|Africa News Digest
Cheminade: 'Let's Stop the Military Flight Forward in Libya!'
July 7 (EIRNS)French Presidential pre-candidate Jacques Cheminade, a longtime associate of Lyndon LaRouche, and leader of the Solidarity and Progress party, today made this policy statement on French President Sarkozy's military attack on Libya:
In conformity with the new Article 35 of our Constitution, the government has submitted to the Parliament a demand for "authorization" for the extension of our military intervention in Libya. The National Assembly, then the Senate, will vote on July 12, and a majority is expected between the Presidential majority and the Socialist Party.
We hesitate, between characterizing that agreement as a crime, an error, or a suicidal flight forward: an error, because we are already at the limit of our manpower, matériel, and even munitions; a crime, because numerous "mistakes" have led to the murder of civilians whom we were supposed to protect during bombardments; a flight forward, because the UN resolutions do not authorize either the delivery of weapons or the participation in a civil war, and that, however, our government has decided to do, going beyond that mandate.
Indeed, we have delivered light weapons purportedly aimed at "protecting populations placed in precarious predicament and savagely repressed." Further, according to various sources cited among others by Le Canard Enchainé, we have apparently delivered French Milan anti-tank missiles via Qatar. In so doing, we have become actively involved in participating in a land war, an act which assumes an even a bigger dimension when you consider that we have sent to Cyrenaica and beyond, intelligence experts and military instructors.
The lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq have not sufficed. A war without a clear mission, without an option for peace offered to the enemy, is never won; a war aimed at regime change inside a third country always leads to chaos. More fundamentally, since we are not supporting the republican and democratic revolutions occurring in Tunisia and in Egypt with economic development and other just measures, how can we pretend to conduct a "just war" in Libya? How can we pretend to be defending peace, while we are distributing, in the Sahara and its outskirts, weapons which will feed destabilizations?
It is said that Nicolas Sarkozy demanded from our Chief of Staff a victory in time for the 14th of July celebrations. If such an infantile fit against such a background is true, then Nicolas Sarkozy and his government are no different than Barack Obama, who is conducting "his" war without consulting the American Congress. We can ask the Socialist Party, what difference is there between consulting the elected officials of the people and consulting them while making sure in advance that they are already under control?
The voice of diplomacy must come forth, and that of cannons stopped. Above all, we must offer great projects of mutual development to the whole of Africa, in particular to the Maghreb and Mashreq regions, creating the conditions where they can ensure their food production and a life with dignity. This is the price we must pay for our credibility, not that of bombs.
Africans Resist Obama's Illegal War Against Libya
July 9 (EIRNS)The destabilizing effects of the U.S./NATO war against Libya are causing African nations to speak out against it, and resist U.S. efforts to get dragged into it. The government of Kenya is being particularly defiant, despite U.S. pressure to break its links with the Libyan regime. Acting Foreign Minister George Saitoti yesterday accused the Western powers of using "violence against civilians" in Libya and announced that the Nairobi government would not freeze Libyan assets in Kenya. "Kenya has not acceded to pressure by third parties to sever diplomatic ties with Libya," he said and added that such calls were "contrary to Kenya's position of the best way" out of the Libyan crisis, and contrary to recent African Union resolutions calling for a negotiated settlement. According to Kenyan media, Libya has vast economic assets in Kenya, including a luxury hotel and an oil-marketing firm with more than 100 gasoline stations, making Kenya a target of Western efforts to isolate Libya.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, concerns are being raised about arms trafficking out of Libya that is benefitting the terrorist group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is said to be responsible for a string of kidnappings and ambushes across the Sahel region. Last month, reported VOA yesterday, security forces in Niger recovered detonators, more than 600 kg of semtex explosives and $90,000 in cash, after a shootout with suspected terrorists. The Niger government said that the arms came from Libya and were destined for AQIM. In addition to Niger, Mali and Mauritania have expressed concern that insurgents in Libya are selling arms they capture from the Libyan government to the AQIM.
Algerian forces are increasing their presence along Algeria's 900-km border with Libya. According to Reuters, officials in Algiers are voicing concerns about the arms and explosives coming into the country from Libya, which are being looted from Libyan army depots.
Refugee flows are another destabilizing effect of Obama's war on Libya. Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers have fled back to their own countries, which are hardly able to absorb them into impoverished economies. President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger said that Niger has lost billions of francs in taxes and trade, as well as remittances from 200,000 Nigerians who were working in Libya. It was reported that more than 1,000 Africans landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa overnight yesterday, bringing the total to more than 11,000 who have landed there trying to escape various wars in North Africa since the beginning of the year. According to the Italian Catholic organization Sant'Egidio, at least 1,820 migrants from North Africa have drowned in efforts to reach Europe.
Africa's IGAD Supports Sudan, Opposes Indictment of Bashir
July 10 (EIRNS)The official communiqué from the 18th extraordinary session of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) meeting on July 4, unequivocally supported the government Sudan against attempts by the West to weaken the Presidency of Omar al-Bashir and the Khartoum government. The IGAD is a seven-country regional development organization in East Africa.
The communiqué stated that IGAD "calls upon the international community to keep its commitment to support the people of Sudan by granting debt relief, removal of Sudan from the list of states sponsors of terrorism, lifting of sanctions and deferral on the ICC [International Criminal Court] indictment in accordance with Article 16 of the Rome Statute."
In addition, the communique "congratulates President Omar al-Bashir and First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit for their exemplary leadership, courage, and commitment to peace...."
IGAD is the African institution which shepherded the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan from 2005 to the end of the post-referendum period, which terminated with the July 9 independence of South Sudan.