Saturday, May 27, 2017

Spruce Up Africa’s Image
May 27, 2017
Opinion & Analysis
Perspective, Stephen Mpofu
Zimbabwe Chronicle

Every year on May 25 Africans celebrate, or merely observe,  Africa Freedom Day, now known as Africa Day.

They mark the day when the Organisation of the African Unity, otherwise known as the African Union,  was launched in Ethiopia’s capital Adddis Ababa where it remains headquartered, to spearhead the liberation of the continent from colonial rule which was in almost all cases repressive against blacks by their European conquerors.

Today, 54 years on, our continent remains the “dark continent,” a name that was pejoratively given it by European explorers and their fellow natives who had had no access to the land pulsating with minerals and oil and inhabited by potential slave labourers that people in the West with weak limbs desperately needed to do their donkey work for them.

But surprise, surprise! When the foreigners splashed into the sensational African sunshine a golden haze seemed to have hung over the vast continent, causing the foreigners to dig deep in their hills, exploiting the continent’s riches and carting these off to build palaces back home in their native countries, while shackling together in chains black slaves and congesting them on ships, some of them rickety,  and hauling them off to work in mines and on plantations in the Americas.

[Of course,  many of our people did not make the journey,  dying while en route and their bodies being cast into the sea, like worthless animals.]

But the glorious image bestowed on the continent during the exploits faded off when those strangers without knees, as they were called by blacks for wearing long trousers that concealed the knees, were given short shrift at the independence of African states.

In anger, after their hegemonic desires were dashed by the revolutionary movement, the former colonial powers and their cousins elsewhere in the West began to regard, as they do to this day, albeit in their collective hearts, Africa as an insular island that is good for nothing.

This vindictive regard for Africa is probably being perpetuated now through the coverage of African countries by news media in the West.

In fact it seems that whatever positive thing that takes place in Africa is given negative projection in news media in the West in more cases than not.

Stated otherwise, it would appear that Africa, the insular island in the white man’s world, is only a source of bad news with probably a positive filler appearing here and there in newspaper columns or on television screens because it becomes extremely unavoidable in the eyes of others in the global village that the world has become in post modernity on account of advances in media research and development.

And yet, a country in the West that secretly created a virus in a desire to exterminate the black race from the face of this earth but hit a dead end when the experiment went berserk and produced a virus that has and continues to exterminate millions of both white and black people exists on with no remorse whatsoever for what clearly amounts to a crime against all humanity. That whites in other countries remain mum over the creation of HIV can only suggest that a grand coalition of whites exists against their common enemy, the black animal on two legs.

No wonder then that we witness a holier-than-thou pontification and ganging up by the same grand coalition against some African leaders, accusing them of committing war crimes that are, in comparison, less heinous than the creation of the Aids virus.

It is as though that country is more important in this world than the lives being lost daily so that no one points an angry finger at it as if afraid of demonic reprisals if one did so.

In fact, that country enjoys stardom status instead of that which befits a mass killer, for creating the virus that causes Aids which daily decimates more people on the African continent in particular.

Because Africa seems now to be only an afterthought in the minds of its former colonising powers, posting many correspondents on the continent appears to be a luxury that those countries can do without. Instead African stringers are hired to cover events but some, if not most of these correspondents are not highly qualified and so accept the jobs for the sake of the juicy bucks that go with it.

In fact, a European or white mindset appears to have been superimposed on these poor fellows so that they write stories about Africa that are devoid of a patriotic, African perspective to meet the ethnocentric tastes of their foreign readerships.

Stated otherwise, the correspondents believe they must view African happenings, whether these be positive through the negative mindset of a Western journalist in order for these scribes to be regarded as being professional journalists.

Consider, for instance a story by a Zimbabwean correspondent about an event in which our president is involved. It will not be unusual to read in the body of the story something like: “the 93-year-old Mr Mugabe said” blah, blah, blah.

What is implicit in such a story filed by a black Zimbabwean as though he was a white foreign correspondent is that because of his advanced age President Mugabe is not supposed to say or do anything good for this country.

But nothing could be farther from the truth of foreign prejudice implanted in the minds of African journalists writing for overseas publications.

What this kind of foreign filth soiling the minds of African journalists writing for overseas publications suggests is that these correspondents must of necessity go through the baptism of revolutionary fire in order to represent their continent well.

Representing a country well means exactly that — presenting something in its true perspective, be it positive or negative, the latter being intended for measures to be taken to put wrong things right for the benefit of society as a whole.

Perhaps Western countries need to follow the example of China whose active presence and participation in developmental affairs makes butterflies flutter in the bellies of that country’s rivals in the West.

Chinese news correspondents are well placed in Africa in the same way as Chinese support was, for instance quite visible during the armed struggle by our people against the Smith regime.

As a result they project in their files events as they truly are and this gives their readers a true picture of our country.

Zimbabweans and any other people for that matter cannot help but appreciate such all-weather friends.

What a wonderful global village our world would be like were different nations supportive of each other in times of difficulties as well as in good days!
Zambia Expels Pro-Imperialist South African Opposition Head Mmusi Maimane
Government of Zambian President Edgar Lungu Denies Entry
to racist South African opposition party leader.
26 May 2017
BBC World Service

Mmusi Maimane wants South Africa to lodge a formal diplomatic protest with Zambia

South Africa's main opposition leader has been expelled from Zambia to prevent him from attending the treason hearing of his detained counterpart.

The decision was taken to ensure Mmusi Maimane did not put "undue pressure" on the judiciary, a Zambian diplomat said.

Mr Maimane said his expulsion showed Zambia was becoming a dictatorship.

He had planned to show solidarity with the southern African state's main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, during his court appearance on Friday.

Mr Hichilema was arrested in a raid by armed policemen on his home in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, in April.

He was charged with treason after his convoy allegedly refused to make way for President Edgar Lungu's convoy, while both were travelling to a ceremony in western Zambia.

The magistrate's court ruled that Mr Hichilema's lawyers could seek "a judicial review" of the charges after his lawyers argued for the case to be thrown out.

Mr Maimane condemned the "trumped up" charges against Mr Hichilema, his Democratic Alliance (DA) party said in a statement.

He was "aggressively confronted" by police when his plane landed, and he was "forcefully" prevented from entering Zambia, his Democratic Alliance (DA) party said in a statement.

The Zambian government's behaviour was "shameful" and South Africa should lodge a diplomatic protest with it, the party added.

"All I simply wanted was to stand side-by-side with someone who has been fighting for the rule of law, HH [Hakainde Hichilema, a fellow African," Mr Maimane said, just hours after he was unceremoniously booted out of Zambia.

While some have questioned why he would involve himself in the issues of a sovereign state, many have applauded him for trying to highlight the Zambian opposition leader's plight.

Mr Maimane says that he was compelled to intervene because of South Africa's own fight against oppression.

He has been calling for support on social media using the thread #iCantBeSilent.

Authorities in South Africa are keen to avoid a diplomatic row with Zambia, but say they will look into the matter.

Zambia's top diplomat in South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba, said Mr Maimane's presence in court would have undermined "the sanctity, integrity and independence of the judiciary".

"It was imperative that the due process of the law was respected without undue pressure or interference," he told journalists.

Treason is a non-bailable offence in Zambia, with a minimum jail term of 15 years and a maximum sentence of death.

Last year, Mr Lungu narrowly beat Mr Hichilema in disputed presidential elections.
Egypt’s Sisi Discusses Developments in Africa With Guinea’s Condé
Ahram Online
Thursday 25 May 2017

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met on Thursday in Cairo with Guinea President Alpha Condé and the current chairman of the African Union, where they discussed recent developments in Africa, the Egyptian presidency announced.

President Condé, who is on an official visit to Cairo, discussed with El-Sisi Egyptian-Guinean bilateral relations.

The Egyptian president expressed Egypt’s interest in developing bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Guinea in all areas, especially in the economic, commercial and agricultural fields.

El-Sisi also discussed with Conde the Libyan civil conflicts and Egypt's efforts to help in reaching a political settlement in the war-torn country.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/269529.aspx


Egypt, Guinea to sign military and security deals during Guinean president's Cairo visit: ِEnvoy

Ahram Online
Wednesday 24 May 2017

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will meet his Guinean counterpart Alpha Conde in Cairo on Thursday for talks that will include the signing of a number of security and military deals between the two countries, the Guinean ambassador said.

Conde will be in Cairo for a two-day trip, his first visit to Egypt since he took office in 2010.

The two leaders will discuss "means to bolster ties between the two countries on all levels, as well as regional and international developments," Soriba Camara, Guinean envoy in Cairo, told Al-Ahram Daily.

During the visit, the two leaders are scheduled to sign a number of military and security deals as well as education and culture agreements, according to Camara.

Conde is also set to meet with a group of Egyptian businessmen to discuss ways to open trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

In January, Conde was elected new chair of the 55-nation African Union, which is tasked with promoting unity and fostering cooperation between African countries.

Camara said the Guinean president aims to promote a new strategy that engages youth in development and promotes private sector investments in Africa.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/269438.aspx
Sisi Says Egypt Has Carried Out Airstrike on Terror Camps; Sources Confirm Location is Libya
Ahram Online
Friday 26 May 2017

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in a televised speech following the terrorist attack on Christians in Minya on Friday morning, that an airstrike against a terrorist training camp was being carried out as he spoke.

He added that "Egypt will not hesitate in striking any camps that harbour or train terrorist elements whether inside Egypt or outside Egypt," adding that Friday's attack, which saw 28 Copts killed by armed gunmen, will not pass easily.

El-Sisi said that a strike was being launched targeting a camp that had been a source of terrorists who had carried out attacks in Egypt, without specifying the location.

The Egyptian armed forces released a short video which was shown on state television after El-Sisi's speech. The voiceover said that upon the directions of the president, the airforce had carried out a strike against terrorist gatherings in Libya "after confirming their involvement in planning and committing the terrorist attack in Minya governorate on Friday."

The strike is still ongoing, the army video said.

Senior sources had earlier told MENA agency that the strike mentioned by the president targeted terrorist militant group camps in Darna, eastern Libya.

"We are preserving our security and saving our people," he said, adding that such attacks are a price that is being paid for “real freedom”, and for preventingEgypt from falling into the hands of extremism and terrorism.

El-Sisi directly addressed theAmerican president Donald Trump, saying: “Your Excellency, I trust your ability to wage war on terrorism as your first priority, with the cooperation of the whole international community, that should unite against terrorism.”

He added that “all countries that support terrorism, should be punished, without any courtesy or conciliation."

"If Egypt falls, the whole world will be in chaos,” he said. “We are waging a war on behalf of the world."

He also referred to the Egyptian strategyto fight terrorism that was outlined during the Arab-Islamic-American summit in Riyadh earlier this month, calling on other countries to adopt it.

The president said that the target of such terrorist groups is to topple the Egyptian state and break apart Egyptian society, by creating religious strife between Muslims and Christians.

He said that recent attacks aim to make people believe that Christians are not secure in Egypt, and that the government is not protecting them, referring to efforts to "destroy our economy and our peace."

El-Sisi also said that he warned security bodies a few months ago that terrorist militants who had left Aleppo in Syria would come to Egypt.

The president stressed the huge efforts that have been taken to fight terrorism. He said that Egypt had destroyed 300 vehicles trying to cross the border from Libya while bringing “evil” over the past two months.

The president, who expressed his condolences to the Egyptian people for "the martyrs who fell among Egypt's sons," concludedby saying that Egypt’s national security is the responsibility of security bodies, himself and all Egyptians, and that “we should move to fight these terrorist ideas.”

Twenty-eight Christians were killed and 23 injuredin the armed attack on buses carrying them to a St Samuel’s monastery in Upper Egypt’s Minya governorate on Friday morning.

No group has yet claimed the Minya attack, which is the latest in a series of deadly attacks on Egypt’s Christians.

On 9 April, two suicide bombers targeted St George's Church in Tanta and St Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria, killing and injuring dozens in the deadliest attack against civilians in the country's recent history. A total of 29 people died in the Tanta explosion and 18 in Alexandria.

Cairo imposed a nationwide three-month state of emergency after the April bombings, with the option to extend for another three months dependent on a parliament vote.

Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 92 million.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/269594.aspx
International Condemnations Follow Attack on Copts in Egypt's Minya
Ahram Online
Friday 26 May 2017

Arab and western countries condemned on Friday an attack on Coptic Christians in Minya governorate in Egypt on Friday which killed 28 people and injured 25, according to the latest toll.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit condemned "in the strongest terms" the terrorist attack, expressing the league's "full solidarity" with Egypt against terrorism.

"The Arab League stresses the necessity of joint cooperation against terrorism," Aboul-Gheit was quoted as saying in a statement from the pan-Arab organisation.

Iraq's foreign ministry denounced the “heinous terrorist” attack in a statement, adding that Baghdad “stands by the Egyptian people and government against all extremist and terrorist groups.”

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail received a call from his Jordanian counterpart, Hany Mulki, who expressed his condolences to Egypt for the terrorist attack of Minya Friday, MENA reported.

The Jordanian premier stressed his government's support for all of Egypt’s counterterrorism efforts, stressing the importance of collaboration to end “this sinful phenomena.”

Tunisia's foreign ministy expressed condolences and wishes for the swift recovery of the victims, Al-Ahram's correspondent in Tunis reported, and expressed Tunisia's full solidarity with the Egyptian people, and support for the measures the Egyptian government takes in confronting terrorism.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has also strongly condemned the attack; its secretary-general, Yusuf bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen said in a statement that "this terrorist act will only increase Egyptian unity and consolidation in fighting terrorism which violates the principles of Islam and all religions, and aims at terrorising innocent civilians," MENA reported.

Hezbollah has condemned the attack that targeted a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt saying it "is a new crime added to the criminal record of a murderers' gang," AP reported.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also condemned the attack, stressing the importance of international cooperation against terrorism.

Palestine and Lebanon also released statements strongly condemned the attack, expressing their condolences and solidarity with Cairo.

A spokesman for Palestinian group Hamas called the shooting "an ugly crime," of which "the enemies of Egypt" are the only beneficiaries, AP reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement sending "condolences from the Israeli people to the Egyptian people and to President El-Sisi."

German Foreign Ministry Spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters in Berlin on Friday that Germany "condemns in the strongest possible terms these kinds of attacks on believers" and grieves with the victims and their relatives.

Schaefer also said Germany would cooperate with Egypt "to ensure that things like this don't happen again in future."

Russia denounced the attack, stressing its rejection and condemnation of all acts of terrorism.

“This heinous incident once again demonstrates the inhuman nature of international terrorists who have now resorted to any means to achieve their despicable goals of instilling fear and insecurity in the hearts of Egyptians," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Russia Today.

The statement stressed Russia's solidarity with the leadership and people of Egypt in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has also condemned “this cowardly and brutal act that has deeply saddened Egypt," state news agency MENA reported.

Le Drian stressed that France would stand side-by-side with Egypt in its war against terrorism.The American and British embassies in Cairo condemned the attack on Twitter,

The USA “condemns the depraved, horrific terrorist attack today against innocent civilians in Minya” read a statement released by the embassy.

“The United States continues to stand firmly with the Egyptian government and people to defeat terrorism,” the statement concluded.

The UK has also denounced the attacks.

“I despise & condemn the killing in Minya. May the terrorists fail in spreading hate. Strength & solidarity to all suffering & responding,” UK envoy to Cairo John Casson posted on Twitter.

The Austrian prime minister, Christian Kern, has sent a letter of condolence to El-Sisi, affirming the embassy's offer of any help regarding treating the injured, MENA reported.

The United Nations’ Security Council also released a statement condemning the attack "in the strongest terms.”

The council expressed its "deepest sympathy" and condolences to the families of the victims and emphasised that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice, AP reported.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed "that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security," the statement said.

The council members stood for a minute of silence at the beginning of their session on Friday to mark the attack.Tunisia has also condmened the attack, in a statement issued by the Tunisian foreign affairs ministry, they expressed their condolences to the families of the victims, and hoped speed recovery to the injured, Ahram correspondent to Tunis said

The statement also expressed tunisia's full solidarity with Egyptian people, and affirmed their support to the procedures the Egyptian government take in confronting terrosrism.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/269563.aspx
Coptic Orthodox Church Says It 'Suffers With the Whole Nation' Following Deadly Attack on Christians in Egypt's Minya
Ahram Online
Friday 26 May 2017

We appreciate the fast response by officials in dealing with the event, we hope that necessary procedures are undertaken to avoid such attacks, said the statement


Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church said on Friday it was “in pain over violence and evil,” hours following an attack in Upper Egypt's Minya on a bus carrying Coptic Christians, which killed 26 people and injured others.

In an official statement, the church expressed its consolations to the families of the victims, adding that it was suffering "with the whole nation over the violence and evil that targets the heart of Egypt and our national unity, which is precious and which we strive to preserve and protect.”

“While we appreciate the fast response by officials in dealing with the event, we hope that necessary procedures are undertaken to avoid such attacks, which damage Egypt’s image and cause Egyptians a great deal of pain,” the statement added.

This is the first official response by the Coptic Orthodox Church after unknown assailants on three 4x4 vehicles attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians on the way to Saint Samuel Monastery in the east of Minya governorate.

Egypt’s interior ministry released details on the attack, saying in an official statement that the assailants attacked by "randomly shooting" the bus.

The ministry added that an official count of the final deaths and injuries was underway.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the latest in a series of deadly attacks on Egypt’s Christians, following thePalm Sunday Suicide Bombings last Apriland aSt Peter Church bombing in Cairo last December.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/269562.aspx


Egyptian state Islamic authority cancels Ramadan celebration following attack on Copts in Minya

Ahram Online
Friday 26 May 2017

Dar Al-Iftaa, the Egyptian state body responsible for issuing Islamic edicts, has cancelled the celebrations scheduled on Friday to mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

The grand mufti, Shawqi Allam, who heads Dar Al-Iftaa, has issued a statement condemning the attack.

Gunmen attacked vehicles carrying Coptic Christians on their way to Saint Samuel’s Monastery in Minya on Friday, killing 28 people and injuring 25, according to the latest toll.

Dar Al-Iftaa organises a yearly committee to observe the appearance of the crescent moon, announcing the start of the new lunar month of Ramadan.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/269576.aspx
Let’s Never Forget Why Muammar Gaddafi Was Killed
Peter Koenig
May 25, 2017

Gaddafi was certainly not killed for humanitarian reasons. He wanted to empower Africa. He had a plan to create a new African Union, based on a new African economic system. He wanted to introduce the Gold Dinar to back African currencies, so they could become free from the dollar. He wanted to protect Africa’s vast natural resources from Western looting. The imperialists eliminated him.

Introduction

The text below is a transcript of an interview by Alex Knyazev of Russia TV24 with Peter Koenig. Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

*****

Questions Russia TV24: What were the reasons Mr. Gaddafi was killed and NATO invaded Libya?

PK: Mr. Muammar Gaddafi was certainly not killed for humanitarian reasons.

Mr. Gaddafi wanted to empower Africa. He had a plan to create a new African Union, based on a new African economic system. He had a plan to introduce the ‘Gold Dinar’ as backing for African currencies, so they could become free from the dollar-dominated western monetary system, that kept and keeps usurping Africa; Africa’s vast natural resources, especially oil and minerals. As a first step, he offered this lucrative and very beneficial alternative to other Muslim African states, but leaving it open for any other African countries to join.

At the time of Gaddafi’s atrocious murdering by Hillary Clinton, then Obama’s Secretary of State, and the French President Sarkozy, driven by NATO forces, on 20 October 2011 – Libya’s gold reserves were estimated at close to 150 tons, and about the same amount of silver. The estimated value at that time was $7 billion.

It’s your guess who may have stolen this enormous treasure from the people of Libya. As of this date, it is nowhere to be found.

Gaddafi also wanted to detach his oil sales from the dollar, i.e. no longer trading hydrocarbons in US dollars, as was the US/OPEC imposed rule since the early 1970s. Other African and Middle Eastern oil and gas producers would have followed. In fact, Iran had already in 2007, a plan to introduce the Tehran Oil Bourse, where anyone could trade hydrocarbons in currencies other than the US dollar. That idea came to a sudden halt, when Bush (George W) started accusing Iran of planning to build a nuclear bomb which was, of course, a fabricated lie, confirmed by the 16 most prominent US security agencies- and later also by the UN body for nuclear safety – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Vienna. Washington needed a pretext to stop the Tehran Oil Bourse which would have decimated the need for dollars, and thereby most probably would have meant the end of the dollar hegemony.

Saddam Hussein had the same idea. He promised as soon as the murderous and criminal embargo imposed by the UN – of course dictated by Washington – would end in 2000, he would sell his petrol in euros. He was killed.

Gaddafi’s new plan for Africa would have meant an entirely new banking system for Africa, away from the now western (mainly France and UK) central banks dominated African currencies. It would have meant the collapse of the US dollar - or at least an enormous blow to this fake dollar based western monetary system.

So, the Gold Dinar was not to happen. Anybody – to this day- who threatens the dollar hegemony will have to die. That means anybody other than China and Russia, because they have already a few years ago largely detached their economy from the dollar, by implementing hydrocarbons as well as other international contracts in gold or the respective local currencies. That alone has already helped reducing dollar holdings in international reserve coffers from almost 90% some 20 years ago to a rate fluctuating between 50% and 60% today.

Also the Washington/CIA induced “Arab Spring” was to turn the entire Middle East into one huge chaos zone - which today, of course, it is. And there are no plans to secure it and to return it to normalcy, to what it was before. To the contrary, chaos allows to divide-and-conquer – to balkanize, as is the plan for Syria and Iraq. One of the Washington-led western goals of this chaos of constant conflict is to eventually install a system of private central banks in the Middle Eastern/North African countries controlled by Washington – privately owned central banks, à la Federal Reserve (FED), where the neocons, the Rothschilds and freemasonry would call the shots. That is expected to help stabilize the US dollar hegemony, as the hydrocarbons produced in this region generate trillions of dollars in trading per year.

Gaddafi also wanted to introduce, or had already started introducing into Africa, a wireless telephone system that would do away with the US/European monopolies, with the Alcatels and AT&Ts of this world, which dominate and usurp the African market without scruples.

Gaddafi was not only the leader of Libya, he had ambitions to free Africa from the nefarious fangs of the west. Despite being called a dictator and despot by the west – they do that to anyone who doesn’t submit to Washington’s rules – he was very much liked by Libyans, by his people. He had a more than 80% approval rate by the Libyan people. Libya’s oil fortune had allowed him to create a social system in his country where everybody would benefit from their land’s riches – free health care, free education, including scholarships abroad, modern infrastructure, top-notch technology in medicine, and more.

Russia TV24: Why would the gold Dinar be unacceptable for the western leaders?

PK: Yes, the gold Dinar was totally unacceptable to western leaders. It might have devastated the US dollar hegemony, as well as Europe’s control over the African economy – which is nothing less than neo-colonization of Africa – in many ways worse than what happened for the past 400 or 800 years of murderous military colonization and oppression - which is, by the way, still ongoing, just more discretely.

Look at the Ivory Coast 2010 presidential elections. Their arguably ‘unelected’ President, Alassane Ouattara, was in a tie with the people’s candidate, Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo said he won the election and asked for a recount, which was denied. Ouattara, a former IMF staff, was pushed in, basically by ‘recommendation’ of the IMF. He is the darling of the neoliberal international financial institutions – and is leading a neocon government – an economy at the service of western corporations. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they got. Modern colonization is well, alive and thriving. I call this a financial coup, instigated by foreign financial institutions.

Gbagbo was accused of rape, murder and other atrocities and immediately transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) – what justice? – at The Hague, where he was waiting five years for a trial which started on 28 January 2016 and is ongoing. On 15 May 2017, it was extended at the Prosecutor’s request to collect further evidence.

This by all likelihood is just a farce to dupe the public into believing that he is getting a fair trial. Already in hearings in 2014, Gbagbo was found guilty of all charges, including murder, rape and other crimes against humanity. Like Slobodan Milošević, he is an inconvenient prisoner, or worse, would he be as a free man. So, he will most likely be locked away – and one day commit ‘suicide’ or die from a ‘heart attack’.  The classic. That’s how the west does away with potential witnesses of their atrocious crimes. End of story. Nobody barks, because the ‘free world’ has been made to believe by the western presstitute media that these people are inhuman tyrants. That’s precisely what the western media’s headlines proclaimed about Muammar Gaddafi: ‘Death of a Tyrant’.

On the other hand, in 2015, Ouattara was “reelected by a landslide”. That’s what western media say. Colonization under African ‘leadership’. He is protected by the French army.

Back to Libya: Take the specific case of France and West and Central Africa. The French Central Bank, the Banque de France, backs the West and Central African Monetary Union’s currency, the CFA franc. The West African Central Bank, for example, is covered, i.e. controlled, by about 70 per cent of the Banque de France. Banque de France has an almost total control over the economy of its former West African colonies. No wonder, Sarkozy, a murderer and war criminal – sorry, it must be said - backed Hillary’s – also a murderer and war criminal - push for NATO to destroy the country and kill thousands of Libyans, including Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi. Hillary’s infamous words: ‘We came, we saw, he died’. And that she said shamelessly, jokingly, laughing. Would the term human being still apply to such a monster?

Russia TV24: What countries are mostly interested in the Libyan recovery and why? What are the chances for the economy of Libya to be repaired?

PK: Well, if anybody should be interested in Libya’s recovery it would be first the Libyans who are still living in Libya, because they are now living in a Libya of chaos and high crime, of mafia-economics, of tyranny by gang leadership. They certainly have an interest to return to normalcy. North African neighboring countries should also be interested in restoring order and rebuilding Libya’s infrastructure and economy, stopping the spill-over of high crime and terrorism. They have lost an important trading partner.

Of course, the rest of Africa, who have suffered from continuous colonization by the west, after Gaddafi’s demise, should also be interested in re-establishing Libya. They know, it will never be the same Libya that was there to help their economy, to help them prying loose from the western boots and fangs of exploitation.

And Europe should be most interested in re-establishing order and a real economy in Libya - cleaning it from a murderous Mafia that promotes drugs and slave trade ending up in Europe. Libya today is one of the key hubs for the boat refugees from Africa to Europe. Instead of helping Libyans to come to peace within its borders and to rebuild their country, the European Commission launched in 2015 a new European Border and Coast Guard Agency, targeting specifically Libya – destroying refugee boats, if they cannot stop them from leaving Tripoli, Benghazi and other Libyan Sea ports.

Of course, spineless Europe doesn’t dare say they would like to remake Libya into a functional state. Libya is Washington’s territory – and Washington wants chaos to continue in Libya. As such Libya is a formidable ground for training and recruitment of terrorists, drug and slave trading; a country where crime prospers and the CIA takes their cut, as these criminal activities are directed by the CIA and their affiliates. The rest of the world doesn’t see that. For them it’s all the fault of the dictator Gaddafi, who thank goodness was eliminated by the western powers, lords of money and greed.

Russia TV24: Decades ago Libya was very successful from an economic point of view. What main things could you remember?

PK: Libya was economically and socially a successful country, arguably the most successful in Africa. Prosperity from oil was largely shared by Gaddafi with his countrymen. Libya had a first-class social safety net, an excellent transportation infrastructure, free medical services, and modern hospitals, equipped with latest medical equipment, free education for everyone – and students could even receive scholarships to study abroad.

Under President Gaddafi, Libya built friendly relations based on solidarity with other African States and was always ready to help if a ‘brother nation’ was in trouble. Gaddafi was a bit like Hugo Chavez in South America. He had a large heart and charisma, maybe not so much for western leaders, but certainly for Libya’s own population. Yet, he is accused of tyranny by the West, and is said of having financially supported Sarkozy’s presidential campaign – Sarkozy, the very ‘leader’ who then helped Hillary lynch Gaddafi. If that doesn’t say a lot about Europe’s criminal leaders – what will?

Muammar Gaddafi was accused by Washington – an accusation immediately repeated by the spineless European puppets - of being responsible for the December 1988 PanAm Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. More than 240 people perished in the crash. Not a shred of evidence was discovered that Libya was behind the plot. But it was a good reason to start a program of sanctions against Gaddafi’s regime. It was most likely a false flag. What interest would anybody have to bring down that flight, other than clamping down on an oil-rich country?

Russia TV24: Now we see oil production has grown to at least 50% of the 2011 level. Can we expect it to continue growing and affecting the oil market?

PK: Yes, Libyan oil production has increased to about 50% of its 2011 level. Libya is known for her high premium light oil, commanding premium prices. It is a market niche which might well be affected by Libya’s stepped up production. But who really benefits from this production increase? Most likely not the Libyans, but the international corporations, mostly American and French oil giants. They call the shots on the production levels. They are part of the international cartel of oil price manipulators, as are the Wall Street banksters, predominantly Goldman Sachs.

Russia TV24: The sanctions against Libya are lifted and all barriers to foreign investments have disappeared as well. Does it mean the county will face recovery soon?

PK: Sanctions may be lifted, but that does not mean that foreign investments will now flow to Libya. The country is still in chaos and disarray and- in my opinion - will stay so in the foreseeable future. That’s in Washington’s interest. Investors are reluctant to put their money into a crime nest and a terrorist breeding ground which is working closely with Washington and its secret services – to provide terrorists to fight US-proxy wars around the Middle East, for example in Syria and Iraq – and now even in Afghanistan – and who knows where else.

Russia TV24: How do you assess the political situation in the country today?

PK: As much as I would like to end on a positive note, it is difficult. As long as the CIA, chief instigator of all wars in the Middle East, is using the purposefully created Libyan chaos to train and recruit Islamic State fighters, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups which vary only in name but have the same objective – namely regime change in Syria – prospects for a foreseeable bright future are dim.

Of course, a lot depends on the unpredictable Trump presidency. Will he seek peace in the Middle East? – That would be the surprise of the Century – or will he continue on the track dictated by the Deep State (not least to save his skin) – continue destruction of the Middle East, balkanization of Syria – all as a stepping stone to full spectrum dominance – as is written in the American Bible – the PNAC – Plan for a New American Century – which outlines the ‘American Pax Romana’? They were the bloodiest 200 – 300 years of the Roman Empire.

Here comes the positive note: It is unlikely that the American empire will last that long. It’s on its last legs. When it finally falters, Libya may recover, and so may the rest of the world.

This article previously appeared in Global Research.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Egypt Launches Air Raids on Libya After Christians Killed
By Ahmed Aboulenein | CAIRO
Reuters

Egyptian air force planes on Friday carried out strikes directed at camps in Libya which Cairo says have been training militants who killed dozens of Christians earlier in the day, Egyptian military sources said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he had ordered strikes against what he called terrorist camps, declaring in a televised address that states that sponsored terrorism would be punished. (Egypt attack location tmsnrt.rs/2qqLS4a)

The sources said six strikes took place near Derna in eastern Libya at around sundown, hours after masked gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians traveling to a monastery in central Egypt, killing 29 and wounding 24.

The Egyptian military said the operation was ongoing and had been undertaken once it had been ascertained that the camps had produced the gunmen behind the attack on the Coptic Christians in Minya, central Egypt, on Friday morning.

"The terrorist incident that took place today will not pass unnoticed," Sisi said. "We are currently targeting the camps where the terrorists are trained."

He said Egypt would not hesitate to carry out further strikes against camps that trained people to carry out operations against Egypt, whether those camps were inside or outside the country.

Egyptian military footage of pilots being briefed and war planes taking off was shown on state television.

East Libyan forces said they participated in the air strikes, which had targeted forces linked to al-Qaeda at a number of sites, and would be followed by a ground operation.

A resident in Derna heard four powerful explosions, and told Reuters that the strikes had targeted camps used by fighters belonging to the Majlis al-Shura militant group.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the Christians, which followed a series of church bombings claimed by Islamic State in a campaign of violence against the Copts.

Islamic State supporters reposted videos from earlier this year urging violence against the Copts in Egypt.

At a nearby village, thousands later attended a funeral service that turned into an angry protest against the authorities' failure to protect Christians.

"We will avenge them or die like them," mourners said, while marching with a giant wooden cross.

GUNFIRE AND BLOOD

Eyewitnesses said masked men opened fire after stopping the Christians, who were in a bus and other vehicles on a desert road. Local TV channels showed a bus apparently raked by gunfire and smeared with blood.

Clothes and shoes could be seen lying in and around the bus, while the bodies of some of the victims lay in the sand nearby, covered with black sheets.

Eyewitnesses said three vehicles were attacked. First to be hit were a vehicle taking children to the monastery as part of a church-organized trip, and another vehicle taking families there.

The gunmen boarded the vehicles and shot all the men and took all the women's gold jewellery. They then shot women and children in the legs.

When one of the gunmen's vehicles got a flat tire they stopped a truck carrying Christian workers, shot them, and took the truck.

One of the gunmen recorded the attack on the Copts with a video camera, eyewitnesses said.

The attack took place on a road leading to the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority.

Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road.

Police armed with assault rifles formed a security perimeter around the attack site while officials from the public prosecutor's office gathered evidence. Heavily armed special forces arrived later wearing face masks and body armor.

The injured were taken to local hospitals and some were being transported to Cairo. The Health Ministry said that among those injured were two children aged two.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made a point of improving relations with Cairo, said America stood with Sisi and the Egyptian people.

"This merciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt tears at our hearts and grieves our souls," Trump said.

The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt's 1,000-year-old center of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilize the country.

"I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism," Ahmed al-Tayeb said. The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, condemned the perpetrators as traitors.

The head of the Coptic Christian church, Pope Tawadros, who spoke with Sisi after the attack, said it was "not directed at the Copts, but at Egypt and the heart of the Egyptians".

Pope Francis, who visited Cairo a month ago, described the attack as a "senseless act of hatred".

PERSECUTION

Coptic Christians, whose church dates back nearly 2,000 years, make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 92 million.

They say they have long suffered from persecution, but in recent months the frequency of deadly attacks against them has increased. About 70 have been killed since December in bombings claimed by Islamic State at churches in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Tanta.

An Islamic State campaign of murders in North Sinai prompted hundreds of Christians to flee in February and March.

Copts fear they will face the same fate as brethren in Iraq and Syria, where Christian communities have been decimated by wars and Islamic State persecution.

Egypt's Copts are vocal supporters of Sisi, who has vowed to crush Islamist extremism and protect Christians. He declared a three-month state of emergency in the aftermath of the church bombings in April.

But many Christians feel the state either does not take their plight seriously enough or cannot protect them against determined fanatics.

The government is fighting insurgents affiliated with Islamic State who have killed hundreds of police and soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula, while also carrying out attacks elsewhere in the country.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein, Eric Knecht, Mostafa Hashe, Omar Fahmy and Mohamed Abdellah; Writing by Giles Elgood; Editing by Mark Trevelyan, John Stonestreet and Lisa Shumaker)
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Africa Must Now Fight for Economic Emancipation
May 26, 2017
Opinion & Analysis
Zimbabwe Chronicle

Yesterday, the Mother Continent celebrated the 54th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU).

May 25 of every year is important for Africans as it marks a day when the OAU was formed in 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with an agenda to fight for the liberation of their land from foreign occupation.

Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia and Democratic Republic of the Congo are among the countries that were under colonialism at that time. A number of others had already been independent when the OAU was formed — Ghana in 1957, Nigeria, Senegal and Chad all in 1960, Tanzania in 1961 and Uganda a year later.

Leaders of the newly independent countries assumed the onerous responsibility of helping those that were still occupied to be free from colonialism. They mobilised arms and moral support from the continent, Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.

No African worth their salt will forget the immeasurable contribution that the OAU’s founding fathers — Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Modibo Keita (Mali), Gamal Abdul Nasser (Egypt), Sekou Touré (Guinea), Ben Bella (Algeria) and Emperor Haile Selassie (Ethiopia) made in not only shaping but also prosecuting the fight for African self-determination. They were men of tremendous courage and foresight who took on colonialists head-on at a time when a mere sight of a white man was enough to send many blacks on bended knees, worshipping the imperialists. They were a special people.

Now Africa is independent except for one country, Western Sahara, that remains a colony, not of a European country, but of a neighbouring African country, Morocco. A sad state of affairs indeed.

In a political sense, Africa is in charge of itself now. It was a long journey, one that left millions dead, communities broken and spirits broken. But everything that is sweet demands one’s sweat. We have to state, however, that Africa remains under occupation economically. African economies are still very weak and narrow as they are based on one or two pillars. They are not as diverse as they must be and remain foreign-owned. Also, they are still based on exports of primary products — unprocessed minerals, crops and so on. The raw materials go out cheap yet Africans spend a fortune importing finished goods.

This is an area that Africans must concentrate on. They need to further develop their economies to be able to extract their resources themselves and process them into finished goods before they export them to earn more.

We are glad that the contemporary leaders, chief among them President Mugabe, are mindful of the inadequacy of Africa’s political freedom. Without economic independence, we cannot say that Africa is independent in the true sense of the word.

Pursuant to that agenda, the AU is prosecuting Agenda 2063, a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of Africa over the next 50 years.

It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.  It is interesting to note that the year 2063, the target for the attainment of the goals of Africa’s socio-economic blueprint, will also mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the OAU.

The theme for this year is “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investments in Youth”.

Said the AU in a statement expounding the theme: “Over the last 10 years, it has become evident that a demographic dividend lens offers a strategic basis for focusing and prioritising investments in people in general and the youth in particular, in order to achieve sustainable development, inclusive economic growth, and to build ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, which is driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.’”

Indeed the youth are the future of any community. They are the engine of growth of any society, they are its energy. A community without the youth cannot perpetuate itself, it soon dies off.

More than three out of every five Africans are aged 35 years and younger. For the continent to make the most out of this demographic group that constitutes citizens generally referred as the youths, there should be more investment in education, training, decent work, and engaging young people in shaping their future.

However, focus on youth must be accompanied by focus on women, the disabled, and the elderly for more inclusive growth to be achieved.

As we marked this very important day for Africa, we are unhappy that there are a few pockets of armed conflict — the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, parts of Nigeria and Uganda just to name but four. This fighting does nothing to develop Africa. It drags us back.

Most of the conflicts on the continent are internal, which means that it is Africans fighting among themselves for political power, access to resources and associated privileges. It is sad that after fighting and defeating colonialists, Africans have turned on each other. That must stop.

“Most of today’s conflicts are internal,” said the AU in its Africa Day message, “triggered by competition for power and resources, inequality, marginalisation, disrespect for human rights and sectarian divides. Often, they are inflamed by violent extremism or provide the fuel for it. But prevention goes far beyond focusing solely on conflict.

“The best means of prevention and the surest path to durable peace is inclusive and sustainable development. It is critical to continue building more effective and accountable institutions to address governance challenges, advance the rule of law

and promote civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.  We can speed progress by doing  more to provide opportunities and hope to young people.”

Yesterday was a big day for the continent as it marks the attainment of political independence for Africa but to achieve much more, Africans need to intensify the struggle for economic independence while maintaining peace and unity.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Africa at the Crossroads: AU Commemorates 54th Year While Challenges Mount
From Egypt and Nigeria to Somalia and South Africa the crises of the post-colonial states are exemplified

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Tuesday May 23, 2017

May 25 marks the 54th anniversary of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor to the African Union formed in 2002.

This continental organization brings together independent nation-states and the still colonized territory of the Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation.

With the readmission of Morocco into the AU during 2016, some have begun to question the anti-colonial mission of the organization. The Monarchy in Rabat has not made any commitment to the United Nations mandated supervised elections aimed at granting the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic the right to determine its own destiny.

Some African states opposed the reentry of Morocco for this very reason. Either the organization firmly supports the rights colonized peoples to self-determination or it does not. There is really no room for a middle ground.

At the founding of the OAU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1963, the divisions were largely centered on the issues of the character of the African unification process. Should Pan-Africanism be a gradual process of the merging of regional entities or should it develop at a rapid pace?

Africa being carved up during the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 and events leading up to that critical period in history, laid the basis for the contemporary crises of the 21st century. From France, Britain, Portugal, Spain, the United States, Germany and the Netherlands, the imperialists drained the continent of its human and material resources creating the conditions for the development of Europe and North America and the instability and underdevelopment of the continent.

Yet long before the dawn of the present century during the founding summit of the OAU, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister and later president of independent Ghana, appealed in his address delivered on May 24, 1963 to the African heads-of-state for continental unity as the only viable solution to the problems of mass poverty, super exploitation and the consolidation of neo-colonialism. The events which took place in the former Belgian Congo in 1960-61 where the elected government of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was overthrown through the machinations of the Belgians, the U.S. and the UN, illustrated clearly the monumental tasks of acquiring genuine national independence and unity.

Lumumba was eventually driven from the capital of Leopoldville (Kinshasa) where he sought refuge among his supporters in the Congolese National Movement (MNC-Lumumba) in the East of the vast mineral-rich state. Eventually he was captured by the imperialists and their agents.

By late January 1961, Lumumba had been vilified by the western media, unjustly detained, beaten, tortured and executed. This series of events portended much for the future of the struggle for Pan-Africanism exposing fully the institutional resistance on a global scale to the forward advancement of the oppressed and exploited workers, farmers and youth of the continent.

Nkrumah emphasized in his 1963 speech in Addis Ababa that: “A whole continent has imposed a mandate upon us to lay the foundation of our union at this conference. It is our responsibility to execute this mandate by creating here and now, the formula upon which the requisite superstructure may be created. On this continent, it has not taken us long to discover that the struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence. Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist controls and interference.”

The Contemporary Challenges from Egypt to Nigeria

These words from Nkrumah were indeed prophetic. Looking at the situation today in the North African state of Egypt sheds enormous light on the present crises.

Egypt is the third-largest populated country on the continent. It is the gateway to Western Asia where there is an historic link with the ancient civilizations which shaped the scientific, cultural and intellectual foundations of the modern world.

Nonetheless, this potential is stifled due to the continued domination of imperialism. Egypt is faced with political divisions between Islamist and Nationalist forces. The military coup of July 2013 further solidified the role of the military within the state. There is an armed opposition based in the Sinai where natural gas resources abound. These assets cannot be fully utilized for the benefit of the African continent because of the dominate role of the State of Israel and the U.S.

The country of Egypt remains impoverished despite its enormous wealth. At present there is still the failure to resolve the issues surrounding the usage of the Nile River. Ethiopia is constructing a Renaissance Dam which could impact the access of this waterway from Egypt to other contiguous Nile basin states including Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. The peaceful resolution of these disagreements will determine the outcome of any development projects for the region.

In the West African state of Nigeria, the largest populated nation on the continent, with its gargantuan oil and natural gas resources, is battling a renewed economic recession. The price of oil has dropped precipitously over the last three years due to overproduction.

Since the post-colonial African states are dependent upon the purchasing power of the West which determines the price of commodities and the terms of trade, the currency values and foreign exchange reserves have dropped significantly. Nigeria as well is divided through the guerrilla war which has been raging in the Northeast since 2009 where Boko Haram has caused havoc among the people of this region of the country, often described as the least developed due to the legacy of British colonialism.

From Somalia to South Africa: The Problems of Water and Resource Harnessing

The Horn of Africa has been a source of imperialist intrigue on the continent for at least four decades. In Somalia, where oil resources exist in abundance in the North and offshore in the Central and South of the nation, the country is undergoing a calamity of unprecedented proportions.

Millions are threatened with famine as a result of the lack of food and potable water. Crop failures stem from the lack of stability and security. The war between Al-Shabaab and the western-backed government in Mogadishu is by no means subsiding. This is the situation despite the presence of 22,000 African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) troops stationed in the country for the last decade. Obviously the wealth of Somalia is being siphoned off by the transnational corporations based in the West and their allies within government.

South Africa, the most industrialized state on the continent, is suffering from high unemployment, continuing poverty, declining currency values, inadequate service delivery and a burgeoning energy crisis. A sub-continental drought and lack of investment in infrastructure has rendered the nation without the proper capacity to generate power for the much-needed second industrial transformation.There has been a systematic disinvestment by capital since the ascendancy of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in 1994 after decades of intense struggle against settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Considerable pressure has been brought on the society from international finance capital to the extent that now there are intense polemics within the tripartite alliance (the ANC, the Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions) over how to proceed in the National Democratic Revolution. All the while opposition forces led by the objectively racist and pro-imperialist Democratic Alliance (DA), is being positioned for the staging of a political coup that would re-institute a form of neo-apartheid. The lessons of Congo (1960-61) and Ghana (1966) are not as far removed as many may surmise. Imperialism has never accepted the advent of genuine independence and socialist development over the last five or more decades.

As Nkrumah also stated in his OAU lecture of 1963, “We are fast learning that political independence is not enough to rid us of the consequences of colonial rule. The movement of the masses of the people of Africa for freedom from that kind of rule was not only a revolt against the conditions which it imposed. Our people supported us in our fight for independence because they believed that African governments could cure the ills of the past in a way which could never be accomplished under colonial rule.If, therefore, now that we are independent we allow the same conditions to exist that existed in colonial days, all the resentment which overthrew colonialism will be mobilized against us. The resources are there. It is for us to marshal them in the active service of our people.”

These are some of the lessons of the last 54 years that must guide the AU member-states into the concluding years of the second decade of the 21st century. The alternative to a totally liberated and unified Africa is imperialism in its most profane and exploitative phase. 
Africa at the Crossroads Part II--AU Must Advance Program to Reverse the Political and Economic Crises
Lessons learned for the 54th anniversary from Tunisia and Libya to Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Wednesday May 24, 2017

Another series of mass demonstrations have taken place in the North African state of Tunisia where the uprisings beginning in December 2010 led to what has been described as the “Arab Spring.”

After Tunisia the situation in Egypt unfolded with huge protests, rebellion and the eventual seizure of power by the military in mid-February 2011.

A similar scenario had occurred in neighboring Tunisia. Obviously no revolutionary party or coalition of national democratic forces had the political capacity to seize power on behalf of the people in order to make a clean break with the United States and its imperialist allies.

Events in Tunisia and Egypt prompted demonstrations in Algeria as well. However, in this North African state the color revolution did not escalate to the point of driving the National Liberation Front (FLN) from power.

Of course the history of Algeria is quite different from both Tunisia and Egypt. The FLN fought a seven year guerrilla war against France. This war of independence distinguished Algeria from the historical trajectory of Egypt where the national democratic revolution was engineered by the Free Officer Movement of lower-ranking military figures such as Gamal Abdel Nasser. The seizure of power by Nasser and his comrades in 1952 and the consolidation of power by him in 1954 led directly to the nationalization of the Suez Canal and the subsequent invasion by Britain, France and Israel two years later. Nasser prevailed in 1956 in part due to the inter-imperialist rivalry between Washington, Paris and London.

The administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower opposed the European invasion of Egypt not because of its support for African independence. Instead the U.S. was seeking to consolidate its hegemony as the world’s uncontested imperialist center. Overtures to the emergent national liberation movements were part and parcel of a broader strategy of neo-colonial rule which is predominant in the 21st century.

Tunisians in recent weeks have focused on the failure of the energy industry to provide benefits for nationals. In the south of the country where the unrest began in late 2010, there has been the blockading of extractive outlets which are aimed at closing down operations. However, security forces have arrested numerous people while others have been injured and at least one person killed.

According to an article published on May 24 by the Agence France Press (AFP): “Thousands attended the funeral Tuesday of a protester killed during clashes in southern Tunisia as officials warned tensions could escalate amid demonstrations over social and labor issues. Anouar Sakrafi, in his early 20s, died of wounds suffered Monday when he was run over by a national guard vehicle during clashes with security forces at an oil and gas plant, the scene of long-running protests over joblessness. Security forces fired tear gas as protesters tried to storm the El Kamour facility in the desert region of Tataouine, radio reports said. The government said Sakrafi's killing was accidental.”

The lack of any fundamental socio-economic transformation in Tunisia was even pointed out in an article in Forbes Magazine. This is a journal of record for international finance capital and therefore its conclusions would not be the same as anti-imperialists and socialists.

However, Forbes said of the political atmosphere in both Egypt and Tunisia: “A popular uprising that began in Tunisia and Egypt…, calling for an end to corruption and the creation of economic opportunities, has yet to achieve these goals.  In fact, Tunisia and Egypt have not become less corrupt since then, and unemployment continues to remain in double digits.” (May 20)

Undoubtedly the worst outcome of developments in 2011 was the counter-revolution in Libya which began in February. The suppression of the western-backed rebels by the Jamahiriya under Col. Muammar Gaddafi provided a rationale for the passage of two United Nations Security Council resolutions providing a pseudo-legal cover for the blanket bombing of this oil-rich state for seven months.

Tens of thousands of people died in the aerial bombardments which destroyed basic infrastructure and provided cover for the rebels to seize control of key cities including the capital of Tripoli by August. The brutal assassination of Gaddafi in Sirte was actually ordered by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton under the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Today Libya is a source of instability, terrorism, human trafficking, corruption and neo-colonial intrigue. Numerous attempts to impose a compliant regime that could win the support of the disparate rebel groups whom were installed by the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and NATO has failed miserably.

Only a revolutionary anti-imperialist approach to the crises in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia could provide real hope for stability and reconstruction. Efforts which have taken place in Southern Africa provide a glimpse of possibilities for other regions of the continent.

The Legacy of Imperialism: Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola

A radical land redistribution program in Zimbabwe in 2000 drew the wrath of the former colonizers in Britain and their allies in Washington and Brussels. Sanctions imposed on this sovereign state in defense of settler colonial economic relations further exposed the actual foreign policy of the U.S., Britain, the European Union (EU) and its partners in Southern Africa.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front Party (ZANU-PF) has held steadfast in defending its independence. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe during his tenure as chairperson of the AU and the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) put forward a Pan-African program urging heads-of-state and the popular forces to reverse the cycle of dependency upon the West through regional integration and an independent foreign policy based on African interests.

Recently in the Republic of Namibia, which like Zimbabwe waged an armed and mass struggle for national liberation, the ruling Southwest Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) declared its support for the legal claims filed against Germany by the Herero and Nama people for the genocidal policies during the initial colonial period under Berlin between the 1880s and 1915 when the European state lost its colonies in Africa to other imperialist powers such as Britain and France.

In the Republic of Angola, the continent’s second largest producer of petroleum, the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which also won its independence through the barrel of the gun and its consolidation through the assistance of internationalist forces from the Republic of Cuba, announced that long time President Jose Eduardo dos Santos was turning over control to a new leadership. Angola has been impacted negatively by the sharp decline in oil prices placing a brake on the rapid economic development inside the former Portuguese colony.

At a SADC Summit held earlier this year, a proposal for a regional industrialization plan was approved by the body which represents 15 independent states in the region as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Seychelles. Despite the inevitable obstacles to such an ambitious project it represents the future of Africa. In order for sustainable development to be realized the continent must turn inward in order to exert its latent power on the global stage.

An Africa Liberation Day radio broadcast aired on May 24, 1964 by the then President Kwame Nkrumah of the First Republic of Ghana spelled out clearly the necessity for continental unity up to the point of the formation of an all-African Union Government. Nkrumah noted that Pan-Africanism and Socialism provide the only viable solutions to the post- colonial stagnation and continued underdevelopment.

This historic speech relays in part: “As I have said time and time again, the salvation of Africa lies in Unity. Only a Union Government can safeguard the hard-won freedom of the various African States. Africa is rich, its resources are vast and yet African States are poor. It is the only in a Union Government that we can find the capital to develop the immense economic resources of Africa.Only a unified economic planning for development can give Africa the — economic security essential for the prosperity and wellbeing of all its peoples. It is also quite clear that not a single African State can today defend herself effectively. Therefore many African States are forced to enter defense agreements with their former colonial master. Recent events in Gabon and elsewhere show clearly how these military Pacts can be used to subvert the independence and territorial integrity of African States. The only real and lasting solution is a defense arrangement for Africa on the basis of a unified military command.”

During this 54th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity and its successor the AU, the continental organization must review these important issues. The alternative represents more of the same being greater reliance on the imperialists which has resulted in a renewed burgeoning debt, greater penetration of Pentagon and CIA elements in the region and the further fragmentation of existing nation-states.
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Interviewed Over Television Continental (TVC) Discussing the Visit of U.S. President Trump to Saudi Arabia and Palestine
Watch this interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, over Television Continental (TVC) based in Lagos, Nigeria.

To view the segment just click on the website below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZSohhtkoag&feature=youtu.be

The segment examined United States President Donald Trump's visit to Palestine and Saudi Arabia. Azikiwe points out the inherent bias of Washington's foreign policy in the Middle East and its implication for the people of the region.

According to its website: "TVC News is a 24-hour television news channel that offers the latest African News, Politics, Sports and Business. TVC News is Africa's First Pan African News Channel located in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria with Bureaus across Africa, London and the United States."
Tribute to Cubans Who Fought for Angola’s Independence
The widow of Agostinho Neto, Maria Eugenia Neto, together with their daughter Irene Alexandra, paid tribute to those who died in the struggle for Angola’s independence during a visit to the island this Monday, May 22

GI news staff | informacion@granma.cu
May 23, 2017 09:05:12
Photo: Ismael Batista

The widow of Agostinho Neto, Maria Eugénia Neto, together with their daughter Irene Alexandra, paid tribute to those who died in the struggle for Angola’s independence during a visit to the island this Monday, May 22.

Maria Eugénia, who today heads the Agostinho Neto Foundation, was guided by General Teté Puebla on a tour of the Veterans’ Pantheon of Havana’s Colón Cemetery.

Teté Puebla explained to the guests that this is the final resting place of the veterans of Cuba’s independence wars, those who participated in the clandestine struggle, who fought at Playa Girón and also those Cubans who died fighting in the independence struggles of Angola and other African nations.

“We are indebted to Africa because many men and women brought from there fought against Spanish colonialism in this land,” the General explained.

Maria Eugénia expressed her gratitude for Cuba’s support, noting that thanks to the island’s internationalism, today Africa is free from the nightmare of colonialism.

She added that Africa now needs to be rebuilt, based on the legacy of those who sacrificed themselves and fought for a better world.

The widow and daughter of Agostinho Neto – the latter a deputy to the Angolan National Assembly and director general of the foundation that honors her father – placed roses and gladioli at the tombs.

Maria Eugénia Neto will today be presented with the Mehdi ben Barka Solidarity Order, posthumously awarded by the Organization of Solidarity with the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL) to her husband, Agostinho Neto.
African Unity Celebrated in Santiago de Cuba
Inseparable in the struggle against colonialism exemplified by President Fidel Castro and Angolan Counterpart Agostino Neto.

Published 24 May 2017
Telesur

The celebrations, a wide variety of cultural and educational programs, as well as scientific and sports activities, are scheduled to continue until Saturday.

On Wednesday, the 54th anniversary of African Unity, the predecessor of the African Union, was commemorated by African university students and fellow Cuban students in Santiago de Cuba.

The celebrations, a wide variety of cultural and educational programs, as well as scientific and sports activities, are scheduled to continue until Saturday.

Prensa Latina reported that support for the event is being provided by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, Fernando Ortiz African Cultural Center, diplomatic representatives of the participating nations, and educational institutions in the city.

A forum titled, "Pensemos Africa," is scheduled for Friday. During the event, scholars will debate and discuss their views concerning the realities of the continent.

An artistic showcase of African cultural traditions and expressions will close out the celebrations on Saturday at the Heredia Theater.

Recent visits to Cuba by Maria Eugenia Neto and Irene Alexandra, widow and daughter of the late Angolan independence leader, Angostinho Neto, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, Clement Mouamba, strengthened the historical ties between the African continent and socialist Cuba.

During Eugenia Neto's visit, Cuban General Tete Puebla, emphasized the Cuban people's gratitude to Africa, “We are indebted to Africa because many men and women brought from there fought against Spanish colonialism in this land.”

Granma reported that Neto reciprocated the sentiment, noting that as a result of the Cuban people's resolve and profound sense of internationalism, Africa had been liberated from the horrors of colonialism.

African Unity was established on May 25, 1963, in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. The organization's goals were to eradicate colonialism, lift African nations from the scourge of underdevelopment, and defend the sovereignty of those nations.

African Unity was replaced by the African Union in 2002. Its first chairperson was South African President Thabo Mbeki.
OAS Debates Venezuela, Not a Word About Brazil
(Left) Anti-government protesters attack police in Venezuela. (Right) Police fire rubber bullets and tear gas at anti-Temer protesters in Brasilia.

Published 24 May 2017

Double standards come naturally to the OAS, especially when the balance of power is defined by people's power or power usurped by political elites.

Pick-and-choose. It's the modus operandi of the Organization of American States, headquartered in Washington, D.C. While the organization schedules debate on Venezuela, total silence reigns over the scandal-ridden government of Brazilian President Michel Temer.

Just when Brazil's political crisis seemed like it couldn't get any worse, Temer was caught red-handed on tape giving his blessings to bribes paid to judges, prosecutors, a police task force member and a powerful witness in government corruption investigations, Eduardo Cunha, the former president of Brazil's lower house of representatives.

Not a whisper from the OAS.

On Wednesday, Brazil's security forces cracked down on protesters who were demanding free, democratic elections.

Not a beep from the OAS.

Also on Wednesday, Brazil's military police were ordered to remove rural workers located on the Santa Lucia farm in the municipality of Pau D'Arco in the state of Para. The operation resulted in the deaths of 10 campesinos.

The OAS utters not a word.

Ecuador managed to include in the daily agenda of the OAS a discussion about the ongoing and worsening crisis in Brazil. However, the majority of countries considered such disturbances to be a sovereign, internal matter, unbefitting of debate by the OAS Permanent Council.

"We repudiate misplaced interpretations of the functioning of our democratic institutions," argued Brazilian ambassador Jose Luiz Machado. Unable to hide his frustration at the mere suggestion of debating Brazil's crisis, Luiz Machado continued, “there's no alteration or risk to the constitutional order.”

Several other delegations, including Argentina, Mexico, and Paraguay, shared Luiz Machado's indignation.

Chile's representative, Juan Barria, stated that Brazil's crisis “is an absolutely internal issue.” Meanwhile, Argentina's representative, Juan Jose Arcuri, asserted that the “issue should not have been considered.”

Just an odd mistake? Or convenient?

Whatever the case, the OAS hasn't shied away from using its pulpit to convene a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the Venezuelan protests, with 19 votes in favor, 10 against, one abstention and one absence.

Hours after the vote, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez announced that the country will begin the process of exiting the OAS. She asserted that the organization had plans to criminalize the Venezuelan government and destabilize constitutional democracy in order to facilitate foreign intervention.

On April 27, Venezuela presented a formal letter pulling out of the OAS. At the time Rodriguez asserted, “We will defend the self-determination of our people.”

While Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called for a constituent assembly and the country's electoral board has called for regional elections in December, Temer has taken no democratic measures to help quell the growing unrest in Brazil.

Having come to office through what many considered a parliamentary coup, Temer's claim to fame has been proposing undemocratic pension cuts, austerity measures, reforms that minimized workers' rights, and getting caught red-handed on tape approving bribes.

The latest Parana Institute Research poll indicates that 87 percent of Brazilians favor the immediate removal of Temer.

Double standards come naturally to the OAS, especially when the balance of power is defined by people's power or power usurped by a handful of political elites, right-wing media, and the big-business class. The U.S.-dominated organization seems to have no use for people's power.
Bolivia's Evo Morales Says Racism a Tool for World Domination
Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Telesur
Published 24 May 2017

Morales warned against the perils of racism, referring to this state of ignorance turned economic and institutional apparatus as a tool of domination.

"Racism is one of the instruments of domination, subjugation, and humiliation, not only in Bolivia but throughout the world," said President Evo Morales.

From the Aymara nation and the first Indigenous president of Bolivia, Morales was speaking at the Fifth Session of the Ibero-American Network Against Discrimination in the city of Santa Cruz.

During his speech Morales warned against the dangers of racism, referring to this state of ignorance turned economic and institutional apparatus as a weapon of domination. He added that what is needed to free Pachamama from the scourge of racism was a “plurinational planet.”

"Like here, in Bolivia, the cost was hefty. We suffered a lot in 2006, 2007, 2008, to form a plurinational state. Our goal should be, our desire should be to develop a plurinational America, a plurinational planet, and not only a plurinational state of Bolivia because our people are so diverse around the world," Morales emphasized.

The Bolivian president said that approving measures against racism is simple but difficult to implement and enforce.

He suggested taking counsel from young people to achieve a more just society free of racism and discrimination.
Brazil Protests: Ministerial Building Set on Fire During Clashes
24 May 2017
BBC World Service

Angry demonstrators in Brasilia have started a fire inside the ministry of agriculture and have damaged several other ministerial buildings.

Brazilian authorities estimate around 35,000 are marching in the capital.

Troops are being deployed to defend government buildings and there is a heavy police presence on the streets.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of President Michel Temer, fresh elections, and for economic reform plans to be withdrawn.

Mr Temer has faced new corruption allegations in the last week, and is facing growing pressure to step down.

According to reports, several ministries are being evacuated because of the protests - but not before the agriculture ministry was damaged.

"There was an invasion of the ministry's private entrance. They lit a fire in a room, broke photos in a gallery of ex-ministers and confronted police," a spokesman told the AFP news agency.

There have been clashes between police and demonstrators and local media report one person has been injured and several have been detained.

Planned demonstrations began peacefully around midday before clashes with police erupted.

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at some demonstrators, and video footage showed other members of the crowd smashing windows or setting makeshift barriers afire.

Last week, testimony released by the country's supreme court alleged that Mr Temer had taken millions of dollars in bribes since 2010.

The plea-bargain testimony came from bosses of a giant meat-packing firm.

In response, Mr Temer vowed to prove his innocence and remain as president while so doing.

On Saturday, he filed a petition to have the investigation suspended, but reversed that decision on Tuesday.

Mr Temer took office a year ago after his predecessor, President Dilma Rousseff, was impeached.