Has already started.
“Ex Africa semper aliquid novi”
“Always something new from Africa” said Pliny the Elder, and this remains true today, but unfortunately, the news is most often bad, especially for Africans.
In April of this year, in the disarray after a military coup, Malian government forces fled the country’s northern cities, abandoning an area as large as France. While there were several actors in the anti-government movement, hard-line Islamists affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb quickly appeared alongside the local Islamic militia, Ansar Al Dine.
The fabled city of Timbuktu came under shariah law, with wine and music banished, and floggings, amputations and the demolition of ancient Muslim shrines in their place. This is an appalling situation for the people of Northern Mali, one that is little noticed in the West, at least among the priorities of foreign policy establishments. It should be, not only for the gross violations of human rights in Northern Mali, but for its larger strategic implications.
In the wake of Muammar Qadaffi’s deposition, vast stores of weapons and armaments
found their way into many hands. In fact, Navy seal, Glen Doherty killed at Benghazi, was tasked with trying to retrieve shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles. Libya’s interim president has stated that foreign fighters, including some from Mali, were involved in the attack. There is little reason to doubt him, as his version of events has been proven right, while the “evolving” positions of the US administration have been consistently wrong.
One fears then that American policy makers have little if any idea of what they are dealing with: far more than isolated terrorist attacks, but a continent wide challenge.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram, a violent Jihadist movement, began its campaign in 2009. Yet, while information on its savage asymmetrical war of bombings, assassinations, beheadings and ethnic cleansing has been reported by the wire services from the start, it was long rarely mentioned in broadcast news reports. A search shows CNN first reporting in 2011, and then only in security matters blogs. Boko Haram’s atrocities make for lurid reporting, but the group has a far larger significance,
An AFP (Agence France Presse) report datelined September 27, 2012, Gao, Northern Mali that as jihadi fighters pour across the Niger border,
Perhaps the most startling thing about these fighters along this frontier route is that nearly all of them are from sub-Saharan Africa rather than the Maghreb.
, I am surprised,” Nigerien Hicham Bilal, who is leading a katiba (combat unit) to Gao, admitted to AFP. “Every day we have new volunteers. They come from Togo, Benin, Niger, Guinea, Senegal, Algeria and elsewhere.”
This then, is the significance of Mali. A route has been opened for jihad from the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Guinea. A look at the map shows the enormous advantage the forces of Islam have. Boko Haram began by demanding Islamic rule in the Muslim majority northern half of the country; now it fights to brig all of Nigeria under sharia.
Why then would one doubt that Islamic rule in North Africa and the Sahel would not press
further, through migration, economic pressure, and outright war? There are strategic thinkers among the Islamists. The movement that now triumphs in Egypt began in the1920s.
In Arabic “abd,” slave, also means black African The Arab drive for domination of black Africa began many centuries ago, manifested most blatantly in the Arab slave trade, reaching deep into the interior, penetrating as far as the Central Congo. Confronted with superior European technology and organization, Arab influence in Central Africa receded, but has long since renewed its assault as the decades long Civil War ( which might better be called the war for Independence of black Sudan) in Sudan, and the continuing oppression of Muslim black people in Darfur. The ancient Christian land Of Ethiopia is already one third Muslim, and Christians have been expelled from some Muslim areas. In Kenya , Somali Al Shabab jihad operatives have carried out attacks in the capital, Nairobi. Any African country with a substantial Muslim population can expect Arab directed violence and aggression, with the assistance of these large fifth columns,
Poor Africa. The continent seems destined to be dominated and plundered. These trends
point to a future in which black Africa faces economic, political and religious enslavement. Christianity in the ancient lads of Christendom has become largely nominal; in Africa it is fervent belief. Christian Africa will not submit willingly, but its resistance will be at a severe disadvantage. The Muslim forces will have the support of their brethren globally, and the weapons and resources for war in which the Middle East and North Africa are well stocked. If Christian Africans receive the same level of support that the West has given minorities in Muslim lands, the their future may be grim.
This Arab empire will be like its predecessors, living off plunder and captive populations, perhaps partnering with Russia and China in resource extraction, even as hose nations fight their own Islamic insurgents.
So, are these the musings of someone with an internet connection ad too much time on his hands?
Africom, established in 2007 and headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, is U.S military’s hybrid military-civilian organization with the mission of working with African nations on security matters, with security broadly defined as including not just military capability but economic and social developmen,t as well. Although the US has bases in Africa, no African nation has agreed to host the command,
The commands mission is sounds relatively benign, but some Africans see it as aimed a securing resurces and supply lines. This may be so. Perhaps the US is pre-positioning for its part in the wider struggle. On whose side it will stand, and why is open to question, but what isn’t, is that it is Africa that will suffer as it always has.