WIVL statement on Africa Day 25 May 2018
Bheki Cele, police minister is at it again, showcasing a raid on a building and portraying an image as if Mozambicans, Zimbabweans and Nigerians are criminals. This is an old capitalist strategy of divide and rule. It is a diversion to make worker fight worker, while imperialism continues to plunder the continent. The wealth in every country in the world has always been a product of multi-cultural primary and secondary labour. Borders have been constructed for spheres of influence for the various ruling classes.
Africa is still under neo-colonial control, plundered by imperialism. The African Union, the AU, and the PAP, Pan African Parliament, are instruments of ensuring that imperialist control of the continent continues.
The biggest slaughter since the second world imperialist war took place in the DRC, where between 1996 and 2003 over 6 million people were killed. The 1994 Rwanda genocide replaced a regime controlled by French imperialism with a regime controlled by US imperialism. It was the Rwandan army backed by the US military that marched across Zaire and overthrew the dictator Mobutu. In this way, US imperialism ensured they remained in control of the DRC/Zaire. Today Rwanda exports more minerals than is mined there. Rwanda and the DRC regime support different factions of militias in the DRC to create perpetual war with the nett effect that the land is cleared for mining. The DRC region is the biggest reserve of cassiterite and metals and minerals that form the core of the electronics industry. Cellphones, laptops and playstations and electronics in general are thus based on continued war in the DRC. Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook, WhatApp and others derive their profits from this starting point. Yet there is not a single electronics factory in the DRC. 2 million informal mineworkers including child labour, scoop up the minerals with their hands, hand them over to merchants. Helicopters then carry the raw minerals to Rwanda and various parts of the DRC and from there they are shipped off to the manufacturing centres in the world. SA soldiers protect some of the imperialist operations, as a free security agency (each soldier being paid at least R50 000 per month). Umicore is listed by the UN as a smuggler in metals from the DRC, yet it is listed as a partner company with Anglo American. Umicore has Jonathan Oppenheimer on its board. You won’t find Bheki Cele going after Umicore nor Anglo American nor any of the BEE companies operating in the DRC.
Joseph Kabila was supposed to have stepped down as President at the end of 2016. He violently suppressed protesters, with state troops killing a number of them. The Churches brokered a ‘peace deal’ which would have see Kabila step down at the end of 2017. He did not and massacred a number of protestors over the Xmas period, even in the churches. The killings continued into 2018. There is no sign of when he will step down. However, even if he did step down, the imperialist plunder of the DRC would not change; it would still be based on war. Imperialism funds all sides of the war in the DRC, in order to keep the masses destabilized, so that their plunder relations can continue.
In the Cameroon, the imperialists divided the country into North and Southern Cameroon. The Anglophone South has long been persecuted by the regime in the North, however all the country is still buckling under French imperialist control. They still pay a huge colonial tax to France, that keeps the masses in poverty. US imperialism has opportunistically fanned the flames of division, wanting to use the legitimate grievances of Southern Cameroonians (Ambazonians) to drive out the influence of French imperialism. Some of the nationalist forces have already given an ultimatum that all northerners leave the South by the 31st May. Is this a prelude to another “Rwanda-type’ genocide? It is imperative that all northerners and southerners, workers and poor peasants unite against the regime of Paul Biya; there is enough wealth for everyone; all imperialist assets should be expropriated, and placed under workers control. Let worker not fight worker.
There are a number of wars and capitalist dictatorships across Africa (Egypt, DRC, Cameroon, Mali, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia, CAR, Algeria, Morocco, etc). It is only through the working class rising, supported by the poor peasantry, that will scatter these undemocratic regimes and establish direct democracy, that will value and protect the different cultural differences, while ending exploitative relations. However, without the active support of the working class in the imperialist centres and the rest of the world, Africa will not be freed.
Workers of the world unite to free Africa; we have nothing to lose but our chains; we have a world to win. Let us build new, working class parties across the globe.
Forward to Socialism.
Workers International Vanguard League
25 May 2018