Ethiopia: US/EU Meddling Stokes Ethnic Conflict

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Flag of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

12-07-2021: In modern times, there appears to be numerous regions around the world that are afflicted by separatist struggles which are be driven by ethnic or national grievances. On scratching the surface, however, one often finds the fingerprints of the imperialist machinations of the governments of the United States of America (US) and the European Union (EU). Ethiopia today is an example of meddling by the US and the EU, who are covertly backing the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in a fratricidal conflict inevitably aimed at the current Ethiopian government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The US and the EU are doggedly using any means at their disposal – including the fostering of ultra-violent civil conflict – to prevent Africa’s second most populous nation[1] becoming an independent and regional leader via its co-operation with Beijing and Moscow. Workers internationally need to be aware of the deadly manoeuvres at play.

TPLF launches war

The Western corporate media narrative is that the Ethiopian government is carrying out a campaign of suppression against the Tigrayan people defending their basic rights. This is an inversion of reality. In early November 2020, PM Ahmed announced military operations against the TPLF, but only in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps. Around midnight on November 3, the TPLF had launched an armed attack on the Dansha barracks of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), with an hours long rifle and grenade barrage that included former ENDF soldiers of Tigrayan background which had switched loyalties to the TPLF. This was an epic betrayal, with some ENDF soldiers being “killed in their pyjamas” by Tigrayans they had formerly fought alongside.[2] The TPLF followed this on November 9 with a massacre of over 500 civilians mainly from the Amhara, Oromo and Wolaita ethnic groups. The President of the Amhara region utterly condemned the murderous assault and urged people not to fall for the TPLF’s plot of stoking ethnic conflict between Tigrayans and Amharans.[3]

This was obviously unacceptable and was the trigger for the announcement of military operations against the TPLF by PM Ahmed. The ENDF later took control of the regional capital Mekele in late November, but the TPLF vowed to fight on.[4] Some have commented that tensions between the TPLF and PM Ahmed were bound to break out. Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for concluding peace with longtime rival Eritrea, which alienated the TPLF.[5] This was partially due to the TPLF being backed by the West for 27 years when it was in government, before being dumped by them in favour of Ahmed.[6] Now the worm has turned again, and it is Ahmed’s turn to be demonised by the US/EU for having the temerity to even partially ally Ethiopia with their New Cold War foes.

China/Russia cooperation spurs Ethiopian advance

Like many nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Ethiopia has undeniably benefitted from economic co-operation with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and military co-operation with the Russian Federation. The PRC is Ethiopia’s top trade and investment partner, and the two nations work together on a whole swathe of mutually beneficial economic projects. In the area of hi-tech co-operation, the giant Chinese based tech group Alibaba is developing its World Trade Platform, which will help Ethiopia develop its digital economy. Incredibly, PRC assistance in the hi-tech sector has enabled Ethiopia to launch its first ever satellite into space.[7] Like other African countries, Ethiopia benefits handsomely from integration with the PRC’s Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and by signing on to the PRC’s impressive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In 2020, Ethiopia approved over 1500 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects from Chinese based businesses worth 2.7 billion dollars, which accounts for 25% of the total FDI operating within the country.[8]

One of the flagship BRI projects completed in recent years is the Addis Ababa-Djibouti rail line. Ethiopia has long suffered from a lack of rail infrastructure, with the previous line along this route being built by French colonialists in the 1890s, which had since fallen into disrepair. The electrified BRI built rail line runs parallel to the disused and superseded line, and the new $4 billion line will carry both passengers and freight, and will cut travel times between the two destinations from several days to less than ten hours.[9] The rail line gives landlocked Ethiopia crucial access to a seaport, and thus links to further international trade and commerce. Undeniably, such infrastructure alongside other sectors of investment from the PRC has driven Ethiopia’s stunning economic growth in recent years. Ethiopia is the fastest growing non-oil based economy in the world. In 2017, Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was a remarkable 10.2%, which has tailed down to 6.1% during 2020[10] even despite the near worldwide lockdowns of economies due to a nonsensical fear pandemic.

Such economic growth is the envy of the West, with Europe, the US, Australia and others enduring critical economic malaise effectively since the “global” financial crisis of 2008. And in fact, Ethiopia’s cooperation with Russia, not just the PRC, has also contributed to its impressive growth. As part of its economic and military technical agreements, Russia has written off debts owed by Ethiopia.[11] This somewhat assists Ethiopia to recover economically from scientifically unjustifiable “Covid” lockdowns. Ethiopia is yet another example of a government acceding to the fake Covid narrative emanating from Washington and Brussels, yet receiving no guarantee in return that it will not be subject to imperialist destablisation, up to and including the stoking of fratricidal regime change war.

However, in Ethiopia’s case, military cooperation with the Russian Federation forms a partial block to US/EU regime change aims. In July, the two nations held the 11th Ethio-Russia Military Technical Cooperation Forum in Addis Ababa. The former Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) offered strong support to the Derg government in Ethiopia in the 70s and 80s, and this close diplomatic relationship has continued despite political developments since then. Ethiopia (and Eritrea) is distinct from other countries in the Horn of Africa in the sense that rather than Islam or Catholicism or Protestantism being predominant religions, Orthodox Christianity largely takes centre stage. This is not only a means of cultural exchange, as Ethiopian and Russian Orthodox Church officials occasionally engage in exchanges alongside politicians and their delegations from both nations.[12]

US/EU false claims of “atrocities” and “famine”

Unable to compete in the same ballpark of the mutually beneficial ties between Addis Ababa and Moscow and Beijing, the US and the EU resort to the worst tricks of the neo-colonial trade. After its involvement in the massacre on November 9, the TPLF was declared a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government.[13] The ENDF then began its military campaign against the TPLF, lest any more civilians lose their lives. Demonstrating crass hypocrisy, in January the EU suspended 88 million Euros worth of budgetary support for Ethiopia until humanitarian support agencies are granted access to the northern Tigray region.[14] The US Biden Administration chimed in, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken releasing a statement accusing both Ethiopia and Eritrea of “human rights abuses”, “atrocities” and “gender-based violence” against people of the Tigrayan region.[15] Needless to say, these claims were made with no substantiating evidence. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) further made baseless claims that the ENDF military operations against the TPLF was pushing “400 000 innocent people to the brink of famine”, and urged the world to remember the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s.[16]

The egregious piety and double-dealing from US imperialism here is more than apparent. The number one war Empire accuses yet another Third World nation of “human rights abuses” and of not allowing “humanitarian access” to Tigray – which would likely be a replay of the situation in Syria. For years there, the US/EU cried out for “humanitarian access” to Idlib, the last bastion where ISIS and Al Qaeda were stationed. EU Commissioner Janez Lenarcic replicated, releasing a statement to EU MPs which claimed that Ethiopia was “laying siege” to Tigray, and “using starvation as a weapon”.[17] Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Foreign Minister and EU special envoy to Ethiopia, went much further. He made the claim that in closed meetings, Ethiopian leaders had told him that “they were going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years”. In turn, the Ethiopian government expressly denied anything of the sort had taken place and described Haavisto of having a “hallucination” or a “lapse of memory”.[18]

Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, in a letter to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, openly suggested that US President Joe Biden’s administration was stoking “conflict and destablisation” in Tigray, with the apparent objective being to “resuscitate the remnants of the TPLF regime”.[19] Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government released a statement confirming that humanitarian aid agencies have been allowed access to Tigray, though they have been under the supervision of a government-led process.[20] It is entirely understandable that the Ethiopian government would oversee the delivery of aid to a region of its own country, especially given the recent example of how “aid” to ISIS and Al Qaeda in Idlib during the proxy war on Syria fuelled and prolonged that dire conflict. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed even stated that foreign aid into Tigray could be exploited as a means to re-arm the TPLF.[21] It is to the credit of the Ethiopian government that they recognise the Machiavellian moves of US/EU imperialism and move to prevent them from eventuating.

Ethiopia rising

The Ethiopian government is also moving in the direction of trying to establish a common market for the Horn of Africa. One project which underpins such moves is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which, despite tensions with Egypt over the use of water resources from the Nile, is already providing hydroelectric power to its neighbours. It is currently generating 2000 MW of power but aims for 10 000 MW as construction nears completion over the coming years. This has earnt Ethiopia the nickname of the “water tower of East Africa”.[22]  Large scale engineering projects such as this will lead to further economic development, as the supply of electricity has the tendency to do. These and other developments indicate the leading economic and political role that Ethiopia is playing in Africa. This growth sends shockwaves throughout the corridors of power in the US and the EU. For decades, the US and the EU have destablised the Horn of Africa through intervention and war (recall the Hollywood film Black Hawk Down) to maintain a form of control for imperialism. The last thing the US and the EU want is an economically strong and politically united state in Africa helping Africans to lift themselves out of decades of despair. Rather, the US and the EU need a “weak, famine-stricken and ethnically fragmented vassal state in Ethiopia”.[23]  This is the real reason for US/EU backing of the TPLF.

After centuries of colonial rule by the European powers and the US Empire which followed, Africa finally has the option of economic and military assistance from the PRC and Russia which takes place on the basis of mutual respect. Socialists uphold the right of African nations to engage and/or ally themselves with the PRC and Russia in the process of seeking to push themselves forward to First World levels of development. At the same time, Leninists understand that neither the governments of the PRC nor the Russian Federation aim to build socialism in Africa or anywhere else. While economic development in Africa on a capitalist basis can lead to certain benefits for African workers, ultimate elimination of poverty and underdevelopment will only occur under publicly owned and planned economies facilitated by the operation of democratically operated workers councils – overseen by regionally integrated workers’ states. For this and future upheavals, the leadership of internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties will be vital for socialist liberation.

WORKERS  LEAGUE


www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] Ethiopia Population (2021) – Worldometer (worldometers.info) (12-07-2021)

[2] The midnight attack on an army camp that plunged Ethiopia into war | Africanews (12.07.2021)

[3] More than 500 innocent civilians massacred by TPLF forces in Mai Kadra during retreat (ethiopiancitizen.com) (12-07-2021)

[4] EU envoy warns Ethiopia Tigray crisis ‘out of control’ – EURACTIV.com (12-07-2021)

[5] Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister – The New York Times (nytimes.com) (12-07-2021)

[6] Ethiopia: Ethnic Apartheid and the Globalist Colonizers’ Playbook – 21st Century Wire (12-07-2021)

[7] China-Ethiopia relations to see more achievements in 2020: diplomat – Xinhua | English.news.cn (xinhuanet.com) (12-07-2021)

[8] Ethiopia-China Enjoy Strong Cooperation of Belt & Road | Belt & Road News (beltandroad.news) (12-07-2021)

[9] Improved access for Ethiopia: opening the Addis Ababa-Djibouti line (railway-technology.com) (12-07-2021)

[10] Ethiopia GDP Annual Growth Rate | 1981-2020 Data | 2021-2023 Forecast | Historical (tradingeconomics.com) (12-07-2021)

[11] Beyond COVID-19 Aid, Ethiopia Hoists Africa’s Flag – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[12] https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/global-perspectives-ethiopia-russia-relations (12-07-2021)

[13] Is Foreign Meddling in Ethiopia Actually a Proxy War Against China? – Global Research Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[14] EU suspends Ethiopian budget support over Tigray crisis | Reuters (12-07-2021)

[15] Statement by Secretary Antony J. Blinken on the Continuing Atrocities and Denial of Humanitarian Access in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region | U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia (usembassy.gov) (12-07-2021)

[16] U.S.-EU Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Emergency in Tigray | Press Release | U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid.gov) (12-07-2021)

[17] EU commissioner misled MEPs on Tigray war, Ethiopia claims (euobserver.com) (12-07-2021)

[18] The Bloody Conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region | New Eastern Outlook (journal-neo.org) (12-07-2021)

[19] Eritrea blames US support for Tigray’s leaders for the war (apnews.com) (12-07-2021)

[20] News: Ethiopia “deeply concerned” by EU statement on Tigray, stays silent on accusations of Eritrea’s role in the armed conflict – Addis Standard (12-07-2021)

[21] What Explains Ethiopia’s Stunning Military Reversal in Tigray? – Global Research Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[22] Regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa: Wishful thinking or a basis for peace? – ECDPM (12-07-2021)

[23] Ethiopia – Following in the path of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria? Susan Rice’s New War: Washington weaponizing human rights again – Target Ethiopia. | View from the Left Bank: Rob Prince’s Blog (robertjprince.net) (12-07-2021)

Eswatini: “Democracy” Insurgents Run Riot

Eswatini flag

Above: National Flag of Eswatini

04-07-2021: Another country, another covert regime change operation under the guise of a movement for “democracy”. This time, the target is the small African nation of Eswatini, with a population of 1.1 million.[1] Eswatini (also written as “eSwatini”) was formerly the nation of Swaziland, before its name change in 2018. What was then Swaziland gained its independence from British colonialism in 1968, but it has remained a form of monarchy, with a king sitting above a parliamentary assembly. King Mswati III became the monarch in 1986,[2] and is known for taking as many as 15 wives and living a lavish lifestyle. Despite Eswatini being one of the last monarchies still existing, workers cannot afford to extend an iota of political backing to the violent riots now besetting the country. These “protests” are in fact an exercise in deceit which ticks all the boxes of imperialist funded subversion.

Burn, loot and riot

By now it is a familiar refrain: in the name of social justice, first you must burn, loot and riot. Where have we seen this before? It first came to prominence in the hands of Black Lives Matter (BLM) during 2020 in the USA, but was previously employed in Chile,[3] and subsequently in Colombia,[4] Lebanon,[5] Hong Kong[6] and Nigeria[7], to name a few. Needless to say, a genuine movement which pursues noble political goals hardly resorts to burning down public buildings and private businesses, looting shops, and rioting as a first port of call. Something else entirely is going on – and the common thread is surreptitious orchestration by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The NED is the regime change arm of the CIA, and the OSF is the regime change vehicle of convicted financial felon[8] billionaire and anti-socialist George Soros. The NED and the OSF work hand-in-glove to advance the foreign policy of Washington in its New Cold War drive, and Eswatini today is unfortunately no exception.

The NED funds multiple “civil society” fronts in Eswatini,[9] or at least the ones they admit to. The OSF has a special body funding faux “democracy promotion” shells throughout 11 nations in Southern Africa,[10] including Eswatini. The point should not have to be made that the US state department and George Soros are never and nowhere concerned about “bringing democracy” to Southern Africa, or anywhere else. What occurs is sophisticated internal political underwriting of the very institutions of the state which is being targeted for replacement, to the extent that they become agents which corrode and collapse the nation from within. This is carried out with utterly deceptive and disingenuous rhetoric about “democracy”, “good governance”, “human rights” and so on. Deceiving young people and many left and liberal organisations internationally, the NED/OSF transform the targeted state into an effective satellite of Washington. They can then be used as leverage in Washington’s New Cold War.

Sham narrative

The domestic and international forces behind the “protests” underhandedly claim that the protests began peacefully on June 20 when youths took to the streets to demand the right to democratically elect the Prime Minister. They go on to claim that the violence only began after the government suspended the delivery of petitions. Whether or not this is true, a hallmark of NED/OSF backed regime change operations is the extremely rapid turn from peaceful to violent, and this is what occurred in Eswatini. Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku declared that the government suspended the delivery of petitions as this was being used as a “breeding ground for anarchy” which had been “intentionally hijacked to sow seeds of division”.[11] It would appear the delivery of the petitions to the government was just the cover for the pre-planned violence which was to follow. If the government can spot an intentional hijack, there is no reason why leftists internationally cannot do the same.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) plays a similar role alongside the NED/OSF. Yet even it had to report the extraordinary behaviour of “protestors” in the capital Mbabane on June 29. People described as “youth activists” had blocked roads, set fires in the streets, ordered all shops to shut down, and told people to leave town.[12] This is patently not the behaviour of well-meaning “activists” concerned about the fate of their country or their society. Ordering shops to close and people to leave town is a clear indicator that they are aware that violence will follow. These are not “activists” pursuing a political cause out of genuine motivations. Further, some government buildings as well as some trucks crossing the border from South Africa carrying goods were set alight.[13] Obviously, preventing needed goods from South Africa (which is naturally Eswatini’s largest trading partner) from reaching consumers in Eswatini is not “activism”. And neither is setting fire to government buildings!

Liberals internationally are often drawn into the narrative of an “authoritarian” Third World government restricting access to the internet in response to protests, and recoil in horror. This is indeed what has occurred in Eswatini today,[14] but when “protestors” are blocking goods from reaching the country, burning down government buildings, and telling people to leave town – is it any wonder? Brian Sangweni is the national spokesperson for PUDEMO (People’s United Democratic Movement), believed to be the largest of the opposition parties. On June 29 he confirmed that 30 000 workers had been turned away by “protestors” in the industrial area of Manzini.[15] So not only are the “protestors” engaging in violent riots, they are telling people to leave town and are blocking thousands of workers from engaging in their paid work. The regime change aims here could not be clearer. The methods being used are little more than targeted acts of terrorism. This is scarcely a “democracy” movement.

CPS offers “left” cover

The role of the misnamed Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) is quite revealing. CPS General Secretary Thokozane Kunene claimed that King Mswati III had fled to Johannesburg in South Africa and was hiding out in the wealthy Sandton area.[16] Yet this claim was immediately rubbished by Acting Prime Minister Masuku.[17] Kunene later stated that the aim was to “suffocate the regime” and “match the violence (emphasis added) unleashed by the government on the people.”[18] Such a peaceful movement for democracy! Yet the General Secretary was not finished there. He went on to make wild claims that the Eswatini military had tossed murdered protestors into a raging fire at the Swaziland Beverages Company in Matsapha.[19] These claims are more than fanciful and are made with zero evidence. And these fires were started by the “democracy protestors” themselves!

The CPS plays into the fake “Covid” pandemic, which in reality is the class war of finance capital against the global working class. The CPS waffles on with typical liberal nonsense about how capitalism is not able to deal with the “Covid-19 pandemic”, but the countries with a “socialist orientation” such as “Cuba, North Korea, China and Vietnam” fared far better than countries such as the USA.[20] With a few notable exceptions, almost all leftists identifying as Stalinist have capitulated to “their own” ruling classes on the fear pandemic. While genuflecting before the cops and security forces of the capitalist state for keeping us “safe from Covid”, they spread baloney about how the nationalist and bureaucratic castes of the deformed workers’ states have “done a good job fighting Covid”. What has occurred is that the conservative castes leading Cuba, North Korea, China, Vietnam (and Laos) have assisted the imperialist nations in its suppression of their own working classes, while submitting the working classes at home to a slightly less draconian version of lockdown, facemask and vaccine repression. This betrayal by Stalinists who control state power is equaled only by the parties of the lockdown left in the West, who have similarly assisted “their own” billionaire class.

The open class collaboration by the CPS is demonstrated by their most recent congress in April this year, which was carried out under the slogan “Decisive Mobilisation for Democracy Now”.[21] In other words, the CPS become bare reformists who ally with classes completely alien to the workers in the name of “democracy”. In this situation, the call for “democracy” is simply a call for a new capitalist government, something that will certainly not benefit the workers of Eswatini – even if the entirety of US imperialism was hypothetically not involved. The CPS are also adherents of the so-called “National Democratic Revolution”,[22] a Maoist formula which in the Philippines has meant more than 50 years of fruitless searches for a more liberal wing of the ruling class. Yet there can never be a “national democratic” anything, let alone revolution.

Democracy is class rule, and it cannot be applied across different classes. The struggle for socialism means a pitch effort to replace bourgeois democracy (the rule of capital) with proletarian democracy (the rule of labour). Especially in countries of belated capitalist development, Russian Revolutionary leader L Trotsky emphasised again and again that only the working class could solve the basic issues of democratic rights, and only through the seizure of state power.[23] Paramount Bolshevik leader VI Lenin stressed again and again that liberal bourgeois forces can only play a counter-revolutionary role, and that was the case even 100 years ago!  Nor can the petty-bourgeoisie – as an intermediate class – play an independent political role. It must be politically led by the proletariat, and principally by the proletarian vanguard. In Eswatini today, we find liberal bourgeois forces openly being allied with an imperialist funded regime change operation – alongside the “Communist” Party of Swaziland ! Here is a gem of an example of the fruits of “national democracy”.

False death counts

A hallmark of NED/OSF colour revolutions in recent times have been false claims that protestors have been “gunned down by the regime”. Eswatini today is no exception, and the CPS spouts this alongside PUDEMO, without a hint of irony. PUDEMO Secretary General Wandile Dludlu echoes the CPS General Secretary with the outlandish claim that the Eswatini military tossed murdered protestors into a fire. He goes on to state that these claims cannot be verified because the bodies have been burnt !![24] Can anyone imagine trying this even in a bourgeois court of law? Sorry, your honour, we cannot verify our claims as they went up in smoke! PUDEMO’s youth wing, the Swaziland Youth Council (Swayoco) also make the same unverifiable claim that 21 people have been killed by the security forces of Eswatini.[25] Swayoco also make the provocative statement that “in honour of our fallen patriots [which don’t exist – WL] we will soldier on until democracy”.[26] For their part, the government of Eswatini stated that there have been no deaths, and the country is being destablised by foreign forces. Under the circumstances it is rather ironic that it takes an absolute monarchy to state some facts.

Skeptics may question why imperialism would make an effort to organise regime change in Eswatini, when it is perhaps the only African country not to sign up for the Belt and Road Initiative headed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). A precondition for serious assistance from the PRC is the non-recognition of the so-called “Republic of China” or Taiwan. Eswatini has chosen to remain loyal to a recognition of Taiwan,[27] as Taiwan was one of the first countries to recognise the independence of the then Swaziland in 1968. So, for now, this rules out PRC assistance to Eswatini, which means foregoing the opportunity of vital infrastructure, trade and development. One would imagine that Washington would welcome a partner which recognises Taiwan rather than Beijing – but not in this case.

Even if your government is overtly pro-US, it still does not protect you from US backed regime change. Why? Washington is trapped in a death spiral. The US economy (and that of the West generally) cannot compete with the sheer economic power of the socialistic PRC, so it is unable to offer anything in the ballpark of the Belt and Road Initiative. To prevent countries from allying with the PRC – or even thinking about doing so – Washington subcontracts internal subversion to the NED, the OSF and the “regime change industrial complex.” Regime change is then rolled out under the entirely fabricated guise of “democracy” and “human rights”. For countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, the only permanent way to repel imperialist meddling is to break with global capitalism via the construction of a workers’ state headed by a workers’ government. Key to this task is the forging of internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties, as part of the drive towards a socialist order.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] Eswatini (Swaziland) Population (2021) – Worldometer (worldometers.info) (02-07-2021)

[2] Mswati III | Biography & Facts | Britannica (02-07-2021)

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2019/11/03/chile-nationalism-no-answer-to-austerity/ (02-07-2021)

[4] https://redfireonline.com/2021/05/23/colombia-national-strike-or-deadly-riots/ (02-07-2021)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2020/05/09/lebanon-colour-revolution-redux/ (02-07-2021)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2019/06/23/hong-kong-us-fuels-right-wing-sedition/ (02-07-2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2021/06/22/nigeria-buhari-blocks-big-techs-state-subversion/ (02-07-2021)

[8] https://www.dailywire.com/news/9-things-you-need-know-about-george-soros-aaron-bandler (02-07-2021)

[9] ESWATINI 2018 – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (02-07-2021)

[10] About Us | OSISA (02-07-2021)

[11] eSwatini protests turn deadly as police intensify crackdown – The East African (03-07-2021)

[12] Eswatini: Respect Rights While Policing Protests | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org) (03-07-2021)

[13] Eswatini burns as pro-democracy protests intensify (sowetanlive.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[14] Internet in eSwatini Shut Down Amidst Pro-Democracy Protests – IT News Africa – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports (03-07-2021)

[15] https://peoplesdispatch.org/2021/06/29/king-msawati-may-have-fled-swaziland-but-the-pro-democracy-struggle-against-monarchy-is-far-from-over (03-07-2021)

[16] eSwatini’s King Mswati III on the run amid pro-democracy protests – The Maravi Post (03-07-2021)

[17] Eswatini PM denies King Mswati III fled country (the-star.co.ke) (03-07-2021)

[18] eSwatini protesters vow to ‘match the violence unleashed by the govt’ (ewn.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[19] eSwatini protesters’ bodies ’tossed in fire’ – CPS (iol.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[20] Solidnet | CP of Swaziland, Communist Party of Swaziland 4th National Congress Declaration (03-07-2021)

[21] Solidnet | CP of Swaziland, Communist Party of Swaziland 4th National Congress Declaration (03-07-2021)

[22] (20+) Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS | Facebook (04-07-2021)

[23] http://www.trotsky.net/trotsky_year/permanent_revolution.html (04-07-2021)

[24] Pro-democracy protests continue to rock #Eswatini – YouTube (04-07-2021)

[25] 21 Killed As Pro-Democracy Protest Intensifies In Eswatini | The Lafete Magazine (04-07-2021)

[26] Eswatini protests turn deadly as police intensify crackdown – The Citizen (04-07-2021)

[27] eSwatini and Taiwan, a friendship that will last? – Young Diplomats (young-diplomats.com) (04-07-2021)

Nigeria: Buhari Blocks Big Tech’s State Subversion

buhari

President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.  Image from http://www.sunnewsonline.com

22-06-2021: In early June, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the indefinite suspension of Big Tech titan Twitter for its operations in Nigeria.[1] This was triggered by Twitter deleting some of President Buhari’s tweets in relation to the destabilisation of “protests” where dozens of buildings were set ablaze, ostensibly to highlight the accountability of police actions. Buhari had obliquely referred to the violence that engulfed the country during the Nigerian Civil War, when Biafra launched a separatist struggle, and warned involved youth of what they were getting themselves into. Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, commented that the role of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspicious. He questioned why Twitter did not delete tweets of Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu but deleted the tweets of President Buhari. He highlighted the gross hypocrisy of Twitter in fuelling the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria in 2020, where “protestors” were burning police stations and killing police officers, and implying it was about the “right to protest”. Twitter loudly proclaims its support of the right to free speech in other countries, but itself terminated the Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump at home,[2] which played a huge role in his defenestration.

US govt stumps for “free speech”

Apparently unaware of the dripping hypocrisy, the US government immediately demanded Nigeria reverse its ban on Twitter. Samantha Power, who as former US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) assiduously urged the world to wage regime change war against Syria,[3] pressed Nigeria to reinstate Twitter. Now as a director of the US Agency for International Development, Power claimed that Nigeria’s suspension of Twitter was “state-sanctioned denial of free speech”. Donald Trump, for his part, commended Nigeria for its actions and encouraged other nations to also ban Twitter and Facebook for NOT allowing free speech.[4] It appears ironic, but ever since his election in 2016, Donald Trump has largely steered a course to the left of what might be termed hyper-liberal imperialism. Big Tech is a central pillar of the liberal wing of imperialism, which engages in regime change operations overseas as a matter of course. In 2020 however, regime change came home to Washington.[5]

Needless to say, the US Empire cares not one whit about free speech anywhere on the planet. “Democracy”, “Free Speech” and “Human Rights” are simply rhetorical shrouds which dress up all facets of the imperialist proxy wars and covert subversion it practices all around the globe. The US Empire is backed in this mission by its allies in the leading governments of the European Union (EU), and its lackeys in Australia, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others. Imperialism is driven into regime change frenzy due to the utter inability of finance capital to expand at home, which also results in open attacks on the working class – currently through the madness of a patently false “pandemic”.

Attempted recolonisation of Africa

With its population topping 211 million,[6] Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, and is thus the chief target for Washington’s multiple sided proxy wars of regime change throughout the continent. In effect, it is an attempted recolonisation of Africa by Wall Street, in an effort to block mutual co-operation between Abuja (the Nigerian capital) and the non-imperialist powers of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Washington reacts with fury to any nation in Africa, Asia or Latin America which takes the rather obvious option of signing military and security pacts with Russia, and economic and infrastructure agreements with the PRC. The US ruling class, with its EU allies, will resort to any method – up to and including the fomenting of fratricidal chaos and regime change war – to prevent Africans from looking even half favourably towards Russia and China. Twitter was patently fostering murderous destablisation within Nigeria, and thus it was entirely within Nigeria’s sovereign right to prevent its operation within the country.

In fact, one could argue that some of the nations that have also banned Twitter – the PRC, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or “North Korea”) and the Islamic Republic of Iran[7] – have NOT been overthrown precisely because Twitter and other imperialist Big Tech platforms have been disallowed. As some businesses within Nigeria operated on the basis of Twitter, Nigeria is reportedly losing $250 600 for every hour of the ban.[8] Yet this is a small price to pay for Nigeria to retain its independence and to curtail the internal devastation and destruction which could be  unleashed on Nigeria by all agents of Western finance capital – including US based Big Tech liberalism.

With capitalism globally in a state of utter decline, Nigeria and other African nations have no choice but to co-operate with the PRC, if they are to have any chance of reaching even modest development. The PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road”) offers critical opportunities for economy boosting infrastructure building which is sorely needed in Africa. Nigeria signed on to the BRI in 2018,[9] and has benefitted handsomely in terms of new railways and airports. Popular BRI projects completed in Nigeria include a standard gauge railway from the capital Abuja to the trade centre and transportation hub of Kaduna in Northwest Nigeria, and a standard gauge railway line from Nigeria’s economic capital of Lagos to Ibadan in the Southwest. PRC based firms have constructed new international airport terminals in Abuja, Port Harcourt (in the oil rich Niger delta) and the ancient city of Kano.[10] Undeniably, this infrastructure will stimulate much needed economic activity.

This mutually beneficial Nigerian/PRC friendly co-operation will only continue in coming years. The PRC, despite being a bureaucratically deformed workers state, operates on a planned economy, complete with 5-year plans. PRC officials have emphasised that Nigeria will be one of the beneficiaries to the PRC’s 14th Five Year Plan, to be implemented from 2021 to 2025. China’s Consul General in Lagos, Chu Maoming, stressed that “China’s new journey to fully build a modern socialist country is also a new journey for countries around the globe to enjoy win-win results and common prosperity….China will forge greater synergy of the BRI with African countries national development strategies…”[11]  Hearing this, one can only imagine the tearing out of hair amongst the corridors of power in the US White House and the Pentagon. China is clearly offering Nigeria an economic pathway out of underdevelopment, which will vastly boost the image of China internationally.

Boko Haram/ISWAP terror

With Nigeria beset by the terrorism of Boko Haram, security remains an all-important issue. Russia’s superior military power offers the only possible option for an African nation being plundered by what is most likely an imperialist backed genocide headed by Boko Haram and now the split off, Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP). At the very least, it is plausible that some of the fighters that make up Boko Haram and ISWAP simply marched across the Sahel region from NATO’s destruction of Green Libya in 2011, taking their weapons with them. NATO then sends in troops to fight “against” Boko Haram/ISWAP – a clearly self-serving agenda.[12] In the same way, the US government claimed to be fighting “against” ISIS during its failed regime change war against the Syrian Arab Republic.

In October 2019, President Buhari travelled to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to sign multiple agreements on military and economic co-operation. Buhari and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on further co-operation between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Russian oil company Lukoil, plus Russian gas company Gazprom, for the development of Nigeria’s considerable oil and gas reserves. Russia would also help Nigeria develop a zero-carbon nuclear power plant and move to forgive 20 billion dollars’ worth of African debt.[13] Needless to say, neither the US state nor US oil and gas companies can offer anything in the ballpark of these deals.

Also in October 2019, the Buhari administration moved to cement military co-operation and security ties with Russia. This was an urgent necessity given the murderous campaigns of Boko Haram and ISWAP across Nigeria. Deals signed at that time included the Nigerian purchase of Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters, planes, tanks and other military equipment. It would also include the training of the Nigerian military in the use of this equipment. At the time, Nigerian envoy Steve Ugbah stated, “We’re sure that with Russian help we’ll manage to crush Boko Haram, given Russia’s experience in combating Islamic State in Syria”.[14] Arguably, the defeat of US imperialism in Syria by a combination of the armed forces of Syria, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah was their first defeat since the liberation of Saigon in 1975. Russia’s far superior air power – especially the SU-35 jet fighters – was critical in this victory.

With Nigeria openly hailing Russia’s success in defeating ISIS, it is little surprise the NATO powers grind their teeth at the prospect of African countries seeking Russian assistance. Yet the situation is so critical Nigeria has little option. The violent and life-threatening marauding of Boko Haram and ISWAP has caused the displacement of 2.2 million people fleeing the mayhem.[15] The origins of Boko Haram and its deployment across the African Sahel are extremely suspicious. Former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir claimed that the US and Israel, in the form of the CIA and Mossad, are behind Boko Haram and ISIS attacks in Africa[16], as “no Muslim would carry out such acts”. One thing is clear: just as ISIS and Al Qaeda could not carry out extreme mercenary violence across whole countries without the backing of large imperial states, Boko Haram and ISWAP cannot just be a rag-tag bunch of self-funded zealots committed to an obtuse strand of Islam. Their heavy weapons come from somewhere.

Soros/NED funded internal subversion

Washington does not just use the military option to destabilise Nigeria – it also uses externally funded internal political subversion. As in many other countries around the world, the deadly duo of the Open Society Foundation (OSF) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) run rampant through Africa’s largest nation. Liberal anti-socialist hedge fund billionaire George Soros and his OSF death-star like empire are behind Nigerian media fronts such as Brekete Family Radio,[17] while the NED brags about its Nigerian partners resisting “government repression” and popularising “democratic values”.[18] The very suggestion that George Soros and the NED are even remotely concerned about democracy in Nigeria (or anywhere else) should provoke peals of laughter throughout the globe. The OSF and the NED are but two arms of the imperialist octopus desperately trying to block the sovereign actions of Nigeria which are taken to protect itself from yet more colonisation.

Just as the rioting and burning carried out by Black Lives Matter (BLM) in the US in 2020 was not about fighting racism, the rioting and burning of the #EndSARS and anti-Buhari “protestors” in Nigeria is not about “police brutality”. Rather, they are false rhetorical covers for an African proxy war waged by Washington against Beijing and Moscow.[19] It is little wonder that the tactic of using violence such as burning buildings under the guise of protesting police brutality was replicated from the streets of the USA to the streets of Nigeria, as both BLM[20] and today’s anti-Buhari protestors[21] are financially backed by the OSF. Even the demand for “good governance” in Nigeria is cut and pasted from the very mission of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.[22] In short, the “pro-democracy” protests in Nigeria are not at all about what they claim themselves to be.

Twitter, the NED, the CIA, BLM, OSF, #EndSARS, #BuhariMustGo, Boko Haram, ISWAP – all of them play a role in the current push for regime change in Nigeria. To that extent, all are component parts of the US Empire itself. The key task for workers internationally is to defend Nigeria against all wings of the imperialist assault. Nigeria’s sovereign right to protect and/or develop itself via mutually beneficial partnerships with Russia and China must be upheld. Ultimately, what is required is the painstaking assembly of Marxist vanguard parties based on Permanent Revolution which can lead workers of the region towards a Socialist Federation of West Africa.

WORKERS  LEAGUE
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2021/06/04/nigeria-Nigeria-President-Muhammadu-Buhari-Twitter/4941622845081/ (16-06-2021)

[2] https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2021/06/04/buhari-govt-suspends-twitter-in-nigeria-via-twitter/ (16-06-2021)

[3] https://www.undispatch.com/samantha-power-makes-the-case-for-war/ (16-06-2021)

[4] http://saharareporters.com/2021/06/09/us-counters-trump-asks-buhari-reverse-twitter-ban (16-06-2021)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2021/01/16/when-exactly-was-the-fascist-coup/ (16-06-2021)

[6] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/nigeria-population/ (19-06-2021)

[7] https://www.forbes.com/sites/joewalsh/2021/06/05/nigeria-has-banned-twitter—along-with-these-other-countries/?sh=7651a44f1d96 (19-06-2021)

[8] Twitter ban: Nigeria loses N24.72bn in 10 days (withinnigeria.com) (19-06-2021)

[9] Nigeria and China’s belt and road initiative – The Sun Nigeria (sunnewsonline.com) (19-06-2021)

[10] Belt and Road Initiative projects ramp up Nigeria’s favourable perception of China · Global Voices (19-06-2021)

[11] How China’s new development plan will benefit Nigeria, other African countries, by Envoy ` | The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News (19-06-2021)

[12] NATO and the Irony of Its “Everyday Fight Against Terrorism” – Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (19-06-2021)

[13] Nigeria Signs Military Cooperation Pact with Russia (breitbart.com) (19-06-2021)

[14] Nigeria looks to sign military cooperation deal with Russia this month | Reuters (19-06-2021)

[15] http://www.fao.org/3/cb4586en/cb4586en.pdf (19-06-2021)

[16] https://www.globalresearch.ca/intelligence-operation-in-support-of-terrorism-the-u-s-and-israel-are-behind-both-boko-haram-and-isis-president-of-sudan/5436385 (19-06-2021)

[17] A People’s Court, Live and On the Air in Nigeria – Open Society Foundations (20-06-2021)

[18] Africa – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (20-06-2021)

[19] Nigeria: Black Lives Matter Aids US Meddling in Africa | Red Fire (redfireonline.com) (20-06-2021)

[20] https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/who-is-funding-black-lives-matter-and-why-the-answer-may-shock-you/ (20-06-2021)

[21] What We Do – OSIWA (20-06-2021)

[22] Mission and Vision – OSIWA (20-06-2021)

Western Sahara: Polisario’s Degeneration Reignites War

Map from Deutsche Welle

   06-12-2020: Fighting recently broke out in Western Sahara after numerous years of relative peace between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the self-claimed leaders of the self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). Polisario disingenuously claims that Sahrawis were simply engaging in peaceful protest in the Guerguerat buffer zone close to the southern border with Mauritania. Like so much of Polisario’s rhetoric over the past 30 odd years, it is packed with brazen untruths. Polisario and its militias were in fact harassing MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) personnel, committing “acts of banditry”,[1] and blocking the movement of people and goods on the road.[2] The UN has explicitly called on Polisario to cease these violent provocations at the Guerguerat buffer zone in Resolution 2440, passed two years ago.[3]

“Liberation” struggle gone wrong

Some left parties cling to the issue of Western Sahara from decades past, romanticising it into a struggle of an “oppressed” and “occupied” people against some kind of colonial overlord. While there may have been some justification originally for ensuring the rights of Sahrawis were not ignored by being absorbed into Morocco in 1975, these times have long since elapsed. One major reason for the diversion of the Sahrawi cause is the degeneration of the Polisario Front, with a leadership that can now only be described as politically corrupt and ethically bankrupt. This is fast being recognised by its former allies. During the 70s and 80s, the SADR was recognised by the governments of a whole host of former colonial countries, as well as progressive or socialist oriented governments of the time, such as Libya and Cuba. At that time, Polisario had at least a nominal or partial commitment to socialism. Since then, any shred of progressive politics has faded into a dim and distant past, to be replaced by a seeming commitment to Western backed “Islamic” terrorism.

One could argue that Polisario has now become a branch of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). AQIM has for some time openly recruited amongst Sahrawi youth in the Tindouf refugee camps operated by Polisario in Southwestern Algeria.[4] This is officially denied by the Polisario leadership, yet  other sources indicate Polisario has also been offering safe haven to AQIM, and even organising convoys that supply AQIM with food and weaponry.[5] It seems to be a case where, running out of allies, Polisario has abandoned any sense of principle and latched onto AQIM, or Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and other Western backed proxy forces creating chaos across Africa with the aim of disrupting co-operation between African countries and Russia and China.[6] Mindful of the danger of being seen to be supporting any kind of terrorism, dozens of former allies have formally withdrawn recognition of the SADR. Since 2000, 34 countries have abandoned the SADR, including 9 Carribean nations.[7]

One significant reason why Sahrawi youth take up the offer of joining AQIM is simply to escape detention by Polisario in the Tindouf camps. Reportedly, Polisario only allows one car every 20 days to drive out of the camps. There are also repeated claims of the torture of Sahrawis, not by Moroccan troops, but by Polisario.[8] It’s one thing to carry on an armed struggle for your people against a supposedly colonising power, but it is another thing entirely to harm or torture the very people you are allegedly fighting for. There are also no jobs, virtually no economy, and therefore no future in the Polisario run camps. In addition, Polisario dramatically prevents freedom of movement of Sahrawis – so the temptation to join AQIM to escape is sometimes too much to resist.

Embezzlement, slavery, abuse of women

There is a severe lack of democratic rights for Sahrawis under Polisario enforced detention. One reason for this is the systematic and ongoing embezzlement of humanitarian aid for Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf camps which flows from Europe. Polisario claims that the numbers of Sahrawi refugees are between 155 000 to 170 000, whereas neutral observers estimate the figures are more likely to be between 70 000 and 90 000. Humanitarian aid for over 150 000 arrives, and the surplus is simply pocketed by Polisario to fund their war against Morocco. As a result, according to the UN, 40% of Sahrawi children in the camps suffer from a lack of iron, while 32% suffer from a lack of nutrition.[9] Further, male adult Sahrawi refugees are often forced by Polisario to serve in their armed forces in return for some portions of the food aid – a clear case of extortion.

There are also persistent claims that slavery is still practiced and overseen by Polisario in the refugee camps they administer. In 2009, a controversial documentary film called Stolen was produced and released by two Australian film makers, Violeta Alaya and Dan Fallshaw. The film displays the evidence they came across to indicate that slavery still takes place in Western Sahara, with the connivance of Polisario. In response, Polisario began an international campaign to discredit the film, even going to the extent of flying one of the female interviewees in the film to Australia to denounce the film’s “misrepresentations”. Five years later, Human Rights Watch released a 94 page report, Off the Radar: Human Rights in the Tindouf Refugee Camps. It found that while slavery in Western Sahara is not widespread, it still persists in Tindouf and other parts of Western Sahara administered by Polisario.[10] Stolen producer Tom Zubrycki claimed that the report had vindicated the film, and was proud that some pressure had been applied to Polisario to commit to end the practice.[11]

The rights of women in the Tindouf camps are the subject of repeated calls on Polisario and the Algerian government to act. Accounts of rape, forced childbirth, detention against their will, forced marriages, deprivation of liberty repeatedly come to the surface. Not only women but Tindouf residents lack the right to employment, the right to food and medicine, and the right to freedom of movement. Women though, appear to largely live in a state of servitude, relegated to forced domestic chores. Even European MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) have openly called on Polisario to cease the diversion of humanitarian aid intended for Tindouf Sahrawis, and to address the “deplorable” situation of women in the camps.[12] Polisario instead turns a deaf ear.

National liberation?

Let us suppose, for argument’s sake, that Polisario was not guilty, or was not involved, in any political or criminal misconduct. Let us imagine (despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary) that Polisario was NOT involved in banditry, slavery, terrorist links to Al Qaeda, suppression of the democratic rights of Sahrawis, arbitrary detention and the abuse and degradation of women. Could workers then extend a measure of political support? Not at all. Why? Because aside from all of these rather major concerns, the politics of Polisario is almost completely barren, and devoid of any kind of progressive ideology. From all appearances, it has but one position: separatist independence. More to the point, it is separatist independence regardless of the consequences. On its own, this is not left-wing, and nor is it anti-imperialist. In fact, it almost always leads to a dependence on imperialism.

Moreover, not all Sahrawis support Polisario. Yet even if Polisario did not have any politics outside of a military struggle for separatist independence (and was not involved in brazen criminality), it could still be possible for Marxists to offer some kind of support IF the case of Western Sahara was a genuine cause of national liberation. That is to say, IF Western Sahara fulfilled the Marxist criteria for nationhood, and IF rule by Morocco resulted in the severe and ongoing suppression of the various types of national rights, and IF absorption into Morocco produced intractable obstacles to common class struggle between Sahrawis and Moroccans – then advocacy by Leninists of self-determination for Sahrawis MAY be applicable. However, in the real world, none of this is even remotely the case.

In the first place, Western Sahara does not fulfill the basic elements required for recognition of a nation according to Marxist criteria. JV Stalin, in a work which was edited line by line by VI Lenin[13], outlined four basic criteria for nationhood, those being 1. A common territory 2. A common language 3. A common economy and 4. A common culture. All four factors must be present before Marxists can recognise a nation, and even then, it is not automatic that socialists demand the exercising of the right to self-determination. Marxists have a negative national program generally, for the simple reason that the advocacy and/or exercise of the right to self-determination, up to an including separatist independence, is subordinate to the overall political development of the working class.

Marxists are not for splitting large states into smaller states for the sake of it. In fact, generally speaking, Marxists advocate larger states and even amalgamation of states into a larger entity because this scenario is more advantageous to working class struggle across nations against capitalism – which uses nationalism for its own interests. One factor which makes working class political struggle easier is a common language. In the case of Western Sahara, we find that Sahrawis speak and write in the same languages as Moroccans (Berber or Arabic), given that they both originated from the same Saharan region. What is more, the local Hassaniya Arabic dialect of the Sahrawis is recognised in Morocco’s constitution.[14] Culturally, Sahrawis and Morrocans share the same religion – Sunni Islam. So, even on linguistic and cultural grounds, it would make little sense to separate from Morocco while speaking the same language, and observing the same religion.

Western Sahara does not have its own economy either. Its economy is administered by the Moroccan government, and thus it is the major source of employment and the only source of social spending and infrastructure development.[15] The Moroccan government has since 1975 spent billions of dollars developing the economy of Morrocan Sahara, and has even provided benefits to Sahrawis living there which are not available to other Morrocans, such as no taxes![16] To say the least, this is hardly indicative of Morrocan “oppression” of Sahrawis. Not surprisingly, large numbers of Sahrawis (who are not trapped in refugee camps), move into Morrocan administered areas to live and find work. While there, they fully take part in the Morrocan national culture and political life – including through voting in local and regional Moroccan elections. Indeed, descendents of Sahrawi tribes are not only eligible to vote in Moroccan elections, but also to stand as candidates.[17]

The fate of ethnic nationalism

Moreover, since 2007, the government of Morroco has offered a high degree of administrative and policy autonomy under its sovereignty.[18] Polisario has consistently rejected the offer of autonomy, and still holds that the final status of Western Sahara should be decided by a referendum. With common territorial, cultural, linguistic and economic characteristics, Polisario is instead insisting on a purely ethnic based nation, or part of a nation. This is not acceptable even in bourgeois terms, let alone in proletarian terms. A state based only on ethnicity is not only a relic of medieval times – it sets up multiple barriers to the development of working-class consciousness and, therefore, progress towards socialism. One significant reason for this is that ethnically based states, or attempts to establish them, very quickly become politically dependent on imperialism, regardless of their intentions. They can then be easily be manipulated by imperialism, using a thousand subterfuges. Imperialism only backs ethnically based separatist movements if it can use it to its own advantage. Such is the case with the attempts to erect a Kurdish ethnic state in Iraq and Syria, or the efforts to launch an ethnically based Papuan state of “West Papua”.

Workers internationally cannot extend political support to the Morrocan government either, but it would be wise for Sahrawis to accept some form of autonomy for Western Sahara in an effort to preserve what remains of Sahrawi culture. The Moroccan government demonstrates no intention to prevent this from existing and even developing. Then, some level of economic development can flow through to all areas of Western Sahara, which would lead to the initiation and growth of a proletariat. This joint Sahrawi/Moroccan proletariat can then extend its hands to the workers of Mali, Mauritania and Algeria with the ultimate aim of laying the foundations of a socialist federation of West Africa. Key to this perspective is the forging of a network of workers’ vanguard parties utilizing the theory of Permanent Revolution to fight for collectivised, integrated and planned regional economies – forever eliminating the historical legacies of colonialism on the African continent.

 

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com


E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

 

 

[1] Conflict Reignites in the Western Sahara — IR INSIDER (03-12-2020)

[2] Morocco Responds To Polisario Front Provocations In Guergarate Buffer Zone (modernghana.com) (03-12-2020)

[3] Security Council Adopts Resolution 2440 (2018), Authorizing Six-Month Extension for United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara | United Nations Peacekeeping (03-12-2020)

[4] How Is the Polisario Connected to Al- Qaeda? | Sahara Question (sahara-question.com) (05-12-2020)

[5] S.E. Cupp Explains the Not-So-New Al Qaeda Threat in the Maghreb – TheBlaze (05-12-2020)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2020/11/15/nigeria-black-lives-matter-aids-us-meddling-in-africa/ (05-12-2020)

[7] Jamaica withdraws recognition for Western Sahara – Middle East Monitor (05-12-2020)

[8] Detained Sahrawis Complain of Torture in Prison in Tindouf Camps (moroccoworldnews.com) (05-12-2020)

[9] Embezzlement of European Humanitarian Aid continues in Tindouf camps in Algeria | News Ghana (05-12-2020)

[10] https://www.ecoi.net/en/document/1104727.html (05-12-2020)

[11] https://www.if.com.au/vindication-for-stolen-filmmakers/ (05-12-2020)

[12] https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/09/319345/sahrawi-ngo-decries-enslavement-of-women-in-algerias-tindouf-camps/ (05-12-2020)

[13] https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1913/03.htm (05-12-2020)

[14] The threat of separatism in Africa (the-star.co.ke) (05-12-2020)

[15] https://www.economy.com/western-sahara/indicators (05-12-2020)

[16] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/talkingturkey/ties-that-bind-morocco-genuinely-cares-about-sahrawis-unlike-those-using-sahrawis-as-mere-pawns/ (05-12-2020)

[17] https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2016/10/198454/moroccos-elections-debunk-myth-marginalization-sahrawis/ (05-12-2020)

[18] https://www.mei.edu/publications/how-autonomous-autonomy-western-sahara-dispute-bind (05-12-2020)