US - Chief culprit in Africa's problems
Date: Tuesday, August 23 @ 21:31:22 UTC
Topic: Africa

By Phillip Magwaza,

THE United States' role in destabilising Africa so as to plunder its resources continues to be exposed.

Ahead of US Secretary of State Collin Powell's visit to Africa where he sought to lecture African leaders, among them President Mugabe on democracy, some American legislators had begun exposing the dirty role of US foreign policy in Africa.

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Florida, in her presentation in Washington DC on April 16, attacked the US government for its covert action in Africa in a speech entitled: "A Smocking Gun in Washington DC".

Ms McKinney said the West had for decades plundered Africa's wealth and permitted and even assisted in slaughtering the people of the continent.

"The West has been doing this while still shrewdly cultivating the myth that much of Africa's problems today are African made. We have heard the usual defences that Africa's problems are the fault of corrupt African administrations, the fault of unsophisticated peoples and centuries old tribal hatreds. But we know the statements are a lie.

"You will hear that at the heart of Africa's suffering is the West, and most notably the US's desire to access Africa's diamonds, oil, natural gas and other precious reserves.

"The West has set in motion a policy of oppression, destabilisation and tempered not by moral principle, but by a ruthless desire to enrich itself on Africa's fabulous wealth," said Ms McKinney.

US Secretary of State, Mr Collin Powell, surprised many when he called Kenya a shining example of democracy on his African tour, which skirted Zimbabwe amid a scathing attack on President Mugabe. The reason: while President Daniel Arap Moi has been in power since 1979, he has not tampered with Western interests in his country.

During his African visit Mr Powell visited Uganda but did not condemn it for invading the DRC. His visit was seen as rewarding Uganda for its destalibilisation role in the Great Lakes region.

Political commentators were shocked that Mr Powell remained mum on allegations that Uganda and Rwanda had been involved in genocide in the DRC. The two countries also stood accused of complicity in the assassination of DRC President Laurent Kabila.

Even more damning was the United Nations report, which indicted Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi of massive looting of the DRC's mineral resources. Mr Powell ignored all this.

The American public has carefully been protected from this hypocrisy, hanging onto the false image that the US is the paragon of justice, human rights and democracy.

"Much of what you will hear today has not been widely reported in the public media. Powerful forces have fought to suppress these stories from entering public domain.

"While pretending to be friends and allies of many African countries so desperate for help and assistance, the United States has in reality betrayed those countries instead and relentlessly pursued their own selfish military and economic policies," said Ms McKinney.

She said the US incited rebellion against stable African governments by encouraging and even arming opposition parties and rebel groups to begin armed insurrection.

She said the Western nations had actively participated in the assassination of duly elected and legitimate African Heads of State and replaced them with corrupt and malleable officials.

Congo's first elected President Patrice Lumumba was assassinated, according to the Church Intelligence Commission, by CIA agents because the US would have lost a third of its diamond supply if Lumumba had implemented his indigenisation policy.

"The West has even encouraged and is guilty of complicity in unlawful invasions by African nations into neighbouring countries," said Ms McKinney.

This is what happened when Uganda and Rwanda invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo and despite condemnation by the United Nations, the US still believes them to be its allies.

MS McKinney outlined the plunder of DRC diamonds by the US through a De Beers middleman, Maurice Tempelsman. Tempelsman is implicated in the book "The Secret Story behind Blood Diamonds" by Janine Farrell Roberts.

Early in the 1950s Tempelsman met with the Oppenheimer family, which ran De Beers and became its middleman. He was supplied with millions of diamonds to sell to the US for its strategic reserve. Most of these diamonds came from the Congo.

When Lumumba, Congo's first elected leader, spoke of using the Congo's resources to benefit the Congo, De Beers feared it would lose access to one third of the world's diamond supply in the Congo.

Shortly after this, the CIA is said to have facilitated the assassination of Lumumba. Immediately after Lumumba's death the Acting Prime Minister of the Congo, Adoula announced support for a major Tempelsman diamond deal.

After President Mobutu came into power, Tempelsman became an even bigger player in the Congo recruiting his staff from those CIA staffers that had put Mobutu into power.

He is said to have also succeeded in persuading the White House to secretly buy a vast number of diamonds for the US strategic reserve – at a time when US administration officials were protesting that the reserve was full.

The reason for this was to support Mobutu and his partner Adoula.

It is such deals that left the Congolese people poor in a very rich country.

The latest issue of The New African Magazine reports that when President Joseph Kabila visited the US in March this year, he met with the Corporate Council on Africa and was introduced to Tempelsman. He is said to have promised to liberalise the oil and diamond sectors and also to draw a new mining code.

The magazine reports that this has reassured corporations like Chevron that has US$75 million in investments in the Congo. The magazine reports that Chevrons is connected to Condeleeza Rice, the US's new national security adviser.

"Condeleeza is highly regarded by Chevron, a company that named an oil tanker after her. She has once sat on Chevron's board," says the magazine.

It refers to a report published in March by the US-based Arms Trade Resources Centre entitled "Deadly Legacy: US Arms and Training in Africa", which doubts whether America will make any significant changes to its Congo policy which is driven by commerce.

The reports says: "The US has disengaged itself from humanitarian issues, but not military and economic issues."

This appeared to have been confirmed by the appointment of Collin Powell as Secretary of State, Condeleeza Rice as National Security Advisor and Walter Kansteiner, as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Because of the military, security and corporate backgrounds of Powell, Rice and Kansteiner, they are seen as lacking humanitarian experience and perspective that is essential for crafting a constructive policy towards the Congo.

This perhaps explains Powell's outburst against Zimbabwe during his recent tour and his display of affection for Uganda.

The New African Magazine says according to the World Policy Institute, America supplied military assistance worth US$225 million to Uganda's and Rwanda's armies involved in the Congo, ostensibly to stabilise the region.

William Hartung and Bridget Moix of the World Policy Institute conclude: "The US bears responsibility for the circle of violence and economic problems plaguing Africa, for, though out of the Cold War, America supplied US$1,5 billion worth of arms to clients like Somalia, Congo (under Mobutu) and Sudan – countries that have turned into basket cases for violence and economic instability."

Article, Courtesy of The Sunday mail,

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