Divide and Rule
How the West confronts African nationalism
For more than 50 years, African countries have tried to chart their own destiny. More often than not, these efforts have failed as Africans themselves collaborate with Europeans, Americans and Asians in their own under-development.
The tactic employed to keep Africa as a supplier of raw materials to developing countries is generally referred to as “divide and rule”.
In political terms, divide and rule derives from the Latin phrase “divide et impera”, which means a combination of political, military and economic strategies to gain and maintain power by breaking up larger concentrations of it into chunks that individually are weaker and thus easier to manipulate.
It is quite easy to do for rich nations, who can sponsor proxy political parties and even rebel movements who will divide our citizens and thus make it simpler to gain political and economic mastery over them.
Take the example of Mali.
The coup d'état in Mali began when mutinying soldiers – displeased with how the Tuareg rebellion was being handled – attacked several locations in the capital Bamako, including the Presidential Palace, state television, and military barracks.
The soldiers, who said they had formed the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State, declared on March 22, 2012 that they had overthrown the government of Amadou Toumani Touré, forcing him into hiding.
It is not a secret that the coup was followed by “unanimous” international condemnation, sanctions by Mali's neighbours, and the swift loss of northern Mali to Tuareg forces, leading Reuters to describe the coup as “a spectacular own-goal”.
On April 6 last year, the junta agreed with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) negotiators that they would step down in return for an end to the sanctions. They would give power to a transitional government led by Speaker of Parliament Dioncounda Traoré.
In the following days, both Touré and coup leader Amadou Sanogo formally resigned. However, as of May 16, 2012, the junta was still “widely thought to have maintained overall control”.
And the involvement of Western militaries, particularly the French, has made a bad situation worse, for Africa that is.
The divide and rule tactic is used to polarise and marginalise Third World countries so that they can be opened up for the kind of business that the West prefers.
We saw this in Zimbabwe when Britain the US, through organisations like their government-backed Westminster Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy, funded people to overthrow President Robert Mugabe after the revolutionary land reforms that started in 2000.
Over the next years Zimbabwean society was so divided that people killed each other in political violence, with the ultimate aim being President Mugabe must be discredited and overthrown.
It does not matter to the West that so many people die as they pursue their own interests on our land. As Adolf Hitler once reportedly said, “It is not the truth that matters, but victory.”
The US was instrumental in funding Renamo in Mozambique and Unita in Angola. The US did not care that millions of people died in those wars, so long as victory was assured for their economic and political interests.
So no one should be fooled today that the US has suddenly woken up with a conscious and now has our best interests at heart.
To show that America has no conscious and is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve its interests, consider this fact:
The US military has been training members of the dissident Iranian terrorist group MEK in Nevada since 2005. Many of these terrorists have since been sent back into Iran to engage in covert destablisation activities and assassinations.
These facts are contained in an article by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in the April 6, 2013 issue of The New Yorker magazine.
The MEK group was in 1997 designated as a terrorist group by the US State Department but it gets such support from the US government.
This is a model that the US has replicated all over the world since time immemorial and Africans must start familiarising themselves with the true nature of how imperialism works in our lives today.
The best defence Africa has is unity. Without a strong sense of who we are and in the absence of working towards the common purpose of development, we shall continue to be divided and ruled.