Africa should stop outsourcing its security to Western nations and should instead, immediately operationalize the “African Union Standby Brigade” to fight terrorism on the continent.
The belief that foreign armies will end these terror attacks is misplaced. From the Sahel, Nigeria, East Africa, and now Mozambique, terrorism is on the rise despite the presence of some of the most advanced and powerful armies in the world.
However, associating terrorism with Islam distorts the real meaning of the word “terrorism” itself. There is a tendency in the west to always make the word terrorism a synonym of the epithet “Islam”. This should be completely dismissed by all scholars worth their salt. “Islam” is not terrorism and terrorism in not “Islam”.
During the many liberation wars on the continent, Africans fought colonialism by themselves with very little support from China and Russia and yet, they scored huge military successes. These successes resulted in many African countries attaining independence.
Today, the ‘terrorism’ that we are seeing springing up in resource-rich regions on our continent, has since attracted superpower armies to set up on the continent with very little success.
Whenever, the so-called ISIS terrorists are killed, they are found carrying weapons made in the Western countries – by the very same people who are purportedly here to fight ISIS. Who is arming these terrorists? The Islamic State does not own munitions factories in the areas that they operate in.
Is Africa being duped by the War on Terror? One can only speculate but engaging in such is meant to dupe African people while the elites and their Western handlers loot the precious resources in daylight.
There are now US Marines training the Mozambican Army in Cabo Delgado, a region rich in oil and gas. There are US Marines fighting and training the Mozambican Army in Cabo Delgado a region that is rich in oil and gas. Russian and South African mercenaries are known to be operating in Mozambique. Their actions can be deemed to be terrorism as well.
One observes a similar situation in the Sahel region where US Marines, Russian mercenaries and the French Army are on the ground. However, in all these areas there is very little success scored against ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists.
In Niger, attacks occurred in the Tillabery region on Monday, which is near the border with Mali and Burkina Faso, has seen increasingly deadly attacks by armed groups active across the region with links to ISIS and al-Qaeda.
Armed men in southwestern Niger have killed at least 58 people when they intercepted a convoy returning from a weekly market and attacked a nearby village, the government said on Tuesday.
The mass killings underscore the enormous security challenges facing Niger’s new president, Mohamed Bazoum, who won the election in late February to succeed outgoing leader Mahamadou Issoufou.
The same can be said of what is going on in Cabo Delgado where the Mozambican Army is losing the war. President Nyusi recently fired his Army chief including other generals from the air force and intelligence. He fired the whole top command structure of the Mozambican defence forces because of what he called serious failures in the fight against ISIS terrorists in Cabo Delgado.
In Somalia, al-Shabaab continues to make their presence felt by attacking Mogadishu and the countryside. All this in spite of the presence of the world’s most powerful army.
What our African leaders fail to understand is that the presence of Western armies counterterrorism offensives against ‘terrorists’ have helped give rise to ethnic militias, analysts say.
African people are beginning to read in between the lines and are now aware that there is massive looting of their resources happening under the shadows of the War on Terror and are now organizing themselves to fight.
The AU must endeavour to operationalize the AU brigade and immediately stop the outsourcing of Africa’s security. This will assist in building confidence in the people to treat Seeing foreign soldiers and mercenaries on the ground in resource-rich areas, makes them suspicious of the agenda of foreign powers and local elites – a development that leads to terrorists benefiting by recruiting many impoverished locals into their ranks.
Further, the AU should ensure that member countries endeavour to develop those areas where the resources are found and employ the local youths from the regions in order to mitigate against them being easy target for those who recruit for terror organisations. This is an important narrative absent in the fight against terrorism around the world and Africa in particular explaining the appeal of terror groups to disenfranchised youth. The best the AU can do is to prevent intervention coming from the west in African countries.
Dr Mustafa Mheta
Researcher/Head of Africa Desk
Media Review Network
011 837 3220