“Don’t shoot me” “What did I do to you?” They are coming for you not me.” These were the last words of Libya’s iconic leader, Muammar Gaddafi as the US- led NATO backed Libyan rebels killed, mutilated and paraded his body for sports in the streets of Tripoli.
Nearly ten years after Gaddafi was killed on October 20, 2011, Africa is still struggling and probably getting more confused about how to regain Libya and bring it back to the Gaddafi era of peace, stability and progress.
Libya, a country whose citizens once enjoyed prosperity very rare in a famished continent, is now trapped in a circle of violence perpetrated by mindless armed sectarian and ethnic groups coupled with external interference that have led the country into total anarchy.
The vast oil fields of Libya was the main focus of the NATO allies and not any altruistic motive by the West to help Libya out of the protracted rule of Gaddafi and to entrench democracy as they deceptively claimed. Therefore, the chaotic situation created by the demise of Gaddafi split the North African country between rival governments in the east and west, and among bitterly antagonistic armed groups competing for spheres of influence and control of the country and its wealth. This is the situation for the West to exploit the oil wealth of the country to the detriment of the nation.
It is very sad also that the worsening security situation caused by the Libyan crises have cascaded down to the Sahel and Lake Chad region where terrorist groups who are awash with arms carted away from the arms stores of Gaddafi are using same to inflict harm in some countries in West Africa especially Nigeria where the Boko Haram, ISWAP and others have menaced the nation with killings, kidnapping and rape.
Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, may have had his own shortcomings and some moments of controversies yet he represented an important figure for anti-imperialist struggles mainly against the U.S. and the policies carried out from Washington on the Middle East. Since Gaddafi was devoted to anti-imperialist struggles his life and death became central to events in Libya.
At the just concluded G7 Summit of the self -styled wealthiest nations held in Cornwall in the United Kingdom, about five days ago, United States (US) President Joe Biden made a gaffe about sending humanitarian assistance to Libya while actually referring to Syria. That gaffe gave an inkling into the fact that there is no deliberate effort by the US and its allies to rehabilitate Libya.
An expert in international relations and development, Livingstone Wechie told LEADERSHIP that the most recent assault on Africa’s political economy was the American deliberate encroachment and destruction of Libya and their undeniable complicity in the gruesome Killing of Muammar Gaddafi. He said today, Libya has become a shadow of itself and all that was done because of oil and to ensure Africa’s destabilization.
“America should take responsibility for the war crimes it perpetrated in Libya under the administration of Barack Obama and its extended Joe Biden regime. On this note, it is demanded that America should apologise to Africa and the Libyan people for its international crimes against the people which it instigated and sponsored resulting in the destruction of Libya and the gruesome killing of the iconic President Muammar Gaddafi, the emancipator and great Pan Africanist,” he said.
He also blamed African leadership represented by the African Union for their lack of foresight and vision to turn the vastly rich continent into a hub of development resulting in its backwardness, exploitation and domination by the Western Powers including a new entrant into the game-China.
Wechie said “One thing is sure; Africa’s leadership as currently constituted is a colossal failure. Contrary to initially held views, Africa’s present crop of leaders lack the moral force and capacity to evolve the continent democratically because they are largely compromised and are agents of the West. This is why they always run to their colonial masters for more instructions and handouts in the name of aides etc. The current posture and agenda of the West and America including China is what I call ‘Globalocolonization’”.
Africa is indeed very useful for global economic sustainability because of its vast wealth, which suggests that no nation can do without Africa. Africa’s indispensability is not in dispute but it is pitiable that none of the conversations in the so-called Summits of powerful nations, from inception till date has given Africa or its inherent quests the opportunity to ventilate their advantages.
African countries have failed to build competitive economies and have become emasculated in the bidding of global economic markets, and consequently unable to negotiate and assert their stakes in the new world economic and political order.
“The Peoples of Africa must ideologically mobilise and cohesively engage themselves to assert our true advantages for our emancipation. It is a duty we owe to enable us develop Africa and its institutions democratically to earn the respect we deserve. This continent is indispensable and the world knows it. The economic and political Liberation of Africa today must come from the People’s movement and it must be consciously ideologically based,’’ Wechie concluded.
Much as there is hope for the future of Africa, the leaders must brace up for the challenges ahead and take charge in Libya and other crisis-ridden nations in the continent. If they fail, then it would be an uncertain future fraught with endless crises.