Before the discovery of cryptotora thamicola––the fish with the ability to climb––nobody would have believed that a fish could climb. Now that this is a reality, we can apply the same rationale to devise how Africa can get rid of terrorism..
The lingering terrorism in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and Mozambique is one of the results of the scramble and partition of African countries whose roots can be traced on the Berlin Conference 1884 that created modern time feeble and fickle African states.
Hypothetically, there’s a formula of how Africa can get rid of and rid itself of terrorism and other violent conflicts gyrating around the struggle for power and resources in order to supply the world’s free market. This formula––if well utilised––is likely to free Africa from the grips of this contemporary calamity that has led to socio-economic miseries for the majority of Africans.
The formula is very simple. Suppose. Every African country contributes 500 GIs each; and maintains them––as it normally does––to fight terrorism wherever it strikes in Africa. This can also be used to vanquish coups like the one that recently sequestered power in Mali.
Counting the number of African states, we’re talking of over 25,000 strong. Can’t such a number eradicate terrorism in Africa within a foreseeable time? Again, what is the problem? Methinks. Every African sees terrorism in certain countries as a national but not international or African problem. I don’t know if al-Shabaab (Somalia), Ansar al-Sunna (Mozambique), Boko Haram (Nigeria) the GSPC (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat), and the (AQMI, Al-Qaida au Maghreb Islamique) (Sahara) among others have the muscles to outshine such an ensemble. Its sheer size’s itself a weapon to reckon with for its adversaries.
We used to myopically look at colonialism as a historical fact. However, recently, Africa’s colonial legacy of division and feebleness is a present and future threat to Africa. Colonialism is helping terrorism to take root in Africa. Former colonial powers are also occupying Africa military under the ruse of pursuing terrorists.
For the west, any individual or group that threatens western interests is labelled a terrorist. When one gives the west the pretext to occupy others, such a person or group will be condemned in the daylight but applauded in the dark. That is why the US is currently negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan. When the US was fighting the then USSR in Afghanistan, it established and armed the Taliban whom it turned against after it embraced Osama bin Laden.
Those who think that the west will help them to stamp terrorism out of their jurisdictions are in a reverie at their peril. Capitalism doesn’t have a permanent enemy but instead has permanent interests. This is the slogan the US uses whenever it wants to turn against its ally. That’s is why–––if its interests are guaranteed and safeguarded–––the west will turn its foe into an ally and vice versa as it has proved in many instances. Former Libyan and Iraq strongmen, Muamar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein respectively knew this too well. Saddam was cloned by the west and ended up being killed by the same.
Africa must stop daydreaming and think about important things which are a sine qua non for its development, existence, peace, prosperity and stability.
African countries must unite as the only viable means of regaining Africa’s power and lost glory instead of being egged on by self-cheating mentality and pointless dependency. By remaining divided, Africa is helping terrorism to devour it. Take an example of Kenya’s attempt to stamp out the al-Shabaab in Somalia. For almost eight years since Kenya put the boots in Somalia, it has never successfully extinguished the al-Shabaab. How long will the conflict drag on?
What would have happened had the EAC and the Horn of Africa collectively chipped in? Had all African countries donated the number proposed above or more, what’d have been the situation in Somalia? When Kosovo faced genocide at the same time as Rwanda did, the NATO rapidly moved in and stopped the peril once and for all.
White people love each other even if they’re enemies. They might fight among themselves over various things. Yet, they’ll never evidence the bloodshed of the ones of their own. If anything, this is the lesson they practically learned from the WWI. That’s why the allies decided to nuke Japan but not Germany which was the head of the axis during the WWII. White people didn’t want to see the ones of their own being butchered or nuked while there were the non-whites in Japan to use to teach their enemy the lesson. For, if we consider who’s indeed a troublemaker during the WWII, we find nobody except Germany and Italy under Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini respectively. Why didn’t the allies nuke Germany or Italy, which where the epitomes of the entire aggression? The answer is simple. Swahili sage’s it that dog’s teeth don’t bite each other.
Africa must start thinking about economic and military cooperation. Looking at what has been going on in the DRC simply because it’s endowed with humungous sources of natural resources, we’ll understand why Africa needs to have its own army for maintaining order and peace by taking on the evils that create violence in order to enable former colonial masters to get the ruse to exploit and occupy us as is the case in point.
In sum, Africa needs to wake up from its slumber and start thinking collectively about multilaterality and true unity. That’s why colonialism and Africa’s complicity have contributed hugely to the embodiment of terrorism. To outshine it, we need to eschew our gullibility, individuality, divisive and toxic nationalism, pretentious regionalism and the like. Instead, we must embark on Africanism, oneness and Unitarianism of our wonderful continent. This way, we practically and surely can fight terrorism whenever it surfaces in whatever face, form or façade.
By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manitoba. He is a lifetime member of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) and author of over 20 books among which are Africa Reunite or Perish, 'Is It Global War on Terrorism' or Global War over Terra Africana? How Africa Developed Europe.