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Why free, Fair and Transparent Elections are Not Enough

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Why free, Fair and Transparent Elections are Not Enough: Examining the Cases of South Africa, Libya and Ivory Coast.

Antoine Roger Lokongo*
School of International Studies, Centre for African Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China.
Although Western powers preach democracy to African countries, it is the same Western powers which undermine democracy in Africa and confiscate it. How?     African elected governments must somehow also ‘buy’ another round of legitimacy from Western powers by promising to attend to Western strategic interests (if you are in opposition) and by attending to those Western strategic interests (if you are the incumbent government in power); otherwise they are removed from power by force and other leaders, ready to serve Western strategic interests (control of Africa’s untapped, immense natural and mineral resources), are hoisted to power. Elections therefore provide both an overt and covert legitimacy of power. Yet in both cases, it is the people of Africa who suffer. This article examines the cases of South Africa, Libya and Ivory Coast to show why free, fair and transparent elections are not enough in the pursuit for prosperity of African people.
Keywords: democracy and good governance; sustainable development; elections; legitimacy; strategic interests
[1] According to Western political theory, epitomized by USAID, an effective government–one that represents the interests of the people and is accountable and transparent–is the best insurance that citizens’ needs and desires will be met. Accordingly, in African countries, long-term improvements in health, education, economic growth, and the environment ultimately require responsive and representative governments that can promote and consolidate gains. In contrast, weak governance dampens economic activity, increases the risk of civil unrest, and can create fertile ground for terrorists. USAID recognizes that in 2011, 18 countries in Africa are considered electoral democracies compared with four in 1991, reflecting the long-term progress that has been achieved.
However, USAID is oblivious to the fact that democratically elected governments still face many constraints, especially the constraint of ‘one election, two sources of legitimacy of power’. That is to say, African elected governments must somehow also ‘buy’ another round of legitimacy from Western powers by promising to attend to Western strategic interests (if you are in opposition) and by attending to those Western strategic interests (if you are the incumbent government in power) otherwise they are removed from power by force through assassination, Western induced civil wars, rebellions or wars of aggression and invasion waged by neighbouring countries, etc.
The external democratization pressure exerted by Western powers on Africa has a hidden motive.[2]Yet we know that their own ‘democracies’ are not true democracy in the Greek sense of the term because they have always been taken over by the corporate. It is only now that resistance against such takeover is growing stronger and stronger, including in the form of ‘Occupy the Wall Street Movement’. Two years ago, the decision by the US Supreme Court in the ‘Citizens United’ case, especially provoked widespread criticism in America. As a reminder, five justices declared that corporations must be treated as if they are actual people under the Constitution when it comes to spending money to influence elections, allowing them for the first time to draw on the corporate checkbook – in any amount and at any time – to run ads explicitly for or against specific candidates. Senator Bernie Sander threw the first salvo in the quest to have such decision not to become law when he said:
 ‘The corporate barbarians are through the gate of American democracy. Not satisfied with their all-pervasive influence on our culture, economy and legislative processes, they want more. They want it all’ (Sanders 2012).
In fact, in this era of globalization, Western interests embodied by Western multinationals operating in Africa are more powerful and influential than democratically elected governments there (Imade 2003). a book by Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga, the first Vice-President of Kenya, explains best this predicament. In Not Yet Uhuru[3]- The Autobiography of Oginga Odinga, Odinga argued that the people of a nominally free Kenya had in fact simply exchanged one form of oppression for another in post-Colonial Africa (Odinga 1968, 340).The same can be said of ‘post-democratic Africa’. This is a predicament across over African countries where democracy is at a crossroads owing to the dilemma of the double source of legitimacy of power evoked above. Can To prove our case, let us examine three cases: South Africa, Libya and Ivory Coast (also briefly touching on Zimbabwe and Nigeria).
1.      South Africa: Is it the ‘Don’t kill the goose that lays golden eggs’ democracy?
To say that the South African democracy is delivering very little to Blacks, victims of centuries long system of apartheid but much more to the whites who established the apartheid system, is not to dwell into conspiracy theory. Many analysts concur with each other that although disparities have narrowed somewhat, South Africa’s income distribution is still among the most unequal in the world (Harsch 2001, 12). Alongside displays of prosperity rarely seen anywhere in Africa, millions of South Africans live below the poverty line, while much of Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest commercial centre, remains largely white and quite well-to-do[4].
What you have in South Africa is a ‘Big Bucks for the Elite, Small Change for the Masses’ status quo, as the South African government itself acknowledged in an official document that Mandela’s country is not yet ‘Uhuru’ (Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services 2008) [5] In South Africa, the white still hold the national purse. The new democratic dispensation has not broken the back of the camel of the white order which must remain unchallenged otherwise the economy will collapse. Elected Black leaders have been made to share that conviction. When former South African President FW de Klerk addressed the Royal Commonwealth Society in London on 12 May 2009, the author asked him why ‘two South Africas’ still maintains following the end of apartheid more than a decade ago. In his response, De Klerk (echoing Mandela’s policy of appeasement) said that ‘the South African economy will collapse if compulsory wealth redistribution policies were introduced because white minorities will take their capital out of the country. You would then ‘kill the goose that lays golden eggs’. He made no reference to the outcry of the majority poor blacks who constitute the the African National Congress (ANC)’s electorate.  
1.1. Political power for Blacks, economic power for White and foreign capital.
The elections of 26-29 April 1994 were the outcome of a strategic compromise between the two main politicalactors in South Africa – on the one hand, the African National Congress as the dominant force among theblack majority and the embodiment of their aspiration for national liberation; on the other hand, the National Party(NP), the historic party of Afrikaner nationalism, in power since 1948, responsible for turning apartheid into asystem, but now pursuing ‘reform’ in close alliance with big business (Callinicos 1996, 3).
The ANC finally crossed the portals of state power in May 1994. It could claim a popular mandate arising fromits overwhelming electoral victory. Thanks to this triumph, it not only had a large majority in the National Assembly, but controlled seven of the nine provincial governments set up under the new constitution. ANC’s electoral victory, like the final attainment of national liberation in Zimbabwe in 1980, led to the transfer of political power to the black majority, but left economic power in the hands of white settlers and foreign capital.Only thus could local capitalists be encouraged to keep their money in the country, and foreign ones be persuadedto invest there (Callinicos 1996, 3).
Yet Mugabe found a way of deflecting the mass hunger for change – black empowerment. This slogan was initiallyraised by a black middle class lobby called the Affirmative Action Group. It argued that the source of Zimbabwe’sproblems lay in the continued economic domination of whites; the solution lay in a systematic state promotion ofthe interests of black capitalists. This analysis found a resonance among black bosses, with the majority of whomwere running small businesses, were harder hit by Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) of freemarket policies demanded by the IMF and the World Bank than the bigger firms, which were controlled by localwhites or foreign multinationals. The government itself took up the slogan (and even used it to justify its 1994attempt to hand over farms expropriated from whites to individual black ‘entrepreneurs’, including various ministers and other state officials). ZANU-PF overwhelmingly won ageneral election in April 1995 amid massive popular apathy.
However, in the June 2000 elections, the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),although barely eight month old, nearly won half of the seats in parliament. Even in Western democracies, an eightmonth old party can never win an election. The MDC is said to have enjoyed financial backing from the UK, US,EU and white Commonwealth donors, determined to unseat Mugabe, through the Westminster Foundation for Democracy which found and funds the MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai (Moyo 2011).
ANC general secretary Cyril Ramaphosa, echoing Mugabe, was quoted in Financial Times on 28 July 1995, as making a well publicized attack on ‘monopolies’ like Anglo-American, De Beers and so on, declaring that ‘theANC is committed to breaking the stranglehold these companies have, and ultimately the government will have toact’. So far, it appears that the government has not acted.
1.2. Democratically elected Black Rulers or ‘tools of the old establishment’?!
There is now a handful of black South African multi-millionaires – often derided as ‘the white millionaires in black skin’ oppressing their fellow blacks. Even a South African gold mining company owned by members of the Mandela and Zuma families was accused of exploiting its political connections to avoid punishment over its abuse of workers (Plaut 2011).
South Africa’s incipient black capitalists have been heavily criticized since their emergence in the early 1990s (Randall 1996). They are widely perceived to have no independent base of their own, but instead to have risen on ‘expedient structures’ (Greenblo 1994), only to be the ‘tools of the old establishment’ but dangerous to South Africa (Mamela 1995, 25). That is because they are accused of allowing themselves to be ‘co-opted into what was previously a white boys’ club’ and, in the process, playing ‘directly into the syndrome of white faces, black masks’ (Shilowa 1994). The rise of black capitalists is perceived to be part of what Sam Shilowa (Shilowa 1994b) yet labels as ‘a cosmetic attempt to dress up old apartheid structures of power and privilege’ so as to ‘maintain the status quo, lipsticked and prettified’ as Ebrahim Patel (Patel 1991,70) stereotyped the situation.
The result is that black capitalists are not genuine capitalists, having ‘nothing more than a press-release understanding of the company’, surrounding themselves ‘with white advisors and consultants who then run the company by remote control while they are left to indulge in the life of the nouveau riche’ [6]; adding that senior black managers ‘are hired for their compliance and for their smiling faces in our corporate brochures’, or to act as ‘the gopher: get the business in, smile, shake hands, and then leave it to us to get on with the job’. Whites, it is asserted, have ensured at all costs that their black lackeys ‘don’t ever have to get involved in our core business issues’ (Randall 1996).
In fact, a long ‘Review of Income Poverty in South Africa Since 1994’ recently conducted by the South African Presidency indicates that Blacks still constitute the poorest layer of the South African population, making up over 90% of the 21.9 million poor[7]Recent data published in the latest South Africa Survey by the Bureau of Market Research, Point of Purchase Advertising. International (POPAI) /University of South Africa (UNISA),show that most racial groups saw their Gini scores increase over the past ten years, meaning that the distribution of wealth has become more unequal (proving Malema right after all). Among whites, however, the Gini co-efficient decreased from 0.50 in 1998 to 0.46 in 2008. The Gini increased among Africans by 7%, and among Indians and coloureds by nearly 4%.[8]
Poverty in South Africa is ‘political’ (Ludwig and Nagel 2012, 566). After the recent deadly stampede by students trying to register at the public University of Johannesburg which claimed the life of one applicant’s mother and injuring 20 in the process, even those who support the ANC government say that more needs to be done to increase higher-education opportunities, and to level the playing field for a black majority population that has seen little material change in their lives in the 18 years since the end of apartheid. Baldauf adds that if you look at the education and employment sectors alone, South Africa is still a country with high unemployment – officially 25%, but up to 50% for youths – and a public education system that systematically fails to produce literate, skilled citizens – its schools are ranked 139 in the world in literacy (Baldauf 2012).
1.3. Democratic way forward: ‘black empowerment’, sustainable development as end result.
The ANC is celebrating its 100 years anniversary which opened with an enormous party in Bloemfontein on Sunday, 8 January 2012. Gwynne Dyer quotes William Gumede, a distinguished South African academic, as saying that the 100th anniversary represents a ‘bittersweet victory’. 
 ‘The ANC’s share of the vote has been falling steadily, partly because of its perceived corruption but largely because almost two decades in power will erode the popularity of any political party. The election in 2014 will probably be the last in which it can hope to win a parliamentary majority honestly’ (Dyer 2012).
Although there has been no significant decline in the ANC’s popularity, popular discontent at the disparity between the rich and the poor’s living standards is growing as recurrent strikes by workers’ movements demonstrate (including by the now vociferous ANC’s Youth Wing)[9]. Recently, ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema – once a protégé of Jacob Zuma who helped Zuma to dethrone Thabo Mbeki – came under fire from the ANC for repeatedly calling for South Africa’s wealth to be transferred to the people through the nationalisation of banks and mines and through land expropriation without compensation. Malema and five Youth League colleagues could even be expelled from the ANC which will make them even more popular, ushering a new ANC leadership challenge (Mabuza 2011). The Youth League leader’s call for the overthrow of a friendly government in neighboring Botswana which Malema reportedly claimed was too Western and too capitalist was his latest outburst (Perry 2011).
How does the ANC government bridge the wealth gap between rich and poor, between white minority and black majority? Should it pursue an overall nationalization policy? That is what the black majority hopes for and what the white minority fears most. BusinessReportreported that Roger Baxter, chief economist at the South African Chamber of Mines indeed warned that ‘South Africa’s equity market would collapse if the country pursued nationalization as a policy given the significant weight mining stocks have on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’.[10]
In summary, it is worthwhile to highlight the strong point made by Alain Ndedi in 1994 that the ANC promised to create a better South Africa for all (Ndedi 2011). Various ANC governments since then have adopted many economic programmes with the aim to halve by 2014 poverty and unemployment especially among the Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (PDI). However, the evidence mentioned above show that beside democratic elections, pro-poor economic growth must be developed in order to achieve the expected results of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the South African context.
In the case of Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa … where for many decades black people experienced a segregationist politics of a white minority, democracy, elections seem to mean ‘black empowerment’, in other words, they must result in a ‘black empowerment’ and sustainable development otherwise they Black majority will ask themselves: ‘Is this the democracy we voted for?!’. As a consequence, South Africa may ultimately go the Zimbabwe way if democratically elected South African Black leaders maintain the ‘appeasement to white power policy’ thus risking to erode their own legitimacy.
2. Libya and NATO or the ‘gun-point democracy’?
Through its precise, unremitting and unrelenting combat air patrols using, Apache helicopters, cruise missiles, Predator drones bombing and C-130 gunships, the US and NATO allies achieved their objectives in Libya: they had Muammar Gaddafi and one his sons Mouatassem Gaddafi killed, had his other son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi arrested, most of Libyan government forces surrendered and the National Transition Council Rebel Movement installed as the new legitimate government in Libya; notwithstanding the fact that in the face of massive force of US and NATO allies combined, a small country like Gaddafi’s Libya resisted for more than six months, did not yield to NATO’s demands and Gaddafi has therefore entered history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations, just exactly as former Cuban leader Fidel Castro (Castro 2011) predicted at the start of the Libyan war. This moral victory could not be denied Gaddafi. In one of his reflections, Fidel Castro (Castro 2011) offered a summary of the event as it occurred, saying:
‘Muammar Al-Gaddafi, was mortally wounded by NATO’s most modern fighter planes which intercepted and immobilized his vehicle, was captured alive and then assassinated by men armed by this organization. His body was seized and exhibited as a war trophy, conduct which violates the most fundamental principles of Islamic norms and other religious beliefs around the world. It was announced that shortly Libya will be declared ‘a democratic state which defends human rights’ (Castro 2011).’
2.1. Libyans have not experienced any form of democracy – Western style!
The first questions we must seek to answer are the following: Could Gaddafi’s legacy be vindicated one day? And what is that legacy? From an academic point of view, it is very difficult to objectively judge the Gaddafi regime, since from the points of view of the dominant Western media, NGOs and human rights organisations, academics and politicians, Gaddafi was just a long ruling dictator (42 years in power) who was swept away by the ‘Arab Spring’. We saw it recently in North Korea. After the death of Kim Jong-Il, his son Kim Jong-Un was already dubbed ‘a new dictator’ by Western media, before even he was sworn in (Sébastien 2011). This perception stems from the prejudice they have vis-à-vis political systems which do not bear Western characteristics or values which they want to impose on other people universally. After the West’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, what can be said of ‘Western values’? Are Iraqis and Afghans enjoying peace, freedom of speech, human rights, better living standards and independence to manage their own oil and other natural resources? That is the question which each one of us needs to answer objectively – national sentiments apart – just relying on our consciences, having Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, the thriving and booming opium trade in Afghanistan, the rape of Afghan kids by UK soldiers, the urinating on killed Taliban militants’corpses by US Marines and other unacceptable abuses before us like in front of a mirror (...).
Having said that, many analysts, on the basis of Western political theory, concur with each other that Libyans have not experienced any form of democracy – Western style – since Gaddafi’s coup in 1969. The West frantically rejects Gaddafi’s three basic understanding of ‘democracy on the basis of People’s Power’, ‘Economic Socialism’ and ‘Third International Theory’, as outlined in his Green Book. The ‘Green Book’ rejects Western-style liberal democracy, and encourages the system of direct democracy based on the formation of people’s power committees; so much so that Gaddafi banned all political opposition, loudly advocated sweeping Islamist ideologies that demanded the reordering of the international system, picked territorial fights with neighbors, and supported ‘terrorists’ from the Irish Republican Army to the Palestine Liberation Organization. Libya, accordingly, behaved as a rogue state and a supporter of any anti-Western groups (Abadi 2011). Hugh Miles suggests:
‘By the time Gaddafi renounced the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction in 2004, the international community was eager to begin patching up relations. The regime established the Libyan Investment Authority known in Arabic as ‘the mother of all funds’ with the aim of managing Libya’s excess oil wealth (estimated to be more than $100 billion) and not invested the money in Western ventures but used the money to seduce or show largesse to many Western leaders who are now fighting Gaddafi today’ (Miles 2011).
Shortly before the war, if you look at Colonel Gaddafi’s album, you can view recent photos featuring almost all world leaders embracing Gaddafi.[11]So when did he start to become ‘a dictator who had to go’? That is the question. In fact, Ian Black and Kim Willsher (Black and Willsher 2011) reported that Saif al-Islam GaddafiMuammar Gaddafi’s son claimed that Libya helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s successful election campaign in 2007, and demanded that the French president return the money to ‘the Libyan people’. If this is true, it is hard to see how Libyan people will get back that money. Secondly, this could have humiliated Sarkozy, and hence his haste in wanting to be seen as playing the major role in implementing the ‘no fly zone’ in Libya in order to fix things at home, with an impending presidential election round the corner. After all, as Jenn Jagire (Jagire 2011) reminds us, history tells us – and Africa should remember this - that when the Portuguese colonies of Africa were lost, it caused a revolution in Portugal itself and that, usually, Western leaders use their ‘victories’ in Africa to promote themselves at home.
2.3. ‘Gun-point democracy’ or ‘regime change’ by all undemocratic means necessary
Why was French President Nicolas Sarkozy so upbeat about ‘getting rid of Gaddafi’? Bruno Waterfield (Waterfield 2000) suggests that Sarkozy fell out with Gaddafi after the latter rejected Sarkozy’s idea of launching a new political and economic entity dubbed the ‘Mediterranean Union’ to unite Arabs, Israelis, Southern Europeans and North Africans. But the project also failed to convince German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who suspected Sarkozy of wanting to create a political dynamic in the South that would compete with that of the European Union (EU) as well as that of the African Union. Gaddafi particularly accused Sarkozy of trying to divide Africa and the broader Arab world by drawing a Mediterranean Union map that echoes old colonialist designs for the region.
At the very time when the ‘Arab Spring’ was sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, Western powers wanted ‘regime change’ in Libya and they used the so-called politics of ‘humanitarian interventionism’ to achieve that. However, In addition to authorizing a ‘no-fly zone’ and tightening sanctions against ‘the Gaddafi regime and its supporters’, the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 called for ‘all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi’. At the same time, it expressly ‘excluded a foreign occupation force of any form’ or in ‘any part of Libyan territory’.
Instead, tens of thousands of Libyans, armed and civilians, have been killed through NATO bombings (including one of Gaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, and three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren). Reporting in the English version of Pravda, a Russian newspaper, Lisa Karpova (Karpova 2011) wrote:
‘It is estimated that at least 100,000 Libyans have been murdered both by NATO bombings and by actions of the terrorists and mercenaries that NATO has dumped into the country. NATO used dirty weapons, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous and fuel air bombs...horrid anti-human weapons of mass murder. Ironically, NATO is so very concerned about civilians that their use of depleted uranium has deposited into the Libyan atmosphere radiation of unknown magnitude. By comparison, the radiation in Iraq they are responsible for equals 250,000 Nagasaki bombs.’
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (Museveni 2011) suggested that the present crisis in Libya is exacerbated by NATO’s external meddling, even sidelining the already taken for granted African Union - not only the African Union. Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin went as far as warning that UN Security Council, ‘risks becoming an agency that is constantly ignored’ [12]- as NATO’s Libya military campaign has shown); by the fact that external forces - using their technological superiority to impose war on a less developed country, without impeachable logic, thus igniting an arms race in the world - have arrogated themselves the role of Libyan internal forces to bring about democracy and restore government legitimacy through elections. Libyans should resolve their problems among themselves through dialogue. Foreign, political, and military involvement in Africa (the slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, etc.), he reckons have been disastrous as they have not brought prosperity but only stagnation on the continent.
2.3. ‘New democratic rulers’ or ‘former terrorists’ on CIA’s watching list?
What becomes hard to comprehend is the fact that that Western powers cooperated with elements of Al-Qaeda - a Islamic organization reputed responsible for the 9/11 attack against America - to overthrow Qaddafi. Many analysts offer plenty of evidence which support the fact that in Libya, it was the West and al-Qaeda on the same side (Spencer 2011). Already in 2002, French intelligence experts revealed that the British intelligence paid large sums of money to an al-Qaeda cell in Libya in a doomed attempt to assassinate Colonel Gadaffi in 1996 and thwarted early attempts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice (Bright 2002). Moreover, some analysts dubbed the NTC ‘CIA’s Libya Rebels’ (Tarpley 2011). Has the international world opinion been lied to by America for a long time now? Another proof at hand is that one of the top Libyan opposition military leaders happened to be Khalifa Haftar, a former Libyan army colonel, who spent 25 years living just seven miles from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, with no obvious means of support.  He says ‘he had often talked to the Central Intelligence Agency while he lived in exile in suburban Virginia’ (Brar 2011). The Libyan war has been prepared by Western powers for a very long time. It is therefore factually untrue to call it an uprising, Tunisian and Egyptian style.
Proofs abound that Western powers cooperated with elements of Al-Qaeda their supposedly ‘bitter enemies’ to overthrow Qaddafi and that many Islamic members linked to Al-Qaeda have been fighting in the Libyan rebel ranks (Gardham, Swami, Squires and 2011). Eli Lake (Lake 2011) revealed in The Washington Times that Al Qaeda in Maghreb, Al Qaeda’s North Africa affiliate publicly offered its assistance and support to rebels in Libya. Moreover, France’s acts of parachuting arms to the rebels was also dangerous because the danger now is that those arms will be used by Al Qaeda islamists in their campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa. Chadian President Idriss Deby confirmed in an interview with the weekly Jeune Afrique, that Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) took an active part in the Libyan uprising and took advantage of the uprising in Libya to take ground-air missiles (MANPADS), saying:
‘The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere.[13]This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region.It could have heavy consequences for the stability of the region and the spread of terrorism in Europe, the Mediterranean and the rest of Africa’ (Jeune Afrique/AFP 2011). 
Most of Libya’s ‘new democratic rulers’ are ‘former terrorists’ on the CIA’s watching list, therefore lack democratic credentials. Shortly after the start of the war in Libya in March 2011, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the leader of the anti-Gaddafi rebel army, admitted that the rebel ranks include thousands of Al-Qaeda Islamic Jihadists Mujahedeen (‘terrorists’ who have killed U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (Watson 2011). Some of them were freshly released from Guantanamo to go and fight in Libya (Levinson 2011).
Ironically, President Barack Obama, on 2012 New Year’s Eve, signed a bill into law that allows the indefinite detention of any terrorism suspect, including Americans arrested in the US. A provision in that latest defence authorization bill permits the US government to imprison without trial anyone who has ‘substantially supported al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States.’ This would include US citizens arrested anywhere in the world (Brinkerhoff and Wallechinsky 2012).[14]Let President Obama practice what he preaches in Libya then! Is the world community that naïve? We must not forget that in February 2004, then-Director of Central Intelligence George
Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that ‘one of the most immediate threats [to U.S. security in Iraq] is from smaller international Sunni extremist groups that have benefited from al-Qaida links. They include ... the [Benghazi-based] Libyan Islamic Fighting Group(LIFG) [now in power in Libya].’[15]We must not also forget that the same LIFG attempted to assassinate Gaddafi in February 1996, an operation that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer David Shayler (Wheen’s World 1999).
3.4. Establishing a client state for hegemonic and economic-geo-strategic reasons.
The war in Libya has also proved that Western media are the sounding boards of their governments’foreign policies. Libyan rebels were clearly aided by the NATO bombings, Western public relations companies such as the US-based Harbour Group hired by the NTC (Scott 2011) and by the lies of Western media (plus Al Jazeera) whose quality of journalism is suspect and partial. Sergey Balmasov(Balmasov 2011) strongly denounced this kind of journalism, calling it the ‘prostitution of Western journalism’. Gardham, Harding and Rayner (Gardham, Harding and Rayner 2011) also suggest that the rebels enjoyed the support of Western secret services as well.
Apart from Western powers’rush to lay their hands on Libyan oil, could the demise of the dollar and the search for a new world currency also be one of the root causes of the Libyan regime change? Some analysts, including Ellen Brown suggest that because Saddam Hussein switched from dollars to euros about a year before the American led Iraqi invasion, this explained among other reasons why twelve months later Iraq was invaded, Saddam was hanged, and the dollar was restored to circulation in Iraq. Gaddafi likewise made a similar ‘mistake’ when he initiated ‘a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, ‘the gold dinar.’ Now the wrath of the Empire has descended on Gaddafi like a ton of bricks (Brown 2011). Nevertheless, history will soon prove Gaddafi right. The US is losing its reserve currency status…slowly (Rab 2012).
The haste with which Western powers wanted to lay their hands on Libya’s vast oil riches (3.5% of global oil reserves with 46.5 billion barrels of proven reserves) suggests that oil was the primary target of NATO’s military campaign. While the fight over Tripoli was not even over, the carve-up of Libya’s vast oil riches – the biggest in Africa – was already underway. The Italian Foreign Minister fired the starting gun, saying Italy’s ENI oil company will play the number-one role in the region. In fact, during the meeting of international partners in Paris, The National Transition Council (NTC) secretly promised 35% of Libyan oil to France in return for support, sidelining Russia and China for their support to the Qaddafi regime (Filippis 2011). This suggests that in the post-Gaddafi political dispensation, the Libyan people in their majority will be completely sidelined and that the NTC’s integrity in running the affairs of the state is already called into question.
In fact, the French daily Le Post, quoting Zengtena News Agency, revealed that the US and NATO allies have presented a $480 billion bill to the new Libyan leaders, equivalent to 50 years of oil exports (Le Post 2011). We can therefore draw the conclusion that should democratic elections be organized in Libya, the party that will probably win legitimacy is the ones that is, according to Western powers most likely to attend to its strategic oil interests there, in this case the not long ago rebel movement called the Transitional National Council (NTC). Who else can US and NATO allies deal with to pay the aforementioned bill? The NTC is already recognized by Western powers as the sole legitimate authority representing the Libyan people before even they win an election and frozen assets of the Libyan state are already made available to them.
Western powers can be quite sure of securing the lion’s share of oil contracts in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi. In a way the NTC can be sure of winning the elections as it is already portrayed as the movement of change which already enjoys the diplomatic recognition of all Western powers and of Russia and China. The NTC has already bought or secured half of its legitimacy by granting oil contracts to countries that are backing it now. The ballot box will just be an extension of that legitimacy. Moreover, should elections be organized in Libya, no Gaddafi loyalists – now hunted down - will be allowed to stand. It will be a test for the NTC which says it is fighting for democracy.
The world community also expects the NTC to cooperate with international justice. Although an arrest warrant had previously been issued against Gaddafi before his death by the International Criminal Court, human rights organizations have already detailed crimes against humanity which were committed in Libya in NTC controlled-areas. Wolfgang Weber (Weber 2011) suggests that black Africans who were working in the agriculture and oil sectors in Libya had to flee Benghazi. Many have been massacred by the rebels who targeted them as ‘African mercenaries recruited by the Gaddafi regime’.
It can be established that the NTC owes its legitimacy to NATO’s bombing campaign, manpower (regular Western powers’soldiers as well as mercenaries or private military contractors), intelligence and new weapons (tanker aircraft, AWACS, American tomahawks spewing missiles), some used for the first time in Libya. Julian Borger and Martin Chulov (Borger and Chulov 2011) reported that armed Westerners had been filmed by Al Jazeera on the front line with rebels near Misrata in the first apparent confirmation that foreign special forces are playing an active role in the Libyan conflict. Qatari troops also backed the rebels and now Turkey is supplying military equipments to the new Libyan army. This is according toLisa Karpova (Karpova 2012), writing for English Pravda, quoting Prensa Latina.
The regime that is now established in Libya is not a democracy but a ‘cannon-cracy’; that isa political epithet this writer coined to refer to a ‘democracy’ imposed ‘at gun point’ or using bombs and canons irrespective of huge losses of human lives, mostly civilians. Taking into consideration another African context, Nigeria, Michael Keating (Keating 2009) quotes Nigerian Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka calling Nigeria’s a ‘sham democracy’; arguing that the ‘sham democracy’ (or ‘demon-crazy’ as Nigerian pop star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti once described Nigeria’s democracy) is supported by the West, which unfortunately has a bad habit of looking the other way so long as the charade is good enough and the oil keeps flowing. In fact, under the IMF ‘structural adjustments’, the Nigerian government decided scrapped fuel subsidy to hundreds of millions of poor and the masses are have taken to the streets to protest against the violation of their basic (democratic) rights and the UN, IMF, World Bank’s conspiracy against the Nigerian people as Olutayo Olubi (Olubi 2012) suggested.
2.5. An aggression that has nothing to do with ‘Arab Spring’.
If you put all the above facts regarding the situation in Libya together, it becomes factually and historically untrue to categorize the US and NATO’s invasion of Libya as part of the Arab Spring – as Western media have done - which toppled West-backed dictators in Tunisia and Egypt (where the gains of Islamists’rules are still to be seen: Young Tunisians are voting with their feet, leaving their country in their tens of thousands, unemployment has doubled and 50% of the economy remains largely informal; protests against the military still rock Egypt) and which forced the regimes in Morocco and Jordan to issue quick reforms to prevent the same scenario in their own countries. What happened in Libya was a blatant aggression against Libya by US and NATO allies. In his report published in American Forces Press Service, Jim Garamone (Garamone 2011) quoted US Army General Carter F. Ham as boasting that ‘Libya was the first major combat operation for US Africa Command, and its men and women responded well’, adding that ‘still, Africom - the military’s newest combatant command -- is assessing the lessons learned from Libya and will make necessary changes’.
The total destruction of Libya’s infrastructures bombed back to Stone Age by US and NATO allies belie the ‘Arab Spring label’. It is estimated that it would cost about $200bn to restore Libya to its pre-war state and it is the US and NATO allies who will pick up lucrative contracts to rebuild (Brar 2011). Tunisians and Egyptians did not destroy all their countries’infrastructures in the process of getting Ben Ali and Mubarak out.
Harpal Brar (Brar 2011) refutes the assertion put forward by what he calls ‘the spokesmen and organs of imperialism’ according to which what happened in Libya was ‘a popular revolution only slightly helped by its friends from abroad’.  The question Brar asks is that ‘does a popular revolution depend upon foreigners coming to liberate you?’ His own answer is that ‘it does not’.  Brar concludes that if it was such a popular revolution, then Colonel Gaddafi’s regime would have been swept away in the same way as Ben Ali’s regime in Tunisia and Mubarak’s regime in Egypt were. 
‘Since it could not be done like that in Libya, so imperialism had to bring its might to bear on the country.  It did not limit itself to supplying weapons and applying sanctions, but unleashed saturation bombing on every centre of population; Misurata, Ajdabiya, Tripoli, Zawiya and several other centres of population. What was a beautiful country a few months ago has been reduced to rubble.’ (Brar 2011).
The Libyan war shows that the US and NATO allies have taken the international law into their own hands, trampling down the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries that resist their hegemony and stand in their way. In fact after Colonel Gaddafi’s murder, the Financial Times warned that ‘Gaddafi’s fate should also send shivers down the spines of other Arab tyrants now using military might to fight uprisings in Syria and Yemen’ (Daragah2011).
It is interesting to notice that the Financial Times fails to mention other Arab tyrants such as the King of Saudi Arabia, the Emir of Bahrain, the Emir of Qatar, the King of Oman. This led Harpal Brar to argue that ‘the fact that the Saudi King and other medieval creatures in the region beat up their women the moment they get into a car and start driving, that is OK.  The fact that a woman cannot go into a shopping centre without being accompanied by her son or husband, this is fine with the self-proclaimed imperialist guardians of human rights’. Brar ironised:
‘The Saudi King and other medieval creatures in the region do not know in which corner of their country a new Colonel Gaddafi is lurking.  The rising bourgeois of these medieval states are seething with anger that the wealth of their rich countries is being squandered by the playboy rulers of those countries, who are in league with imperialism and sell their country down the river.  It is not actually at all surprising that of the 18 or 19 people involved in 9/11 in New York and Washington, 15 were from Saudi Arabia and all from rich families.  There is a rising bourgeoisie which is patently dissatisfied with these feudal outfits’ (Brar 2011).
The question that comes to mind now is whether the widespread and ongoing violence and bloodshed in Syria is an attempt by US and NATO allies to ‘remake the Libyan scenario’ in Syria. The Syrian opposition has now formed its own ‘Syrian National Council’, based in Istanbul. Supported by Western human rights organizations (such as the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights), the new ‘Syrian National Council’ is pushing both for sanctions (already tabled at the UN Security Council by the US and the EU but vetoed by Russia and China) and for military intervention against the regime of President Assad.
In an editorial in the China Daily, Yamei Wang states that with the help of external forces, the Syrian opposition has been growing increasingly stronger in its confrontation with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, resulting in thousands of deaths, including civilians and soldiers. According to the Beijing-based newspaper, by calling on the Syrian opposition to refrain from dialogue with the government, Western countries are sending the signal that they back the opposition to topple the government by means of violence, warning that trying to repeat the ‘Libya model’ in Syria is dangerous considering the geostrategic importance of the country in the Middle East and its intricate and delicate relations with neighboring countries, especially its close ties with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, all of which are hostile to the West; given the fact that Syria has long been seen as the region's most combustible geopolitical flashpoint and President Assad has warned that Western powers risk causing an ‘earthquake’ and that ‘any problem in Syria will burn the whole region’ (Wang 2012).
At the same time, Russia warned that ‘a similar scenario to that of Libya is developing in Syria, while noting that, this time, the attack will come from neighboring Turkey (Castro 2012). In fact, 22 Libyan rebels belonging to the battalion of Tripoli Military Governor Abdelhakim Belhadj were recently captured by the Syrian army according to dispatch by (Algeria 2011). What must not be overlooked is the fact France and the US, having been taken by surprise in Tunisia and Egypt respectively, where they backed two brutal dictatorships for several decades, tried to salvage the ‘Arab Spring’ and attempting to mastermind it in other far away lands, including China where such a hypocritical recuperation there called ‘Jasmine Revolution’ failed miserably to materialize after being uncovered early. They all want ‘democracy’ to come to China. Surprisingly and going against every diplomatic etiquette, the then American ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, was spotted taking part in an anti-government gathering which was part of a loosely organized protest movement dubbed the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ and linked to pro-democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa. He was caught on tape and quickly left the scene after someone in the crowd noticed his presence and accused him of ‘wanting to see chaos in the country’ (Hunt, Kasie and Lee 2011).
Moreover, Dieter Neumann (Neumann 2012) suggests that the Libya uprising provided America and its NATO allies the first opportunity to turn back Chinese influence in Africa. Chinese companies had an estimated US$20 billion in projects underway and had courted Muammar Gaddafi for many years. As the NATO-enabled rebel tide overwhelmed the Gaddafi forces, 36,000 Chinese engineers, tradesmen, and technicians fled the country. Chinese infrastructure projects and its involvement in Libya’s oil sector lay in disarray. In fact, according to Neumann, the creation of Africom in 2006 by the US military was a signal that America would not simply lie back and allow the Chinese to become ‘the hegemon’ for the continent. That signal by itself was not enough, however. By 2009 Chinese trade with Africa surpassed America’s for the first time (Neumann 2012).
2.6. Libyans will free themselves from the newly imposed ‘democratic dispensation’.
To sum up, Gaddafi is gone but resistance against Western occupation in Libya must not be ruled out, in fact it is already resurging as the recapture of the key city of Bani Walid by Pro-Gaddafi forces on 23 January 2012.[16]The NTC has now to contend with a vibrant, well-financed, grassroots-supported resistance. Harpal Brar suggests that the devastation caused by imperialism in Libya will not prevent an insurgency, arguing that even now, that the regime of Colonel Gaddafi still has the support of the overwhelming majority of the Libyan people.  As he put it,
‘Although he has died people’s sentiments have not disappeared and they are unlikely to bend the knee to imperialism’s flunkeys and serve them. A lot of people have been enraged by this predatory war.  Their beautiful lives and country have been destroyed. It is difficult even to imagine the kind of resistance put up in Sirte and many other places unless the defenders were single-mindedly devoted to the regime under attack’ (Brar 2011).
How is ‘democracy’ taking root in Libya more than two months after the death of Col Muammar Gaddafi - and nearly five since he was removed from power? Different scenarios are unfolding. Many analysts say that Libya’s new government faces problems in securing order (Lowen 2012). Various militias of the NTC are now fighting, killing and injuring each other (Gatehouse 2012). One militia, fearing other militias even invited foreigners in to protect them. The NTC’s headquarters in Benghazi has been burnt down by protesters. The NTC is composed of ‘men armed by US and NATO allies’. They are not their own men. In fact there are squabbling and infighting between Islamists and non-Islamists, between the defectors from Colonel Gaddafi’s regime and non-defectors, between the monarchists and non-monarchists (and on top of this, of course, at some stage, between sections of these groups and Western powers, if they refuse to take orders from Western powers). This infighting have now broken out in the open, making the formation of the new government a near impossible task. This, among others facts, vindicates Gaddafi and his legacy.
This mayhem previously witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan before it, is part of a carefully crafted plan of destabilization that ultimately serves Israel and US imperial interests. All of the petroleum platforms in Libya are now occupied by NATO and warships occupy Libya’s ports. Reports are that even while the Misrata rebels (NATO allies responsible for the murder of hundreds of Libyans, including Moatessem Gaddafi, attempted to scale the petroleum platforms in Brega (an important oil town in Libya), they were annihilated by the Apache helicopters of their own NATO allies. This explains why President Obama sending 12, 000 U.S. troops to Libya. The 12,000 U.S. troops are now stationed in Malta and they are about to make their descent into Libya. Those who predicted that America will soon build military bases in Libya are not wrong after all (McKinney 2012). This is not ‘democracy’. This is ‘canon-cracy’ (a generic term to describe the kind of ‘democracy’ America is imposing all over the world using puppet regimes).
3. Ivory Coast forever under French control, independent of elections outcome.
The current situation in Ivory Coast has a lot to teach Africans about what really confers the legitimacy of power in Africa independent of the outcome of the so many ‘democratic elections that are organized throughout the continent: Western strategic interests - French interests in the case of Ivory Coast. In other words, those African governments which do not allow their countries to be looted by Western powers don’t last.  Former South African President Thabo Mbeki explained it well when he wrote that, in Ivory Coats, the national interests of France, consistent with its Françafrique policies, which aim to perpetuate a particular relationship with its former African colonies, come first. This is in keeping with remarks made by former French President François Mitterand when he said, ‘Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century’, which former French foreign minister Jacques Godfrain confirmed when he said: ‘A little country [France], with a small amount of strength, we can move a planet because [of our]...relations with 15 or 20 African countries...’ (Mbeki 2011).
3.1. What really happened in Ivory Coast?
Debo Onifade explains that elections were rigged in the north of Ivory Coast for Ouattara with good help from the French military and ‘UN peace keeping troops’, but the international community refused to come for a vote re-count, went against the country’s Constitutional Court, which, after examining the situation and the voting procedures, declared that President Gbagbo was re-elected. This was in opposition to the Ouattara electoral commission which declared their man as the winner although many Ivorian people voted for Gbagbo across the country. However, the French captured Gbagbo and handed him over to Ouattara, but now they are telling lies that they just aided the capture. The question that needs to be asked is: which UN resolution gave the French the right to effect a regime change in Ivory Coast given the fact that even Nigeria (the power house of Ecowas) had not given a go-ahead for using force to oust Gbagbo? (Onifade 2011).
In Ivory Coast, the international community, including the UN abandoned their neutrality and decided that Ouattara has won the elections and installed him as president of Ivory Coast, very much against the country’s Constitutional Court’s final verdict which proclaimed Gbagbo the winner. According to Thabo Mbeki (Mbeki 2011), France, after smothering the African Union, used its privileged place in the Security Council to position itself to play an important role in determining the future of Côte d'Ivoire, its former colony in which, inter alia, it has significant economic interests. It joined the United Nations to ensure that Ouattara emerged as the victor in the Ivorian conflict (Mbeki 2011). Mbeki concluded that without it being reformed, it will now be difficult for the United Nations to convince Africa and the rest of the developing world that it is not a mere instrument in the hands of the world’s major powers (Mbeki 2011).
In 2000, the same international community respected the verdict of the US Supreme Court which declared George W. Bush the winner instead of Al Gore. However, a 2 November 2004 BBC report reminds us that we should not forget how in 2000, the announcement of the eventual winner of the US presidential elections was delayed for about five weeks by several recounts in the state of Florida. Outdated voting methods in that state were seen by some as handing George W Bush a tainted victory in the race for the White House. As a vanguard of modern democratic ideals and principles, the United States is often held up as an example of how democracy should be practiced. But in 2000 we watched the US election process marred with accusations of intimidation of voters, personality attacks, vote-buying, missing ballot papers and other alleged irregularities in the run-up to the polls.[17] If the Western financial system (please be reminded of the global financial crisis) and the Western democracy (please be reminded of electoral frauds in George W. Bush’s favour in America in 2000) aren’t working, why should we adopt them in Africa? That is the question.
3.2. Is Ivory Coast, like all other African ‘democracies’, truly independent?
In the case of Ivory Coast, Gary Busch tried to answer this question by factually uncovering many ‘hidden truths’ about that country (Busch 2010). Ivory Coast, he found out, is the world’s biggest cocoa producer and No. 3 largest producer of coffee; it accounts for 45% of the economic size of West Africa, second to Nigeria. But by the old order, for instance, out of every dollar earned by Ivory Coast from the cash crops, 75% was banked in Paris to ‘secure’ the Communauté Financière Africaine or the CFA franc, the common currency in Franco-phone or French speaking West Africa. Of course, such arrangement, cemented by France’s policy of assimilation, only guarantees Paris’ continued prosperity at the expense of the West African nation. So Ivory Coast is still a country still dominated by French interests. The current situation in Ivory Coast therefore demonstrates that in West Africa, African politicians and parties elected to promote growth, reform, diversification of economic partners, changes in trade and fiscal policies are made irrelevant except with the consent of the French Treasury which rations their funds. After more than 50 years of independence, France still controls most of the infrastructure in West Africa in general and in Ivory Coast in particular and holds these
countries’foreign currency reserves as part of the 14-nation Franc Zone (Busch 2010). 
The airline, telephone, electricity and water companies, and some major banks, are French-controlled. In the same article, Busch states that the famous ‘Accords de Coopération’, signed after Independence by the late President Félix Houphouët-Boigny and France’s then Premier, Michel Debré, are still technically applicable. France maintains a stranglehold of Ivorian commerce and currency which vitiates national initiatives towards independence (Busch 2010).
Gary Busch suggests in the same article that this privileged position of France is confirmed by a report from the UN Commission which he quotes as saying: ‘The testimony we have assembled has also enabled us to see that the law of 1998 concerning rural property is linked to the dominant position that France and French interests occupy in Cote d'Ivoire. According to these sources, the French own 45% of the land and, curiously, the buildings of the Presidency of the Republic and of the Ivorian National Assembly are subject to leases concluded with the French. French interests are said to control the sectors of water and electricity’ (Busch 2010).
Busch concludes in the same article that after inauguration in 2000, Gbagbo set out to reverse some of the exclusive concessions enjoyed by the colonial master. Meaning that France had, in reality, continued to exercise total control over the economy of a supposedly ‘independent’ Ivorian nation. All the big contracts were reserved for French companies as ‘birthright’. Though this systematic exploitation predated Ivory Coast’s independence in 1960, the post-independence leadership of Houghet-Boigny did little or nothing to reverse the arrangement out of what could, at best, be described as political naivety, if not outright imbecility (Busch 2010). What Gbagbo did was to insist on competitive bids for such jobs, so much that other world powers like China began to have a foothold in the Ivorian economy.
3.3. Gbagbo not ‘democratically elected’ according to France’s national interests.
Now, even in jail, Laurent Gbagbo (Gbagbo 2011) says ‘he continues to refuse the position of the frame in which Western powers want to absolutely keep the African people’.
 ‘Indeed, I remain convinced that in the dialectical relationship of the rider and the horse, regardless of the quality and quantity of hay that the rider gives the horse, the rider’s position is largely comfortable than that of the riding horse’, wrote Gbagbo in his Independence Day Letter to the Nation, dated 6 August 2011.
‘In a competitive world, it is unrealistic to believe that a people can provide the perfect happiness of another people, history shows no example of this type. Therefore, when I took office as Head of State, I put my political commitments, economic and social in the sense of our sovereignty, which in my view is a prerequisite for any development,’ he wrote (Gbagbo 2011).
For Laurent Gbgbo, like Patrice Lumumba, Democratic Republic of Congo’s independence slain leader therefore, the nation’s independence meant nothing until Ivorians themselves truly began to exercise sovereignty over their land, unencumbered by a domineering former colonial master. Most observers of the political scene in Africa in general and in Ivory Coast in particular, would agree that is the main reason among others why he is now where he is: in jail. The French bombed the presidential palace in Abidjan, captured Gbagbo and First Lady Simone Gbagbo and handed them over to their archenemy Ouattara. Laurent Gbagbo and Simone Gbagbo were detained separately. Laurent Gbagbo, a prisoner of Ouattara by Sarkozy’s orders, spent 11 months in confinement without seeing the light of day except when his lawyers were allowed to visit him (they were scarcely allowed to visit him). He was transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague without notice, his lawyers were not informed in advance.
But now at Hague Gbagbo has scored his first big moral victory against Obama, Sarkozy and Ouattara who accused him of embezzling billions of dollars of his country Ivory Coast. Now the ICC with the collaboration of the ‘new government in Abidjan’’ conducted a thorough investigation and found no single bank account in Gbagbo's name anywhere in the world, so much so that now that the ICC has decided to grant Gbagbo legal aid. Ironically, it was the pro-Sarkozy french daily Le Figaro which broke the story (Cyrille 2012). The people of Ivory Coast have not said their last word.
Western powers preach ‘democracy’ to African people. At the same time, they confiscate that democracy by confiscating African countries’economic power by seeking to control Africa’s massive wealth and continue to keep Africa as “the assisted continent” through the UN, NGOs, churches, IMF, World Bank … mechanisms. They continue to maintain a colonial mentality vis-à-vis Africa and Cold War mentality vis-à-vis China, a rising power. Or, if African countries have no economic power, we can deduce that there is no democracy in Africa. How would then democratically elected leaders who really want develop their countries deliver wellbeing to their people who elected them without having full economic power? Those who are plundering Africa’s wealth are therefore confiscating democracy with the complicity of their “men in Africa”.
For African countries to achieve true democracy, they must first of all achieve a full economic independence following the merely political or “flag and anthems” independence they have attained, and democratize that economic power. To democratize economic power means that African countries must exercise their power, that is to say, they have to deal with the rest of the world only on their own terms in, thus increase their bargaining power. To redress the current balance of power which is not tilting to their favour, African countries must establish the rules of the game and their foreign partners follow; they must come to develop their own technologies thanks to a “Win-Win-South-South Cooperation” or WWSS (because Western powers will never share their technologies with Africa for fear of losing control), in order to transform their own natural and mineral resources on the spot - including the manufacturing of arms to defend their political and economic sovereignty - and create not only jobs for their people but also markets on national, regional, continental and international levels; instead of merely remaining forever consumers of finished goods manufactured by others with Africa’s own resources cheaply looted in the ways that we have described in this article.
The sad reality is that Africa is not one unified political, economical and ideological entity. If Africans do not achieve such a political, economical and ideological unity in the framework of the WWSS, they will perish, for in a hundred years’time or less, Africa could be totally sold out. Libya, Ivory Coast, the split of Sudan… could just be the beginning! Only in unity will African leaders be able to resist Western powers’interference. Only in unity will they be able to reject the politics of ‘divide and rule’ used by Western powers to keep Africa backward and weak enough to have its resources easily looted through unscrupulous leaders who will consequently be isolated and through other Western controlled mechanisms, including the IMF, the World Ban, the UN, Western NGOs, Western controlled Catholic and Protestant churches, African Military Commands.... The day the politics of ‘divide and rule’ used by Western powers will no longer work in Africa will mark the beginning of Africa’s renaissance.
This paper is revised version based on the draft already posted Pambazuka News website (
Notes on contributor:
A.R. Lokongo, Chinese name 龙刚(Long Gang), is a Congolese national (DRC). He completed his MA in International Journalism (media and international relations) at City University, London, worked as a political journalist for nine years before going into academia. After one year as a PhD candidate at Reading University, he obtained a Chinese government scholarship and decided to pursue his PhD at the School of International Studies, Centre for African Studies, Peking University. He has published many articles on the Sino-DRC contracts, which, for him, can thwart the return of Western patronage in the DRC (
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[1] The USAID cites a number of obstacles which hinder the consolidation of democratic political systems in Africa, including: entrenched political leaders, a lack of checks and balances, the high incidence of conflict, endemic corruption, legal restrictions on civil society, ethnic grievances, and a lack of a democratic political culture, adding that a recent spate of coups, ethnic conflict, suppression of civil society, and political stalemates between opposing factions suggest a trend of democratic backsliding across all regions of Africa. For more information, please see: USAID (2011).
[2] African countries are told to democratize, ensure good governance, good business climate… nowadays they must also uphold gay rights otherwise western aid will be denied them.
[3]Uhuru is a Swahili word which means freedom (socio-political and economic freedom).
[4]The exclusive neighbourhood of Sandton boasts everything: large and spacious houses, parks, shopping malls, corporate headquarters, hotels and a high tax base to support ample amenities and services. The residents – whites and a few better-off blacks – are protected by walls, electrified fencing and private security firms constantly on patrol.
[5] The document is titled: ‘SOUTH AFRICA Scenarios 2025: Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services (PCAS)’, published by the Presidency of South Africa in September 2008. It aims to stimulate discussion about some of the challenges South Africa might face after 30 years of democracy.
[6] See also Mamela (2011). In two articles in the South African daily Mail & Guardian, Mamela argued that the black middle class is ‘uncaring and more European than African’.
 [7] See also, Finn, Leibbrandt and Woolard (2010).This report presents a detailed an
alysis of changes in both poverty and inequality since the fall of Apartheid, and the potential drivers of such developments.
[8] See also, Bosch and Rossouw (2010). They argue that the Gini coefficient is now at the heart of the political debate on distribution of income and wealth (and indeed its re-distribution) in South Africa, ranging from Black Economic Empowerment to nationalisation of the mining industry.
[9] These movements called for land redistribution and economic redistribution of wealth that is concentrated in the hands of a tiny racist White minority; and intensify their demand for nationalization of mines, banks and other monopoly industries.
[10] See also, Gumede (2012). Here Gumede suggests that Malema seems to have convinced some of South Africa’s disenchanted poor that nationalisation of the mines, banks and land – all mainly still in white hands – can provide an economic nirvana, creating jobs and opportunities for all.
[11] Afrique Dossier/Réseau Nerrati Presse (2011). Here you can view Gaddafi’s recent photos taken almost with all the world leaders.
[12] See also, Radyuhin (2012). In its first report on the state of human rights in the world, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the United States and NATO of large-scale violations of human rights during the military operation in Libya, including the deliberate murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi and the killing of hundreds of civilians.
[13]Tenere is a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from northeast Niger to western Chad.
[14] See also, (2012). Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul took a break from his campaign to come out in opposition to the ‘Indefinite Detention Law’.
[15] Center for Defense Information (2005). Here, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) is described as ‘a band of radical Islamists’ dedicated to overthrowing the regime of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi and replacing it with a government modeled on Sharia law, with special attention to the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad. The LIFG believes that the Gadhafi regime is oppressive, corrupt and apostate.
[16] See, RT (2012). Pro-Gaddafi forces captured Bani Walid, killing 5 NTC troops, including NTC’s 28 May Batallion army commander Abdelsalem Saed Ouhida.
[17] BBC News. Are the US elections a good model for Africa? BBC.Co.UK.