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John Dolva

Africa Unite

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I hope so.

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After Gaddafi, who is next in Africa?

......Gaddafi will be remembered not only as a man who killed thousands of Libyans, but also as a man who funded the murder of many Africans in Chad, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Burkina Faso in the name of "fighting against imperialism." Let us not forget that in 1979 he unsuccessfully helped Ugandan savage, Idi Amin, to dodge the wrath of Tanzanians.

As we contemplate the demise of Gaddafi's regime, the question is: who is next in Africa?

Today, Africa suffers from Gaddafism, a chronic pandemic in which a leader stays in power forever, thinking that he owns the people and the country; imprison and kills his opponents, plunders his country's wealth, and prepares his children or cronies to take over after him. This is what is killing Africa!

Consider the following list of leaders and their years in power: Angolan Eduardo dos Santos (32), Equatorial Guinean Teodoro Nguema (32), Zimbabwean Robert Mugabe (31), Cameroonian Paul Biya (29), Ugandan Yoweri Museveni (25), Burkinabe Blaise Compaoré (24), Sudanese Omar al-Bashir (22), Chadian Idris Déby (21), and Congolese Denis Sassou Nguesso whose two terms total 27 years so far.

I don't have to mention the leaders of Eritrea, Gambia and Ethiopia who have 18, 17 and 16 respectively. We also have those who in principle, inherited power from their fathers, such as Togolese Faure Gnassingbe and Gabonese Ali Bongo, each pair of the father-son presidency totaling 44 years so far.

Not done yet! We still have more, some of whom are seemingly preparing their sons to take over such as Senegalese Abdoulaye Wade and Ugandan Museveni, and Malawian Bingu wa Mutharika who wants his sibling to inherit him. How about those countries in which a group of "chosen elites" hide behind the ruling party's image, ethnic groups or religious faiths, so as to rule others forever?

We may have plenty of Gaddafis, and undoubtedly, we need to get rid of them, if not today then tomorrow. We cannot afford to remain at the bottom of the world forever! Africans wake up! We don't have to wait for the United Nations to send Nato to us!

Edited by William Kelly

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http://allafrica.com...1109070038.html

Africa is, it seems to me, flexing her muscles. And after all we've done for her !!!

You don't have to read very far to understand that the person who wrote this - saying stuff like the "recent invasion of Libya," and "the unholy alliance"

and "the manufacture of war to grab resources," indicates that they are mouthing leftist cliches - as no one invaded or is occupying Libya,

and the revolution was not "manufactured" but was sparked by civil unrest and is still spreading.

Nor do they once mention that Africa is a political failure - not because Europe carved it up at a Berlin conference,

but because most of Africa is run by dictators who have been in power for decades and soak their country for all its worth.

Maybe the Arab revolt will eventually get to the sub Sahara, but the removal of the tyrants allied with foreign interests is a prerequisite before colonial control

can be removed and control over resources can be accomplished.

BK

Revolutionaryprogram.blogspot.com

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Norman, I read this and its a rehash of the same leftist junk that keeps getting repeated over and over and its just not true. I read it like I read all reports regarding the revolution and especially Libya to see if there's anything new or if I am missing something that would change my mind, but its the same old crap. And its wrong.

BILL KELLY RESPONDS TO CHARLES ABUGRE IN CAPS.

The invasion of Libya has little to do with protecting civilians, all to do with strategic interests and is a wicked blow to Africa, argues Charles Abugre.

The belief that time heals, hasn't manifested itself in how a lot of Africans feel about the NATO-led invasion of Libya six-months into the Western siege of thatcountry.

THERE HAS BEEN NO INVASION OF LIBYA. NO INVASION BY FOREIGN FORCES, NO OCCUPATION BY FOREIGN FORCES.

Contrary to the false pretences of protecting civilians, it is now clear that the purpose of the invasion is regime change.

INDEED THE ORIGINAL PRETENCE OF PROTECTING CIVILIANS FROM A MECHANIZED ARMY THAT WAS KILLING CIVILIANS ULTIMATELY LED TO THE GOAL OF REGIME CHANGE, AND WAS SUCCESSFUL.

The aim of the bombs that are killing people and laying Tripoli to waste

NATO BOMBS DID NOT LAY TRIPOLI TO WASTE, AS THEY WERE VERY PRECISE AND ONLY HIT COMMAND AND CONTROL AND MILITARY TARGETS. TRIPOLI IS BACK AND BEING SECURED BY MANY OF THE OLD REGIME.

is for one purpose only, to help a rebel group they formed and armed

NATO DID NOT FORM ANY REBEL GROUPS, WHICH WERE/ARE COMPOSED NOT OF PROFESSIONAL SOLDIERS BUT WORKERS, TEACHERS AND ORDINARY CITIZENS, AND ARMED BY REGIME GUNS AND THE FRENCH.

to overthrow the Colonel Gaddafi regime.

WHO AND WHAT GAVE GADHAFI THE RIGHT TO OWN A COUNTRY AND CREATE A POLICE STATE TO MAINAIN POWER FOR OVER FOUR DECADES? YOU?

The air bombardments were initiated in the false expectation that once bombs start falling in Tripoli, Libyans in Tripoli will rise up against Gaddafi and in this murky situation, the armed group will march in from Benghazi and take power.

THAT WAS THE EXPECTATION, BUT THE BENGHAI BRIGADE COULDN'T GET PAST GADHAFI'S HOMETOWN OF SIRTE, AND THE REBELS IN THE NAFUSA MOUNTAINS WERE THE ONES TO REACH TRIPOLI, WHICH HAD ALREADY BEEN LIBERATED BY REBELS INSIDE THE CITY.THIS IS NOW HISTORY

As time goes by, the strategy gets desperate.

AS TIME GOES BY, THE DESPERATION IS BEING FELT BYGADHAFI AND HIS FAMILY ANDLOYALISTS.

It has now become "anything to kill or oust Gaddafi and his sons will do".

THEY ARE TRYING TO CAPTURE GADHAFI ALIVE TO STAND TRIAL FOR HIS CRIMES, AS THE LIBYAN REBELS SAY THEY ARE CREATING A DEMOCRACY OF LAWS.

This is reminiscent of the 1960s when the same actors used not so dissimilar tactics to overthrow governments they didn'tlike.

YES, AH, THE SIXTIES, GUATEMALA, IRAN, CUBA, VIETNAM, COUPS AND ASSASSINATIONS ON BEHALF OF FRIENDLY DICTATORS.BUT THAT POLICY IS NOW OUT THE WINDOW AND USA, FRANCE AND UK ARE SUPPORTING THE DEMOCRACT REVOLUTIONS SWEEPING THE REGION, AND MAYBE SOMEDAY THE WORLD.

The plan failed, which is why six months into the carnage, Gaddafi still pops out of the hole he is hiding in to scream insultsat his invaders.

THERE WAS NO PLAN, UNTIL AFTER THE REVOLUTION BEGAN, AND WENT FROM A NON-VIOLENT PROTESTS TO THE ART OF WAR – THE REVOULTION WON WITH THE HELP OF NATO AIR SUPERIORITY, AND GADHAFI LOST AND CAN POP OUT OF HIS HOLE AND SCREAM INSULTS ALL HE WANTS. THERE ARE NO INVADERS AND THE DESERT RATS ARE THE LIBYAN PEOPLE.

The invasion was planned and the opportunity toexecute it was highly propitious

THERE WAS NO INVASION, THE REVOLUTION WAS PLANNED BY A YOUNG MANIN TUNISIA WHO KILLED HIMSELF AND NO ONE KNEW OR PREDICTED IT WOULD HAPPEN THE WAY IT IS GOING DOWN.

The invasion was planned. In the case of the US involvement, as far back as George Bush Junior's"war on the axis of evil".

GEORGE BUSH WAS IN BED WITH GADHAFI, GADHAFI LOVED CONDI RICE AND HAD HER IN HIS TENT, GADHAFI WAS BUSH'S MAN, AND IT WAS NOT IN US INTEREST TO HAVE HIM OVERTHROWN BECAUSE HE SUPPORTED US WAR AGAINST AL QAEDA. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

In the case of the French, active planning mayhave been since October 2010.

THE FEMALE FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER WAS IN TUNISIA WHEN THE REVOLUTION BEGAN AND MADE LONG TERM PERSONAL FINANCIAL DEALS WITH THE DICTATOR WHO WAS SHORTLY THEREAFTER REMOVED FROM POWER BY THE PEOPLE, AND THE FRENCH WERE SO EMBARRASED BY THIS THAT THEY HAVE CHANGED THEIR ENTIRE NATIONAL FOREIGN POLICY IN REGARDS TO SUCH DICTATORS. READ THE NEWS, NOT JUST PROPAGANDA.

The planning most likely included, ensuring that weapons and forces were in the ready in Benghazi when the moment came.

THE PEOPLE OF BENGHAZI ROSE UP ON FEBRUAY 17 AFTER THE ARREST OF ALAWYER WHO REPRESENTED THE FAMLIES OF THE OVER 1000 POLITICAL PRISONERS EXECUTED BY GADHAFI IN ONE DAY. THEY OBTAINED THEIR SMALL ARMS BY STORMING A MILITARY BASE.

This is why the civil protest in Benghazi, which started in a similar manner as theTunisian and Egyptian uprisings of unarmed civilians turned into an armed rebellion in two days,

IT TURNED INTO AN ARMED REBELLION AFTER THEGADHAFI FORCES BEGAN KILLING THE PROTESTERS.

and in less than a month, the NATO/French invasionhad began. This incredible speed of events is far from spontaneous.

THE NATO AIR ATTACKS ONLY BEGAN AFTER GADHAFI'S ARMY BLITZRIGGED ACROSS THE COAST ROAD KILLING THOUSANDS, AND ONLY AFTER THE UN, THE ARAB LEAGUE AND NATO ALL RECOGNIZED THE THREAT OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS BEING KILLED WOULD BE THE RESULT IF THEY DIDN'T ACT. THE SAME THING IS HAPPENING TODAY IN SYIRA, BUT NATO CAN'T ACT WITHOUT UN AND AL SUPPORT.

That there are British, Dutch, French and ItalianSpecial Forces among others, on the ground not just in Benghazi but all over the country is neither debatablenor denied.

IN 1805 THE TYRANT OF TRIPOLI YOUSEF KARAMANI CAPITULATED AFTER THE US NAVY BLOCKED THE HARBOR, BOMBARDED THE FORT AND US COUNSEL TO EGYPT WILLIAM EATON AND SGT. PRESLEY O'BANNON AND EIGHT US MARINES CAPTUED THE EASTERN PORT CITY OF DERNA WITH A RAGTAG ARMY OF ARAB VOLUNTEERS.IT DOESN'T TAKE AN ARMY IF YOU HAVE SUCH SPECAL OPS SOLDIERS AND PLAN ON LIBERATION NOT OCCUPATION. AND THEY DIDN'T DO IT IN 1804 FOR OIL. FOR MORE SEE: REMEMBERTHEINTREPID.BLOGSPOT.COM

We know that from the reports of the British media and from the clumsy ways in which The Netherlands and Britain sought to introduce their Special Forces daysinto the insurgency. Recall the helicopter full of British Special Forces thatlanded in the middle of the rebel troops who promptly captured and displayed them before realizing that they were "friendly forces". Days later,the Dutch were even clumsier. They ended up being captured by the Gaddafi forces who, displayed them before the world's media and then released them.

THEY DIDN'T JUST RELEASE THEM, THE REBELS SENT THEM HOME PACKING – SAYING THEY DIDN'T WANT FOREIGN GROUND FORCES IN LIBYA.

But the penetration of special forces into Libya,if we are to believe Franco Bechis, the Italian Journalist, writing in the 24thMarch edition of Libero (re-told in www.economicsnewspaper.com), may have beenas far back as 16th November 2010 when a train load of French people landed inBenghazi carrying what were alleged to be businessmen seeking to invest inLibya's agriculture. A large number of these "businessmen" were infact soldiers. According to Franco Bechis, quoting the Maghreb Confidential,active planning for regime change by the French began on October 21st, 2010 when Nuri Mesmar, Gaddafi's Chief of Protocoland his closest chum, arrived in Paris for surgery. However Mesmar was not met bydoctors but by the French Secret Service and Sarkozy's closest aides. Mesmarwas also responsible for the Ministry of Agriculture. On the 16th of November,Mesmar agreed to a strategy to drop troops in Libya under the guise of a business delegation. Twodays later, a plane load of people, including soldiers, landed in Benghazi where they met, among others, Libyan militarycommanders to encourage them to desert. One of them who agreed to desert wasColonel Gehan Abdallah, whose militia subsequently led the rebellion. Where didthis information come from? The Italian intelligence service.

THE LIBYANS DON'T LIKE THE ITALIANS SINCE THEY OCCUPIED THEIR COUNTRY FOR ALMOST AS LONG AS GADHAFI WAS IN POWER.

The role of Nuri Mesmar - using a close friend tostick the knife in the back of his friend in power - is as old as the story ofBrutus and Caesar in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and reminds one of how CaptainBlaise Campoare of Burkina Faso was used by the French to overthrow and executehis closest friend Thomas Sankara.

But it was not only from France that the armed rebellion was planned. The headof the Libyan National Council, Colonel Khalifa arrived from the USA on March 14th to lead the armed rebellion amonth after it began. Colonel Khalifa has been living in the United States since the 80s apparently working as an agent forthe CIA.This fact was contained in a book published in 2001, titled "the AfricanHandling" by Pierre Pean according to www.economicsnewspaper.com The 31stMarch edition of the Wall Street Journal carries a story which says that"The CIAofficials acknowledge that they have been active in Libya for several weeks,like other Western Intelligence Service". Khalifa, Mesmar and others willbe joined in the leadership of the Provisional Government by some of the mostmurderous individuals in the Gaddafi regime including Jalil Mustafa Abud, whountil the uprising was the Minister for Justice and on the list of AmnestyInternational's most egregious human rights violators.

IF THE REVOLT IN LIBYA WAS PLANNED, WHY DID COL. KHALIFA WAIT UNTIL A MONTH AFTER IT BEGAN TO JOIN THE REVOLUTION? AND ONCE THERE SAID HE HAD NOT HEARD FROM THE CIA? AND THEY AREN'T LEADERS OF THE PROVISIONALGOVERNMENT, THEY ARE LEADERS OF THE TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL THAT IS PLANNING ELECTIONS AND WILL TURN OVER POWER TO THOSE ELECTED EIGHT MONTHS AFTER THE REVOLT IS SUCCESSFUL.

Ludicrous false pretences

I used the phrase "ludicrous falsepretences" to describe the excuses publicly sold to a gullible press,decidedly. Why? The core of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 claims to havethe aim of "protecting civilians". There are two sets of principleswhich the need to protect civilians could have been drawn from. One is theprinciple of holding all combatants responsible in respect of the GenevaConvention. This principle is covered by UN Security Council Resolutions 1265,1296, 1820 among others. Armed combatants from both sides who violate theGeneva Convention will be held liable, under these resolutions, and couldsuffer sanctions and by extension liable to face the International CriminalCourt (ICC) if the extent of the violations qualified as crimes againsthumanity or are genocidal. These resolutions however do not legalize externalmilitary intervention.

GADHAFI DIDN'T RESPECT ANY OF THE PRINCIPLES OFWAR, LAW OR COURTS.

The second is the principle of the"responsibility to Protect" (R2P). This is based on the concept of"borderless" security which was the title of the report of theInternational Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) releasedin December 2001 and subsequently adopted as an operative principle by the UN.This Commission, chaired by Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun, undertook tostudy the relationship between (a) the rights of sovereign states, upon whichthe greater part of international relations has been built, and (B) theso-called "right of humanitarian intervention" which has beenexercised sporadically - in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo but not Rwanda - andwith varying degrees of success and international controversy. The reportaddressed "the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states totake coercive - and in particular military - action, against another state forthe purpose of protecting people at risk in that other state.

IS IT THE RIGHT OF SOVERIGN STATES TO KILL THEIR OWN PEOPLE BY THE THOUSANDS?

The conclusion was that the priority should be theprotection of human beings not state sovereignty, therefore if human security -physical safety and dignity - was threatened by the state or its severeinability to address, the international community had the responsibility to actincluding armed intervention. R2P places humanitarian law above that ofsovereignty. The R2P was heavily lobbied for especially by western humanitarianorganizations. However, others have warned against the danger of this principlefor a number of reasons. First to supplant humanitarian law over sovereigntymeans supplanting humanitarianism over rights for the latter is based oncitizenship which in turn rests on sovereignty. Secondly, the R2P principleopens the door for selective interventions and selective justice by those whocontrol the Security Council. It also creates legal and political dependence onthe UN Security Council and militarily powerful countries, thereby underminingthe very foundations for long-term justice and peace which rests on domesticpolitical processes. Resolution 1973 was crafted on the basis of R2P, andeffectively "legalized" the invasion. Indeed, what the NATO countrieswanted was not simply to minimize harm to civilians by Gaddafi's forces but forregime change.

YES, IT IS ONLY USED SELECTIVELY, AS MADE CLEAR IN YEMAN, BAHRAIN, WHERE THERE IS A HUGE NAVY BASE THAT IS HOME OF THE US FLEET, AND SYRIA, WHERE DOZENS OF UNARMED DEMONSTRATORS ARE KILLED EVERY DAY.

Was an invasion necessary on humanitarian grounds?

THERE WAS NO INVASION. NO FOREIGN ARMY OCCUPIES LIBYA. DID THE NATO AIR CAMPAIGN SAVE THE LIBYAN PEOPLE IN BENGHAZI, DARNA AND MISRATA FROM BEING MASSACRED? YES.

This is debatable because the answer lies in thecounter-factual which is the issue of whether or not Gaddafi's forces wouldhave bombed Benghazi to bits, as claimed. What we now know is thatthe Gaddafi air force did not target civilian settlements in Benghazi when they flew and according to AmnestyInternational, the claim of mass rape by Gaddafi's forces could not be verifiedon the ground.

WELL, WE SAW WHAT GADHAFI'S FORCES DID DURING THE FIVE MONTH SEIGE OF MISRATA WHERE THEY CERTANLY SHELLED THE CITY TO PIECES AND KILLED THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS INDISCRIMATELY, USED FOREING MERCENARIES AND MOST CERTAINLY DID USE RAPE AS A WEAPON, ALL NOW VERIFIED AND CERTIFIED.

We also know that the suppression of the February15th civilian uprising by Gaddafi was not the first. The last major suppressionof this sort was in 2006. Like other North African and Middle Easterndictators, Gaddafi put down the 2006 uprising violently, shooting a few andarresting others. There were no mass murders and at the time his actionsreceived the tacit support of America in particular, seen as a legitimate response toa growing Al Qaeda influence.

YES INDEED, GADHAFI DID VIOLENTLY SUPPRESS PREVIOUS UPRISINGS, AND AS IN YEMAN TODAY, THE USA SUPPORTS THE SUPRRESSION ON THE GROUNDS THAT ITIS INSPIRED BY AL QAEDA, WHICH CAN'T BE SAID ABOUT TUNISIA, EGYPT, LIBYA, BAHRAIN OR SYRIA.

But plain truth isthat in the current case, the situation quickly ceased to be a civilianuprising after two days. It became an armed insurgency and in such cases, everystate has the right to confront armed insurgency with arms. We have seen thistime and again in the Unites states whether they are responding to religiousfanatics or drug gangs in black neighborhoods.

ABSOLUTLY, AND ONCE THE REGIME BEGINS TO VIOLENTLY SUPPRESSNON-VIOLENT, PEACEFUL PROTESTS, THEN THE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT BACK.IT WAS ONLY IN LIBYA WHERE THE PEOPLE WERE ABLE TO ARM THEMSELVES, AS THAT IS NOT THE CASE IN SYRIA WHERE THE DEFENSELESS PEOPLE ARE FACING A MECHANIZED ARMY. COMPARING THE REVOLUTINARIES TO RELIGIOUS FANATICS AND DRUG GANGS IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS JUST EXPOSES YOUR HYPROCRACY.

"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience toGod. I believe it is the duty of thepeople to rebel against tyranny." - Saif "Sword of Islam" Gadhafi

Edited by William Kelly

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Hi Bill. Most of the articles that appear on the 'All Africa' website are pretty routine stories from different African countries. But when articles on Africa as a whole appear, they tend to be like these - consistently telling a story very different from those written by Western journalists. I am wondering if they are anti-Western rather than simply left-wing. So I appreciate your point by point rebuttal because I have no detailed knowledge of the issues in question, and will have to look at what some of the specific points at issue again. However, the views of Charles Abugre et al - even if they contain many left-wing cliches as you say - seem to be widely held all over Africa. For example most Africans regard Gaddafi and Mugabe as heroes because they have stood up to the West, something which seems to outweigh their faults that appear pretty obvious to us.

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Hi Bill. Most of the articles that appear on the 'All Africa' website are pretty routine stories from different African countries. But when articles on Africa as a whole appear, they tend to be like these - consistently telling a story very different from those written by Western journalists. I am wondering if they are anti-Western rather than simply left-wing. So I appreciate your point by point rebuttal because I have no detailed knowledge of the issues in question, and will have to look at what some of the specific points at issue again. However, the views of Charles Abugre et al - even if they contain many left-wing cliches as you say - seem to be widely held all over Africa. For example most Africans regard Gaddafi and Mugabe as heroes because they have stood up to the West, something which seems to outweigh their faults that appear pretty obvious to us.

Hi Norman,

Yes, that's true, most Africans support Gadhafi because he is African and has spread his wealth around Africa when he was in power.

He can go anywhere in Africa for a safe haven if he wants to, and most of Africa is run by tyrants like him who will give him a place to stay/hide.

Although I have kept up with the situation since the revolution began in February, I too am still trying to understand what is going on, that's why I read as much as I can,

even if it is tired cliches that don't accurately describe the real situation.

Libya is the gateway to Africa from Europe and the West, and if there is to be an open passage between the two continents then it will go through Libya.

I don't know the answer, I just know that the simple responses like this are not helping others to understand the real situation.

Thanks for your interest,

Bill Kelly

Revolutionaryprogram.blogspot.com

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Bill. I think you would find the main reason why many Africans admire Gadaffi is that he stood up to the West.

From our point of view your description of Libya as 'the gateway to Africa from Europe and the West' would seem spot on; also we see the Arab Spring mainly in terms of the progress of freedom and democracy. However, to Africans south of the Sahara the perspective is different. What events in Libya look like to many of them is Western interference, and for them closer ties between Europe and North Africa could finally end of hopes of a united continent, of which Gadaffi of course was an advocate.

Incidentally, the activities of a million Chinese in Africa is not seen as interference, another good reason why the West needs to be clear what it is doing in Africa.

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Bill. I think you would find the main reason why many Africans admire Gadaffi is that he stood up to the West.

From our point of view your description of Libya as 'the gateway to Africa from Europe and the West' would seem spot on; also we see the Arab Spring mainly in terms of the progress of freedom and democracy. However, to Africans south of the Sahara the perspective is different. What events in Libya look like to many of them is Western interference, and for them closer ties between Europe and North Africa could finally end of hopes of a united continent, of which Gadaffi of course was an advocate.

Incidentally, the activities of a million Chinese in Africa is not seen as interference, another good reason why the West needs to be clear what it is doing in Africa.

Libya is also looked on as the gateway to Europe for many Africans and that's why there are so many African laborers in Libya, many on their way or trying to get to Europe.

Right now, those southern African nations are begging for western interference and assistance in overcoming the drought and starvation, mainly being ignored by their dictator leaders.

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Will the Arab uprising spread to sub- saharan Africa?

By MwauraSamora

Arab uprisinging. The uprisings have led to the overthrow of presidents who have been in power for long like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Zine el-Abidine BenAli of Tunisia and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.

Monitor Correspondent Nairobi

http://www.monitor.c...18/-/11hyj21/-/

The power of dictatorships comes from the willing obedience of the people they govern, if the people can develop techniques of withholding their consent, a regime will crumble," Dr Gene Sharp, the author of From Dictatorship to Democracy, once said. These words will forever be immortalised by the spectacular downfall of not only Hosni Mubarak, but also the fall of long-serving Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Gaddafi. While Gaddafi's admirers have blamed Gaddafi's fall on Nato neo-colonialism, it has inspired downtrodden people across Africa.

In Zimbabwe, watching the triumphant rebels overrun Gaddafi's compound in the capital was a huge moral boost for the citizens of that nation who have been in a protracted struggle against the suppressive ZANU-PF regime. "This is a victory for Zimbabweans. This is a message to other surviving dictators that they cannot hold down people forever," Knowledge Magwenzi, a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, told The Zimbabwe Mail.

"There is hope for oppressed people in Africa who have resigned themselves to believing the dictator was immortal," Magwenzi said. But few Zimbabweans had the courage to celebrate publicly, preferring to exchange messages via social networks and other discreet platforms.

Many still recall how, early this year, Munyaradzi Gwisai, a political activist and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe's law school, and other political activists, were arrested and charged with treason for arranging ameeting to celebrate the ousting of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

With events unfolding up north, heightened by the rumours that the cornered Libyan leader would be seeking sanctuary in Zimbabwe, the country's state media has avoided showing footage of the North African uprisings. And President Robert Mugabe has labelled Nato a "terrorist organisation". His generals, most of whom have vowed never to allow a Tsavangirai presidency, have been issuing thinly veiled threats warning Zimbabweans against any attempt to imitate theArab uprisings.

In February, 46 people were arrested for allegedly planning to topple the government through street protests. Although all of them were charged with treason, which attracts death sentence, 38 of them were acquitted.

The Libyan ambassador in Harare, Taher Emalgrahi, and his staff irked theZANU-PF side of the coalition after pledging loyalty to the National TransitionCouncil (NTC) and hoisting the red, green and black flag of the rebels.

The Zimbabwe government reacted by declaring the action illegal and ejecting the entire diplomatic team from the country. But the ambassador was far from apologetic, prophesying that the Harare regime would face Libyan-style revolt in the very near future if it continued suppressing the people.

"What is happening in Libya is the new trend of democracy which started in Tunisia and Egypt early this year. I don't want to talk of Zimbabwean politics, but there is now democracy flowing throughout the continent and it can happen in any country," Mr Emalgrahi said a fortnight ago. "We told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that we cannot ignore the events back home and we had to hoist the flag of freedom," he said.

Besides being a comrade in arms with Mugabe in criticising the West,Gaddafi has also been bailing out the financially crippled Zimbabwean economy through aid and handouts. In failing to recognise the NTC, Zimbabwe has joined the African Union which more often than not treated the deposed Libyan despot with velvet gloves.

However, over 20 African countries have recognised the NTC including Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Burkina Faso and Ghana. But Mr Mugabe is not the only leader whose nights have been deprived of sleep by the unprecedented fall from grace of the man once described as the "Don Vito Corleone of Libya".

President Museveni, a long-time ally of Gaddafi, last week banned an opposition victory parade planned to be held at the Clock Tower in Kampala in honour of the triumphant rebels.

The "solidarity rally" was meant to show backing for the Libyan opposition, which has spent six months fighting against the 42-year-old regime."We know that like Col. Gaddafi has been doing, President Museveni is equally using the institutions of the state to persecute any form of opposition," Mr Mathias Mpuuga, an opposition Member of Parliament for Masaka Municipality, told journalists. "But this rally at Clock Tower will go ahead. We do not need police permission but we will inform them".

Libyans living in Uganda have pledged their loyalty to the NTC long after the Libyan ambassador abandoned his posting to join rebel authorities in Benghazi early this year.

Edited by William Kelly

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Bill

Good news - and excellent news if the Arab Spring really is about to cross the Sahara.

However, the Charles Abugre article I quoted is very far from being an isolated viewpoint. The viewpoint it presents may seem to us untrue, unfair and even perverse: so too was the position of the African Union, which wouldn't condemn Gadaffi or give its blessing to his overthrow.

My point is that we need to understand what lies behind these views. The 'African dictators club' is one explanation, but I don't think it's the main one. Incidentally the striking thing about many of the African dictators is that they started out with very strong ideals indeed – Museveni is a case in point. So it is important to understand the underlying problems in Africa that have lead to so many African leaders losing their way and producing such spectacularly bad government. Gadaffi was, however, almost unique in not having a constituency to answer to; most African dictators do. I would suggest the main reason why African governments are so set against recognising rebels is awareness of their own chronic weakness and vulnerability.

This weakness has historical roots, going back to the 15th Century or perhaps even earlier when Africa lost touch with the pace of economic change going on elsewhere.

Africa became a victim.

'Right now, those southern African nations are begging for western interference and assistance in overcoming the drought and starvation, mainly being ignored by their dictator leaders.'

I'm not sure which nations you have in mind here. The most damaging drought at the moment is the one in Somalia, which doesn't have an effective government, a problem for which the USA, and Russia as the successor to the USSR, must take a good deal of the blame. Recently, Ugandan and other African troops, supported by civilian advisers, have been remarkably successful in extending the Somalia government's area of control. One of the ways the West could improve security all over Africa is to beef up their existing policy of funding the training of African armies: http://www.ids.ac.uk/download.cfm?file=Rr67web.pdf I don't think the new US African command, despite its surprising success regarding Libya, is a healthy development.

At the moment, as far as one can generalise about a continent of 54 nations, Africa is in a state of dependency, especially economically. It is also highly volatile. Many African leaders are on record as saying they would gladly give up Western Aid for fairer treatment on world markets. At the moment this dependency in itself is a danger to world peace, and it is therefore in our own interest to strengthen African institutions and economy, even if we would prefer to be dealing with more democracies.

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Bill

Good news - and excellent news if the Arab Spring really is about to cross the Sahara.

However, the Charles Abugre article I quoted is very far from being an isolated viewpoint. The viewpoint it presents may seem to us untrue, unfair and even perverse: so too was the position of the African Union, which wouldn't condemn Gadaffi or give its blessing to his overthrow.

My point is that we need to understand what lies behind these views. The 'African dictators club' is one explanation, but I don't think it's the main one. Incidentally the striking thing about many of the African dictators is that they started out with very strong ideals indeed – Museveni is a case in point. So it is important to understand the underlying problems in Africa that have lead to so many African leaders losing their way and producing such spectacularly bad government. Gadaffi was, however, almost unique in not having a constituency to answer to; most African dictators do. I would suggest the main reason why African governments are so set against recognising rebels is awareness of their own chronic weakness and vulnerability.

This weakness has historical roots, going back to the 15th Century or perhaps even earlier when Africa lost touch with the pace of economic change going on elsewhere.

Africa became a victim.

'Right now, those southern African nations are begging for western interference and assistance in overcoming the drought and starvation, mainly being ignored by their dictator leaders.'

I'm not sure which nations you have in mind here. The most damaging drought at the moment is the one in Somalia, which doesn't have an effective government, a problem for which the USA, and Russia as the successor to the USSR, must take a good deal of the blame. Recently, Ugandan and other African troops, supported by civilian advisers, have been remarkably successful in extending the Somalia government's area of control. One of the ways the West could improve security all over Africa is to beef up their existing policy of funding the training of African armies: http://www.ids.ac.uk...ile=Rr67web.pdf I don't think the new US African command, despite its surprising success regarding Libya, is a healthy development.

At the moment, as far as one can generalise about a continent of 54 nations, Africa is in a state of dependency, especially economically. It is also highly volatile. Many African leaders are on record as saying they would gladly give up Western Aid for fairer treatment on world markets. At the moment this dependency in itself is a danger to world peace, and it is therefore in our own interest to strengthen African institutions and economy, even if we would prefer to be dealing with more democracies.

Well, you can go with stability and keeping things the same, but I side with the revolutionaries, and their desire for change and a change in style and systems, even if it is revolutionary democracy.

BK

Revolutionaryprogram.blogspot.com

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Bill

I admire your enthusiasm and enclose an interesting survey of barricades South of the Saharah. http://allafrica.com...d/00013988.html

However, I have a few cautionary tales to tell you, and will do so the moment I've recovered from being called a conservative.

Hi Norman,

Worse than a conservative, I recently called my good friend John Judge a reactionary because he had no interest in the democratic

Arab revolutions until after the UN/NATO intervention, which he opposed simply because he opposes the military, and still

insists the revolutions were sparked and are being controlled by conspiratorial military industrial bankers and the CIA.

Those who support this view fail to recognized the roots and origins of the revolts, and can't answer the question as to why these

same forces they blame for most things had previously supported the dictators, or why they would encourage such unrest and crisis

in what was a safe and secure region.

The bottom line is that a small minority of students, women, workers and young professionals created democratic revolutions in

Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and within six months forced the ouster of long held dictators in those three countries, while seriously

challenging those in a half-dozen other countries.

One cautionary tail comes from this analysis of the Counter-Revolution

Revolutionary Program

Revolutionary Program: The Arab Counterrevolution - An Analysis

Edited by William Kelly

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