France dispatching troops CAR to protect her commercial interestBy Jehron Muhammad | Last updated: Dec 12, 2013 - 11:02:17 AM
His “prescription for what ails Africa” has more substance today than when first broached on the continent. The Minister described Africa as a “baby” lying in “an open field, polluted in the life (blood) of colonialism.”
During a recent interview with Al Jazeera, former South African president Thabo Mbeki revealed that in 2004 British Prime Minister Tony Blair tried to pressure Mbeki into a plot to overthrow his neighbor, Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.
“We said no. You are coming from London you say you don’t like Robert Mugabe for whatever reason; people in London don’t like him. We are going to remove him then you are going to put someone else in his place. Why does it become a British responsibility to decide who leads Zimbabwe?”
This isn’t the first time that a Western power sought assistance from an African leader to overthrow a neighbor, or for that matter, used its significant resources to influence the outcome of a democratic election, or as in the case of Algeria and Egypt, turned its head the other way when democratically elected governments, that are not to their liking, were uprooted and overthrown.
When will Africans, as Mbeki obviously has, wake up? The same Western powers that historically enslaved and robbed Africa of its physical and mineral wealth, also want to be the arbiters of its development and the overseers of its security.
France is sending 1,000 troops to the Central African Republic. According to Press TV, the claim is the French are protecting civilians from “internecine violence.” In fact, as reported by Press TV, “The real agenda is the French government is dispatching its troops to secure its commercial interests, and in particular lucrative uranium mining resources.”
The mainly Muslim rebel movement known as Seleka has been accused of carrying out atrocities on the majority Christian population. The Seleka rebels are actually responsible for ousting the French-backed president of the CAR, Francois Boziz, earlier this year. Michel Djotodia, the newly self-declared president, is the first Muslim leader of that country.
Though there is violence, Djotodia said, claims of “genocide” are being manipulated for the press. “There is not even an inter-religious war. All of this is made up to manipulate the opinion of the international community,” he said.
Press TV reports that the French-backed Bozize regime was “notoriously corrupt.” Now exiled in France, the ousted CAR president is agitating a counter-coup “presumably with covert help from France.” Bozize himself came into power in 2003 through a coup against elected president Ange-Feliz Patasse. French commandos were responsible for installing Bozize.
Historically this underdeveloped enclave has served as a market place for slaves, and more recently a way station for mineral wealth, including diamonds and uranium. The fact that its French colonial master never thought enough of her possession to develop the region makes one reflect, not only on the important role underdevelopment has historically played in increasing the bottom line of western multi-nationals, but also how indigenous populations were left in abject poverty.
Farrakhan speaking from Libreville said, time “demands that neo-colonialism never be allowed to be substituted for an old form of colonialism which allows a Black face to administrate over the same old plantation system of our former colonial masters.”
A modern translation could be Africa’s raw materials, which fueled the Industrial Revolution, can never be allowed not to serve her indigenous population.
Bloomberg recently reported that Zimbabwe, which has the world’s largest reserves of platinum after South Africa, is in talks with a private investor to build a $1 billon platinum refinery after companies “deliberately delayed” construction according to Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa.
President Robert Mugabe was quoted in The Herald, a Zimbabwe daily, saying he didn’t want raw materials leaving the country other than as a finished product. Under colonialism and neo-colonialism, raw materials leave Africa, are developed in Western countries only to return to the continent as finished products. This is because Africa has historically been denied the infrastructure to develop her own raw materials.
Repeating Mugabe’s Nov. 9 threat to halt exports of raw platinum, Chidakwa reported Bloomberg said the measures would only be taken once a refinery is operational.
In his remarks to the African and Black American leaders, Farrakhan concluded by focusing on the need for “solidarity.” “You do not know how my heart burns to be with you in solidarity, regardless to whether you disagree with me or not,” he said.
Farrakhan said through open dialogue, “You can reshape me if I am misshaped. You can help me if I am out of line, but you cannot help me if you do not talk to me.” Africa will never be free until it stops allowing outside forces to be the arbiters of her development, and the settlers of her disagreements.
Jehron Muhammad, who writes from Philadelphia, can be reached at Jehronn@msn.com. Follow him on Twitter @JehronMuhammad.