November 22, 2017
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Double game
Geopolitics behind fight against terrorism in Africa When the United States began regular drone surveillance flights from the Republic of Chad over the Lake Chad Basin, the aim was ostensibly in support of the goal of the BringBackOurGirls campaign. But the humanitarian goal of finding the Chibok girls has since proved a convenient smokescreen to pursue larger interests of a more strategic nature in Africa’s Sahel zone, such as beating the Chinese to the newly discovered oil and gas fields of the Lake Chad Basin. Conservative estimates of the Lake Chad oil reserves range up to 3 billion barrels of crude oil and over 14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Long after the short-lived social media frenzy of the BringBackOurGirls campaign, US drones continued operating surveillance flights equipped with sophisticated imaging technology over the new Lake Chad Basin oil fields, apparently having abandoned the initial hypocritical posturing that the missing black African schoolgirls were the primary reason for the deployment of 80 US troops and sophisticated surveillance technology to Chad. The Pentagon has since followed up the establishment of a military presence in Chad with another drone base in the Republic of Niger with the deployment of 100 US troops. Why has the US been quietly but actively establishing a network of surveillance hubs and military bases, and consolidating political and military alliances with governments across Africa’s
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