Opinion

Letter

African Leaders Were Not Alone in Committing Criminal Acts

Re: Alpha Oumar Konare: Getting Back to Work

To the Editor:

In reference to the Charles Taylor trial: African leaders were not alone in committing criminal acts. All parties involved in crimes against Africa must be brought to trial. Charles Taylor should not be in the dock alone but with other conspirators. If he is alone, there should be no trial. African leaders inherited problems created by foreign predecessors who looted, taught maiming, killing and hatred. In desperation, African leaders used different methods to avert an African holocaust featuring malnutrition, child deaths, starvation, abject poverty, AIDS etc. on the continent, and for this reason African leaders must be fairly treated through a Reconciliation Committee NOT through courts of law.

The greatest battle in the war against African poverty is with the International Monetary Fund with its conditionality, private multinational corporations and commodity cartels. Africa's war is against "international commodity cartels, which have looted the continent and rigged the prices paid for its raw materials" stated in Executive Intelligence Review's (EIR) 'The Ugly Face Of Neocolonialism in Africa.' The collapsed economies, the training of African soldiers, supporting different leaders in power — in all of these matters our African leaders had their hands tied and minds influenced to make choices only palatable to foreign interests. No African leader should be tried alone on conspiracy charges.

Insurgencies like Mau Mau in Kenya, with real African grievances, were manipulated to serve foreign interests. These armed groups were used against each other all over Africa creating genocide and killing off leaders with African interests.

After the death of Lumumba in the mineral-rich Congo, his criminal murderer Tsombe and mercenary supporters went free. Experienced 'gang-counter gang' warfare policy with the support of foreign powers produced what we have seen in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Justice demands all perpetrators face justice through conspiracy charges. "The slaughter and slavery inflicted against Africa by Arab and European slave traders over the previous several centuries were compounded by what the colonial powers, especially Britain did" — EIR. We prefer a reconciliation committee to courts of law. Our African leaders have been overwhelmed by African and foreign problems.

Neo-colonialism benefited foreign interests and killed our people and leaders. Renamo, a guerilla opposition movement, had deals with a powerful British company, Lonrho. The same company was friendly with Samora Machel, leader of Frelimo. Machel died in a plane crash in Oct. 1986.

"The case of Zimbabwe best shows the British-Lonrho method in Africa; the manipulation of divisions, racial or otherwise, the targeted populations and total sabotage of an attempt to forge a settlement among racial groups in the national interest" — EIR. This is the policy used in South Africa and in the whole continent. It makes reconciliation by Africans a better strategy now than court cases. Our leaders were only used as tools.

Therefore, the perpetrators and benefactors of the slave trade, colonialism, the International Monetary Fund, trainers of murderous armies, suppliers of arms, financiers and looting international cartels — all must be in the dock with our leaders. " In Angola, Tiny Rowland was in the middle of this war, too. He funneled millions to Jonas Savimbi's opposition UNITA forces, even as he made deals with MPLA regime for mineral exploitation rights" — EIR. Justice cannot be seen to be cowardly but fearless.

The Charles Taylor trial for crimes committed in Sierra Leone should include other leaders and foreigners who perpetrated crimes against Africa, creating Africans with no value for human life. This culture of hating themselves, ready to mutilate and kill each other with a gun, had been taught for centuries to Africans. The teacher and student are both guilty.

No statement by any accused person should or is admissible in any court of law which is made under threat or duress. Our leaders have lived, died and persevered under threats to both themselves and the African people. Our leaders should not be tried and kept in jails which our enemies control. I am not saying that our leaders were totally blameless. I am in complete agreement with the following statment in EIR: "... the Daily Graphic of Ghana which in 1972, denounced the proposed appointment of Tiny Rowland as chief 'oil consultant' to the Organization of African Unity as a criminal sell-out of the continent to our enemies." Though I also agree that now-deceased Tiny Rowland had done many positive things in Africa, his bad side cancels out the goodness when it came to the British and his own interests. The equation has to be balanced.

Africans have taken advice from criminals against our leaders — criminals who have perpetrated the African calamity and to this day are not innocent. When will Africa wake up and name the criminals without fear? That will be the day history would not repeat itself in Africa! We sent our African nationals into slavery; and now we want to send our past leaders to strange countries (wolves) controlled by those who committed criminal acts against Africans?

Are all Africans mad? Is it that we are easily impressed by genius without scruples? If Africans have doubts, then let us have a Reconciliation Committee; it heals better. With reasoning, I hope Africans would not again sell out their African leaders to our enemies merely because our enemies have disguised themselves in sheep's clothing.

Christine J. N. Kaluma
Dorchester, Mass.

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