Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, listens to a speech during the opening of the 20th session of The New Partnership for Africa's Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 31, 2009. Bashir has an ICC warrant on his head.

KEMBUJE—The Gambian Government has announced that it is withdrawing from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court effective 25 October, 2016. The announcement was read by the country’s information minister Sheriff Bojang yesterday. He said the reason for the withdrawal is because the ICC is a Western-backed institution designed to unfairly target Africa. He accused the West of double standards noting that the ICC should also have gone after former Pres. George Bush and former Prime Minister Tony Blair among several other anti-colonial rhetoric.

About four days ago it was Burundi and South Africa who announced their withdrawal from the ICC, essentially on the same reasons. This is the same reason of the AU as well, which in its various summits since 2014 has been engaged in unintelligible colonial banter especially since the indictment of Kenyan president and his vice president for the atrocities of the 2007/8 post election violence in which more than one thousand people were massacred.

Charges against Pres. Uhuru were eventually dropped. But charges remain on the head on the Sudanese Pres. Omar Bashir since 2009 and 2010. In 2015 he attended the AU Summit in South Africa whose government refused to arrest him even though the High Court in Pretoria said the government had a constitutional obligation to arrest the man. The government said by the time they received the court ruling, Bashir had already left the country! Now South Africa says its membership to Rome Statute conflicts with its obligations under AU to guarantee the diplomatic immunity of heads of states. Yet South Africa signed the treaty in 2000 when it already knew its obligations.

Thus the actions by the Gambia, Burundi and South Africa with many more African countries to follow suit soon has nothing to do with the colonial hogwash or conflicting obligations. Rather it has everything to do with the fact that the leaders of Africa do not wish to be held to account for their corruption, abuse of rights and perpetuation of atrocities against their own people.

The evidence of this in the fact that in 2014, when they met in Malabo, Equitorial Guinea, these leaders made an amendment to the protocol establishing the African Court on Human and People’s Rights that the court shall not investigate and prosecute sitting heads of state and senior government officials. That court, set up since 2006 has only about 32 states parties out of 53 African countries, and only 7 countries have made a declaration to allow their citizens and NGOs to take the government to court.

Rwanda was the 8th country. But in 2013 it withdrew its declaration because an opposition politician took the government to the court for politically motivated imprisonment. It is therefore clear that the AU and its member states have no interest and solution for the continuous abuse of rights on the continent. African governments have continuously flouted the rulings of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and the various regional courts and accountability institutions.

Most, if not all African governments and leaders have failed to ensure the independence, professionalism and development of domestic justice systems which are continuously undermined, harassed, manipulated and interfered with in the interest of the regime to the detriment of the people.

Thus, the ICC has served as the only avenue that Africans have had to at least put a stop to political leaders and warlords among others who systematically commit heinous crimes against them. The general condemnation many Africans levy against the ICC that it is Western-backed and unfairly targeting Africa is without merit and not a well thought out argument. What Africans need to understand is that at least the ICC has served to identify only atrocious individuals in Africa for prosecution. Without the ICC those individuals would not have anyone to stop them, while it also serves as a deterrent against continuous atrocities and future perpetrators.

The ICC has not targeted any individual African person yet who is innocent of his or her crimes. If there is one international organization that is harm-free for Africans it is the ICC because it has not yet unfairly targeted any well-meaning African leader or individual. The ICC has not yet interfered with any socio-economic or political systems of any African country and has not imposed any decision, policy or program on any African country and has not overthrown any government or supported any dictator yet.

As a matter of fact the ICC has not intruded into the governance and development process of any African country. All that the ICC has done so far is to call out the names of those leaders, rebels and criminals who are harming our people. Whether the ICC has targeted leaders in other parts of the world or not, is a matter that can be discussed, highlighted and even critiqued, but that is no reason for ordinary Africans to condemn the court for weeding out the undesirable elements out of our midst. If we do that then we are also buying into the narrative of the tyrants and warlords hence defending them for their atrocities against us. Hence, all Africans must support the ICC to be strong and effective to help in the weeding out murderers, rapists, criminals. We have to know where our interest lies.

Incidentally, the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC is African. She is Mrs. Fatou Bom Bensouda from the Gambia. She needs our support to save this continent from crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes that have been ravaging Africa since independence.

According to a recent report, ‘African Regional Communities and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities,’ millions of Africans have perished in genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes between 2009 to date. In Darfur, the report states that more than 300,000 people have been massacred between 2009 and 2016. It states that from 2013 and 2016, between 50,000 to 300,000 people have been killed in South Sudan alone. More than 1000 people have been killed in Niger between 2014 and 2016.

In Burundi, 1000 people have been killed from 2015 to date. In the DR Congo alone, 5.5 million people have perished from 2009 to 2015, while in Central African Republic more than 6000 have been killed in two years between 2013 and 2015. Hundreds more have been massacred in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Chad, Cameroun, Nigeria and Ivory Coast among others.

Yet without the ICC, where in Africa will perpetrators of these heinous crimes who are government leaders and rebels face justice? Have we thought about that? What if your family, your child, mother and father were victims? Would you have prevented the ICC to go after the perpetrators just because you think it is targeting Africa, which is an unfair statement in itself? Is it dishonesty or ignorance or both that is making us harm ourselves in this way? Let us think carefully about the implications of our advocacy to leave the ICC.

 

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Madi Jobarteh

My name is Mr. Madi Jobarteh. I am African. I was born in the ‘Gambia’, a colonial-created nation-sate without the consent of the people of the region. Currently, I am the Program Manager for the Association of NGOs in the Gambia. I am a policy and development activist and a social worker. My expertise and experience is in the areas of media, human rights, capacity building and strategic planning among others. I am also a Scribe at Grandmother Africa.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Madi Jobarteh provides here his retort to Jehuti Nefekare’s essay, which sought to laud efforts by Burundi and South Africa to withdraw from the ICC. Now that the Gambian government has also effectively joined Burundi and South Africa in withdrawing from the ICC, Madi offers his view once again that the people of our dear continent have only to loose when our nations are no longer party to the Rome Statute.
    In an earlier essay, Madi stipulated the implications of South Africa’s withdrawal, calling attention to what he saw as a hypocritical move. That by “Leaving the ICC, South Africa Dishonours The Martyrs of Apartheid.” In this essay, he buttresses his opinion with a report by the African Regional Communities and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities, which shows how many millions of Africans have perished in genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes between 2009 to date. Madi seriously believes that it is because of such crimes that the ICC must remain an important component of African life.

    By all means, like Madi himself, bow to no authority and acknowledge no king and engage in this serious, but lively, dialogue. Enjoy!

  2. Jehuti Nefekare has contributed brilliantly to clarifying our viewpoint on the so-called International Criminal Court (ICC)! The claim of Madi Jobarte that the ICC is not a Western design is most ridiculously absurd! Let him tell us which non-Europeans decisively participated in conceptualising, with ideas not Eurocentric, the ICC and its statute and modus operandi! It need not take those of us critically schooled in Law and its related disciplines of Global Justice, and therefore so apalled by the gross inadequacies of the Eurocentric perversions of the theory and practice of Law as impacting upon the World, to the point of having to independently research and study by ourselves Critical Jurisprudence in its development in indigenous Afrikan and other Knowledge systems, to show anybody who cares to want to seriously learn the fact that the currently imposed order of so-called International Law is a Western designed instrument for loads of bullshit hypocritical propaganda about Democracy, Human Rights and Development, while using it for terrorising Humanity into submission to the globalising bloody dictatorship of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism. Contrived as a Western design out of the globalising processes of the imposition of White Supremacy upon the Black majority of Humanity with the Coloniality of White Power, the ICC has functioned, more so with the usual tokenistic inclusion of its Black-Skin-White-Masked elitist clowning puppets, as a vicious Afriphobic instrument of Global Apartheid Racism for perpetuating obnoxiously insulting travesties of Justice particularly against Afrikan people. Among such abusive atrocities is the currently ongoing French colonially fabricated outrageous case of trumped up charges amounting to a despicable frame-up by Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism against the Afrikan patriotic leader from Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo! Indeed, it is this case which highlights the Big Lie about the soveregnty of European fabricated caricatures of so-called independent nation-states in Afrika today! It proves every word written in the 1965 book “Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism” by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah.

  3. “If truth be told, we are the problem. We seem programmed to give away our power at almost every turn whether to our avaricious and tyrannical leaders or to our imagined saviors in the international community.” The solution to this seeming divide in Africa lies correctly in what C.S. C.s. Hamidu has said before. I can emphasize this more! But let me explain an ensuing point.

    Since the solution lies in our hands, we cannot subscribe to the solution elsewhere. The option of the ICC then is out of the door. Now, we must concentrate on the powers within. We must reach out to all our peoples and ensure they have the information they need at hand to hold their leaders accountable. Solutions have always laid in the hands of the people, not courts, or foreign courts at that. Instead of proposing more oversight over our sovereignty we must ensure that our people control every aspect of government, rather than the vice versa. Even then, the powers that be, the international organizations need more that our governments have more power over us then we, over them. Again, the solution is in our hands, not in the hands of the ICC.

  4. Kofi Mawuli Klu. If you truly understand that great book of Nkrumah you would have realized that his reason for publishing it was purposely to enlighten his fellow leaders coming to the OAU summit in Accra that year to understand not only how neocolonialism works, but why they must unite as the best solution to safeguard Africa from this disease. But you must bear in mind that even Nkrumah did not leave the UN or the Commonwealth or other organizations you would call Eurocentric. History has on record that in fact Nkrumah’s presence in these institutions served to improve them as he was the one who proposed the transformation of the Commonwealth into having a secretariat and becoming more democratic and representative. He also influenced most of the decisions of the General Assembly as it relates to the new emerging states, liberation struggles and independence. Nkrumah himself had said that he faces neither the East nor the West, but faces forward. Thus if we are to learn anything from Nkrumah and that book, it is not to engage in such vain banterism for nothing. It is for us to develop a sense of responsibility, empower ourselves in all ways and engage in order to influence and control. Nkrumah never disengaged, rather he had been proactive and forward looking. If by your argument we then leave ICC, then what are we doing in the UN or the Wold Bank or the IMF? And what about FIFA or IOC? Why are we buying iPhone and watching CNN and using the Internet or drinking coca cola? Why don’t we withdraw from the Vatican and close all UN agencies inside Africa because all these are Eurocentric? You must realize that Africa is within the global system and we must engage in order to influence. Vain anger and hurling insults are sign of weakness and defeat. Our problem is not the ICC or the UN or those Eurocentric institutions. Our problem are our own people who lack the African Personality as touted by Nkrumah to be informed, honest and patriotic men and women who are loyal to Africa. Which African will be proud of the kind of governments and leaders we have in this continent at this time? Which self respecting African will listen to tyrants blaming the ICC when they are the very ones tormenting their own people in their own homes? Are you saying the life of Omar Bashir is more valuable than the millions of Black women and children he continues to massacre? Are you saying the massacre of mine workers in Marikana are less important than the life of Jacob Zuma? Are you saying the hundreds massacred by Burundi Pres. Pierre Ngurunziza just to have him keep power are not important? Unless Africans empower themselves in the way the West and East and everyone does we shall continue to be weeping and moaning as the wretched of the earth. That is the lesson of that book by Kwame Nkrumah, Go and read it again.

  5. Brother Madi Jobarteh, please read again the entirety of my comment under the article of Jehuti Nefekare in the original Grandmother Africa Website! The Facebook piece is just an extract from my actual comment. You take Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah completely out of historical context. Why do you choose to write about the pre-1966 views of the Osagyefo? Do you know that in his post-1966 writings Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah wrote openly about and corrected his own self-confessed mistakes and repudiated the errors of himself and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) that had made the 24th February 1966 coup d’etat possible? Do please read his post-1966 works such as “Dark Days in Ghana”, the “Class Struggle in Africa” and the awesome best of my favourites, “Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare”! You will swallow most of what you think, as evident in what your comment above, you know about Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah if you dared to venture into diligently studying his post-1966 works! To study the Osagyefo in a single volume of his selected works, get “Revolutionary Path”! “Unless Africans empower themselves …” you write very correctly; but how? How does taking the cases of the neocolonially oppressed and superexploited masses of our suffering people against the tyrants imposed by Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism to their kangaroo court of the so-called ICC empower the masses of our Afrikan people? Or, even after hundreds of years of experiencing the Maangamizi in its continuum of Chattel, Colonial and Neocolonial Enslavement, with indications of much worse forms of Genocide and Ecocide to come from the sadistic oligarchs of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism, Afrikans are now going to be empowered by Europeans in order to save them from the tyrannical black eurocentric running dogs of Europeans they keep breeding and training and deploying to wreak their Eurocolonising havoc upon us! The way out is what my Brother Dade Afre Akufu has brilliantly pointed to in elucidating the point made by C.S. Hamidu:

  6. The way out is what my Brother Dade Afre Akufu has brilliantly pointed to in elucidating the point made by C.S. Hamidu: “Since the solution lies in our hands, we cannot subscribe to the solution elsewhere. The option of the ICC then is out of the door. Now, we must concentrate on the powers within. We must reach out to all our peoples and ensure they have the information they need at hand to hold their leaders accountable. Solutions have always laid in the hands of the people, not courts, or foreign courts at that. Instead of proposing more oversight over our sovereignty we must ensure that our people control every aspect of government, rather than the vice versa.”

  7. Kofi Mawuli Klu, What did Nkrumah say there? Enlighten me.
    Just to say once again that Nkrumah taught us to be scientific in our thinking. Rashness will not deliver us. Just because we have African tyrants and dishonest intellectuals lambasting so-called Western institutions as usual because of their discomfort under these institutions is no reason for us to take to our heels. These institutions do not harm us but it is our leaders who allow them to harm us. You must differentiate issues. We have to always understand the times and circumstances to know how to deal with the issues. Until now our politicians and intellectuals are not doing any thinking but to consume and follow and this is why Africa remains the paradox it is.
    We came out of colonialism when the global legal and political institutions and processes were already setup. Nkrumah understood that these are not institutions one can avoid but must be engaged. But how do we engage with them? He understood that unless we have the strength by ourselves we could not possibly engage with the world fairly and favourably, much less do for ourselves. He spent his entire leadership to try to bring this message to the masses and leadership of Africa knowing full well that a total liberation and unification of Africa is the key. But beyond that he worked to bring solidarity with Asia and Latin America knowing full well that ultimately power and organization decide everything. Coming down this far, African revolutionary Pan-Africanists must not join a bandwagon just because there is s song that is sweet to hear yet there is no substance in it. These African leaders condemning the ICC all signed as sovereign states when they knew what were the terms. Soon after that 43 African nations, both signatories and non-signatories such as Rwanda went further to sign a bilateral immunity agreement with the US not to support any process to take US citizens before the court. Some of these countries such as Gambia even became rendition centres for the CIA and MI5. These are leaders not on the path of Nkrumah and certainly not serving the interest of Africans. Between 2009 and 2016, millions of Africans have been massacred by various governments and rebel leaders inside Africa. The AU has a court of justice and human and people’s rights and among the crimes it prosecutes are genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, yet until today there is no single African head of state or rebel leader they have put before them. Thus it would be utterly irresponsible on our part if we merely want to engage in high sounding revolutionary and anti-imperialist slogans without doing the right thinking and actions. This lack of adequate thought to guide action and organization has been the reason why liberation movements and revolutionary organizations in the 60s to the 90s failed. I have heard this rhetoric every day of my life. No one has sang that song more than Ghadaffi when he was not even faithful to his own ideas much less to his people. Thus the issue is not withdrawal from any so-called Eurocentric organization. What you and I need to do instead is to expose the poor leadership in Africa and generate a new kind of leadership that will exhibit and demonstrate the Nkrumahist principles and standards to empower Africa. If we disconnect Africa from the world we only serve to further damage the continent because we have the most irresponsible, unscrupulous leadership and intelligentsia and an unprepared masses. We need our heads primarily and not our hearts to address our predicament. Currently the US is making nothing less than $100B in Africa annually. China is making more than $200B in Africa annually. EU is making nothing less than $150B in Africa annually, thanks to our leaders who have no conscience whatsoever. That is what we got to deal with than to seek to withdraw only to be further exploited and oppressed by all sides.

  8. Madi Jobarteh, there is no more need for any long commentary. Why is it so difficult for you to grasp the simple point some of us are making that only the independently self-empowering, self-conscientizing and self-organising masses of Afrikan people can liberate themselves from all forms of unjust oppression, exploitation and impoverishment and that institutions of alien predators cannot be their salvation from crimes against Humanity committed against them by domestic and foreign wrong-doers? You either accept to agree or freely disagree with this point. Nobody will deny you the right to do so! If you are serious, you will go and find and diligently study the post-1966 works of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah yourself and not be asking me to give you a summary of their contents! Without studying his post-1966 works, you cannot properly grasp the real meaning of “Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism” and other earlier works of his, including those he revised after 1966 because of the greater experience, more lucid enlightenment and therefore higher Wisdom the coup d’etat of 24th February 1966 and developments in its aftermath taught him. Nobody is talking about disconnecting Afrika from the World! The World is not only Europe and the extension of European domination and Eurocentrism to other parts of the Globe. The majority of Humanity is thankfully still not European and completely brainwashed with Whiteness and its Coloniality of White Supremacy racist power! When you study “The Spectre of Black Power” (1968) by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah you will better grasp the huge importance of this fact. Please, just take a little break and go away quietly to better study Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah in his own writings before trying to interprete him to others. I learn something new everyday from diligently studying and re-studying his works over and over and over again! I never assume to have grasped him once and for all. Pay attention to the quotation from the poem with which Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah introduced his own Autobiography and you will learn the humility of never thinking you know him by simply reading his works only once or twice!

  9. In 2011 Zuma suddenly made a U-turn, and voted at the SC to authorize military intervention in Libya, betraying his friend Gaddaffi. Gambia has been known to host CIA torture chambers. Burundi has a nice little Africom facility in Bujumbura. These are the countries crying imperialism and bailing out of the ICC.

  10. You are pursuing an argumentation you cant win except coming out as a neo-colonial sell out. Your trust is that because Africa has its problems, that because we are killing and betraying each other, someone, some benevolent master somewhere should come down and save us. That was the essence and justification of colonialism my brother: that Africa was uncivilized, barbaric and that someone was to come down and civilize us, knock some sense into my heads and put things in order. I just cant stand Africans who tow this line. In fact I often delete them or refuse to engage them any longer. You are confusing critiquing African leaders and asking them to live up to their people’s expectation with justifying neo-colonialist and imperialist institutions in Africa. You have no good strategic endgame expect to look like an “Uncle Tom”.

  11. I am sorry but if you betray your people and then turn around to characterize an institution as colonial when you have not brought up a shred of evidence to back that up, while you have done and continue doing things that can actually be described as the acts of a neocolonial lapdog, then you are the real uncle Tom. You may delete me at once. Do me a favour. Delete me. I will not kiss the feet of vampire leaders motivated by nothing but filthy minded self. interest but hiding behind the smokescreen of false colonialism. I say delete me.

  12. We need to be able to have heated debates about what’s for dinner without deletion. That sounds like 1984. Heated debates are very illuminating. Let’s embrace it. It says nothing about anyone’s character or judgment but that you can take a stand and test it against others.

    That said, Johnson Ayoka, I think Adams Bodomo may haver a point. The same argument was made centuries prior that all we did in Africa was sell each other, kill each other hence the civilizing mission of European imperialists. Now we know all that was false, that Europeans above anything, were only interested in African resources, humans too.

    But you raise important issues: (1) Africom, (2) CIA torture chambers in Gambia and (3) Zuma’s U-turn on Gaddafi. I shall address them one at a time.

    Come to think of these installations on African soil, how could any one African state deny the US from building their USCOMMAND in the country, say? I have watched and visited Nigeria’s North East for several months and it is difficult not to see western government funding of Boko Haram (where they get their fuel, ammunition, guns, Toyota trucks, food, etc.). Then you have Zuma’s U-turn. This is more complicated than it looks. How can a nation posing, if only symbolically, as the most powerful nation in Africa, be humiliated by the US Military? The US was going into Libya by all means. Not even Russia could stop them. To this point Nigeria is another culprit. Once it rose to become the biggest economy on the continent, the US wanted Africom there. They first refused and then you saw the rise of Boko Haram. Why? Conspiracy? Not sure.

    The same can be said of the Gambia. The unrelenting western hold on African governments is nerve-racking. Rather than advocate for more and more control, we must advocate for more and more freedom and power in the hands of the masses. This I think is the way. But let us debate this issue passionately as much as we can. It’s good to do this.

  13. Only nutcase republics in Africa have pulled out from the ICC. In the case of South Africa Mr. Zuma is a joke to say the least.

  14. Dade Afre Akufu. That is not my argument. I am not saying the ICC must be accepted simply because worse acts have been committed by Africans against their own. I have not said that anywhere. What I am saying is that the ICC is not imperialistic on current evidence. Further, it is the leaders withdrawing from the ICC that are the real imperialists. While I have not seen any evidence that the ICC is imperialist, I have seen plenty signs that Zuma, Nkuriziza and Jammeh have and are participating in some of the most nefarious campaigns of western intelligence services when it suits them. Those who oppose the ICC merely because an international body is made to sit in judgment over citizens of Africa misunderstand the history of war. War criminals are seldom tried by their own. If a permanent African court does come into fruition that will be great. As long as the veto powers continue to wield their veto their crimes are going to be shielded. For me it will be a historic mistake to allow war lords and mass killers to roam freely and dismember states in the time it takes to get that African court to develop teeth.

  15. Let’s all embrace passionate debate! There’s no looser but an opportunity to learn and test our theories against every other. Embrace debate.

  16. You see, Kofi Mawuli Klui you are not communicating with me but yourself. The narratives you are drawing are not in dispute but that is not the issue here. And therefore if you draw your own premises only to reach your desired conclusion then there is no communication between us. This is because I never said Africa cannot develop without Europe or that the world is only Europe. I never said Africa cannot and should not pursue its own independent path to development. I never mentioned Nkrumah’s book, you did. And when I referred to it, then you went round the other way to say Nkrumah had revised his positions post-1966. You don’t know me just as I don’t know you, and therefore to assume to know what I have read or not read is outrageous. I am not on a reading competition here. As far as I know, Nkrumah had not changed any significant position of his, and you cannot ascribe to him what is not there. If there is, the burden of proof is on you to deliver. The practice of engaging in anti-colonial and anti-imperialist rhetoric is not new with Africans. Therefore the ideas you are spewing here are not new to me. At the end of the day Africa and Africans everywhere continue to be the wretched of the earth. Why? We cannot merely satisfy ourselves with the notion that there is some almighty entity somewhere interested in only pulling us down, yet we are not doing the right thinking and taking the right actions. We did not come on this earth only to be highlighting and condemning everyone else yet we are not taking the right steps to do what we got to do.
    If you know the origins of the ICC, it has nothing to do with the West otherwise the US would be the first to sign. It was a General Assembly idea and lot of the credit for it’s creation goes to Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General. For far too long Africans and Africa have been under subjugation and we must interrogate that to understand the dynamics of slavery and colonialism within the wider framework of imperialism. Unless we do that scientifically to get a better understanding and do the right thing, we shall continue to weep and moan. China, a big and diverse nation never disengaged with anyone yet they have established a strong nation in less than 80 years in the midst of imperialism. Nkrumah would not have disengaged if he were alive today. He would engage and dominate and benefit from the status quo as he did when he built the Akosomba Dam in 1965, the biggest in the world and built by the Americans. This is why he called for African Unity as a vehicle to liberation, leadership and profit for Africa in the world. Since then we have had no leader who understood the global dynamics (except Sankara) but then we have produced numerous anti-imperialist-sloganeering despots who are at the same time in bed with the imperialists such as Ghadaffi or Idi Amin, backed by a wave of highly spirited, sweet-talking but vain so-called revolutionary elite. Speak to the issue if you wish us to have a cool debate as Dade Afre Akufu suggested.

  17. it would seem that the biggest challenge facing us is how to develop on our own terms and at our own pace without foreign interference. to me the only practical way in an increasingly shrinking and interconnected world is through deliberate conscientizing process of the masses of africa. who must undertake this challenging task? all of us must…for we are all agreed on one thing…our motherland and her people deserve better than what we are experiencing currently. we also know and agree that no foreign powers care more about our sad condition more than we do. we need a vigorous africa-wide revolution…one of the mind towards collective preservation and elevation. and we must begin that process with immediate effect!

  18. Agreed, C.S. Hamidu! Libya is the recent demonstration of the long established historical fact that we must never invite or allow aliens and their institutions to interfere in our Afrikan affairs whatsoever! Asserting our independence, as Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah put it correctly a while ago, is for Afrikans to have the sovereign right to manage or mismanage their own affairs and rectify errors by themselves and nobody else without any sort of foreign interference!

  19. “With immediate effect,” here is key, C.s. Hamidu. I know that Akosua M. Abeka has suggested this before, but few have given it much thought (my opinion). I will reiterate it here:

    If we can all get in touch with people who can translate Grandmother Africa articles, and the conversations that go with them into Hausa, Twi, Ewe, Ga, Dagbani, etc., we can then send the version to thegrandmotherafrica@gmail.com, it will be uploaded under each article and then it can be downloaded by anyone who cares to print them and distribute them in their respective villages. Anyone who wants to engage in the conversation/debate can then text via whatsapp or gmail their comment, which will be published after review.

    This is a fundamental idea that I think Akosua shared with all of us. It’s the [Bolshevik] Grassroots Communal Labor Movement that can spur an awakening of enlightening proportions. Myself, I have contacted folks, but none is interested yet. Sad. Right? lol

    • it is sad! but we cannot give up…the future is too horrendous 2 contemplate if current conditions persist.

  20. The fundamental error that socialist radicals and revolutionary pan-Africanists in Africa and the Diaspora have committed is their almost total focus on the outside, i.e. on imperialism to the total negligence of the inside, i.e. governance in Africa. Thus while we have fought well with colonialism and imperialism in all ways, but we forgot that the whole idea of Pan-Africanism in the first place is essentially about democracy. It is about freedom and human rights. It is to claim our human rights and dignity in the form of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights which the colonialists and imperialists denied us. Hence while we fought these evils, we failed to build that democratic dispensation at home especially under regimes which were liberation organizations and coming down to the present. In many instances we substituted the political for the cultural because of our obsession for reclaiming our identity. While that is critical, but until the political kingdom is secure nothing else matters anymore. And some of our leaders understood this trick quite well such that they spared no occasion but to shout ‘Down with Imperialism‘ and stage huge cultural shows that attracts lots of our people. Currently Gambian president is notorious for that. I have not seen a leader who insults the West as he does. He has festivals around ‘Roots’ and even has a homecoming event for Diaspora Africans. Many stars and leaders stream into the Gambia with the believe that here is a true African leader. But behind his anti-imperialists rhetoric, he is no different from the colonialists with whom he is in close business.
    Thus our error has been our failure to build that democratic, accountable and inclusive society. I can understand capacity issues in terms of modern nation building at the time, but when we come this far the task we face is how to build democratic dispensation in Africa and there is no excuse for that. It is the only means thru which we can address the onslaught on Africa. Yes, Dade Afre Akufu we need to engage the masses to enlighten and organize them in order to empower them to become the strong nation we need. But this education must focus on internal democracy building and not high sounding anti-imperialist slogans to which many cannot just relate. Secondly it is also about building truly Pan-Africanists political parties which would engage in the political processes in the various countries to obtain state power. In the ‘Handbook’ Nkrumah mentioned the AAPRPs as liberation parties in the contested zones to link eventually to support the liberation movements engaged in armed struggle in enemy control zones. Today we don’t have such zones as the whole of Africa is one big zone being contested between the neo-colonialists who are in charge and the limited freedom fighters such as myself. I would not favour an armed struggle now as Nkrumah noted, but that the intellectuals have to form Pan-Africanist political parties to seek state power from the neo-colonialist regimes. Through those parties, the masses will be sensitized to understand the dynamics of power and governance to get involved in changing the conditions of their life.

  21. “Yes, Dade Afre Akufu we need to engage the masses to enlighten and organize them in order to empower them to become the strong nation we need. But this education must focus on internal democracy building and not high sounding anti-imperialist slogans to which many cannot just relate.” Yes, Madi Jobarteh, I agree with you on this point to some extent. Dade Afre Akufu is correct. Our focus must be on Conscientization in order to facilitate the independent Cognitive Justice Decolonizational self-enlightenment, self-organisation and self-empowerment of the masses of our Afrikan people throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika! As Kobina Sekyi, Frantz Fanon, Cheikh Anta Diop, Richard Wright, Amy Boahemaa Ashwood Garvey and others insisted to Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, our very conceptualisation of Democracy in internal and external affairs must become decolonised! Afrikans and peoples in other parts of the World had long been working chequeredly at developing Democracy to suit their own interests and purposes before Europeans woke up to it! Every people must fashion Democracy to suit their own interests and purposes. Democracy in Afrika cannot be the shambles of deception it is for Europeans and no people must seek to impose their own concepts and practice/malpractice of Democracy upon others! Afrikans must not continue to be miseducated, bamboozled and forced to see Democracy through eurocentric lenses. The greatest enemy of independent Afrikan endeavours to build our own systems and institutions of Democracy has been and continues to be Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism! That is why our internal and external tasks of true democratization are inextricably linked to anti-imperialist national and social liberation struggle for complete Decolonization under the banners of revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism! Our own true Pan-Afrikan Democracy of MAATUBUNTUMANDLA as the self-empowerment of Afrikan people by Afrikan people for Afrikan people and the progressive forces of Humanity and our Mother Earth!

  22. Democracy cannot be built outside of the culture of the people who build it. culture shall always be the container. But then as the content, democracy can and should clean that container to ensure it is indeed clean and decent. Democracy is about values and standards upon which its institutions and processes function. Our task is to decolonize the minds of our people because with or without democracy, a colonized mind will always think and act like a colonized mind. But yes, democracy has to be by ourselves in line with our culture and circumstances. However one needs to bear in mind though the tendency to subvert that democracy into something else as we have seen regimes do some parts of the world only to have the entire society captured by the elite. After all even in the West their forms of democracy are slightly different.

  23. Yes, Brother Madi Jobarteh! I am in full agreement with the above statement of yours! You need to sound such notes of Pan-Afrikan Wisdom from Gambia louder to help those of us outside to clarify the situation in your part of Afrika to our brothers and sisters who are finding it difficult to make Afrikan sense of the Opposition to President Jammeh. For, so long as the loudest voices of the Gambian Opposition inside and outside the country are those that are singing from the Western hymn books of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism, Afrikans from the Diaspora will always choose not to side with the Beast as they know it from living inside its belly of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism in Europe and the so-called Americas! Gambian Pan-Afrikanists have to stand distinctly clear above the parapet of Yahya Jammeh in order to win massive support from their Afrikan kith and kin and other interested progressive forces all over the World! The case of Libya has taught Afrikan and other progressive forces not to simplistically go along with all and sundry voices of opposition any where in the World, particularly if these voices prefer to sound and act like the pipers been paid by George Soros and his ilk of Western vampires making a mockery of Democracy for their bloody voracious purposes of Genocide and Ecocide against the Wretched of the Earth and Mother Earth herself!

  24. We have a unique situation here with democracy. We still have gentile ‘leaders’ and ‘commanders’, but they are taking orders from their globalist masters. So, we get a less clear picture of Power in America, Power in the world, Power in Ghana, Power everywhere when we focus on big personalities.

    Nefetiti here does a wonderful treatment of the vagueness of democracy as it is practiced in most countries today. Worse, democracy itself is not working in the country that bombs others for not wanting to practice it. So, like Nefeiti has indicated, it makes more sense to ask ‘who are pulling the strings?’

    Hillary Clinton of the famed USA for instance, has a foreign policy that isn’t based on what she really wants. She just wants to be president, and she will do whatever to win over the big donors and media moguls. And that means shaping foreign policy to appease them the Powers that be. All we our illusion of consent.

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