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Daily News Analysis

Silencing of guns in Africa remains a pipe dream

Dr Mustafa Bothwell Mheta

Despite enormous natural resources, people in the Democratic Republic of Congo remain mired in poverty because of corrupt rulers in league with plundering Western colonial powers

The African Union had set itself the goal of silencing guns on the continent by 2020 but has dismally failed in this task.

Guns are still blazing in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR), Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Nigeria.

Instead, there is potential for new wars erupting in 2021 between Sudan and Ethiopia, and between Western Sahara and Morocco where much bloodshed may occur soon.

Why is Africa constantly under such pressure of wars?

A closer look reveals foreign interference and manipulation.

Foreign, mainly Western powers, aim to gain access to Africa’s resources for plunder.

Africa’s enemies—European and North American countries—instigate and promote wars so that in the ensuing chaos, they can steal Africa’s resources.

Instead of a country’s resources being a blessing to benefit the people, these have become a curse.

This is especially true of the DRC, Africa’s richest country in terms of resources, that has not known any peace since independence.

How does one explain the lack of development in the DRC?

Some western countries and their African proxies have joined hands to exploit the DRC’s resources.

Countries that have no known diamond deposits are selling them on the world market.

Where are they getting the diamonds from?

The same can be said of what is going on in the CAR.

Despite mass poverty, it possesses huge natural resources.

Its former ruler Emperor Bokassa was one of the richest men on the continent.

His wealth surpassed even many European leaders.

Like the DRC, CAR is also endowed with vast natural resources.

It has diamonds, gold, and other western sought-after minerals in abundance.

As a result, the French and Russians have all lined up deploying their militaries to the CAR on the side of the government.

Under the guise of fighting rebels, they actually support different rebel groups inciting them to create chaos.

Such chaos gives the Western thieves the opportunity to plunder its resources in broad daylight.

In mid-January, UN troops had to retake control of a city in the Central African Republic that was captured two weeks earlier by armed groups.

The rebels were waging an offensive against the government of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

Rebels abandoned their positions in Bangassou, 750 km east of the capital, Bangui, and fled the city following an ultimatum on January 15 from the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA, the mission’s spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said late on January 16.

The incumbent who is supported by the Russians and French is their chosen puppet giving them free access to the country’s resources.

Where does the CAR find the money to buy all those expensive Russians and French weapons?

This puppet ruler has mortgaged the country’s natural resources depriving the people of CAR of their benefit.

It’s absurd for a resource-rich country to have its people live in abject poverty.

The same is true in Mozambique.

Soon after oil and LNG were discovered in Cabo Delgado, ISIS appeared on the scene out of nowhere.

All of a sudden, it was ‘Jihadists wanting to set up a caliphate’ ruled by Islamic Shari‘ah.

Africa needs to examine these kinds of situations seriously, and stop being tools of foreign powers.

African rulers should not automatically accept whatever is thrown at them by western think tanks.

There is also a new wave of instability being imposed on Africa spurred by the so-called ‘normalization’ on the continent and in the Gulf countries.

Normalization is a source of instability. It is not based on truth or fairness.

Thus, all attempts at normalization are bound to collapse.

Such collapse, however, will not happen in a vacuum; it will cause further instability.

Peace cannot be built on falsehood and injustice.

Guns will not fall silent until African rulers look closely at the real causes of conflict.

While most rulers are aware, the problem is the nature of politics they practice.

Lies and deceit are the real problem. African rulers should abandon the toxic politics of the West and govern with honesty.

They should take heed that the new crop of youth is aware of the lies.

Unless the rulers change, they will bring a disaster upon themselves.

Aluta Continua! (The struggle continues).

Dr. Mustafa Mheta is Senior Researcher/Head of Africa Desk at the Media Review Network in Johannesburg, South Africa

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