Africa

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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Tue Oct 05, 2021 1:32 pm

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The Black Alliance for Peace’s International Month of Action Against AFRICOM aims to raise the public’s awareness about the U.S. military’s existence in Africa, and how the presence of U.S. forces exacerbates violence and instability throughout the continent.

Join us for the launch of the international month of action by attending a webinar on October 1st, titled “AFRICOM at 13: Building the Popular Movement for Demilitarization and Anti-Imperialism in Africa.” Organizers and activists from the African continent and the diaspora will discuss AFRICOM and what we can do to expel imperialist forces from the continent. Following the webinar, events will take place throughout October organized by various organizations on the African continent, in the U.S., and around the world to demand an end to the militarization of Africa.


The United States African Command (AFRICOM) was established October 1, 2008. The purpose of AFRICOM is to use U.S. military power to impose U.S. control of African land, resources and labor to service the needs of U.S. multi-national corporations and the wealthy in the United States.

When AFRICOM was established in the months before Barack Obama assumed office as the first Black President of the United States, a majority of African nations—led by the Pan-Africanist government of Libya—rejected AFRICOM, forcing the new command to instead work out of Europe. But with the U.S. and NATO attack on Libya that led to the destruction of that country and the murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, corrupt African leaders began to allow AFRICOM forces to operate in their countries and establish military-to-military relations with the United States. Today, those efforts have resulted in 46 various forms of U.S. bases as well as military-to-military relations between 53 out of the 54 African countries and the United States. U.S. Special Forces troops now operate in more than a dozen African nations.

We are focusing on AFRICOM as our contribution to the work of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, of which BAP is a founding member.



OUR DEMANDS
The complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa,

The demilitarization of the African continent,

The closure of U.S. bases throughout the world, and

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) oppose U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent, with the full participation of members of U.S. and African civil society.



QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What impact has increased militarization abroad had on U.S. communities? Since 1990, about $6 billion worth of U.S. Department of Defense property has been transferred to local, state, federal and tribal law-enforcement agencies while communities are suffering from austerity cuts. (source: https://www.statista.com/chart/14027/ho ... ment-worth)

What is the connection between the militarization of Africa and the colonized Black and Brown spaces in the United States? Black people domestically are seen as redundant and as a social problem; Africans on the African continent are seen the same way. The result has been a veritable war waged on the Black working class and a general devaluation of all Black life. The war waged against the Black working class within the United States mirrors the war being waged on continental Africans.

Send your questions to info@blackallianceforpeace.com and we will answer them on this page.


GET THE FACTS ON AFRICOM

Download our AFRICOM fact sheet to distribute in your circles.

DOWNLOAD MATERIALS

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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q_Y ... Xsw9Q/edit

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https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mv1 ... sp=sharing

HORN OF AFRICA PAN-AFRICANS FOR LIBERATION AND SOLIDARITY REPORT ON TIGRAY
http://hoapals.org/the-ongoing-war-in-tigray-ethiopia/
WHAT IS AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY?
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yy3 ... sp=sharing


https://blackallianceforpeace.com/usoutofafrica
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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:57 pm

Thousands take to streets as indefinite strike hits South Africa’s engineering sector

The strike is being led by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. The refusal by employers to address the demands for a wage hike is being seen as a betrayal by the workers who had foregone last year’s wage hike to cushion the industry during the COVID-induced lockdown

October 06, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch

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NUMSA workers stage a protest as part of the engineering workers' strike in South Africa. Photo: PanAfricanism Today.

The first day of the indefinite strike in South Africa’s engineering sector on Tuesday, October 6 saw workers in red T-shirts hit the streets in thousands demanding a wage hike. Marches and rallies were witnessed in Kaserne, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

In Johannesburg, thousands marched to the office of the Metals Engineering and Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), where the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) delivered a memorandum to all the employer associations in the sector. Representing 155,000 of the estimated total 300,000 workers in the sector, NUMSA is leading the strike, which is also supported by other unions.

The memorandum states that the National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA), Consolidated Employers Organisation (CEO) and South African Engineers and Founders Association (SAEFA) “refuse to make any offer that can settle this round of negotiations in the interests of their workers who are NUMSA members. Their main target is to bring back apartheid wages where super exploitation of Black and African labor becomes the order of the day.”

It criticizes the “backward and union bashing stance led, in particular, by right-wing conservative employer associations, of which the leading detachment is NEASA, CEO and SAEFA.”

The only employers’ association in the sector that had made an offer before the beginning of the strike was the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA), which has in the past signed agreements with NUMSA.

However, undermined by this backward group of employer associations, SEIFSA has “adopted an opportunistic stance refusing to make a meaningful offer that can resolve this round of negotiations. This is the reason that NUMSA resolved to serve all employer associations with a notice for an indefinite strike,” the memorandum adds.

Workers feel betrayed

NUMSA has been demanding an 8% wage hike for all workers in the sector for the first year of the agreement and Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 2% improvement for the next two years. “If CPI + 2% falls below 6%, employers must offer 6% or re-open negotiations. This will settle negotiations,” said NUMSA secretary Irvin Jim in a press statement on September 28.

“However, SEIFSA, on behalf of employers, made a proposal of a three-year agreement of only 4.4% increase for the first year. They have also offered CPI + 0.5% for the second year, and CPI + 1% for the third year. We have rejected this offer from SEIFSA. We regard it as an insult, especially given the fact that workers in the engineering sector did not get an increase last year,” he said.

NUMSA’s national spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi Majola, explained that in 2020, when the wage negotiations in the engineering sector were supposed to begin, the employers “asked us to sign a stand still agreement.” Workers agreed and forewent the expected wage hike in order to cushion the industry reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So the workers have made huge sacrifices,” she said. “These bosses benefited from the fact that workers did not take a hike last year. And we were expecting that they would (now) give back to the workers and their families but they are refusing to. Workers feel betrayed.”

However, with the beginning of the strike, “SEIFSA has been very eager to meet with us because the strike has had an impact. They want to negotiate,” Majola told Peoples Dispatch. “We hope that when we meet, they will actually give us a meaningful offer. [However] even if we are meeting with employers, we are still on strike until an agreement is in place.”

Derailing centralized collective bargaining

NUMSA has also made it clear in the memorandum that any agreement has to be centralized and binding on all employers in the sector. To thwart such an agreement, some companies are making “unilateral offers” at the level of plants, “while negotiations at the central level were underway,” the union pointed out.

“If any company has an offer to make, it must persuade other companies through its employer associations so that such an offer is made at a centralized bargaining level,” NUMSA’s memorandum states.

It adds that “If conservative employer associations such as NEASA, CEO and SAEFA refuse to sign a settlement agreement that can end the current strike, our message to all reasonable employers is that they must leave their associations and join SEIFSA in their numbers as an association of employers that has consistently negotiated and signed agreements in the past in the best interest of collective bargaining.”

Other demands
Other demands listed in the memorandum include an amendment of Sick Benefit to include 10 days of paternity leave, five days of Family Responsibility Leave, and R1000 (USD 66.67) Underground Allowance for engineers who work below the ground, such as miners. The union further demands either 100% of the transportation cost to work for those employees who will need to travel at odd hours when public transport is not available, or an across-the-board travel allowance of R1000.

NUMSA has also called for the expansion of the Provident Fund to include “insured benefits like a funeral cover for all family members, not just an employee” and for “the dropping/cutting of the Youth Wage Subsidy to Employers as it is only benefiting the bosses who are greedy and not creating any additional jobs for our youth as these subsidies to employers intended to do.

Reiterating that the industrial action will continue till these demands are met, Majola added that from Wednesday onwards, “members will stay home and not report to work, although they may picket the workplaces.”

https://peoplesdispatch.org/2021/10/06/ ... ng-sector/
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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:40 pm

Shell Shocked in Amhara, Ethiopia: “I don't even want to hear the word ‘America’ ”
Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor 06 Oct 2021

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Internally displaced persons in Amhara Region, Ethiopia, 10/2021. Credit: Jemal Countess

A displaced person in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region told photographer and human rights investigator Jemal Countess that he didn’t want to talk to him because he was American and “didn’t even want to hear the word America” because of all the damage America has done in Ethiopia.

On September 17, President Joe Biden issued “Executive Order on Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons With Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia .” The document itself said that the Treasury Department would be able to impose sanctions on “any government entity or political party,” meaning most obviously the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments, which US and allied officialdom, and their stenographic press, have vilified since the first week of November 2020.

That’s when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front attacked an Ethiopian federal army base, and the Ethiopian army had the audacity to respond, even though the TPLF is a longstanding US ally. Cries of “Tigray genocide” appeared on social media the same day.

USAID Chief Samantha Power and friends then launched a crusade for censure, sanctions, maybe even military intervention. The TPLF carried their war from Tigray Region into Amhara Region, but the suffering of the Amhara has not entered the official narrative. I spoke to Jemal Countess, a photographer and human rights investigator on the ground in Amhara.

Ann Garrison: Could you tell us where you are in Ethiopia and what you're doing?

Jemal Countess: I am currently between Gondar and Bahir Dar, the capital of Amhara Region. I am documenting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) situation and interviewing IDPs who have been displaced because of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front invasion and aggression in the Amhara Region.

AG: Are you working for Getty Images? And for the UN? And?

JC: I'm working for Getty Images as a contractor. And I'm also going to be contributing content to several human rights organizations and UN agencies.

AG: And what do you see where you are?

JC: I've been covering IDPs in Ethiopia since the start of this war, over the course of several trips. And what I'm seeing with this trip is widespread trauma. I grew up in an environment that was quasi-military and know a lot of people, especially veterans, who have been through traumatic situations, but I’ve never before seen trauma like what I’ve seen here.

I'm seeing severe trauma in people from young children to adults to the elderly. People are really, beyond shellshocked about being forced to leave their homes, seeing their loved ones being killed, being brutalized in many ways, and having to walk sometimes two to three weeks to get to a safe place. So it's mind boggling. I’ve been a photographer for 30 some years and I’ve seen traumatized people, but this is surreal. People with blank faces and empty eyes, as though there’s nothing further they can see.

AG: And these are largely ethnic Amhara fleeing from the Tigray People's Liberation Front?

JC: Yes, about 95% Amhara. Yesterday I did speak to several Agaw people, whom we might say are Amhara as well, even though the TPLF tried their best to cause division between the different ethnic groups during their 27-year rule of Ethiopia, from 1991 to 2018. The Agaw are an ethnic group within the Amhara ethnic group, and I hope that any Ethiopian readers will kindly forgive me if I'm slightly off on that. But that’s how it’s been explained to me.

AG: And how deeply have the TPLF penetrated Amhara Region since crossing the border from Tigray?

JC: They’ve penetrated Amhara from several fronts, from both Tigray and Afar Region, which they also invaded. They’ve made their way to Welkait and this region I’m in, which is Gondar/North Gondar/Wollo. I don't have a map in front of me, but I can tell you that there's almost like a finger or a bulge that extends out from the Tigray border and encompasses Riah Kobo Lalibela. And I want to say well, readers can correct me if I'm wrong, but it's a significant portion, a narrow bulging-finger-like portion that extends from Tigray into Amhara Region.

AG: Tell us about Lalibela .

JC: I hope most people would know that Lalibela is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s home to 11 rock-hewn churches that were built by King Lalibela in the 12th and 13th centuries, and is known around the world as a major site in the Orthodox Christian and archaeological worlds. It's the place where I started a lot of my research into Eastern religion. It's a place where I met the woman who became my wife. I have several friends in the priesthood and the general populace of Lalibela. And it’s now been occupied by the TPLF for months.

AG: It seems like the TPLF may be using Lalibela, this precious World Heritage Site, sort of like human shields, because the Ethiopian Defense Forces won't want to fire on them there and risk damaging the churches.

JC: Yes, well, it's a multifaceted situation. I'm basing my information about that on two separate interviews with IDPs from Lalibela. When the TPLF entered Lalibela, at first they attempted to install mortars on the grounds of the churches, which would have given them a tactical advantage because the churches are underground, below the mountain level that they were carved out of. So the TPLF would have been able to fire from sunken defensive positions.

The priest of the churches argued against that, and actually four young men died in a series of arguments at a church called Biete Medhani Alem , which is the largest of the rock-hewn churches. So the TPLF relocated the mortars, and then later the heavy artillery, to areas adjacent to the churches. But even best the most precise military strikes would still cause significant damage to the grounds around the churches, if not the churches themselves. Anyone who's familiar with Lalibela will also understand that the first church built by King Lalibela is in a mountain called Asheton Mariam with two other churches. The TPLF have fortified that mountain peak, which basically gives you at least a 10-mile range of visibility over the entire area. So Asheton Mariam is fortified. They fortified the areas around the churches. They've even fortified the Na'akuto La'ab Monastery, which is on the road leading into Lalibela.

The family I spoke to yesterday said that there were heavy machine guns at Na'akuto La'ab Monastery, which is one of the most cherished monasteries in the region.

In addition to that, when the TPLF entered Lalibela, in typical fashion, they were preceded by their child soldiers, children ages 13 to 15, then the regular cadre, and then another group of individuals who were responsible primarily for taking looted items back to Tigray.

AG: Items looted from the churches?

JC: Items looted from the town of Lalibela. They told the world, “We're just here as a peaceful occupation.” But according to the witnesses that I interviewed, they took ambulances, medical supplies, and money. They looted the banks, they looted local government buildings. Whatever they did not loot, they burned and destroyed.

And food resources have been allocated to the TPLF. Civilians who didn’t flee get the crumbs of what's left, if they get that.

AG: You mean the crumbs of what's left of the food aid coming in on these UN World Food Program trucks?

JC: There's no food aid getting into Lalibela because Lalibela is occupied. Lalibela is being turned into a fortress.

AG: So what about the massive flatbed food aid trucks going into Tigray? That story is bizarre. Of the 466 that went into Tigray, 428 reportedly disappeared, and the UN says they don't know where they are.

JC: Yeah, now we're stepping onto this volatile ground about just who's complicit, who’s aiding and abetting the TPLF war efforts.

Over 460 food trucks, massive flatbed trucks go into Tigray, and 38 come out?

And the UN says they don't know where they are? In the age of satellite tracking and GPS, nobody knows where they or the drivers are?

Then, on the flip side, we do see these military offensives being conducted by the TPLF, where they are ferrying huge numbers of troops to the battlefronts. Is that a coincidence? Or by design? Or who knows? I'll leave it up to you and your readers.

AG: What about the seven UN aid workers who were expelled this week? That was all over the western press too.

JC: Well, a good amount of information has been made available on social media as to some of the behaviors of the seven individuals. I saw a government press release saying they were expelled for aiding and abetting the TPLF war effort and disseminating false information.

I actually read one of the Twitter posts of one of the men who was expelled and he stated that the Ethiopian government attacked the Tigrayan government to remove it, and then the Tigray government responded by attacking the Northern Command, and I think anybody who knows the situation knows that is completely false.

It's a cold lie. We all know that the Northern Command attacks started on November 3 and November 4, and the TPLF claimed they were a preemptive strike. The TPLF actually admitted that. Those individuals who were expelled were less than honest about their TPLF loyalties. They may even have been members of the TPLF.

AG: Okay, how many IDPs would you say there are there in the region where you are?

JC: Right now I am working amongst scattered camps containing up to 300,000 IDPs, in the Wollo Region. Wollo Dessay, the region just to the east of me has the lion's share of IDPs from this conflict in Amhara Region. And those numbers combined with the numbers in my region are reaching just about a million.

But the world isn’t hearing anything about this because of the relationship the TPLF has with the Western establishment and Western media and the network that the TPLF established when they were in power.

AG: And what would you say the story is?

JC: The story is a million people traumatized and confused not only by war but also by the vitriol coming from the West. I was in an IDP camp yesterday, and I was documenting an aid organization, a local aid organization feeding people at this IDP camp. And when one guy heard that I was American, he said, “I don't want to talk to him.” And so my escorts had to explain that no, I was there to help, to talk about the IDP situation, that I was basically a neutral, objective journalist.

Then the guy opened up to me, after we talked him off the ledge. But he basically said, “I don't even want to hear the word America, because Americans have done so much damage to this situation and you have aided and abetted the TPLF. We lived under the TPL for 27 years. We saw them commit atrocities, and disappear two million Amhara. We saw them create this ethnic apartheid system. And the Americans want to maintain that relationship and see them return to power.”

The US trained TPLF troops and empowered them because President Meles Zenawi promised to be their ally during the War on Terror. Then the US turned a blind eye when Meles used their resources to destroy and subjugate anyone in Ethiopia who was not ethnic Tigrayan.

AG: Is there anything else you'd like to say?

JC: I would like to ask people to educate themselves on the situation in Ethiopia, to educate themselves as to who the TPLF actually are. Take it from me--someone who has been to Mai Kadra, who has been to Humera, who lived in Ethiopia for years during the TPLF tyranny, who saw the transition to the Abiy government--when I say the TPLF is a maniacal and diabolical group with tight control over the narrative, because of its media network, with partners inside and outside Ethiopia.

AG: Okay, and just to be totally straightforward, you are from Brooklyn, right?

JC: I’m originally from Baltimore, but I lived in Brooklyn for 20 some years, while I was doing research for a book I was writing. I went to Lalibela in 2013, and that's when I met most of the people who are my friends now, and the woman who became my wife. She is ethnic Oromo and Amhara, and our children are ethnic Oromo, Amhara, and Baltimorean. We are a multi-ethnic family.

I have a cousin who lives in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital, whom I actually went to see when I was able to go there in June. Ethiopians are by and large mixed people: Oromo Amhara, Amhara Tigrayan, Oromo Tigrayan, Gambella Amhara, and so forth.

This whole ethnic-based identity promoted by the TPLF is completely destructive. My allegiance is to God first and to human rights and justice for everyone. I just want to see justice in Ethiopia for Ethiopians.

AG: Okay. Jemal Countess, thank you for speaking to Black Agenda Report.

JC: Thanks for having me.

https://www.blackagendareport.com/shell ... rd-america
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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:18 pm

AFRICOM: An Extension of U.S.-European Colonialism and Genocide

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on OCTOBER 8, 2021
Gloria Verdieu and John Parker

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Protesters in Accra, Ghana, demonstrated against AFRICOM expansion in 2018.

In 2007, the George W. Bush administration inaugurated the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) to further the influence of the U.S. and extend its military reach directly into Africa. AFRICOM, however, wasn’t officially established in Africa, with its expanded troop presence and unprecedented use of drones on the continent, until Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.

This Oct. 1, the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) hosted a webinar titled “AFRICOM at 13: Building the Popular Movement for Demilitarization and Anti-Imperialism in Africa.” The event featured voices rarely heard in the U.S., from countries most affected by AFRICOM, including internationally-known activists for liberation and those representing the growing movement on the continent against AFRICOM.

The program started with a film by BAP exposing the imperialist aims of AFRICOM and its yearly price tag of $2 billion in Africa alone.

Guest speakers exposed the other resources required for AFRICOM’s maintenance: the cost of peoples’ sovereignty and right to self-government, in addition to the cost of inflaming humanitarian crises.

This webinar was part of a month-long effort by the Black Alliance for Peace to educate and advocate for these demands: the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa; the demilitarization of the African continent; the closure of U.S. bases throughout the world; and that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) oppose AFRICOM and support hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent.

‘To dominate and exploit us’

Imani Na Umoja is a member of the Central Committee of the African Party of Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, the largest political party in Guinea-Bissau, which participated in its armed struggle for independence from Portugal. Umoja spoke about AFRICOM’s major role in the recent coups on the continent to ensure resources for U.S. imperialism and deny its peoples’ right to self-determination.

U.S. claims of promoting democracy are the exact opposite in its deeds.

“The agreements are so horrendous it makes me sick, and should make anyone sick,” said Kwesi Pratt Jr., a journalist and general secretary of the Socialist Movement of Ghana. He was referring to the establishment of U.S. bases in Ghana and agreements signed by the government that allow U.S. forces more immunity, freedom of movement and secrecy than its own citizens, diplomats or even the president of the country, “simply by showing their U.S. ID cards.”

Pratt said that the agreements do not allow anyone to question what the U.S. forces bring into or take out of the country. “The U.S. Army can use our resources for free … the agreement was signed to dominate and exploit us.”

Irene Asuwa of the Revolutionary Socialist League of Kenya spoke further on AFRICOM’s domestic cost to her people. “The war on terror is an excuse to kidnap people,” she said, explaining the heightened profiling of Somali peoples in Kenya. “In less than 12 hours they are taken into court and sentenced as terrorists with no lawyer, then taken away.”

Asuwa also spoke about the refugee crisis that was exacerbated by AFRICOM’s insistence that refugee camps be closed. This reality belies the false claim that AFRICOM is involved in solving humanitarian crises on the continent, rather than being one of the major causes of those crises — in spite of the well-polished public relations efforts touted on the organization’s official website.

The speakers helped bring to life what award-winning journalist Nick Turse, who exposed the unreported buildup of AFRICOM in 2008, wrote for the Intercept in February 2020: “Since 9/11, the U.S. military has built a sprawling network of outposts in more than a dozen African countries. … During testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee late last month, Stephen Townsend, the commander of AFRICOM, echoed a line favored by his predecessors that AFRICOM maintains a ‘light and relatively low-cost footprint’ on the continent.

“This ‘light’ footprint consists of a constellation of more than two dozen outposts that stretch from one side of Africa to the other. The 2019 planning documents provide locations for 29 bases located in 15 different countries or territories, with the highest concentrations in the Sahelian states on the west side of the continent, as well as the Horn of Africa in the east.”

That so-called “light footprint” has had the effect of increasing, not decreasing terrorist activity.

U.S. presence promotes terrorism

Turse continues: “Violent extremism and insecurity on the continent has increased exponentially during the very years that the U.S. has been building up its network of bases.”

This buildup includes “persistent counterterrorism operations that include commando raids, combat by U.S. Special Operations forces in at least 13 African countries between 2013 and 2017, and a record number of U.S. airstrikes in Somalia (just over one attack per week in 2019),” he wrote.

The result: “There are now roughly 25 active militant Islamist groups operating in Africa, up from just five in 2010 — a jump of 400% — according to the Defense Department’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies. Militant Islamist activity also hit record levels in 2019. There were 3,471 reported violent events linked to these groups last year, a 1,105% increase since 2009…

“The situation has become so grim that U.S. military aims in West Africa have recently been scaled back from a strategy of degrading the strength and reach of terror groups to nothing more than ‘containment.’”

This also echoes a 2017 United Nations report called “Journey to Extremism in Africa,” which states that government actions of repression, including increased drone killings, killings of family members, jailings and repression are the main motivation for recruitment into extremist organizations.

Many studies have also correlated the lack of food and basic necessities of life as the greatest cause of internal conflict. The U.N. report makes that point with a quote from Secretary-General António Guterres: “I am convinced that the creation of open, equitable, inclusive and pluralist societies, based on the full respect of human rights and with economic opportunities for all, represents the most tangible and meaningful alternative to violent extremism.”

In 2018 the U.N. also reported that it would take just $175 billion per year for 20 years to eradicate poverty, not only on the entire continent of Africa, but the entire world. That’s just 17% of the U.S. yearly military spending of nearly $1 trillion (the total expense is more than the defense budget).

So the money supposedly spent on fighting terrorism — which actually acts as a recruitment agent for folks joining extremist organizations — could be spent to actually end the conditions that create these extremist organizations. And it would have the added benefit of removing the greatest source of terrorism on the continent, the U.S. military.

So why isn’t that happening?

Profits before people

The fact is that AFRICOM’s “war on terror,” in addition to being a vital tool for U.S. imperialism, is also a self-perpetuating money machine for the ruling class – a huge bonanza for the military-industrial complex and the politicians and corporations who directly or indirectly benefit from it.

As Turse stated in his article on AFRICOM expansion, “The U.S. has been building up its network of bases, providing billions of dollars in security assistance to local partners.”

As many of the webinar speakers pointed out, the primary goal of AFRICOM is to ensure the continued theft of resources by the U.S. and its allies and to maintain U.S. military dominance on the continent.

“In 2007 to 2009, a discovery of oil on the Congo and Uganda border of 1.7 billion barrels brought heavy militarization and oil conglomerates and then, in 2012, Obama announces troops [being dispatched] to capture Joseph Kony (leader of a small rebel grouping), although he hadn’t been in Uganda for almost six years,” said Salome Ayuak, a member of BAP and Horn of Africa Pan-Africans for Liberation and Solidarity.

Ayuak also explained that one-third of permanent and semi-permanent AFRICOM bases reside in the Horn of Africa, reflecting the strategic importance of its waterways for trade and oil exploration. “We must look at AFRICOM through a materialist lens to see the long history of its policing in African states,” she stated.

“AFRICOM is linked with the history of exploitation and slavery and is part of NATO. It must [also] be seen as part of British, French and other imperialist countries’ armed forces,” stated Kwesi Pratt Jr.

He mentioned that this history and the military backing of imperialism created the situation where Ghana’s currency drops despite the country’s position as fifth in the world in gold production. The country receives only 3% of the interest and 2% of the revenue produced from gold mining.

Militarism or mutual assistance?

Kambale Musavuli, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo and national spokesperson for Friends of the Congo, stated: “The U.S. has been engaged in the DRC since 1885. It was the first country to recognize the Congo as the personal property of King Leopold [Belgian monarch who committed the most horrendous atrocities against the native population, killing more than 10 million, in the exploitation of their labor for rubber production and export]. The U.S. used the relationship built with Leopold to get the uranium from the DRC used to bomb Hiroshima in 1945.”

And in a further example of war crimes and genocide, Musavuli explained the role of the U.S. and its AFRICOM partners in the 1996 and 1998 invasions of the Congo by Rwanda and Uganda — causing the deaths of over 6 million Congolese.

This was followed by a huge extraction of mineral wealth essential for phones and computers. “Most of us have devices that use those minerals,” he noted.

Musavuli also contrasted the approach of U.S. militarism to China’s mutual assistance in the race for cobalt and coltan, minerals primarily found in the Congo. “While the Chinese sent foreign ministers in the middle of the pandemic to forgive loans and discuss needed development programs, two weeks later [U.S.] soldiers showed up to meet local officials and sign military agreements.

“Then, this past summer, we see a group of American special forces in the Congo after leaving Afghanistan, supposedly going after ISIS … The U.S. today says the DRC has ISIS, when every local person knows we don’t.”

What is to be done? Maybe Kwesi Pratt Jr. of Ghana should answer that:

“All of these atrocities would not be possible if the power was in the hands of working people in Africa. So our task first and foremost is to make sure power resides in the hands of working people, to make sure that the revolutionary forces control power, that neocolonial regimes are defeated, and we move away from neocolonialist capitalism …

“Only under the banner of socialism can we stop all these enemy forces – we are in danger otherwise.”

Which means we in the U.S. have to work towards exposing and dismantling AFRICOM, the Pentagon and capitalism here in the belly of the beast – which requires principled unity, solidarity and struggle – just as our comrades in Africa are determined to keep pushing forward.

You can reach the Black Alliance for Peace at blackallianceforpeace.com.

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2021/10/ ... -genocide/

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Sudan’s Hijacked Revolution: It’s Not Over!

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on OCTOBER 8, 2021
Hussam AbdelKareem

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The new wave of demonstrations in Sudan: On September 30, tens of thousands of Sudanese took to the streets in Khartoum calling for democracy and civilian state and chanting against the military leaders who control the government through the “Sovereignty Council”.

Sudan’s revolution was remarkable. It was 111 days of persistent acts of public protests, strikes, and demonstrations between December 20, 2018, and April 11, 2019 lead by a very brave and young revolutionary generation, both men and women, of Sudanese who finally succeeded in defeating the old dictator Omar El-Bashir. Despite the brutality of El-Bashir’s security apparatus that left hundreds of protesters dead, the young revolutionary activists managed to maintain the peacefulness of their movements which proved to be decisive in obtaining public support that lead to the eventual collapse of the dictator who was in power since three decades.

However, it soon became clear that the glorious revolution was “hijacked” by a triangle of powers that apparently made a power-sharing deal to take over the country while excluding the real force that lead the change: the young revolutionary generation! Although the anti-El-Bashir youth movements were supported by Sudan’s “Professionals Association”, it could hardly be said that the revolution was well–organized or centrally lead or directed. It remained without a known or charismatic “leader” who can claim to represent the masses that contributed to the revolution. That fact made it possible for opportunists and remnants of the old regime to “hijack” it.

The first and most important side of this triangle is the military. The generals who served under El-Bashir for decades decided to step in and prevent the total collapse of the old regime and thus the emergence of a truly new and democratic regime lead by young revolutionaries. Notable from the generals was Mohamad Hamdan Daglo, known as “Hemeedaty”, who was the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Force “RSF” that was established and launched by El-Bashir to fight against the opposition movement in Darfour province in 2003 and after. The RSF, better known as “Janjaweed”, is accused by the international justice of indiscriminate killings and horrible war crimes in Darfour (estimates are that over 300 thousand people were killed and two million more displaced). Hemeedaty- holding now the position of “Deputy Chairman” of the “Sovereignty Council” which rules Sudan in the post-El-Bashir era was El-Bashir’s strong arm and enjoyed unparalleled influence in the country including the gold mining and export business.

The second side is a group of western-educated bureaucrats who served in the UN, the World Bank and other international organizations. Abdalla Hamdok, who spent the last 32 years outside Sudan, was brought in to head the transitional government and thus to give a “civilian” face of post-El-Bashir Sudan. With his background, Hamdok’s mission is simply to lead Sudan to full compliance with the standards of the International Monetary Fund and other USA-controlled international financial organizations.

The third side of the triangle is the old-fashioned elite of Sudan’s traditional parties. Maryam El-Mahdi, daughter of the old Imam Al-Sadik El-Mahdi of Al Umma party, became the Foreign Minister of the transitional government. El-Mahdi’s appointment was obviously intended to show the country’s “public support” to the new political arrangements. Al Umma party, although deeply rooted in Sudan’s recent history, has practically stagnated over the past few decades and can hardly claim any touch with Sudan’s emerging youth generation.

The military leaders who have the upper hand in Sudan today knew very well that they could not survive without obtaining the vital foreign support to keep them in power. So they moved in two directions: the USA and the oil-rich Gulf States. First, they declared Sudan’s acceptance of moral and legal responsibility for the attacks on US embassies in Eastern Africa in 1998 which were carried out by Bin Ladin’s Al Qaeda organization. They even made Sudan (the poor nation who’s practically cash-deprived) actually pay $335 million to the US as “compensation settlement”! Then they announced Sudan’s readiness to join the “normalization with Israel” circus known as “Abraham Accords” and lead by UAE. The Chairman of the ‘Sovereignty Council”, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, met with Israeli PM Netanyahu and then in October 2020 it was announced that Sudan has formally reached a “normalization agreement” with “Israel”. Donald Trump and the Zionist lobby in the US were so pleased with Sudan’s generals and, in return, Sudan’s name was removed from the US black list of “states sponsoring terror” and thus opening the door for restoring Sudan’s eligibility for getting loans and financial aid from the World Bank.

The war in Yemen is another foreign policy matter that Sudan’s generals are keen to utilize as a tool for getting financial support. The old dictator, El-Bashir, was quick to join the Saudi war campaign in Yemen in 2015. He agreed to send thousands of Sudanese troops to the war zones there (estimates ranging between 15 and 30 thousand soldiers). Obviously, El-Bashir received large sums of money for his contribution (during his trial appearance, it was revealed that El-Bashir personally received bags loaded with US dollars cash from Saudi delegates). Since there are no political or economic hostilities between Sudan and Yemen, the Sudanese troops fighting in Yemen were widely perceived as mercenaries. On December 28, 2018, the New York Times published an important report on Yemen titled “On The Front Line Of Saudi War In Yemen: Child Soldiers From Darfour” which revealed horrible facts about recruiting children from Darfour province and dispatching them to Yemen’s war fronts by General Hemeedaty. The report said that 40% of Sudanese troops sent to Yemen were between 14 to 17 years old! Therefore it was understandable that the withdrawal of troops from Yemen was one of the Sudanese revolution’s demands. With this background, the civilian head of transitional government, Abdalla Hamdok, announced on December 9, 2019, that Sudan is reducing its military presence in Yemen from 15 to 5 thousand soldiers. However, it is almost certain that Hamdok has no say at all in military matters or arrangements. On July 22, 2021, Ansaru Allah in Yemen (known as the Houthis) announced they killed and captured a large number of Sudanese soldiers during military operations in the Saudi-Yemen border areas. It seems certain that the Sudanese generals are maintaining their active troop’s presence in Yemeni fronts to please their Saudi backers, against the will of the vast majority of Sudanese.

After securing the political cover from the US and the financial support from Saudi Arabia and UAE, Sudan’s generals felt they are in a strong position to sit comfortably in power and even tighten their grip on the decision making in the country while leaving the ‘civilian’ transitional government to be blamed for the economic mess and bad conditions in the country. Hamdok’s government failed miserably so far: inflation rate reached record figures last April (300%), Sudan’s currency “pound” lost 85% of its value, foreign currency can hardly be found in the market, price of fuel and bread increased significantly, and severe shortage in electricity supply was imposed to the public. No economic improvement has been noticed, no new projects launched, nothing real has happened to give people hope. Normalization of relations with “Israel”, total obedience to US orders, full adherence to World Bank instructions… all that has been “sold” to the public on the basis that it will bring prosperity and solutions to the country’s problems. That has been proved false and people are realizing, by every passing day, that it’s all illusions and tongue business.

On September 25, demonstrations started in the Eastern provinces in Sudan (the Red Sea and Al-Ghadaref) where protestors even shut down the Port, Sudan’s airport, and export oil lines. On September 30, large-scale demonstrations took place in Khartoum where tens of thousands took to the streets blaming the military control over the country and shouting “Madaniya Madaniya” which is Arabic for “Civilian”. The spirit of revolution in Sudan has not faded out, and its current rulers should expect tougher times to come.

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2021/10/ ... -not-over/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:52 pm

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The Return of Coups in Africa: Is this a Footprint of Neo-Colonialism in the Continent?
October 11, 2021
By Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza – Oct 7, 2021

For African democracy (and the perceived lack thereof), coups d’état have constituted perennial notoriety that has not portended an organic molding of contextual African democracy in the postcolonial era. Coups in Africa (particularly since the 1960s) have fortified stereotypes of poverty, poor governance, and a savior mentality as watered down from Western media’s problematic and arrogant coverage of African political events.

tThe turn of the millennium has registered fewer successful military takeovers (as well as unsuccessful attempts) in African countries as contrasted with the 20th century — and this is attributable to the [rather undemocratic] introduction of a strand of liberal democracy predicated on multi-party politics.

This strand of democracy, which Africa grapples with, was dictated to the continent by the gatekeepers of private capital — the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — through structural conditions as part of debt packages throughout the 1990s particularly.

These structural conditions stressed “good governance” and “democracy” as conditions for acquiring World Bank and IMF loans. This attempted to avert the mania of coups that had gripped the continent in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

Neocolonialism was thus entrenched by this phenomenon, cementing the fragmentations and dependencies that had been kept intact by former colonial powers ever since the dawn of political independence.

In the 20th century, neocolonial interests played an ineluctable role in orchestrating military takeovers — notable examples are Burkina Faso (with the assassination of Thomas Sankara) and Ghana (the toppling of Kwame Nkrumah). Nkrumah and Sankara, in their respective contexts, were acutely aware of the lethal effects of not attaining self-sufficiency and economic sovereignty as regards the political economy. Because of that, private capital from the global north financed the coups they fell to.

In the 21st century context of postcolonial Africa, the wave of coups in Africa (even on a lower note than the 20th century) is conspicuous. Key examples stand out — Mali, Chad, Niger, Zimbabwe, and Sudan. But the recent case of Guinea where former long-serving president Alpha Condé was unceremoniously ousted from power by a swift military takeover against the backdrop of mass discontent has recapitulated the notion of Africa being the hotbed of military coups.

Expectedly, mainstream Western media vociferously covers such coups for global consumption, but it glosses over inescapable historical contexts and nuances — and in a classical disingenuous manner, mainstream Western media (coupled with the swift and ephemeral social media platforms where attention matters more than explanation) ignores the West’s and the East’s roles in perpetuating neocolonial domination on the continent to feed complex webs of geopolitical interests and hegemonies.

Instead, global commercial media giants push the narratives that coups are peculiar to Africa because of conflict, poverty, poor leadership, and corruption. But neocolonial interests played a role in the 1953 Iran coup (where Mossadegh sought to nationalize oil) and the 1973 coup in Chile (where Socialist leader Allende sought to drive away foreign private capital).

The implicit connotation is that coups – deemed a failure to adhere to Western-style democracy that appeases billions of dollars in terms of global capital – are in need of “civilizing,” with such paternalistic and savior-mentality approaches being vestiges of imperial colonial domination.

This implicit connotation is hidden via the cloak of “good governance” — wittingly, and unwittingly, this furthers neocolonialism because former colonial powers maintain their interventionist attitudes in Africa to promote the said good governance and good leadership. Unavoidable from this neocolonial matrix are China and Russia; even though the former operates in Africa under the pretext of “non-intervention” towards a state’s sovereignty.

The proximate cause of the coup in Guinea, led by youthful Special Forces Commander Col. Mamady Doumbouya, can be traced to the contentious third-term served by Alpha Conde in which he presided over an ailing economy exacerbated by endemic corruption — and the neoliberal failings of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Guinea coup was the third in West Africa this year (the others being Mali and Chad). Democratic improvements of the 1990s have been superficial as leaders seek to retain the power to maintain proximity to capital as they accumulate unfettered wealth while the majority are without the basics of life.

France initially backed Conde, but after his controversial extension of the presidential limit (and a disputed electoral victory in 2020) France renounced its support, leaving China, Russia, and Turkey as his key allies. Reports of the American military training the elite special forces unit that orchestrated the coup surfaced soon after the President had been stripped of his powers — American Green Berets reportedly trained about 100 soldiers comprising of the elite unit led by Col. Doumbouya since mid-July 2021. Col. Doumbouya once served in the French Foreign Legion. The U.S. government officially denounced the coup (and attendant to this is a cut in foreign aid) but the double standards are hard to ignore.

It is hard to place a textbook definition of coups – in November 2017, the military in Zimbabwe categorically denied that it was a coup d’état, as they were “targeting the enemies around the president”. Col. Doumbouya drew a veneer of legitimacy by declaring, “the duty of a soldier is to save the country”. But where a number of foreign powers are involved as mentioned above this statement is incendiary towards the instability ravaging West Africa — the situation is more precarious in the wake of the coups in Mali (August 2020 and May 2021) and Chad (April 2021).

The incessant interventionist mania by foreign powers, coupled with the spineless outlook of the African Union does not bode well for Africa’s security and sovereignty. Military governments — save where they are rooted in the popular movements of the masses and ensconced in ideology (as with Sankara in Burkina Faso and how he vehemently rejected foreign aid) — are concerned with entrenching their private capital, and that of foreign powers. When people oppose this, a reign of terror is unleashed. Africa needs to extricate itself from the dependency of the global neocolonial hegemony that allows foreign powers (chiefly the U.S., France, Russia, and China) to set up military bases in African countries.

While coups have been on a downward trend, the recent surge as noticeable in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Mali, Chad, and recently Guinea cannot be allowed to stand. Regional bodies such as the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), anchored by the AU, should thwart foreign influences to create organic and people-centered democratic movements.

The trend in coups vindicates the assertion that a neocolonial footprint is becoming frighteningly ferocious — maybe much despicable than the numerous coups that Nigeria and Ghana experienced in the 20th century. Power-seeking militaries (abetted by neocolonial private capital) abuse the lack of support by people towards autocratic leaders for their populist gains, while sacrificing stability. The bottom-line nonetheless is that military coups should never be condoned.

https://orinocotribune.com/the-return-o ... continent/

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The photo shows an oil spill from an abandoned Shell Petroleum Development Company in Olobiri, Niger Delta (Ed Kashi, 2004). The image is taken from the cover of Wengraf’s book.
Extracting Profits – imperialism, climate change and resistance in Africa
Originally published: ROAPE (Review of African Political Economy) by Lee Wengraf (October 7, 2021 ) | - Posted Oct 09, 2021
Environment, Imperialism, State Repression, StrategyAfricaNewswire
In an extract from the preface of the African edition of her book, Extracting Profit: Imperialism, Neoliberalism and the New Scramble for Africa, ROAPE’s Lee Wengraf writes about the failure of the system we live under to resolve the crises it produces, and the centrality of resistance to build an alternative to capitalism in Africa and worldwide.

2018 seems like a lifetime ago. When Extracting Profit came out that year, the COVID-19 pandemic was two years away. Since then, the world has been plunged into a devastating crisis, with 4.5 million lives lost globally, including close to 200,000 reported deaths on the African continent. The depths of loss and destruction have been immense, both in human and social terms. The overall theme of the book, however, remains the same: the failure of the system we live under to resolve the crises it produces, and the centrality of resistance to build an alternative to capitalism in Africa and worldwide. A number of trends have become more pronounced in the context of a pandemic in the neoliberal era. African economies heavily reliant on oil and other commodities were thrown into recession as the world economy ground to a halt; the inequality of access to healthcare, jobs and services has only accelerated under a system of global vaccine apartheid; and, finally, the fall-out has produced a new round of indebtedness among African nations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as G20 nations including China who holds the largest percent of bilateral African debt. Some older debt payments have been rescheduled but only a tiny portion have been forgiven. The economic pain is sure to reverberate well into the future as African governments turn to budget cuts when loans come due.

Within the span of the pandemic to date, the economic volatility experienced by oil producing countries has seesawed at lightning speed. By mid-2020, global oil prices had fallen into negative territory when a significant drop in demand led to a glut in supply. The gross domestic product (GDP) of many oil-producing nations in Africa crashed to levels not seen in years. Countries such as Nigeria imposed brutal cuts and retrenchments on workers. According to the IMF, the country’s GDP shrunk in 2020 by 1.8%, with predictions of a 2.5% growth in 2021. Since that time, oil has “re-bounded”: as of August, 2021, the price of Brent crude had climbed back to $65 per barrel. Yet the IMF does not expect most African countries to return to pre-pandemic per capita income levels until 2025.

African economies are unevenly integrated into the global system, meaning that the centers of capital accumulation primarily lie elsewhere. The deeply unequal global distribution of Covid vaccines mirrors this unevenness: the lack of access to vaccines across the Global South has been nothing short of criminal. By late summer 2021, when countries in the Global North began rolling out plans for booster shots, only about 24 million people in Africa, just 1.7% of the population, were fully vaccinated. Activists are now re-visiting the lessons of successful struggles for full access to generic HIV drugs such as South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), demanding an end to Covid vaccine patents and free healthcare for all.

*

The pandemic has erupted at a moment of climate emergency. The inextricable connection between fossil fuels and environment-destroying extraction has been well-established for decades but the crisis has unfolded since 2018 at a breath-taking pace. Sites of extraction have devastated communities across the continent, from gas flaring and oil spills to ground-water and soil contamination. In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a stunning warning that the globe is approaching permanent, irreparable harm, and that a major structural intervention is the only hope to avoid disaster. The evidence for these conditions has never been in short supply in Africa, as elsewhere: the Amazon Basin, now a net emitter of carbon dioxide; unprecedented levels of hazardous weather conditions, from flooding to fires; and the frightening rise in global temperatures.

The scale of the crisis has become so massive that capital and the ruling class are now compelled to grapple with the problem. Fossil fuel producers and political leaders have set targets for reduced emissions. But to date, globally, the proposed “solutions” are limited to the same market-based framework of carbon off-sets: machinations which provide a way to maintain fossil fuel production under the guise of “net zero.” Shell, for example, plans on growing its gas business by 20% over the next five years despite its declared emissions targets. That fossil fuel industries are even contemplating emissions curbs is a testament to the power of the global climate movement who have long demanded a just transition to truly sustainable resources. Yet activists have rightly denounced the non-solutions on offer as greenwashing distortions by the oil industry.

A new race for these so-called green investments is escalating, fueling competition between oil and gas companies aiming to diversify their portfolios. In early 2021, corporations such as BP and Total spent unprecedented amounts to lease offshore wind projects. The same dynamic is unfolding with other products such as water and solar-based energy supplies. Unsurprisingly, oil and gas companies are not exiting the world stage quietly. The scale of their investment in a polluting industry is just too large. The world’s largest banks have provided $3.8tn to fossil fuel companies since the signing of the Paris agreement in 2015. In a highly competitive “green” future, these corporations are relying on their climate-destroying businesses to fund the inevitable and costly “transition” to a more sustainable, albeit market-based, one. And much as the prices of primary commodities like oil are subject to the boom and bust cycles of the unplanned and unregulated market under capitalism, today there’s a glut in renewable technologies. The over-supply in the renewables industry will inevitably face the same contradictions as fossil fuels: the same cycles of declining profitability, collapse, and job loss.

African nations are among the least prepared for a shift to renewables because of the scale of the investment required and fossil fuel-producing states in Africa are heavily reliant on those exports for revenue; nations such as Angola, Nigeria and South Sudan rely on oil for almost 100% of their foreign exchange earnings. Yet according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the African continent represents the most dire need with regards to access to electricity: they project that by 2030, up to 650 million people–80% of the global total–will not have access.

The contradictions of sustaining fossil fuel-based economies in an evolving climate crisis have compelled an array of what environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey has called “techno-fixes”: so-called “clean” geoengineering technologies representing innovation and industrial growth in some African nations. Yet a strategy that seeks “value adds” in environment-destroying industries places economic growth on a collision course with any possibility of a sustainable transition. As activists and critics of extraction-based economies have long pointed out, “green” strategies cannot be merely layered upon destructive industries; the underlying basis of the economy must be undone in its entirety, and quickly.

*

In May 2021, the IEA made a stunning announcement: in their report Net Zero by 2050, they declared that to realize this goal, all fossil fuel projects must cease by 2021. For the energy body to issue such a warning underscored the accelerated reckoning confronting the oil and gas industry. But for the Global South in particular, as Namibian activist Ina-Maria Shikongo has pointed out, the framework of “net zero” grants a cover to corporate practices to pollute still further. The dynamics of colonial and post-colonial state-building in Africa tended to produce nations with a weak regulatory environment, reinforced with structural adjustment conditionalities imposing privatization and liberalization. At a moment when fossil fuel production is under fire, high profile extraction projects in Africa are making headway, seemingly beyond the glare of regulatory scrutiny. Harmful exploratory drilling is currently underway in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Okavango spanning Namibia and Botswana, threatening to displace the San indigenous people and the area’s extensive wildlife. The French oil giant Total along with the Chinese state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation are building the controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline through regions of Tanzania and Uganda rich in biodiversity.

As Shikongo suggests, the growing pressures towards tighter corporate emissions standards beg the question of whether their “carbon footprints” will be exported to Africa and elsewhere in the Global South. In many ways, this is not a new development: studies have shown that the continent has long been a dumping ground for pollution from the Global North. As oil prices experience a new boom and consumption surges relative to a decade ago–the pandemic-driven price volatility notwithstanding–pressures to hold onto fossil fuel investments will continue, intensified by the cost of transitioning to sustainable technologies that will run into the trillions of dollars. The political leaders of poor nations like Namibia–currently without any onshore oil extraction–will be compelled to navigate the tension between their own environmental commitments and the revenue-generating opportunities drilling offers.

The “new scramble for Africa” of the twenty-first century has been a rush for fossil fuels: oil, minerals and natural gas. With an accelerating turn to sustainable energy sources, the global race for raw materials used in clean energy is on, many of which are plentiful on the African continent such as lithium, copper and cobalt for electric vehicles. But just as the drive for raw materials has been an engine for imperialism in Africa in both the colonial and post-colonial eras, the dynamics of the current global turn to renewables echo those historical relations: extraction and export with minimal industrial development. Oil majors’ massive investments in the manufacturing and marketing of green technologies predominantly takes place in the Global North and China. Construction in Africa of urgently needed alternative energy plants such as wind and solar farms are a minuscule portion of global development. The need for a world based on renewables is urgent. But as long as these energy sources are tied to the oil industry, and the market in general, the limitations and contradictions of meeting human need in a capitalist society will prevail.

*

China currently dominates clean energy manufacturing and technological development, and controls access to large shares of the world’s “green minerals.” China’s long-term strategic orientation on primary commodity extraction and infrastructure development in Africa, for one, shores up their competitive edge in a sustainabls- dominated landscape. These conditions further sharpen the rivalry between China and the United States; the dynamics of a competitive global system under capitalism promises that a “green” imperialism and a struggle over control of those resources will emerge.

When Extracting Profit was written, the Obama presidency in the U.S. had recently concluded, a period marked by a widened military footprint through the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) and an escalation of drone warfare. Yet in 2018, the U.S. declared a shift in global imperial strategy from “counter-terror” to a focus on “peer competitors,” chiefly China but also Russia and other powers. For Africa, the U.S. foreign policy establishment recognizes that China’s investments are a long-term, strategic priority, one that it has been pursuing on a range of fronts and from which it will not easily retreat.

As the Daraja edition of the book was going to press, the 20-year U.S. war in Afghanistan was brought to an ignominious end with the return of the Taliban to power. With U.S. credibility weakened, how the geopolitics of the inter-imperial rivalry between it and China will unfold, and the implications for Africa, is unclear. On the one hand, if the center of gravity of these tensions shifts more decisively to the Pacific, the strategic importance of Africa’s proximity to the Middle East–and U.S. concerns with “stability” on the continent in general–may also shift. On the other hand, U.S. support for “war-making” in Africa has taken on a dynamic of its own, where states and the African Union now have an apparatus to pursue their own security agendas including safeguarding energy resources. As Samar Al-Bulushi has pointed out, “While each of the governments in question are formally allies of the US, their actions are not reducible to U.S. directives.” More broadly, intensifying inter-imperial rivalries–compounded with the drive for sustainable resources and the instability of the climate emergency–promise to reverberate globally. The world’s major powers undoubtedly will still aim to project power and minimize instability threatening investment potential in Africa through alliances with local ruling classes nurtured in the name of “partnership.”

*

In 2021, oil and gas corporations suffered a series of stinging losses in decades-long legal challenges brought by residents of oil producing communities. Most recently, a Nigerian court settled a 30-year-old claim against Shell for a spill that took place during the 1967-70 Biafran war, ordering damages of over $111 million. All of these legal victories are the culmination of grassroots organizing sustained and grown over a long period of time.

The current fight to stop drilling in the Okavango in Namibia has birthed a coalition of indigenous and environmental justice organizations across southern Africa, determined to halt potentially irreversible harm. Across the continent, activists are demanding a carbon-free future for all, Global North and South alike. They have also been forced to take on the state violence of governments relying on repression to manage the crisis of poverty exacerbated by the pandemic lockdown. The Nigerian police deployed their Covid task force to confront the massive #EndSARS revolts against police brutality. Social movement forces such as the Mathare Social Justice Centre in Nairobi have reported on heightened violence of the police under lockdown conditions including the murder and detention of those who resist. Struggles against policing and militarization resonate far beyond their borders, against a backdrop of the global Black Lives Matter movement.

Since the book’s original publication, the scale of the climate emergency has accelerated a consciousness of our shared future. The solutions on offer from the ruling classes worldwide are proving utterly bankrupt in both the immediate and the long-term, growing an awareness that a sustainable transition must be driven by social need and not profit. Beneath the empty promises for a cleaner environment and the pandemic’s end, the contradictions of the twin crises have exposed how deeply wedded corporations are to accumulation at all costs. They will not voluntarily break from a system that has served the capitalist class so well. It will require resistance and organization on a previously unseen scale. Linked struggles across borders–from pipelines to public health demands–are gathering strength, at a moment when they are desperately needed. The urgency of an alternative to extraction and the climate nightmare, inequality, imperialism and the war on terror was the original impetus for writing this book. That reality is no less true today.

https://mronline.org/2021/10/09/extract ... in-africa/

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South Africa: The Repression of Abahlali in eKhenana Continues but the Commune Remains
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on OCTOBER 11, 2021

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement:

The criminal justice system – including the police and the prosecuting authority – continues to be misused by the ANC to repress our movement. Just under two weeks ago three of our comrades from the eKhenana Commune – Lindokuhle Mnguni, Landu Tshazi and Ayanda Ngila – were released from prison after being held for six months on bogus charges and repeatedly denied bail. A week ago, all charges were dropped against Mqapheli Bonono, Maphiwe Gasela and Siniko Miya, all of whom are also participants in the Commune. Miya had spent six months in prison while Bonono and Gasela were granted bail after two weeks in prison. Both cases were proven to be trumped up and the arrests and imprisonment to have been based on lies by the state witnesses.

On Friday last week three women – Nokuthula Mabaso, Thozama Mazwi and Sindiswa Ngcobo – were arrested by the notorious Cato Manor police station. All three have made huge contributions to the building of the eKhenana Commune, and played a very important role in keeping the Commune going while other leaders were in prison. Last week there was a harvesting of the cabbage that has grown well this year.

The three were charged with assault with the intention to commit grievous bodily harm in relation to an incident in June last year. At that time a woman associated with the local ANC attacked a migrant worker with boiling water. The three intervened and there was an altercation.

The three were kept in the holding cells of KwaKito (the Cato Manor police station) over the weekend and appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court today. While members of our movement were quietly sitting outside the courtroom they were told that they were ‘intimidating’ and most move. Our mere presence as organised poor black people is taken as a threat, as illegitimate, even as criminal. We are often denied access to the court building, or to the courts where matters are being heard. Today we could not enter the court room.

The three were denied bail and sent to Westville Prison, a terrible place that damages all who must suffer it. They were denied bail because the complainant said that she was being
‘threatened’. This is not true, and is exactly the same tactic that was used in the previous cases to keep innocent people in prison. No evidence was given to support this accusation.

An assault case is under schedule 1 and under normal circumstances bail cannot be refused. Only Abahlali members are refused bail on less serious offences. These are women with young children yet they are being sent to prison by the same state that pretends to be waging war against ‘the abuse of women and children’ in South Africa.

Ntokozo Ngubane, who is close to the complainant, played an important role in making the false allegation against Mnguni, Tshazi and Ngila. In that matter she eventually admitted that she had lied in her witness statement. As we have explained in previous statements she is part of a local ANC family which aims to take control of both the occupation and the local ANC structures. One of her brothers is a notorious hitman (inkabi) and the other two carry guns and have often threatened people in the occupation and fired their guns as part of their threats. Her father, NS Ngubane, is a key person in the local ANC, and has tried to secure nomination as a councillor.

Ntokozo and her father have the same surname (isibongo) as the Chief Prosecutor and NS Ngubane seems to be exploiting this relationship to influence justice system, as he is seen in and out of the office of the Chief Prosecutor. NS Ngubane was in and out of the prosecutor’s office today, as happened during the two previous cases. The fact that he can skip all processes of the court and go straight to the Chief Prosecutor means that the judicial process in these matters has no credibility. He was heard in the corridors of the court saying ‘Kufanele kuphele nge Khenana’, meaning that eKhenana must be completely destroyed. His political agenda is not hidden.

It is well known that the eKhenana occupation was regularly attacked by the state for years, that the Cato Manor police have been extremely hostile, and that the local ANC, led by NS Ngubane have tried by all means to take control of the occupation so that Abahlali’s living politics and the spirit of ubuhlali and Abahlalism can be destroyed in the area and they can take control of the land to sell it for shacks, and to rent out shacks.

NS Ngubane is not only holding the Durban magistrate court at ransom, he is also able to instruct the police at KwaKito who to arrest or to release.

After the eKhenana occupation was developed into a working Commune, with the production of food, the development of infrastructure, cultural projects such a poetry and the building and running of the Frantz Fanon school where people have come from all over to participate in radical education programmes it became a more general threat to the ANC.

The brazen misuse of the criminal justice system to repress our movement is outrageous. It is outrageous that Ntokozo and NS Ngubane can work with both KwaKito and the prosecuting authority to have our leaders repeatedly arrested, jailed and denied bail on bogus charges. Along with our deputy president, Mqapheli Bonono, eight participants in the eKhenana Commune have now been arrested and jailed on bogus charges in three separate cases.

Some of the officers at KwaKito now refuse to open cases for the Ngubane family because they know that they have fabricated cases in the past. However, there are two officers who have opened cases that are against Abahlali and refuse to open cases when Abahlali members are abused by the Ngubane family. We call on all police officers and prosecutors to refuse to take instruction from the ANC and to operate according to evidence.

Our movement as a whole, and individual occupations, have come under repeated waves of violent repression from the state and the ANC over the last 16 years. A high price has been paid for continuing to organise and resist. A total of 19 comrades have lost their lives. The criminal justice system has been repeatedly misused during these waves of repression. We lost count, many years ago, of the number of comrades that have appeared in the dock. But what we can say for sure is that in almost all instances charges have been withdrawn before the matters have gone to trial, and in every single instance when a case has gone to trial the state has failed to secure a conviction, and it has been clear that the charges were a complete frame up. Many hundreds of arrests have not resulted in a single conviction.

We cannot count how many times we have taken the state to court to stop evictions, overturn legislation or sue for abuse at the hands of the police. In almost every instance we have won. This gives our members some confidence in the fairness of courts, but the misuse of the criminal justice system to repress the movement destroys that confidence.

The National Prosecuting Authority need to deal decisively with its capture, in part, by the thugs in the ANC who are aiming to destroy our movement.

The ANC has always seen people who live in shacks as people who do not count, as people who can be spoken for rather than to, as people who can be left in squalor, as people who can be beaten, kept in prison or killed without consequence. They do not see us as citizens. They do not even see us human beings. When we start our own production of food to sustain ourselves and our own political education to free ourselves, we are treated as criminals, as people who are disposable, as people who can be crushed. Autonomy is seen as a serious threat.

This kind of authoritarianism, abuse and cruelty is one of many reasons why we, as the largest organisation of impoverished people in the country with over 100 000 paid up members (and many more participants and supporters without formal membership) across five provinces, have called for the ANC to be removed from power. We have made a clear call to our members and supporters to not make the mistake of voting for the thugs and thieves in the ANC. As a poor person in this country voting for the ANC is voting for your own grave to be dug. The ANC have used the police, the army and the izinkabi to kill the poor with impunity. No decent human being can vote for that.

The repression of eKhenana continues but the commune will remain. They cannot arrest us all.

We cannot accept this. There will be no business as usual.
We will write to National Prosecuting Authority Director, Adv. Sharmila Bathoyi to ask her to investigate the captured KwaKito police station and NS Ngubane’s relationship with that police station and some court senior officials.

Once again, we thank the comrades from across Durban, around South Africa, from all over Africa and around the world who have stood in solidarity with us and the eKhenana Commune.

Contacts:

Thapelo Mohapi 074 774 4219
Mqapheli Bonono 073 067 3274
S’bu Zikode 083 547 0474
Nomsa Sizani 081 005 3686
Lindokuhle Mnguni 081 491 4027

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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:46 pm

Ivorian Leader Laurent Gbagbo Re-ignites Nkrumah’s Vision
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on OCTOBER 19, 2021
Peoples Dispatch

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Laurent Gbagbo announced the launch of his new political party, the African Peoples Party, on Sunday October 17 in Abidjan, the capital city of Côte d’Ivoire.

On a recent trip to Côte d’Ivoire, Kwesi Pratt, Jnr attended the launch of former president Laurent Gbagbo’s new political party and reflected on his vision for the future

Laurent Gbagbo, former President of Côte d’Ivoire is on the path to validate the ideas of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and ignite a new momentum of struggle for Pan Africanism and Socialism. In a speech given during the launch of his new political party, the African Peoples Party (APP) on October 17 in Abidjan, the capital city of Côte d’Ivoire, Gbagbo declared: “if we had listened to Nkrumah, Africa would not be in this mess.”

He told the crowds, “Nkrumah told us that the path to development and prosperity lies in the unity of the African people under the broad banner of Pan Africanism and Socialism… Divided we are weak and even not viable states. We must unite and pull our resources together to fight ignorance, disease and all manifestations of poverty.”

The newly launched African Peoples Party is ideologically and politically committed to Pan Africanism and Socialism and has a special appeal to the African diaspora.

Who is Laurent Gbagbo?

Gbagbo was removed from office as President of Côte d’Ivoire in 2011 in a bloody coup carried out by French troops with the assistance of a rebel group made up of Ivorian dissidents and mercenaries from some West African states.

He was subsequently put in prison for 10 years while being tried for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The court eventually found him innocent of all the charges leveled against him.

Gbagbo told the cheering crowd that he was not a prisoner, “I was a hostage. They were keeping me away so somebody [else] could rule Côte d’Ivoire”.

He said Africa can only make substantial progress if its people take control of their resources and exploit them for their own benefit.

“This is what Nkrumah, Sekou Toure and Patrice Lumumba taught us,” he said.

For Gbagbo, the solutions to the problems of Africa can be found on the continent and that frequent visits to the colonial metropolis can be wasteful. He explained that “any time we go to the Western capitals, they think we are going to beg for assistance.”

“This is because they don’t respect us. We are divided and small. A united Africa can stand up to any power in the world,” he said.

Gbagbo also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all Ivorian political prisoners such as Charles Ble Goude, the former Minister of Youth, who has also recently set free by the International Criminal Court.

“Most of these people are in prison because of me. I am out now, so what are they doing in prison,” he asked.

Johnson Aseidu Nketiah, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, a political party in Ghana, was also present at the launch. He said his party has a long standing relationship with former President Gbagbo and that they “will work closely with the new party in the fight against all forms of exploitation and poverty in Africa”. He asked Gbagbo to focus on issues of development and not be vindictive.

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2021/10/ ... hs-vision/

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Biden Demands Ethiopia’s Unconditional Surrender
Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor 20 Oct 2021

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Biden Demands Ethiopia’s Unconditional Surrender

The Biden administration has been at war with Ethiopia since last November, when its former puppet, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, attacked a federal Ethiopian army base in Mekelle, the capital of the country’s Tigray Region. Tigrayans are only 6% of Ethiopia’s population, but the TPLF ruled the whole nation with an iron fist from 1991 to 2018, when popular uprisings forced them from power.

This is hybrid warfare, which may include official censure, mass media disinformation campaigns, sanctions, financial strangulation by the IMF and World Bank, proxy war, special military operations, covert operations, state-of-the-art satellite intelligence, and/or drone bombing. We shouldn’t hesitate to call it war because this is how US wars will be waged going forward. It’s unlikely that the US will ever again make large troop commitments like those made in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it remains committed to perpetual war for global hegemony. In this war on Ethiopia, as in all others, the US demands unconditional surrender. In a statement on his executive order threatening Ethiopia and its ally Eritrea with new sanctions, Biden calls on the sovereign Ethiopian government to stop fighting the armed TPLF insurrection within its borders and come to the negotiating table "without preconditions.”

The US has already sanctioned individuals, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Eritrean Defense Minister General Filipos Woldeyohannes, but neither have foreign assets to seize. Since mid-September, Biden has threatened more sweeping sanctions that will punish the Ethiopian people, even as he equivocates that “these sanctions are not directed at the people of Ethiopia or Eritrea, but rather the individuals and entities perpetrating the violence and driving a humanitarian disaster.”

Most Western press about the Ethiopian conflict has disparaged the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and blamed him for the war, even though it began when the TPLF attacked a federal army base nearly a year ago. Last week, however, the journal Foreign Policy published “Don’t Remove Ethiopia’s AGOA Trade Privileges ,” an essay by Mamo Mihretu, a senior policy advisor to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Ethiopia’s chief trade negotiator.

Mihretu argued that, if Biden removes preferential trade arrangements under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) , then ordinary Ethiopians, most of all rural women who work in the country’s fledgling manufacturing sector, will be those who suffer. The act, signed by Bill Clinton in 2000, gave tariff free access to the US market to goods manufactured in Sub-Saharan African nations, including Ethiopia. Ethiopian exports then rose from $28 million to $300 million between 2000 and 2020. Thirty-four to 40 African nations have benefited annually from AGOA since its inception.

This week, during a Web conference with People to People , an Ethiopian diaspora NGO founded to improve life in Ethiopia, Ethiopian Ambassador to the US Fitsum Arega said that he had turned to African ambassadors in the US, the African Union, and their trade experts for support.

“We are at the moment in the middle of reviewing the AGOA midterm, and today we had a meeting with African Union leaders in Addis, and the senior trade experts of the 38 African countries eligible for AGOA, along with African Ambassadors in D.C. I moderated two sessions, and I also mentioned the threat by the US Administration to sanction Ethiopia. I asked the solidarity of all African countries to support Ethiopia.

“The Biden administration’s deadline for deciding is October 30, so we are left with a few days. On the 20th and 21st, there will be the last sessions with the different US agencies, including the State Department. So, with these remaining days, we are really focused on saving AGOA.

“October 30 is the deadline for the administration to send their final recommendation to the Congress. I don’t know of any case in which Congress has failed to approve such a decision, but they will have 60 more days to come to a conclusion.”

The Ambassador also said that some of those who place orders with manufacturers in Ethiopia have already put them on hold, waiting to see what will happen. On his Twitter page, he suggested that the African Union learn from the European Union and negotiate AGOA agreements as a block.

Ethiopia has made it clear that it will not sit down to negotiate with the TPLF, or the US, “without preconditions.” To many Ethiopians, that would be tantamount to surrender, not only to the US but also to a rebel army representing six percent of the nation’s population.

So, will the US accept anything less?

https://www.blackagendareport.com/biden ... -surrender
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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:48 pm

The Killing of Gaddafi 10 Years Ago Has Resulted in the Death of the Nation of Libya and the Destruction of its People
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on OCTOBER 20, 2021
Richard Medhurst

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There is nothing the West hates more than an Arab leader who opposes imperialism, Zionism and wants his country, and other Arab and African countries, to be self-sufficient. That is why NATO murdered Gaddafi.

Muammar Gaddafi led his nation to become the wealthiest in all of Africa. A decade after his demise, it is riven by tribalism, terrorism and slavery, all because the West could not allow an Arab leader to succeed.

There was never really an ‘Arab Spring’ in Libya the way there was in Egypt or Tunisia. Protests were much smaller, and as time went on to show, the biggest players turned out to be extremist groups and foreign actors, each trying to get a slice of the country.

NATO’s bombing of Libya and support for rebels seeking to overthrow Gaddafi had little to do with wanting the country to prosper. Under the guise of ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’, the Western military alliance helped murder one of the Arab world’s most prominent leaders in order to steal Libya’s resources and protect Western hegemony. Later on, as part of Operation Timber Sycamore, the CIA would find additional utility in Gaddafi’s ousting: funnelling Libya’s stockpiles of weapons and ammunition over to Syria to arm Al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups.

Seldom discussed in the news anymore, Libya has become a shadow of its former self, ravaged by 10 years of war and chaos. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the other war criminals who orchestrated its destruction don’t want you to know how badly it’s doing.

From thriving nation to ‘failed state’

Known for his extravagance, Gaddafi boasted a security detail of female bodyguards, lavish outfits, and long, dramatic speeches. He also transformed Libya from one of the poorest countries on Earth into a rich, self-sufficient state, all while managing a tribal society in a country home to the largest oil reserves in Africa.

During his 42 years in power, he increased the country’s literacy rate from 25% to 88%. Libyans enjoyed free healthcare, free education, and a high standard of living. Basic necessities such as electricity and gas were cheap, and the country was guaranteed a strong social safety net and welfare programs.

Libya is 90% desert. Gaddafi sought to provide fresh water to all Libyans for consumption and agriculture – an endeavor in which he succeeded. He built the world’s largest irrigation project, the ‘Great Man-Made River’ in the 1980s. Boasting the world’s largest pipe network, it provides 70% of all the fresh water in Libya. Gaddafi called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. Costing over $25 billion, the project was entirely self-financed, without any loans or credits from foreign banks. Libya had grown to be a very wealthy country and had no external debt.

NATO bombed the Great Man-Made River in July 2011, destroying key civilian infrastructure: a war crime.

The United Nations’ Human Development Index provides a summary measure of health, education and income. In 2010, Libya was ranked number one in Africa, and 53rd out of 189 countries and territories. Today, its ranking has sunk from 53rd to 105th worldwide.

After the NATO-backed ‘revolution’, Libya has none of these nice things anymore. There are constant power cuts. The healthcare system has collapsed. There is no infrastructure. The standard of living has plummeted, and after 10 years, Libya doesn’t even have a functioning central government.

In March this year, a government of national unity was formed, after a ceasefire brokered in October 2020. While it has largely held until now, and elections are scheduled for December, infighting persists, and whether anything comes of this process remains to be seen.

Instead of an abundance of water, gold and oil in a thriving country with great infrastructure, Libya now has open slave-trade markets. Smugglers and human traffickers take advantage of migrants and refugees passing through to Europe, selling them off into bondage. Rival tribes and political factions fight over oil and other precious resources, determined to seize power for themselves. Meanwhile, pockets of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), Al-Qaeda and other jihadist fighters lurk in the shadows, plaguing the war-torn country and its neighbors – groups who wouldn’t have dared establish a presence in Gaddafi’s Libya.

Once a prosperous nation, since his fall, it has been taken over by terrorists, opportunists and thieves, and has plunged into chaos. This is what has become of Libya these last 10 years. This is what NATO created.

One of Gaddafi’s best speeches was in 2008 in Damascus, at a meeting of the Arab League. Rebuking the violent invasion of Iraq, he offered Arab leaders a stark reminder of what befell Saddam Hussein, whom the US once considered an ally against Iran.

“An entire Arab leadership was executed by hanging, yet we sit on the sidelines. Why? Any one of you might be next.”

Chuckling at his words, other Arab leaders would have done well to take heed of Gaddafi’s warning, for, indeed, the US would come for Syria and Libya next. And just three years later, Gaddafi himself would be brutally killed at the hands of NATO-backed rebels.

Anti-imperialist, pan-Arabist and pan-African: Why Gaddafi had to fall

The late Libyan leader supported independence and national liberation movements right across the world, including groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Irish Republican Army, the Black Panther Party, and many more. In the 1970s, he tried to merge Libya with Egypt and Syria to form a unified Arab state. In 2009, he proposed that African nations adopt a single currency: the gold dinar. The Libyan Central Bank, which was 100% state-owned, had reserves of 144 tons of gold that he intended to use for this purpose. Gaddafi proposed that African countries buy and sell their resources exclusively in this new pan-African currency. This would enable them to transition away from the US dollar and the Central Africa (CFA) franc – a colonial currency used in 14 countries and controlled entirely by France.

This was Gaddafi’s biggest sin. In wanting African nations to adopt a single currency, to control their own resources and have true independence, he posed a threat to Western monetary hegemony, so he had to go.

Western governments were well aware of this plan. A look at the emails of then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, show discussions around Gaddafi’s gold reserves and his plans for a single currency. It became clear to the West that African countries switching away from the US dollar or CFA franc, and controlling their own currency and monetary policy, would undermine American and French influence over Africa. It would weaken the Western monopoly over African resources and the international banking system, rendering neo-colonial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund less effective in manipulating developing nations.

Not that we needed further confirmation; but written clearly in those emails was evidence that this plan to provide an alternative to the CFA franc “was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.”

Sarkozy decided to bomb Libya because he knew full well that West African and Central African countries abandoning the CFA franc would minimise France’s sphere of influence over its ‘former’ African colonies and fulfil its “desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production” – that is, plunder Libya’s wealth.

Gaddafi foresaw this in 2011, when he said, “There is a conspiracy to control Libyan oil and to control Libyan land, to colonize Libya once again.”

All this is a stark reminder that NATO couldn’t care less about protestors and the ‘Arab Spring’. Claims of “respect for democracy” were merely a cover story to protect Western interests and steal Libya’s resources, leaving the country in chaos and crawling with terrorists, just like Iraq and Syria.

Nothing could be more emblematic of how evil the entire affair is, than Hillary Clinton literally jumping for joy on hearing of Gaddafi’s demise, after he was brutally sodomized, lynched and executed by NATO-backed rebels. “We came, we saw, he died,” she said.

Killed for his success

Gaddafi was always a thorn in the side of Western colonial interests. His greatest ‘crime’ was wanting real independence, threatening US and French monetary hegemony, and the international banking system.

Now people look at Libya and label it a ‘failed state’, but Gaddafi’s Libya was not a failed state. It was Africa’s wealthiest and most prosperous nation – a thriving, flourishing state until the West deliberately destroyed it in 2011.

Apologists for Western imperialism love dismissing the achievements of other countries and labelling their leaders dictators, but the truth is, Libya was much better off under Gaddafi. It had oil, gold, water and resource independence.

History is littered with African, Arab and Latin leaders, killed by the United States, for daring to make their countries better and seeking to challenge Western hegemony. Gaddafi is no exception.

There is nothing the West hates more than an Arab leader who opposes imperialism, Zionism and wants his country, and other Arab and African countries, to be self-sufficient. That is why NATO murdered Gaddafi.

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2021/10/ ... ts-people/

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Ten Years Ago: The Assassination of Gaddafi. A Black Page in the History of Italy
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on OCTOBER 20, 2021
Marinella Correggia

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Sirte after NATO bombing, 2011

Libya, October 20, 2011: jihadist brigades supported by NATO captured and assassinated the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who, together with his men, was trying to move away from the city of Sirte, his last stronghold, reduced to rubble by a joint NATO-“rebels” action (this is how the militiamen were defined, who had already revealed themselves to be fundamentalist and racist cutthroats – do not forget the deportation of an entire city, Tawergha, populated by Libyans of sub-Saharan origin). “We came, we saw, he died”: Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State, laughingly paraphrased the well-known Latin phrase attributed to another colonizer, Julius Caesar.

In 2011, the hundredth anniversary of the Italian colonial invasion of Libya was therefore commemorated with yet another war of aggression that began with lies on March 19, 2011 that went on for many months. The shameful lynching of Gaddafi sealed the latest “humanitarian mission” of NATO, responsible for more than ten thousand deaths, plunging what was a relatively prosperous country into an abyss of misery, violence and oppression. The effects in terms of the spread of self-styled Islamist terrorism were then seen not only in Libya (remember the columns of off-road vehicles with the black Daesh flag conquering Sirte) and Syria (where the war that began in 2011 is still not over), but also throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The continent, once exempt from this scourge and the bearer of an Islam of solidarity, has now been hit hard not only in its western part (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria…) but as far as Mozambique and Tanzania, with brutal massacres, displaced populations, additional hunger and misery.

Today Western public opinion is busy with other matters. But even in 2011, the left (not to mention the PD) and civil society looked elsewhere. The street protests, except for the national demonstration in Naples on April 15, 2011, in those endless months of bombings and clashes, had few people. While the media, politicians, the same international organizations and even non-governmental organizations were practicing the art of lying and demonizing the Libyan government, in order to justify that war of aggression, in Italy even the peace marches, the marches for social rights, the Occupy Wall Street protests in autumn 2011, did not mention Libya. It was only remembered in the placards of a few groups of pacifists, such as Rete No War.

In order not to forget, we present two articles. The first, which appeared in 2012 on Sinistra in rete, summarizes the lies of February-March 2011 that led people to stomach the war. The second in 2014 on the site Sibialiria, later taken up by AD, is a chronicle of the surreal briefings that NATO, from Brussels and Naples, organized with journalists, almost all of them silent and servile. Briefings during which NATO implicitly admitted its connivance with the crimes of the “revolutionaries”.

March 19, 2011: The Beginning of War and Falsehoods
Marinella Correggia

A minimal chronology of “useful” lies.

The anniversary of the UN-NATO “humanitarian war” on Libya, March 19, 2011, should not be forgotten. There was a deadly short circuit between media, UN, NGOs, governments involved, all to amplify the propaganda of the “rebels”. On the wave of news about the repression of the protests of February 17 in Benghazi (bloody and brutal but soon elevated to the level of “genocide”), in February-March 2011 two UN resolutions were passed: sanctions, no-fly zone, Libya expelled from the UN Human Rights Council, Gaddafi referred to the International Criminal Court. And a war that lasted 8 months. Here is a minimal chronology of the most useful lies. On February 21, the Qatari TV al Jazeera reported: “Warplanes and helicopters are bombing protesters in some districts of Tripoli. The world revolts. Ban Ki Moon says he is “outraged”.

The Russian military satellites – and certainly also the Western ones – did not detect anything, video footage and visits of witnesses in the affected neighborhoods reveal no destruction. But who cares? On February 23rd it is the turn of al Arabiya, another petro-monarchic TV (http://www.ansamed.info/en/libia/news/M ... .rainews24. rai.it/en/news.php?newsid=150371): “The repression in Libya has already caused 10 thousand deaths and 55 thousand wounded”. Evidence? None. The source? A “Libyan member of the International Criminal Court, Sayed al Shanuka”, from Paris. But on February 24 comes the denial: “The Court wishes to clarify that this person is not a member of staff nor can he speak on behalf of the Court”. In the same period, a “film from February 22” by One World shows “mass graves”: dead people killed by the government buried on a beach after the massacres ordered by Gaddafi. The Telegraph relaunches the news. Everyone repeats it. Especially in Italy.

However, on 24th it was proven that the video was shot in August 2010 in the Ashat cemetery and it was a normal operation of soil renewal and displacement of remains, customary every 10-20 years. No matter. Peace activists and humanitarians rise up. On February 24, 70 NGOs addressed a petition to Ban Ki Moon, Obama and the EU Minister of Foreign Affairs Ashton. Promoted by Suleiman Bouchuiguir of the Libyan League for Human Rights, by the U.S. organization UN Watch and by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which is not an NGO but the powerful U.S. organization that under the guise of democracy and human rights destabilizes troublesome regimes (it also played a role in the 2002 anti-Chávez coup in Venezuela). The petition claimed that the Libyan government was committing “crimes against life” and “crimes against humanity”; it called for international action against Libya, “using all possible measures”. The letter was poignant. In July, Bouchuiguir, interviewed in Geneva, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_IU0d3WVu0), admited he had no evidence; his source was the NTC, of which he was a member. In March, there were reports of mass rapes ordered by the regime on the part of “Gaddafi’s mercenaries supplied with Viagra”.

Denied by the same UN envoy Cherif Bassiouni in June. Denials confirmed ex-post both by Amnesty and by the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry (February 2012). On February 26 the Security Council passed resolution 1970. On March 3, Tal Ali Zeidan, spokesman for the Libyan League for Human Rights, launched from Paris a new alert: within two weeks there would be 6000 victims of Gaddafi and a “genocide announced” if his “mercenaries” arrived in Benghazi. On March 17 the resolution 1973 of the Cds: no-fly zone and “any action” for the “protection of civilians”. On March 19, French fighter jets began bombing. “Humanitarian,” of course.

Sirte, October 2011. NATO as Seen from Press Conferences
Marinella Correggia – Sibialiria

During the bombing of Libya in 2011, NATO held weekly press conferences both in Brussels and at its headquarters in Bagnoli, Naples. Attending were journalists-captains who affectionately and deferentially called the NATO spokeswoman from Brussels (“Oana” Longescu) and the NATO spokesman from Naples (“Roland” Lavoie, a Canadian colonel) by their first names. All it would have taken was a bevy of decent journalists to put them on the spot, because the spokesmen and generals were grasping at straws, so as not to reveal crimes and illegalities. Here’s a straightforward account.

In order to protect civilians in Libya, as the mandate of Security Council Resolution 1973 ordered, NATO should have turned drones and bombs against itself and against its local allies in the NTC (National Transitional Council, the “rebels”): since they used indiscriminate weapons on besieged cities, in particular Sirte and Bani Walid. And even, to stay within the boundaries of its mandate, NATO should have bombed itself and the NTC to avoid attacks on Libyan government forces when these did not threaten civilians.

In fact, the NTC gunmen were the only Libyans that NATO protected, thus allowing them to threaten and kill Libyan (and non-Libyan) civilians. Surreal. NATO protected gunmen (who also threatened civilians) in the name of the Responsibility to Protect that was intended to protect civilians and on which basis “allied” bombings were justified. And NATO protected armed people using warplanes symbolically waving the mandate of resolution 1973 that established the prohibition of air flight, precisely to protect civilians.

Do implicit admissions in a trial count as evidence? If so, here are the NATO ones, collected during the surreal press conferences at the Bagnoli headquarters (in the absence of demonstrations outside of the same, in which to participate), or obtained by email from a “NATO source” (this is how the various captains and graduates, Italians and Americans, male and female, from Naples or Brussels, ask to be referred to when they answer questions).

From NATO headquarters in Naples, Colonel Roland Lavoie spoke for months to loyal media troops in a deceptively innocuous French with a Canadian accent. From headquarters in Brussels, Romanian spokeswoman Oana Longescu – more realistic than the king, embodying the Alliance’s extension to the loyal Eastern European countries – juggled dryly between English and French. Both repeated throughout: we are preventing the “Gaddafi forces” (never used the term “Libyan army”) from striking civilians. The journalists who attend their weekly press conferences from Brussels called them by their affectionate names (French-speakers would pronounce “Oanà”), in keeping with the climate of courtesy and helpfulness that makes them feel accepted in society that they reciprocate by never asking awkward questions, so as not to become pariahs. With glacial silence and no solidarity, the “colleagues” of the mainstream media welcomed the pariah in September and October.

Oana and Roland had been grasping at straws for months. They had to deny the evidence that NATO was fighting for regime change, together with one of the parties.

They claimed several times that there was no coordination with the opposition or rebel forces; that the situation was being closely monitored by “allied information sources in the area”. So, they admit the presence of Westerners on the ground? “There are no NATO forces on the ground,” they answered laconically. By email, NATO officials explained: “Both the officers in charge of identifying and approving the targets and the pilot would abort if there was a suspicion of injuring or killing civilians. In some cases video observation by air would take 50 hours before clearance.” In addition, “we warned civilians with press releases, leaflets and radio programs to stay away from military installations.”

However, civilian installations were often hit. But practically NATO admitted only one case of error: the seven deaths of the Garari family on June 19 in Tripoli, Suq Al Juma.

On August 10, when confronted with the photos of dozens of civilians killed by a NATO aircraft on the night of August 8 in Zliten, Canadian General Charles Bouchard (at the press conferences in Bagnoli the temperature of the air conditioning was kept at 16 degrees) said: “I cannot believe that those civilians were there in the early hours of the morning, considering the information of our intelligence. I can assure you that there were not 85 civilians; I can’t assure you that there weren’t any”. NATO by email reiterated that the buildings were a troop encampment, situated on a farm, and that observation and other intelligence tools had found that there were no civilians”.

Requested by email to NATO: “Why did NATO strike a Gaddafi troop encampment? A night encampment was not threatening civilians at that time.” Response, “Yes they were a real threat. Throughout the conflict, they were resting to launch future attacks and that’s why military staging areas were legitimate targets. They could have caused future casualties. Military forces and their facilities were only attacked if they were directly involved in or allowed the attack on civilians; troops not involved in the attack on civilians were not targeted.” The last sentence contradicts the previous ones. Indeed, Zliten was a pro-government area.

On August 15 they stated that two oil deposits were burning in Brega, “further proof that Gaddafi wanted to destroy or damage key infrastructures that the population would need at the end of the conflict”. On August 16, NATO said that Gaddafi forces “launched a short-range ballistic missile toward the Brega area that could have killed many civilians” and that “shows that the Gaddafi regime is desperate and continued to threaten innocent civilians in Libya. We protect civilians by Security Council mandate and will continue to press pro-Gaddafi forces militarily as long as necessary.” Of course, “NATO’s persistent and cumulative action creates an obvious effect: Gaddafi’s attacking forces are gradually losing their ability to command, conduct, and sustain attacks on civilians.” Armed groups – the only ones protected by NATO in Libya – are therefore always equal to the civilian population.

After all, in Tunisia a leader of the local NATO allies, when confronted with a timid accusation by the media, “you armed groups use the food that the UN allocates to civilians…”, replied: “We are civilians”.

On the other hand, if you tell Lavoie that NATO allies on the ground are killing civilians and are (after the end of the government) hunting blacks and NATO is not protecting those civilians, Lavoie extended his arms: “We are not a police force”. Admission that a bombing cannot protect civilians . And by email, when asked, “How come you don’t protect the deported Tawergha residents and the many blacks persecuted by your allies? And also in general the civilians taken in the besieged areas?”, here is the answer: “We have appealed to both sides for the protection of human rights. The NTC leadership has often asked its forces to restrain themselves. And it has pledged as the new authority to respect human rights; putting that into practice will take time and effort, and help from the international side. While pro-Gaddafi forces attacked civilians and civilian areas NTC forces in many cases waited for civilians to leave before attacking. We have no reports that they were deliberately and systematically attacking civilians.” And where was the evidence of systematic attacks by Gaddafi’s forces?

Partisanship became most evident in the deadly NATO and NTC siege of Sirte. If it was pointed out to Lavoie that the siege of civilians was a war crime, the colonel surreally replied, “The NTC has demonstrated its intention to get the civilian population out.”

As Sirte was being destroyed by bombardment and Grad and heavy artillery used by the NTC gunmen, NATO Colonel Lavoie declared, “Most of the population of Sirte and Bani Walid are no longer in danger because the remaining Gaddafi forces are on the defensive, in an apparent attempt to escape capture. They do not control any densely populated areas and no longer pose a real threat outside of these pockets of resistance.” Threat to whom? For those protected by NATO: the NTC gunmen. But the UN resolution was not meant to protect the armed! When writing to NATO: “It is reported by Libyan humanitarian organizations such as Djebel al Akhdar, that more than fifty civilians have been killed by the bombing of a building collapsed at the corner of Dubai Avenue and Sept. 1st Avenue, and could only have been an airplane given the large crater produced,” the response was “we have no indication that this is true.”

What about the bombing of the Avicenna hospital? “We never bombed hospitals, not even near military sites”. Another question: is NATO investigating the bombing of civilian facilities in Sirte? “Our targets were all military and therefore legitimate under resolution 1973. We acted with caution, discernment and precision. We are not aware of any evidence that would require the opening of a formal investigation.” Also, “NATO’s goal has always been to avoid targeting civilians. We have robust intelligence and very stringent target selection processes. They considered the day of the week, the time of day and night, the direction of the attack. The ammunition was all precision and hundreds of targets were missed to avoid risks to civilians and infrastructure. Even in a complex military operation the risks cannot be eliminated”.

Sirte destroyed, NATO explained: “It was Gaddafi’s last bastion. It was contested for weeks between Gaddafians and NTC.” And here the surreal occurs: “NATO encouraged a peaceful solution. But the forces of the former regime had to lay down their arms and stop attacking civilians”. In short, they should have surrendered and facilitated the regime change instead of hindering it.

Pro-NATO NTC rebels launch Grad missiles inside besieged cities, and they admit it. They are considered an indiscriminate weapon, therefore a threat to civilians, by the Alliance itself; NATO clung to the use of Grad by the former Libyan army, and to the siege of Misrata, in all the past months to justify the “protective” bombings and related massacres. Regarding the use of Grad by the NTC, NATO replied via email (not), demonstrating all the neutrality flaunted by Oana: “From the beginning the NTC has taken every care to avoid civilian casualties and we believe it will continue to do so.” Perhaps NATO intelligence was selective and did not see the NTC Grad, nor the hunt for black Libyans and foreigners and loyalists.

Surreal statements. While Gaddafi’s forces are on the run and concentrating in the triangle where they have stronger popular support, the spokesman on September 13 said that “by occupying and repressing cities like Bani Walid and Sirte, Gaddafi’s forces have taken the population hostage, exposing them to obvious risks, suppressing the uprising and preventing citizens from leaving.” Evident double standards compared to Misrata, or Homs and Aleppo and many other places in Syria, where rebels are never accused of taking hostages. “NATO managed to intercept and annihilate several sources of threat to the civilian population, including tanks, missile launchers, etc.; NATO vehicles conducted several strike missions well into the Sahara Desert to destroy command and control infrastructure, a self-propelled unit and several armored vehicles thereby preventing the strengthening of regime positions in the north of the country.”

Then he summarized citing 1973: “In the last six months NATO forces have maintained a constant pace of operations, intervening wherever Gaddafi’s forces posed a threat to civilians, whether in Benghazi, Misrata, Sebha, in the south or in many other cities and villages throughout the country”.

Proving its impartiality, NATO concluded a press conference on September 13 by saying “The recovery of Libya is well understood and leaves no room for doubt.”

The siege in Sirte had made a humanitarian situation desperate. From the hospital – also hit by rockets – Dr. Abdullah Hmaid told Reuters that patients were dying for lack of hospital supplies and asked the International Red Cross and WHO to help break the blockade. But no international organization reported the siege. Yet at the press conference of September 27, Colonel Lavoie from Naples reiterated that the emergency in Sirte was solely “the fault of Gaddafi’s militiamen and mercenaries” who did not understand that they should “surrender” and “placed themselves near houses and hospitals using civilians as human shields”. An accusation that the Alliance its member countries have never addressed to the rebels barricaded in Misrata or, later, in BabaAmr in Syria. By definition, human shields are used only by the bad guys.

Also by email NATO implicitly reiterated that it had left it up to the besieging allies, and blamed the besieged. In another email: “Pro-Gaddafi people were hiding in the center of the city trying to use civilians as human shields against the NTC. The humanitarian situation in Sirte was precipitated by efforts by Gaddafi troops to control access points. Pro-Gaddafi checkpoints and snipers were preventing families from moving to quieter areas. Gaddafi forces also roamed the streets looking for anti-Gaddafi supporters, taking hostages and carrying out executions.” How did you know this when you had no military on the ground? “We didn’t have observers on the ground but we used our intelligence and surveillance assets to get a true picture. We would carefully monitor the front lines to identify who was attacking or threatening the population.” It was obviously impossible to monitor from 10,000 meters. So?

On September 21, the commander for NATO operations in Libya Charles Bouchard explained that “our mission continues, because Gaddafi’s forces are still threatening the population”; he “invited the loyalists to surrender to ensure a peaceful end to the conflict, also because they are surrounded and have no way of escape, as the territory around them is in the hands of the rebels”. As for the fleeing loyalists, NATO would not attack them because “they are moving away from the population and thus do not pose a threat to civilians.” But it was NATO that stopped Gaddafi’s fleeing convoy and therefore killed him.

Translation by Internationalist 360°

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2021/10/ ... -of-italy/
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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:03 pm

While Pressure Mounts on Ethiopian Government to Declare Ceasefire, TPLF Continues Attacks in the North
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on OCTOBER 20, 2021
Pavan Kulkarni

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A World Food Programme worker helps with distribution in northern Ethiopia. Photo: Claire Nevill/WFP

While the airstrikes by the federal government on targets in Tigray made headlines, the advance of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front in the neighboring States of Amhara and Afar is largely ignored, despite the fact that the lives of hundreds of survivors of its atrocities are at stake

Under mounting domestic pressure to check the advances of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which has displaced hundreds of thousands in the northern States of Amhara and Afar, the Ethiopian government carried out airstrikes on October 18 and 20.

The strike on Wednesday was reportedly against a factory used by the TPLF to repair armaments. On Monday, the state-run Ethiopian Press Agency reported that the target was a “communication and network facility” used by the TPLF in Mekelle, the capital city of the northernmost State, Tigray. The TPLF, which had started the civil war in November 2020 by attacking a federal army base in this city, claimed civilian casualties in the airstrike.

Citing local healthcare workers, Jens Laerke, spokesperson of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Tuesday that nine people were injured in one of the strikes that hit the city on Monday. In another strike that hit a target in the outskirts of Mekele, he said, three children were killed.

While this made the headlines in most international media, the contested reports about the march of the TPLF further down south on Dessie, the largest city in Amhara’s South Wollo zone, remains largely ignored, despite its ominous implications for the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Survivors of TPLF’s atrocities at risk again

The IDPs in this city are those who had managed to flee the TPLF’s massacres, rapes, looting, and destruction of food crops and cattle in other regions of Amhara. These include Kobo town, 170 kilometers to the north of Dessie, where hundreds of civilians were reportedly killed between September 8 and 9. According to eye-witness accounts, the TPLF fighters went on a door-to-door campaign, killing men, women and children alike.

Similar massacres have also been reported in and around several other towns in this State, which has the second-largest concentration of Ethiopia’s population. Only a day before this massacre began, two mass graves of over a 100 dead bodies were discovered in the Chenna Teklehaimanot locality of Dabat District of the North Gondar, after the area was liberated from the TPLF’s occupation by the federal troops and Amharan militia.

Here too, eyewitnesses claim, the TPLF went door-to-door on a killing rampage on September 3 and 4, after facing setbacks on the frontline which forced them to retreat. Traumatized survivors of such atrocities from many towns and villages, including victims of rape from Mersa – 80 kilometers to the north of Dessie – took refuge in this city.

Over the last days, the federal army’s central command has been holding the TPLF back at the town of Wuchale, about 40 km to the north of Dessie. TPLF’s use of artillery and shelling has resulted in the deaths of 30 civilians in this town, according to a statement by the foreign ministry on Monday. Later in the day, reports emerged that the central command’s defenses were broken and the TPLF had marched on to the city.

The TPLF has also restarted attacks on the southeastern state of Afar, where the Chifra district, near the Afar-Amhara border, has seen heavy fighting over the last days. Civilian deaths have also been reported here due to indiscriminate shelling by the TPLF.

Its commander, Tadese Werede, claimed on Tuesday, October 19, that it had taken control of Chifra, which is only 43 kilometers from its strategic target, the Djibouti road. By taking control of this crucial road, the TPLF aims to cut off the land-locked country from the nearest port in the neighboring country.

Other observers have contested Werede’s claim, and argued that the fight for Dessie and Chifra is still underway, and the federal army continues to hold the TPLF at bay in both these places for now. The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) is yet to make a statement on its position on these fronts.

Ceasefire?

It is amid this offensive by the TPLF that the US, EU and the UN have been pressurizing the Ethiopian federal government to declare a ceasefire and begin negotiations with an organization that has been deemed as ‘terrorist’ by the parliament.

US president Joe Biden had already issued an executive order authorizing sanctions against the Ethiopian government on September 17. The European parliament followed suit, adopting a resolution on October 7, calling for a range of sanctions, including the stoppage of arms exports by member countries to the democratically elected Ethiopian government which is fighting a war to prevent the TPLF from seizing power through force.

While the TPLF is often described in the media as a rebel force, it is to be recollected that the party had ruled Ethiopia with US backing for 27 years, during which time free press and political parties outside the ruling coalition it dominated were banned. Little legal protection was accorded to political opponents who were imprisoned and forced into exile in droves.

After years of sustained pro-democracy protests, in 2018, the TPLF was finally marginalized in the federal government and reduced to a regional party, holding power only in the Tigray State, while Abiy Ahmed came to power as the prime minister.

His immediate reforms included the freeing of political prisoners, lifting of ban on opposition parties and free press, and reassuring exiled dissidents of safe return and right to political participation. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the efforts to end the decades-long war with the northern neighbor, Eritrea.

This has won much support and approval domestically, as was evident in the landslide victory Ahmed won in the election held in June this year. However, the TPLF – a sworn enemy of Eritrea still in power in the border state of Tigray – grew increasingly hostile to Ahmed’s government and eventually attacked an army base in Tigray’s capital Mekelle in November 2020. Following this, federal troops were ordered into Tigray to remove TPLF from power.

The federal government had unilaterally declared a ceasefire and withdrawn its troops from Tigray by June-end, in order to facilitate a peaceful farming season to alleviate the spread of starvation.

Taking advantage of this ceasefire, the TPLF not only retook Tigray, but also invaded the neighboring States of Amhara and Afar. Looting of food grains and cattle, and their destruction in cases where the TPLF are not able to carry the produce with them while retreating, is widely reported in both the States.

This is widening the spread of hunger in the region at a time stocks of food grains are already plummeting. Amhara’s State government has warned of looming starvation as the farmers are unable to sow this season due to the fighting.

The assistance the World Food Programme (WFP) has planned to provide for 250,000 displaced people in Amhara and for 530,000 displaced in Afar, will not suffice to offset the grave consequences of a missed sowing season. 1.7 million in these two States have already slipped into hunger since the TPLF’s invasion.

Questions raised about neutrality of UN

The UN estimates another 5.3 million to be in need of humanitarian assistance in Tigray. While it was widely expected that the retaking of Tigray by the TPLF after withdrawal of federal troops would permit the flow of aid and alleviate hunger here, 428 of 466 aid-carrying UN trucks that have entered the region since have failed to return. This was described by WFP spokesperson Gemma Snowden as “the primary impediment to moving humanitarian aid into Tigray”.

The federal government’s claims that the aid and the trucks carrying it were seized by the TPLF which is misusing it for military offensive, is backed by multiple clips on social media showing the TPLF fighters being transported in similar trucks. Yet, it is the federal government that continues to receive flak and be the target of sanctions for allegedly blocking humanitarian access to Tigray.

Pointing to the UN’s breach of “agreed security arrangements” during aid distribution and its “continued reticence in demanding the return” of these trucks, the Ethiopian government expelled seven senior UN officials from the country on September 30, accusing them of diverting aid and equipment to TPLF.

In a commentary on the diplomatic row that ensued at the UN after the expulsion, former chair of Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism, Hugh Segal, and the Director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Ann Fitz-Gerald, criticized the role of the international community in this conflict.

They argued that the “international community’s treatment of… the government as co-equal to a terrorist group” and its “perceived… tolerance for the violent TPLF-led insurgent leaders, isolated the legitimate Abiy democratic government and only emboldened the insurgency. It also influenced the global media and policy narrative on the conflict, which proved very difficult to change.”

The UN yet again invited controversy on October 11 by placing Maureen Achieng, chief of its International Organization for Migration (IOM) mission in Ethiopia, on “administrative leave” pending investigation for giving an “unauthorized interview” to Canadian author Jeff Pearce, after a clip from it was leaked.

In this clip, Achieng, a Kenyan by nationality, talks about the sidelining of Ethiopian UN staff by higher ups who brought in staff from elsewhere who were biased towards the TPLF in this conflict.

Arguing that she “has been removed from her post by UN officials in New York for exposing TPLF’s crimes,” Ethiopian American Civic Council, the largest diaspora organization in the US, said the UN has “morphed back.. [into] the League of Nations.”

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2021/10/ ... the-north/

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Imperialists Apply Africa Destabilization Model to Latin America
October 21, 2021
By Rainer Shea – Oct 19, 2021

Now that U.S. imperialism has not just entered into a tailspin of decline in geopolitical influence, but suffered a series of defeats that have harmed its international support amid the great-power competition with China, it’s become more willing to resort to drastic measures than ever. This goes beyond Washington’s instigations of nuclear tensions with Russia and China, which have produced risks of atomic war that surpassthose of any point during the 20th century. Desperate and increasingly cornered, the imperialists are applying a model for manufactured crises across growing swaths of the planet, with Latin America becoming more of a target all the time.

Instrumental to this scorched-earth destruction campaign is the narrative that anti-imperialist countries are oppressive, and in urgent need of having their state apparatuses dismantled. “The OAS/State Dept have people dedicated to identifying anything that could be manipulated into evidence of antisemitism, homophobia, etc. on a structural level in Cuba, Nicaragua & Venezuela and since they can’t locate anything, they have to invent other forms of discrimination,” observes the Latin American commentator Camila Press. “Among them now, threats to “religious freedom” of Catholics in Nicaragua. Imagine what their idea board looks like right now. Those strategy meetings must be bleak. Imagine coming out of a three hour team meeting and coming up with no ideas for new ways to attack Latin American governments. Not saying their strategies and campaigns of subversion and counterrevolution are no longer a threat- on the contrary. With these failures, they’ll adopt a more dangerous and extreme approach, like increasing reliance on their transnational crime and mercenary network operations.”

What does this approach mean for the people in the targeted countries? An ominous answer can be found in Ethiopia, where millions are starving due to the civil war that Washington has manufactured through its proxy terrorist group the TPLF. The U.S. meddling, which consists both of manufacturing anti-government atrocity stories to exacerbate the ethnic tensions and of aiding the extremists, is working with Washington’s sanctions to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. Washington’s goal is to render Ethiopia and Eritrea stateless so it can further Balkanize the region, with the motive behind this campaign of aggression being to score a geopolitical point against China; Washington would rather sow starvation and chaos in these countries, and in horn of Africa at large, than let these countries adopt China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Washington is doing the same to Myanmar, whose military regime has only received so much human rights scrutiny from the Western media because it’s pursuing BRI projects. The imperialists are instigating civil conflict in Myanmar with an Africa-esque goal of destabilization, so much that anti-imperialist commentators have compared this to the civil war that Washington started in Libya with its 2011 invasion of the country. As NATO and its propagandists grow concerned that the family of the anti-imperialist Gaddafi will soon come back to power in Libya, the imperialists seek to spread their model of ruin, seeing this as the only way to stave off a new wave of revolutions in the exploited world.

In Asia, they’re doing this by waging war against not just Myanmar, but against Cambodia in the form of sanctions and against Thailand in the form of funding for color revolution tactics. Hong Kong and Taiwan are also targets for destabilization, but they’re relatively out of reach. And Thailand, along with the empire’s other big Eurasian color revolution targets Russia and Belarus, still haven’t been subdued. So Washington is ever more directing these tactics against its “backyard” of Latin America, which it’s better able to cause damage towards.

As U.S. hegemony wanes, the empire is retreating into its own hemisphere. But this can’t stop an ever-growing number of Latin American countries from strengthening their ties to China, because working with China is increasingly in the interest of Latin America. So Washington is seeking to do to these countries what it’s already done to the horn of Africa.

In Bolivia, the imperialists are working towards this by activating their proxies to committ terrorism, theft, and cultural easure. At least they’ve succeeded at doing these things within the prominent La Paz coca market ADEPCOCA, where armed right-wing forces recently seized control of the local government, displaced the existing coca growers, and took down the area’s indigenous wiphala flag. As former ADEPCOCA president Elena Flores has assessed, “The Bolivian opposition has lost everything, they lost the elections last year, but if they can seize ADEPCOCA then they obtain an important base of social and economic power, our institution has 40,000 members who sell their coca through here. They want to neutralize this bastion of struggle and turn it into a base from which to attack the government. They claim that the government was getting involved in our internal affairs, but that’s false, all they’ve done is protect the building from violence.”

In Venezuela, they’re seeking to replicate this by exploiting and feeding into the conflict between the Chavista government and the mafia wing of the FARC guerrillas. These guerrillas aren’t U.S. proxies per se; they also operate in the U.S. neo-colony of Colombia, and some of their outposts have existed within Venezuela since a generation prior to Chavismo. But Washington is using this Colombia-Venezuela border war as a foothold for exacerbating Venezuela’s instability. Through sanctions on Venezuela that have been tightened during the pandemic, and through biased reports from the U.S.-tied Human Rights Watch about Venezuelan abuses in the anti-guerrilla effort, the imperialists are fanning the flames of violence.

HRW’s recent portrayals of the situation have been biased in that they’ve left out the context in which Maduro has carried out his border military interventio; one where the U.S. and Colombia have been fueling narco-criminal forces to violate Venezuela’s sovereignty, while outright plotting false flags to justify imperialist intervention. Like in Ethiopia, they’re able to point to genuine mistakes by the targeted government, then exaggerate them and use them as justification for their destabilization agenda.

The imperialists are crafty; they exploit any contradictions they can find within their enemies. As Cuban intelligence chief Fabián Escalante has observed:

The internal counterrevolution is reorganizing its forces and is on the offensive…lies and half-truths, swarming around via social media, are disparaging government leaders, especially Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. Accusations center on “failing to improve living conditions in deprived, vulnerable urban districts…a sector of the Cuban community, manipulated by fundamentalist congresspersons Marco Rubio, María Elvira Salazar, and their acolytes, are readying their weapons, coordinating and paying local peons….[they are] in close touch with counterparts on the island and will assist in creating an environment of social destabilization…the U.S. Agency for International Development is offering up to $2 million for new democracy-promotion programs in Cuba. USAID’s goals are to advance the effectiveness of independent civil society groups… [and to] develop broader coalitions to expand civil society’s impact…the enemy of humanity, the U.S. government…is preparing to deliver the final blow to the Revolution.

However absurd their attempts to exaggerate the contradictions are—as Camila said, U.S. Latin America narrative managers can’t find much actual systemic oppression within the regime change targets—they’re capable of carrying out a shadow war. Since AFRICOM’s founding in 2007, Washington has waged war on Africa by largely pretending like no such war is taking place, keeping the U.S. public in the dark on the U.S. meddling and propagandized into war fever when it’s come to interventions like the 2011 Libya bombings.

Such is the approach Washington is taking for Latin America. Americans are unaware that the U.S. funded a violent 2018 coup in Nicaragua that’s since destabilized the country. Or that this July’s assassination of Haiti’s president was an operation by Washington’s Colombian proxies to further plunge the country into chaos for the purposes of preemptive counterrevolution. Or that this year’s protests in Cuba were led by U.S.-financed mercenaries, while desperate Cubans were paid to deliberately sabotage supply chains. Or that Peru’s politics have been at their most unstable in decades during the last five years due to Washington’s instigation of right-wing power grabs like last year’s parliamentary coup. Or that the catastrophic nightmare of Bolsonaro’s presidency was made possible by a 2016 Obama administration coup within Brazil that paved the way for the far right to win in the 2018 election—which itself was fraught with strategic pro-Bolsonaro disinformation that could only have been orchestrated by the CIA.

During Brazil’s election next year, Latin America could undergo its biggest destabilizing event yet. Taking example from Trump’s Capitol Hill riot, Bolsonaro is preemptively claiming the election to be rigged and mobilizing his supporters towards acts of reactionary terror. His end goal is a military coup, as indicated by all the times he’s glorified Brazil’s era of military dictatorship and filled his cabinet with military personnel. Should Brazil have its own January 6th, Washington will get what it wants even if Bolsonaro is forced out: a wave of chaos throughout the region’s largest country, one which could allow those crime networks and mercenaries to inflict great harm going into the leftist administration that will likely follow Bolsonaro’s. Then Brazil, already in the throes of one of the world’s worst Covid waves, devastated by the Amazon fires due to Bolsonaro’s negligence, and suffering under Bolsonaro’s extreme neoliberal shock policies, may be turned into one big Ethiopia.

https://orinocotribune.com/imperialists ... n-america/

Not so sure about " the mafia wing of the FARC guerrillas".. Sure, is possible, but this commentator may have swallowed some propaganda too.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:28 pm

Ajamu Baraka on U.S. Ethiopian Policy
​​​​​​​ Ajamu Baraka, BAR editor and columnist 03 Nov 2021

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Ethiopian president Abiy Ahmed

Ledet Muleta is the host of Prime Media’s "Prime Time." She spoke with Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer for the Black Alliance for Peace on October 30. The interview is Important in light of the Ethiopian government's recent declaration of a state of emergency.


Ledet Muleta: Hello Prime Media audiences. Welcome to Primelogue. I'm your host Ledet Muleta. Today I'm here with Mr. Ajamu Baraka. I'm really grateful to Mr. Ajamu for joining us today. I'm well aware of his work, but I'd like to ask him to introduce himself to our audiences, especially in Ethiopia.

Ajamu Baraka: Well, thank you for inviting me. It is indeed a pleasure to be with you to have this very important conversation. As you just shared with your audience, my name is Ajamu Baraka. I'm the National Organizer for the Black Alliance for Peace, a US-based organization that is committed to raising awareness among African people in the US, and the progressive community in general, around the issues facing the Global South and the planet related to US policies, in particular US war policies, and to the policies of Western Europe.

Our mission is to raise visibility of these situations that the people of the US find themselves in—targeting nations in the Global South—and to build opposition that can put a break on US and other Western interventions. We are committed to peace in the tradition of Black opposition in the US. That is part of the internationalist responsibility that we have taken on as a movement and as an organization.

LM: That's wonderful. Thank you so much. That's a great introduction. So let me go straight from there to our discussion. I want to discuss media, an area that you have analyzed a lot. In the last couple of weeks we've seen controversies about the current media landscape, particularly regarding CNN and Facebook, and especially regarding their coverage of Ethiopia and other nations defying domination by the US. What are your thoughts on that?

AB: It's a very interesting environment, and it's interesting that you connect up the issue of media, CNN, for example, and Facebook. That's a very important and interesting kind of connection. Why? Oh, I think we forget that Facebook is supposed to be merely a platform for the exchange of information and ideas. But there's tremendous pressure on Facebook to, in fact, operate as a publisher by deciding what content is appropriate for users to share and what content is inappropriate.

CNN, of course, is a privately owned corporation. But Black Alliance for Peace suggests that CNN is part of what we refer to as the ideological apparatus of the state. That is, even though it's privately owned, there's not much space between its positions, the worldview that it advocates, and that of the US state and the ruling elements that we say control the US state. So, in the current media environment, private Western corporations—which pretend to be "objective" media outlets—work in tandem with the state. Together they target defiant foreign nations and domestic issues like poverty, racism, the environment, and military spending.

Right now, one of the West's new villains, if you will, is the Ethiopian government. And so what we see in the Western world and the Western press, is a coordinated effort to criminalize and delegitimize the Ethiopian state in order to cripple or balkanize it, maybe even to provide the political will for a direct military intervention. Many of us believe that the objective is to overthrow the Ethiopian government, either directly or with a proxy like the TPLF. So we see distorted, very troubling coverage of this conflict that we know to be far more complex. It's nothing but manipulation of the US population to create public support for more US aggression.

LM: Thank you, Mr. Ajamu. Do these media outlets enjoy financial benefits for distorting our stories? Or is there a direct policy think tank that controls the media or other social media platforms? I mean, we would like to think that news media is independent. But they obviously have clients and customers to serve. How is it that platforms, such as Facebook, CNN, and so forth, are motivated to distort the facts, producing propaganda and outright misinformation?

AB: Well, I think the simple response is that there's an ideological unity, if you will, between the corporate outlets and the state. They share a set of of common values and a worldview. And so, when the state sets out certain policies geared toward advancing the interests of the state, we find that independent function that one might assume to be the role of the media—questioning those policies, critiquing the outcomes of various kinds of activities, and informing the public—has really been fundamentally changed over the last few decades.

In fact, what we now find with these media outlets is a lockstep approach to US foreign policies. And instead of independent investigations, what we find is that these outlets operate almost like state propaganda units. It's a very, very dangerous situation. It's something that has profoundly changed, and, as connected to you Ethiopians, the economic interest of these corporations is in play in Ethiopia. They are, in fact, corporations committed to capitalist development and a capitalist worldview. They are also beholden to their shareholders but are nevertheless "patriotic" in that they are more than willing to parrot the positions of the US state. Those of us who are more critical find it very difficult to penetrate the corporations that control the media outlets. And so we have been sort of relegated to having to address US policies, attempting to reach the public primarily through the alternative media like Black Agenda Report. This is very difficult, but it has not been impossible.

LM: How do you view the situation in Ethiopia and the Horn currently? What's your corporate media doing in the Horn of Africa and Africa as a whole? What's new? And what are some of the things that other superpowers are doing regarding Africa and whether they're joining them or being against them?

AB: Well, let me say this. I think the only thing that's new is the current conflict in Ethiopia, the conflict between the state and the TPLF.

The US is of course trying to advance its geo-strategic interests, working with various states and movements on the African continent and in other parts of the world. The Horn, of course, is a very important geo-strategic location, and the US/NATO are attempting to reverse some developments there, particularly in Ethiopia, where for 27 years, the TPLF was more than willing to help advance US interests.

We know that, under the leadership of the TPLF, Ethiopia invaded its neighbors Somalia and Kenya, and helped perpetuate the Ethiopian conflict with Eritrea, which was really a conflict between the TPLF and Eritrea. That resulted in not only advancing US strategic interest, but also playing right into the hands of a Western balkanization strategy on the African continent. Now that continues and intensifies with more advanced weapons and intelligence.

One of the most important new weapons for advancing US interests is the establishment of the US Africa Command, or AFRICOM, which was initiated in 2007, but formally launched on October 1, 2008. Then, in January 2009, Barack Obama assumed office, becoming the first Black US President. And one consequence was a dramatic increase in the US military presence on the African continent. In fact, a 1900% increase in the US military presence on the African continent.

Then we saw the US and its NATO allies attack and destroy Libya, the most prosperous state on the African continent in 2011. And we saw a rapid escalation of military conflicts and destabilizing interventions on the African continent. The conflicts and destabilization expanded as AFRICOM expanded. And that is the basis for why the Black Alliance for Peace conducted an October campaign to bring awareness to the role of AFRICOM on the continent. We say that Africa has been the instrument that has been used by the US state to destabilize the African continent, as their response to the competition that they find themselves in with the Chinese. So we find what is happening in the Horn is troubling, now including the coup in Sudan, which we understand as part the Horn.

We know there must be explanations for how the military forces in Tigray are able to recoup themselves; someone has to be supplying them with the food and munitions required to keep fighting.

And so we are very troubled with the expanding militarization and conflict on the African continent. We are very concerned, but actively educating and organizing in opposition to the US and its European allies.

LM: Thank you, Mr. Ajamu. Your organization is doing a lot on this and I really appreciate that. What is the role of the Black community regarding this type of foreign policy? Especially in Africa, but more so for the Black voters in the US. What is the role? What can be done for the people in the continent? Obviously, we have social media platforms. Even though they're big corporations that's making it much easier to reach people across the globe. But what are some of the plans or ideas that you have for expanding this advocacy?

AB: Well, what is actually happening concretely is the development of more effective transnational structures, Black-led structures that are committed to anti-imperialism.

The campaign that we are waging right now is one of those attempts to raise the level of awareness of the Black population in the US, so that they understand the role of the West on the African continent. But we also are reaching out and have developed effective ties throughout the African diaspora in Europe.

In Latin America, where I now sit, for example, we are committed to building what we call the US Out of Africa Network , connecting our activities in the diaspora with activities on the African continent itself. And building what we hope will be an effective campaign and permanent organization to deal with the expanding role of the West, and its neocolonial agents at the heads of African governments.

So raising awareness, but also translating that awareness into concrete political opposition, is what we have to engage in. We know that the issues on the African continent are serious. And some of the reasons why the Europeans are still able to be effective there are the generalized disorganization of the African masses and the relative weakness of many of the African states.

One reason why Ethiopia has been targeted is that Ethiopia was, up until the war, one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Others are its relationships with the Chinese and its attempt to chart its own course independent of Western neocolonialists.

They have been targeted, like many other states in Africa, so the only way that Ethiopia and other progressive states can be protected in Africa, Latin America, and Asia is through more effective, anti-imperialist organizations. And we can't be afraid of using terms like imperialism, because that is exactly what we're up against. And the Western states, they're absolutely clear what they are trying to do. And I think that those of us in the Global South need to be as clear or clearer and more determined to protect the interests of our people and the sovereignty of our nations and states.

LM: I think you mean, another word for it would be racism. Because I don't know of any African countries or other countries in the Global South with any military presence in the Western world.

AB: Exactly. I mean, basically, we talked about a certain kind of relationship, a relationship between Africa and the West, of what became the West beginning in 1492, with the European invasion of the Americas, the conquest of the Americas, and the beginning of an international slave trade that brought African labor to the Americas. That served as the material foundation for what emerged as the West.

And so we identify what we see as the number one enemy of progress, the number one enemy of collective humanity. And we say that is the Pan European, colonial capitalist, white supremacist, patriarchy. Until power is taken from those elements, those nation states that emerge on the backs of African and indigenous people and colonization globally.

Then collective humanity is threatened because these states, this ruling class, they're committed to one thing and one thing only: the continuation of their hegemony. And their justification for hegemony is in fact informed by who they think they are, this white supremacist ideology that we know has no historical basis. So yes, it's white supremacy, but white supremacy that is buttressed by structures of domination.

And so we have to keep the focus on both. Not just in Western people's heads, but those structures that continue white power, and that's what has to be the main target of our activity.

LM: Do you foresee new Pan-African movements developing in Africa?

AB: Well, the movements are developing. I mean, there's a new world, a new momentum developing for a new kind of revolutionary Pan-Africanism on the continent and in the diaspora, but we know that movement faces huge challenges. You have the entrenched power of these neocolonial agents who make up most of the leadership of many African nations on the continent, but African masses are organizing.

And we're building structures of coordination between the African continent and the African diaspora states. Black states in the Caribbean play a very important role in Black movements throughout Latin America and, of course, in the US. They have played very important roles in attempting to revitalize a more effective political opposition. We know that the European powers are more vulnerable, and that has weakened them. We need to be able to take advantage of that with a more vigorous and more effective movement for Black liberation, revolutionary Pan-Africanism, and social transformation.

LM: What do you mean by weakened?

AB: The material foundation of the West is their global capitalist system. But since 2008, that system has been in crisis. And the crisis deepened with the COVID crisis that resulted in disruptions in their global supply chains, that collapsed the economies throughout the Western world for a moment, and they have not effectively recovered from that yet. And that's why we see that there's been more militancy among workers in the US and in Europe to protect the social safety net. And the rise of the political right in Western Europe and the US is a reflection of the weakened political stance of the ruling classes. They have a serious legitimation crisis. So the crisis, the contradictions of the global colonial capitalist system, has made these Western ruling classes more vulnerable. They haven't given up power, and we haven't been able to take power, but there definitely has been a shift in their ability to impose themselves on the rest of global humanity.

LM: From your experience or history in international advocacy, can you recall a leader similar to Dr. Abiy Ahmed, who was able to overcome the Western media campaign as well as Western aggression towards the country that they've led or are now leading?

AB: Well, you know, there have been a number of outstanding African leaders who have attempted to try to chart an independent course, but of course those leaders were always targeted by Western powers. And what makes the situation so dangerous for the leadership of Ethiopia right now. They're under tremendous pressure right now. The entire West right now has mobilized to target the Abiy government, so his greatest protection will be the organized masses of Ethiopia. But we can't dismiss the dangerous context that the president is operating in at this point in Ethiopian history.

LM: Great. Do you foresee more African media outlets and African social media platforms? Ethiopia already has announced that they're planning to build their own social media platform. But in general, do you think a network of media and social media platforms with anti-imperialist outlooks can unite to work on this in the same way the allied ruling class, corporate media, social media, and aid organizations do? They are all coordinated to the point where they all say exactly the same things with just slightly different wording. From top officials to media outlets to NGOs.

Can you imagine an anti-imperialist movement and organizations joining hands in such a coordinated way?

AB: Well, let's hope so. There has to be an objective. And we've seen some degree of coordination, but right now, our forces are very disconnected. But as we are able to maintain the integrity of states like Ethiopia, they might be in a position to support the development of alternative media outlets on the African continent. That will make our efforts much more potentially effective. So yes, that has to be our objective. We've got to be in a position to tell our own stories and to be able to reach the people, not only on the African continent, but globally. But in the meantime, what that means is we have to find other creative ways to coordinate among ourselves. We have to be committed to experiment with effort and coordination, until we're able to experience that sort of qualitative leap when our resistance movement goes to a much higher level.

LM: Mr. Ajamu, thank you so much. I really appreciate you sharing your time while you are traveling, and currently in Colombia, to join us here on Prime Media, Ethiopia. I hope to have you again. And I'm pretty sure that your message is going to be heard very well. I hope that we will meet again sometime soon. Thank you so much. If you have any final message, please share it with us.

AB: Well, thank you so much for inviting me. Please, for anyone who's interested, go to blackallianceforpeace.com to get more information on our organization. There, you can also join the US out of Africa Network, and help us with our Shut Down AFRICOM campaign. We're in this together, folks, and only together and organized can we be victorious. Thank you again for inviting me, and I'm quite sure we'll have more opportunities to discuss all of the important issues facing the Africa continent and African people.

LM: Thank you, Mr. Ajamu. Prime Media audiences, this was our special time with Mr. Ajamu.

https://www.blackagendareport.com/ajamu ... ian-policy
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Africa

Post by blindpig » Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:21 pm

Abraham Wodaje Kebede on the Ground in Ethiopia
Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor 10 Nov 2021

Abraham Wodaje Kebede on the Ground in Ethiopia

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Thousands of Black Americans signed up to defend Ethiopia against the October 1935 – May 1936 Italian invasion, but the US government stopped almost all of them from leaving, and threatened imprisonment if they chose to bear arms alongside Ethiopians.

US Security state media has generated an avalanche of propaganda about the imminent collapse of the Ethiopian state this week.

Abraham Wodaje Kebede is an Ethiopian immigrant and software engineer living in Seattle. He travels back and forth to and from Ethiopia to see family and, recently, to help his home country by renovating and expanding the elementary school he once attended. He spent ten days there and left right after participating in large pro-government demonstration in Addis Ababa. We talked on Saturday, November 6.

Ann Garrison: Abraham, you're there in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. What do you see there?

AWK: I see a calm city, people running their daily lives as normal, going about their business, going to work. Ugly traffic, morning through evening.

AG: The ugly traffic is not because people are fleeing the city?

AWK: No, it's ugly both ways. So they go to work. They do their business and return home. It's really, really horrible traffic.

AG: But that was a problem before the worst started?

AWK: It has always been a problem.

AG: Okay, now, why are you there? As I understand it, you've been back several times in the past year. A year ago, then seven months ago, and now. What is it that you're going back and forth to do?

AWK: The main reason I came at this time is I helped rebuild the elementary school where I attended class in the northern part of the country in the village called Bichena in Gojjama District, Amhara Region. I built eight classrooms and 32 restrooms, and furnished them for attendance. This time we inaugurated the school and let the kids in to learn.

I grew up poor in Ethiopia but my father was a teacher and I got a good education. He always said that’s one thing no one can take away from you. That’s why I have gone back to rebuild and expand the elementary school that I attended.

AG: That's wonderful. And are you also involved in trying to establish some sort of manufacturing there?

AWK: Yes, I have been studying trends. My roots are here, my family, brothers and sisters. The majority of them actually, three sisters and four brothers, live in Ethiopia. I have a big family and have been studying the economics, the business here, to help do a factory or something like that.

AG: Well, isn't manufacturing in Ethiopia now threatened by the cancellation of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in the United States, which has provided for tariff free imports from Ethiopia? I believe that exports have increased from 20 million to 300 million during the time that Ethiopian manufacturing has been able to benefit from AGOA. So would that affect the kind of businesses that you're looking into? And how much anxiety is that causing? It looks like Biden is going to cancel Ethiopia's AGOA agreements in January.

AWK: That's sad to hear, but I didn't consider any trade advantages because I want to manufacture for the local population, which is a market of over 110 million people. You don't necessarily have to manufacture for export, and I'm not thinking of everything from a business or profit outlook. I just want to contribute something to the country that I was born and raised in.

So what I am thinking of doing doesn't really factor into the decision of the current administration in the US. Since I am a US citizen, and I love both my country and my homeland, I would have been happy if that relationship between the US and Ethiopia had continued to be good. I hope that it will be good again, and that the Biden administration will revisit the threat to cancel Ethiopia's AGOA trade privileges, because that would impact a lot of people. It would change a lot of lives. There are women and girls who make their daily bread from working in factories that make money or sustain their business by exporting.

So it will have significant impact. And that will impact other things that would benefit my ideas or my businesses in the future. So it's not going to change what I'm planning to do, but I hope that the Biden administration does not cancel Ethiopia's AGOA privileges.

AG: It sounds like you are looking to help decrease Ethiopia's dependence on imports and exports, looking to build a more self-sufficient economy. Nobody can be completely self-sufficient in this global economy now, but one can be much less dependent on imports and exports. Is that one of your goals?

AWK: Yes, the majority of Ethiopians—I can't give you a percentage, but the majority—live in the countryside. And their needs are really basic. If they get food, if they get clean water, some shelter, you know, and very little clothing, that's all they ask for. If I can do something to improve their lives, help them have more of the necessities that we consider basic in the industrialized world, that would mean the world to me.

AG: Well, I believe the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has the potential to provide electricity to all of Ethiopia, as the Aswan Dam provides electricity to all Egyptians. How do you think this might transform the country?

AWK: Well, that's what we hope it does. I think it's supposed to start producing electricity soon. And any additional thing would help the country, any little thing would contribute significantly because a lot of the people survive on, you know, something less than $1 a day. So if you add a penny, that would make a difference, and if you can add ten cents that would be a 10% increase in their daily income.

AG: I believe that the Abiy government and the Prosperity Party want to make Ethiopia food secure, able to produce all of the food needed to feed its people. Is that true? And do you know how that's going?

AWK: I don't have the internal detail, but I drove over 450 kilometers in just a day last Tuesday, after the inauguration of the school, and on the way I saw endless land, fertile land covered with crops that are ready for harvest. And looking at that I asked, "Why would a country that has this much fertile land, and capable people who have produced crops year after year for 1000s of years be hungry?" It's just unacceptable to me.

So whoever has the will, especially the government—if that's their intent—it's not a goal too far. They just have to make little changes. And I'm speaking from an engineer's perspective. If you have all of this to work with, it shouldn't be difficult.

AG: I looked at the resources that Ethiopia has, and it's not without oil, not without mineral resources. But it seems like its greatest resources are arable land, much of it uncultivated, a large, competent workforce, and vast hydropower potential, even on rivers that are tributary to the Blue Nile or independent of it. So it seems like food security should be an easy goal for Ethiopia to achieve.

AWK: If you drive from Addis through Gondar, and you look on either side of your main road, you would be hard-pressed to believe that there is hunger in Ethiopia. It's just a puzzle to me. And yes, as you said, the nation has vast agricultural potential.

AG: Well, are these farms that you see peasant farms or industrial farms?

AWK: They are peasant farms. That's part of the problem but it's also a part of the solution. Because if these were industrial farms, there would be heavy manipulation. You would see capitalism and greed in play. And the majority of the people would be, I think, hostage to whatever these industrialists would think is right for them. So if a government provides a little support, or if you allow people with good intentions to work with these peasants who own the land—own in a sense because they have been farming it all their lives—it would be easier to do things as they have for centuries.

AG: Why are people hungry in Ethiopia now?

AWK: Well, there are regions that are not fertile. I think part of Wollo and the majority of Tigray have lacked enough food for a long time. I think that is because the land is not as fertile there as in other parts of the country. The parts that are fertile should be able to support those people. But instead, we've had bad administration after bad administration. And ongoing war has, I think, contributed a lot to hunger and other forms of poverty. This poor country spends a lot of money buying expensive weapons. When I say the country, I'm not pointing fingers at the government. It's the TPLF. They started this war.

AG: Well, it sounded at first like you were saying that Abiy and the Prosperity Party spend too much of the state's resources on weapons. Do they have a choice with the TPLF attacking them from within? Don't they have to have a military budget that allows them to respond?

AWK: No, no, I'm not saying the government doesn't have to. That's the reality we cannot hide. A lot of money and energy are spent on the war. And this is TPLF's war. This is not actually Abiy Ahmed's war, you know. I give him credit for doing pretty much everything to avoid the war. He sent local elders, you know, begging the TPLF to avoid war. I haven't seen any African leader do this, so I give him credit. And even before Abiy came to power, the TPLF were fighting Eritrea.

AG: So what do you think the goals of Abiy and the Prosperity Party are now?

AWK: Well, first, I think they want to defeat TPLF, which has been trying to get back to power and which is way out of Tigray Region now, in Amhara and Afar Regions.

AG: Okay, assuming Ethiopia wins the war, what are Abiy and the Prosperity Party's goals? What do they want to see for Ethiopia?

AWK: TPLF was in power for 27 years, from 1991 to 2018, when they were forced out by popular uprisings. They left angry and determined to return to power. They hunkered down in Tigray, and have since been committing arson all over the country to discredit and sabotage the government, and create friction between people. So I don't think Abiy got time to clarify his goals beyond peace and free speech.

AG: Peace is always a good start.

AWK: I agree. The vast majority of Ethiopians welcomed peace with Eritrea at last. The war that went on for so many years was TPLF's war with Eritrea, not Ethiopia's.

Abiy has done some infrastructure projects that are, you know, visible to the people. And that's where I think he got a lot of support. But in my belief, he really didn't get a break from the TPLF. From day one, they tried to sabotage him. So if this war ends, and hopefully it will end soon, then he should have time to put forward an agenda to work with the people and help the country move forward.

AG: Would you say that Abiy and the Prosperity Party would prioritize getting the essentials to the entire population—food security, education, health, and electricity from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

AWK: I hope so, after the war ends.

AG: Sometimes wars just go on and on because our security state prefers to create chaos in nations who refuse to submit to its will. I hope Ethiopians can keep that from happening.

AOB: So do I. The change that we saw during Abiy's administration, including that now people have freedom to speak their minds, made him popular. He has a lot of genuine supporters, whom I believe could turn into influencers. So if they don't like the direction he's going, I assume they will influence him to change direction. And that's what you hope, you know, to have a leader who will honor the will of the people.

People shouldn't forget that, in the last 50 plus years, the TPLF has been at the lead of every war in Ethiopia. They had the most arms and training.

AG: Is there anything else you'd like to say?

AOB: Yes, I am assuming that a lot of your readers are people of color (POC). And a lot of the things that POC have contributed to the US is ignored. I myself have to read history books to learn about the contribution of African Americans.

I have learned that when Italy invaded Ethiopia, in the 1930s, African Americans marched in the streets of Harlem and around the country, and signed up to go to war to defend Ethiopia.

Now one might expect that our colleagues, our brothers or sisters in the US, would raise their voices, because at the very foundation of this issue is the value the West gives and does not give to Black people. What they do to Africans is what they do to African Americans, although here they coat it with some shiny stuff to get their votes.

Even those of in Black African nation who are very poor never face the issues that our brothers and sisters face in the US. We feel like that's not fair. This country was built on Black slave labor, and I have been fortunate enough to come here, get a good job, and prosper, so I feel I have to give something back just like I have to give something back in Ethiopia. At the time of the George Floyd protests, I made the significant contributions to the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Southern Poverty Law Center that my company had offered to match for each of its employees.

Years ago, when they tried to protect Ethiopia, it was the only Black nation that was not colonized, and they didn't want to lose hope. They just wanted to have at least one sovereign Black nation that they could call home.

AG: Do you see much support among African Americans here now for Ethiopia?

AWK: I don't, and it could be partly because this is a civil war, and they don't know the details about the US’s neocolonial involvement. If they looked at how much the West is doing, using the TPLF as its proxy force, that might change. I don't know if they have the time, but we do seek their support. We're not asking them to just say they support us. We're asking them to read, ask questions, learn, and come to their own conclusions. That's what you do when you care about things.

AG: Abraham, thank you for speaking to Black Agenda Report.

AWK: Thank you for inviting me.

https://www.blackagendareport.com/abrah ... d-ethiopia
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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