Africa Under Siege
Africans all over the world had an historic opportunity to make a significant impact on the direction of Africa, starting last week when African leaders met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This opportunity came during the most critical time of Africa since the 1960s, as the African Union Summit convened.
The AU, formed in 2001 to establish the long-delayed government of Africa, is the direct offspring of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) created in 1963.
With very critical issues facing Africa, leaders have to decide how best to deal with problems consuming Africa from Cape to Cairo and from West to East Africa. African leaders need to, finally and immediately, establish a union government of Africa as discussed for the last century.
When will Africa be for the Africans?
> Reactionary Forces
We see reactionary forces occupying Africa. America is placing American troops in 35 African countries. France is now in Mali to stop the Islamists, with American support of course. But does it matter to us whether the Euro-Americans or the Islamists occupy the land; both are known to be devils and destroyers of African culture.
And what shall we say about the African governments in cahoots with the imperialists or globalists? The African politicians appear in lockstep with the colonisers and crusaders seeking control of Africa's precious minerals. From neo-colonialism of the last decades, we see they are in the mood to make deals with the devil. After all, Kwame Nkrumah taught us neo-colonialism is colonialism playing possum.
African nations collaborating with the occupiers are in the tradition of those who sold us to slavers. In many of these nations, the former revolutionaries have turned reactionary, yes, in league with the devil. We can almost say no one in this African quagmire is without sin. Who are the good guys, the African leaders, the Euro-Americans, Arab Islamists, who?
Africa has become a warzone without end. Nearly 3 million people have died in Congo in a four-year war over Coltan, a heat-resistant mineral ore widely used in cell phones, laptops and play stations and other strategic minerals. Eighty percent of the world's coltan reserves are in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Often dismissed as an ethnic war, the conflict in the Congo is really over natural resources sought by foreign corporations ‑ diamonds, tin, copper, gold, but mostly coltan”
In an article titled “Why the US Won’t Help”, a Nairobi newspaper explained, ‘Right from the days of the Cold War, Western governments have been comfortable with a situation in which African regimes squandered meagre resources on the instruments of war, borrowing from the West to finance domestic consumption. The war in the Congo and the countries involved in it are a case in point’…
In 1998, the State Department licensed commercial weapons sales by US manufacturers to sub-Saharan Africa worth up to US$64 million, on top of the US$12m in government-to-government deliveries that year. These figures have quadrupled since 1998 and the region is no closer to stability than it was when Patrice Lumumba was assassinated by the US, French and Belgians in 1960s.
The hypocrisy of the US and Europe asking Africa’s political elite to develop and democratise while cutting levels of non-military international aid and increasing weapons and military training to the continent’s armies does not seem to have registered with African-Americans ‑ neither those (Pan-Africans) who claim solidarity with the current crop of African leaders, nor those elected to public office.
> Militarisation of Africa
This lack of outspoken opposition to US militarisation of Africa, especially under the Obama administration, is inexcusable and attributable to the uncritical and unprincipled support of the Obama regime by African-Americans. Moreover, Obama’s policy of destabilisation and “democratic regime change” of governments it is at odds with suggest that there is little real commitment to developing human resources and a new “partnership” with Africa.
The US needs to redirect the focus away from strengthening military capacity, co-opting ethnic and national elites and more toward promoting human development in Africa.
The use of the contextual term “Arab Spring” to characterise the mass uprising of North Africans against the rule of despotic Arab elites is purposely and artfully crafted to discourage sub-Saharan Black Africa and its Muslim populations from emulating their North African counterparts while appealing to the “Anti-Arab” sentiments among many Pan-Africans and within the Black Diaspora.
> War of Terror
ECOWAS and the African Union’s recent support of French military intervention in Mali and as US surrogate in Somalia, and elsewhere on the African continent are testimony to how eagerly Africa’s political elite are utilising the “West’s war terror” to secure their positions and prop up their power while ignoring persecuted and marginalised Muslim minority populations.
In countries like Nigeria, the US is on the ground supporting the Christian-dominated government’s “anti-terrorist actions” in the North of the country against an Islamic insurgency. In Somalia, the US drone war has spilled over into neighbouring countries, like Eritrea, Al-Yemen and has led to tribal unrest in Northern Kenya.
While the US and its European allies seemed appalled by the Muslim insurgencies in the north of Mali (consistently failing to mention that this crisis was long in the making and connected to the Western Europeans’ deposing of Libya’s Gaddafi and the silent collusion of Black Africa’s leaders), both the US and Europe are neither horrified nor outraged by events in the Eastern Congo.
The increasingly fascist posture of the sell-outs in occupied/neo-colonial “South Africa”, that is in reality and historically a classical case of financial politicians selling out the heroic people of Azania; the role of rogue terrorist states such as Kagame's Rwanda and Museveni's Uganda; the rape of Nigeria by European and US petroleum pirates; the confusion of the numerically dominant parties in our beloved Ghana; the open and notorious embrace of imperialism by states such as Djibouti and Liberia, the hypocrites in Senegal and elsewhere… and the all assault to wipe out the revolutionary spark in Guinea-Bissau and destroy the PAIGC.
This latter is particularly important because it is the cadres of the PAIGC who have done the most at home to keep the light of Pan-Africanism and the general African Revolution from being extinguished by racist imperialism and neo-colonialism. And now it has become a key target in a war against this sovereign state that has always stood for Pan-Africanism. And remember Guinea-Bissau is being dismembered by the US front agency the United Nations organisation, with the gleeful participation of ECOWAS.
> Re-colonisation of Africa
As the world watches the current crisis in Mali and Algeria unfolds, we are witnessing the militarisation, re-occupation and re-colonisation of Africa by Western powers led by France, with some African co-operation.
By January 13, 2013, after being “petitioned” by Africans to save Mali from total conquest by al-Qaeda forces, the French government underwent a massive military strike operation to stop al-Qaeda advance across Mali and West Africa.
Their halt by French war machine is due to France’s high-tech combat aircrafts and highly trained and tested foreign operation ground force similar to those who invaded Libya and elsewhere.
The NATO troops now in Mali and other parts of Africa are involved in a worldwide and extended war zone from Asia to Africa. To most experts, unlike other nations under EU/NATO and al-Qaeda attacks, Africa is the most vulnerable and the ultimate frontier of wealth to continue empowering white supremacy in the world. The current crop of Africa’s corrupt, cowardly and compliant leaders are working against their own self-interests and have almost sealed the deal for Africa’s conquest by foreigners.
> Serial Destruction
Fellow Africans, we are witnessing an unprecedented serial destruction of Africa with the recent attacks and destruction starting with Ivory Coast (2010), Libya (2011), and Mali (2012).
Other African nations are already under siege, with the great scramble for the re-colonisation of Africa for resources by very powerful but economically desperate nations in the world.
The stage was set in the 1960s with the planned neutralisation of Pan-African leaders across the African world. The serial attacks on Africa are all part of this renewed agenda for the final solution for African people by a unified Europe with some Arab states to ensure that white power “will never set” on the EU/USA empire, fixated on the control of Africa’s resources, to extend their power globally.
On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 1973 to “protect civilians” in the Libyan civil war. Two days later, French Mirages began bombing runs on Muammar Gaddafi's armoured forces and airfields, thus igniting direct intervention by Britain, along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Resolution 1973 did not authorise NATO and its allies to choose sides in the Libyan civil war, just to protect civilians, and many of those who signed on ‑ including Russia and China ‑ assumed that Security Council action would follow standard practice and begin by first exploring a political solution.
But the only kind of “solution” that the anti-Gaddafi alliance was interested in was the kind delivered by 500lb laser-guided bombs.
The day after the French attack, the AU held an emergency session in Mauritania in an effort to stop the fighting.
The AU was deeply worried that, if Libya collapsed without a post-Gaddafi plan in place, it might destabilise other countries in the region. They were particularly concerned that Libya's vast arms storehouse might end up fuelling local wars in other parts of Africa.
However, no one in Washington, Paris or London paid the AU any mind, and seven months after France launched its attacks, Libya imploded into its current status, as a failed state.
Within two months, Tuaregs ‑ armed with Gaddafi's weapons cache ‑ rose up and drove the corrupt and ineffectual Malian army out of Northern Mali.
> Cheap Resources
France has major investments in Niger and Mali. At bottom, this is about Francs (or euros, as it may be). Some 75 percent of France's energy needs come from nuclear power, and a cheap source is its old colonial empire in the region (that besides Mali and Niger included Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Algeria, and the Central African Republic). Most of its nuclear fuel comes from Niger, but Al-Jazeera reports that French uranium, oil and gold companies are lining up to develop northern Mali.
Lest one think that this ‘development’ is good for the locals, consider that, according to the UN's Human Development Index, Niger is the third poorest country in the world. There are other issues as well
> Union Government
It is very important that our people be given the tools to build Pan-Africanism. This means embracing an ideology that is actually intended to facilitate the African Union government model advocated by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and many other true African patriots. If you will recall the numerical majority of the OAU actually voted for Nkrumah's initial proposal for such a government, but certain cliques were able to garner enough votes against Pan-Africanism to prevent the majority decision from being put in place.
This is what Nkrumah had warned would happen when the imperialist created certain states in the period from ‘60-62 that is a deliberate strategy to inundate Africa with bogus “independent” states which would be their appendages inside of Africa… and as he warned these elements plus the treachery of Tanzania, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire were sufficient to blunt the majority position.
Of course, Nkrumah was overthrown by the capitalist world led by the US and their main stooge the UK prior to the next OAU meeting, which was done to prevent any efforts to reintroduce the proposal for Union government.
Thus, as Nkrumah said, the only viable option was/is to fight back against the imperialists on a continental basis backed by the revolutionary forces around the world.
This is the only solution that will work, for as you see, the AU which betrayed Libya's less than ideologically and structurally coherent, but nonetheless, genuine effort to create a united African government and state, will NOT enable or allow any other forces to unite our people into one grand government, as they are what Nkrumah correctly described as financial politicians. What we might call hustlers and pimps on a grand scale and who have no interest in the African people period.
> Racist Exploitation
Africa is riper for Pan-Africanism than ever before. Struggle is a prerequisite for consciousness.
There are very few countries in Africa, which have not seen violent confrontation for political power. The Caribbean has seen, and continues to see, its share of revolts and even in the United States and Britain, the African masses explode time and time again in violent confrontation against racist exploitation.
Everywhere Africans have demonstrated their willingness to confront imperialism “by any means necessary”.
The necessity for real political power is persistently demanded everywhere by the masses.
The understanding that only a unified Africa can give us our fullest power is an article of political faith with our suffering masses.
In spite of all reactionary propaganda to the contrary ‑ in a simple repeated phrase ‑ the consciousness of the masses is rising even higher.
As a result of struggle, Africans worldwide have acquired, through their conscious students, all technical skills to make Africa self-sufficient in the immediate future.
Even reactionary African countries have acquired skills in nation building.
If we do not prepare to fight, we will lose and I mean lose everything.
• Mafa Kwanisai Mafa is a Pan-Africanist activist and writer based at the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org