Arabs enslaving Africans: How did this happen?(Graphic pics)

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In March 2011, NATO launched a war in Libya expressly aimed at toppling the government of longtime leader Muammar Qadhafi. The US and its allies flew some 26,000 sorties over Libya and launched hundreds of cruise missiles, destroying the government’s ability to resist rebel forces.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with their European counterparts, insisted the military intervention was being carried out for humanitarian reasons. But political scientist Micah Zenko (Foreign Policy3/22/16) used NATO’s own materials to show how “the Libyan intervention was about regime change from the very start.”

NATO supported an array of rebel groups fighting on the ground in Libya, many of which were dominated by Islamist extremists and harbored violently racist views. Militants in the NATO-backed rebel stronghold of Misurata even referred to themselves in 2011 as “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin”—an eerie foreshadowing of the horrors that were to come.

The war ended in October 2011. US and European aircraft attacked Qadhafi’s convoy, and he was brutally murdered by extremist rebels—sodomized with a bayonet. Secretary Clinton, who played a decisive role in the war, declared live on CBS News (10/20/11), “We came, we saw, he died!” The Libyan government dissolved soon after.

In the six years since, Libya has been roiled by chaos and bloodshed. Multiple would-be governments are competing for control of the oil-rich country, and in some areas there is still no functioning central authority. Many thousands of people have died, although the true numbers are impossible to verify. Millions of Libyans have been displaced—a staggering number, nearly one-third of the population, had fled to neighboring Tunisia by 2014.

Corporate media, however, have largely forgotten about the key role NATO played in destroying Libya’s government, destabilizing the country and empowering human traffickers.

Moreover, even the few news reports that do acknowledge NATO’s complicity in the chaos in Libya do not go a step further and detail the well-documented, violent racism of the NATO-backed Libyan rebels who ushered in slavery after ethnically cleansing and committing brutal crimes against black Libyans.

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The flashy CNN multimedia report included bonuses galore: two videos, two animated gifs, two photos and a chart. But something was missing: The 1,000-word story made no mention of NATO, or the 2011 war that destroyed Libya’s government, or Muammar Qadhafi, or any kind of historical and political context whatsoever.

Despite these huge flaws, the CNN report was widely celebrated, and made an impact in a corporate media apparatus that otherwise cares little about North Africa. A flurry of media reports followed. These stories overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.

In subsequent stories, when Libyan and United Nations officials announced they would launch an investigation into the slave auctions, CNN (11/17/1711/20/17) again failed to mention the 2011 war, let alone NATO’s role in it.

One CNN report (11/21/17) on a UN Security Council meeting noted, “Ambassadors from Senegal to Sweden also blamed trafficking’s root causes: unstable countries, poverty, profits from slave trading and lack of legal enforcement.” But it failed to explain why Libya is unstable.

Another 1,200-word CNN follow-up article (11/23/17) was just as obfuscatory. It was only in the 35th paragraph of this 36-graf story that a Human Rights Watch researcher noted, “Libyan interim authorities have been dragging their feet on virtually all investigations they supposedly started, yet never concluded, since the 2011 uprising.” NATO’s leadership in this 2011 uprising was, however, ignored.

An Agence France-Presse news wire that was published by Voice of America (11/17/17) and other websites similarly failed to provide any historical context for the political situation in Libya. “Testimony collected by AFP in recent years has revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gang leaders, human traffickers and the Libyan security forces,” the article said, but it did not recount anything that happened before 2017.

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In an account of the large protests that erupted outside Libyan embassies in Europe and Africa in response to reports of slave auctions, Reuters (11/20/17) indicated, “Six years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is still a lawless state where armed groups compete for land and resources and people-smuggling networks operate with impunity.” But it did not provide any more information about how Qadhafi was toppled.

A report in the Huffington Post (11/22/17), later republished by AOL (11/27/17), did concede that Libya is “one of the world’s most unstable [sic], mired in conflict since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in 2011.” It made no mention of NATO’s leadership in that ousting and killing.

Part of the problem has been the unwillingness of international organizations to point out the responsibility of powerful Western governments. In his statement on the reports of slavery in Libya, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres (11/20/17) did not mention anything about what has happened politically inside the North African nation in the past six years. The UN News Centre report (11/20/17) on Guterres’ comments was just as contextless and uninformative, as was the press release (11/21/17) on the issue from the International Organization for Migration.

Al Jazeera (11/26/17) did cite an IOM official who suggested, in Al Jazeera‘s words, that “the international community should pay more attention to post-Gaddafi Libya.” But the media outlet provided no context as to how Libya became post-Qadhafi in the first place. In fact, Al Jazeera‘s source went out of his way to make the issue apolitical: “Modern-day slavery is widespread around the world and Libya is by no means unique.”

While it is true that slavery and human trafficking happen in other countries, this widespread media narrative depoliticizes the problem in Libya, which has its roots in explicit political decisions made by governments and their leaders: namely, the choice to overthrow Libya’s stable government, turning the oil-rich North African nation into a failed state ruled by competing warlords and militias, some of which are involved in and profit from slavery and trafficking.

When Western governments were hoping to militarily intervene in the country in the lead-up to March 19, 2011, there was a constant torrent of media reports on the evils of Qadhafi and his government—including a healthy dose of fake news (Salon9/16/16). Major newspapers staunchly supported the NATO intervention, and made no secret of their pro-war editorial lines.

When the US government and its allies were preparing for war, the corporate media apparatus did what it does best, and helped sell yet another military intervention to the public.

In the years since, on the other hand, there has been exponentially less interest in the disastrous aftermath of that NATO war. There will be short spikes of interest, as there was in early 2017. The most recent spurt of press coverage was inspired by the publication of CNN‘s shocking video footage. But the coverage invariably rapidly peaks and goes away.

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The catastrophe Libya might endure after the collapse of its state had been predictable at the time. Qadhafi himself had warned NATO member states, while they were waging war against him, that they were going to unleash chaos throughout the region. Yet Western leaders—Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the US, David Cameron in the UK, Nicolas Sarkozy in France, Stephen Harper in Canada—ignored Qadhafi’s admonition and violently toppled his government.

Even from the small number of media reports on slavery in Libya that do manage to acknowledge NATO’s responsibility for destabilizing the country, nevertheless, something is still missing.

Looking back at Libya’s anti-Qadhafi rebels, both during and after the 2011 war, it is very clear that hardline anti-black racism was widespread in the NATO-backed opposition. A 2016 investigation by the British House of Common’s Foreign Affairs Committee (Salon9/16/16) acknowledged that “militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion from February 2011 onwards.” But many rebels were not just fundamentalist; they were also violently racist.

It is unfortunately no surprise that these extremist Libyan militants later enslaved African refugees and migrants: They were hinting at it from the very beginning.

Most American and European media coverage at the time of NATO’s military intervention was decidedly pro-rebel. When reporters got on the ground, however, they began publishing a few more nuanced pieces that hinted at the reality of the opposition. These were insignificant in number, but they are enlightening and worth revisiting.

Three months into the NATO war, in June 2011, the Wall Street Journal‘s Sam Dagher (6/21/11) reported from Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city and a major hub for the opposition, where he noted he saw rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin.”

Dahger indicated that the rebel stronghold of Misrata was dominated by “tightly knit white merchant families,” whereas “the south of the country, which is predominantly black, mainly backs Col. Gadhafi.”

Other graffiti in Misrata read “Traitors keep out.” By “traitors,” rebels were referring to Libyans from the town of Tawergha, which the Journal explained is “inhabited mostly by black Libyans, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade.”

Dagher reported that some Libyan rebel leaders were “calling for the expulsion of Tawerghans from the area” and “banning Tawergha natives from ever working, living or sending their children to schools in Misrata.” He added that predominately Tawergha neighborhoods in Misrata had already been emptied. Black Libyans were “gone or in hiding, fearing revenge attacks by Misratans, amid reports of bounties for their capture.”

The rebel commander Ibrahim al-Halbous told the Journal, “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”

Al-Halbous would later reappear in a report by the Sunday Telegraph (9/11/11), reiterating to the British newspaper, “Tawarga no longer exists.” (When Halbous was injured in September, the New York Times9/20/11—portrayed him sympathetically as a martyr in the heroic fight against Qadhafi. The Halbous brigade has in the years since become an influential militia in Libya.)

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Like Dagher, the Telegraph‘s Andrew Gilligan drew attention to the slogan painted on the road between Misrata and Tawergha: “the brigade for purging slaves [and] black skin.”

Gilligan reported from Tawergha, or rather from the remnants of the majority-black town, which he noted had “been emptied of its people, vandalized and partly burned by rebel forces.” A rebel leader said of the dark-skinned residents, “We said if they didn’t go, they would be conquered and imprisoned. Every single one of them has left, and we will never allow them to come back.”

Gilligan noted “a racist undercurrent. Many Tawargas, though neither immigrants nor Gaddafi’s much-ballyhooed African mercenaries, are descended from slaves, and are darker than most Libyans.”

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization assisted these virulently racist rebels in Misrata. NATO forces frequently launched air attacks on the city. French fighter jets shot down Libyan planes over Misrata. The US and UK fired cruise missiles at Libyan government targets, and the US launched Predator drone strikes. The Canadian air force also attacked Libyan forces, pushing them out of Misrata.

In a public relations video NATO published in May 2011, early in the Libya war, the Western military alliance openly admitted that it intentionally allowed “Libyan rebels to transport arms from Benghazi to Misrata.” Political scientist Micah Zenko (Foreign Policy3/22/16) pointed out the implications of this video: “A NATO surface vessel stationed in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo did exactly the opposite, and NATO was comfortable posting a video demonstrating its hypocrisy.”

Throughout the war and after, Libyan rebels continued carrying out racist sectarian attacks against their black compatriots. These attacks have been well documented by mainstream human rights organizations.

Human Rights Watch’s longtime executive director Kenneth Roth cheered on NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, calling the UN Security Council’s unanimous endorsement of a no-fly zone a “remarkable” confirmation of the so-called “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

Roth’s organization, however, could not ignore the crimes anti-Qadhafi militants committed against dark-skinned Libyans and migrants.

In September 2011, when the war was still ongoing, Human Rights Watch reported on Libyan rebels’ “arbitrary arrests and abuse of African migrant workers and black Libyans assumed to be [pro-Qadhafi] mercenaries.”

Then in October, the top US human rights organization noted that Libyan militias were “terrorizing the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawergha,” the majority-black community that had been a stronghold of support for Qadhafi. “The entire town of 30,000 people is abandoned—some of it ransacked and burned—and Misrata brigade commanders say the residents of Tawergha should never return,” HRW added. Witnesses “gave credible accounts of some Misrata militias shooting unarmed Tawerghans, and of arbitrary arrests and beatings of Tawerghan detainees, in a few cases leading to death.”

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In 2013, HRW reported further on the ethnic cleansing of the black community of Tawergha. The human rights organization, whose chief had so effusively supported the military intervention, wrote: “The forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture and killings are widespread, systematic and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity.”

These atrocities are undeniable, and they lead a path straight to the enslavement of African refugees and migrants. But to acknowledge NATO’s complicity in empowering these racist extremist militants, corporate media would have to acknowledge NATO’s role in the 2011 regime change war in Libya in the first place.

Article by Global Research

Patrice Lumumba- Congolese Warrior

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During his exile in the 1980s, Mr Holden Roberto – president of the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) – and one of his collaborators, visited me in my office at Howard University in Washington. In order to counter accusations (incidentally well-founded) levelled at his party, of colluding with American imperialism and selling out on their commitment to Pan-Africanism, my two visitors began by reciting in its entirety Patrice Emery Lumumba’s famous speech at the Congolese independence ceremony on 30th June 1960. This gesture – which strongly affected me – shows the attachment you still find across the whole African continent, even among its lost sheep, for this martyr for African nationalism and the struggles of oppressed peoples all over the world.

Rare are the African countries where one does not find streets, even main roads, named after Lumumba. Many African children born after his assassination have ‘Lumumba’ as their forename. The former executive secretary of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (2002-5) and president of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (2010-11) is called Patrick Lumumba, and his passion for change and eloquence recalls those qualities in his namesake.

These two references to the political heritage of Lumumba show how the assassination of this great African leader resonated – and continues to resonate – with Africans. In his excellent book, The Assassination of Lumumba, Belgian sociologist Ludo de Witte shows the significance of this particular assassination in the history of Western tactics against the anti-imperialist revolutions of the 20th Century – from Mossadegh’s Iran to Nasserist Egypt, Castro’s Cuba, Lumumba’s Congo and Sankara’s Burkina Faso.

It is in this context – the struggle between the interests of the international bourgeoisie and those of the popular masses – that we must understand the factors contributing to Lumumba’s assassination, its political consequences for Congo, and the place of this Congolese hero in the pantheon of universal defenders of the emancipation of peoples.

The assassination of Lumumba was the outcome of two conspiracies closely bound together with the American and Belgian governments, which relied on the complicity of certain Congolese leaders and a Belgian firing squad composed of soldiers and policemen under the Katanga puppet regime.

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Patrice Lumumba – the man and his political project

Who is Patrice Lumumba, and why was he so violently assassinated by the forces of counter-revolution? Born on 2nd July 1925 in Onalua, a small village in the region of Katako-Kombe, Lumumba received his education at primary school as well as among Belgian Catholic missionaries at Tshumbe Sainte-Marie and the famous Methodist mission in Wembo Nyama. He was not appreciated there, neither among the representatives of the colonial trinity (the State, big business, the Catholic Church) nor by the American missionaries – themselves fervent believers in the ideology of white supremacy prevalent in the Southern states of the USA, and too weak to contest colonial repression. An intellectually precocious pupil who rebelled against the thundering paternalism of the missionaries, the young Lumumba decided to leave Sankuru in 1944 without obtaining his certificate of study in order to spread his wings elsewhere. After several months in the region of Kindu, he would go on to pursue a career as a bureaucrat in Kisangani (then Stanleyville). It was during this long stay at Kisangani (1944-57) that Lumumba developed his characteristic traits; moral and intellectual integrity, immovability on points of principle, and exceptional bravery even in the face of death. As one of the members of the firing squad which killed him recalled, Lumumba maintained a glacial calm in front of the executioners.

At Kisangani, Lumumba distinguished himself as president, vice president, or secretary, of at least seven organisations of Congolese évolués – literally meaning ‘evolved people’, this term was used by the Belgian colonial establishment to distinguish a class of ‘Westernised’ blacks. An autodidact, with the exception of a year of professional training at the École Postale in Kinshasa (then Leopoldville), he succeeded in acquiring immense knowledge about the contemporary world through extensive, self-guided reading on politics and history. According to Thomas Kanza, his collaborator and biographer, Lumumba ‘read all that fell into his hands’. As leader, he was a convincing and effective representative for the Kisangani evolués, liaising with the governor of the province, the Belgian minister of the colonies, Auguste Buisseret, and the young king, Baudouin I, during his first visit to Congo in 1955. Still a believer in the idea of the Belgo-Congolese community, promulgated by amicales belgo-congolais, clubs comprising evolués and those Belgians open to a gradual process of integration, Lumumba was invited to Belgium for the first time in 1956.

Fearing his perspicacity and well-founded criticisms of colonial racism, the colonial authorities welcomed his return from Brussels with a charge of tax avoidance, followed by a sentence of two years in prison by a trial court in Kisangani. The public prosecutor, judging this punishment insufficient, made an appeal, but the court of appeal in Kinshasa confirmed the sentence of two years. This punishment was reduced to four months, which he had already served in preventative detention, followed by a royal order granting grace, signed on 27th August 1957.

If Kisangani had given him the political apprenticeship he needed to master the mysteries of organisation and political practice, these two experiences of Kinshasa, of the École Postale and his incarceration, contributed in a decisive way to the awakening of his political consciousness. During his training in postal service administration in 1948, Lumumba made a short visit to Brazzaville, on the right bank of the River Congo opposite Kinshasa. Thirsty from walking, he stopped outside a café with the hope of finding a waiter who would give him a glass of water. To his surprise, it was the European café patron who noticed him, and invited him to sit where the whites were seated and brought him, not tap water, but mineral water. For the sociologist Pierre Clément – for whom he would work as a research assistant four years later –here was the first time that Lumumba realised that another world was possible, habituated as he was to the system of apartheid practised in Belgian Congo. Reinvigorated by the model of assimilation among the French in Congo-Brazzaville – though the ‘card of civic merit’ in 1948 and formal registration in 1952 did not succeed in guaranteeing equality of access to jobs, medical treatment, housing, social services and recreation – an évolué Lumumba felt his long-cowed spirit emboldened enough to dream of a more beautiful country than Belgian Congo.

This dream of radical change would reinforce itself further during his months of incarceration, during which Lumumba had the occasion to lead a serious reflection on the future of Congo and to read the famous ‘Plan de trente ans pour l’émancipation politique de l’Afrique belge’ by A.A.J Van Bilsen, a little known professor at the Colonial University of Anvers, together with the two Congolese reactions to this document: first, ‘Manifeste de la Conscience Africaine’, the work of a group of catholic intellectuals represented by Joseph Ileo, Joseph Malula (future cardinal) and Joseph Ngalula; second, the counter-manifesto by l’Alliance des Bakongo (ABAKO), an ethnic association led by Joseph Kasavubu. After leaving prison, Lumumba installed himself in Kinshasa where, from 1957, he launched himself into the political struggle. Joining up with Ileo and Ngalula, he succeeded, in October 1958, in taking the leadership of the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC), a political organisation started up with the intention of eventually becoming a credible political party at the national level.

By a happy confluence of circumstances, the year 1958 ended with the emergence of Patrice Lumumba as one of the principal leaders in the struggle for independence. The turning point was the visit to Kinshasa by two east African leaders on their way to the first ‘Conference des peuples Africains’, held in Accra between the 5th and 13th December 1958. Concerned that a large country like Congo risked missing out on this great African rendez-vous, A.R. Mohamed Babu of Zanzibar and Tom Mboya of Kenya asked a hotel worker where they could find the political leaders of the emerging independence movement. The worker in question was very happy to bring about a meeting with Patrice Lumumba, then the commercial director of the Brasserie du Bas-Congo (Bracongo), which produced the beer Polar. Lumumba often offered this to clients, ostensibly for promotional purposes but often using this as an opportunity to awaken the clients’ political consciousness. Babu and Mboya were so impressed by Lumumba that they sent a telegram to the Pan African Freedom Movement for East and Central Africa (PAFMECA) asking for money to bring a Congolese delegation to Accra.

And so Patrice Lumumba, Gaston Diami and Joseph Ngalula accompanied Babu and Mboya to Accra, where Lumumba attracted the notice of the delegates at the conference, which brought together representatives from the 8 independent countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia) and those of the political parties, trade unions and other organisations of the civil society of the Pan-African world. There he met the leaders of national liberation movements such as Félix-Roland Moumié of the Union des Populations de Cameroun (UPC), Frantz Fanon of the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) of Algeria, and Amilcar Cabral of the Parti Africain pour L’independence de Guinéeet du Cap Vert (PAIGC), and he established strong working relationships with some great African leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Modibo Keita and Ahmed Sékou Touré.

On his return to Kinshasa, Lumumba organized a popular demonstration on Sunday 28th December to inform the Congolese population of the resolutions of the Accra conference and their implications for the independence movement in Congo. Following the refusal by the first Belgian mayor of Kinshasa to allow ABAKO to hold a similar meeting the following Sunday, 4th January 1959, the population of Kinshasa rose in a three-day rebellion which sounded the death knell for the Belgian colonial regime in Congo. “Indépendance immediate”, the slogan of protestors, became a non-negotiable demand in the struggle of the Congolese people for their total freedom. Instead of the thirty years suggested by Van Bilsen in 1956, independence was obtained in four. The mobilisation of the population by radical political parties like ABAKA and MNC-L was responsible for the erosion of legitimacy, as much as the repressive abilities, of the colonial regime. Lumumba benefited from this new situation by placing the MNC-L throughout all the provinces of the country, to the point that his party became the spearhead of the Congolese independence struggle.

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The assassination of Lumumba        

For more than 128 years, the US and Belgium played key roles in fashioning the destiny of the Congo. In April 1884, seven months after the opening of Congress in Berlin, the US became the first country in the world to recognise the claims of King Leopold of Belgium to the Congo basin territories. When the atrocities linked to the brutal economic exploitation of Congo led to millions of deaths, the US joined with other global powers to force Belgium to put an end to the status of Congo as a personal possession of King Leopold II and to give it the status of an ordinary colony. During the colonial period (1908- 60), the US saw Congo’s strategic advantage due to its abundant natural resources, above all its uranium, which was used to created the first atomic weapons, the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

With the launching of the Cold War, it was inevitable that Washington and her Western allies would not be disposed to give Africans control over their own strategically valuable natural resources, for fear that they would fall into the hands of their Soviet enemies. Because of this, Patrice Lumumba’s attempt to secure an authentic independence and to obtain effective control over the resources of Congo, with the aim of improving the living standards of our people, was seen as a threat to Western interests. In their fight against him, Washington and Brussels used all the tools and resources at their disposal, including the United Nations under Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld and his U.S. assistant Ralph Bunche, Lumumba’s Congolese political enemies, and his assassins.

In Congo, the assassination of Lumumba is, for good reason, considered the ‘original sin’ of the country. Occurring less than seven months after independence (30th June 1960), it was a stumbling block for ideals of national unity, economic independence, and the African solidarity for which Lumumba had advocated, as well as being a terrible blow to the hopes for freedom and material prosperity of millions of Congolese people. In place of this, the country was divided into four parts: the west of the country under the central government of Kinshasa; the north west under a rival central government led by Lumumba partisans; and the mining provinces of Katanga and Sud Kasaï under the secessionist regimes of Moïse Tshombe and Albert Kalonji, at Lumumbashi (Elisabethville) and Mbuji-Mayi (Bakwanga) respectively.

The neo-colonial regime of Kinshasa was born from the dismissal of Lumumba by president Kasavubu in 1960 and the coup d’etat of 14th September by which colonel Joseph-Desiré Mobutu claimed to neutralise both protagonists of the institutional crisis. Based on an obscure article of ‘La Loi Fondamentale’, the temporary constitution bequeathed to Congo by Belgium, this action ran contrary to all the political conventions of a parliamentary system where the prime minister enjoys a majority in parliament. This was the case with Lumumba: the two chambers rejected Kasavubu’s action as invalid. The Western puppet-masters understood then that there would have to be a military intervention to remove Lumumba from power, and Mobutu had already been making preparations to this end from the beginning of the Congolese crisis in July. A former ally of Prime Minister Lumumba, he was at the same time linked to the forces of the counter-revolution as an informer for the Belgian and American security services.

It was this man who became the real master of Kinshasa, in his role as head of the Binza Group. So-labelled because its members lived and met up in the well-off residential district of Binza, this powerful clique drew its power from its members’ influence over crucial institutions and politicians; the army (Mobutu); the police (Victor Nendaka); the ministry of foreign affairs (Justin Bomkoko), the ministry of the interior (Damien Kandolo), the Central Bank (Albert Ndele). These individuals worked in close collaboration with Prime Minister Cyrille Adoula and President Kasavabu, and no important decision could be taken by these last two without the approval of the Binza group, the hub of neocolonialism in Congo.

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The secessions of Katanga and Sud Kasaï

Of these two secessions, that of Sud Kasaï is the lesser-known one yet it also played an important role in the political and physical assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Proclaimed on 8th August 1960 in Lumumbashi, the Sud Kasaï secession forged close links with its Katangan counterpart, siding with the interests of international high finance and the counter-revolution, with La Societé Diamantifère Forminière in Kasaï playing the same role – of money-lender – that the Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (UMHK) played in Katanga. The smaller secession took place as the Lumumba administration was receiving logistical assistance from the Soviet Union in order to fight a war against the secession in Katanga, due to the refusal of UN Secretary General Dag Hammerskjöld to allow the Security Council to perform its remit of helping the Congolese government expel the Belgian forces and white mercenaries and put an end to the secession. The soldiers of the National Congolese Army (ANC) en route to Katanga received the order to put an end to the small secession of Sud Kasaï before crossing the border. Unfortunately, the undisciplined soldiers committed atrocious massacres against innocent civilians, including close to a thousand men, women and children who believed themselves safe from danger in the sanctuary of the Catholic Cathedral of Mbuju-Mayi (today Bakwanga).

Dag Hammarskjöld defined these killings as ‘genocide’ against the Luba and pointed the finger at Prime Minister Lumumba. Aside from the fact that the atrocities committed in Sud Kasaï did not correspond to the definition of genocide in international law, these odious crimes were not the sole responsibility of the head of government, but of the entire chain of command: the superior officers on the ground; the Chief of Staff, Mobutu; Prime Minister Lumumba; and President Kasavubu, in his capacity as supreme commander of the armed forces. As such, neither Hammerskjöld nor Kasavabu had any justification either for accusing Lumumba of genocide, or for illegally dismissing him when the responsibility for this incident was largely a collective one.

The capital of Sud Kasaï would be baptised ‘la boucherie’, because it was the chosen site for the summary execution of Lumumbists whom the neo-colonial regime of Kinshasa wanted to destroy. The most famous among the victims is without doubt Jean-Pierre Finant (1922-61), the first democratically-elected governor of the eastern province, of which Kisangani is the capital. Of mixed Belgo-Congolais descent and father of the famous Congolese singer Abeti Masikini (Betty Finant, 1954-94), he was executed on 17th February 1961, exactly one month after the assassination of Lumumba, with eleven companions, including Jacques Lumbala (a former colleague of Mobutu), Emmanuel Nzuzi and Jacques Fataki. As in the case of Lumumba, who was handed over to Katangan secessionists, the Binza group saw no contradiction between collaborating with the secessionist regimes which it needed to destroy, and assassinating their common enemies, the Lumumbists.

The secession of Sud-Kasaï collapsed through its internal contradictions, mainly due to the struggle for power between Joseph Ngalula and Albert Kalonji, who was proclaimed Mulopwe or emperor of the Luba-Kasaï, a people who had never been under the leadership of a single leader since leaving their ancestral birthplace in Katanga in the 18th century. Having returned to Kinshasa to become minister of education for the central government, Ngalula plotted with the Binza group to destroy Kalonji and bring an end to the secession. This came about in September 1962, following an armed revolt under the direction of Kalonji’s Chief of Staff.

Contrary to the Sud-Kasaï secession, where the internal dimension was as crucial to its failure as it was to its birth; in light of the Lulua-Baluba conflict and its poor management – by first, the Belgians, later, Lumumba – the external factor was a defining one in Katanga. As Jean Ziegler aptly described it in his work La contre revolution en Afrique, in its progression towards the south of the continent, the African national liberation movement hit the wall of counter-revolution, whereby the white colonists, mining companies and their right-wing allies in the West, banded together to defend their privileges. Then, from Katanga to the Cape of Good Hope, the white counter-attack manifested itself in the creation of states controlled by white colonists, either directly, as in the case of South Africa, in Namibia and in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyassaland, indirectly through the colonial state (Angola and Mozambique), or via a puppet government of paid-up blacks (Katanga). The essential continuity was that all these regimes succeeded in defending and promoting the interests of colonialists and of the corporations that sought to maximise their profits through the exploitation of badly-paid and quiescent labour. In the context of the cold war, the counter-revolution had no problem in inserting itself in the hegemonic discourse of Western values, Christian and democratic, which excluded communism, atheism and authoritarianism.

Well before the Rhodesian colonialist Ian Smith signed his ‘internal settlement’ with Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Pastor Ndabaningi and Chief Jeremiah Chirau in Zimbabwe, another agreement had already been negotiated in Congo, between the Conféderation des associations tribales de Katanga (CONAKAT) of Moïse Tshombe and Godefroid Munongo, the UMHK and the Union Katangaise – an association representing white colonialists – to allow Katanga to secede from Congo and become an independent state. In this sense, CONAKAT was just a way of giving voice to the interests of white colonialists through African mouths. Without the financial support of the UMHK, the military and technical support of Belgium, and the management of administrative and economic structures by the colonialists, Katanga could not survive as a political entity. Moreover, the secession relied on considerable external support; not only from Belgium, but also from France, the United Kingdom, and the US. In the country of Uncle Sam, the Katangan secession enjoyed solid backing in reactionary circles – lobbyists for the cause included influential senators Barry Goldwater of Arizona (a radical conservative), Thomas Dodd of Connecticut (a Democrat reprimanded by the Senate for corruption), and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina (a notorious racist, despite having fathered a daughter with a black woman).

Following on from the assassination of Lumumba, the Katangan lobby in the US and Europe lost its influence with the key deciders such as John F. Kennedy and Paul-Henri Spaak, the Belgian minister of Foreign Affairs. These men understood that in the context of the Cold War, the territorial integrity of Congo was more useful to the West than a secessionist province which would continue to sow dissent across Africa and in the Third World in general, in turn raising difficult questions about the West’s responsibility for the death of Lumumba. Besides, these deciders no longer perceived a great threat to the economic and strategic interests of the West in Central Africa, given the physical elimination of Lumumba and the marginalization of Lumumbists after Lovanium. It is within this context that Kennedy would give the green light for the UN to put an end to the secession with force. Taking place on 29th November 1962, the UN intervention succeeded, with an agreement of capitulation signed by Tshombe on 17 January 1983. Ironically, the restoration of national unity to which Lumumba had given his life was realised by the interests of the imperial powers and their puppets in the neo-colonial regime in Kinshasa.

These efforts succeeded in putting an end to the Lumumbist regime of Kisangani in August 1961, to the secession of Sud-Kasaï in September 1962 and to that of Katanga in January 1963. The end of these three regimes would consecrate the rise of General Mobutu and his clique, the Binza Group.

Lumumba’s Legacy

Hardly had this process of unification finished before a radical social movement pronouncing a ‘second independence’ rose up to contest the neo-colonial state in Kinshasa and its pro-Western leaders. This mass movement brought together peasants, workers, the urban unemployed and students, alongside low and mid-ranking officials, who found an enthusiastic leadership among the former lieutenants of Patrice Lumumba, of which the majority had reformed to create the Conseil National de Libération (CNL) in October 1963 in Brazzaville.

Divided on the field into two wings – the Kwilu front, led by Pierre Mulele, and the Eastern front under Christopher Gbenye, Gaston Soumialot and Laurent-Desiré Kabila – the strengths and weaknesses of the movement can be used to gauge the global heritage of Patrice Lumumba, for Congo and the whole of Africa. The most positive aspect of this legacy is reflected in Pierre Mulele’s dedication to a radical program of change to satisfy the deep aspirations of the Congolese people for democracy and social progress. On the other hand, the Lumumbists of the Eastern front were more interested in power, and the privileges it conferred, than in genuine social change. In the latter case, it was all rhetoric and no action. In effect, the challenge for all those who want to follow in the footsteps of Lumumba is to make the leap from words into action.

A struggle that is far from over…

According to unconfirmed reports, Walter Kansteiner – US Secretary of State for African Affairs under George W. Bush, between June 2001 and November 2003 – designed a plan for the division of Congo into four countries. The justification for such a Balkanisation would be that, in its present dimensions, the country is too large and ungovernable. For the extreme right of the US Republican Party, and those with interests in the resources of tropical Africa – as is the case with the family business W.H Kansteiner, Inc of Chicago – this would facilitate access to resources, and make their transfer to outside markets easier. Besides, if Rwanda and Uganda could play the role of facilitator, why not?

For those nostalgic for the ‘White Man’s Burden’, and their lackeys in Africa, the reality is that their project for the recolonization of Congo will always stumble against the determination of the Congolese people to defend their unity, their national patrimony, and the territorial integrity of their homeland. The legacy of Patrice Lumumba, Pierre Lulele, André Kisase Ngandu and so many other martyrs brings women, men and children to shout “No” to balkanization and “Yes” to a “United Congo, a strong nation.” Just as the progressive leaders of the struggle for independence chanted this slogan on the eve of the achievement of sovereignty – united and nationalistic men and women of integrity – the real children of Lumumba continue to defend, against the odds, the greater interests of the Congolese nation.

Article by Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

What’s the real story behind Boko Haram in Nigeria?

Nigerian Girls
There’s been a lot of talk about these kidnapped girls in Nigeria. And what is Boko Haram? Now America wants to go in and “help” resolve the situation. Really?? What’s the real truth?

However, there many dots left to be joined together to find the truth;
•In December 2011 an Algerian based CIA wing gave out 40 million Naira as a planned Long term partnership with boko haram with PLEDGE TO DO MORE.
•On June 29, 2009 a United States cable leaked by wikileaks showed that the CIA public predicted the onslaught of deadly terrorist attack by boko haram, i.e even 2 months before Bokoharam started terrorist actions.
•Disregarding advices from experts the us armed Saudi Arabia who in turned armed Libyan rebels that in turn armed Malian rebels and Boko Haram, a chain tactically predicted by the CIA. US=>SA=>LIBYA=>BOKO HARAM.
•Spy files a wikileak document indicates that SS8 a surveillance company in the us was producing viruses(Trojans) that hijack individual computer and phones (iPhone,blackberry,android etc), take over the device, record its every use, movement,GPS info and even sights and sounds in the room it is in. This software was however bought by the and used as tools by the CIA in its eavesdropping games on Nigerian politicians, thus detecting corrupt practices. As good as that may sound, but whichever politician refused to hijack policies in favor of the US was made to face financial espionage or “corruption charges”.
•It is however remarkably outstanding or rather coincidental how Nigerian SSS agents personal information,including address,bank information,mobile numbers,etc were leaked and published on the web when the sss where jointly working with the CIA to gather intelligence boko haram thus compromising the identity/security of the agents as well as that of their family.
•it is also important to note the “miraculous escape of kabiru Sokoto” from a secret top security facility whose location was known to the CIA.

In the aftermath of the unfortunate bombings and sporadic attacks that took place in Damaturu the Yobe State capital and environs on the last Sallah Day, the Embassy of the United States in Nigeria hastily put out a public statement declaring that such like bombings should be expected in three well known hospitality establishments in Abuja the nation’s capital.
To discerning observers not only did that score high marks for bad manners as that was hardly what a nation still grieving and coming to terms with its losses expected from a supposedly friendly nation, but that the US embassy was being economical with information on what it actually knew about the incident, and more significantly, the role the US government itself has been playing in the whole gamut of acts of destabilization against Nigeria.
We have already been regaled with reports provided by the Wikileaks which identified the US embassy in Nigeria as a forward operating base for wide and far reaching acts of subversion against Nigeria which include but not limited to eavesdropping on Nigerian government communication, financial espionage on leading Nigerians, support and funding of subversive groups and insurgents, sponsoring of divisive propaganda among the disparate groups of Nigeria and the use of visa blackmail to induce and coerce high ranking Nigerians into acting in favor of US interests.
But beyond what we know from the Wikileaks report, what many Nigerians do not know is that US embassy’s subversive activities in Nigeria fits into the long term US government’s well camouflaged policy of containment against Nigeria the ultimate goal of which is to eliminate Nigeria as a potential strategic rival to the US in the African continent.

Today as Nigerians are reeling from the negative effects of the insurgency that has befallen our dear country and earnestly seeking answers to what all this portends for the future, the GREENWHITE COALITION a citizen’s watchdog can reveal the true nature of this silent, undeclared war of attrition waged against Nigeria by the Government of United States of America.
ACRI stands for Africa Crises Response Initiative and it was set up during the Bush Jnr Administration as a counterweight to the Nigeria led ECOWAS Monitoring Group on the Liberian Civil War or ECOMOG as it is more popularly known. ACRI came to being from the secret reports and recommendations separately by the Africa-America Institute and the Brookings Institute commissioned by the Central Intelligence Agency, the American Government’s Directorate responsible for organizing foreign subversive activities, on the Liberian civil war and the intervention of ECOMOG.

Both reports zeroed in on the pivotal role Nigeria was playing in the ECOMOG initiative and noted pointedly the phenomenal success recorded by ECOMOG in containing the Liberian crisis without any significant role or intervention from any of the major western powers including the United States. The report concluded that should ECOMOG be allowed to go the whole hog, the major beneficiary will be Nigeria and that might form the basis for a pax Nigeriana in the West African sub-region eclipsing the influence of former colonial powers France and Britain. The reports also called on the United States Government to note that Liberia being its creation should not be allowed to fall into Nigerian hands with consequences to US strategic interests in the country and the region.

Specifically both reports noted that should Nigeria be allowed to have a foothold in Liberia, it will further embolden Nigeria to challenge the US and the West in carving its own sphere of interest at their expense. In this regard, the report further recalled Nigeria’s role in helping to liberate the southern African countries in the 70’s and 80’s in clear opposition and defiance to the interests of the United States and its western allies which resulted in setback for Western initiatives in Africa at the time. Both concluded with a recommendation that the US Government in conjunction with its allies should seek to contain the growing influence of Nigeria in the sub-region by forming a parallel organization to ECOMOG. But in order not to unduly alarm and antagonize Nigeria which the report admitted still had considerable influence in the region, the US government was advised to go about this using quiet diplomacy.
During the secret congressional hearing organized to consider the reports by both institutes on Nigeria’s role in the ECOMOG, the inter agency team comprising representatives from the CIA, Pentagon and State Department formed to push the case, endorsed the recommendation that Nigeria be kept out of the alternate arrangements on Liberia that was being proposed. The strategy was to win away some key African countries from participation enthusiastically in the ECOMOG initiative. The sweeteners for this were the promise and delivery of military and humanitarian aid. This was the line the then US Secretary of State Warren Christopher pursued when he visited a number of African countries excluding Nigeria to sell the ACRI idea. Thus ensued, the stalemate in ECOMOG operations with some of the participating countries foot dragging in their commitment to the force and operations. On the diplomatic front, the US along with its allies namely Britain and France using the engineered stalemate as cover, proceeded to sell the idea that the ECOMOG initiative needed to be reviewed and given a new direction. The US and its allies then argued that the intervention of outside powers such as the US and its western allies was the tonic needed to move the ECOMOG operation forward. But in order to prevent any worldwide backlash against this blatant interference in what should be a regional African initiative, the US and its allies sought to present it under the auspices of the United Nations with a select Asian and Latin American countries participating.

By the time the tallies were counted, the US had achieved the one objective of all the diplomatic and strategic maneuvers; the containment of Nigeria led ECOMOG initiative to resolve the Liberian Crises. It was on the platform of this surreptitious American intervention in the Liberian crisis that the US Africa Command or AFRICOM was formed. African Crises Response Initiative and the new African Security (Dis)order {AJPS} Unlike its precursor, the ACRI which sought to disguise US intentions in Africa particularly as it pertains to Nigeria under the cloak of multilateral humanitarian intervention, AFRICOM which came to being on October 1, 2008 is clearly programmed to serve US military-strategic interests especially with regards to the ever expanding global reach and influence of China in direct competition with the United States. In response to the growing influence of a rapidly expanding industrial China in Africa, the goal of AFRICOM is to seize key strategic areas in Africa and bring them under US control in order to block China’s access to vital energy and mineral resources for its expanding economy. But to effectively carry this out, such African countries of strategic importance must first of all be weakened internally and made to feel so vulnerable that they would have to inevitably seek US protection or intervention. A spur to this interventionist programme provides that any targeted African country that does not see the wisdom or resists the need to seek US “protection” will then have to suffer dismemberment with the pliant area carved out of the supposedly hostile area and given US“protection”. We have seen this happen in the great lakes area where US Special Forces have been deployed ostensibly to protect the countries there from so-called insurgents who in the first place were sponsored by the same US.
In Sudan we have seen how a blanket cover of international humanitarian cries orchestrated by the United States on the so-called Darfur crisis served as a prelude to the dismemberment of Sudan to punish the government of El-Bashir for daring to conclude oil deals with the Chinese to the detriment of American companies. We have also seen how Libya and Gaddafi was put to the sword for daring to sidetrack American oil interests.
But the greatest prize for AFRICOM and its goal to plant a PAX AMERICANA in Africa would be when it succeeds in the most strategic African country, NIGERIA. This is where the raging issue of BOKO HARAM and the widely reported prediction by the United States Intelligence Council on the disintegration of Nigeria by 2015 comes into perspective.
US Military
Nigeria
The seemingly intractable nature of the Boko Haram outrage has prompted a lot of questions from Nigerians. What really is this Boko Haram thing and what are their grievances if any? Why have they chosen to remain faceless in spite of the devastating effects of their activities on the psyche of the nation, and entreaties from Nigerian authorities to come forward for negotiations? Why are they able to perpetrate their attacks with relative ease and why has there not been a single clue at the scene of their acts to lead to them?
For sure, Nigerians are not unused to sectarian violence. But the ones we have witnessed in this country have been predictable and the modus and fault lines have been well known to the authorities who have always done well to keep them within tolerable limits.
The Boko Haram of Mohammed Yussuf which predated this new one can be so categorized and was well known through its operations, leadership and locations.

But how did a ragtag collection of largely half literate unsophisticated persons operating mostly on Okada transform literally overnight to being able to design, manufacture and deploy bombs in buildings and in vehicles costing in excess of a million naira and carry out attacks in several locations around the country???
How have their reach grown from just a corner of Nigeria to virtually everywhere in the country? For them to be able to mount such a sophisticated operation, they must necessarily have a well structured command and control system which in spite of their best efforts at concealment cannot remain undetected for long. So how have they seemingly defied the best efforts of combined security agencies in the country in detecting and foiling their activities?
The GREENWHITE Coalition can reveal that the current Boko Haram campaign is a covert operation organized by the American Central Intelligence Agency, CIA and coordinated by the American Embassy in Nigeria.For some time now, the CIA has been running secret training and indoctrination camps along the porous and vulnerable borderlands of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. At these camps youths from poor, deprived and disoriented backgrounds are recruited and trained to serve as insurgents. The agents who supply these youth lure them with the promise of better life and work of Allah and further indoctrinated to believe they are working to install a just Islamic order from the ungodly one that currently holds sway in Nigeria.
The American CIA program officers of this project prudently remain in the background, living the day to day running of the camps to supervisors of Middle Eastern origin specially recruited for this purpose. After several months of indoctrination and training on weapons handling, survival tactics, surveillance and evasion techniques, the insurgents are now put on stand by for the next phase of the operation.
The next phase of the operations involves the identification and selection of the targets which had already been mapped out by the American Embassy. If buildings are the targets for attack, the weapons and technical equipment to be used are kept in safe houses.
The countdown to the attack involves ferrying of the insurgents and quarantine at safe houses for the H hour. After the attack, in the ensuing panic, the insurgents make their escape into safe houses to dispose the weapons and disappear and dissolve later into the local population. The technical angle of sending out e-mails and messages of responsibility for the attack to the media in the name of Boko Haram is done through secure telecoms equipment by the American programmers of the operation which can hardly be traced.
If the selected target is to be bombed by an IED, the building is cased for days and the devise inserted when security is lax. The devise is then detonated by an in-built timing mechanism or by a hand held detonator some distance away from where the bomb is placed. If on the hand, the attack is to be carried out by a suicide bomber, the person to carry it out would have been severely drugged with CIA manufactured LSD to disorientation. In his state of mind he would have no clue as to what he is programmed to do having been turned into a veritable human robot.
It is neither a coincidence nor guesswork that the National Intelligence Council of the United States Government estimated that Nigeria will disintegrate by the year 2015. The whole report actually is a coded statement of intentions on how using destabilization plots the US plans to eventually dismember Nigeria.
The whole goal of the destabilization campaign is to ensure that Nigeria is weakened internally by intractable crises leading up to 2015 when the next general elections are expected to come up. By that year there will be so much mutual suspicion among Nigerians that the elections itself might not hold or if they did at all will set the stage for a full rapture of the Nigerian state. By its calculation and design, the Nigerian state will be so fractious by then; it will be fully ripe for intervention and break up. It is in actualization of this plan that the US strategic planners on Nigeria have devised a three stage plan of implementation.
For more on this article go to The African Renaissance News.