United Nations


The US ambassador to Tripoli tells US companies: “oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources”. Total victory promises 35% of Libyan oil concessions to the French oil company Total.

Assault on Sirte, the Libya map as of October 8, 2011 (WSJ)

[This] is the first time that the UN Security Council explicitly gave the green light … to armed intervention against a sovereign State … and that its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, played an active role in unleashing hostilities.

intervention has never been, and will never be, anything other than the intervention of the strong in the affairs of the weak

The action by the UN against Libya threatens the people and countries of every continent. When will the “international community” want our resources, and what will they do to us to get them? Who in my country may be coopted by them?

NATO forces arrayed against Libya. (WSJ)

Total victory

The pun is easy but unavoidable, especially since Libération published the letter in which the National Transitional Council (NTC) promised to grant 35% of concessions to the French petroleum giant Total “in exchange” (the term used) for French military engagement (a document which naturally triggered a hasty denial from the Quai d’Orsay). The fight for freedom is such a noble cause. The author nevertheless concluded his article by taking note of “the strong odor of petroleum hanging over the whole business.”

It is by themselves — and never from the outside — that peoples gain their freedom.

Beyond the case of Libya, that is the point, the most essential, which deserves to be discussed among all those who adhere to the right of peoples to decide their own destiny — what used to be called anti-imperialism.

Used to be? In fact, it was so up until the fall of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact opened the way to the reconquest of the entire planet by capitalism, its dominations and its imperial rivalries. And that left no other choice to countries except to align themselves with the canons of “human rights,” the “rule of law,” and the “market economy” — three terms which have become synonymous — or else find themselves under fire from the cannons of the planetary policemen shamelessly calling themselves the “international community.”

Granted, when it comes to armed intervention against a sovereign State, the so-called “international community” is no beginner. But it is the first time that the UN Security Council explicitly gave the green light, and that its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, played an active role in unleashing hostilities. The full implications of such a situation need to be weighed: the brutal challenge to the sovereignty of States has been legalized — even if not legitimatized. The dominant planetary oligarchies, whose final horizon is “world governance” without borders, have thereby scored a major point: interventionism (“preventive” at that, according to Mr. Luck) can henceforth be the rule.

This conception, which explicitly contradicts the United Nations Charter, is a time bomb: it undermines the very foundations on which it was written and could mean a veritable return to barbarism in international relations.

For there is one obvious truth that should never be forgotten: intervention has never been, and will never be, anything other than the intervention of the strong in the affairs of the weak. The respect for sovereignty in international relations is what the equal vote is to citizenship: certainly no absolute guarantee, far from it, but a substantial asset against the law of the jungle. The latter is what could very well take over the world stage.
from: Libya: NATO Provides the Bombs; The French “Left” Provides the Ideology by Pierre Lévy

You cannot bomb a country into democracy, but of course democracy was never the true objective in Libya, no matter how humanitarian the justifications and rationalizations for the blatant aggression.

In the Wall Street Journal:

TRIPOLI, Libya—Six weeks after the fall of Tripoli, the palmy days of rebel unity have begun to disintegrate into a spiral of infighting, political jockeying and even the occasional violent flare-up threatening to derail Libya’s post-Gadhafi transition.

This is what everyone who knew anything about Libya predicted. Libya, with it multitude of factions and arms could devolve similar to Somalia.

US Ambassador Cretz appears to have a tin ear for the language of imperialism. Jewel in the crown was the part India played in Britain’s global empire. This is just one more indication of how naked and blatant the imperial aggression against Libya has been.
From the NYT:

Ambassador Gene A. Cretz … participated in a State Department conference call with about 150 American companies hoping to do business with Libya.

“We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources, … “If we can get American companies here on a fairly big scale, which we will try to do everything we can to do that, then this will redound to improve the situation in the United States with respect to our own jobs.”

His remarks were a rare nod to the tacit economic stakes in the Libyan conflict for the United States and other Western countries, not only because of Libya’s oil resources but also because of the goods and services those resources enable it to purchase.

Oil was never the “predominant reason” for the American intervention, Mr. Cretz said, but his comments … underlined the American eagerness for a cut of any potential profits.

The entire intervention against Libya was driven by potential profits. Pierre Lévy quotes a 2007 speech by Sarkozy:


“Europe is today the only force capable of carrying forward a project of civilization. … America and China have already begun the conquest of Africa. How long will Europe wait to build the Africa of tomorrow?
While Europe hesitates, others advance.”

Not wanting to be left behind, Dominique Strauss-Kahn around the same time expressed his desire for a Europe stretching “from the cold ice of the Arctic in the North to the hot sands of the Sahara in the South (. . .) and that Europe, I believe, if it continues to exist, will have reconstituted the Mediterranean as an internal sea, and will have reconquered the space that the Romans, or Napoleon more recently, attempted to consolidate.”

And Lévy reminds us:

After years of being subjected to embargo and treated as a pariah, Colonel Kadhafi undertook the rapprochement mentioned above with the West, which notably took the form in December 2003 of an official renunciation of any nuclear arms program in exchange for guarantees of non-aggression promised specifically by Washington. Eight years later, there is no getting around the fact that that commitment lasted only up until the day when they felt they now had reasons to trample it under foot. Suddenly, in the four corners of the earth everyone can measure the worth of the word given by the powerful and just how much they value the commitments they have made.

Sarkozy speaks in the voice of previous centuries, when Europe would supposedly bring the three Cs to Africa, Christianity, civilization, and commerce, with the unlimited arrogance to call Europe “the only force capable of carrying forward a project of civilization“. European and American development has been financed for centuries by Africa. France would have been a minor player in international affairs without the wealth of Africa. The west owes Africa for western development, instead it plans returning to take more. The doctrine of the self styled “international community”, the US and Western Europe, is our old nemesis: might makes right.

Thabo Mbeki writes What the World Got Wrong in Côte D’Ivoire. He asks:

Why is the United Nations entrenching former colonial powers on our continent? Africans can and should take the lead in resolving their own disputes.

Gbagbo greets Mbeki during negotiations in Ivory Coast

The second round of the Nov. 28, 2010, presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire pitted against each other two long-standing political opponents, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara. For this reason, and of strategic importance, it was inevitable that this electoral contest would decide the long-term future of the country. Everybody concerned should have probed very seriously the critical question: Would the 2010 elections create the conditions that would establish the basis for the best possible future for the Ivorian people?

Rather, the international community insisted that what Côte d’Ivoire required to end its crisis was to hold democratic elections, even though the conditions did not exist to conduct such elections. Though they knew that this proposition was fundamentally wrong, the Ivorians could not withstand the international pressure to hold the elections.

However, the objective reality is that the Ivorian presidential elections should not have been held when they were held. It was perfectly foreseeable that they would further entrench the very conflict it was suggested they would end.

The 2002 rebellion in Côte d’Ivoire divided the country into two parts, with the north controlled by the rebel Forces Nouvelles, which supported Alassane Ouattara, and the south in the hands of the Gbagbo-led government. Since then, Côte d’Ivoire has had two governments, administrations, armies, and “national” leaders.

Any elections held under these circumstances would inevitably entrench the divisions and animosities represented and exacerbated by the 2002 rebellion.

The structural faults which lay at the base of the 2002 rebellion include such inflammable issues as trans-national tensions affecting especially Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, Ivorian ethnic and religious antagonisms, sharing of political power, and access to economic and social power and opportunities.

In this regard, the international community has assiduously suppressed proper appreciation of various explosive allegations which, rightly or wrongly, have informed and will continue to inform the views of the Gbagbo-supporting population in southern Côte d’Ivoire — and much of Francophone Africa!

These are that Ouattara is a foreigner born in Burkina Faso, that together with Burkinabè President Blaise Compaoré he was responsible for the 2002 rebellion, that his accession to power would result in the takeover of the country especially by Burkinabè foreigners, and that historically, to date, he has been ready to advance French interests in Côte d’Ivoire.

Taking all this into account, the African Union understood that a lasting solution of the Ivorian crisis necessitated a negotiated agreement between the two belligerent Ivorian factions, focused on the interdependent issues of democracy, peace, national reconciliation and unity.

In protracted negotiations from 2002, the Ivorians agreed that the presidential elections would not be held until various conditions had been met. These included the reunification of the country, the restoration of the national administration to all parts of the Ivorian territory, and the disarmament of the rebels and all militia and their integration in the national security machinery, with the latter process completed at least two months ahead of any presidential elections. Despite the fact that none of this was honoured, the presidential elections were allowed to proceed.

In the end, Ouattara has been installed as president of Côte d’Ivoire. Gbagbo, and his wife Simone, have ended up as humiliated prisoners. Many Ivorians have died and have been displaced, much infrastructure has been destroyed, and historic animosities have been exacerbated in the lead up to this outcome.

Many things have gone radically wrong along the road to this result.

Agreements relating to what needed to be done to create conditions for free and fair elections were wilfully and contemptuously ignored. The Ivorian Constitutional Council (CC) is the only body constitutionally empowered to determine the winner in any presidential election and to install the president, with the Electoral Commission (IEC) mandated to forward its provisional results to the CC. However, the very people who insist on the sanctity of the rule of law as fundamental to all democratic practice, elected illegally to recognise the provisional result announced by the chairperson of the IEC on his own, as the authentic outcome of the presidential election.

As provided by the law, Gbagbo contested the fairness of the elections in certain parts of the country, especially the north. The CC, rightly or wrongly, accepted the majority of the complaints made by Gbagbo, identified other “irregularities,” annulled the votes in some districts, and declared Gbagbo the victor. The chairperson of the IEC did not take these alleged irregularities into account and decided that Ouattara had won.

The envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, his fellow South Korean, SRSG Young-jin Choi, also determined that Ouattara had won, but on the basis of fewer votes than those announced by the IEC, having determined that some of the complaints made by Gbagbo were legitimate. In terms of the votes cast for the two candidates, the IEC, the CC, and the U.N. SRSG made three different determinations.

Gbagbo proposed that to resolve this matter, which bears on the important issue of the will of the Ivorian people, an international commission should be established to verify the election results, with the important pre-condition that both he and Ouattara should accept the determination of the commission.

This proposal was rejected by the international community — despite the fact that it would have resolved the electoral dispute without resort to war, and despite the fact that some election observers questioned the fairness of the elections, especially in northern Côte d’Ivoire.

For instance, reporting on the elections in the north, the election observer mission of the AU led by Joseph Kokou Kofigoh, former prime minister of Togo, the independent civil society Societé Civile Africaine pour la Democratie et l’Assistance Electoral led by Seynabou Indieguene of Senegal, and the Coordination of African Election Experts (CAEE) from Cameroon, Senegal, Benin, Mali, Morocco, Gabon, and Togo led by Jean-Marie Ongjibangte of Cameroon, all sounded the alarm about the elections in the north.

For instance, the CAEE said: “After sharing information with other national and international election observers, we hereby state that the second round of the presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire was held amidst major problems in (various northern) regions…

“These problems were stealing of ballot boxes, arresting of candidates’ representatives, multiple voting, refusal to admit international observers to witness counting of ballots, and the murder of representatives of candidates. To that effect, we hereby declare that the second round of voting was not free, fair and transparent in these (northern) localities.”

For its part, to this day, the ECOWAS election observer mission has not issued its report on the second round of the presidential election! Why?

Clearly the independent international commission proposed by Laurent Gbagbo could have been established and empowered to make a definitive and binding determination about what had happened. Time will tell why this was not done!

Further, the U.N. SRSG took the extraordinary decision to exceed his mandate by declaring who had won the presidential election, contrary to his tasks as detailed by the Security Council. This positioned the U.N. Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) as a partisan in the Ivorian conflict, rather than a neutral peacemaker, equidistant from the belligerent parties.

From this point onwards, UNOCI had no choice but actively to work for the installation of Ouattara as president of the country and the removal of Gbagbo. Ultimately, this found expression in the blatant use of its military capacities to open the way for the Forces Nouvelles to defeat the Gbagbo forces and capture Gbagbo, under the shameless pretence that it was acting to protect civilians.

While obliged to respect its peacekeeping mandate, which included keeping the belligerent forces apart, UNOCI did nothing to stop the advance of the Forces Nouvelles from the north to the south, including and up to Abidjan. Nor did UNOCI or the French Licorne forces, as mandated by the United Nations, act to protect civilians in the area of Duékoué, where, evidently, the most concentrated murder of civilians took place! This recalls the United Nations’s failure to end the more catastrophic murder and abuse of civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo!

The Ivorian reality points to a number of incontrovertible conclusions.

The agreed conditions for the holding of democratic elections in Côte d’Ivoire were not created. Despite strong allegations of electoral fraud, the international community decided against conducting any verification of the process and the announced results. This left unanswered the vitally important question of who actually had won the elections, which Ouattara might have done.

The United Nations elected to abandon its neutrality as a peacemaker, deciding to be a partisan belligerent in the Ivorian conflict.

France used its privileged place in the Security Council to position itself to play an important role in determining the future of Côte d’Ivoire, its former colony in which, inter alia, it has significant economic interests. It joined the United Nations to ensure that Ouattara emerged as the victor in the Ivorian conflict.

This addressed the national interests of France, consistent with its Françafrique policies, which aim to perpetuate a particular relationship with its former African colonies. This is in keeping with remarks made by former French President François Mitterand when he said, “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century,” which former French foreign minister Jacques Godfrain confirmed when he said: “A little country [France], with a small amount of strength, we can move a planet because [of our]…relations with 15 or 20 African countries…”

The AU is also not without blame, as it failed to assert itself to persuade everybody to work to achieve reconciliation among the Ivorians, and therefore durable peace. Tragically, the outcome that has been achieved in Côte d’Ivoire further entrenches the endemic conflict in this country.  This is because it has placed in the exclusive hands of the failed rebellion of 2002 the ability to determine the future of the country, whereas the objective situation dictated and dictates that the people of Côte d’Ivoire should engage one another as equals to determine their shared destiny.

During the decade he served as president of Côte d’Ivoire, Gbagbo had no possibility to act on his own to reunify the country and achieve reconciliation among its diverse people, despite the existence of negotiated agreements in this regard. As he serves as president of the country, Ouattara will not succeed to realise these objectives, acting on his own, outside the context of honest agreement with the sections of the Ivorian population represented by Gbagbo.

What was to come was foreseen by the then U.S. ambassador in Côte d’Ivoire, Wanda L. Nesbitt. In July 2009, she advised the U.S. government:

“It now appears that the Ouaga IV agreement, [the fourth agreement to the Ouagadougou Political Agreement which prescribed that disarmament should precede the elections], is fundamentally an agreement between Blaise Compaore [President of Burkina Faso] and Laurent Gbagbo to share control of the north until after the presidential election, despite the fact that the text calls for the Forces Nouvelles to return control of the north to the government and complete disarmament two months before the election…

“But the 5,000 Forces Nouvelles soldiers who are to be “disarmed” and regrouped into barracks in four key cities in the north and west until a new national army is created, represent a serious military capability that the FAFN [Forces Nouvelles] intends to keep well-trained and in reserve until after the election. The hand-over of administrative power from the FAFN to civilian government authorities is a pre-requisite for elections but, as travelers to the north (including Embassy personnel) confirm: the FAFN retain de-facto control of the region especially when it comes to finances.”

The failure to address the “pre-requisite for elections” predetermined their outcome. The rebel “control” of the north, mentioned by Ambassador Nesbitt, prescribed the outcome of the 2010 presidential election. Similarly, it was the “military capability” of the rebellion, which Ambassador Nesbitt mentioned, that was used to ensure that Ouattara became president of Côte d’Ivoire.

It is little wonder that as the post-election crisis deepened, Laurent Gbagbo would cry out: I was betrayed!

At the end of it all, there are many casualties.

One of these is the African Union. The tragic events in Côte d’Ivoire have confirmed the marginalization of the union in its ability to resolve the most important African challenges.

Instead, the AU has asserted the ability of the major powers to intervene to resolve these challenges by using their various capacities to legitimize their actions by persuading the United Nations to authorise their self-serving interventions.

The United Nations is yet another casualty. It has severely undermined its acceptability as a neutral force in the resolution of internal conflicts, such as the one in Côte d’Ivoire. It will now be difficult for the United Nations to convince Africa and the rest of the developing world that it is not a mere instrument in the hands of the world’s major powers. This has confirmed the urgency of the need to restructure the organisation, based on the view that as presently structured the United Nations has no ability to act as a truly democratic representative of its member states.

Thus, in various ways, the events in Côte d’Ivoire could serve as a defining moment in terms of the urgent need to reengineer the system of international relations. They have exposed the reality of the balance and abuse of power in the post-Cold War era, and put paid to the fiction that the major powers respect the rule of law in the conduct of international relations, even as defined by the U.N. Charter, and that, as democrats, they respect the views of the peoples of the world.

We can only hope that Laurent and Simone Gbagbo and the Ivorian people do not continue to suffer as abused and humiliated victims of a global system which, in its interests, while shouting loudly about universal human rights, only seeks to perpetuate the domination of the many by the few who dispose of preponderant political, economic, military and media power.

The perverse and poisonous proceedings that have afflicted Côte d’Ivoire pose the urgent question: How many blatant abuses of power will Africa and the rest of the developing world experience before the vision of a democratic system of global governance is realised?

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Gambia coat of arms

The government of the Gambia refuses to recognize the Ouattara government in Ivory Coast.

Gambia Government’s position on the tragedy in Cote D’Ivoire or Ivory Coast

The events in Ivory Coast have vindicated us on our earlier assertion that Western Neo colonialist sponsored agents in Africa that owe allegiance only to themselves and their Western Masters are ready to walk on thousands of dead bodies to the Presidency. This is what is happening in Ivory Coast.

Africans should not only wake up, but should stand up to the new attempts to re-colonise Africa through so called elections that are organized just to fool the people since the true verdict of the people would not be respected if it does not go in favour of the Western Backed Candidates as has happened in Cote D’Ivoire and elsewhere in Africa.

What is really sinister and dangerous about the neo colonialist threat is that they are ready to use brute force, or carry out outrageous massacres to neutralize any form of resistance to the Western selected President as has happened in Cote D’Ivoire

In Ivory Coast, we know the role played by the former Colonial power who, outside of the UN Mandate, first Bombarded the Presidential Palace for Days and eventually stormed it through a tunnel that links the Presidential Palace to one of the residences of their diplomatic representative.

The reasons for the bombardment of the Presidential Palace prior to the raid was according to them; to prevent Gbagbo using heavy weapons against civilians! But both the UN and France were aware of the outrageous massacres of civilians, entire villages that supported President Laurent Gbagbo were wiped out by the so called republican forces fighting for Ouatarra. Were Gbagbo supporters not supposed to be protected by both the UN and French Forces against Massacres?

These so called republican forces that were supposed to be fighting for Democracy, ended up killing thousands with impunity and are now engaged in massive looting!

Our position is very clear. The case of Laurent Gbagbo is a replica of the Case of Patrice Lumumba who; as a a Freedom Fighter for the dignity and Independence of not only Congolese people but the entire black race was overthrown by Western powers including the UN, and handed over to his sworn enemies to be murdered.

History is repeating itself as the same Neocolonial forces that overthrew Patrice Lumumba, captured him and handed him over to his enemies almost fifty years ago; are the same forces involved in the Ivory Coast with the only difference being that it is now a different former colonial power.

If justice is to be done, there should be an impartial and comprehensive investigation into all the atrocities carried out in Ivory Coast by a team of honest and decent Allah fearing people. Alassan Ouatarra and his forces cannot go scot free and blame everything on President Laurent Gbagbo who according to the Ivorian Constitution is the legitimate President of Ivory Coast. This team should be selected by the Non Align Movement.

One is tempted to ask this Question:

How is it possible that the verdict of the constitutional council that decided on who won the elections in some Francophone African Countries recently were accepted: that is after the election in Ivory Coast but that of The Ivorian Constitution Council was rejected by both the Western powers and the UN?

As far as we are concerned, the only solution to avert a long drawn-out civil War with all its attendant consequences in Ivory Coast is to reorganize Presidential elections in the shortest possible time. In the meantime an interim Government of National Unity should be formed without Alassan Ouatarra; as he also has a lot to answer for as well.

One thing is very clear to all Africans today – the plot to recolonise Africa is very real and we must stand up to it.

It is shameful that the most evil, dictatorial and repressive powers on earth today are calling African leaders Dictators. It is also very shocking and interesting as well that the same powers are not saying anything about the popular uprising that has been raging on Burkina Faso for the past three weeks resulting in the storming of the Presidential Palace in Ouagadougou, last night, with the whereabouts of Blaise Compaore unknown. This uprising has been going on for more than three weeks now and not a single international news media is reporting on it. Is it possible in today’s world that such an uprising can take place in a country like Burkina Faso; so close to the Ivory Coast; a dusk to dawn curfew imposed for two weeks; without the Western Media including those of the former colonial Master knowing about it?

We the new Generation of Africans cannot and will not be fooled. We know what Blaise Compaore stands for in Africa with regards to the West.

Captain Thomas Sankara was murdered for standing up to imperialism and neo colonialism in Burkina Faso in particular and Francophone Africa in general. He was killed for the same reasons that Patrice Lumumba and other African Freedom Fighters died for, their killers eventually becoming Presidents in those African countries and worked exclusively for Western interests in Africa.

Blaise Compaore, is one of them. He has a lot to answer for the civil wars that ravaged Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast then, and now.

That there is such a media blackout of the uprising in Burkina Faso, but an up-to-the-minute reporting of events in Yemen, Syria, Ivory Coast etc shows that the so called international news media are the mouth pieces of certain Satanic Powers with a sinister Mission for the rest of the world outside the West.

Why can’t the West respect Africa’s Independence and dignity?

In conclusion, we call on the UN to ensure the safety, protection, and well being of President Laurent Gbagbo; the constitutionally legal President of Ivory Coast and set him free. He cannot be tried whilst Alassan Ouatarra, the internationally selected President goes scot free after massacring thousands of civilians just to be President!

The Gambia Government would not recognize any President or Government in Africa that has been imposed by forces outside of the African Continent for whatever reason. We know what those governments and Presidents stand for in Africa. They loot African resources on behalf of the powers that brought them to power.

MAY THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH Guide, Guard and Protect Africans by giving us the courage to stand up in Defence of African Independence, Dignity and the protection of our natural Resources from those hungry locusts on the rampage in Africa. The road to total liberation may be tough, but we shall prevail very soon INSHA ALLAH.

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This blog has covered many of the points raised by Mr. Mbeki, and by the government of the Gambia.   The Western recolonizers are barely trying to hide their intentions any more.    The people and resources of the entire continent are under assault.

Earlier posts regarding Ivory Coast are:
Creating Failed States For Profit
Humanitarian Invasion In Ivory Coast
Côte d’Ivoire – Military Intervention Vs Constitutional Legitimacy
Ivory Coast – What Happened? What Next?

… the US does not have any positive or credible tradition of genuine assistance to freedom fighters and liberation movements in Africa.

Just as the US military carried out psychological warfare against US senators, one of the tasks of Africom is to rain down psychological warfare on Africans. Built in this subtle psychological warfare is the concept of the hierarchy of human beings and the superiority of the capitalist mode of production and ideas of Christian fundamentalism. It is on this front that we find a section of the US military known as the “Crusaders.” (Horace Campbell)

Ivory Coast and Libya in red, Sudan, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe in orange, these five countries are the only countries left in Africa that do not have partnerships, with AFRICOM. Ivory Coast and Libya already have active rebellions sponsored by the West, US, UK, France, and NATO.

Two [Ivory Coast and Libya] of only five [Ivory Coast, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea and Zimbabwe] African nations that have not entered into individual and regional partnerships with the Pentagon through AFRICOM are the targets of violent uprisings aimed at toppling their governments and installing client regimes subservient to the U.S. and its NATO allies. Eritrea, Zimbabwe and a truncated Sudan will be left. And will be next. (Rick Rozoff)

Both Libya and Ivory Coast are already subject to western invasion, bombs and black ops in Libya, and attack helicopters, troops, mercenaries, and massacres in Ivory Coast. The United States forced the timing and the execution of the elections in Sudan that called for partition. The US has been demonizing Eritrea for some time, and accusing it of arming Somalia, although most of the arms in Somalia come in courtesy of the US. Zimbabwe’s Mugabe has been demonized for years.

On April 5 the chairman of the African Union, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, condemned French military operations in fellow West African nation Ivory Coast and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s war against Libya, stating: “Africa does not need any external influence. Africa must manage its own affairs.”

Though hardly a model of a democratic ruler, having come to power in a coup d’etat in 1979 and governed his nation uninterruptedly since, Obiang Nguema is the current head of the 53-nation African Union and his comments stand on their own regardless of their source.

In fact Obieng retains his position in large part because he is propped up by AFRICOM and US military contractors such as MPRI. He is one of the most cruel despots in the world, stealing the wealth of his country and his people, and leaving them with little or nothing. His words are still true, and should apply to himself as well.

Obieng “Each foreigner is susceptible to proposing erroneous solutions. African problems cannot be resolved with a European, American or Asian view.”

Only 30 months after becoming an independent command, AFRICOM has consolidated military-to-military relations with 50 African nations, including non-African Union member Morocco and the world’s newest state, South Sudan. Changes in government in Ivory Coast and Libya would add two more countries to that column.

Just as the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference divided the African continent into spheres of influence between the major European powers and the U.S., with Ivory Coast belonging to France and Libya later taken by Italy, so now the U.S. and all the major former European colonial masters, who are now fellow NATO member states – France, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Turkey – are again planning to establish dominance over what has become the world’s second most populous continent. (Rick Rozoff

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Just as the US military carried out psychological warfare against US senators, one of the tasks of Africom is to rain down psychological warfare on Africans. Built in this subtle psychological warfare is the concept of the hierarchy of human beings and the superiority of the capitalist mode of production and ideas of Christian fundamentalism. It is on this front that we find a section of the US military known as the “Crusaders.”

Horace Campbell puts together information from speeches and articles, and tells us about the Crusaders:

… these Crusaders are bent on intensifying a war against Islam, and see themselves as protectors of Christianity. … these neoconservative elements dominate the top echelons of the US military, including figures such as former commander of US forces in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Vice Admiral William McRaven. These crusaders have held American foreign policy hostage. Hersh said, “What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over.”
… a lengthy report that placed General David Petraeus at the heart of the Crusaders.

Not only do these Crusaders have control over the US military, they are also linked with a faction of the Catholic Church called “Opus Dei,” an arch conservative order that has links with international banking, finance, militarism, and intelligence formations. Besides Opus Dei, one finds the fundamentalist evangelicals in the US, who are linked to the forces of Islamophobia and corporate elements. One crucial figure in this world of neoconservative militarist was Dick Cheney, former US vice president and chairperson of Halliburton. It is worth noting that it was from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld (former Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush) that the idea for United States Africa Command originated.

Many of these Crusaders are overt white supremacists.
The careers of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and their corporate allies in the Carlyle Group, General Electric and Cerebrus spawn a world-wide web of conservative militarists, politicians, intellectuals and capitalists. These crusaders do not only disdain other cultures and religions, they have little or no regards for people of color.

For some time, there have been open disagreements within the military between these Crusaders and another section of the military called the “Rocks.”
Originally, the “Rocks” were formed by senior officers in the military who are non-whites. Colin Powell first wrote of the existence of the Rocks in the US military in his book, My American Journey. Although the narrative on equal opportunity in the US military has been part of the public discourse in the US, these officers faced discrimination and felt left out of the “white old boy networks” in the military. … these black army officers chafed as they saw their counterparts rising to the highest ranks and going through the revolving door of the military industrial complex and private military contractors.

Although the Rocks started out among the ranks of officers of color, by the time Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld intensified the politicization of the military, decent officers who were not crusaders identified with one philosophy of the Rocks: that the military should not be used for the interest of private capital. Many of the rank and file who learnt of the treatment of former servicemen after their tour of duty became Rocks, so that today the Army at its core e is dominated by the Rocks.

… the billionaire Koch Brothers stand out as a formidable financial backbone of crusade activism.

… In the New Yorker magazine we were treated to a very detailed analysis of the neoconservative war by Jane Mayer, Covert Operations: The Billionaire Brothers Who Are At War with Obama.

In the Bush years, the Crusaders conceptualized the US as being in a permanent global war, using the phrase, “global war on terror” (GWOT), to justify their link to particular factions of Wall Street and the manipulation of national security for political and capital ends. …

For a short while when the book, Dark Sahara, by Jeremy Keenan exposed the fabrication of terrorism in North Africa, the Crusaders temporarily retreated. When the Free Officers Movement from Algeria (MAOL) corroborated some of the information that had been outlined in the book by Keenan, the Crusaders toned down the language on Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and instead focused on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. However, with the sweep of revolution across Yemen and the downgrading of the importance of the bogy of terrorism in Yemen, the forward planners inside the Pentagon decided to go all out to rehabilitate Africom in the service of the Crusaders.

In the face of the public opposition from African thinkers and opinion makers, the forward planners for the Crusaders moved to spend money among struggling academics to promote an ideological onslaught to legitimize the United States Africa Command. Beside this intense work among social scientists, the forward planners among the Crusaders decided to employ the services of propaganda firms to fan the flames of Islamophobia in Africa. Africom has embarked on a massive public relations campaign to sell itself as a force for humanitarianism and development in Africa. Hence, for the past two years, almost all aspects of the United States foreign policy in Africa have been subordinated to the Pentagon. Essentially, with the force of only 1,500, Africom serves to hand out contract to private military contractors. … These licenses are granted through the State Department so that the US Africa Command gets the contract for training African armies and then there is subcontracting to firms such as Dyncorp, one of the most energetic of the military contractors in Africa. DynCorp, essentially private army is now owned by Cerberus, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the United States.

… The posture statement of the United States Africa Command declares that, Africom “contributes to increasing security and stability in Africa—allowing African states and regional organizations to promote democracy, to expand development, to provide for their common defense, and to better serve their people. “ However, as the relationship with the dictator Obiang exposes, Africom is more concerned with the stability and security of US petroleum interests in Equatorial Guinea than with the democratic rights of the people.

The use of private capitalist armies by the US military crusaders in the Middle East has peaked in Iraq and Afghanistan, hence the consolidation of their market frontier in Africa.

The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt shocked the Crusaders and they calculated on how to make a move to gain the support from the US society and consolidate Africom. The debate over saving civilians in Libya provided the best opportunity, and Barack Obama opened the door to strengthening the crusaders – the very forces who do not believe that Obama was born in the USA.

… The Crusaders waited for the moment to bring back their public push for Africom. And they seized it.

AFRICOM is the tool of acquisitive neocolonial crusaders, the most racist and reactionary elements in the US military. Their PR campaigns feature lots of photo-op good deeds, builidng roads, digging wells, painting schools. The soldiers who do these jobs are generally good hearted decent people. As Campbell points out, few are acquainted with the history of US military involvement in Africa. We need to remember that history and avoid continuing it.

The US was complicit in the planning of the murder of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, after which they propped up the monstrous dictator Mobutu Sese Seko who raped and pillaged the country and established a recursive process of war, rape, plunder, corruption, and brutality which the Congo still suffers from till today. Jonas Savimbi was sponsored by the US to cause destabilization and terror in Angola. The US gave military, material and moral support to the apartheid regime in South Africa while anti-apartheid freedom fighters, including Nelson Mandela, were designated as terrorists. … The US has yet to tell the truth about how Charles Taylor escaped from its prison custody in Massachusetts to go destabilize Liberia.

Read Campbell’s entire article: US Military and Africom: Between the rocks and the crusaders

After reading that read his more recent article: Libya must not be partitioned. Partitioning Libya is exactly what the big oil companies are seeking. The neocolonialists are seeking to repartition Africa according to their current competition for resources. And as in the previous scramble for Africa they are trying to portray their rapacious acquisition as humanitarian.

The raging debates at the highest levels of the US National Security establishment and various interests within NATO over the current military ‘stalemate’ in Libya conceals an even more competitive effort on the ground in Libya by petroleum interests who are keen on dividing up the territory to ensure access to the vast oil resources of Libya. At the forefront of this aggressive partitioning effort is the French military, political and oil establishment that has not only recognised the transitional government in Benghazi but has also been the most pushy on advancing military options even in the face of opposition from other NATO members such as Germany, Greece, Spain and Turkey.

I also recommend Mamdani’s article: Libya: behind the politics of humanitarian intervention.

Iraq and Afghanistan teach us that humanitarian intervention does not end with the removal of the danger it purports to target. It only begins with it.

Having removed the target, the intervention grows and turns into the real problem. This is why to limit the discussion of the Libyan intervention to its stated rationale – saving civilian lives – is barely scratching the political surface.

The UN process is notable for two reasons. First, the resolution was passed with a vote of 10 in favour and five abstaining. The abstaining governments – Russia, China, India, Brazil, Germany – represent the vast majority of humanity.

The second thing notable about the UN process is that though the Security Council is central to the process of justification, it is peripheral to the process of execution.

These days, to be a leader of a nation, a presidential candidate does not have to achieve a majority of votes in a free, fair and transparent election. All that one needs, is to be “internationally recognised” by the “international community” as the winner of the election.

However, in the case of a “not-favoured” ruler, the predatory countries would quickly jump in, calling the ruler barbaric, delusional, etc. They would declare that the ruler had lost his “mandate” and needed to go. Yes, these days, it is the “international community” that decides which national leader has a mandate of his people. Incredible! If the leader does not, the Security Council immediately makes a decision that allows the predatory country to start bombing.

Battle for Abidjan French-armoured-vehicles join fight

On Being Internationally Recognised
By Kwesi Adu
Saturday, 9 April 2011

“These days, to be a leader of a nation, a presidential candidate does not have to achieve a majority of votes in a free, fair and transparent election. All that one needs, is to be “internationally recognised” by the “international community” as the winner of the election.

An important initial requirement is to be the favoured candidate of the “international community”. Even if there are chances that one may lose the vote, all that the “international community’s favoured candidate needs to do is to create doubt in people’s minds. This is done by creating confusion and chaos during the elections. Actions such as ballot box snatching, fomenting fighting at polling stations or kidnapping of the representatives of the other party will do fine. If the other side should dare to respond by attempting to restore sanity, their attempt would be misrepresented and portrayed as a deliberate attempt to rig the election. The “international community” would then make a declaration that the favoured candidate won the elections and would order the other side to respect the “wishes of their people”.

It is even sweeter if the other side is the incumbent candidate. The obvious line would be “This is an incumbent who does not want to leave power”. As soon as the “international community” make their pronouncement, it would be a trigger for the supporters of the favoured candidate to occupy the streets and call on the other to concede.

If the other side does not “concede”, the western press, particularly, the BBC, CNN, VOA, Agence Presse Internationale, etc would be on the heels of the “not-favoured” candidate. They would taunt him/her, with suggestions that he/she should go into exile. If he/she refuses, the supporters of the favoured candidate would go on the rampage; and if, in the event, they kill or maim opponents of the “not-favoured” candidate, it would be blamed on the “not-favoured” candidate who would then be threatened with a trial at the International Criminal Court.

In such a scenario, the “international community” would table a motion at the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on the “not-favoured” candidate, his close associates, his/her spouse, the children, as well as their pets. They would be a travel ban. His/her assets, whether or not they have any abroad, would be frozen. In some cases, individual members of the “international community” may even go ahead and “nationalise” state assets of the country, and call them the personal assets of the “not-favoured” candidate.

The UN and the ICC prosecutor would be on the prowl on village cemeteries, looking for anybody who might have been buried in the past 6 months, and threaten to use the corpses as evidence of “atrocities” committed on the instructions of the “not-favoured” candidate.

If all these do not work, the military and security agencies would be encouraged to act to install the favoured candidate. If they do not comply, sanctions would be expanded to include restrictions on the national central bank to make it difficult for the military to be paid. Woe betides the “not-favoured” if he/she is the incumbent. If the country belongs to a regional grouping, such as an ECOWAS or an Arab League, they would be relied upon to lead the campaign against the not-favoured candidate.

Lest I forget! In the 21st century, if a third world country joins a regional grouping, the regional grouping becomes the owner of that country. As a result, the regional grouping would have sovereignty over the country, and have the right to invade the country or call on the UN Security Council and the ”International Community” to invade.

These days, the abuse of the UN Security Council as a tool in the hands of the predatory countries has become more blatant. As soon as the predatory countries decide that a third world country should be invaded, they obtain an automatic endorsement from the UN Security Council. As soon as the decision is made, they do not wait for the Security Council to draw up the modalities for the invasion. Within three hours of the decision, the predatory powers start bombing the victim countries.

The New World Political Order (NEWPO) is becoming more interesting by the day. If the leadership of a country is a client state of the predatory countries, that leadership can do whatever it wants. They can steal and loot the national coffers: it will not matter as long as the multinational companies of the predatory countries squeeze more profit from the client state. Such a client state does not need to hold periodic elections; they do not need to respect human rights; indeed, they can slaughter people every Friday at the square. No one would hear a genuine criticism from the “international community”. On the contrary they would describe that government as “stable” and that it needs some more time. Even when the citizens occupy the streets to protest against their suffering at the hands of the “favoured” ruler, the predatory powers would ask the citizens to “shut-up”. It is only when the citizens refuse to “shut-up” that the favoured rulers are asked to make changes.

However, in the case of a “not-favoured” ruler, the predatory countries would quickly jump in, calling the ruler barbaric, delusional, etc. They would declare that the ruler had lost his “mandate” and needed to go. Yes, these days, it is the “international community” that decides which national leader has a mandate of his people. Incredible! If the leader does not, the Security Council immediately makes a decision that allows the predatory country to start bombing.

There would happen even if the neighbourhood, other “favoured” rulers would be busily killing hordes of people.

By the way, there is this nice statement. “We oppose him because he is killing his own people”. Does it mean that it is all right to kill other people’s people?

However, this is the New World Political Order for you. These days, if one is a favoured politician, the person does not need to wait for an election. If he can summon about 1% of the population unto the streets, it is enough to attract calls for a regime-change if the incumbent is considered “not-favoured”. Within ten days, the “international community” would start bombing to install the favoured politician.

It is even more sad when politicians who can easily fall victim to this New World Political Order take unprincipled decisions in support of the policy. One fervently hopes that it does not happen to them one day. But if one day, the scales are turned on them, one may not be surprised to hear oneself singing “EHz ye de too, era ye de too Beebe ewe”

That is what it means to be “internationally recognised”. If the predatory powers decide not to recognise you, you are finished, especially if you belong not just to a “banana republic” but a “cocoa republic” as well.”

Soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara at a checkpoint at one of the principal entrances to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Tuesday.

Battle for Abidjan -Gbagbo Militants escape fierce fighting

photo credit

What France and the United States have done for Haiti, they can do for Ivory Coast.

“The French and UN are laying the foundation to create another “Haiti-like” political and social situation for their advantage in Cote d’Ivoire. They will install their oligarchy, flood the country with NGO’s, have a permanent UN “peacekeeping” force (in reality AFRICOM forces), oppress the people while they plunder their resources. Nothing changes but the faces! ” (Jazzuloo)

A former Somali ambassador to the UN writes a clear and concise description of the current relationship between the US and Somalia, and its implications for both countries. I have copied his entire piece here, as it is all well worth reading, critical reading for anyone wishing to understand what is going on in Somalia and the US role.

Somali TFG President Sharif, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, August 6, 2009 in Kenya
Somali TFG President Sharif, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, August 6, 2009 in Kenya

The Somali government the US created in Djibouti, President Sharif’s TFG, the Transitional Federal Government, is neither federal, nor a government. The only true word in that name is the word transitional.  The TFG only controls a few blocks in Mogadishu, and none of the rest of the country.  It has no functioning institutions of government.  As a government, it is a sham and a fraud.

The U.S & Somalia: A Somali Perespective

22 Aug 22, 2009 – 8:28:09 PM

By: Amb: Ahmad Abdi Hashi

US –SOMALI relationship, at different periods, have been characterized by an adversarial relationship as in during the Cold War, a forget about Somalia after the Blackhawk Down disaster, the fight against terrorism after 9/11 and some humanitarian support through international NGOs.

It was, however, the Blackhawk Down incident in October 1993 that defined for a long time US policy towards Somalia. President Bill Clinton ordered all US troops out of Somalia and closed the Somali file in Washington. The world took the cue, labelled Somalia as a failed State and relegated Somalia to the backburner.

It was only after 9/11 that the US showed some interest albeit in relation only to the fight against international terrorism. The US saw the vacuum in Somalia as a possible haven for Al-Qaida but failed to support the Transitional National Government formed a year earlier in 2000.

When the Islamic Courts came to power and consolidated their control over most of southern Somalia, in 2005-6, alarm bells rang in Washington. The Bush administration would not accept an Islamist regime in Somalia. Consequently, CIA hired the notorious warlords to fight the Islamic Courts which resulted in the rout of the warlords. It was another Bay of Pigs debacle for the US but in Africa this time.

With the Islamic Courts entrenched, the Bush administration gave the green light to Ethiopia to invade and occupy Somalia 2006-08. The Islamic Courts made a strategic withdrawal, regrouped and forced the Ethiopian to leave the country in defeat.

Naturally, these foreign military adventures and the post 911 policy of the Bush administration in Somalia served neither the strategic interests of the US nor the aspirations of the Somali people to resurrect a strong Somali State. In short, the Bush administration viewed Somalia with unmitigated hostility.

As the new Obama administration came to power, fires of hope were ignited throughout the world. Hope that the injustices of the Bush era would be corrected. The closure of the Guantanamo Detention Center, withdrawal from Iraq, prohibition of torture, rendition and the olive branch to the Moslem world were a welcome change in US foreign policy. These first tentative steps raised high expectations.

We, the Somalis as well, hoped for a change in US policy towards Somalia based on objective analysis of the real situation on the ground; a new paradigm, different in substance from the Bush administration’s ill-conceived and failed policies in Somalia.

Contrary to the expectations of the Somali people, the new Obama administration remains committed to the same failed policies of its predecessor; engagement in Somalia solely through the narrow prism of fighting international terrorism and piracy off the Somali coast as well as reliance on Ethiopia, the erstwhile enemy of Somalia and chief trouble maker in the Horn of Africa, for all matters relating to Somalia.

What Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced in Nairobi on 7th July, 2009 signalled a continuation of the same arrogant policies of the Bush administration as well as an escalation of US military mischief in Somalia. To the profound disappointment of Somalis, Secretary Clinton declared that the US is sending 40 more tons of military hardware in addition to the 40 tons already shipped. That is a total of 80 tons military materiel and much more is in the pipeline.

The tons of weapons and millions of US taxpayer money as well as political support go to a so-called government in Somalia which has no territory to control, no institutions, does not command the support and respect of the Somali people and whose “ president” hides in a Ugandese APC when travelling to and from Mogadishu Airport.

That is the “government” the US and other western powers support.

By throwing its weight behind a fiction, the US shed the veneer of a backroom player. It has come out of the closet. The aim is to impose upon the Somali people a small group of its choice; former warlords, Islamic turn coats and famously corrupt politicians.

Forcing unpopular politicians on a country does not work. Iraq and Afghanistan are relevant examples. This will not work in Somalia either.

Siding with this insignificant faction makes the US becomes an active participant in the Somali conflict. It remains to be seen whether putting all eggs in this one basket of choice will serve the best interests of the US or the aspirations of the Somali people for durable and sustainable peace. US strategic objectives can only be achieved if it reaches out to the real stakeholders that matter in Somalia. Evidently, the US is again missing the boat.

There are as well other disturbing aspects to this new US military venture in Somalia that defy logic.

In the absence of a responsible government in Somalia, this huge influx of US weapons will make Mogadishu the biggest arms bazaar in Africa south of the Sahara. Illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition will flourish and proliferation of weapons especially in Africa will be out of control. And nobody would know where the weapons end or who has what. Whether a situation like this would contribute to peace and security in Africa and other places remains to be seen.

Another miscalculation is that the US and its allies ignore the easy access to and availability of every type weapons in Somalia. One can even buy a tank and park it in front of the house like a car. There is no weapons scarcity; the result of years of Ethiopian violations of the UN arms embargo on Somalia.

We must not, as well, overlook the devastating effect these military shipments have on Somalia. It is like pumping more gasoline into an already out of control forest fire. Such military fire power will at the end of the day cause heavy damage and destruction, kill, maim thousands of Somalis and add more millions to the already displaced.

A question is relevant in this regard. Whether these US military shipments are in line with the UN arms embargo or not? Security Council Resolution 751 0f 1992 obligated all member Sates of the UN to respect “a general and comprehensive arms embargo on Somalia”. The corollary to this requires all States to refrain from any military venture that jeopardises peace and security in Somalia. US weapons shipments undermine peace in Somalia and are consequently a violation of the arms embargo irrespective of any exemptions.

In further reference to the arms embargo on Somalia, the US sets a double standard with regard to violations of the arms embargo. It has the audacity to scapegoat Eritrea while ignoring its own and those violations of recidivist Ethiopia.

This arrogant behaviour has already encouraged countries like Djibouti as well as the predator States of Ethiopia and Kenya to violate with impunity the arms embargo. Other States will definitely follow suit. Consequently, this will lead to the internationalization of the Somali conflict.

Since the tons of US weapons constitute a violation of the arms embargo and are meant to kill, maim Somalis and destroy their properties, the US must be held responsible. It is the moral obligation of all peace loving nations to do so.

If the US wants to play a constructive role in Somalia, it must accept the urgent need for a structural correction in its policy towards Somalia. And for this to happen, the US and its allies must adjust to certain facts:

FACT I : US support for the fiction created in Djibouti must be exposed for what it is. There is no government in Somalia at the present time. A government that cannot ensure security for its people establish institutions, provide services and which sells, in retail, State patrimony and national assets to the highest bidder is no government worth the name.

This fiction includes warlords who should be facing the music at the Hague. Others were the erstwhile enemy of the US yesterday.

Today, they are the darling of the West and Ethiopia, the same countries they regularly condemned as imperialists, invaders and occupiers. One would wonder how this strange metamorphosis happened overnight and at what price.

FACT II : Attempts to impose a fiction on the Somali people is not right. We the Somalis have, like other nations, the sovereign right to choose our own leadership without foreign interference.

FACT III : Shipments of weapons or any other kind of foreign led military intervention cannot work in Somalia; this will only escalate the conflict. Historically, we the Somalis have an aversion to foreign domination and interference. The US led UN military venture in the early 90s, CIA hiring of the notorious warlords in early2006 as well as the two year occupation of Somalia (2006-8) all failed. History tells that no nation can ever be subdued by any number of troops or weapons. Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are the most recent examples.

A foreign led military venture of any kind is therefore not an option for Somalia.

FACT IV : Viewing Somalia only from the perspective of piracy and terrorism is a wrong track. This deviates from the real issue which is: the lack of a truly representative central authority. Piracy or any security concerns-perceived or real- can be addressed only when such authority is installed by the Somali people themselves without foreign dictation.

FACT V : The role of the regime in Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa must be re-evaluated and in particular with regard to Somalia. There is an unresolved territorial dispute between us, the Ethiopian occupied Ogaden region. Somalia and Ethiopia fought two wars in 1964 and 1977. The traditional enmity is deep-rooted.

Even Jonnie Carson, the US Deputy under Secretary of State acknowledged this fact in a recent statement when he correctly labelled “Ethiopia as the traditional enemy of Somalia.”

Yet, the US relies and acts on a flow of misinformation provided by this traditional enemy of Somalia. The US and its western allies must understand the long standing animosity between Ethiopia and Somalia and Ethiopia’s interest in a weak unstable Somalia, taking orders from Addis Ababa.

And one more final truth: Somalia belongs to Somalis; we, Somalis are a resilient nation even in times of adversity. Our destiny, leadership and any constitutional arrangements can and must be decided by us, Somalis, without foreign interference.

The models in Somaliland and Puntland were developed by Somalis, under an acacia tree, free from the manipulations of the Ahmedou W. Abdallas of the world. Whether one agrees with their current status is another matter. But, the two areas are peaceful because the process was indigenous and Somali owned. Hopefully at some point and time, these confederate corners will come to the fold of a strong and united Somalia.

We Somalis want peace for our people more than any one else. But we need a genuine lasting peace by the people for the people. The type being offered and supported by the US and Ethiopia is fake. It is manufactured in Washington, New York and Addis Ababa. And there is a growing international consensus that what was created in Djibouti at the beginning of 2009 is a complete failure.

The road to durable and lasting peace in Somalia is evident: a Somali owned process, immediate and full withdrawal of foreign troops, participation of stakeholders on the basis of equality and limiting UN role to logistical support. The result would be a comprehensive peace agreement, with mechanisms for implementation and a truly representative Somali government that can bring peace and stability to its citizens and act as a responsible player at the international arena.

Thus the need for a new paradigm and an unequivocal departure from the failed policies of the Bush administration is imperative. This will serve the best interests of the US and promote the aspirations of the Somali people for peace.

Amb. Ahmed Abdi Hashi( Hashara), Former Somali Amb. to the U.N 2001-2005; Secretary for Foreign Affairs ARS, asharo @ gmail . com

________
h/t africa comments

Bush slashed UN peacekeeping money for Africa just before visit is up at the African Loft.

Just before Bush left to play at being benevolent uncle in Africa, his administration cut funding for UN peacekeeping in African countries.

From ABC news:

On the eve of President Bush’s trip to Africa, his administration has decided to drastically cut money for United Nations peacekeeping missions in war-torn countries there.
. . .
In war-torn Liberia, which President Bush will visit on his trip, the White House has proposed spending $56 million less on the U.N. peacekeeping mission there than it did last year. Bush . . . visit(ed) Rwanda, which is still struggling to right itself after a devastating, years-long civil war took the lives of millions. His administration’s budget proposes cutting $5 million (from the UN tribunal in Rwanda.) . . .

The administration’s 2009 budget also cuts millions for U.N. peacekeeping efforts in Sudan; Democratic Republic of Congo, where a decade-long war still claims thousands of lives a month; Chad, where rebels attempted a violent overthrow of the government Feb. 2; and Cote d’Ivoire, whose stability the Bush administration says “is a critical element in restoring peace to the entire West African region.”

Obviously peace is way too important to pay to restore it.

Why did Bush cut funding for UN peacekeeping? The Bush administration is still planning on spending rivers of money on “nation building”, “stability operations”, and “peacekeeping”, just not with the UN. The Department of State just issued AFRICAP Program Recompete, looking for contractors to:

. . . undertake a wide range of diverse projects, including setting up operational bases to support peacekeeping operations in hostile environments, military training and to providing a range of technical assistance and equipment for African militaries and peace support operations.

And the mercenaries are salivating at the Bush administration plans to hire more and more mercenaries, private military and security contractors, to accomplish Bush aims in Africa.

In October (2007), leaders in the private military security industry — ArmorGroup, DynCorp, MPRI, and several others — gathered at the Phoenix Park Hotel near the Capitol for the annual three-day summit of their trade group, the International Peace Operations Association. Panel speakers and members of the audience debated the future of nation-building efforts in failed states.
. . .
. . . handing out his business card that day, Army Lt. Col. James Boozell, a branch chief of the Stability Operations/Irregular Warfare Division at the Pentagon, said that the U.S. military was in fact experiencing a “watershed” moment in its 200-plus-year history — nation building was now a core military mission to be led by the Army.

Boozell adds, however, that the Army can’t possibly raise up failed states without . . . of course, private security contractors . . . — boom times for nation building are here to stay.

They may need a lot more states to “fail” in order to keep the PMCs busy with new contracts.

Vijay Prashad and Mahmood Mamdani tell us how the US and the EU previously cut funding for African Union peacekeeping efforts in Sudan and Darfur. The AU was actually having some success in reducing violence. Bush does not want that success. By cutting UN peacekeeping funds now, Bush is trying to prevent an indigenous African force, or an international agency, from succeeding in peacekeeping.
In Darfur:

For a time the African Union was able to stabilize the situation, although it did not succeed in crafting a political solution to the problem. The African Union, created in 1999, has neither the financial ability to pay its troops nor the logistical capacity to do its job. The European Union, who paid the troop salaries, began to withhold funds on grounds of accountability, and it gradually killed off the peacekeeping operations. Columbia University Professor Mahmood Mamdani (who is one of the world’s leading experts on contemporary Africa) says of this, “There is a concerted attempt being made to shift the political control of any intervention force inside Darfur from inside Africa to outside Africa.” In other words, the U.S. and Europe are eager to control the dynamic of what happens in Africa and not allow an indigenous, inter-state agency to gain either the experience this would provide or the respect it would gain if it succeeds. The African Union has been undermined so that only the U.S. can appear as the savior of the beleaguered people of Darfur, and elsewhere.

Undermining the UN, and paying mercenaries instead of the UN, does not save money. This is not frugality. Private military contractors, PMCs, are in business to make money, and they are still very much on the Bush agenda.
cost + profit = increased cost

Of course the costs for PMCs can be reduced by using conscripts and child soldiers. And PMC profits can be increased by dealing in contraband. There are plenty of precedents.

I see these possible reasons why the Bush administration has cut UN peacekeeping funding.

  • Prevent African or international solutions to African problems.
  • Maintain the US as the only ones capable of solving violent unrest in African countries by preventing indigenous or alternative solutions.
  • Provide more jobs and contracts for corporate cronies, the private military contractors.
  • Prevent oversight, avoid US law and international law that might apply to US activities in African countries.
  • Continue an intentionally destructive policy of undermining the UN.
  • Incompetence (does not preclude any of the above.)

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