US Embarrasses Mnangagwa Over False Zambia Military Base Claims
28 June 2024
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By Political Reporter- The US government has denied claims made by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa regarding the presence of an American military base in Zambia, causing significant embarrassment for the Zimbabwean leader.

Earlier this month, Mnangagwa told Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg that Zambia posed a security threat to Zimbabwe, alleging that the United States heavily funded its security sector.

He claimed that the Americans were increasing their military presence in Zambia to isolate Zimbabwe.

However, during a virtual press briefing on Thursday, June 27, General Michael Langley, Commander of the US Africa Command and Marine Corps, dismissed Mnangagwa’s claims as “false.” Langley clarified that the United States did not have a military base in Zambia and had no plans to establish one:

“That [Mnangagwa’s allegations are] absolutely false. We have no base in Zambia and we have no plans to put one there. Our approach is Africa-led and US-enabled. We work closely; we have a deep partnership with Zambia,” Langley stated. “There is no base. We have increased security cooperation with them but there is no footprint and there is no base within our security cooperation office resident within the embassy.”

Langley also addressed regional security challenges throughout Africa and discussed his participation in the 2024 African Chiefs of Defence Conference held from June 24 to 26 in Botswana.

Mnangagwa’s remarks during his meeting with Putin on June 6, 2024, have strained relations between Zimbabwe and Zambia. He accused the “Americans of consolidating their power” in Zambia, “both in terms of security and financial support to make sure that we feel lonely.”

In response, Zambia’s Foreign Minister, Mulambo Haimbe, called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to address the issue.

Speaking in the Zambian Parliament, Haimbe described Mnangagwa’s comments as an “unwarranted attack on Zambia’s sovereignty.”

“The statements made by President Mnangagwa are not only baseless but also damaging to the spirit of unity and mutual respect that underpins our regional cooperation,” Haimbe said. “We call upon SADC and the AU to address this matter decisively and conclusively to preserve the integrity of our regional partnerships.”

In April 2023, the US Africa Command (Africom) announced it was setting up an office in Zambia. Africom has various bases across Africa, but its presence in Zambia is limited to a security cooperation office within the American embassy.

Zambia, along with many other African countries, maintains close ties with the US and other Western democracies.

Conversely, countries like Zimbabwe and South Africa are aligned with authoritarian governments such as China and Russia.