Should African States Withdraw from the United Nations?

An institution held hostage by imperialist governments cannot fulfill yearnings for peace and security

This year’s 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York City comes during a period of profound social and economic crises throughout the world. At present the largest population displacement since the conclusion of World War II stems directly from the imperialist militarism of the United States, NATO and their allies.

Many Africans from across the continent are facing the economic uncertainty engendered by the decline in oil and commodity prices and the continued exploitation within the global capitalist system. Western-based financial publications had designated Africa as a region of phenomenal economic growth yet a mere effort by the West to decrease its dependence upon oil produced outside of its borders has sent the modern-day nation-states spiraling into an economic downturn.

Both of the leading states in the region, the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are in recession. Currency values have declined, unemployment is escalating and access to foreign exchange has been drying up rapidly. Tensions within South Africa and Nigeria have been concentrated in the governmental portfolios responsible for financial policy. Issues of corruption have come to the fore triggering investigations and calls for the removal of political leadership. However, the role of the international banks and military institutions which are at the source of the problems often escape the attention of the domestic and world media.

Consequently, when Republic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe revealed that African states present at the UN General Assembly had discussed the possibility of withdrawing from the institution, it raised a serious question about the status of post-colonial governments encapsulated in the framework of this post-World War II construct. African leaders since the passage of the Ezulwini Consensus of 2005 have been demanding the acquisition of two permanent seats on the Security Council as well as five nonpermanent ones based upon the overall population, land mass and strategic resources in existence on the continent and in its waterways.

In an article published in the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail on September 26, its says “African countries have intensified their push to get two permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council with the continent’s leaders exploring the option of pulling out of the UN if their demand for reform is not met, President Mugabe has said. The President made the remarks at the Harare International Airport yesterday while addressing hundreds of Zanu-PF supporters who welcomed him on his return from the UN General Assembly in New York, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Venezuela.

The same article continues revealing that “In a bold speech that is likely to stir debate on the continent, President Mugabe said African leaders discussed options of withdrawing from the world body on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The decision, was however, shelved until next year’s UN summit where the continent’s leaders are expected to go for broke.” (Article by Kuda Bwititi)

The Need for Serious Discussion and Action

These demands are no insignificant matter as Washington and its allies escalate their military and intelligence interventions in Africa. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which was formally launched in 2008 under former President George W. Bush, has been strengthened and enhanced under the Obama administration.

It was the Obama White House encompassing the-then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that engineered and implemented the destruction of the North African state of Libya. This country had been the most prosperous in Africa under the Jamahiriya system of governance led by Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Although the African Union (AU) Commission had drafted a plan for the resolution of the Libyan situation on March 8, 2011, the UN Security Council passed two resolutions, 1970 and 1973, which provided the pseudo-legal rationale for the blanket-bombing of this country beginning on March 19 and extending through October 31. In its aftermath tens of thousands had been killed, millions displaced and rendered jobless and poor, and Gaddafi, the leader of Libya for 42 years, was extra-judicially executed. Secretary of State Clinton laughed about his lynching by paraphrasing the Roman conqueror Julius Caesar’s letter to the Roman Senate, saying “we came, we saw, he died.”

Since 2011, Libya has become the center of destabilization along with human trafficking. There is no clearly identifiable government in Libya since the UN-crafted Government of National Accord (GNA) is being challenged by forces in the East, West and South of the country. Battles over the control of oil production and access to the Mediterranean are being waged daily inside the beleaguered state.

This call for discussions around the withdrawal from the UN parallels similar issues involving the so-called International Criminal Court (ICC) based in the Netherlands. The ICC is solely concerned with capturing and prosecuting Africans and has completely ignored those governments which over the last three decades or more have systematically broken Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Haiti, Sudan, and Colombia as well as imposed draconian sanctions on Zimbabwe since the beginning of this century.

For those who do not wish to alter the existing international status-quo of Western domination and its deadly consequences, “President Mugabe said although the issue had been widely discussed, some cowardice African Heads of State were afraid of implementing the move for fear of reprisal by the West. He said fellow African countries needed to be courageous if they were to take the West head-on and make bold demands.”

“Oppositional Press” Continues to Carry Torch for Imperialism

A clear illustration of the “cowardice” that President Mugabe decries is exemplified in the Western imperialist-backed opposition media in Zimbabwe. In an editorial published in News Day, it dismisses the call for African independence and self-assertion as a product of a passed era. This opinion piece was signed by Ken Yamamoto who begins by quoting the right-wing and racist founder of 20th century automotive production Henry Ford who joked that thinking is difficult and therefore few engage. (September 26)

Yamamoto suggests that western-backed African leaders today have more vision than the Zimbabwean leader and former AU chairperson. This author says “Mugabe wants to be recognized as a man with a cause, but an esoteric cause unfortunately. He wants to play the role of that swashbuckling pan-Africanist — the only remaining one carrying the torch of a bygone generation.”

Such an editorial thrust clearly exposes what is described as the “independent” press marketed to Zimbabwe and the world. One must ask: “independent” of what? A publication ostensibly based in Zimbabwe which argues against the genuine independence, sovereignty and unity of the continent can only be working on behalf of imperialism.

Those African states which have partnered with AFRICOM, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S. State Department, the European Union (EU) and NATO to undermine the stability and viability of their own governments and people must be condemned for what they truly are, fifth columnists for the “bygone” era of colonialism and European supremacy.

These wars of regime-change and genocidal plunder have displaced 60-75 million people according to the UN Refugee Agency. Any forward-looking leader in Africa today must realize that to maintain the contemporary division of labor and international relations will only destabilize the region further.

The only viable solution is to demand the inherent right of African people to enjoy the natural wealth and human capital that is contingent upon any sustainable development program. Any other approach only confines the continent to decades more of instability, underdevelopment, sectional divisions and marginalization in global affairs.

Articles Par : Abayomi Azikiwe

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