The United States Secretary of Defence, Donald Rusfeld, arrived in Kenya on Tuesday (15 June).?
The United States Secretary of Defence, Donald Rusfeld, arrived in Kenya on Tuesday (15 June). His visit is seen as an important contribution to the United States new activist policy towards Africa.
SYNOPSIS: It was the first time an American Secretary of Defence has officially visited Africa, and follows closely on the recent visit by Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. According to senior officials, Mr. Rumsfeld's visit is intended to show pro-western African leaders that the United States is not indifferent to growing Soviet diplomatic influence and military involvement in Africa.
Before leaving for Kenya, Mr. Rumsfeld visited Brussels. There he left no doubt that his government was now prepared to provide substantial arms supplies to pro-western African countries. The first two recipients are likely to be Kenya and Zaire. Political observers say the first item they will probably receive will be fighter aircraft. This could also entail introducing U.S. personnel to train pilots and ground crews.
Mr. Rumsfeld will also visit Zaire. Part of the American interest in that country is its proximity to Angola. The United States fear the Soviet Union may establish permanent facilities there. It's also understood to be especially concerned about the Soviet bases in Somalia, controlling the oil shipping lines, and on the west coast of Africa.