Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
By Hama Tuma
The ongoing hue and cry about Black African refugees being sold by so called Arab Libyans into slavery leaves me somewhat cold and only increases my indignation at Europe’s indecent hypocrisy. The West, which cries so furiously against the slave auction in Libya, was not only the one which carried the slave trade and benefitted from it in the past but is responsible for the situation in present day Libya by pushing and paying Libya to block the refugees from leaving for Europe . The Libyans got money from the deal and slave trade, as we all know, has been an Arab commercial activity since time immemorial.
Black Africans being sold by Arabs is not a new thing. Modern slavery of black Africans is not a new thing neither. It was not a matter of color as Arab slavery did not function on black or white considerations and the first slaves of Arabs were not even blacks. Libyan racism did not appear now and suddenly–it was there all the time and I had tried to comment on it while Khadafy was alive. Arab racism on blacks is hundreds if not thousands of years old. The white champions of slavery were France, Britain, Portugal, Brazil and the most notorious of all America. Local chiefs are not to be ignored of course. The ongoing sale of black Africans in Libya, today breaking news for the self adulating CNN, is only the tip of the iceberg. African maids in the Middle East have for long been treated as slaves and even murdered without any condemnation being heard against Saudi Arabia. Kuwait, Lebanon and other such countries. Nothing was hidden, there was no secret. But the silence was deafening and is continuing. The murder and organ harvesting of Ethiopian and other maids from other countries in the Middle East was of no interest to many in the West. Many South Sudanese were sold as slaves by the Janjaweed militia in the Sudan but few cared. So called Arabs in Mauritania treated their black citizens as slaves even in the 20th century. Who cared and even how many knew about it?
The hypocrisy is nauseating and stifling. The West hailed Kaddafi when he declared I am your rampant against the African hordes that may swarm your shores. When politics pushed the West against Kaddafi they all united and had him killed and in the process destroyed Libya and led to the destabilization of Western Africa so much so that France and the USA had been forced to send troops to fight against rebels and the ISIS. Refugees fleeing to Libya and defying immense suffering and even death are products of dictatorial regimes (like the one in Ethiopia and Sudan for example) often enjoying the good consideration of the West. Unemployment, repression, intense poverty and misery pushed citizens to dare flee to Libya. The same pushed Ethiopian young females to be victims of domestic slavery in racist Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab countries. The regimes that push their citizens unto dangerous exile are of course the first ones to blame like the old African chiefs and the Arab slave traders of the time. The ongoing slave trade and the overall plight of African refugees is fully the doing of Fortress Europe, a product of the desire to keep refugees out and away from Europe. EU countries made deals with Libya to hinder refugees from making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of Italy. The French authorities, the frontline destroyers of Libya and master hypocrite that they are, make a lot of noise against Africans being auctioned off as slaves, while they are the main ones who are propagating the Fortress Europe stance. France boasts as being the land of asylum (terre d’asile) while it has locked its borders and had been deporting thousands of Africans back to Africa. In related news Israel, who called African refugees cancer, is paying Rwanda US $4000 per head for every Eritrean, Sudanese and other African refugees it deports to Kigali. Norway deports Ethiopians and other refugees back to their countries despite the fact that this could mean death to them. Who cares?
Libyans selling black Africans is not such a new big deal .We have to stand against it and protest for sure–it is the least we can do. But who are they those we are protesting against? To begin with, they must be our own devils who have pushed us to exile and humiliation and death. And the slave trade. Secondly, those who have prepared the ground for slavery, by denying asylum rights, are Europeans, the same people who fled en masse to America to escape starvation and penury. The Libyan sale of Africans unto modern slavery should not surprise anybody. The Arabs have being doing it for years. Libyans have been doing it for years. Why the hue and cry now? Because CNN pounded it on it to make it its breaking news? Ethiopian and Egyptian Copts were beheaded in Tripoli with not much breaking news accompanying their brutal deaths. Ethiopian refugees in Libya and other places have been killed for organ harvesting, both male and female have been raped, tortured and sold as slaves over and over again in the past. Where was the indignation then? The stink of hypocrisy stifles. AU and EU meeting in Burkina Faso with all those responsible and pretending to care or protest and the theatrics of the brash French President cannot cover up the onerous responsibility of the West in what is happening to refugees in Libya. We are now being told that the French company Lafarge has been paying the Syrian ISIS a hundred thousand euro per month. And Libya is an oil rich country whose cruel fate is linked to the West’s coveting of its resource. Refugees are but pawns, sticks in a wave, play things and, yes, slaves. No news here, just a dog bites man thing.
So why shouldn’t they sell us really? We are their victims and they have utter contempt for us in all fields. Europe made sure we stay put in Libya, financed its brutal police and so called Navy, gave them carte blanche and sealed our fate, Eternal dupes as we are, noise is being made now years after the brutality of the fact was registered in Libya and we follow them to cry no to slavery in Libya.. Israel sells refugees (4000 dollars a head–we are expensive, no?) to a sad future in Rwanda and Uganda but who has heard of it becoming worrying or a breaking news? The condition of Ethiopian girls (maids) in the Middle East is as bad as slavery but the retrograde princes and monarchs are friends of the West and mum is the slogan. Deafening Silence. And we have been burying bodies minus their vital organs for years. All of a sudden the culprits in the whole affair have become the prominent voices against the slavery they promoted and they are expecting us to follow them. Africans have been set up for slavery for years and unless we forget what was Apartheid that was backed by France, the USA, and many others. Africans have been sold left and right for years. So long as we do not redeem our rights why should we expect they will not go on selling us? So long as we fail to liberate our continent the life of slaves will be ours both in and out of our countries being called abeed, kahlusha, nigger barya and more.
The core of the hue and cry is non to the right culprit but then again the ones who paid the piper are the ones selling us unto slavery yet another name for neocolonialism.
By Hama Tuma
I knew some Zimbabweans during the time of their liberation war in Algiers and other places. Some of them are dead now, members of ZAPU, ZANU PF, Frolizi. They were not bad guys but I never imagined Zimbabweans are as whole to be so polite and kind so much so for them to treat the man they called a dictator with such consideration and sympathy all the time calling for his downfall.
Even the generals who arrested him handled Mugabe politely as far as refusing to call their coup a coup. Somehow or perhaps, they felt sacrilegious if they admitted they were staging a coup against the old man. It was not called corrective nor an accidental coup, no name but the president was put under house arrest and then forced to resign. Peculiar indeed in a continent accustomed to bloody and violent overthrows over decades. And there was even photos of the coup makers laughing with their victims. Actually, since the system continues and the VP was named the successor one can hardly talk of change or a real African coup. What made me write been there and been cheated like that is the euphoria and support to the VP is surely going to be a disappointment. In Ethiopia we sent away Mengistu (le lives in Harare now) and brought in other brutes who have proved to be very disastrous to our country. Hailing the military or similar goons as saviours has hardly ever worked for any African country, except perhaps in the Sudanese case when General Sawar al Dahab and his friends got rid of Nimeri and then relinquished power.
Who is now the president of Zimbabwe? Emerson Mnangagwa, trained in China as a Zanu guerrilla has been on the side of Mugabe for years and before eleven years he became his trusted VP. As chief of security his VP nicknamed the Crocodile was accused of brutal repression including the killing of thousands in Matabile land. In other words, the only difference between Mugabe and Mnangagwa is an ambitious young woman called Grace. The old man, obviously besotted by her, agreed and sent the VO packing and into exile and unfurled the whole problem on himself (Madam Mugabe) who wanted him out for her to be her husband’s heir. If age is a factor Mugabe is 93 and his replacement 75 and one of the richest men in Zimbabwe, go figure. Both men have very spoiled boys who bask in scandals. So, are Zimbabweans fools of hope for expecting change from almost identical people? Time will tell and the new president is making the right noises. We in Ethiopia are not to be blamed if we remain skeptical after suffering more than 40 years of demagogy and unfulfilled premises. In Africa, the only sure thing is that the leaders will fleece the people and the country blind and will not be hesitant when it comes to repressing dissent.
The west made a devil out of Mugabe when he turned against the white landowners who being 6% owned more than 70% of the land. Had seen the same with Sadam and Gadafi and even with their own Bin Laden whom they liked to call a Mujahedeen against the Soviets. Mugabe’s violent repression of the opposition was glossed over only to be highlighted when the interests of whites was touched upon. Mugabe became a dictator to denounce with venom and vigor only when the interests of the West and the whites were affected contrary to their greed and supremacy. If Mugabe had imitated Namibia’s Sam Njuoma and kept white supremacy intact and untouched he would have been for sure the darling of Britain and the West. And yet, Mugabe shortened his own leash, beacme repressive and corrupt too and overtaxed the patience of the good people of Zimbabwe. 37 years of rule is imperial (Haile Selassie stayed for 44 years) but times have changed and ended feudal obscurantism a long time ago. Popular as he was he lost it by staying in power too long and by turning ZANU PF into the usual apparatus of control and enrichment. His wife was one of a kind and Ethiopians were not to be blamed if she was competing with the Empress (Itege) of corruption, the wife of the late Meles Zenawi, whose inevitable end will be worse than that of Grace Mugabe.
Much as Mugabe today is a caricature of the disciplined and ascetic fighter of the past ZANU PF also turned into a sad copy of itself with leaders making statements that denigrated the people’s wisdom and capacity. If we tell them to elect a donkey they will do so said one party leader. The liberation and existence of Zimbabwe owed itself, first and foremost, to the sacrifice of the people and not only to the tenacity of Mugabe and his comrades. But the party and Mugabe seemed to have forgotten that and paid a high price which has now led to the ignominy that faced Mugabe and the precarious situation that is facing the whole country and the people. We had also another axe to grind with Mugabe and his party who, working with America, gave asylum to the butcher called Mengistu. He is still there enjoying his lavish stay, sending his children to school after killing thousands of students and youngsters, ruining our country, and wiping out a militant generation. Time and again we did ask justice from Mugabe and his party but it fell on deaf ears as it would now also since we do not expect Mnangagwa to act any different from his old boss. The West is elated because Mugabe is side-lined and they hope the new president will fall under their feet. Talks of Mugabe continuing as an advisor and the fact that the old system continues and no transitional democratic arrangement was sought do not augur well. Once bitten twice shy being the case we do fell apprehensive and hope that the brave people of Zimbabwe will not let their struggle for democracy be short changed thwarted. The continuation of the same is no change at all, demagogy to the contrary notwithstanding.
Good bye Robert Mugabe.
Good luck the people of Zimbabwe.
Down with dictators in Africa!!