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Africa

Global South And North Unite To Stop East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline

On last month’s annual celebration known as Africa Day, activists in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and elsewhere held demonstrations targeting French oil giant TotalEnergies’ involvement in African fossil fuel extraction projects. A main focus of the protests was Total’s proposed East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, or EACOP, which would transport 200,000 barrels of oil per day from western Uganda to export terminals 1,445 kilometers away on the Tanzanian coast. Grassroots organizers in Uganda and Tanzania have been speaking out against EACOP for years, sometimes at great risk to their own safety.

Brutal Attacks On Africans In Morocco Highlights Crisis In Africa

On June 24th, approximately 2000 African migrants made a desperate attempt at a mass border crossing, climbing the iron fence separating Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Footage of African bodies piled up at the foot of the fence, many lifeless, while others were being savagely beaten by Moroccan Security Forces, went viral. To date, the number of African migrants who lost their lives has climbed to 37. We join with those all over the world, to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this horrific attack by Moroccan security forces.

New Bill That Passed House Reinvokes Old Russian Bogeyman As Pretext For More US Intervention in Africa

During the Cold War, the U.S. government invoked the pretext of Russian interference to justify a range of crimes, including the assassination of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, the overthrow of Pan-Africanist hero Kwame Nkrumah, the arrest of Nelson Mandela and intervention in the Angolan civil war. Just when we thought that that era had passed, the House of Representatives on April 27 passed the “Countering Malign Russian Influence Activities in Africa” Act by a 415-9 vote. The bill in part would direct the U.S. Secretary of State, using “detailed intelligence,” to identify in Africa “local actors complicit in Russian activities.” The U.S. in turn may very well seek to punish those actors through economic sanctions or even regime change.

Land Grabs And The Propaganda Of Conservation

Amid the unprecedented global ecological crisis, Africa still supports one quarter of the world’s biodiversity and the largest assemblages of megafauna. Indigenous Africans of the rangelands, desert, and forests have always protected their fauna and flora. Land where they exercise traditional rights has proven to be central for global biodiversity conservation. But today they are facing the threat of a colossal land grab by Western conservation agencies, and their corporate and state allies, who advocate to double the coverage of protected areas around the world by setting aside 30 percent of terrestrial cover for conservation by 2030. Protected areas are the national parks, forests, game reserves, and other places from which states evict original inhabitants for biodiversity conservation.

Land In South Africa Shall Be Shared Among Those Who Work It

In March 2022, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres warned of a ‘hurricane of hunger’ due to the war in Ukraine. Forty-five developing countries, most of them on the African continent, he said, ‘import at least a third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, with 18 of those import[ing] at least 50 percent’. Russia and Ukraine export 33% of global barley stocks, 29% of wheat, 17% of corn, and nearly 80% of the world’s supply of sunflower oil. Farmers outside of Russia and Ukraine, trying to make up for the lack of exports, are now struggling with higher fuel prices also caused by the war. Fuel prices impact both the cost of chemical fertilizers and farmers’ ability to grow their own crops.

Chad Declares Food Emergency, International Agencies Sound Alarm

The World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have identified numerous states warranting immediate attention as the problems of climate change, internal conflict, economic downturns and the continuing war in Ukraine are exacerbating the current crisis. In the Sahel region of Africa, the nation of Chad, is challenged by grain supplies which have dropped to dangerous lows forcing the transitional military-dominated government to declare a food emergency requesting that aid be sent into the country to avoid further food deficits. Chad has been severely impacted by drought leaving large areas of farmland unproductive. A landlocked country in Central Africa consisting of 16.4 million people, historically the former French colony has suffered from political instability engendered by its ongoing dependency on Paris and the United States for economic assistance and military involvement.

Africa, The Collateral Victim Of A Distant Conflict

On 25 May 2022, Africa Day, Moussa Faki Mahamat – the chairperson of the African Union (AU) – commemorated the establishment of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) in 1963, which was later reshaped as the AU in 2002, with a foreboding speech. Africa, he said, has become ‘the collateral victim of a distant conflict, that between Russia and Ukraine’. That conflict has upset ‘the fragile global geopolitical and geostrategic balance’, casting ‘a harsh light on the structural fragility of our economies’. Two new key fragilities have been exposed: a food crisis amplified by climate change and a health crisis accelerated by COVID-19. A third long-running fragility is that most African states have little freedom to manage their budgets as debt burdens rise and repayment costs increase.

The Rise Of NATO In Africa

Anxiety about the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) toward the Russian border is one of the causes of the current war in Ukraine. But this is not the only attempt at expansion by NATO, a treaty organization created in 1949 by the United States to project its military and political power over Europe. In 2001, NATO conducted an “out of area” military operation in Afghanistan, which lasted 20 years, and in 2011, NATO—at the urging of France—bombed Libya and overthrew its government. NATO military operations in Afghanistan and Libya were the prelude to discussions of a “Global NATO,” a project to use the NATO military alliance beyond its own charter obligations from the South China Sea to the Caribbean Sea.

Biden’s Troop Deployment To Somalia Confirms Africa Is Not Free

The Biden Administration's recent decision to return  U.S. troops to Somalia represents another effort on the part of the U.S. to deny agency and independence to African people. On the 59th commemoration of African Liberation Day, the Black Alliance for Peace expresses its unequivocal opposition to this redeployment. The 500 U.S. troops sent to Somalia are the latest to violate that nation’s sovereignty. As is the case with all U.S. interventions, the underlying reasons are not only depraved but also indifferent to the constant suffering of African people caused by western-induced militarism and war. The reintroduction of the U.S. military (AFRICOM ) on the ground is related to a dispute between Somalia and the U.S. oil company, Coastline Exploration Ltd, over the validity of an oil exploration agreement.

Pan-Africanism Yes! US AFRICOM And NATO No!

We are honored to participate in this annual commemoration of Africa Liberation Day some 59 years after the founding meeting of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Much has transpired since 1963 when more than 30 independent African states held this gathering and pledged to work towards the total liberation of the continent and greater unity among governments throughout the region. Today, the African Union (AU), founded in 2002 in Sirte, Libya, is facing one of the most profound challenges of the post-colonial period. The struggle for the unification of the AU member-states cannot occur absent of the removal of foreign military forces now occupying several geo-political regions.

US Women Human Rights Defenders Deported From Western Sahara

Three US women heading to visit their friends in Boujdour, Western Sahara, were forcibly turned back on May 23rd, when they landed at Laayoune Airport. Twelve men and six women Moroccan agents physically overpowered them and placed them against their will on a plane back to Casablanca. During the scuffle, one of the women’s shirt and bra were pulled up to expose her breasts. In the cultural context of the passengers on the plane, this was a serious form of harassment and violence against women. Wynd Kaufmyn said of her treatment by the Moroccan forces, “We refused to cooperate with their illegal actions. I repeatedly shouted out on the departing airplane that I wanted to go to Boujdour to visit Sultana Khaya, who has endured torture and rape at the hands of Moroccan agents.

African Liberation Day: Imamu Amiri Baraka, 1972

Should African Liberation Day be a day of celebration or mourning? Since the first African Liberation Day celebrations were held in Washington, Toronto, and Washington, DC., May 27, 1972, most of the African continent broke from colonial rule and became politically independent. But the enemies of African people launched a counter revolutionary war against self-determination immediately after independence. African sovereignty came under attack from a vindictive neocolonialism that would later be intensified by neoliberalism. This neocolonialism would not be successful, however, if not also for the actions of a veritable minstrel show of Black compradors, sell-outs, spooks, reformists, reactionaries, puppets, poodles, and misleaders - on the continent and throughout the African diaspora.

The Maasai’s Peaceful Fight Over Their Homeland

Native to the north of the country, Tanzania’s Maasai people have been protesting against the government’s renewed efforts to strip them of the right to occupy and use their ancestral lands. What would it take to defend their homeland? "I am born to live my life," says Denis Moses Oleshangai, a Maasai youth activist hailing from northern Tanzania, in the Ngorongoro province’s village of Endulen. "But to live my life I need to achieve my dreams, so I will be fighting even if there is any danger, or obstacle for community and myself." In recent years, many Maasai activists were arrested for speaking out. In 2017, around 200 Maasai houses were burned in Loliondo, their livestock confiscated.

The United States Is Supporting A Brutal Occupation In Western Sahara

Immediately following the expulsion of the Spanish colonizers in the mid 1970's, Western Sahara was occupied by Moroccan forces. With support from the United States, those occupiers, who treat the indigenous Sahrawi People very similarly to the way the Israeli occupiers treat the Palestinians, have been committing human rights abuses. Clearing the FOG speaks with Ruth McDonough and Tim Pluta, who have been staying with the family of a human rights defender, Sultana Khaya, since March 15. Ruth began a hunger strike on May 4 to demand an end to the violence against the Khaya's and an investigation into the crimes committed against them. Ruth and Tim describe what people can do to show solidarity with the struggle of the Sahrawi People.

Notes from Eritrea

I had no idea until today that International Workers’ Day is a national holiday in Eritrea. I missed the celebrations because I was rushing to the airport to get from Addis Ababa to Asmara, the Eritrean capital, but today I took a cell phone snap of the banner “Long Live May 1 International Workers’ Day” still hanging outside a park. It’s no surprise that the US has done everything it can to turn a nation that celebrates International Workers’ Day into a pariah state. Free education through college and subsidized health care don’t suit its neoliberal model either, nor does its determination to negotiate fair prices for its considerable natural resources. Eritrea may have most offended US policymakers, however, by its defiance of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the US puppet that ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist from 1991 to 2018, then started the ongoing Ethiopian war by attacking the nation’s Northern Command base in Tigray Region in November 2020.
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