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For The Defense Of The Alliance Of Sahel States, Revolutionary Pan-Africanism

Above photo: Assimi Goïta (Mali), Abdourahamane Tchiani (Niger), and Ibrahim Traore (Burkina Faso) have joined together to create the Alliance of Sahel States.

To the African masses at home and abroad, oppressed and tormented by the imperialists for centuries and yet steadfast in your struggle. We, the Coalition for the Elimination of Imperialism in Africa, urge you to stand strongly behind the Alliance of Sahel States which, at this moment in our history, represents the model for Pan-Africanism and therefore the path towards the total liberation and unification of Africa.

In 2011, Africa suffered a devastating blow with the collapse of the socialist Libyan Jamahiriya and the assassination of a great son of Africa, Comrade Muammar Gaddafi, at the hands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in complicity with corrupt Africans. To the collective west, Gaddafi’s crime was that he wished for a truly independent and sovereign Africa. In 2009, as Chairman of the African Union, Gaddafi suggested the creation of an independent continental currency, the gold dinar. This would free the continent from its economic subservience to the US dollar and the French African Franc (CFA).

The African Union, overwhelmed by neo-colonial heads of state, failed to act decisively to defend Libya and Muammar Gaddafi. Imperialist media used propaganda to seduce progressive organizations and the African masses. This resulted in our failure to defend Libya and oppose any western intervention in the African state. Muammar Gaddafi, betrayed by Africa, was brutally assassinated, and Libya was transformed into an ungovernable state in which neocolonialist terror reigns.

Of course, this terror did not stop at Libya’s colonial border. Even before the NATO-backed counter-revolution succeeded, it was already understood that Libya’s destruction would turn the prosperous nation into a major safe haven and source of weapons for Salafist extremists. By the following year, Timbuktu had fallen to one such group. Twelve years later, at a 2023 address at the UN General Assembly, Mali’s Foreign Minister stated, “NATO’s war in Libya is the root cause of the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the Sahel region”.

Though NATO’s war was the root, the ground was made fertile by an earlier provocation: the establishment of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), a combatant command to use U.S. militarism to impose the interests of the US across the continent. Since its establishment, the Sahel has become a bastion for violent extremism. Deaths in the region have risen over 2,000 percent, going from one percent of the global total in 2007 to 43 percent in 2022, with more than 2.7 million people displaced.

Fascist terrorism is not just expanded by western intervention, it is also used to justify further western intervention. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, French troops were sent to the region with the real objective of maintaining France’s stranglehold on Africa to exploit the people and the land for the sake of French imperialism. This included protecting its neo-colonial puppets from mass uprisings and increasing recruitment efforts of extremists while French soldiers bombed weddings and molested children.

Protests, strikes, and general popular resistance grew against the rampant violence, siphoning of resources, lack of sovereignty, and the everyday indignities of naked French imperialism. In response, positive coups eventually toppled the neo-colonial governments of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger in succession, setting these three countries, and the entire world, in a new direction. Understanding that the enormous task of total liberation required unity, the people directed their new governments to increase their coordination, culminating in the formation of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES). At a joint press conference in Niamey, the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso summarized: “From now on, we say, whether you’re from Mali, Niger or Burkina, we have the same destiny. We’re going in together. It is up to us to take control of our destiny.”

In taking a unified stand, the AES has been able to rescue their political sovereignty from the claws of imperialism and neo-colonial stooges. Since its inception, they have removed the imperialist armies from their soil, broken the economic siege applied by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanctions, and stood firm against the threat of a military invasion to restore neo-colonialism in Niger. These feats are a glowing testament to the call for Africans to unite and are achievements to be uplifted by all Pan-Africanists who want to see a unified and socialist Africa.

In the immortal words of the Pan-Africanist revolutionary Amilcar Cabral, “…national liberation exists only when the national productive forces have been completely freed from every kind of foreign domination”. The foundational national productive force is the land in the Sahel region, which has been historically occupied by the neo-colonial agents and NATO forces of AFRICOM and France under the guise of suppressing reactionary extremist groups. The dismissal of the imperialist militaries from AES territories has enabled them to recover their sovereignty and take concrete steps to improve safety and security. Consolidating their national armies, they have waged an intense military struggle to restore territorial integrity and rooted out reactionary extremist groups who were occupying vast stretches of land and committing atrocities against the local population. Mali’s reconquering of Kidal, a contested territory that for the past decade had been under the control of western-backed rebel separatist groups, reinforces the fact that the presence of NATO armies is the source of our problems and we Africans are more than capable of ensuring our own security.

With its political sovereignty, the AES has been able to focus on people-centered development after centuries of colonial underdevelopment followed by neo-colonial imperialist extraction and exploitation. This includes rapid development of economic projects to build and advance its productive forces to serve the people’s needs. One example of an economic project is the recent commissioning of a 30-megawatt solar power plant to power Niger, increasing generation capacity by 60 percent. Other examples are in Burkina Faso, which has recently commissioned a gold refinery and tomato processing plant and signed an agreement with Russia for the construction of a nuclear power plant. Mali, a top cotton producer, nationalized its cotton industry under the newly created company, Societe Malienne de Fil (SOMAFIL). In collaboration with China, Mali will also increase its cotton production by constructing two new factories in Bamako and Koutiala. Today, the region is experiencing tremendous growth and there is renewed hope among the masses of people who have taken charge of the destiny of their nations. However, we must remain vigilant because we know that the aspirations of the people are in an antagonistic contradiction with the intentions of the imperialists and their neo-colonial lackeys. As the Alliance’s struggle for national liberation advances, its achievements must be defended from its enemies, of which there are many.

In Kwame Nkrumah’s Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare, he states: “A number of external factors affect the African situation… First among them is imperialism…”. The enemy of the African masses is the imperialists of the collective west (the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia). Using militarism (NATO, AFRICOM), economic domination (IMF, World Bank, CFA franc), and of course, its propaganda apparatus (RFI, France 24), the imperialists expand their influence beyond their borders in order to extract Africa’s resources leaving violence, chaos and poverty in their wake.

However, the most insidious form of imperialism is neo-colonialism, administered through the reactionary African bourgeoisie. ECOWAS, a regional organization whose founding principles were based on the cooperation and integration of West African states, has become a decided enemy of the African masses. ECOWAS has served the imperialists well in its attack on the AES. Their antagonisms against the AES included freezing Niger’s assets, threatening military invasion, and inflicting AES member states with illegal and inhuman sanctions. For these reasons, the AES countries exited ECOWAS, rightfully accusing them of being under foreign influence and a threat to their sovereignty. Now, neo-colonial rulers, attack dogs steadfast in their obedience to the anti-African, anti-people efforts of their imperial masters, have agreed to host imperialist military bases to encircle the AES, to surveil, intimidate, and ultimately try to destroy this Alliance. In addition to ECOWAS, another internal enemy of the Alliance of Sahel States is the African Union (AU). The AU, which remains firmly under the control of the collective west, has failed to offer any assistance to the AES, whether diplomatically or materially. As Nkrumah taught us in his seminal work Class Struggle in Africa, it is only when both the indigenous bourgeoisie and imperialism has been defeated that the aspirations of the African masses will be fulfilled.

Decades before the Alliance of Sahel States, revolutionary African leaders Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Sékou Touré, and Modibo Keïta of Ghana, Guinea, and Mali, respectively, formed the Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union as the nucleus of the future Union of African States. The imperialists, threatened by the aspirations of this unified front, worked hard to ensure its destruction. Similarly, Gaddafi, a committed Pan-Africanist who was dedicated to the unification of our continent, was killed fighting for this cause. Today the Alliance of Sahel States serves as the nucleus for the total unification of our continent and offers us a path to realize Pan-Africanism (the liberation and unification of Africa). In addition, it also provides us with an opportunity to redeem ourselves after we failed to defend Africa’s last socialist state, the Libyan Jamahiriya.

The forces that destroyed Libya are the same plotting today against the revolution in the Sahel. As we know, the imperialists use the same methods to sabotage and block the emergence of countries that follow the voice of revolution. Their usual methods are disinformation and the use of neighboring puppet countries and regional organizations to attack countries taking the path of self-determination. The revolutionary masses of the Alliance of Sahel States remind us that the road to liberation is not an easy one, and there is a price to pay in the face of our principal enemy, the capitalist-imperialist system, which plunders and sows terror throughout our continent.

The Coalition for the Elimination of Imperialism in Africa calls on the African masses on the continent and in the diaspora to organize like never before in defense of the Alliance of Sahel States, for this alliance is at the forefront of our struggle against imperialism. What began as a national liberation struggle in each member state has rapidly consolidated into a Pan-African union for the complete emancipation of Africa. The AES recognizes that together, we are stronger and that only a united Pan-African force can bury imperialism once and for all.

Recommendations to the children of Africa and all justice-loving peoples of the world:

  • Condemn the international imperialist gang, their neo-colonial servants, and others who align with them to terrorize, undermine, exploit, and destroy the people’s struggle for liberation.
  • Demand the immediate lifting of all sanctions imposed by imperialist governments and sub-regional organizations still weighing on the member states of the Alliance of Sahel States and that they be compensated for the losses accrued in violation of their right to self-determination as stated in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  • Remain vigilant, and do not allow yourself to be seduced by the imperialist media and their lackeys.
  • Provide material support to AES by contributing to the national solidarity funds organized in each state.
  • Support local anti-imperialist organizations by providing ideological and material support.
  • Join an organization fighting to overthrow the capitalist-imperialist system!

Down with imperialism!

Down with neo-colonialism!

Long live the revolution!

Long live the Alliance of the Sahel states!

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