Recent media reports revealed that several African leaders gave former French President Jacques Chirac and his Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin briefcases full of cash to finance French election campaigns. African expert, Robert Bourgi, who advised Chirac and Villepin before changing sides to President Nicolas Sarkozy, made the allegations in a French newspaper. According to Bourgi the funds came from Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko, then President of Zaire. Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade, Burkina Faso’s Blaise Compaore, Ivory Coast’s, Laurent Gbagbo and Congo-Brazzaville’s Denis Sassou Nguesso and Gabon’s Omar Bongo.
That the leaders of Congo-Brazzaville Denis Nguesso, the late president of Gabon Omar Bongo and Obiang the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea have been allowed to accumulated French assets worth $210 million should therefore come as no surprise.
In September 2011 President Paul Kagame of Rwanda visited France for the first time since the 1994 genocide in which Kagame accused the French military and politicians of collaborating with the Hutu’s in the mass murder of Tutsi’s.
While we frequently observe African leaders tearing Africa apart, it is not difficult to speculate what the French hope to achieve in Mali. Their involvement suggests that once again, many innocent Africans will die while a few French and African leaders who desire wealth will benefit from this infinite war.
Within the South African context, it is a challenge to reduce poverty with continuous cross border poverty displacement created by sub-Saharan economic migration. South African foreign policy must begin to address the political reality that many African leaders are unaccountable, unsustainable and a detriment to Africa’s development. Migrants and other refugees should be capacitated to petition social and economic justice from their particular nation’s leadership. African autocratic leadership along with its colonial enforcers must be challenged. Transparent constitutional democratic reform in Africa is the only political solution that can begin to address the myriad of problems on this continent.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress