First came colonialism, then independence, and now, conflict. At all these stages, there has been some foreign country’s involvement. Since the time of independence, African countries have been involved in the struggle of self-government after colonialism. To make matters worse, the sovereignty which we gained through the bloodshed of ancestors seems to have little recognition by the world’s super powers whose intervention caused a number of conflicts.
Today in Kenya, there seems to have appeared some evidence that USAID provided funding to opposition supporters to topple Uhuru Kenyatta. To make matters worse, the ICC which for some reason seems to have some beef with African leaders is charging the President with crimes against humanity. Look who is talking about crimes against humanity!
Let’s look back a few years, to an African country, maybe Congo, at the time of independence. Within just twelve weeks of being elected Prime Minister of Congo Republic, Lumumba was totally and brutally removed and wasted (links to blog, watch snippet from movie). A while after that another leader, our very own Nkrumah was overthrown by a coup backed by the CIA (Nkrumah overthrow). Much later came the story of Gaddafi of Libya who was shot by opposition forces with the help of the USA and the French , the same countries that went to Rwanda and observed massacre of Tutsis without intervening since they did not want to meddle in “internal affairs”. Our beef with them is why they keep meddling in the affairs of the sovereign nations of Africa, many times to our detriment. Look at Mobutu Sese Seko whom they backed, he became a dictator par excellence.
Is it for nothing that foreign powers decided to intervene in the countries that they did? There must have been reasons why they entered these countries and acted in their own interest against the sovereignty of these nations. We believe their end game as a capitalist nation is continued access to resources in these countries (uranium, gold, oil etc), access which may be limited by socialism.
Upon a closer look at all our examples, leaders who had socialist inclinations were removed from power. The same beef they had with Russia and now China they seemed to have against our leaders. Some of these leaders were also too extreme for their part and their actions created feelings of dissatisfaction in the people which could easily be stirred up and polarize countries, providing the perfect excuse or create an opening for foreign intervention. Foreign powers used a few of the discontent people (through bribes and promises) to unseat governments.
Why can’t we just say no to them? Maybe we were left in so poor and dependent a state that we cannot fend for ourselves without their aid. Maybe we just need to learn to survive without them. So many conditions are tied in with aid including good governance structures which are presented to us as the ideal form of government. These are actually tools for maintaining control over us. How? With democracy comes legitimate opposition and this presents itself as an opening for foreign funded and backed campaigns to remove government as we see in Kenya. So even the concept of democracy seems like the best but it creates the avenue for opposition to be created. In overthrowing Nkrumah, the CIA used the US embassy as a tool for intervention. In Libya, a French spy was alleged to have shot Gaddafi after penetrating the oppositions forces.
Looking into the future, at Africa in a few decades, are we ever going to be a step ahead? We could create an illusion of an opposition party that actually exists to strengthen the interest of the country, one that cannot be influenced by external layers to incite rebellion.
We need strong leaders who will not be too extreme as to create ill feelings that others will capitalize on. Rather they should drill true patriotism into people and help them see things from a common perspective and let them know that it is what they need to literally have a united, peaceful Africa
By Kevin Eshun & Kafui Vorgbe