There is a new kind of war in Africa.
A war between secular governments and Islamist Jihad.
Many people are fearing to see this kind of war for what it is.
The governments are in panic because Muslims and Christians are part and parcel of their populace in varying proportions in Africa.
African armies and military especially in Western,Eastern and Central African regions comprise of both Muslims and Christians.
Bearing this in mind,it is easy to see why the besieged governments fear to label these wars as religious wars.
That would in effect polarise the very armies that are supposed to fight these jihads.
But the level of civilian casualties is ever increasing in the suicidal attacks propagated by islamist terror groups.
Civil right groups don’t worry very much when civillians are killed,but wait for governments to deploy armed forces to contain these terrorists and then shout discrimination for muslim populace in the victim countries.
It is their modus operand to suck in more donor money.
After all, no civil rights group ever got funded for supporting its own government in war against terror. Just prove me wrong on this one!
But how is military supposed to fight these shadowy terror groups?
Is their basic training in concordance with fighting guerrilla warfare?
Is the police force well equipped to fight these terrorists as a part of internal security programmes?
How will African governments fight these Jihadists without looking over their shoulders for fanatical civil rights groups hell-bent on raising more donor money on platform of discrimination against sections of the general population where these terrorists are hiding?
Just how fragile are African armies?
Indeed, just how fragile are African states?
In March last year, a ragtag army marched onto the capital of the Central African Republic and overran
The result is an unending crisis which has now turned into a bloody religious conflict pitting
Christians against Muslims.
The same can be said for Al shaabab terror in Kenya pitting fanatical Muslims against Christians though we are still in denial of this bare fact.
In 2013, Tuareg Islamists marched over swathes of northern Mali, taking territory, military captives and booty as they declared the north autonomous.
Soon they decided to march south intent on going all the way to the capital Bamako.
The result was a coup in Bamako and alarm in Paris, which sent in
troops to check the Islamists.
Last month, Boko Haram raided a school in northern Nigeria and kidnapped 200 school girls!
The girls have not been rescued amid scary reports that they may have been sold across the border in
Incredibly, Abuja declared a state of
emergency and all-out war against Boko Haram last year, which it is yet to win.
Last December, South Sudan’s army swiftly disintegrated into Dinka-backed and Nuer-fronted factions and went to war; the former to keep
President Salva Kiir in power, the latter to propel sacked Vice-President Riek Marchar to the throne.
Five months later, and after bloodthirsty battles in which thousands have died, the country runs the risk of breaking up.
Khartoum based Islam government must be giggling on these new developments in Southern Sudan!
Over in Kinshasa, President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, has not ended a 20-year-long war with
assorted groups which mutate with each passing day.
They are now epitomised by the M23.
The tragedy is simply that given its expanse, minerals, forests, water, rain, rich soils and many people, a
peaceful Democratic Republic of Congo could easily become an African super power.
TAKE OVER POWER
The militias swept away dictator Mobutu Sese Seko’s military for
Laurent Kabila (Joseph’s father) to take power in Kinshasa in 1997.
These examples will suffice, so let’s go back to the beginning.
It is heart-breaking that assorted
militants can march onto an African capital, take charge of it, and precipitate a civil war.
It is heart-rending that Al Qaeda-inspired Islamists are threatening to take control of vast swathes of
West and North Africa.
It is dreadful that Paris has to send troops to Mali and the CAR to help Bamako and Bangui deal with their disgruntled, disaffected
malcontents, the threat of Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb notwithstanding.
But it is the inexplicable inability of Abuja to beat Boko Haram that sticks in my craw.
Abuja declared a state of emergency in the north and a full-scale war against Islamist Boko Haram a year ago this month.
How mighty is Al-Qaeda-tied Boko Haram to take on the might of the Nigerian military which is
hugely respected throughout West Africa and beyond?
It is ominous that Abuja in February ushered in a year-long celebration of the union between the north and the south, which merger many Nigerians
think was a mistake.
Boko Haram regards Western education as illegitimate and has targeted schools in its anti-Christian crusade.
Perhaps Boko Haram wants to
correct – not celebrate – the mistake of 1914.
But even if that were its objective, even if it is itself testimony to the devolution of Al-Qaeda, this cannot begin to explain the fact that Boko Haram has stood up to the might of the Nigerian military for a year.
Separatist or terrorist or both, that
cannot explain why Abuja has not driven Boko Haram to the ground, out of town and out of business.
So, who is supplying Boko Haram with intelligence about the movements of the Nigerian military?
Who is arming Boko Haram?
Given the new scramble for Africa’s resources, I remember the
Berlin Conference of 1884-1885.
The tactics have not changed: divide and rule; keep them fighting among themselves and steal their wealth.
So, should President Kiir be believed when he claims foreigners are fuelling the war in South Sudan?
Note that he did not name the
foreigners, which tells me they are powerful.
Notice that he said the foreigners need compensation for their role in helping liberate South Sudan, which is a confirmation of the new
clamour for Africa’s resources.
Let’s not forget that Arab Slave Traders,where jihadists are bred, were used as conveyors of African Slaves to western countries in another terrible era of African history.
This time round,it could be the conveyance of African mineral wealth to the same destinations!
In the face of the new scramble for Africa, the African Union must step up to the plate and rally the continent to unite; to stand up to the heirs to the Berlin Conference and to defend the continent’s resources to the hilt, to a country and to a person
Africa’s resources are Africa’s to protect from Beijing or Washington, Boko Haram or M23.
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