Monday, 24 April 2017


Africa has been politically backward and naïve throughout the last century with so many atrocities, anomalies and injustices. Its children thought that, one day, things will be better, but since the era of independence dawned the situation has remained the same or even got worse. Ills, evils and self-destructions of all kinds continue to plague the African continent. Africa has lost its natural, human and material resources to wars and massacres. Coups and counter-coups have continued to play havoc with African society. Should confidence have been reposed in the statements of the likes of Kwameh Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara and Patrice Lumumba, to the effect that Africa's problems will turn to brightness? Is there any optimism for Africa? Will African children live to see this happen?
One may ask why Africa has remained the poorest continent the world has ever produced. The answer is simple.
The intolerance and lack of respect for one another among Africans combined to invite trouble in Africa. Africans are killing each other and destroying the continent's resources all because of these leaders' power hunger. It is enough to mention the gun rule and slaughtering of people in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and killing of innocent civilians in Cassamance (southern Senegal) among others. These indicate that African leaders are themselves responsible for Africa's underdevelopment and political mayhem. With this era of political ignorance and naivety occupying Africa, there is more than ever need for a continent, indeed a world, without leaders or political borders.
As we entered the dawn of the new millennium, intellectual sycophants have started howling and trumpeting that it will be a millennium of African peace and development. One renowned intellectual was quoted as saying that "in the next millennium, Europeans will come to Africa as refugees." Is it not during this prelude stage of the millennium that floods occurred in Mozambique, killing hundreds of people? That hunger and starvation entered Ethiopia? That thousands died in Nigeria as a result of the religious wars? That mass religious suicide occurred in Uganda? That the senseless land dispute heated up in Zimbabwe? And the wars in Rwanda, Cassamance and Burundi intensified?
With these madness’s in our midst, only the insane would predict a bright future for Africa. Until socialist politics is introduced in Africa, the gloom of this "Heart of Darkness" shall continue.
Historically, the wildlife, natural resources, and culture have made Africa a highly valuable continent to the western world. Africa has gathered the attention of western tourists, western explorers, and western imperialists from all over. As such, Africa has been heavily influenced over time by western interests.

The parading of malnourished and naked African children in front of cameras and images of lions and gorillas in the jungle, have dominated most Western media news outlets over the past two decades. The presentation of African news by Western media convinces the audiences in United States, Europe and other parts of the world that the entire continent of Africa is hopeless, poverty and disease stricken. Images of skyscrapers, well developed road networks and other manifestations of modern development in most African countries are usually absent in the mindsets of Western media audiences. (Ahmed Mheta, 2015).

Western Medias when reporting tends to focus on the negative and not the positive. Bad news sells well. People feel better about their lives when they hear others have bigger problems than them. A European who's unhappy he can't get a mortgage, will, however unwittingly, likely see his life in brighter lights after watching footage of people with no electricity, no running water and little food to eat.

So when a foreign journalist enters a space in which he speaks the formal but only understands the informal, a great deal will necessarily be lost in translation. I believe that it is in this space that most of the mistakes occur when writing about Africa. I argue that most Western journalists who come to Africa believe that they can get by because they speak English or even Swahili, but never really get down to the essence of what it means to be a South Sudanese in war for instance, an essence that is fundamentally related to the ability to be able to switch between the three or four languages and their attendant identities. (Nanjala Nyabola, 2014).

Even before the age of exploration, countries have been acting based on their own personal interest. It was during the late 1800s that the western world really started to explore deeper into the heart of Africa. What the explorers found was an abundance of land and resources. The only thing standing in their way was a group of primitive people with spears, not guns. Through this technological advantage, Europe was able to successfully claim Africa, its people and its resources as its own. Seeking only to reap the economic and territorial advantages, settlers created quick local governments and didn’t bother industrializing Africa. When countries in Africa began to win their independence, these newly formed countries were left hundreds of years behind the western World, with corrupt governments in control.

African states must be reconstructed based on African culture, history, traditions, norms, values, priorities and needs (however these are defined by Africans). It uses history to demonstrate that African political system radically and permanently altered after Slavery to serve minority and western needs. To reverse this trend, Africans must first recapture their economies such as development implies Africans’ control over the resources within their borders for the sole benefit of African child, man and woman. African people must also realize that they have to take ownership of their own development and democracy, based on the African context.

It is a clear testimony that western countries and their selfish African associates like any other group protect their own interest to the detriment of the majority of the people. The dependency of the majority of the population on religious fatalism, corrupt African leaders, or predatory western countries will only result in bankrupt development.

Therefore we need to recognize that Africa’s interest differ from those of western countries. The Africans want to live in dignity, economic, self-determination and peace, while the Western countries want cheap Labor who accept and inferior position in a western dominated world and market for their goods western countries also want to exploit African’s natural resources at their own interest. Given the nature of the relationship between African and western states, the Africans cannot industrialize unless the process is controlled by a small white minority.

Furthermore conflict, war disease and epidemics will depopulate the continent to such an extent that it will never  be able to compete in the international economy, African countries and people will eventually self-destruct under the combined impact of war, famine and disease, acting as efficient checks on population growth.

The west has United States of America consisting of 52 countries, they also have the European Union, but why are they against the united states of Africa? Because they don’t want to see Africans to speak in one voice, So that they can make friends and enemies, because the pan African will be termed as their enemies and the greedy, selfish and the self interested African leaders will be their friends. On these note Africans will never surface without being united and speak in one voice.

In conclusion, for the continent to be the united states of Africa. African leaders must work as a team towards accomplishing   the mission and vision statement of Africa, and Africa need to solve it own problem without the emergence of any foreign policy, as we are independent countries.


Monday, 10 April 2017


The Casamance region’s ethnic, religious, and cultural composition is different from the rest of Senegal, and since independence, the southern population has protested the north’s domination of national politics and resources. The MFDC emerged as an armed separatist movement in 1982, and with violence peaking in the 1990s, the United Nations estimates the fighting has killed over 5,000 people, internally displaced over 60,000, and sent tens of thousands into refuge in neighboring Guinea-Bissau and the Gambia.

Calling the separatist movement “Senegal’s toughest problem,” Sall made peace in the Casamance a key initiative of his 2012 election platform, and seems genuinely committed to ending the conflict. His willingness to negotiate with an inclusive range of MFDC factions has paid dividends, as have the multiple, youth-oriented development projects his regime has launched in the Casamance. After months of mediation through Sant’Egidio, a Catholic lay organization based in Rome, the leader of the MFDC’s most militant and powerful faction, Salif Sadio, publically agreed to a ceasefire and the commencement of formal peace talks. Government concessions – which included the dropping of charges against key rebel leaders and promises to promote the economic development and political integration of the Casamance region – were key factors in the agreement and increase the odds that the ceasefire will be endorsed across the MFDC movement.  (David Seyferth, 2014)

Agriculturally one of the potential richest regions in Senegal, the Casamance has suffered from the effects of an 18-year separatist movement. Civilians have been displaced, and many have lost their means of livelihood. Land mines have been laid in many formerly productive areas. Villages have been abandoned. Infrastructure has been neglected, and investment has come to a virtual standstill.
The causes of the conflict and its perpetuation are complex. Factors often cited as contributors include historical factors, economic neglect, lack of job opportunities for youth, land rights issues, and disrespect for indigenous cultural norms. The conflict has had negative effects on virtually every aspect of life in the Casamance: the environment has degraded due to uncontrolled exploitation or neglect, normal village life and social support systems have been disrupted, poverty has increased, the cities are overcrowded, schools and health posts have been closed or displaced, and investment and tourism have declined.

In 1982, supporters of the Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de la Casamance demanded that the Govern-ment of Senegal grant independence to the Casamance region, an isolated section of southwestern Senegal located between Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. This demand sparked a two-decade-long conflict, which only recently began to be resolved.The conflict worsened in the late 1990s with the appearance of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. These landmines have adversely affected the population, agricultural activities and tourism, as well as hampering donor and NGO efforts in the region. No accurate information is available regarding the total quantity of landmines or the number of landmine casualties. Over the years, hundreds of villages have been abandoned and schools and health centres have closed. Hundreds of children and women have become victims of landmines and risk of exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS has increased due to population displacement, the presence of combatants and increased poverty. The nutritional status of children has also deteriorated.

Are we today on the verge of a new round of military intervention? A sober debate over military intervention might benefit from a brief look back into history. We are seriously concerned over the trend towards the normalization of military intervention into situations designated as humanitarian crises. The world must not be allowed to return to the situation before 1940, when international law was little more than ink on paper. The discontent of (parts of) a population in a given country cannot be used as an excuse to destabilize, attack or occupy weaker countries, thereby undermining the international legal order.

Humanitarian interventions are often defended under the premise that all else has been tried and failed. In reality, it is usually the Western powers that undermine a negotiated settlement, or fail to give negotiations a reasonable chance. This was the case in Kuwait (1990), in Somalia (1993) and in the former Jugoslavia (1996-1999). It also holds true over the past decade. The South African president did not complain without reason to the UN Security Council, arguing that the African Union had been pushed aside in the search for a negotiated settlement in Libya. Moreover, the West continues to fuel conflict by arming, training and financing one (or more) of the conflicting parties. Also has demonstrated very well its dangers and capacity for catastrophic failure.

We cannot accept that the West compensates for its waning global power by using humanitarian military interventions as a cover for pursuing geostrategic interests. We can no longer look on passively as powerful economic interest groups set out to conquer the world "in our name." We stand against the politics of intervention, even when it wraps itself in the cloak of humanitarianism. A wolf remains a wolf, even when dressed in sheep's clothing. (Ludo De Brabander, 2012)

Conflict can affect the level of development in a country in a number of ways. Firstly, conflict is likely to disrupt the distribution of food and other resources to the population. It is argued that the main cause of the 1984 famine in Ethiopia was not drought or overpopulation, but the fact that the food could not be distributed to the people due to the sheer size of the country and the scale of the war which was going on at the time. Secondly, many services, such as schools, are devastated by conflict which can cause literacy rates to fall - an indicator which is often seen as the key to more widespread development. Also, conflict can cause an imbalance in the population structure, as men of economic age are those most likely to be involved in the fighting.

If military intervention the solution to the Cassamanse conflict, then?
How many shall die?
How many shall make it to the refugee camps?
How many shall lose their business?
How many shall be homeless?
How many shall be raped?
How many shall commit suicide?
How many shall be separated from their families and loves ones?
How many shall migrate?
How many shall live in hunger?
how many shall take the gun to retaliate? 
How many pregnancies shall be aborted?
How many shall be crying both day and night?
And how many of her resources shall be looted?

I may never be President of Cassamance, but at least I have earned unreserved rights to good governance by virtue of my citizenship and my law-abiding nature. I, hereby, do solemnly pledge to consistently and continually fight for this noble right of mine, along with those who care to join me towards liberating Cassamance.

Finally, at the end of the day, military intervention does nothing to resolve the underlying reasons for conflict in Cassamance. More often than not, conflict is the result of poverty or socio-economic Inequality, which in turn has its origins in destabilizing agricultural, trade and debt policies emanating from Western dominated institutions. The resources wasted on military intervention might otherwise have sufficed to pursue policies aimed at social development, which might in turn have contributed to the prevention of violence. To be continued……..

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Tribalism: A Threat To Democracy

Tribalism? This can be defined as “the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group”.
As a result, the tribalist has disdain for and often disrespects the tribes they think are inferior to theirs. Such people, therefore, discourage association in any form be it marriage, work or friendship with tribes they deem to be inferior.
Tribalists think and preach that the men and women of their tribe or ethnic group are superior to others, and that as a result the others should serve and obey them. They try to impose the hegemony, the predominance of their tribes. Tribalist ideas and feeling are used most often to create a clientele who can help them to satisfy their selfish interests and ambitions
The reasons for tribalism and tribal discrimination may include the following:
The first is history, as many a tribalist traces the perceived superiority of their tribe to ethnic lineage. They will recount how their forebears defeated the other tribes in a war or a series of wars, or sometimes how their forebears enslaved the other tribes.Such people take pride in their history and no amount of persuasion can make them to see today’s reality. They believe that since their ancestors were “better” than the other tribes, so also are they now.
Another reason for tribalism is geographical location in relation to national resources and power. By this we mean that tribes which are endowed with abundant resources and opportunities often tend to disrespect people from other tribes who come to seek work on their land. Similarly, tribes which have the seat of power tend to think that they are better than others, and sometimes look down on them.
The above mentioned have been aggravated by politics. It is sad to say that most politicians either publicly or privately try to encourage tribal sentiments for their own selfish interests. Among the effects of tribalism is that it breeds nepotism. Once people feel that their tribesmen are better than people of other tribes, they tend to surround themselves with their tribesmen when they get into positions of trust.

Often tribalists are willing to hire people from their own tribe who may not otherwise be the best candidates for a given job. Such actions deprive the nation of the right people for the right job. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is arguable that the negative effects of tribalism permeate all African countries. Millions have been killed, maimed or displaced in civil wars in sub-Sahara Africa over the past 50 years, mostly because of tribal agitation. Most of us are living witnesses to the carnage that occurred in Rwanda and is still going on in Somalia. These countries have fallen into the abyss mainly because of tribalism. (The Point, 2010)

In terms of employment, people are given jobs based on tribe regardless of having low qualifications. Hence the inefficient use of available skills. Thus, the very rationale of being educated lacks meaning. Bad governance and lack of accountability has also been linked to tribalism as people do not question a government run by their tribesmen.
Delivery of services is also hindered as the culture of impunity is also inculcated. Delivery of services in both public and private institution where tribalism is rampant is also highly affected by tribal affiliations and politics.
Tribalism in Africa has been a major stumbling block to democracy as well as socio-economic development. It affects every sphere of development, from social economic, political to educational spheres. In political spheres, tribalism persists since it provides an avenue via which state goodies and favors trickle down from those in power to their tribesmen. Therefore, loyalty to tribe is given ever greater relevance than loyalty to the country.
In the overall sub-Saharan African political ethos, so long as a larger chunk of the negative vestiges of colonialism predominate, ethnicity as a political tool in the long run may, of course, involve several thoughts in the dimensions of social sciences like anthropology or sociology in the academic world, but in practical politics, especially in the contemporary African context of increasing ignorance and backwardness, ethnicity or ethnic politics exist as a blatant, gruesome instruments of accumulating private wealth and an easy accesses to unearned political power. In short, ethnic politics is an excuse to the profession of brigandage.
In Kenya, the regime of Daniel Arap Moi took over power apparently to ensure the revenge of the Kalenjin ethnic group over the long predominance or alleged predominance of the Kikuyu. Logically, therefore, the security and safety of individuals in key positions of the regime rely on staying in power.
In Ethiopia, the regime of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), spearheaded by the Tigrean Liberation Front (TPLF) and directed by Mr. Meles Zenawi, controlled central power ten years ago evidently with the intention of ensuring the predominance of Tigrean or other non-Amahara interests over the alleged predominance of the Amhara ruling class.
In 1964, the alleged “Arab dominance” in Zanzibar was revenged by a revolutionary seizure of Arab properties by the “Africans”. The rivalries between Igbo and non-Igbo groups in Port Harcourt, between Yoruba and Hausa in Ibadan (Nigeria) and other similar occurrences in the Congo Leopoldville, Rwanda, Burundi and others signify not ethnic conflicts per se but just sheer power struggles for the control of either major resources (wealth) or political power or both, by certain groups playing the ethnic card. (See H. Wolpe, Urban Politics in Nigeria
Ultimately, the bitterness accruing from such irresponsible conducts for the sake of short-sighted and short-term gains plant poisonous seeds for potential disasters. The hatred of the Luo and Kalenjin towards the Kikuyu in Kenya can be paralleled with the joint resentment of the Tigrean and Oromo groups within the EPRDF towards the Amharas in Ethiopia.
In both of those situations, the main issue is not as much on an equitable distribution of power as it is over the lion’s share of the spoils of power struggle. Even within obviously homogenous societies, like Somalia, a complete internal harmony is an exception rather than the rule, let alone states shredded with a plethora of tribes. (There are more than one thousand distinct tribes with their own languages in Africa.)
There are several conflicts of interest even from among family members, which cannot be resolved by any sort of benign umpire from heaven, much less by pretending to be the protector of an “ethnic” interest, or even worse, national interest. There are gender conflicts, even age group conflicts of interest, conflicts of interest between the warriors (the bullies) and ordinary (humble) citizens, between the intellectuals and the licentious, and so forth. A well developed unitary polity with nationally applicable “rule of law”, which is ethnic-blind seems to be the solution, not the so called ‘representatives’ of ethnic interest. (Yohannes Chane Metiku, 2002)
It is my wish, now that the wars are coming to an end, to live happily in peace. All mortals from now shall live like one people, united and peacefully working forwards a common prosperity. You should regard the whole world as your country – a country where the best govern-, with common laws and no racial distinctions. I do not separate people as many narrow minded others do, I’m not interested in the origin or race of citizens. I only distinguish them on the basis of their virtue.
Let me finish saying that if our Gambia society permitted to do what their brain was capable of doing: their incredible entrepreneur skills, needed to make our society achieve development, happiness and living in peace and meaningful life. Moreover, it is the 21st century- no need any more to belief or relay as a social security: tribalism, fake ancestral lands; with that in mind- whether or not we are conscious of it, the alternative or choice is divisions, conflict, repeatable miserable gibberish refugee life
“People who sow seeds of discord by preaching tribalism, racism and religious misunderstanding should find another place to go.” Mwai Kinaki
I dream of Gambia where one day her citizens will continue to live as a family, where the joking relationship buried the menace of tribalism.

By: Saidina Alieu Jarjou