During the period of African independence, when there was little of the enormous range of today available facilities of communication (instant messaging through a variety of channels), freedom fighters across Africa were almost constantly aware of the struggles of their colleagues in different parts of the continent.
The present reality of neoliberal world order is that when Africans in Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Central African Republic, etc are victims of foreign interventions, their brothers and sisters across the continent and the diaspora react with a regrettable detachment.
This has been one of the major achievements of the former colonial masters: making Africans so divided that they cannot bear any empathy towards each other when they become victims of global strategies of exploitation of the world resources by the ongoing world order.
People analysing today the struggle for African independence and keen to replicate what their forefathers achieved to present times where Africans are still struggling against the same foreign forces, forget to weight enough the various contacts that the Nkrumahs, Lumumbas, Sekou Toures, Mugabes, and many others had together with a purpose of strategizing to free themselves from a common enemy.
The above point was raised by a participant during a conference held at the (London) School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on Thursday 26/02/15. The gathering had been convened by Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa (STOPFIIA), a new initiative of Africans based in UK and aiming to address the increasing, more lethal and varied attacks from external forces towards the continent and its people.
STOPFIIA has developed out of a serious concern about the lack of knowledge on the negative impact that foreign intervention has had and continues to have on Africa. One of the many issues that the initiators of STOPFIIA had in mind was for example: why was that more interferences in Nigeria was one of the consequences of Boko Haram acts of terrorism?
In the past too many countries were engaged in war. Many of these wars were fought on behalf of the West. We believe that African in Britain and eventually elsewhere should be able to give a more united response to recent and ongoing foreign and multiform interventions across Africa.
As the big powers, including China, fight it out for Africa’s resources, markets and labour, the ordinary African continues to be at the mercy of loss of land, vaccine experiments, and the continent remains a dumping ground for nuclear and other waste products. Western financial institutions continue their economic interventions in the name of “aid”, “development” or “humanitarian” reasons to privatise for example water and other utilities.
The mentioned gathering presented four themes for discussion to its participants:
- New Scramble for Africa – by Kobina Mark
- African Resistance – by Ambrose Nzeyimana
- Neocolonialism – by Dr.Ama Biney
- Britain Role in Intervention – by Dr. Hakim Adi
Members of STOPFIIA consider that understanding well the contexts within which these foreign interventions are undertaken is critical to addressing their negative impacts on Africans everywhere.
The themes that were discussed inspired among participants suggestions of interesting ideas that will undoubtedly help the work of STOPFIIA. These will be talked about in a future post. To be continued…
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