Tag Archives: Africa

This day in 1945: On Holocaust Memorial Day

Red Army doctor attends to Auschwitz prisoner after its liberation In January, 1945

Red Army doctor attends to Auschwitz prisoner after its liberation on January 27, 1945

In this seminal essay originally published on this website in 2009, Dr Hakim Adi challenges the false narrative around Holocaust Memorial Day. January 27, the day of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army in 1945, is commemorated as Holocaust Memorial Day internationally.

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This day. African Liberation Day

african-peopleMay 25 is marked worldwide as African Liberation Day. Since the 1960’s African Liberation Day has served to advance the cause of the African peoples against colonialism and neo-colonialism which keeps them enslaved. Its precursor was African Freedom Day, established in 1958 and celebrated on April 15, later becoming African Liberation Day in 1963. According to http://www.thetalkingdrum.com: Continue reading

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May 7 presidential election in France: Election further aggravates crisis of French nation-state

Demonstration in Paris says “NO!” to the state of emergency, January 30, 2016 | LDH

By CHRISTIAN LEGEAIS

The second and final round of France’s Presidential election takes place on Sunday, May 7. The official results published by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic, following the first round held on April 23, determined that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen received the most votes (24.01 per cent and 21.30 per cent, respectively) and will compete in the second round.[1]

Far from contributing to the resolution of the social, economic, cultural and political problems which plague French society, the election results will further aggravate the crisis in which the French nation-state is mired. In the first place, it is indisputable that the two contending candidates deprive the working class of its own voice in this election. On the elections themselves, there is nothing free or fair about them. They are being held under a government of police powers, in the conditions of a state of emergency which has become permanent after two years. The stated purpose of this état d’urgence is to “reclaim lawless areas” (“zones de non-droit”) — working class cities and suburbs — and to pacify resistance to the neo-liberal agenda. The Ministry of the Interior reinforced this state of emergency for the first round of voting. More than 50,000 police officers and gendarmes (including 12,000 for Paris alone) with 7,000 Sentinel Operation soldiers were mobilized to “secure” the 67,000 polling stations. This is one quarter of the total number of law enforcement personnel in France, and the same scenario will be repeated during the second round on May 7. Continue reading

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The US military moves deeper into Africa

America’s war-fighting footprint in Africa: Secret U.S. military documents reveal a constellation of American military bases across that continent | NICK TURSE*

General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy.  “I would just say, they are on the ground.  They are trying to influence the action,” commented the chief of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a Pentagon press briefing in March, when asked about Russian military personnel operating in North Africa.  “We watch what they do with great concern.”  Continue reading

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100 African cities destroyed by European colonialism

When tourists visit sub-Saharan Africa, they often wonder “Why are there no historical buildings or monuments?”

The reason is simple. Europeans destroyed most of them. We only have a few drawings and descriptions by travellers who visited the places before their destruction. In some places, ruins are still visible. Many cities were abandoned when Europeans brought exotic diseases (smallpox and influenza) which started spreading and killing people. Most of those cities lie hidden. In fact the biggest part of Africa history is still under the ground. Continue reading

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Germany and the militarization of West Africa

BERLIN/N’DJAMENA/BAMAKO (October 14) – Berlin is using today’s visit of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, to enhance its rapidly growing military influence in West Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Africa early this week has already revealed Germany’s growing military importance on the African continent. According to reports, a “change” can already be noted, particularly in Mali. Traditionally within France’s exclusive sphere of influence, the EU, “fundamentally under German leadership,” is now increasingly determining that country’s development. The German government is also expanding the Bundeswehr’s activities and the supply of military hardware to Niger and Chad, along with the construction of a military base in Niger’s capital Niamey. Berlin is also seeking to obtain influence in the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria. The first agreements on support measures had already been reached with Nigeria last year. Germany is enhancing its network of influence in West Africa by increasing the deployment of expeditionary troops, the establishment of military bases and by supplying military aid. This could possibly reduce France’s traditional political and military predominance in its former colonies.

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Canada prowling for a military role in Africa

130831-OttawaSyria-02cr2It is being widely reported that Canada is looking for a new “peace operation” to join or possibly lead in Africa.

From August 10-16, Canada’s Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan carried out a “fact-finding” trip to Africa, which is part of the preparations for a new role for Canada in Africa. Continue reading

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Book Review – Hakim Adi, Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and Diaspora, 1919-1939

Hakim Adi, Pan-Africanism and Communism(From our archives: originally published on May 25, 2014) – This ground-breaking book, based on research undertaken in the archives of the Comintern in Moscow as well as archives in France, Britain, the US and West Africa, documents the activities of the Communist International in relation to Africa and the African diaspora. It focuses on a period when the world was in flux, with inter-imperialist rivalry at its height, when African and Caribbean countries, amongst others, were under colonial domination. Black people in Africa, the Caribbean and other western countries were officially considered inferior, had few rights and racism was at the level of open state policy from so-called “Jim Crow” laws and lynching in the US, to pass laws and segregation in South Africa and the colour bar in Britain. Continue reading

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Obama’s crocodile tears – an African proverb

On the top is a picture of Obama. On the bottom is a picture of Obama sincerely crying.

A picture of Obama

NEWS ITEM: “From every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from their lives from the bullet of a gun. Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” he managed. “And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.” He wiped a tear as it fell down over his cheekbone. As the president wept at the White House, gun investors were crying out for joy on Wall Street.  As has happened like clockwork anytime Obama goes near gun control, gun stocks shot through the roof on Tuesday, even as the broader market struggled through a brutal day of trading… In the three years since Sandy Hook, Smith & Wesson’s stock has leaped 213 per cent, Sturm Ruger’s nearly 39 per cent. – Vanity Fair

On the top is a picture of Obama. On the bottom is a picture of Obama sincerely crying.

A picture of Obama sincerely crying

“Gun manufacturers have done very well during my presidency.” – Barack Obama, CNN Town Hall on gun control at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, January 7. 2016

The USA was the largest arms exporter for the period 2009-2013, accounting for 29 per cent of world deliveries. – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

As of January 2015, the United States maintained a stockpile of approximately 4760 nuclear warheads. This included approximately 2080 deployed nuclear warheads, consisting of roughly 1900 strategic and 180 non-strategic warheads. In addition to this deployed arsenal, about 2680 warheads were held in reserve. Another roughly 2500 retired warheads were scheduled for dismantlement, giving a total inventory of approximately 7260 warheads. – SIPRI

A proverb from Africa may shed some light on this strange tale of the tears of the chieftain of U.S. imperialism.

* * *

IN THE OLD DAYS, when the animals could talk, Crocodile was king of the water creatures. One year, there was a drought, and the water in the river ran dry. Crocodile sent Otter to scout for a new home, and two days later, he returned to say there was a deeper river on the far side of the farmer’s fields.

When he heard this, Crocodile called upon Tortoise and Alligator, and he explained they must go see Lion, king of the land creatures.

“The veldt is dry,” he said, “and it will be a difficult journey, but we must make peace with the Lion and all his subjects, or we will die. They must help us cross the land to reach the other river.”

Tortoise and Alligator set off at once to see Lion. They carried along a peace treaty Crocodile had composed. When they arrived, they handed Lion the treaty.
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Graphic details. Africa is really big

The True Size of Africa. KAI KRAUSE

A few years back there was an exhibition in a London gallery by the Royal Geographic Society, and the curator asked the edge.org group to contribute “unusual maps”. Thinking it would be for a few hundred people at most, I put together a little map that I had made previously in the mid 80s before, then as an example of scientific visualization graphics software (which I spent a decade on, actually). Continue reading

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Recolonizing Africa: Confronting Russia, global NATO eyes Africa

african-people“NATO Alliance Stands Firm, Adapts to Challenges” – Jim Garamone, U.S. Department of Defense release

WASHINGTON (May 22) – The NATO alliance is standing firm and adapting to the challenges on its eastern and southern flanks, military officials said during a press conference following the alliance’s Military Committee meeting here.
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Recolonization of Africa: AFRICOM’s imperialist culture and violence against Africans

For years, as U.S. military personnel moved into Africa in ever-increasing numbers, AFRICOM has effectively downplayed, disguised, or covered-up almost every aspect of its operations, from the locations of its troop deployments to those of its expanding string of outposts. NICK TURSE*

african-peopleSix people lay lifeless in the filthy brown water.

It was 5:09 a.m. when their Toyota Land Cruiser plunged off a bridge in the West African country of Mali.  For about two seconds, the SUV sailed through the air, pirouetting 180 degrees as it plunged 70 feet, crashing into the Niger River.

Three of the dead were American commandos.  The driver, a captain nicknamed “Whiskey Dan,” was the leader of a shadowy team of operatives never profiled in the media and rarely mentioned even in government publications. Continue reading

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Recolonization of Africa: US military missions reach record levels after Pentagon inks deal to remain in Africa for decades

african-people2044 or Bust –The U.S. military’s battlefield of tomorrow. In 2014, the U.S. carried out 674 military activities across Africa, nearly two missions per day, an almost 300 per cent jump in the number of annual operations, exercises, and military-to-military training activities since U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was established in 2008. The number of security cooperation activities skyrocketed from 481 in 2013 to 595 last year. NICK TURSE,* TomDispatch.com Continue reading

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Africa Called, Cuba Answered – Cuban doctor to speak on Cuba’s struggle against Ebola in West Africa in Cross-Canada Wide Tour, May 14-30

Cuba ebola.doctorFrom May 14 to 30, Dr. José de Jesús Portilla García, a participant in various Cuban medical internationalist missions, will speak in several Canadian cities on Cuba’s Humanitarian Medical Mission in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Dr. Portilla García will raise awareness of Cuba’s extensive and unprecedented solidarity with the peoples of West Africa, which illustrates what can be achieved when self-serving interests do not direct the aid and assistance provided. Continue reading

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Africa Called, Cuba Answered: Ebola, the Cuban Revolution and African Liberation

Cuba ebola.doctor

12 February at 7pm in UTC-04

Room 1016, Kenneth Rowe Building, Dalhousie University, 6100 University Avenue, Halifax

Public Lecture by Dr. Isaac Saney, Cuba specialist Continue reading

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US special black ops in 150 countries

US Special Black Ops missions already in 105 countries in 2015 – over 60 per cent of the nations on the planet. NICK TURSE*, TomDispatch

US Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013 (key below article). (Map courtesy of TomDispatch and Google) Key to the Map of US Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013 Red markers: US Special Operations Forces deployment in 2013. Blue markers: US Special Operations Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the U.S. or a third country during 2013. Purple markers: US Special Operations Forces deployment in 2012. Yellow markers: US Special Operations Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the US or a third country during 2012. (Click to enlarge)

US Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013.
Key to the Map of US Special Operations Forces around the world, 2012-2013
Red markers: US Special Operations Forces deployment in 2013.
Blue markers: US Special Operations Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the U.S. or a third country during 2013.
Purple markers: US Special Operations Forces deployment in 2012.
Yellow markers: US Special Operations Forces working with/training/advising/conducting operations with indigenous troops in the US or a third country during 2012.
Map courtesy of TomDispatch and Google
(Click to enlarge)

In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.  Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight. It was the second time in two weeks that elite U.S. Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers. And it was the second time they failed. Continue reading

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Africa called, Cuba answered: Campaign to support Cuban medical mission in West Africa

The Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC) is launching the Cuba For West Africa Campaign to raise funds to assist the ongoing Cuban medical missions in the West African nations of Guinea-Conakry, Liberia & Sierra Leone that are engaged in fighting the Ebola epidemic. The Cuban medical mission is by far the largest sent by any country. Standing side-by-side with the peoples of West Africa, 461 Cuban doctors and nurses — chosen from more than 15,000 volunteers – have gone to West Africa and joined the struggle against Ebola. Jose Luis Di Fabio, a representative of the World Health Organization, underscored that “there are more human resources from Cuba than from many, many NGOs put together.”

ALBA leaders meet with members of Cuban medical team preparing to leave for West Africa, October 20, 2014.

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Time magazine’s 2014 Person of the Year: Ebola fighters

Time magazine has selected the Ebola fighters, who have fought to contain the Ebola outbreak, as its 2014 Person of the Year.  

SLEONE-CUBA-HEALTH-EBOLA-WAFRICA

Cuba, the first country to respond to the call for Ebola fighters now have over 400 health professional in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Continue reading

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US empire: The outpost that doesn’t exist in the country you can’t locate

A base camp, an authoritarian regime, and the future of US blowback in Africa. NICK TURSE*

Admit it. You don’t know where Chad is. You know it’s in Africa, of course. But beyond that? Maybe with a map of the continent and by some process of elimination you could come close. But you’d probably pick Sudan or maybe the Central African Republic. Here’s a tip. In the future, choose that vast, arid swath of land just below Libya.

Who does know where Chad is?  That answer is simpler: the U.S. military.  Recent contracting documents indicate that it’s building something there. Not a huge facility, not a mini-American town, but a small camp. Continue reading

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Libya then and now: An overview of NATO’s handiwork

libya_nato_latuff_400In 2011, as the entire world watched the Arab Spring in amazement, the US and its allies, predominantly  working under the banner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), militarily overran the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

The peaceful civilian protesters they claimed to be intervening to protect were not really what the US and its cohorts presented to the world. Many of these so-called “protesters” were armed and, when this became apparent, they eventually began to portray themselves as “rebel forces.”
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Sighting. The chiefs of The Gambia

ass

Jason Florio is a NYC based photographer and writer from London. He has been working as a freelance photojournalist around the globe for almost two decades. Along with his wife, photography producer and writer, Helen Jones-Florio, he spent the last three months of 2009 making a 930 km expedition by foot of The Gambia (West Africa) to produce a series of portraits of African chiefs. The Gambia has been a place Florio regularly returns to. For the past fourteen years he has made yearly trips there to work on a long-term project of the people living in and around a sacred forest called Makasutu.

These are some of his portraits of chiefs and elders made while on a 930km circumnavigation by foot of The Gambia.

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Africa: Remember this war?

The fighting in Mali is yesterday’s passing news for much of the monopoly media. The Royal Canadian Air Force together with the US Air Force, which now has forces in over 30 African countries – Germany too was involved – has been continuously flying military supplies and other equipment to support the French military intervention.

That mission, although not officially wrapped up, has disappeared from view, reports the Ottawa Citizen’s military reporter, David Pugliese.

Not for the French though. Its forces bombed positions in northern Mali on the weekend, the BBC reported. Continue reading

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Africa: EU and German Bundeswehr interventions

BERLIN german-foreign-policy.com (April 2) – At the EU – Africa summit, beginning today, Berlin and Brussels are pressing forward with the expansion of their military and military policy activities on the African continent. Alongside resolutions on the EU intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR), the program will include negotiations on the further elaboration of EU supervised African security structures. African forces are supposed to apply these measures to implement what Berlin and Brussels consider “order.” According to experts, for insuring one’s influence, it is not necessary to send one’s own combat troops into a “crisis area, to assume presence and supervision.” Therefore, the Federal Republic of Germany supports the African Union (AU) in establishing military structures, and participates in “training missions” in Somalia and Mali. Continue reading

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Behind unfolding events in Nigeria: White House escalates interventionist plans

Click to enlarge.

By ABAYOMI AZIKIWE

Pan-African News Wire (May 13) – A video purportedly released by the armed Boko Haram sect based in northeastern Nigeria showed what was said to be school girls who have been held by the group for a month. The Boko Haram leader said that the young women could be released in exchange for the prisoners belonging to their organization being held by the Nigerian government. Continue reading

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Graphic details. The US pivot to Africa


The U.S. Military’s Pivot to Africa, 2012-2013 (key below article) ©2013 TomDispatch ©Google
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US’s back-to-the-future military policies in Africa

For the third time in the past year, the Harper War Government has deployed Special Forces to Africa, this time to Nigeria, under the guise of humanitarian intervention. Nick Turse* elaborates Obama’s new model for expeditionary warfare.

Lion Forward Teams? Echo Casemate? Juniper Micron? You could be forgiven if this jumble of words looks like nonsense to you. It isn’t. 

It’s the language of the U.S. military’s simmering African interventions; the patois that goes with a set of missions carried out in countries most Americans couldn’t locate on a map; the argot of conflicts now primarily fought by proxies and a former colonial power on a continent that the U.S. military views as a hotbed of instability and that hawkish pundits increasingly see as a growth area for future armed interventions.

Since 9/11, the U.S. military has been making inroads in Africa, building alliances, facilities, and a sophisticated logistics network. Continue reading

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Hands Off Africa! CTV, W5 and “Secret Warriors” should be widely denounced and condemned by everyone

1921 demonstration by steelworkers and the African community in Whitney Pier, Sydney, Cape Breton. Banner declares, “Africa for the Africans!” Courtesy Beaton Institute and Shunpiking Magazine’s Black History Supplement

1921 demonstration by steelworkers and the African community in Whitney Pier, Sydney, Cape Breton. Banner declares, “Africa for the Africans!” Courtesy Beaton Institute and Shunpiking Magazine’s Black History Supplement

By TONY SEED

(April 4) – CTV News is repeatedly promoting on a hourly basis an unabashedly racist and militaristic W5 special to be aired Saturday night, April 5.

The program is being billed as “a never before seen look” of ”Canada’s elite team of secret soldiers, the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR)” and their “training” in Niger in the Sahara in Western Arica, “where violent extremists are organized, well-funded, and well-armed violent extremists.” The “extremists” are depicted as Islamic and the segment is entitled “Secret Warriors.”

The promotions feature reporter Mercedes Stephenson, whom the Department of National Defence (DND)  selected to be embedded in Flintlock 2014, an annual U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) military exercise that includes NATO forces from the old colonial powers – Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. [1]

Flintlock military exercises involving participation of Canadian Forces have been held in different locations on the African continent since 2005. But no reason is given as precisely why it is at this time that the DND and the Harper government is bending over backwards to embed the media in its shadowy African adventure and manufacture this disinformation. CTV’s hype about its “a never before seen look” serves to hide the hand guiding this “look.”

Stephenson speaks not as a journalist but as a public relations flack whose profession is to lie. This sycophancy to the Harper government in and of itself is not unexpected but the depth of CTV’s political whoring is outrageous. This media is not only delighted that Canada boasts covert forces but it wants Africa bushed back to the “dark ages.” Continue reading

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Recolonization of Africa: US military averages more than a mission a day

U.S. documents reveal the feverish pace of Africom military exercises and operations in 2013 in 28 African countries, with more of the same for 2014, reports NICK TURSE* of TomDispatch.

In this framework,  we note:

(1) The Harper war government again participated in the recently completed Flintlock 2014 in Niger, an annual US African Command exercise, along with NATO forces from the old colonial powers – Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom;

(2) In January 2013, it provided C-17 aircraft to France for its military intervention in Mali in January 2013, as did the UK, Belgium and Denmark; and

(3) The predatory interests of the Canadian mining monopolies are second to none in the scramble to exploit African resources and markets. In 2011 – the most recent year for which statistics are available – 155 Canadian mining companies were operating in 39 African countries. Their combined assets totalled more than $30.8 billion, up from $26.5 billion in 2010. “Expand the picture to take into account other country’s projects financed on Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the TSX Venture, and Canada’s role in mining around the world grows even more substantial.” Continue reading

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Mandela: We admire the achievements of the Cuban Revolution

Speech by Nelson Mandela, Moncada Day Rally, Matanzas, Cuba, July 26, 1991

After 27 years of imprisonment by the racist/fascist apartheid system, Nelson Mandela chose Cuba as one of the first countries outside of Africa and the first Latin American country to visit. During that visit he delivered the following speech outlining Cuba’s decisive contribution to the South African liberation struggle. Continue reading

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Biography of Nelson Mandela, 1918–2013

Government of South Africa

Early Years 

A young Nelson Mandela during his days as a lawyer.

A young Nelson Mandela during his days as a lawyer.

ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA was born in Mvezo, a village near Mthatha in the Transkei, on July 18, 1918, to Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Henry Mgadla Mandela. His father was the principal councillor to the Acting Paramount Chief of the Thembu royal house.

Rolihlahla literally means “pulling the branch of a tree.” After his father’s death in 1927, the young Rolihlahla became the ward of Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the Paramount Chief, to be groomed to assume high office. Continue reading

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