IN DEFENCE OF THE RIGHT TO SOVEREIGNTY AND THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE PEOPLES OF AFRICA
Communiqué of the State Coordination against NATO and the Bases (CECOB).
Things are fastly changing in West Africa and the repercussions will be felt throughout the continent and across much of the globe. The heart of darkness has decided to beat for itself.
Niger, the fourth Sahel country with an anti-Western coup d’état
The military uprising in Niger on 26 July follows in the footsteps of similar uprisings in August 2020 and August 2020.
The military uprising in Niger on 26 July follows similar ones in August 2020 and May 2021, Burkina Faso (January and September 2022) and Guinea (September 2021). These coups, unlike those that occur frequently in these and other African countries that serve to intensify neo-colonial plunder or depose leaders not sufficiently amenable to their interests, have pointed the finger at Western powers -above all France and the US- as responsible for the bloody presence of Islamist groups and the plundering of their resources.
After centuries of colonialism, slavery, plunder of the raw materials of an immensely rich country, misery of its people, assassination of anti-imperialist leaders, puppet governments and military occupation, the new government of Niger -the country with the lowest and worsening Human Development Index (HDI) in the world and the fourth highest infant mortality rate in the world- has said enough is enough. Niger was a colony of France from 1922 to 1960, which imposed its rule by blood and fire. Since independence, Niger has been subject to a succession of coups d’état, while its resources have been exploited by foreign companies, notably France’s Areva-Orano. Niger’s uranium supplies nearly 40 per cent of France’s electricity, while 89 per cent of its population has no electricity. The government of ousted General Bazoum, who won elections in 2021 amid allegations of fraud, in addition to exporting uranium and gold to France and other Western powers at rock-bottom prices, embezzling massive public funds and increasing French and US influence in his country, had a central function: it was the EU’s coordinator of security and migration control policies in the Sahel.
The new government, strongly supported by its people, decided to suspend uranium and gold exports to France, which have multiplied in recent decades as its people have sunk deeper and deeper into misery. Thus, it has joined the decisions of the governments of Mali and Burkina Faso to expel the French ambassador and French troops, which have been followed by those of other Western countries.
The plundering of African natural resources by the colonial powers has been accompanied in the last decade by a strengthening of the military presence of EU countries and the US. After NATO’s destruction of Libya, the country with the highest HDI in Africa and which was promoting important African sovereignty projects, and the assassination of Gaddafi in 2011, the strategy of Western imperialism was to sow the countries of sub-Saharan Africa with the same jihadist contractors who had ravaged Libya, with their entourage of chaos, robbery, rape and massacres. Their weak governments were induced to “ask for help” from the former colonial powers who reinforced their military presence without, obviously, exterminating their creatures.
Migration, a threat to NATO security. The EU’s criminal policies.
At the NATO Summit held in Madrid in July 2022, hosted by the PSOE-IU/Podemos government, North Africa and the Sahel, the latter being included at Spain’s proposal, were defined as ‘areas of strategic interest’, identifying ‘challenges to security, terrorism and migratory flows’. It should be recalled that since the Washington Summit in 1999, NATO has identified “uncontrolled” immigration as a reason for military intervention.
NATO’s growing role in North Africa has received a decisive boost from the economic and military alliance between Morocco and Israel, which includes the granting of exploration rights to Zionist companies in Sahrawi waters and the installation of military bases in the Alawite country.
The betrayal of the Sahrawi people was carried out by the Spanish government in June 2022, recognising Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara, a violation of all kinds of agreements and international court rulings. This was followed by the re-establishment of the deteriorated relations between Spain and Morocco. A few days later, the bestial intervention of the Moroccan police, commissioned by the Spanish government, left dozens dead and 70 missing, and prevented ambulances from treating the wounded.
The PSOE-IU/Podemos government prevented any parliamentary investigation and described the police intervention as a “reasonable use of force”.
The insatiable plundering of the resources of enormously rich countries by imperialism, sold for paltry sums, barely enough to pay the bribes of puppet governments, has been driving hundreds of thousands of desperate people to cross the Atlantic or the Mediterranean to try to escape misery, themselves and their families.
The criminal response of the EU, and most notably the Spanish government, is well known. Firstly, the use of FRONTEX, whose budget has increased fivefold in the last decade, as a European fortress police force, which, far from contributing to the rescue of people, is directly involved in returning most of the survivors to their countries, in violation of basic principles of international law and human rights. According to the International Organisation for Migration, 30,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 trying to reach Europe. The same is true for the Atlantic Ocean. Many more have perished in invisible shipwrecks. Forcible returns “en caliente” (“on the fly”), that is, by means of the legal monstrosity of denying the exercise of any legal action, have increased eightfold in Spain between 2017 and 2022, the year in which 4,000 people were deported, according to official data.
Working conditions, which have already brutally increased the exploitation of the working class as a whole, are much harsher for migrant workers. In agriculture, meat processing, home care and domestic work, miserable wages and poor working conditions reproduce overcrowding, malnutrition, illnesses of all kinds and accidents at work, in situations of semi-slavery.
Racism and xenophobia, prelude to fascism, is the ideology that is instigated by the bourgeoisie so that the working class bourgeoisie so that the autochthonous working class does not identify its executioners and looks to the most exploited sectors of its own class for the cause of its misfortunes.
A new path of sovereignty seems to be opening up in Africa.
The peoples of Africa seem determined to stand up. African youth seem determined to prevent their future from depending on “development aid”, on the charity of NGOs in the service of the big companies that plunder their countries, or to risk their lives in terrible journeys across desert and sea. And this affirmation of dignity and sovereignty by the governments of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, widely supported by their peoples, can be seen in other countries considered vassals of the West, such as Senegal and Nigeria. Borders drawn square and square to the measure of colonial powers can be torn to shreds. The Nigerian Senate’s decision against military intervention in Niger is not unrelated to the fact that the majority ethnic group in both countries is the Hausa. The land of the Hausa, whose inhabitants share history, language and also the Muslim religion, was split in two by France and Britain to divide Niger and Nigeria respectively.
For the peoples of Africa who, since their independence, have been pursuing formulas for African unity in order to strengthen their sovereignty, systematically frustrated by Euro-American imperialism, favouring coups d’état with vassal governments or assassinating their leaders such as Patrice Lumumba (Congo 1961), Amilcar Cabral (Cape Verde and Guinea 1973) or Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso 1987), among others, it is not difficult to recognise their enemies and take advantage of international junctures, such as the one offered by multipolarity; This situation, without meaning socialist revolution, the only one capable of guaranteeing real popular sovereignty, can serve, and in fact do serve, to prevent the criminal omnipotence of imperialism from deciding everything with impunity.
And curiously, although the government of Niger has met representatives of the Wagner in Mali and its inhabitants are demonstrating with Russian flags, it is very difficult to argue the “Moscow plot”, since this country has no economic interests, or even an embassy, in the African country.
Faced with the threat of aggression promoted by imperialism, unequivocal internationalist solidarity internationalist solidarity.
Without being able to guarantee that the new government of Niger will resist the enormous pressures it is suffering, including military aggression, or the political decisions it may take, from a state at the centre of imperialism like the Spanish state, which is also directly responsible for criminal migration policies, there is no doubt that we must develop all internationalist solidarity with the attempts of the peoples of Africa to regain sovereignty and independence.
The recent words of the president of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traoré, show a difficult path, but full of hope: “We need African leaders who stop behaving like puppets who dance every time the imperialists play the instrument”, paraphrasing Thomás Sankara “A slave who does not rebel deserves no mercy”, or the unequivocal “Patria o muerte, venceremos”.
Therefore, the State Coordination against NATO and the Bases:
- Unequivocally defends the right of the people of Niger and all the peoples of Africa to appropriate their resources and defend their sovereignty by the means they deem appropriate against the neo-colonial powers.
- Denounces the criminal policies of plundering the wealth of the people of Niger and other African countries by the various neo-colonial powers of the EU and the USA and their multinational companies, maintained for decades through violence, extortion and extortion. These policies are directly responsable for the premature death of millions of people, for the misery, malnutrition and illiteracy, a situation from which people flee, searching for a future hope in Europe.
- Accuse the EU of crimes against humanity for the tens of thousands of people drowned in its Waters, for the systematic denial of aid and “hot” refoulements perpetrated by FRONTEX, with the direct support of the spanish Government and the spanish Courts of Justice.
- Holds the spanish Government responsible for the massacre of dozens of people perpetrated on 24 June 2022 at the fence of Melilla, executed by the Moroccan police on its orders, as well as the institutional political forces that allowed such a monstrous crime remain unpunished.
Faced with the possibility that Euro-US imperialism, directly or through its henchmen in the area, will try -once again- to drown in blood the desires for sovereignty and real independence of the people of Niger and other African peoples, the State Coordination Against NATO and the Bases calls on all kinds of organisations that advocate internationalist solidarity to jointly call for mobilisations to prevent it.
– Long live the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle of
the peoples of Africa.
– Native or foreign, the same working class.
– NO NATO, BASES OUT
11 August 2023