabab group. “Africa Command said that” Al-Shabab “is one of the main threats, we are very closely monitoring the situation, but the rivalry with Russia and especially China on the continent is important.” – he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously paid attention to US attempts to discredit Moscow’s interaction with African countries. The official representative of the department, Maria Zakharova, called the unprecedented scale of the campaign conducted by the United States and attributed it to the fact that the United States fears the development of relations between the Russian Federation and countries that “Washington is used to considering as their patrimony.” Statements by the US side about the presence of “Russian mercenaries” in Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called rumors.

Washington’s accusations of “reinforcing its presence” were also answered in China. The statement that China’s assistance in building an all-African medical center is part of an alleged “spyware program” was called a “ridiculous statement” in Beijing, which indicates that the United States draws conclusions “based on its own behavior.”

Assistance to the African Command

In the coming weeks, the United States will send the first army security assistance brigade to help its African Command (AFRICOM), replacing the 101st Airborne Division in the region. This is stated in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah.

“Minister of Defense Mark Esper conducted a comprehensive review of the forces, programs and activities of each command in terms of implementing a national defense strategy. The African command was the first to present its research,” the department noted. “As part of the review and to better confront Russia and China, the minister decides to send to the continent “the first army security assistance brigade to train and advise missions in key African countries. This is the first of many decisions regarding AFRICOM.”

According to Farah, the deployment of the brigade and the return of the division will begin in the coming weeks.

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