By Sainey Faye
The great Pan-Africanist – Kwame Nkrumah and one of the leading proponents of an Africa High Command; and a theoritician of the African Liberation Struggle reminds us that “All military problems are political, and all political problems are economic.”
The Libyan crisis was initially sold to the world as a humanitarian intervention by NATO, the EU and other Imperialist forces and their allies. The intervention, they claimed, was necessary to protect innocent inhabitants of Benghazi (2nd largest city) and civilians etc. Then it quickly morphed into a political intervention to force regime change. Muammar Gaddafi then became the focus and target, who must be taken out by all means possible. France, U.K and U.S.A. were to take the lead along with NATO forces. The task was to take days or weeks, said Barack Obama and Nicholas Sarkosky, and David Cameron – the three triumverates, but it took six months plus; with tens of thousands of lives lost, billions lost in infrastructure and property. Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town saw its fine Pan-African university, hospital, mosques, technical infrastructures etc. Were all in reduced to rubbles done by NATO forces and its reactionary allies.
Africa saw for the first time the 21st century modern weapons of destruction dropped on the continent; whilst the rest of the world watch on their television screens; as helpless women and children seek shelter. Some of the world press even became cheer leaders, the majority of them calling Africans born and bred in Libya, and indegenous African Libyans and other natives as mercenaries recruited by Gaddafi — even though many fought on both sides. Sabha, the third largest city in Libya was a majority African populated for centuries, prior to the modern state of Libya. It is the southernmost city close to Niger, Chad, Sudan, and even Mali. The historic city of Agadez in Nigeria is the entry point for travel to Libya by land, and most immigrants travel through there to Sabha, then Eastward to Benghazi, or Westward to Tripoli (also known as Trabulus) by the locals. Travel across the desert from Agadez in Niger, to Sabha in Libya may take almost 9 days in very rough terrain. Anyone who has been to Libya, Niamey and Agadez knows that the journey is not only risky, but dangerous as well. The desperation of our youths to cross the desert, the towns and cities, and the mediterranean, is inexplicable.
But how does the African Union arrest this torture and genocide of this generation heading to Europe for a better life by any means necessary? What happens to its ‘Vision 2063’, and how does it implement all those nice aims and objectives for a unified Africa.
Let’s fast forward to the role of the African Union (a.k. a.) the AU. The role played by the AU is dismally shameful, for how in the world can a representative body of over 1 billion Africans shut out of the major decision process of the Security Council? To begin with the crisis in 2011, only two African states were allowed to be non permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. When the vote came up to pass Resolution in 1973, they voted with the Western countries and NATO allies to continue slaughtering innocent civilians. Even though The African Union Peace And Security Council voted to reject any form of intervention in Libya; the AU resolution said “The council reaffirms its committments to the respect of the unity and territorial integrity of Libya as well as reject any form of foreign military intervention.” They went ahead with their military invention and disregarded the advice and warnings of the AU, who are the guardians of the motherland.Now look at the mess they created and left, a failed state, no central government, and anarchy.
Is the AU a joke or have they lost the path leading them to the African liberation highway ? Many will say they have betrayed the African masses and the African Liberation struggle, especially the younger generation.
Finally, when they helped kill Gaddafi, they set up a puppet transitional government called the NTC (National Transitional Government) to help govern Libya. They had a problem from the onset, the leaders in waiting were selected by the West, NATO and its allies, namely France, UK, USA, Germany, and Japan. Added to this list of supporters, are 30 more countries that called itself the ‘Libya Contact Group’. Most of these were given loans and financial help by the Gaddafi regime, the list goes on from Sub Saharan Africa, Southern Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.All of them made open support for the NTC, and went further to freeze all Libyan assets.The frozen assets were handed over to the NTC as official representatives of Libya, and expelling Libyan diplomats from their own Embassies.
The question then arose with critics and observers on what basis were they made representatives of the Libyan state?They were not elected by any Libyans, further more many were former comrades of Gaddafi who held top positions in the council. Those chosen, e.g. Mustafa Abdul Jalil was a former minister of Justice, Mahmoud Gibril another renegade, was a senior member of Gaddafi’s economic board. The problem of the rebel forces to the NTC was short lived, as was evidenced in the assassination of Abdel Fattah Younes in Benghazi. Seven years and counting since the crisis of Libya, and now the African Migrant Slave Trade in Libya is resurfacing; as if it is something new, thanks to the CNN footage last week. The auction of African captives as slaves seen in the social media worldwide is so atrocious, that the Western and African leaders have all made condemnations; but have not decided any quick remedy and action which must be done immediately.But we must be careful, Libya is an African state; and all Libyans are not Arabs, and not Arabs in Libya are culpable or responsible for the banditry of few degenerate anarchic Arabs.
There is talk of forming a rescue mission to help free the captives held in various centers of the country, which is long overdue.It would be great if it is well coordinated by an AU military command, with countries like Chad, Niger, Mali, Algeria, etc. These countries that surround Libyan territory, have great experiences in desert terrain combat, that’s not to say Senegal and Ghana, and other countries can’t back them up.All of them working together as an African liberation rescue mission will bring credibility to the AU and its people.
Below is an excerpt from the Daily Mail seven years ago, when the Libyan war and crisis just begun.
African Migrants and “mercenaries” bear the brunt of Libyan rebel atrocities
Posted on August 27, 2011
As the world’s press focuses on the hunt for Gaddafi and the battle for Tripoli and parts of Libya, news is beginning to filter through about the fate of indegenous black Libyans and Libya’s huge African guest workers. Whilst the West, promises democracy and freedom and justice, the regional, racial and tribal tensions in Libya are being largely ignored.
The Zimbabwe Mail in a post entitled Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people reports on how ”Some of the hatred of Tawergha (an indegenous black African Libyan ethnic group) has racist overtones that were mostly latent before the current conflict. On the road between Misrata and Tawergha, rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin” have supplanted pro-Gadhafi scrawl.”
Kim Sengupta in a report filed for the Independent Newspaper, Vengeance in Tripoli: rebels settle scores , writes: “It is also the case that the regime has repeatedly unleashed appalling violence on its own people. But the mounting number of deaths of men from sub-Saharan Africa at the hands of the rebels – lynchings in many cases – raises disturbing questions about the opposition administration, the Transitional National Council (TNC) taking over as Libya’s government, and about Western backing for it. The atrocities have apparently not been confined to Tripoli: Amnesty International has reported similar violence in the coastal town of Zawiyah, much of it against men from sub-Saharan Africa who, it has been claimed, were migrant workers.”
In another report, Thirty Gaddafi fighters found dead at Tripoli Kirsty Cambell – International Medical Corps told Reuters that “Yesterday a truck arrived at the hospital with 17 dead bodies,” “These guys were rounded up 10 days ago. They were found in Bab al-Aziziya when the guys (rebel fighters) went in. These guys were shot in an execution there,”The wounds were not battlefield injuries, she said.
Jason Ditzs on antiwar.com in his post UN Warns Rebels Amid Signs of Tripoli Executions (Rebels Mass Arresting Blacks as Assumed “Mercenaries”) writes: ”Yet the growing concern about the behavior of the rebels hardly begins or ends with this single incident. Amnesty International is also reporting that the rebel faction has been conducting mass arrests of black people across the nation, terming all of them “foreign mercenaries” but with growing evidence that a large number were simply migrant workers.”