Imperialism is alive and well, and the Libyan invasion by Western forces is the latest example, writes Motsoko Pheko. Only a united Africa protecting and defending the interests of her own people collectively can defeat imperialists.
From its inception on 6 April 1959, the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) in South Africa, whose first President was Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, agreed with Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah that, ‘The longer we wait the stronger will be the hold on Africa by neo-colonialism and imperialism.’ That, ‘If Africa was united, no major bloc would attempt to subdue her by limited war because, from the very nature of limited war, what can be achieved by it, is itself limited. It is only where small states exist that it is possible, by lending a few thousand marines or by financing a mercenary force that they can secure a decisive result.’
Nkrumah emphasised this important point for Africans when addressing the African heads of state and government on 24 May 1963. He declared that, ‘No sporadic act nor pious resolutions can resolve our present problems...As a continent we have emerged into independence in a difficult age, with imperialism grown stronger, more ruthless and experienced, and more dangerous in its international associations. Our economic advancement demands the end of colonialist and neo-colonialist domination of Africa.’
What has now happened to Libya under Muammar Gaddafi must drive home forcefully what the pan-Africanists have been hammering on all these years. Imperialism is not dead, despite its perfidious rhetoric. NATO and United States of America invaded Libya in February 2O11 to have access and control of the oil wealth of Libyans under the pretext of ‘protecting civilians.’ Libya is the most bombed country in Africa by NATO and America this century, killing thousands of civilians they purported to protect.
The imperialist invasion of this part of Africa has now been falsely called ‘Libyan revolution.’ This beginning of the second Berlin rape of Africa is not about violation of human rights in Africa. It is about accessing Africa’s riches for the benefit of Europe and America. This is to perpetuate Africa’s poverty and her dependency on ‘foreign aid.’
It is, therefore, a suffocating stink on the history of the ‘Freedom Charter’ of the ANC government that it voted for the NATO illegal bombing of Libya with imperialist countries in the United Nations Security Council such as the USA, Britain and France. At least China and Russia abstained, although outright opposition would have saved many lives and stopped the destruction of Libya’s infrastructure.
Even Germany could not vote for this perilous Security Council Resolution 1973/2011 that authorised terrorist attacks on Libya. How is this ANC government vote different from the way the apartheid colonialist regime voted when it was in the United Nations?
The United Nations resolution resulted in NATO and USA soldiers secretly fighting side by side with anti-Gaddafi rebels in the same manner the USA and Britain did in Iraq against Saddam Hussein. The USA and British allies consistently peddled the false accusation that Hussein possessed nuclear weapons. In Libya it is NATO planes of aggression inside Libya that attacked Muammar Gaddafi at Sirte, his home town and killed him. In 1961 Patrice Lumumba died at the hands of the United Nations that was manipulated by the same Western imperialist countries to protect their continued looting of Congo’s resources. The geo-historical parallels must be examined and constantly interrogated.
Rumblings which the ANC government made after the brutal murder and death of Colonel Gaddafi are tantamount to crocodile tears, a continuum in their traditional culture of hunting with the dogs and running with the hare. What the imperialist countries did to Patrice Lumumba using the United Nations in 196O is a clear lesson of the extent to which they are barbarously committed to achieving their nefarious schemes. The ANC should have learned this lesson hard and fast. A government under leaders like Robert Sobukwe, Zephania Mothopeng , Steve Biko and other pan Africanists such as Kwame Nkrumah and Ahmed Sekou Toure would never have voted for the overthrow of an African government by imperialists under the perfidious cover of ‘protecting civilians.’
NATO and America flew their war planes to Libya not to ‘protect civilians’ but to replace an anti-imperialist government with a puppet regime. This is what they mean by ‘regime change.’ Once they had killed Gaddafi, they announced that their ‘mission is accomplished’ and there was more euphoric celebration in the imperialist capitals of the world than in Libya.
The overthrow of brutal governments is the work and responsibility of the oppressed masses not malevolent external forces. Imperialists are oppressors and oppressors cannot liberate the oppressed. Imperialists intervene in territories over which they have no jurisdiction or invitation in order to protect their own interests and install puppet regimes. The political history of Africa is replete with illustrations that confirm this. The United Nations General Assembly should in fact dismantle the Security Council veto which is primarily controlled by imperialist countries that are the principal war criminals in the world today and the root cause of global instability.
If the United Nations delays reform of the Security Council, it will inevitably cause the UN’s demise in the same way as its predecessor, the League of Nations. The International Criminal Court has shown signs of being a tool of imperialism; hence George Bush of America and Tony Blair of Britain have never been summoned before this court for their crimes against humanity, especially in Iraq.
This court has charged only African leaders and is hunting for some more. The African Union must find its own court to charge African leaders who have propensity for tyranny. The United States of America has not even signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. African leaders must stop subjecting Africa to racists and incorrigible former practitioners of slave trade and colonialism for which they have yet to pay trillions of dollars as reparations to Africa.
Leading NATO countries such as Britain, France and Italy are reported to be in huge debt. The United States of America alone has a reported debt of $114 trillion. Africa has riches. Like during the enslavement of Africans and the colonisation of their countries, the bankrupt Western countries hope once again to salvage their crumbling economies by turning Africa into their looting ground once again through barbaric terrorist militarism. How different are they from armed bank robbers or from the armed ‘terrorists’ they claim to be fighting?
Africa has resources. They are for Africans. God meant them to be for the benefit of the children of Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) alone, when developed, can feed and provide electricity to the rest of Africa. DRC is 905,355 square miles. It is the size of the following twelve European countries combined: Britain, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Amernia and Albania. The untapped wealth of Congo is about more than $24 trillion. This is equivalent to the Gross Domestic Product of Europe and United States of America put together.
Only pan-Africanism can secure the interests of Africa. Only a united Africa protecting and defending the interests of her own people collectively can defeat these imperialist bloodsuckers.
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* Dr. Pheko is former Representative of the victims of apartheid and colonialism at the United Nations in New York well as at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. He is also the former President of the Pan Africanist Congress and former Member of the South African Parliament. He is one of the most prolific African writers. He writes on history, politics, law and theology. This article is an extract from one of his latest books HOW FREEDOM CHARTER BETRAYED THE DISPOSSESSED.