Tag Archive | Congo

‘Our future is slavery, West gets everything’ in Mineral-rich, Money-poor Congo*

‘Our future is slavery, West gets everything’ in Mineral-rich, Money-poor Congo*

 

RT Documentary travels to the vast, near-landlocked Democratic Republic of Congo, prized for its mineral resources, but plagued by centuries of colonial rule, dictatorship, civil wars and lawlessness, and meets people trying to make a living in one of the most desperate places on Earth.

 

The documentary crew’s key to understanding the country, seven times the size of Germany, was Bernard Kalume Buleri, born in 1960, the same year DRC was granted its independence from Belgium. Buleri served as an interpreter, guide, and finally the hero and symbol of the country, having been a direct participant in some of its bloodiest chapters.

 

Bernard Kalume Buleri/RT Documentary ‘Congo, My Precious’ / RT

 

“I can’t say that the Congolese, we are in control of our destiny. No, because the ones who benefit from our minerals are not the local population, but Western countries are the ones who are taking everything. They make themselves rich, while we are getting poorer and poorer, says Buleri.

 

The country of almost 80 million is one of the world’s largest exporters of diamonds, coltan – essential for electronics – and has massive deposits of copper, tin and cobalt.

“I’m afraid even for my children. Because they will continue in this system to be slaves forever. We’ll never be powerful enough to challenge the Western countries. So, the future will be the future of slaves,” Buleri continues.

 

There is plenty of blame to go around for the predicament of what is also a fertile and scenic land.

With almost no educated elite, DRC was poorly-prepared for its separation from Belgian rule, now best remembered for the atrocity-filled reign of King Leopold II, which may have killed up to half of the country’s population.

 

The vacuum was filled by the archetype-setting African kleptocrat Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the country for more than three decades, until he was deposed in 1997, plunging Africa into a series of continent-wide conflicts that may have resulted in as many 5 million deaths through violence, starvation and disease.

The country’s below-ground wealth means that it was never left alone for long enough to reform and wean itself off its reliance on metals and gems – the widely-mentioned “mineral curse.” The mines the RT crew passes are now owned by local warlords, chiefs and officials, with exports mostly going to China.

Salinga Prosper is a coltan and cassiterite prospector at the Mokengu Family Mine, located a two-hour walk away from the village of Tchonka. Every day, he wakes up at 4am, walks by foot to the mine, and works till sunset, digging for metals that he will sell at 1/20th of the price they will eventually fetch on the market.

“We are always hungry. We do this so our children don’t starve,” he tells the RT crew.

“What else can we do in this region? This is our destiny. Anyone not strong enough joins the army or the gangsters. But the strong, we work here.”

 

Millions of locals – perhaps one-fifth of the adult population, at some point – are employed in what is known as artisanal mining, inefficient small-scale prospecting with simple handheld tools, with no safety measures or guaranteed wages. But for a country that ranks 227th out of 230 for GDP per capita, according to World Bank data, any job at all is a matter of survival.

 

“At least we can earn something, not like when we were just unpaid slaves,” Wassa Mokengu, the mine owner, who likes to remind his employees that they used to be paid with rice and salt in colonial times, tells the documentary makers.

The acceptance of their circumstances by the Congolese is in equal parts dispiriting and admirable. Bulemi himself says that he paid a Hutu militia the equivalent of $5 to shoot – not cut apart – his Tutsi wife in Rwanda, when they came to slaughter her with a machete during the genocide.

He found his second wife, then a prostitute, in a local bar back in his homeland, and has started a new family, though he admits that he is haunted by the past, and anxious about the future.

“I’m struggling: I try to stay stable, I try to have a normal life. But inside me… sometimes I feel I’m dead,” he says. “We don’t understand what kind of system they have put in to rule this world. I don’t talk about other countries; I’m talking about my country, my family. And the worst, I don’t see a solution – I don’t think there is a solution.”

 

“Congo, My Precious” will be broadcast on RT on July 5, 6 and 9, and on RTD every day between July 5-12. It will also be available online here.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Congolese in their Struggle for Freedom*

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

The U.S. and the Wars in the Sahel*

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The U.S. and the Wars in the Sahel*

The U.S. and the Wars in the Sahel*

By Gary K. Busch

Washington has been at war in Africa for years.  But in French-speaking parts of the continent it is Paris that is fully in control. Who becomes president and how national affairs are conducted is a matter determined by the French for their own interest under the colonial-era doctrine of Françafrique. And American tax-payers foot much of the bill for this neo-colonialism.

At the end of his first week in office, newly elected President Emmanuel Macron visited French troops in the West African country of Mali. Macron flew into Gao, a city in Mali’s north, where political unrest and ethnic strife have raged for more than five years. He met some of the 1,600 French soldiers stationed there, at the largest French military base outside of France. The French had intervened in its former colony in January 2013 in an effort to drive out al-Qaeda-linked groups which had taken advantage of the unrest and conflict created by a rebellion of the ethnic Tuaregs in 2012 to try to take control of the central government in Bamako, Mali’s capital. This rebellion spread throughout the Sahel; an ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south covering more than 3.053 million km².

Before one can explain the role played by the U.S. in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel it is important to understand the continuing role of the French Government and army in the region. France established military bases in Africa during the colonial period and maintained a military presence in Africa after the ‘flag independence’ of its former colonies in the 1960s. The independence struggle of French Africa resulted, with the exception of Guinea, in the notional independence of the African states, each with a flag, a national anthem, a football team, and a continuing dependence on France under the terms of a Colonial Pact. The terms of this pact were agreed at the time of independence as a condition of the de-colonialization of the African states.

The Colonial Pact Agreement enshrined a number of special preferences for France in the political, commercial and defence processes in the African countries. On defence, it agreed two types of continuing contact. The first was the agreement on military co-operation or Technical Military Aid (AMT) agreements. These covered education, training of soldiers and officers of African security forces. The second type, secret and binding, were defence agreements supervised and implemented by the French Ministry of Defence, which served as a legal basis for French interventions within the African states by French military forces. These agreements allowed France to have pre-deployed troops and police in bases across Africa; in other words, French army and gendarme units present permanently and by rotation in bases and military facilities in Africa, run entirely by the French. The Colonial Pact was much more than an agreement to station soldiers across Africa. It bound the economies of Africa to the control of France. It made the CFA franc the national currency in both former colonial regions of Africa and created a continuing, and enforceable, dependency on France.

In summary, the colonial pact maintained the French control over the economies of the African states:

  • it took possession of their foreign currency reserves;
  • it controlled the strategic raw materials of the country;
  • it stationed troops in the country with the right of free passage;
  • it demanded that all military equipment be acquired from France;
  • it took over the training of the police and army;
  • it required that French businesses be allowed to maintain monopoly enterprises in key areas (water, electricity, ports, transport, energy, etc.).
  • it required that in the award of government contracts in the African countries, French companies should be considered first; only after that could Africans look elsewhere. It didn’t matter if Africans could obtain better value for money elsewhere, French companies came first, and most often got the contracts.
  • The African states must make a contribution to France each year for the infrastructure created by the French colonial system and left behind when independence was granted.
  • France not only set limits on the imports of a range of items from outside the franc zone but also set minimum quantities of imports from France. These treaties are still in force and operational.

The system is known as Françafrique. These policies of Françafrique were not concocted by the French National Assembly or the result of any democratic process. They were the result of policies conducted by a small group of people in the French President’s office, the ‘African Cell’, starting with Charles DeGaulle and his African specialist, Jacques Foccart. For the past half-century, the secretive and powerful “African Cell” has overseen France’s strategic interests in Africa, holding sway over a wide swath of former French colonies. Acting as a general command, the Cell uses France’s military as a hammer to install leaders it deems friendly to French interests and to remove those who pose a danger to the continuation of the system. Sidestepping traditional diplomatic channels, the Cell reports only to one person: the president.

Under Chirac, African policy was run by the president himself. He worked with the “Cellule Africaine” composed of African Advisor Michel De Bonnecorse, Aliot-Marie (the Defence Minister) and DGSE chief Pierre Brochand. They were aided by a web of French agents assigned to work undercover in Africa, embedded in French companies like Bouygues, Delmas, Total, and other multinationals; pretending to be expatriate employees.

Under Sarkozy the “Cellule Africaine” was run by the president and included Bruno Joubert and an informal adviser and Sarkozy envoy, Robert Bourgi. Claude Guéant, secretary general of the presidency and later interior minister, played an influential role. Hollande’s “Cellule Africaine” was composed of his trusted friends: Jean-Yves Le Drian (Minister of Defence); the chief of his personal military staff, General Benoît Puga; the African Advisor Hélène Le Gal, and a number of lower-level specialists from the ministries of foreign affairs and the treasury. It isn’t clear yet who will make up Macron’s African Cell.

What is important about the effects of Françafrique on African states is that the French resisted any locally-engendered change in the rules and had troops and gendarmes available in Africa to put down any leader with different ambitions. During the last 50 years, a total of 67 coups happened in 26 countries in Africa; 61% of the coups happened in Francophone Africa. The French began the ‘discipline’ of African leaders by ordering the assassination of Sylvanus Olympio in Togo in 1963 when he wanted his own currency instead of the CFA franc.

  • In June 1962, the first president of Mali, Modiba Keita, decreed that Mali was leaving the CFA zone and abandoning the Colonial Pact. As in Togo the French paid an African ex-Legionnaire to kill the president. In November 1968 Lieutenant Moussa Traore made a coup, killed Modiba Keita, and became President of Mali.
  • The French use of African ex-Legionnaires to remove presidents who rebelled against the Colonial Pact, the CFA or Françafrique became commonplace. On 1 January, 1966, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, an ex-French foreign legionnaire, carried out a coup against David Dacko, the first President of the Central African Republic.
  • On 3 January 1966, Maurice Yaméogo, the first President of the Republic of Upper Volta, now called Burkina Faso, was victim of a coup carried out by Aboubacar Sangoulé Lamizana
  • On 26 October 1972, Mathieu Kérékou who was a security guard to President Hubert Maga, the first President of the Republic of Benin, carried out a coup against the president.
  • There were several other assassinations managed by the French which took place without the use of Legionnaires. These included:
  • Marien Ngouabi, President of the Republic of the Congo, assassinated in 1977.
  • In Cameroon, Felix Moumie, who was the successor to previously-assassinated Reuben Um Nyobe, was murdered by thallium poisoning in Geneva on 15 October 1960. His killer was a French agent, William Bechtel, who posed as a journalist to meet Moumie in a restaurant and poisoned his drink.
  • François Tombalbaye, President of Chad, was assassinated by soldiers commanded by French Army officers in 1975. Then, in December 1989 the French overthrew the government of Hissan Habre in Chad and installed Idriss Deby as President because Habre wanted to sell Chadian oil to U.S. oil companies.
  • Perhaps the most tragic was the assassination of Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso in 1987. Sankara seized power in a popular coup in 1983 in an attempt to break the country’s ties to its French colonial power. He was overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by his best friend and childhood companion Blaise Compaoré on French orders.
  • In March 2003 French and Chadian troops overthrew the elected government of President Ange-Felix Patasse and installed General François Bozize as President when Patasse announced that he wanted French troops out of the Central African Republic. A few years later the French deposed Bosize as well.
  • In 2009, the French supported a coup in Madagascar by Andry Rajoelina against the elected government of Marc Ravalomanana who wanted to open the country to investments by international companies in mining and petroleum and refused to allow Total to unilaterally raise its contracted price for oil by 75%.
  • The French used its troops in the Ivory Coast to provoke an attempted overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Gbagbo. When the rebellion to oust Gbagbo failed, the French troops divided the country into two areas and continued to plan coups against Gbagbo. When Gbagbo won the election in 2010, despite French interference, the French troops (and the UN ‘peacekeepers’) used helicopter gunships to attack the Ivorian citizenry and took over the country in 2011.

Burkino Faso

French military involvement in Africa

The current problem for France is that it maintains wide engagement of its military in operations outside of metropolitan France. These are very expensive. There are currently 36,000 French troops deployed in foreign territories-such operations are known as “OPEX” for Opérations Extérieures (“External Operations”).

Since colonial days France has stationed its troops across Africa in permanent bases. These participate in controlling the internal politics of the African nations of Franćafrique as well as their borders.

These included:

  • Côte d’Ivoire, where the French troops in Operation Licorne and its helicopters recently overthrew the government of Gbagbo and supervised the killing of numerous Ivoirian citizens in collaboration with UN “peacekeepers”.
  • Chad, with the Epervier Mission. Established in 1986 to help re-establish peace and maintain Chad’s territorial integrity, and establish and protect the government of Deby
  • France has been present in Mali since January 2013 in support of the Malian authorities in the fight against terrorist groups. 2,900 men were deployed with the Serval operation.
  • Since December 2013, France also has operated in the Central African Republic in support of the MISCA, the African Union peacekeeping operation. 1,600 men are deployed with the Sangaris operation.

France also supports the participation of African soldiers in peacekeeping operations through the Reinforcement of African Peacekeeping Capabilities (RECAMP) program.

Recently the French have concentrated their troop deployments in West Africa to fight the rising threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Around 3,000 soldiers remain in the expansive Sahel area of Africa to check Islamist violence and arms trafficking, with no specified exit date. French forces are organised around four base camps, each with its own focus, and with headquarters based in the Chadian capital of Ndjamena. Their primary aim is not entirely the suppression of fundamentalist forces; their primary aim is to safeguard the French Areva uranium mines in Niger which provide France with it supply of fuel for its nuclear power programs.

This operation is known as Operation Barkhane (the name refers to a sickle-shaped sand dune). It is an effort to streamline French military activity in the region and to retain the military power but reduce the costs of duplication of tasks. Following diplomatic agreements with Chad, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania (the “Sahel G-5”), over 3,000 French troops are involved in securing the Sahel-Sahara region in cooperative operations involving G-5 troops. Other assets deployed in the operation include 20 helicopters, 200 armoured vehicles, 200 trucks, six fighter-jets, ten transport aircraft and three drones

The initiation of Operation Barkhane brought to an end four existing French operations in Africa; Licorne (Côte d’Ivoire, 2002-2017), Épervier (Chad, 1986-2014), Sabre (Burkina Faso, 2012-2014) and Serval (Mali, 2013-2014). Licorne is coming to an end in June 2017 (though 450 French troops will remain in Abidjan as part of a logistical base for French operations) while the other operations were folded into Operation Barkhane. Operation Sangaris (Central African Republic, 2013-present) is classified as a humanitarian rather than counter-terrorism mission and the deployment of some 2,000 French troops will be reduced to 1,200 French soldiers who will remain in northern Mali. Existing French military deployments in Djibouti, Dakar (Senegal) and Libreville (Gabon) are expected to be scaled back significantly.

France military bases

France’s problem in maintaining its military presence in Africa is that it has run out of money. It cannot afford to maintain such a strong military posture in Africa. It has been able to get the assistance of its European Union partners in a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in programs like EURFOR in Chad which notionally confronts the terrorist organisations with European troops, but the funds needed to provide a real challenge to the terrorists are wanting.

The notion of intrinsic forces is important in the evaluation of warfare in the Sahel. These terrorists are not, for the most part, invading foreigners coming to seek domination, power or advantage. They are locals who have taken up the Salafist ideology to further their joint aims of setting up an Islamic State and in preserving the smuggling routes across the Sahel. The ancient salt caravans across the Sahel from Mali making their way to Europe and the Middle East have evolved into caravans of drugs, diamonds and gold from Mali to Europe and the Middle East. The large revenues earned from this smuggling have helped fund the AQIM, the MNLA, MUJAO and other bands and have generated financial and political support from the Wahhabi extremists of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The collapse of Libya under Kaddafi left these smugglers without a protector so the radical extremists who supplanted Kaddafi offered the smugglers of the Sahel the same protection as before and lots of weapons.

The Sahel is still a major centre of illicit trafficking in goods. The tribes of Northern Mali are emboldened and protected by terrorist organisations in the barren wastes of Northern Mali and live, symbiotically, with the terrorist forces. Their paths are overlapping. While the tribes continue their smuggling Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) engages in illegal taxation in its areas of control, ISIS in Libya is active in human and narcotics trafficking, and Boko Haram generates significant revenues from trade in cocaine and heroin.

Illicit trafficking and threat networks

The trafficking overlaps the terrorist threats. It is matched by a large influx of weapons. Conflict Armament Research, a U.K. organization that monitors armaments transfers and supply chains, published an important report in late 2016, “Investigating Cross-Border Weapon Transfers in the Sahel.”  The report confirms that a flow of weapons from Libyan dictator Qaddafi’s stockpiles after his fall played a major role in the Tuareg and Islamist insurgencies in Mali in 2012. That same stockpile supplied weapons systems that included man-portable air defence systems to insurgents throughout the Sahel region. But, the report documents that weapons flows since 2011 are no longer predominantly from Libya. Instead, the weapons now come from African countries with weak control of their own weapons stockpiles, notably the Central African Republic and Ivory Coast. Sudan has also been an important source since 2015 of weapons used by insurgents in the Sahel. The report posits that the jihadist attacks in 2015 and 2016 on hotels and government installations specifically in Mali, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast also included weapons from a common source in the Middle East; Iraqi assault rifles and Chinese-manufactured weapons are also used by the Islamic State.[i]

The logistical challenge in opposing the terrorist threat

The terrain of the Sahel does not lend itself to conventional warfare. There are broad expanses of sand and dunes, broken up by small villages and, occasionally, a town or city. There are no petrol stations, wells, repair shops, water stores, food stocks or fuel reserves in most of the region. Trucks and buses, as well as conventional armour, are difficult to transport in such a terrain. Air bases are usually suited only to small aircraft and lack the scissor-tables, cranes, fork-lifts and loading equipment which allow the free flow of cargo.

On the positive side, in the war in the Sahel the lack of ground cover and a tree canopy in the region enables a strategy of using the most modern weapons, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which can seek out, observe and destroy small and mobile enemy forces. This has meant that the logistical demands of the war in the Sahel have generated a strategy of the use of high-tech weaponry deployed by Western forces combined with African troops on the ground as garrison forces for towns and cities.

Warfare, in general, in Africa requires a policy of expeditionary war. This is a polite way of saying that massed troop formations have no real use as there are few opposing forces of equal size to fight. African insurgents are bands and groups of often irregular soldiers. Across most of Africa troops must pass through jungles, deserts, mangrove swamps and hostile terrain to get to the enemy, often under heavy fire from the bush. The enemy of the peacekeepers is rarely an army battalion of any strength. Large-scale troop concentrations can sit in a city or town and maintain order, but they rarely can take the battle to the enemy. African armies have virtually no equipment which will allow them to fight an expeditionary war. This is a war of helicopters – in and out movement of troops to desert encampments or remote landing zones or the shooting up of ground formations by helicopter gunships when the enemy can be located.

This is how African wars are fought. Except for rented MI-8 and MI-24 helicopters leased from the Ukraine and Russia, most of Africa is bereft of air mobile equipment. They are certainly bereft of African pilots (other than South Africans and a small band of Angolans and Nigerians). There are very few African military aircraft capable of fighting or sustaining either air-to-air combat or performing logistics missions. Either they don’t exist or they are in such a state of disrepair that African combat pilots are unwitting kamikazes. There are very few airbases in the bush which allow cargo planes to land safely when a war is on given that every rebel group has its share of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and mortars. There are no fuel reserves at the airports outside most African capitals, and there are no repair facilities. There is no air-to-air refuelling, except that provided by foreign militaries. Indeed, except for Denel in South Africa and the main airbase in Ethiopia there are no places on the continent which perform sophisticated aircraft or weapons maintenance. Indeed most Western European armies themselves don’t have sufficient helicopters or heavy-lift capacities. The Africans have less. This lack of transport is critical to moving out the wounded. This takes its toll on the soldiers. This is mirrored in the lack of effective battlefield communications. In Africa the phone system doesn’t work in peacetime; why should it work in a period of war? Sending orders and receiving information between the central staff and outlying units is a ‘sometimes’ process. It sometimes takes days to contact units operating far from command headquarters.

The Europeans are not really ready to assist in the Sahel, despite the E.U. plans. In 2015 when Angela Merkel made the grand gesture of sending weapons to Kurdish rebels fighting Isil, she learned that her cargo planes couldn’t get off the ground. At the time, the German military confessed that just half of its Transall transport aircraft were fit to fly. Of its 190 helicopters, just 41 were ready to be deployed. Of its 406 Marder tanks, 280 were out of use. In 2016 it emerged that fewer than half of Germany’s 66 Tornado aircraft were airworthy. The French Transall fleet is out of date and few are being replaced.

This matches the debacle of the European military effort to conduct warfare on its own, starting in Kosovo. The Europeans wanted to show they had some independent military capability.  The amount of bombs, missiles and other tactical devices used in the first two weeks of the Kosovo campaign exceeded the total arsenal storage of the totality of the European Community. The amount spent per day on the bombing of Kosovo, including indirect costs, amounted to over $12.5 million. It would have been far cheaper to buy Serbia than to bomb it. NATO could have offered each Serb $5,000 a head plus moving costs and still saved money. Under NATO rules the US was obliged to pay two-thirds of these costs.

This was just as true in Libya. The Europeans (calling themselves NATO) quickly ran out of ammunition, bombs and money. The U.S. spent almost $1.5 billion in the first wave of attacks by the French and British. As Secretary of Defence Gates said in his speech, “Despite more than 2 million troops in uniform – not counting the U.S. military – NATO has struggled, at times desperately, to sustain a deployment of 25,000 to 45,000 troops — not just in boots on the ground, but in crucial support assets such as helicopters; transport aircraft; maintenance; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and much more.” He went on:

“We have the spectacle of an air operations centre designed to handle more than 300 sorties a day struggling to launch about 150. Furthermore, the mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country – yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference.”

That is the key point in analysing the struggle against terrorism in the Sahel. Despite the good wishes of the French and the other Europeans, success relies on an active U.S. participation and engagement.  The French have requested the support of the U.S. military (through NATO) in its ambition to retain control of its former African colonial empire.

There is an ironic side to French requiring assistance from NATO to support its neo-colonial policies. France withdrew from being a full member of NATO in 1966, and remained separated for decades. The reason for French withdrawal was that France believed that NATO was not militarily supportive enough.  France’s effort to develop its own non-NATO defence capability, including the development of its own nuclear arsenal in the 1960s, was to ensure that the French military could operate its own colonial and post-colonial conflicts more freely. Under de Gaulle, France had attempted to draw NATO into France’s colonial conflicts (on France’s side). De Gaulle claimed that Algeria was part of France and thus was part of NATO. Therefore, NATO was required to intervene to assist France in putting down Algerian independence movements. After the British and Americans refused to assist with French colonialism, de Gaulle expelled NATO troops from France and set up a more independent French military. Now that France is back in NATO it is making the same request of its partners as De Gaulle.

The Germans lead the EUTM Mali which trains Mali’s armed forces and EUCAP Sahel Mali which is training and advising the country’s police, gendarmerie and National Guard. The Eucap Sahel Mission, under the command of the German diplomat Albrecht Conze, is coordinating European aid to the region.  Gunther Nooke, Angela Merkel’s representative to Africa, a Commissioner for Africa at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has proposed a “German Marshall Plan” for Africa to relieve a continent struggling with terrorist bands in the region coupled with a drought which is causing mass famine. However, no money is yet attached to such a plan.

The U.S. has its own strategic interests in fighting the Islamic terrorists in the Sahel because they pose a major danger to U.S business interests in the area; a threat to political stability in Africa as a whole which has produced a human tide of refugees; and, most importantly, this terrorism in the Sahel produces a major source of revenue to the international terrorist structures of Al-Qaeda, Daesh and the myriad sub-groups of these in the Middle East as well as Africa.

The U.S. has agreed to support the French and European efforts to fight terrorism in the Sahel but has been unwilling to commit U.S. regular forces to fighting on the ground. It has offered training, equipment and Special Forces participation in military programs in the Sahel and frequently arranges mass exercises to make sure the trained remain so.

The U.S. military presence in Africa

The U.S. is at war in Africa and has been so for many years. The U.S. has had practical experience in African wars. America has been fighting wars in Africa since the 1950s – in Angola, the DRC, Somalia, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Morocco, Libya, Djibouti to name but a few counties. In some countries they used U.S. troops, but in most cases the U.S. financed, armed and supervised the support of indigenous forces. In its support of the anti- MPLA forces in Angola it sent arms and equipment to the UNITA opposition. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Larry Devlin of the CIA was an unofficial minister of Mobutu’s government; the U.S. ran its own air force in the Congo at WIGMO. US airmen supported the South African forces in Kwando, Fort Doppies and Encana bases in the Caprivi from WIGMO. At these bases one could also find soldiers from Southern Rhodesia (in their DC3s) and German, French, Portuguese and other NATO troops.

One of the largest of these bases was at Wheelus Field, in Libya. Wheelus Air Base was located on the Mediterranean coast, just east of Tripoli, Libya. With its 4,600 Americans, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya once called it “a Little America.” During the Korean War, Wheelus was used by the US Strategic Air Command, later becoming a primary training ground for NATO forces. Strategic Air Command bomber deployments to Wheelus began on 16 November 1950. SAC bombers conducted 45-day rotational deployments in these staging areas for strikes against the Soviet Union. Wheelus became a vital link in SAC war plans for use as a bomber, tanker refuelling and recon-fighter base. The US left in 1970.

Another giant U.S. base was Kagnew Field in Asmara. The base was established in 1943 as an Army radio station, home to the U.S. Army’s 4th Detachment of the Second Signal Service Battalion. Kagnew Station became home for over 5,000 American citizens at a time during its peak years of operation during the 1960s. Kagnew Station operated until April 29, 1977, when the last Americans left.

However, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has found itself fighting a much more difficult and insidious war: the war with Al Qaeda. This is much less of a war that involves military might and prowess. It is a war against the spread of drug dealing, illicit diamonds, illicit gold, human trafficking and the sheltering of Salafists (Islamic militants) who use these methods to acquire cash which has sustained the Al Qaida organisation and now Daesh throughout the world. It is a conflict between organised international crime and states seeking to maintain their legitimacy.

There are now several ‘narco-states’ in Africa. The first to fall was Guinea-Bissau where scores of Colombian Cartel leaders moved in to virtually take over the state. Every day an estimated one tonne of pure Colombian cocaine was thought to be transiting through the mainland’s mangrove swamps and the chain of islands that make up Guinea-Bissau, most of it en route to Europe. This was equally true of Guinea under President Lansana Conte whose wife (and her brother) was shown to be a kingpin in the Guinean drug trade. Many in the National Army were compromised and active participants. This drug trade has spread to Senegal, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria. There are very few jails anywhere in the world which are not home to West African ‘drug mules’ tried or awaiting trial or execution. This drug trade is spreading like wildfire in West Africa, offering rich remuneration to African leaders, generals or warlords well in excess of anything these Africans could hope to earn in normal commerce.

According to a U.S. Congressional Research Service Study published in November 2010, Washington has dispatched anywhere between hundreds and several thousand combat troops, dozens of fighter planes and warships to buttress client dictatorships or to unseat adversarial regimes in dozens of countries, almost on a yearly basis. The record shows the U.S. armed forces intervened in Africa forty-seven times prior to the now-concluded LRA endeavour. The countries receiving one or more U.S. military intervention include both Congos, Libya, Chad, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda, Liberia, Central African Republic, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. Between the mid-1950’s to the end of the 1970’s, only four overt military operations were recorded, though large scale proxy and clandestine military operations were pervasive. Under Reagan-Bush Sr. (1980-1991) military intervention accelerated, rising to eight, not counting the large scale clandestine ‘special forces’ and proxy wars in Southern Africa. Under the Clinton regime, US militarized intervention in Africa took off. Between 1992 and 2000, seventeen armed incursions took place, including a large-scale invasion of Somalia and military backing for the Rwandan Kagame regime. Clinton intervened in Liberia, Gabon, Congo and Sierra Leone to prop up long-standing troubled regimes. He bombed the Sudan and dispatched military personnel to Kenya and Ethiopia to back proxy clients assaulting Somalia. Under Bush Jr. fifteen US military interventions took place, mainly in Central and East Africa.

Most of the U.S.’s African outreach is disproportionally built on military links to client military chiefs. The Pentagon has military ties with fifty-three African countries. The Bush Administration announced in 2002 that Africa was a “strategic priority in fighting terrorism”. Henceforth, U.S. foreign policy strategists, with the backing of both liberal and neoconservative congress people, moved to centralize and coordinate a military policy on a continent-wide basis forming the African Command (AFRICOM) and Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA). These organise African armies, euphemistically called “co-operative partnerships,” to support anti-terrorist activities in the continent. U.S. special operations teams are now deployed to 23 African countries and the U.S. operates bases across the continent.

In his 2015 article for TomDispatch.com, Nick Turse, disclosed that there are dozens of U.S. military installations in Africa, besides Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti (Main Operating Base). These numerous cooperative security locations (CSLs), forward operating locations (FOLs) and other outposts have been built by the US in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, the Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda. According to Turse, the US military also had access to locations in Algeria, Botswana, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Zambia and other countries.

Gen. Charles F. Wald divided these into three types:

  • Main Operating Base (MOB) is an overseas, permanently manned, well protected base, used to support permanently deployed forces, and with robust sea and/or air access.
  • Forward Operating Site (FOS) is a scalable, “warm” facility that can support sustained operations, but with only a small permanent presence of support or contractor personnel. A FOS will host occasional rotational forces and many contain pre-positioned equipment.
  • Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent U.S. personnel presence, which may contain pre-positioned equipment and/or logistical arrangements and serve both for security cooperation activities and contingency access.

There are a large number of UAV bases as well.

AFRICOM’s two forward operating sites are Djibouti’s Camp Lemonnier and a base on the United Kingdom’s Ascension Island off the west coast of Africa.  Described as “enduring locations” with a sustained troop presence and “U.S.-owned real property,” they serve as hubs for staging missions across the continent and for supplying the growing network of outposts there. [ii]

One of the most important of these bases is in Niamey, the capital of Niger, and nearby at Agadez, into which the U.S. has just spent $100 million on improvements.  N’Djamena, in Chad, has been heavily used in the battle against Boko Haram.

AFRICOM’s programs

The main thrust of AFRICOM programs involves the training and equipping of local forces. It engages in regular exercises with African armies and conducts JCET training programs. Most of these involve working alongside and mentoring local allies.  SOCAFRICA’s showcase effort, for instance, is Flintlock, an annual training exercise in Northwest Africa involving elite American, European, and African forces, which provides the command with a plethora of publicity. More than 1,700 military personnel from 30-plus nations took part in Flintlock 2016. There are a wide range of programs in addition to the U.S. participation in various UN programs like AMISOM in Somalia.

Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Initiative/Partnership (formerly Pan Sahel Initiative) (TSCTI) Targeting threats to US oil/natural gas operations in the Sahara region Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Libya.

Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA) (formerly African Crisis Response Initiative) (ACRI)) Part of “Global Peace” Operations Initiative (GPOI) Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

International Military Training and Education (IMET) program Brings African military officers to US military academies and schools for indoctrination Top countries: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.

Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) (formerly Africa Center for Security Studies) Part of National Defence University, Washington. Provides indoctrination for “next generation” African military officers. This is the “School of the Americas” for Africa. All of Africa is covered.

Foreign Military Sales Program sells U.S. military equipment to African nations via Defence Security Cooperation Agency Top recipients: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe.

African Coastal and Border Security Program Provides fast patrol boats, vehicles, electronic surveillance equipment, night vision equipment to littoral states.

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Military command based at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. Aimed at putting down rebellions in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Somaliland and targets Eritrea. Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti.

Joint Task Force Aztec Silence (JTFAS) Targets terrorism in West and North Africa. Joint effort of EUCOM and Commander Sixth Fleet (Mediterranean) Based in Sigonella, Sicily and Tamanrasset air base in southern Algeria Gulf of Guinea Initiative, US Navy Maritime Partnership Program Trains African militaries in port and off-shore oil platform security Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Togo.

Tripartite Plus Intelligence Fusion Cell Based in Kisangani, DRC, to oversee “regional security,” i.e. ensuring U.S. and Israeli access to Congo’s gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, and coltan. Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, United States.

Base access for Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs) and Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) U.S. access to airbases and other facilities Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, Algeria.

Africa Command (AFRICOM) Headquarters for all U.S. military operations in Africa in Stuttgart.

Africa Regional Peacekeeping (ARP) Liaison with African “peacekeeping” military commands East Africa Regional Integration Team: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania. North Africa Regional Integration Team: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya. Central Africa Regional Integration Team: Congo (Kinshasa), Congo (Brazzaville), Chad.

Regional Integration Teams: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola. West Africa Regional Integration Team: Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Western Sahara.

Africa Partnership Station (APS) Port visits by USS Fort McHenry and High Speed Vessel (HSV) Swift. Part of US Navy’s Global Fleet Station Initiative. Training and liaison with local military personnel to ensure oil production security Senegal, Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe.

AFRICOM’s view based on U.S. interests

The U.S. taxpayer is paying for French neo-colonialism

The U.S. military is engaged in over 34 nations in Africa in the fight against terrorism and the growth of the various Al-Qaeda and ISIL affiliates in the region. One of the key problems in conducting this on-going battle is that the political situation in each Francophone country is determined by the needs of Françafrique to keep their chosen president in power; not necessarily what the Africans want. A good example is Mali, where the French intervened militarily in January 2013 to stop an uprising of various militant groups in the north.

As the price for this assistance, France signed a new defence agreement with Mali, which would allow it to maintain a considerable military presence in the country. The agreement’s eleven pages of mostly general statements say that French military troops and civil servants will be allowed to stay in Mali, build military bases, operate, if needed, with Malian troops, etc., for the next five years. The five years’ term, as written in the document, is renewable.

This was a great triumph for France. Ever since the inauguration of the first President of Mali, Modibo Keïta, Mali had resisted the military aspects of the Colonial Pact. The last French soldier departed Mali in 1961. Keita refused to sign the defence protocols. Keita didn’t allow French military bases or troops on Malian soil. Even after the French had him assassinated by Lt. Moussa Traore, the Malians continued to refuse the defence pact. Traore’s successors Alpha Oumar Konare and Amadou Toumany Toure also refused, despite huge diplomatic and economic pressure. The most France could get in Mali was a 1985 military cooperation accord which allowed France to give military training and technical assistance to Malian troops.

Now, after engaging French troops to fight the Islamic forces in the North, France took over military control of Mali. After having defeated the invaders, and chasing them out of Timbuktu and other northern cities, and disarming factions of the rebellions, the French military banned the Malian army from Kidal, the central city of the northern Azawad region. The territory is claimed by different rebel groups, but it is under the de facto control of the mainly Tuareg MNLA (National Movement for Liberation of the Azawad). France allowed the rebels to occupy the area, reorganise and later gain a place at the post-war negotiations table.

France has openly supported the MNLA for a long time and insisted that they be a party to the negotiations with the Malian government who did not want to negotiate with the Tuareg rebels. Then the French put on the agenda the division of Mali into two parts, despite the Malian refusal. There was a short interval of peace and hostilities started again. The French realised that they could no longer afford the military costs of the Malian war and persuaded the UN to send peacekeepers to Mali.  In December 2013 France announced 60% reduction in its troops deployed in Mali to 1,000 by March 2014. Interim peace deals were agreed but were quickly broken. By August 2016 there continued to be attacks on foreign forces. More than 100 peacekeepers have died since the U.N. mission’s deployment in Mali in 2013, making it one of the deadliest places to serve for the U.N.

The French were satisfied that the bulk of the expenses for the capturing of Mali in the web of Françafrique were being paid for by the “international community” (the UN, the US, and ECOWAS). In 2015, the European Union also joined to promote France’s ambitions. France got its military pact with Mali and control of the country. This seemed such a good idea the French then expanded its ambitions to pursue the military options of Operation Barkhane based in Chad to cover Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger and make sure that the costs of this expansion of the reach of Françafrique were being passed on to the ‘international community’; the large part of which is the U.S. taxpayer (directly and indirectly).

The same situation emerged in Niger and the Central African Republic. The French intervened militarily in domestic disputes which they created and took over de facto control of the countries. Claiming that this was a battle against “terrorism” the French were able to pass on the costs of their reoccupation of their former colonies using European, UN and, mainly, U.S. taxpayer money. Both African countries remain at war with domestic enemies in conflicts created by France and perpetuated by French policies towards reinstalling the rigours of Françafrique; all in the name of counter-terrorism. The U.N., the E.U. and the U.S. don’t get a chance to decide who is the enemy in francophone Africa; this is decided by France. They only get to pay for it and use their military to train the soldiers who keep Françafrique in place.

Perhaps the current NATO meeting in Brussels will make it clear to the new Macron Government that the U.S. is capable of choosing its own enemies and, as in the time of de Gaulle, the U.S. is not in the business of preserving French neo-colonial rule on the continent.

Source*

Related Topics:

Should a Country Like France Be Indicting African Leaders?

Stop E.U. from Hijacking Africa’s Clean Energy Future*

At the World Economic Forum-Africa Germany Pitched a Dubious New G20 Corporate Strategy*

French Draft Resolution on Syria Reflects its Longing for its Colonial History in Africa*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

E.U. Bullies its Way through an Reciprocal Trade Access in Africa*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

African Court Sentences Former Chadian Military Dictator to Life in Prison for Crimes against Humanity*

France is Broke, but Still Reaping from the Colonial Tax!*

Colonial France out for Niger’s Uranium*

In Madagascar, One of the Deadliest French Colonial Wars in History is Remembered*

The Rise of the French Right and the CFA Franc

Four-Year-Olds Forced to Mine for Cobalt to Make Smartphones Work*

Four-Year-Olds Forced to Mine for Cobalt to Make Smartphones Work*
By Jessica Murray

Credit: Sky News

young children get paid 8p per day for 12 hours of work – Credit: Sky News

A recent undercover investigation by Sky News has revealed that children as young as four are working in mines to retrieve an substance to make mobile phones work. The investigation discovered that the mineral that the children are mining for is called cobalt, and is an essential component of batteries for smartphones and laptops, according to recent reports. Despite the army of children working in the mines to extract it for as little as 8p per day, the crucial component makes billions for multinational companies such as Apple and Samsung. Together with the incredibly low wage that the young children are paid, they are also made to work in terrible conditions with no safety equipment. The footage from Sky News shows that the children are made to continue working during heavy rain when they are wearing no shoes and have to carry large and heavy bags through the dirt.

 

Credit: Sky News

Credit: Sky News

 

Credit: Sky News
Eight-year-old mine worker Dorsen told Sky News,

“When I’m working here I’m suffering. My mother, she’s already dead, and I have to work all day and my head hurts me.”

He told reporters from Sky News that despite working for 12 hours each day, he had not made enough money to eat for the past two days. Every day the children descend into hand-dug shafts without any protective equipment, meaning that the tunnels frequently collapse on top of them. The mines where the children are exploited are located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where half of the world’s cobalt is located. If the children mess up their work in any way they are threatened with a beating. 11-year-old Richard told the media outlet,

“When I wake up every morning I feel terrible knowing I have to come back here again. Everything hurts.”

Sky News claimed that, due to the fact that there is very little regulation which requires companies to trace their cobalt supply lines, it is very likely that the majority of smartphones contain a battery with cobalt that was mined by children in the central African nation, particularly as this is where the majority of the element lies.

Credit: Sky News

Credit: Sky News

 

The growing demand for lithium-ion batteries for use in modern technology is the reason behind the industry that is driven by the U.S. and Chinese corporations behind the smartphone and electric car markets. The mine owners sell the retrieved cobalt to traders, who are mainly from China and do not ask any questions about the workers who are involved in mining it. Apple told Sky News,

“If our suppliers are unable or unwilling to meet our standards then we suspend or terminate business with them. Last year we removed 22 smelters from our supply chain.”

Other electronics and car firms that were contacted by Sky News during the investigation said that it is difficult to trace whether their cobalt comes from the mines seen in the footage. They then suggested that it is better for the communities involved to improve their working conditions than to terminate contracts altogether. The investigation concluded that there are thousands of unofficial, unregulated and unmonitored mines where men, women, and children are working in what has been described as slave conditions.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Congolese in their Struggle for Freedom*

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

U.S. Sponsors Rape in Congo*

The Congolese in their Struggle for Freedom*

The Congolese in their Struggle for Freedom*

By Daniel Fisher

Congolese people continue to pay a steep price in their resistance to a dictatorial regime backed by the U.S. and its allies. The world takes little notice. Congo is an immensely rich nation, but it is among the poorest due to a history of political meddling and resource theft by Western powers. The time has come to stand in solidarity with Congolese people.

Thirty-four Congolese civilians were murdered last December and hundreds detained after calling for President Joseph Kabila to respect his constitutional term limits and leave office. If you are anything like the average American, you probably haven’t heard any coverage of the Congolese youth risking their lives for political, social, and economic justice. News from Central Africa is sporadic, decontextualized and confined to a modern version of the ‘dark continent’ narrative.

Researchers have found that there is “a widespread belief in broadcasting that audiences are not interested in factual programming on the developing world.”

But: “Apparent in all of the groups was a greatly increased level of interest in the subject matter once the conflict was understood as resulting from a system of relationships in which the group members themselves were in some way involved.”

In other words, contextualized discussions re-conceptualized African problems as human problems that are interconnected to global structural problems.

The western corporate press is either silent or frames Congolese news in the least productive way imaginable. As we go about creating a new media in light of the abject failures of our corporate mainstream media, we must make sure we don’t leave behind some of the most courageous and democratically principled people on the planet: the Congolese population.

The ghost of Christmas past

Throughout King Leopold II of Belgium’s life he sought to acquire territory around the world for colonial purposes. In the mid-1870 he found a piece of territory that he believed had immense potential for riches: the remaining territory of the Kingdom of Kongo.

Subsequently, Leopold launched a propaganda campaign to gain formal recognition of his territory which he would later rename the Congo Free State. Pushed by lobbying efforts from the United States Chamber of Commerce, wealthy businessman Henry Shelton Sanford, and Congressional allies like former Confederate General/then Alabama Senator John Tyler Morgan, the United States broke the glass ceiling for King Leopold by becoming the first country to formally recognize his colony.

It would be a costly recognition. Leopold’s 23-year reign as owner of the ‘Congo Free State’ would kill an estimated 10 million Congolese. King Leopold unleashed one of the largest state terrorist campaigns in modern history. His 23-year imperial rule institutionalized beheadings and forced children to rape/kill their mothers/sisters if they did not meet their forced labor quotas on palm oil plantations.

Overcoming decades of brutality, Congo won its independence in 1960. In their first election as a free country, they elected anti-colonialist Patrice Lumumba. The 34-year-old’s time as prime minister would be short-lived. Immediately the United States sought to remove him from power. Former head of the CIA Allen Dules stated that Lumumba’s “removal must be an urgent and prime objective” of covert action. President Eisenhower “expressed his wish that Lumumba would fall into a river full of crocodiles.”

The prospect of Congolese citizens self-determining how to allocate resources was simply too risky for the United States. At first, the CIA tried to poison Lumumba but couldn’t get close enough. Undeterred, the United States decided they would pay off future 40-year dictator Mobutu Seseseko to murder him. By handing the Congo to one of the most notorious kleptocrats of the 20th century, the United States and other western allies ensured this would be the last peaceful transfer of power until today. With funding and military assistance, the United States and its western allies would help Mobutu crush and rob the Congo (which he renamed Zaire) of its natural resources until the end of the last century.

In the early 1990s, Congolese youth again overcame a brutal regime and took to the streets to demand democratic reforms. With great sacrifice, they slowly won reforms from the government. At the same time, America was shifting from Cold War dictatorial allies to a ‘new generation’ of leaders who would open their countries up to neoliberal reforms under the guise of promotion of democracy.

Mobutu was suddenly described as a ‘dinosaur’ who had to step down immediately. If he refused the U.S. and its allies would have the ‘responsibility to protect’ the Congolese citizens. This responsibility to protect doctrine would prove to be a leading argument for humanitarian imperialism.

Mobutu refused to leave power and so began what is typically referred to as Congo’s first war (1996-1997). United States regional allies successfully invaded Congo (Zaire) and successfully overthrew Mobutu and installed Laurent Kabila as leader of the newly named Democratic Republic of Congo. Laurent proved to not be as willing to allow the West and regional allies to loot Congolese resources as originally imaged.

Again, the American allies invaded DRC and, in 2001, assassinated Laurent Kabila and installed his son, Joseph Kabila, as president of the DRC. The war resulted in approximately 5 million deaths. Following the war, the United Nations found that Rwanda and Uganda systematically looted billions of dollars in resources from the DRC. Uganda was ordered to pay $10 billion by the International Court of Justice for their plundering. Apparently, after almost a decade, paying the fine is still being considered by President Yoweri Museveni.

The minerals include cassiterite, or tin ore, as well as coltan, used in devices such as mobile phones

 

The idea of humanitarian imperialism is quite striking. Namely, our allies could openly repress their populations, but if enemies of the state violated democratic principles they could be overthrown for humanitarian purposes. For example, Rwanda for a decade has been carrying out a global assassination campaign of Rwandans who have fled President Kagame’s autocratic regime. Presidential candidates have been jailed and former military officials have been killed for challenging Kagame’s narrative of the Rwandan genocide as well as his role in it. Yet, the U.S. continues to praise Kagame as a shining example of democratic values. President Museveni meanwhile has successfully blocked an international criminal court investigation into atrocities committed during the Congo war.

The ghost of Christmas present

Since being appointed as the head of the DRC, Joseph Kabila has won presidential elections twice. Both times were rife with voter suppression and irregularities. In 2011, Kabila was not able to secure 50% of the vote, but that was enough. Before the election he successfully removed the electoral runoff requirement. Despite the voter repression and boxes of votes apparently never counted, the United States endorsed the election results both times.

Throughout Joseph Kabila’s tenure he has jailed protesters, incorporated war criminals into positions of power, and unleashed his security forces on the Congolese population to quash dissent. The U.S. has at most voiced ‘concern’ (they endorsed plans to incorporate Rwandan war criminals into the Congolese security forces and were silent on the runoff removal) but has continued to support the Kabila regime because he allows (and gets a cut of) American allies to plunder Congolese resources.

As long as Kabila allowed access to what NATO refers to as critical resources and what the Pentagon calls strategic minerals, the U.S. would allow him to consolidate power by robbing the Congolese population of billions of dollars for his corporate western partners and himself.

The U.S. has gone as far as blocking language condemning the Rwandan M23 proxy invasion in 2012. After a year of the M23 using child soldiers, murdering civilians, raping women, and occupying cities to solidify criminal resource smuggling networks, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Kagame and told him to knock it off. Bosco Ntaganda would emerge from the woods and turn himself in to the ICC shortly after the call.

About a decade ago the United Nations recommended actions taken against western corporations for illegal dealings in the DRC, but again, the report was ignored by all parties. The social consequences are devastating. The United Nations Human Development Index ranks the DRC near dead last. Humanitarian intervention doesn’t apply when it suits our geopolitical interests.

But now Kabila’s second term has ended. Thanks to the courageous activism of Congolese youth, years of trying to change the constitution to increase the term limits have failed. Unsurprisingly, they have paid a heavy price. LUCHA, Telema, and other Congolese civilians have been killed (the UN described the pattern of killings as shoot-to-kill orders) and arbitrarily detained for demanding Kabila follow the constitution and to stop stealing billions of dollars of their resources.

LUCHA activist Luc Nkulula described why Kabila is having difficulty crushing the Congolese youth:

“The government is scared of us because we are calling for change and we are not like the opposition groups it is used to dealing with. We have no single leader so the government does not know how to control us.” A true democratic movement.

Instead of throwing diplomatic weight behind these peaceful democratic youth groups, the United States has reduced their statements to a timely election (that is, years past the constitutional deadline). Even more disgusting, the United States issued its standard “both-sides-should-stop” statement that is eerily similar to Obama’s call for the American indigenous population and the North Dakota police to BOTH knock off the violence.

Spokesman John Kirby stated,

“We appeal to all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from statements or actions that could incite further violence.”

A meaningless statement. The press didn’t ask a single follow up question after this statement, instead the discussion largely focused on Russia.

At the same time the United States is calling for Kabila to not change the constitution, they are silent about Kagame changing the constitution so he can run for a third term! To the United States, the DRC must continue to be a weak state for the Congolese people. The only function of a state that the DRC is allowed to exercise is violence on their population. This suppresses Congolese self-determination. At the same time, the DRC’s designed institutional corruption allows the US to maintain a footprint in a critical part of the continent while wearing a humanitarian veil.

The ghost of Christmas future

Unfortunately, for Congo it may soon find itself in the war on terror narrative. As one LUCHA activist put it, “If the government squashes the Lucha, this not only means the failure of the Lucha, but the failure of non-violence, which is extremely dangerous.”

That’s probably okay in the United States’ mind, for one, the United Nations Security Council has already approved a drone program in the DRC. A resolution passed under the cover of the Rwandan sponsored M23 invasion. As the U.S. continues to expand the world as a battlefield through drone warfare, raw materials required for drone assembly will become increasingly critical. The U.S. has no domestic coltan so expect the ‘American interests’ in the region to expand in a country that has 24 trillion dollars’ worth of mineral reserves.

 

Days to leaving office, Obama formally declared war on Al-Shabab. The United States and the Africa Union rely heavily on Ugandan troops in Somalia. “Kampala is the political equivalent of a brokerage firm for rebels, rebellions and peace missions. It has more troops abroad than any other country aside of the U.S. itself.” That will mean the continuation or furthering of American diplomatic immunity provided to corrupt Congolese forces and the American regional allies.

As Central Africa is incorporated into the war on terror and the United States continues its long legacy of defining democracy as choosing between candidates that ensure access to ‘American interests’ we must counter this narrative with a deeper contextual discussion of African problems as our problems. Supporting and standing in solidarity with groups such as Friends of Congo, Telema, and LUCHA will begin to make up for the atrocities committed in our names. Challenges to corrupt institutions are rightly being covered by alternative news outlets, but we will never be able to create a just world system without standing in solidarity and listening to those who have experienced the brunt of the injustice.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

U.S. Sponsors Rape in Congo*

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals from Central African Warlords*

You’re not a ‘Hitler’ if you Kill Ten Million Africans*

What Does Ebola, Gas and Oil Have in Common?*

 

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals from Central African Warlords*

Leaked Trump Presidential Memo Would Free U.S. Companies to Buy Conflict Minerals from Central African Warlords*

By Lee Fang

The leaked draft of a presidential memorandum Donald Trump is expected to sign within days suspends a 2010 rule that discouraged American companies from funding conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo through their purchase of  “conflict minerals.”

The memo, distributed inside the administration on Friday afternoon and obtained by The Intercept, directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to temporarily waive the requirements of the Conflict Mineral Rule, a provision of the Dodd Frank Act, for two years — which the rule explicitly allows the president to do for national security purposes. The memorandum also directs the State Department and Treasury Department to find an alternative plan to “address such problems in the DRC and adjoining countries.”

The idea behind the rule, which had bipartisan support, was to drain militias of revenue by forcing firms to conduct reviews of their supply chain to determine if contractors used minerals sourced from the militias.

The impending decision comes as Trump held a meeting Wednesday with Brian Krzanich, the chief executive of Intel, one of the leading firms impacted by conflict mineral regulations. At the White House today, Krzanich appeared with the president to announce a new manufacturing plant in Arizona.

Thank you Brian Krzanich, CEO of @Intel. A great investment ($7 BILLION) in American INNOVATION and JOBS! #AmericaFirst???????? pic.twitter.com/76lAiSSQ1l

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017

Human rights advocates — who had celebrated the conflicts rule as a major step forward — were appalled.

“Any executive action suspending the U.S. conflict minerals rule would be a gift to predatory armed groups seeking to profit from Congo’s minerals as well as a gift to companies wanting to do business with the criminal and the corrupt,” said Carly Oboth, the policy adviser at Global Witness, in a statement responding to a Reuters article that first reported the move.

“It is an abuse of power that the Trump administration is claiming that the law should be suspended through a national security exemption intended for emergency purposes. Suspending this provision could actually undermine U.S. national security.”

Advanced computer chips, including technology used in cell phones and semiconductors, contain minerals often sourced from war-torn countries in central Africa. Firms such as Intel, Apple, HP, and IBM use advanced chips that contain tantalum, gold, tin, and tungsten — elements that can be mined at low prices in the DRC, where mines are often controlled by militias fuelling a decades long civil war.

Publisher: Venkel  Designer: Brock Jones

Publisher: Venkel Designer: Brock Jones

American tech companies, such as Intel, lobbied directly on the rule when it was proposed. But since passage, tech firms have largely used third party business groups to stymie the rule. Trade groups representing major U.S. tech firms and other manufacturers, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, attempted to block the rule through a federal lawsuit. In 2014, a federal court struck down a part of the rule that forced firms to reveal DRC conflict minerals on their corporate websites.

Intel is also one of the firms that has touted its effort to comply with the law, publishing a report that notes the company has conducted 40 on-site reviews of smelters in the eastern DRC.

Reuters also reported that acting SEC chief Michael Piwowar has taken steps to also weaken enforcement, asking staff to “reconsider how companies should comply.”

Read the draft memo here:

Source*

Related Topics:

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

U.S. Sponsors Rape in Congo*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi to Rebalkanize Resource-rich Great Lake’s Region*

Engineered Chaos in Burundi is Spiraling as Pathocratic World Leaders Wait for the Prize*

Global Pathocracy*

Rothschild Billion Dollar Money Laundering Plot in Africa*

Hiding Africa’s Looted Funds and the Silence of Western Media*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

French Terrorists Dispatched to Sub-Saharan Africa*

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin  

 

French imperialism is exceedingly busy these days. Since April 2012 the DGSE, France’s equivalent of the CIA, have been helping French terrorists enter Syria so they can behead children and eat their body parts in the name of ‘human rights’.

Though we have been saying this for some time, the French Ministry of Truth has now discreetly admitted that we were right all along.

Mali

In 2012, the French overran Mali with terrorists they had been using in Libya. The bombing campaign helped France, in the words of the French foreign minister ‘reconquer’ Mali. The country is now destroyed, divided but very much open for the French and American business of resource extraction.

Central African Republic

A year later, the French overran the Central African Republic (RCA) with Saudi-funded Seleka Takfiri terrorists. The Seleka terrorists cut a lot of heads but had spokesmen in the French media with impeccable French.  The previous French-installed dictator of RCA Francois Bozizé, whom former French president Nicolas Sarkozy described as the “autistic fool of Bangui”, had signed major oil deals with Beijing. Bozizé ‘s handlers in Paris were outraged.

Cameroon

The French have been coordinating Boko Haram terrorists against the intransigent and sinophilic Biya regime of Cameroon. In January 2015, French Special Forces were, according to Afrique Media, arrested by the Cameroon military fighting alongside the Takfiri terrorists and discreetly repatriated to France on orders from the Elysee Palace.

The French used the RCA operation to provide them with reinforcements for the destabilisation of Cameroon. Cameroon President Paul Biya called on China to lend military support in fighting terrorism. A prominent Cameroon security consultant told Afrique Media that a French rat-line of terrorists going from RCA capital Bangui to Chadian capital Ndjamena had been routed by the intervention of Chinese Special Forces based in Algeria. There is no way of confirming whether or not the information is true. But if it is accurate, the suggests that China may be flexing its muscles more in Africa, getting tough on terrorism – French terrorism! The presence of a Chinese military base in former French colony Djibouti has not pleased Paris either.

Congo-Brazzaville

The Chinese have been causing lots of trouble in former French equatorial Africa too. The French attempted a coup against their former puppet Denis Sassou-Ngueso some months ago. Sassou-Nguesso is turned increasingly to China in recent years, to the chagrin of Paris and Washington.

French agent General Mokoko is now languishing in a Brazzaville jail for treason. A video of the general was leaked to the press where he was exposed conspiring with the DGSE to overthrow the Sassou-Ngueso regime on behalf of French imperial interests. He had promised to be loyal to France and for that the Empire’s information service has been most flattering in its portrayal of the Alcibiadian general. We are told he is currently reading hefty books on Napoleon while digesting the classics of French literature. Ah French imperial nostalgia and its erudite African acolytes!

Burundi

Burundi, a progressive country with Africa’s most popular president Pierre Nkurunziza, has been fighting off French media disinformation since 2010 but Paris and former colonial slave-owner Belgium, have been waging a secret war against the country since April 2015.

Nkurunziza’s ambitious development programme and proclivity towards BRICS investment is not in the European Union’s interest. The E.U. has been using false pretexts of constitutional issues to oust Nkurunziza together with gangs of crazy, violent youth called ‘peaceful protesters’. The United States has been heavily involved in the neo-colonial war too, through the ubiquitous enemy of all things African, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power. For readers unfamiliar with Samatha Power, she is the woman who overran a seven year old boy and didn’t stop! Samantha has Africa in her heart!

The United Nations, under Power’s stewardship, has issued a mendacious report claiming that the Burundi government is planning genocide against the Tutsi minority in the country. Thousands of Tutsis and Hutus have protested against the UN’s outrageous lies.

But Burundi has a strong military and intelligence apparatus. They have managed to resist for over a year and look like they may well hold out.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there is trouble once again.

Since nominal independence from Belgium in 1960, the country has been a neo-colony of Western interests and has been maintained in a permanent state of war and poverty. The Congo is the world’s richest nation. But its people are poor. The contradiction is called capitalism. Since the CIA and Belgian intelligence agents assassinated the country’s first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961, puppet leaders have proven untrustworthy.

Sese Seko Mobuto ran the country on behalf of Atlanticist neo-colonialism for several decades. Mobuto was ‘our man in the Congo’ until, relying on a burgeoning national bourgeoisie for legitimacy Mobuto, began to disagree with Belgium, Paris and Washington. Washington lost no time and dispatched Special Forces to Rwanda to help newly-installed genocidaire Paul Kagame mount an invasion force of the DRC in 1996. Rwanda was helped by Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda and the revolutionary forces of Laurent-Désiré Kabila.  Mobutu stepped aside. The death toll of the U.S.-instigated wars is estimated to be between 5 than 6 million. But many say the figure is much higher.

However, once Kabila took power, he quickly turned against his U.S.-backers, cut ties with Kagame and Museveni and declared his preference for Chinese investment.  The ‘gods of empire’ were not pleased and Kabila was promptly assassinated.  The country was now suffering the predations of Kagame’s U.S. backed militia who were murdering en masse in the province of mineral-rich Kivu, with strong support from Western imperialism.

Since taking power in 2001, Joseph Kabila has managed to bring a high degree of stability. He has liberated much of the country from terrorism. The Congolese national bourgeoisie wanted progress and an end to the casino capitalism of the Western-backed marauders such as Kagame. In 2011 President Kabila launched the tautological sounding slogan ”revolution of modernity’. With major new dams and power stations, roads, housing projects and transport, Kabila has, to his credit, transformed the country. He has the support of popular forces such as the Congolese Communist Party, who want to revive the spirit of Lumumba and Pierre Mulele. It is not a good thing to see a strong leader like Kabila leaving office next year at the latest. The DRC should consider changing the constitution to abolish term limits. Term limits and multi-party democracy are a front for neo-colonial interests. What the country needs is unity and strong nationalist leadership.

Jewish power has a lot to do with the current unrest. The Israelis have dominated the country’s diamond industry and they now have a puppet who even claims to be a Jew. His name is Moise Katumbi and he promises to, in the words of Benjamin Netanyahu “open up Africa to Israel”. In fact, Israel was built on the gold extracted from slave labour in the Congo. But the Congolese holocaust doesn’t matter as they are not Jewish.

Katumbi is a multi-millionaire who is clearly the Empire’s choice for the upcoming elections. The problem is that the electoral authorities have decided to postpone the elections until July 2017. The decision is wise, as they have not yet registered all voters. The self-proclaimed ‘international community’is unhappy about that as it wants Kabila out of the way. Kabila has surrounded himself with nationalistic politicians who want to escape from the Western neo-colonial stranglehold. China has massive infrastructural projects in the country. In fact, the Democratic Republic of Congo is Chinese imperialism’s most ambitious African project.  Chinese state-monopoly capitalism builds infrastructure, pays more for natural resources and wouldn’t dream of issuing insulting, neo-colonial statements like the recent condemnation of Kinshasa by President Hollande. The Kabila ‘regime’ did not mince its words in responding to Hollande, firmly reminding the French president in a press conference that the Democratic Republic of Congo was not a French territory.

The Western imperial press is tripping over itself in its faithful mission to disinform the well-intentioned European reader. An article in Le Monde states that the protesters in Kinshasa calling for the president to ‘step down’ have stones in their hands. It admits that they have already lynched policemen and violently attacked civilians and destroyed public buildings. It also admits that the police have kept a distance from the rioters. Yet in the same article we see Soros-funded Human Rights Watch condemning the police for their brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters! One can only imagine what would happen in Paris were one to demonstrate without permission, armed, lynching police and burning down government buildings!

Gabon

In oil-rich French neo-colony of Gabon, a presidential election in July erupted in violence after the French-backed candidate Jean Ping lost to the incumbent Ali Bongo. Jean Ping has called on the old colonial master to intervene. French Africa experts such as Antoine Glaser are saying the same things they said before the French assault on the Ivory Coast in 2011, namely that France has no real interests there. It is not true. France has a military base in the former colony and has enjoyed laissez-faire economics for several decades through the imposition of corrupt dictators. Ali Bongo took power in a military coup in 2009 with help from the French. He was supposed to serve the French elite. But instead, Bongo betrayed his masters. He gave lucrative oil contracts to China and enlisted Chinese help in the development of the country’s agricultural industry. Not only that, the Gabon state is currently pursuing French oil giant Total for 805 million dollars in unpaid taxes. Paris says Bongo has to go! There are signs that Ali Bongo might be different to his father. He has pledged to give his father’s inheritance to the state. One should not have any illusions about Bongo’s benevolence. But what is clear is that he now standing for African capitalist interests rather than those of the Empire. Jean Ping is the former husband of Pascaline Bongo, one of the directors of Total. Ping has a personal stake in Total’s fraudulent practices. Total hates Bongo and so does the ‘international community’.

The ‘revolutionary’ scramble for Africa

Western imperialism is running amok in Africa. The continent’s youth are being held hostage by NGOs who specialise in the manipulation of youthful rebelliousness; they use Trotskyite propaganda perfected during the Arab Spring. The Western imperial elite say they want to spread the Arab Spring all over Africa. They are doing a good job. Francois Hollande told the United Nations recently that “ France has a big idea for the world”  Youth of France, have you any idea what your old men  are doing to foreign countries?  Do you really believe everything they tell you about these countries you know they exploit and dominate? How can you listen to the owner of Le Monde, Lezard Bank director Matthieu Pigasse tell you he wants to see the Arab Spring spread all over Africa, and not understand what he means, not understand what the information service he owns means when it uses terms like ‘international community’ and ‘civil society’? Youth of France, Pig Ass wants revolution. Give it to him!

Youth of Africa, kick out all NGOs now and revive the spirit of Sankara, Lumumba and Mulele! Educate your youth on imperialism’s strategems!

France, bursting with debt and sinking in the mire of its own imperial hubris, has embarked upon one last, rape spree in the Dark Continent – it’s part of France’s “big idea for the world”. On September the 11th 1991, after the dissolution of the USSR, President George Bush told the US Congress that New World Order was on the way and it was a “big idea”. The millions of rotting corpses of French and American imperial wars in the Ivory Coast, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Gabon, Burundi, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Democratic African Republic, Republic of Congo – the list is far greater – have borne witness to the evil meaning of Western imperialism’s ‘big idea for the world’.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S., Britain and France Step-Up War Plans

Colonial France out for Niger’s Uranium*

The Rise of the French Right and the CFA Franc

French Grab for Mali’s Gold*

France is Broke, but Still Reaping from the Colonial Tax!*

The French Patent an African Indigenous Plant (anti-cancerous)*

French Presidency Has “Kill List” of People Targeted for Assassination*

France’s Debt to Haiti Remains Despite Hollande’s and Martelly’s Attempt to Rewrite History*

How France Loots its Former Colonies*

This is what TPP Looks Like: World Bank Demands Argentina Pay French Company*

France, U.K., and Germany produce the most ISIS Terrorists from Europe*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

Mali, Al Qaeda & The Rothschilds

Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi to Rebalkanize Resource-rich Great Lake’s Region*

Uganda: A Brilliant Genocide*

Uganda: A Brilliant Genocide*

By Ann Garrison

The U.S. deploys demons to justify imperial conquest. In central Africa, the demon’s name is Joseph Kony, the guerilla who served as an excuse for Yoweri Museveni, the dictator of Uganda, to commit genocide against the Acholi people, with U.S. support. Museveni “drove nearly two million Acholi people, 90% of the population, into concentration camps.” He then set in motion a genocide that has killed more than six million Congolese and Rwandans.

 

“U.S. and Ugandan troops have set up outposts in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all in the name of fighting the infamous Kony.”

One hundred million people around the world watched the viral video “Kony 2012.” Its evangelical Christian producers’ mission was to proselytize for the use of U.S. Special Forces to help Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni hunt down warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Despite huge support from the U.S. political establishment and various celebrities, the producers were finally guffawed off the world stage after the video’s release. One of the best parodies was the Artist Taxi Driver’s “You say get Kony I say get Tony #kony2012 #tonyblair2012.”

Nevertheless, more U.S. troops went to Uganda in 2012, reportedly as advisors to the Ugandan army, a longstanding U.S. proxy force. More have gone since, and U.S. and Ugandan troops have set up outposts in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all in the name of fighting the infamous Kony, whom “Kony 2012” likened to Osama bin Laden. Despite all that, Kony’s still free — if he’s still alive. The idea that a modern army, with the most advanced weaponry, intelligence, and surveillance tech, has not been able to find him and his spent force of jungle fighters is preposterous. As Dr. Vincent Magombe said in Ebony Butler’s new documentary film, A Brilliant Genocide:

“America is part of the problem of Africa right now. The Americans know very well that Kony is not the problem. Where the oil wells are, the American troops are there and the government in power. It doesn’t matter whether that government is Museveni killing his own people. It’s not democratic, but he is a friend.”

A Brilliant Genocide tells the story of the Acholi Genocide that President Yoweri Museveni and his army committed against the Acholi people during their 20 year war and occupation of the Acholi homeland in northern Uganda, from 1986 to 2006. Museveni waged that war in the name of fighting Kony and claimed to be protecting the Acholi, not destroying them. The U.S. turned a blind eye and continued to build up its Ugandan proxy force. “Despite this appalling and shocking human rights abuse,” Ugandan American publisher Milton Allimadi says in the film, “the Ugandan military machine continued to be financed without any interruption from the United States.”

Museveni’s troops eventually drove nearly two million Acholi people, 90% of the population, into concentration camps to, he said, protect them from Kony and the LRA. The camp living quarters were traditional mud huts with thatched roofs, but they were tightly clustered together in a way that was not traditional at all. The Museveni government then failed to provide food, water, sanitation, or health care. In 2005, the World Health Organization reported that 1000 Acholi were dying every week of violence and disease — above all malaria and AIDS. That was, they reported, 1000 beyond normal mortality rates.

“Museveni waged that war in the name of fighting Kony and claimed to be protecting the Acholi, not destroying them.”

This huge and lengthy displacement caused more death and destruction than the war itself. All the elements of Acholi society — farming, education, gender relations, and family life — were broken. In the camps, the previously self-sufficient Acholi became completely dependent on the U.N. World Food Program.

Ugandan soldiers raped both men and women, spreading HIV in the camps, but President George Bush lauded President Yoweri Museveni for his success at HIV prevention. Anyone who has been concerned by all the Western press about Uganda’s homophobia and its Anti-Homosexuality Act should see both A Brilliant Genocide and Gender Against Men to understand how much more complex the country’s attitudes towards same gender sexual relations — including rape — really are.

The camps were finally disbanded in 2012 and the surviving Acholi returned to their land, but now they are facing land grabs, including those by Museveni and his partner in mechanized agriculture.

What did the U.S. gain by ignoring the Acholi Genocide as it built the Ugandan army into a proxy force?

In 1990, as the genocide continued in Northern Uganda, a battalion of the Ugandan army led by General Paul Kagame invaded Rwanda. After a four-year war and the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents, Kagame’s army overthrew the Rwandan government and established a de facto Tutsi dictatorship, which falsely claims to have ended competition between the Hutu and Tutsi populations. The last 100 days of that war included the massacres that came to be known as the Rwandan Genocide, which most of the world knows as the oversimplified, de-contextualized story told in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

This radically mis-told story of the Rwandan Genocide has since become a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. We’re forever told that we have to start another war to stop genocide and mass atrocities or — in shorthand — to stop “the next Rwanda,” as in Libya, Syria, and more recently, Burundi, and whatever unlucky nation may be next. Few have heard of the Acholi Genocide because it exposes the shameless U.S. foreign policy of supporting and enabling dictator Yoweri Museveni ever since he came to power in 1986. We’re never told that we have to stop “the next Acholi Genocide” or “the next Uganda.”

Beginning in 1996, Rwanda and Uganda invaded the hugely resource rich Democratic Republic of the Congo, enabled by U.S. weapons, logistics and intelligence. They expelled Congolese President Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997 and replaced him with Laurent Kabila. When Laurent Kabila raised an independent head and expelled Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers, Rwanda and Uganda invaded Congo again and replaced him with his more compliant adopted son Joseph Kabila. Today, after the death of millions in the First and Second Congo Wars, Rwanda and Uganda continue to commit atrocities and plunder eastern Congolese resources. Right now 60 people a month are being massacred in Beni Territory, but the world isn’t much more likely to hear about that than about the Acholi Genocide.

“Rwanda and Uganda continue to commit atrocities and plunder eastern Congolese resources.”

Most Westerners are far more likely to have noticed the Western press — and Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International — shrieking that there’s another Tutsi genocide pending in Burundi, even though the violence in Burundi is nowhere near as horrific as that in Beni, and many of those assassinated in Burundi have been top officials in the Hutu-led government. The U.S. and its allies want to take down the government of Burundi, so they keep sounding alarms that it’s plotting genocide, that we have to stop another genocide or “the next Rwanda.” They’re not sounding the same alarms about Beni because the elimination of its population would facilitate their longstanding agenda of breaking up the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as they broke up Yugoslavia and South Sudan.

The U.S. has used Ugandan troops to serve its agenda not only in nations bordering Uganda but also in Somalia and elsewhere on the African continent, as coordinated by AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command. It has even used Ugandan troops in its assaults on Iraq and Afghanistan.

When anyone, including Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, says that we have to invade another sovereign nation to stop genocide and mass atrocities, they should be reminded of the horrendous Acholi Genocide that the U.S. enabled, or of the massacres going on in Beni Territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo, right now. These are only two examples of mass atrocities that the U.S. has committed or facilitated because they or their perpetrators, like Museveni, serve U.S. interests. As Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka has said,

“When was the last time the U.S. has been on the side of the people, in reality? And the answer is: ‘Never.’

“A Brilliant Genocide” is now showing at international film festivals around the world. The next showing will be at the Raindance Film Festival in London on September 30. It will air on Russia Today (RT) channels around the world and on RT websites between October 1 and February 28; precise dates are still to be determined. 

Source*

WRwanda[2]Related Topics:

You’re not a ‘Hitler’ if you Kill Ten Million Africans*

Jews Kicked Out Of Uganda*

African Court Sentences Former Chadian Military Dictator to Life in Prison for Crimes against Humanity*

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

How the World Runs on Looting the Congo*

U.S. has Killed over 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II*

Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi to Rebalkanize Resource-rich Great Lake’s Region*