Opposition lawmaker Stephen Kampyongo has told RT that the goals of the American forces in his country are unclear FILE PHOTO. © Delil SOULEIMAN/AFP

Zambia has no need for a US military presence, Stephen Kampyongo, a member of the southern African country’s National Assembly, told RT in an exclusive interview, questioning the relevance of security cooperation between Washington and Lusaka.

The opposition Patriotic Front MP made the statement in response to regional concerns about the continued presence of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) forces in Zambia and demands from lawmakers for their withdrawal.

Speaking to RT on Saturday, Kampyongo said AFRICOM’s objectives in the country are “not well spelled out,” which has sparked fears in both Zambia and its southern African neighbors, including Zimbabwe.

In April 2022, Washington announced the launch of the Office of Security Cooperation by AFRICOM at the US Embassy in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. The move, according to the US government, aimed to improve “military-to-military relations” and expand areas of cooperation in force management, modernization, and professional military education for the Zambian security forces.

The move has faced widesp

“It’s not desirable for… the United States… to impose an international request on us,” Kampyongo later said in response to a question from RT about whether he believes Washington is trying to impose its policies on Zambia’s government.

“Any international policy must be premised on mutual respect, appreciating the sovereignty of each state,” he added.

South Africa, Libya, and Nigeria have previously opposed the establishment of AFRICOM in Africa, fearing that Washington intends to expand its influence on the continent and prioritize protecting oil interests.

In recent years, the US has experienced setbacks in its military operations in Africa. American troops in Niger are scheduled to leave by mid-September after the West African country’s military government terminated a security agreement. The Pentagon also announced the withdrawal of forces from Chad amid uncertainty about whether Washington’s status of forces agreement with the Central African country can be extended or renegotiated.