Remembering Muammar Qaddafi and the great Libyan Jamahiriya

Source: sfBayView
October 20 2017

by Gerald A. Perreira

The execution of Muammar Qaddafi and those who fought alongside him and the destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya is one of the greatest crimes of this century.

remembering Qaddafi 1Circa 1970: Muammar Qaddafi with members of the Free Unionist Officers who l
ater formed the Revolutionary Command Council. Far right is Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr
who, at 71 years of age, was captured alongside Qaddafi at the Battle of Sirte.

Oct. 20, 2017, marks the sixth anniversary of the martyrdom of Muammar Qaddafi, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and champion of the Global South. This day also marks the sixth anniversary of the historic battle of Sirte, where Qaddafi, along with a heroic army, including his son, Mutassim Billal Qaddafi, and veteran freedom fighter Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr, fought until their convoy was bombed by French fighter planes. Wounded and demobilized, they were captured by Qatari scavengers and executed by Al-Qaeda operatives.

The courageous men of the original Free Officers’ Union, who were guides and leaders of the then 42-year-old Al-Fatah Revolution, demonstrated extraordinary revolutionary fortitude, heroism and audacity in the face of their enemies. As young men in their 20s, they overthrew the Western-installed Libyan monarchy and ushered in the Jamahiriya and, as elders in their 70s, they refused to leave Libya and instead fought to the bitter end, on the frontlines, alongside their people.

Their example will forever shine as an eternal light in the hearts of all those who struggled alongside them to build the closest thing to a real democracy and a United States of Africa that modern history has ever seen. The execution of Muammar Qaddafi and those who fought alongside him and the destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya is one of the greatest crimes of this century.

Those responsible, including Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Emir Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A coalition of the wicked, comprising U.S./NATO forces, the semi-feudal Arab regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Sudan, and a rag-tag bunch of monarchists and al-Qaeda-linked terrorists inside Libya, who had been working with the CIA and M15 for decades, was assembled and united in their goal. For them, total destruction was the only solution.

remembering Qaddafi 2.jpgOctober 2011: A ravaged Sirte is evidence of the ferocity of the heroic battle staged by loyalist forces against the invaders. – Photo: AP

Refusing Qaddafi’s attempt to negotiate a peaceful solution

Every attempt was made by Qaddafi and his supporters to negotiate a peaceful solution, including inviting international observers into the country to see for themselves what was really taking place, something the imperialists could not allow to happen. This was their golden opportunity to destroy Qaddafi and the Jamahiriya, a plan they had been waiting to execute for years.

There were mass uprisings on either side of Libya, in Tunisia and Egypt. The West had already coined the term “Arab Spring” and was busy hijacking revolts elsewhere. Time was of the essence. In fact, in what can only be described as a frenzy, they may have set a world record for the speed with which they managed to push through the illegal resolution at the U.N., their cover for the invasion.

The fake news and false narrative machine was in full swing. Within 24 hours, U.N. bodies had transformed Qaddafi from a person about to receive the U.N. Human Rights Award into a man killing his own people. The Jamahiriya was targeted for destruction and nothing was going to stop them.

Foreign forces, including the CIA, Dutch Marines, French and Sudanese military personnel, Qatari Special Forces, Al Qaeda fighters – facilitated by the Saudis, as they are facilitating Al Qaeda in Yemen today – were all in place weeks before the staged protests began in Benghazi in February 2011. This was a well-planned and coordinated operation.

‘Sometimes the enemy is the best teacher’

Kwame Ture, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and former executive member of the World Mathaba, opined that sometimes the enemy is the best teacher. He instructed us to study the enemy’s strategy and tactics and to remember that the enemy only goes after those whom they deem to be a real threat to their imperial interests. Pan-Africanist and former president of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure said, “If the enemy is not bothering with you, then know that you are doing nothing.”

remembering Qaddafi 3.jpgHeroes: the millions of armed Libyan men and women who stepped up to defend their Revolution

The forces of U.S.-E.U. imperialism were always bothering Muammar Qaddafi. They were bent on discrediting, demonizing and finding a way to obliterate him and the Libyan Jamahiriya from its inception in 1969 until they finally achieved their nefarious objective in 2011.

Results of a sinister imperialist game plan

Referring to Qaddafi as “the mad dog of the Middle-East,” Ronald Reagan, in a nationwide broadcast, said that Qaddafi’s goal was “world revolution,” claiming that he (Qaddafi) was promoting “a Muslim fundamentalist revolution, which targeted many of his own Arab compatriots.”

There is an African saying: “Mouth open, story jump out.” What Ronald Reagan was describing sounds like the imperialist plan. It was Ronald Reagan who welcomed leaders of the Afghan Mujahadeen, who were fighting the Soviets at the time, to the Oval Office and referred to them as Jihadi freedom fighters.

Today as we face Al Qaeda and their various offshoots, including the infamous ISIL, we are witnessing the devastating results of this sinister imperialist game plan. Ever since the days when the British colonial forces facilitated the creation of the Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the imperialists have encouraged, supported and funded the growth of Islamic fundamentalist groups.

remembering Qaddafi 4.jpg

Libyans prepare to retake Ajdabiya on March 16, 2011.

They understood that this was imperative if they were to counter the resurgence of an Islamic theology of liberation, in the revolutionary tradition of Abu Dharr al Ghifari, and as propounded in contemporary times by outstanding Islamic thinkers, such as Muammar Qaddafi, Ali Shariati, Kaukab Siddique, Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani, Muhammad Iqbal and Mahmoud Ayoub.

 

Islamic liberation theology

Again, we can learn from the enemy. Just as the imperialists and right-wing Christian fundamentalists waged an unrelenting war against the Social Gospel Movement and Christian liberation theology, as articulated by revolutionary theologians such as Gustavo Gutierrez, Miguel Bonino, James Cone and Enrique Dussel, they knew very well that Islamic liberation theology must be countered.

The enemy understood the power of this theology in terms of its ability to act as a bulwark against the imperial hegemon. They knew that this authentic and revolutionary Islam would prevent them from exercising control over an awakened Muslim world.

The enemy understood the power of this Islamic theology of liberation in terms of its ability to act as a bulwark against the imperial hegemon. They knew that this authentic and revolutionary Islam would prevent them from exercising control over an awakened Muslim world.

Reagan was right about one thing: Muammar Qaddafi indeed had a goal of world revolution – it was a revolution that would put the tenets of Islamic liberation theology into practice. Qaddafi’s conception of this revolution was holistic. His revolution would challenge every aspect of Eurocentric epistemology and its inherent racism.

The Libyan revolution was more than a social, political and economic revolution; it was nothing short of a spiritual and cultural revolution. This confounded not only the imperialist powers but also their reactionary Arab satraps.

The World Mathaba

The World Mathaba, established by Muammar Qaddafi in 1982, had as its stated mission, “to resist imperialism, racism, fascism, zionism, colonialism and neo-colonialism.” The Mathaba denotes a place where people gather for a noble purpose.

remembering Qaddafi 5.jpgThe Libyan people were an armed people and Qaddafi often moved among them with minimal security only present to control the crowds that wanted to greet him and shake his hand. Repressive dictators do not arm their people.

Based in Libya, it became a meeting place for revolutionary and progressive forces from all over the world. Similar to the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, which became a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age, and the University of Sankore in Timbuktu, where scholars of the day converged to discuss and debate ideas and formulate new ideas, the Mathaba became a forum for the advancement of a Third Universal Theory beyond Capitalism and Communism.

Prior to the Mathaba, the only international formations for progressive and revolutionary organizations had been the Soviet dominated Comintern, which demanded an ideological allegiance to Marxism-Leninism and the Socialist International that brought together social-democratic parties. The ideological rigidity of these two international formations excluded organizations and movements that rejected Eurocentric ideologies, including many Indigenous and Pan-African organizations who found a home in the World Mathaba.

Through the Mathaba, Qaddafi assisted all those who were fighting for liberation and self-determination, regardless of whether or not it was in Libya’s geo-political interests to do so. Under Qaddafi’s visionary leadership, material assistance and moral support was provided to the oppressed from every corner of the earth, regardless of religion or ideology.

All were helped – from the Roma people of Eastern Europe to the Kanak people of New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific to the Rohingya people, who are presently being ethnically cleansed by the Buddhist chauvinists of Myanmar, and who the U.N. recently referred to as “the most friendless people.” What the hypocritical U.N. body failed to mention was that they once had a friend in Muammar Qaddafi.

A sacred duty

remembering Qaddafi 6.jpg

What we knew all along is now a substantiated and indisputable fact: There was never a mass uprising in Benghazi or anywhere in Libya. The Libyan people in their millions made it clear that they supported the Al-Fatah Revolution.

Qaddafi noted on many occasions that the Libyan Revolution had a sacred duty to help all those who were in legitimate need and suffering persecution, since this was in accordance with the teachings of the Quran, which was Libya’s Constitution. The bedrock of Islam is to enjoin that which is good and condemn that which is wrong and unjust. Any Muslim, regardless of their interpretation of Quranic teachings, will admit that the Quran clearly states that the weakest response to injustice is to hate it in your heart, the second weakest response is to speak against it and the strongest response is to oppose it in every way possible.

A spiritual revolution

Leader of the Philippine based Moro National Liberation Front, Nur Misuari, in a lecture he delivered in 1990 at the Green World Institute in Tripoli, explained that inserting the word “Islamic” into the name of a country or organization, like the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” or “Moro Islamic Liberation Front” did not make the country or organization Islamic.

Declaring yourself an “Islamic” country like Saudi Arabia and Qatar does not make you Islamic. To be a truly Islamic society and nation, there has to be a spiritual revolution – a revolution that raises the spiritual consciousness of the people; a revolution that counters the false Islam that the oppressors promote, that abolishes capitalism and the semi-feudal social relations sustained by the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Sudan.

To be a truly Islamic society and nation, there has to be a spiritual revolution – a revolution that raises the spiritual consciousness of the people; a revolution that counters the false Islam that the oppressors promote, that abolishes capitalism and the semi-feudal social relations sustained by the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Sudan.

This is why Qaddafi was such a threat to the imperialists and their Muslim surrogates. He was not only propounding dangerous ideas, he was building a new society – a Jamahiriya – a state of the masses, a real democracy based on the revolutionary teachings of the Quran, which, according to South African political scientist Themba Sono, “created conditions for the many to rule themselves.”

Sono goes on to explain: “For Qaddafi, this is part of the natural order in which the majority rules themselves rather than for a minority to exercise power over a majority … Qaddafi denies that the emanations from the activity of electoral participants can never be called rule, not only because such rule would be unethical and thereby unstable, but also because it would contradict the very essence and fundamental tenet of democracy, which is, to be tautological, that, naturally, free people must and can rule themselves.”

It was a dangerous precedent that the imperialists could not allow to continue.

As Sono notes in his book, “The Qaddafi Green Syndrome: Shaking the Foundations”: “Qaddafi does not care to investigate whether or not the people are capable of ruling themselves, for he asks the question, how do we do that without giving the people not only the right but the opportunity to do so? Who is to know beforehand and therefore to decide a priori that the people are not qualified to rule themselves?”

Dangerous ideas indeed

Applying the principles of Qaddafi’s Third Universal Theory transformed Libya from one of the poorest countries in the world to not only one of the most prosperous countries in Africa but, in many respects, one of the most prosperous countries worldwide. Facts and figures substantiate this claim.

remembering Qaddafi 7.jpgDuring the invasion of Libya, 1.7 million people – 95 percent of the population of Tripoli and one third of the entire population of Libya – gathered in downtown Tripoli in what has been called the largest demonstration in world history to support Qaddafi and the revolution. Syrians living in Libya can be seen in the center of the photo waving the Syrian flag. – Photo: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Libya had no foreign debt and actually deposited payments from oil revenue into the bank accounts of its citizens. As is by now well documented, Libyans had access to free quality healthcare, free education from nursery through university level, rent free housing, free electricity, subsidized food – a very high standard of living.

Imperialists hate these types of precedents. What if, upon seeing these achievements, other nations decided to disregard the Western-style systems of governance and the neo-liberal capitalist model that simply widens the gap between the haves and have-nots?

What if countries in Africa, seeing Libya’s advancement and prosperity, decided to rid themselves of the bogus liberal democratic tradition that empowers 1 percent of humanity to rule over 99 percent? What if others decided to reject the multi-party electoral circus, designed to divide and fragment our countries along ethnic and tribal lines and, instead, opted for a Jamahiriya or State of the Masses?

Once asked by a journalist, what was the one thing he wanted to achieve most in his lifetime, Qaddafi replied, “to change the world.” And he was coming close.

Muammar Qaddafi and the empowered Libyan Jamahiriya were leading the movement to establish a United States of Africa, with a united military and a single currency, a dinar backed by Africa’s gold reserves. This would have actually dethroned the U.S. dollar and shifted the global economic imbalance. This would have indeed changed the world.

Muammar Qaddafi and the empowered Libyan Jamahiriya were leading the movement to establish a United States of Africa, with a united military and a single currency, a dinar backed by Africa’s gold reserves. This would have actually dethroned the U.S. dollar and shifted the global economic imbalance.

So, on Oct. 20, 2011, the Satanic forces that had been at war with Qaddafi and the Libyan Jamahiriya from its inception in 1969, dealt their final blow to the man known to revolutionaries throughout the world as the Brother-Leader and to revolutionary Muslims throughout Africa and the world as the “Commander of the Faithful.”

‘If they get past Libya, they are coming for you …’

Six years later and the fallout from this criminal act is still being felt everywhere. Key development projects throughout Africa, financed by Libya, have all grounded to a halt. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, key players in Libya’s demise, are now busy grabbing large tracts of land in Africa. This would not have been possible if Qaddafi was alive.

remembering Qaddafi 8.jpgThousands of Libyan loyalists and migrants from other African countries languish in prisons.

The expansion of AFRICOM, the expansion of U.S. military bases, and the building of new military bases by the Chinese and the Turks in Africa would also not have been possible if Qaddafi were alive. Indeed, there would have been a fierce resistance to the current recolonization and re-carving of Africa if Muammar Qaddafi were alive and the Libyan Jamahiriya were flourishing as before.

Of course, the urgent need to recolonize an Africa that was awakening to its own power and ability to unite and self-determine was the very reason for the overthrow of Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution. It is not surprising that the French led the charge. In March 2008, former French president, Jacques Chirac said, “Without Africa, France would slide down into the rank of a Third World power.” As early as 1957, long before he became president, Francois Mitterrand said, “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century.”

Libya has been transformed into a dysfunctional neo-colonial entity, where an array of militias squabble over territory and spoils. Its vast landmass has become a safe haven and training ground for ISIL and other Al-Qaeda offshoots.

Thousands of Libyans and other African nationals are still detained without trial in what can only be described as concentration camps. Many have been tortured and executed in these same camps, their only crime: being Qaddafi loyalists. Those now in control of Libya hated Qaddafi’s Pan-African objectives. They are Arab supremacists and are persecuting Black Libyans and other African nationals.

Africans who once travelled to Libya to work and send back much needed funds to their families are now crossing the Mediterranean. Entire boatloads of people, including women and children, are drowning as they make the perilous journey.

Africans who once travelled to Libya to work and send back much needed funds to their families are now crossing the Mediterranean. Entire boatloads of people, including women and children, are drowning as they make the perilous journey.

Our ancestors were once captured and forced on to boats against their will. Many perished during that crossing. Today, we are clamoring to secure a place on boats that are not even seaworthy to escape the conditions created by our former enslavers. Many are still perishing.

Qaddafi would often lament, “The world shakes, but it doesn’t change.”

Workers from as far afield as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Turkey, Germany, England, Italy, Malaysia and Korea lost their jobs.

The entire refugee crisis across Europe is a result of the destruction of the Jamahiriya.

remembering Qaddafi 9.jpgMuammar Qaddafi is remembered with love and held in high esteem by Black
people in Africa and throughout the Diaspora, including in the U.S.

The push to establish a United States of Africa, which prior to Libya’s demise was a dynamic and energized initiative, is presently a dream deferred. Revolutionary Pan-Africanism has suffered a huge setback.

Today’s African leaders, with the exception of a few, are only good for talking Pan-Africanism in the halls of the African Union headquarters. Outside of these confines, they are committed to maintaining the old neo-colonial relationships that keep Africa in bondage.

We salute you

On this day, all those who resist oppression and tyranny worldwide, salute the great freedom fighter and our Brother-Leader, Muammar Qaddafi, and the other revolutionary leaders of Al Fatah. We pay homage to their dedicated and life-long struggle for human emancipation and dignity. We are forever inspired by their steadfast and courageous fight to the end, and by their unwavering faith in, and service to God.

We are grateful for their undying love for the African continent and all of humanity. We salute the millions of Libyan men and women who heroically resisted the invasion of their country and who continue to suffer to this day.

We stand in solidarity with the family of Muammar Qaddafi and the families of all the martyrs. We stand in solidarity with the thousands of political prisoners inside Libya and the more than 1.5 million Qaddafi loyalists exiled from their country.

We commit our full support to the struggle being waged by the patriotic and nationalist forces to liberate and unify Libya once again. For the Green revolutionary, death is not the end but the doorway to a new beginning. Martyrs never die.

Gerald A. Perreira is chairperson of the Guyanese organizations Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG) and Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP). He is an executive member of the Caribbean Chapter of the Network for Defense of Humanity. He lived in Libya for many years, served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Al Fatah revolution, and was a founding member of the World Mathaba, based in Tripoli, Libya. He can be reached at mojadi94@gmail.com.

Somalia’s deadliest bomb attack: More than 300 killed

Source:  Independent and  Quartz Media
October 19 2017

somalia 2.jpg

The death toll from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has risen to more than 300 people with hundreds of others  injured and many more people still missing

Police said a truck bomb exploded outside the Safari Hotel at the K5 intersection, which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks, flattening buildings and setting vehicles on fire. A separate blast struck the Medina district two hours later.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed said the toll comes from doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries have not yet been identified, he said.

It is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

somalia 1.jpgSomali Armed Forces evacuate their injured colleague, from the scene
of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of
Mogadishu, Somalia (Reuters)

Dr Afzal Ashraf, assistant professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, told The Independent the attack was likely a response to recent losses suffered by Islamist groups.

He said groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Isis were “increasingly on the back foot, particularly in Iraq and Syria, and feel they need to lash out.”

More than 200 were injured in the explosion outside the hotel and hospitals are struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.

Officials feared the death toll would continue to climb. Many died at hospitals from their wounds, Police Captain Mohamed Hussein said.

Vehicles burn at the scene of a massive explosion in front of Safari Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia (EPA)

The Red Cross said four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead and warned “this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing.”

Overnight, rescue workers with torch lights searched for survivors trapped under the rubble of the largely destroyed Safari Hotel, which is close to Somalia’s foreign ministry. The explosion blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. “I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate,” he said.

somalia 3.jpgAngry protesters took to the streets in Mogadishu a day after the massive truck bomb attack.

Somalia’s government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaabextremist group for the attack it called a “national disaster.” However, al-Shabaab, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital with bombings, had yet to claim the attack.

“They don’t care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children,” Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said. “They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians.”

Somalia’s information minister, Abdirahman Omar, said the blast was the largest the city had ever seen. “It’s a sad day. This is how merciless and brutal they are, and we have to unite against them,” he said, speaking to the state-run radio station.

The US joined the condemnation, saying “such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.”

America has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabaab, which is also fighting the Somali military and the more than 20,000-strong African Union forces in the country.

Why is the US at War in West Africa?

Source:  “Information Clearing House“/ wsws.org
October 15 2017

By Eddie Haywood

American military operations throughout the African continent have been conducted almost entirely in secret

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The October 4 killings of four US Green Berets in Niger has provided a rare glimpse into the far-reaching American military operations throughout the African continent which have been conducted almost entirely in secret.

Pentagon officials on Friday told reporters that the ambush was carried out by a self-radicalized group supposedly affiliated with ISIS. The Pentagon additionally admitted that at least 29 patrols similar to the one that was fatally ambushed have been carried out by American soldiers in Niger.

According to AFRICOM, the US military command based in Stuttgart, Germany, the US special forces deployed to Niger are tasked with providing training, logistics, and intelligence to assist the Nigerien military in fighting militants affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Mali and Boko Haram in neighboring Nigeria. AFRICOM has officially stated that its forces interact with the Nigerien army in a “non-combat advisory” capacity.

US military forces arrayed across the continent taking on the character of an occupying army

The circumstances surrounding the ambush which resulted in the deaths of the four Green Berets expose AFRICOM’s claim of non-engagement as a lie. The killings occurred during a joint patrol of elite American soldiers and Nigerien forces in a remote hostile region on the border with Mali known for frequent raids conducted by Islamist militants. Some 800 US commandos are deployed to bases in Niamey and Agadez making quite clear the offensive role that the American military is playing in Niger.

Underlining the incident is Niger’s configuration in Washington’s imperialist offensive across Africa. The expanding levels of US military forces arrayed across the continent have increasingly taken on the character of an occupying army. According to the Pentagon, there are a total of 1,000 American troops in the vicinity of the Chad River Basin which includes northern Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic. An additional 300 troops are stationed to the south in Cameroon.

Related:  AFRICOM’s Secret Empire: US Military Turns Africa Into ‘Laboratory’ Of Modern Warfare

After its establishment in 2008 as an independent command, AFRICOM has significantly expanded American military influence and troop deployments on the African continent. Measuring the breadth of US military expansion is the construction of a $100 million base in Agadez in central Niger, from which the US Air Force conducts regular surveillance drone flights across the Sahel region.

Augmenting the special forces contingent in the region are military personnel stationed at several dozen bases and outposts including a US base in Garoua, Cameroon.

The genesis in 1980

The special operations units in Africa have their genesis in 1980, after the Pentagon created Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to conduct a raid on the US embassy in Tehran, Iran to rescue American hostages. Over the years, SOCOM has vastly broadened its scope, and currently has forces stationed on every continent around the globe.

Made up of various units of the US military, including Green Berets, Delta Force, and Navy Seals, SOCOM carry out a broad spectrum of offensive operations including assassinations, counter-terrorism, reconnaissance, psychological operations, and foreign troop training. Under AFRICOM, these forces form a subgroup of SOCOM designated as Special Operations Command in Africa (SOCAFRICA).

A 2000 per cent increase and the renewed scramble for Africa under Obama

Between 2006 and 2010 the deployment of US special forces troops in Africa increased 300 per cent. However, from 2010 to 2017 the numbers of deployed troops exploded by nearly 2000 per cent, occupying more than 60 outposts tasked with carrying out over 100 missions at any given moment across the continent.

The scale of the military expansion which began in earnest under the Obama administration is part of a renewed “scramble for Africa”, comprised of a reckless drive for economic dominance over Africa’s vast economic resources which threatens to transform the entire continent into a battlefield.

The immediate roots of the Niger ambush

The immediate roots of the Niger ambush can be traced to the 2011 US/NATO war in Libya which resulted in the removal and assassination of Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi. Under the Obama administration, Washington cultivated and armed various Islamist militant groups with ties to Al-Qaeda as a proxy force to carry out its aim of regime change. The resulting US/NATO bombardment left Libyan society in shambles, and the Islamist fighters spilled forth and out across North Africa and south to the Sahel.

In 2012, as a consequence of a US and French backed coup against the government in Bamako, Tuareg rebels in Northern Mali took advantage of the chaos resulting from the coup to stage a rebellion. After the Tuareg militants began taking control over cities and territory as it cut deeper into southern Mali, France with the Obama administrations backing deployed 4,000 troops to the country to neutralize the Tuareg rebels, eventually stabilizing the government it placed in Bamako.

While the Tuareg rebellion may have been halted by the US-backed French offensive, Islamist fighters from Libya were pouring into Mali, with many taking up arms against the Western backed puppet government. The Islamist fighters largely united into one large group, declaring allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM). The military forces of Niger and Chad which participated in the US/French intervention in Mali have become frequent targets by the Islamist militants who began conducting cross-border raids and launched attacks on patrols and garrisons.

Transforming West Africa into a battlefield is the end result of Washington’s works

The rise of these warring Islamist militias which have transformed West Africa into a battlefield is the end result of Washington’s decades-long strategy in cultivating these forces as a proxy army in its wars for regime change, at first, in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and subsequently in Africa.

Underscoring France’s military deployment are the French economic interests it seeks to protect not only Mali, but throughout West Africa, the region which was once part of its colonial empire. In Niger, the French energy giant Arven has established mining operations extracting the country’s rich uranium resources.

For its part, Washington has enlisted the participation of the military forces of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Mali in its drive for dominance of the Sahel and West Africa, with all of these countries featuring US outposts or bases.

Washington’s military expansion in response to China’s economic influence

A key element of Washington’s military expansion in the region are the significant economic resources that it aims to secure for American corporate interests. On behalf of these interests, and complimentary to its military operation, Washington has constructed a $300 million embassy in Niamey.

Washington’s military interventions in Africa must also be seen as an effort to offset China’s growing economic influence on the continent. Beijing in recent years has secured investment deals with African governments in nearly every sector of Africa’s economy.

China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) purchased the permit for oil drilling in Niger’s Agadem Basin, and CNPC also constructed and operates the Soraz refinery near Zinder, Niger’s second largest city. Deals by Beijing for the construction of pipelines traversing through Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon are currently in the development stage, causing no small amount of consternation in Washington.

This article was originally published by WSWS 

Copyright © 1998-2017 World Socialist Web Site

Ghana Honours Kwame Nkrumah

Source:  citifmonline.com
September 17, 2017

Founders Day to be Aug. 4, Sept. 21 to honour Nkrumah’s memory

President Nana Akufo-Addo.jpgPresident Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo is to propose legislation to designate August 4 as Founders Day.

This is according to a statement from the Presidency signed by its Director of Communications, Eugine Arhin.

Kwame Nkrumah.jpgThe birthday of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on September 21, will be observed as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday was originally observed as Founder’s Day.

The Presidency’s statement noted that August 4, is “obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana.”

August 4 is noted as the date for the formation of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society by John Mensah Sarbah in 1897, and the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947 by J.B. Danquah and George Alfred “Paa” Grant.

The thinking informing this proposal, according to the President, is to acknowledge the “successive generations of Ghanaians who made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism.”

The statement acknowledged Dr. Nkrumah’s standing in Ghanaian history and said: “it is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.”

Related:  “You must guard against the divide and rule tactics of imperialism … unity must be the keynote of our actions …”  Kwame NKrumah

“The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays.”

“…In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday,” the statement added.

The Founder’s Day versus Founders Day debate has been a longstanding one, and was brought into the limelight in 2017, starting with President Akufo-Addo’s speech delivered at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary parade.

That speech came under attack over what some said was a skewed account of Ghana’s history to suit his father, Edward Akufo-Addo and uncle, J.B. Danquah, who were critical components in Ghana’s fight for independence and the forebearers of the governing New Patriotic Party’s tradition.

Related:  Massive turnout as NDC shows love for Kwame Nkrumah on Founder’s Day (Photos+Video)


Find below the full statement from the Presidency

It is unfortunate that, 60 years after independence, the history of the events leading to it continues to be embroiled in unnecessary controversy, due largely to partisan political considerations of the moment.

It is clear that successive generations of Ghanaians made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism. It is, therefore, fitting that we honour them, as those who contributed to the founding of our nation.

The most appropriate way to honour them is to commemorate the day on which the two most significant events in our colonial political history, that led us to independence, occurred – 4th August.

On that day, in 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed in Cape Coast. The Society did a great job to mobilise the chiefs and people to ward off the greedy hands of British imperialism to ensure that control of Ghanaian lands remained in Ghanaian hands. It represented the first monumental step towards the making of modern Ghana, enabling us to avoid the quagmire of land inheritance that our brothers and sisters in Southern and Eastern Africa continue to suffer, from the seizures of their lands by white minorities.

In a deliberate act in the continuum of Ghanaian history, exactly fifty years later, on 4th August, 1947, at Saltpond, the great nationalists of the time gathered to inaugurate the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first truly nationalist party of the Gold Coast, to demand the independence of our nation from British rule, at a gathering which included “paramount chiefs, clergymen, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, traders and men and women from all walks of life in the Gold Coast”, according to an eye witness. The inauguration set the ball rolling for our nation’s attainment of independence, and for the dramatic events, including the birth in 1949 of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), that ushered us into freedom.

That day, 4th August, is, thus, obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana.

It is equally clear that the first leader of independent Ghana, and the nation’s 1st President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, played an outstanding role in helping to bring to fruition the works of the earlier generations, and leading us to the promised land of national freedom and independence. It is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.

The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays. In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday.
……signed……
Eugene Arhin
Director of Communications
Office of the President

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Turkey opens its biggest overseas military base in Somalia

Source: South China Morning Post

01 October, 2017, 11:43am

Turkish military officers will train Somali soldiers at the base which includes army dormitories, training grounds and prisons

turkey in africaTurkey has opened its biggest overseas military base in Somalia’s capital, cementing its ties with the volatile but strategic Muslim nation and building a presence in East Africa.

More than 10,000 Somali soldiers will be trained by Turkish officers at the base, a senior Turkish official said ahead of the ceremony in Mogadishu attended by Turkish military chief of staff Hulusi Akar.

The opening of the US$50 million base signals ever-closer ties between Turkey and Somalia. Turkey’s relations with the Horn of Africa date back to the Ottoman Empire, but President Tayyip Erdogan’s government has become a close ally of the Somali government in recent years.

Hassan Ali-Khaire somalia's pm.jpgAt the opening ceremony on Saturday, Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire thanked the Turkish government for opening the training school and said it would help the government “reconstruct” its national force – “not based on clan … not from a particular place, but well-trained forces that represent the Somali people.”

He noted that the military school was Turkey’s biggest overseas. The facility can train and house 1,000 soldiers at a time and also has sports courts and a running track.

Erdogan, whose roots are in political Islam, is an outspoken defender of Muslims, particularly those in need of humanitarian aid, such as Syrian refugees and Myanmar’s Rohingya.

A willing partner

Analysts say that, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, as Turkey’s foreign policy forays close to home have floundered, Ankara has found a willing partner in Somalia.

“It’s a country where Turkey could make a difference without necessarily having to compete with regional or global powers,” said Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Ankara’s initial focus on aid, as opposed to security help or overt backing of political parties, helped build trust, he added.

Turkey’s vast aid effort at the height of the 2011 famine endeared it to many Somali people, and it has continued to pour in aid, much of it from private companies.

It has built schools, hospitals and infrastructure and provided scholarships for Somalis to study in Turkey. Erdogan has visited Mogadishu twice, and when he made his first trip there in 2011 he became the first non-African leader to visit the war-ravaged nation in 20 years.

Rapidly growing trade

Rapidly growing trade between the two nations has followed. In 2010, Turkish exports to Somalia totalled just US$5.1 million. By last year, they had ballooned to US$123 million. In the space of six years Turkey has gone from Somalia’s 20th-largest source of imports to its fifth-largest.

“Turkey really has won the hearts and minds of Somali people,” Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman said last month.

Somalia’s government has also been a vocal backer of the Erdogan government in its bid to quash Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen’s influence abroad. The Somali cabinet immediately ordered schools and a hospital in Mogadishu linked to Gulen to be shut in the aftermath of last year’s failed coup, which Erdogan has repeatedly blamed on the cleric. Gulen denies involvement.

Somalia’s government has a number of foreign backers, including the United Nations, the African Union, and the United States, who are assisting it in building a functional national army capable of taking on the fight against the militant al-Shabab group.

In August, China formally opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

China began construction of a logistics base in Djibouti last year. It will be used to resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, in particular.

Ethiopia: Floods Leave Thousands Homeless in Ethiopia

Source:  Allafrican.com
28 SEPTEMBER 2017

CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg) 

RESOURCE: Heavy Downpours Caused Widespread Street Flooding in Addis Ababa

By Adane Bikila in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

floods in ethiopia.jpgAddis Ababa — EXTENSIVE flooding has displaced more than 93 000 people in crisis-torn Ethiopia. The Ambeira zone in Afar region, special zones surrounding the capital Addis Ababa , Jima, South-east Shewa and South-west Shewa in the Oromia region have been worst affected by the incessant rains. It is estimated that a total of 18 628 households have been affected in the East African country.

In the background of the recent floods, civil unrest along the Oromo and Somali border, which stretches more than 1 000km, has complicated the situation. Ethnic clashes have led to the displacement of more than 45 000 households (225 000 people) from Oromia and Somali regions, including into the neighboring Hareri region. “The flood situation is happening in different areas than the conflict. The capacity of the response is being outstretched due to the simultaneity of the two disasters,” said a spokesperson of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.

The organisation has deployed teams to conduct emergency needs assessments and distributions of emergency shelter in flood-affected areas. It has also begun distribution of relief to communities displaced by conflict. Ambulances have been provided to evacuate and offer first aid services to those wounded. Ehiopia, Africa’s second biggest country by population (102 million), is also enduring food shortages and an outbreak of cholera that has killed 800 people in 2017.

– CAJ News

South Africa: Nehawu Message to the People of Cuba After the Effect of Hurricane Irma

The National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] has learnt of the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, described as “the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in Cuba’s history”.

There are reports of considerable damage to infrastructure, homes including regrettable loss of lives. Our thoughts are with the government of the Republic of Cuba, Cubans and families affected by the hurricane. We convey our deepest condolences to all Cuban people.

NEHAWU takes this opportunity to wish all Cuban authorities and the population in general well as they are focusing on recovery efforts to restore basic services to the population and repair the material damages. In the context of this disaster, we denounce the cruel US economic blockade against Cuba, which is a natural affront to the restoration of infrastructure, safety for the people and after all peace and social progress.

We have confidence in the unremitting rescue efforts coordinated by the government of the Republic of Cuba to prioritise the saving of lives. Our union, NEHAWU will participate in the International Emergency Campaign aimed at assisting Cuba with direct material aid. Once again, on behalf of its entire membership, the union remains confident to its relationship with sister unions and the working class as a whole in Cuba and also convinced that they will emerge victorious from effects of this hurricane.