Proletarians of all countries, unite!
Some Notes on War in Africa
“… the exploitation of oppressed nations—which is inseparably connected with annexations—and especially the exploitation of colonies by a handful of “Great” Powers, increasingly transforms the “civilised” world into a parasite on the body of hundreds of millions in the uncivilised nations.”
Lenin: Imperialism and the split in Socialism
SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT AFRICA
Africa, along with Asia and Latin America, is part of the Third World: oppressed nations. It is a zone of conflict and division. Main contradiction and local wars. Africa is part of the Base of the world revolution as the main tendency.
The weight of the masses is also expressed in Africa. The whole of Africa is a backward area, most African countries are in conflict zones; the superpower and powers invest in them and want to control them because they are subjugated economies. They are zones of conflict and division. Once again, they are disputed booty.
The African continent is immense and encompasses many countries, poverty is great and it is also the spoils of the superpower and powers.
There are guerrilla movements that are usurped by the superpower or powers in order to turn them into occupation forces and dominate them. For example, the Congo is the object of imperialist plunder and in order to continue it better they encourage the “civil war”, behind which the USA and Great Britain are pursuing to disintegrate the country into smaller entities in order to plunder it better. Process of disintegration of the African countries driven by imperialism. The imperialists themselves are questioning the state.
The US imperialists with their “new form of warfare”, put in place under the Obama administration, continued by Trump and now Biden, are acting under the direction of US-Africacom from their large military base in Djibouti and a constellation of local bases from which they operate their drones and special forces, as well as training some of the armed forces of the African countries. They have 30 warships in the Indian Sea. The Russians as in Syria are intervening militarily in some African countries with their “private contractors” such as Wagner’s mercenaries and others directly linked to President Putin.
BACKGROUND TO SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
In sub-Saharan Africa, independence was negotiated by the colonial powers with those who suited their interests.
From 1960 onwards, in just five years, 25 African states gained independence (15 of them in 1960 itself). England was the first to take this initiative, followed by France and Belgium.
On the French colonies in particular, we have recourse to a well-informed source, which we quote in part:
“From 1960 onwards, the countries of French Africa were opting for independence, pushed into it by the metropolis itself…. This did not in any way mean that the colonial power had renounced its tutelage, but rather that it was changing the way it was maintained …, an independence that took place within a network of interests based on the maintenance of the common currency, the CFA (which initially stood for “Colonies françaises d’Afrique”, later “Communauté française d’Afrique”, later “Communauté française d’Afrique”), later “Communauté française d’Afrique” and after independence, “Communauté financière africaine”), and the creation of a shadow protectorate… French colonial policy in Africa has been maintained along the same lines under both right-wing and left-wing metropolitan governments. (their) networks … controlled the politics of the former colonies, using corruption and force in appropriate proportions …Keeping its puppets in power forced France to have more bases on the continent than any other power and to become the gendarme of black Africa …”.
On the displacement of France by the US imperialists in this part of the continent, the same source says:
“Since 1994, however, the year of the Rwandan genocide and, above all, of the devaluation by half of its former value of the CFA franc, which favoured more open trade by its satellites…, France’s role as the dominant power in Africa went into open decline, gradually replaced by the influence of the United States, acting mainly through its African pawns, and later, in the economic field, by the intrusion of China. However, France still retains some 10,000 men in permanent bases in Djibouti, Senegal and Gabon, and in ‘peace missions’ in Côte d’Ivoire and Chad, and does not give up intervening to maintain puppets favourable to its business or to overthrow those who ignore its interests.”
On the background to the current war in the Central African Republic, the same source provides the following information:
“…in the Central African Republic, … (France) after having overthrown Bokassa and having maintained a permanent guardianship over his successors (“the French secret services took de facto command of the country”, it has been said), finally closed its bases in 1998, but did not hesitate to intervene again with men and planes at the end of 2006, François Bozizé, a military officer who had seized power in 2003 after a bloody civil war against an elected president, Ange-Félix Patassé, who was supported by Congolese and mercenaries from Chad and Libya. … In early 2008, the Central African Republic was described as “a ghost state lacking any meaningful institutional capacity”, ravaged by pro-Patassé rebels and masked bandits, Zaraguinas, engaged in robbery and kidnapping”. (Josep Fontana: For the sake of the empire. A history of the world since 1945; 2011)
ON CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (CAR)
The Central African Republic is as twice as large as the FRG, but less than 5 million people are living there (minus around one quarter that fled the country). It is ranked among the world’s poorest nations. It ranks 179 out of 187 on the United Nations’ Human Development Index and 182 out of 183 on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index. There are only 429 kilometres of paved road. Less than 1% of the total population holding a bank account. The vast bulk of the population engages in subsistence farming and 55% of the country’s GDP derives from agriculture. Central African Republic produced in 2018: 715 thousand tons of cassava, 513 thousand tonnes of yam and 152 thousand tons of peanut.
But there are quite a lot of resources to exploit – especially diamonds (diamond industry accounts for more than 50% of export earnings), uranium, timber, oil and gold. Therefore the former colony of French imperialism, that has been granted independence by France in 1960, has seen ongoing fierce armed struggles since the beginning of the new Millennium even though a peace accord was signed between the government and 14 rebel groups in 2019 after a French military intervention together with a UN “peace mission”. Various “rebels” control vast areas of territory outside of the capitol Bangui. Six of the most powerful armed groups, who have occupied roughly two-thirds of the country (for eight years), united in mid-december to wage an offensive calling themselves Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC). Die CPC consists of different groups. Among them socalled Antibalaka militias, conducting forced conversion and “witch”-burning.
This is nothing special among its neighbouring countries like Chad, Congo or Southern Sudan. Imperialists wars of plunder (“tertiarisated”) often by means of their local lackeys is a daily burden on the peoples in Africa. But the CAR has its specifics, e.g. the ruling authorities in Bangui are Muslim oppressed mainly by French, supported by Russian imperialism.
On Wednesday, January 13, an attack was launched seeking to capture the capital. The conflict-ridden nation is on edge following the December 27 presidential election last year and the announcement of the re-election of President Faustin-Archange Touadera on January 4. International bodies, including the European Union and African Union, had paid to organize the elections and French imperialism has thrown its support behind Touadera, rejecting claims that the election was fraudulent. Some officials put the turnout at 76.31%, others said it was around 37%. Such small differences are usual and irrelevant due to the status of the CAR as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial, oppressed nation. It is quite obvious France set the record straight.
The highest court rejected the candidacy of former president Francois Bozize last December (he faces an international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity and incitement of genocide). Bozize was in government since a coup in 2003 and ruled until 2013 (the same year the economy collapsed). The Selekas (Muslim group) took over after defeating Christian militias. Old wine in new barrels – the same old story of imperialism, putting slaves against slaves, splitting among religious believes. Now he supported Anicet Georges Dologuele in the elections.
Touadera’s army, with the aid of Russian and Rwandan troops alongside U.N. security forces, repelled the attacks. Touadera receives support furthermore by forces from France and the United Nations Mission known as MINUSCA (since 2014; above 12.5 thousand soldiers). Russia and Rwanda last month dispatched support, comprising heavily-armed Rwandan troops and Russian paramilitary mercenaries. Toudera’s guard supposedly consists of the notorious Wagner-Group. The fighting lasted for several hours. The “rebels”, blocked on the city’s outskirts, resumed fighting in the city’s north. Obviously they try to take advantage of the fact that the capitol facing acute food shortages and rising prices.
Previously, around the election in December, the central governments counterpart launched a countrywide offensive. “Rebels” attacked polling stations following presidential elections so that over 14% of voting centres did not operate after such attacks on voters and poll staffers. The centres of actions of this style were Carnot, Nola and Bambari in the country’s west. Three UN “peacekeepers” from Burundi were killed after an attack on security forces and the MINUSCA mission in Dekoa, central Kemo Prefecture, and in Bakouma, in the southern Mbomou Prefecture. They were supposedly executed after being captured. In Bouar around 450 kilometres north-west of the capital hours of heavy gunfire took place. On January 3, Bangassou, 750 kilometres east of Bangui, was captured by rebels as has now been retaken by UN forces (Rwandan contingent of MINUSCA) after the “rebels” retreated.
We wrote the imperialists’ competition is intensifying as their military presence and war operations increase. The build-up of the Yankee Africa Command is beginning to exert its influence, driving out the former French colonialists. In the CAR we see French imperialism under attack.
Let us have a look on some basic facts:
The Central African CFA FRANC is the currency of the CAR and five other countries: Cameroon, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Non-state monopolies: The largest private Bank in the CAR is a branch of the Capital Financial Holdings Luxembourg S.A. (CFH). The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, invested millions, in the equity of CFH so the IFC and the EIB each subscribing 19% of the equity. The Groupe Kamach is the largest private employer in the CAR and is active in several branches. Its headquarter is in California, USA.
State Monopolies: Socatel (Société Centrafricaine de Télécommunications) is the leading telecommunications and Internet service provider in the Central African Republic. France Câbles et Radio, an affiliate of France Telecom, holds 40% of the stock. Das staatliche Wasserversorgungsunternehmen “Société des Eaux de Centrafrique” (SODECA) und der staatliche Energieversorger “Energie Centrafricaine” (ENERCA) erhielten im Jahr 2018 20 Millionen Euro von der europäischen Internationalen Entwicklungsorganisation (IDA). 2019 bekam ENERCA von der Weltbank 54 Millionen US-Dollar.
Import/Export: France is number one. 31.2% of Exports are going to France and 17.1% of the imports are coming from France. Competition mainly with the USA, China, but also Japan, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands.
Nothing in the country is owned by the people. Everything is bureaucratic capitalism and imperialism, mainly French.
Who is behind the CPC, Bozize, Dologuele? It is not France or Russia for sure. German imperialism is not involved in the UN missions in the CAR, but re-established the so-called “Cooperation for Development” just after the expulsion of Bozize. From 2017 to 2019 75 million Euro flew from FRG to CAR and German media reported very friendly about the electoral victory of Touadera. This troublemaker could be eliminated, too. Chinese social imperialism acts cautious, but they do not take a stance for Touadera in Chinese media. But in early December in the People’s Daily the lift of embargo for weapons against the CAR was demanded. Obviously there are some other powers that cannot take their hands off Africa: Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Austria or England. But whom of them would dare an indirect war against an alliance of France and Russia backed by the UN? Although the Yankees had frozen Bozizes bank accounts there are several indicators that the devil himself – Yankee imperialism – is behind the current armed unrests:
The “Freedom House” ranked CAR under the reign of Bozize as partly free, nowadays it is rated not free.
The Wall Street Journal considered the elections as “threaten to roll back democracy on the continent and destabilize some of the few economies”.
U.S. Foreignassistance describes the general situation in the CAR as “chronic under-development, poor governance and institutional capacity, lack of accountability”, furthermore “U.S. priorities include helping CAR re-establish a justice system; investing in local-level conflict mitigation efforts; supporting disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration; providing assistance for security sector reform; and making targeted investments to support the economic revitalization and governance improvements that are necessary for long-term development and recovery.”
The Yankee think-tank “The Atlantic” wrote in 2018: “Wagner [the mentioned Russian paramilitary] appears to have tapped this possibility at the highest level, reportedly serving as CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera’s personal security detail. The withdrawal of hundreds of U.S. soldiers from Africa and widespread antipathy throughout the CAR toward the French, the traditional power brokers in their former colony, have left the CAR as what one United Nations official calls a “free country for the taking.”
That is in no way an admission of guilt but a confession of the cravings of the sole hegemonic imperialist superpower.
The connection between the two imperialist powers France and Russia is noteworthy, because there are various fears, reservations, resentments, sanctions and strivings to expand (especially the FRG is behind these) against Russia. Late 2019 to early 2020 Macron opened up the possibility by his DeGaulle-like-policy as he declared Russia not the enemy. This example proves how strong the pressure is on the former undisputed colonial power in Africa (as we already wrote).