2011REFLECTIONS ON ARAB UPRISING AND ITS MEANING FOR AFRICA AND THE WORLD
PAPER PRESENTED BY DR. DAVID NYEKORACH- MATSANGA CHAIRMAN OF PAN AFRICAN FORUM LTD TO THE 3RD INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE HELD IN TSWANE FROM 25-TH -28TH OCTOBER 2012 ORGANISED BY AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICA( ANC) ON REFLECTIONS ON ARAB UPRISING AND ITS MEANING FOR AFRICA AND THE WORLD.
Your Excellencies, all members of the ANC present, all protocol observed. I want to take this opportunity to thank ANC for inviting me for this 3rd International Solidarity conference.
Comrades, I am myself a product of bad politics in our country where in 1971 a first coup instigated by the late British Prime Minister Edward Heath overthrew my first President Late Dr. Milton Obote and my own party Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) which played a vital role in the struggle against Apartheid and Ian Smith UDI in now Zimbabwe.
I want to thank the people of Tanzania again for the contribution to my country when they helped us young exiles to overthrow Idi Amin and for allowing me to learn Swahili from there as a young freedom fighter in 1978-79. My thanks go to the founding father of that nation the late Mwalimu Nyerere.
Again I am sure in this gathering today there is at least one or two people who have been refugees in Uganda during the days of Apartheid. You must have tasted our hospitality. Today under President Museveni, Uganda has made many strides in economic emancipation and political stability of the region of East Africa and Africa as whole. I want to take this opportunity to state that Uganda played pivotal role in July 2012 during the selection of one of the great daughters of Africa as the Chair person of AU.
Conference, in the last 50 years we have seen democracy gradually grow in most parts of Africa and the world at large. The growth of democracy and other economic achievements of most the African countries have become an envy of many western nations whose economies are retarding at the fastest speed.
But this growth has come about with a heavy price that Africa and some parts of the world have paid. The example of North Africa where Libya and Libyans have paid a heavy price for their God given wealth of oil.
It must be noted that late President Gadaffi in his response to the attacks against Libya told the world that the attackers were terrorist from the North African cell of Al-Qaida who have now extended their journey into Mali. The Chair Person of AU will bear witness here that most of Mali is occupied by the same force that Gadaffi had wiped or silenced.
It is now indeed proved that those holding power in Libya are loose cells of a wider terror networks that will turn on western interests in future. Gadaffi was killed but the truth can now be seen. It is clear that Libya and indeed these other countries that claim to have got new democracy will not have stability as time goes on.
The violent nature and sponsorship of these uprisings is what this conference must condemn and be worried of. These uprisings have left a political deficit on Africa and the rest of the world. The Uprising made AU hapless in resolving the crisis that led to dismembering of Libya.
The uprisings in North Africa have bred more violence and failed to bring the much anticipated good life and democracy. Today in Libya and Egypt hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure have been reduced to Old Stone Age tools. The hallmarks of these uprisings are brutality and dismembering of those African nations. Why should the western countries advocate for violent change in Africa when they cannot allow it in Europe?
I want this conference to understand the nature and character of sponsorship of these uprisings. First, who are the sponsors? How does the money reach to poor citizens of these nations so that they sustain the demonstrations – Through dubious NGOS that are used as method of regime change in most places on the Africa continent.
There are those in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya who claim that democracy was at the centre of all these uprising. Which democracy does France have when most of the black people in France sleep on the streets of Paris and have no voice in the central politics of such a nation that once looted our resources and built an Empire?
There are reasons as to why Europe and the USA supported the uprising in North Africa. The most fundamental one is that Europe today has reached a level of economic bankruptcy and it wants to create chaos as a diversionary tactic so that it re- colonizes Africa under the disguise of wanting to bring pseudo democracy.
Countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France that once colonized Africa and took our minerals in huge quantities are now nearing economic chaos. So South Africans beware of those rude economic ratings by the super nations. They want to create apprehension and stifle the masses of South Africa. Don't accept any form of ratings , whose ratings and for what purposes?
Conference, the topic asks us to reflect on the Arab uprising and its meaning for Africa and the world. I agree that one can find very negative interesting examples that Africa and the world must learn from the events that took place in North Africa. There is nothing that is progressive when you reduce a nation to rubbles because you want to be hungry and have no medicine in hospitals? Is this democracy? When you call for destruction , this is not democracy but lunacy.
Lessons and implications from Arab Spring uprising are many but I will mention just a few because of time. To me as an individual I have failed to see any progressive prospects in the international balance of forces because all international balance of forces are skewed and slanted against Africa and the Arab world. Egypt is now begging for loans as far as 100 million for medicine in hospitals. In short the uprisings have put Middle – East on notice of war and terrorism.
I can safely state here that Arab countries that have undergone these uprising have moved from stability to frying pans and if I am wrong time will tell. Where is stability when fundamental Islamic parties with hard line policies take power and introduce Sharia law? What rationale is this to the world?
a). Lesson one from these uprising is that we must defend our political independence at all costs especially the ANC that is still under threat from those who hold capital and use it to main majority of political power holders.( the case in South Africa today where those with capital are trying pinch ANC with slow death)
b). Lesson two, create schools in Africa for teaching African patriotism that tells of the OR Tambo's, Madiba's, Nkrumah's Patrice Lumumba, Obotes, Nyerere's and Nasser of Africa so that cadres will learn African political values to avoid misguided and pseudo youths who have sold their values for money and our roaming the streets of our cities preaching hatred and confusion in the eyes of our enemies in the western world. This will stop such uprisings.
c). Lesson three, avoid sleeping on the job and failing to regulate the work of dubious NGOs that work in Africa that might be used to create chaos.( Open Society Foundation).
d). Lesson four, to avoid the uprising coming our door steps, we must widen mechanisms of dialogue with progressive forces and create room for political tolerance so as to avoid conflicts within our political organizations.
Lesson five, is to integrate quickly so that enemies find a united Africa through AU with strong pillars that can repulse new form of neo-colonialism and merchant capitalism. If SADC ,ECOWAS, EAC, and other regional bodies speak the same language there will be no uprising because a divided Africa invites enemies like France and USA to use moles to destroy Africa.
Lastly the gruesome, cruel , archaic manner and social humiliation in which the brothers in North Africa handled ex-presidents Mubarak and Gadaffi dents our image of Africa in the eyes of western. On two occasions we have acted like wild animals and savage especially the Moslem Brotherhood leadership in Egypt that displays Mubarak like an animal in cage. Is this the new democratic dispensation in North Africa?
Conference Judge for your selves.