A few days ago Pope Francis made a statement that was mostly disregarded by the media. The Pope warned that a “piecemeal” World War III may have already begun with the current spate of crimes, massacres and destruction. The comment was made while he was commemorating the centenary of World War One. The Pope criticized the idea of war in God’s name and said that “war is madness”.

In Western Europe, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece has become cheap labor for Germany who is recolonizing Europe via severe economic strategies baptised as austerity measures.

In Eastern Europe the conflict in Ukraine has resulted in another Cold War. This war was long in the making as the United States initially began with an attack on Russian views on homosexuality. Later the USA questioned the winter Olympics security etc. With the illegal coup d’état in Ukraine, the USA eventually secured a war between NATO and Russia.

In the Far East, discontent between China and Japan exist as both lay claims to nearby islands. China’s standoff with the Philippines about prospects in the South China Sea is another concern. The North and South Korea conflict remain and the instability in Thailand and Burma refuses to dissipate. Nepal and Bhutan remain distrustful of China and Tibet has all but given up on self-determination. India also has no plans to give up its occupation of Kashmir.

In the Middle East, Palestine Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistani militias are bleeding from sectarian strife as well as fighting Western and Royal Arab imperialism. In North Africa, Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Somalia continue to experience erratic violence that feed a cycle of reprisal. Nigeria, South Sudan and Kenya have home grown insurgency that continues to defy authority. Thousands of African migrants drown annually while crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better life. In the rest of Africa, corruption and ineptitude have become endemic. Africans who migrate to South Africa have encountered sporadic and unprecedented xenophobic violence.

In South America parts of Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua etc. are ruled by drug cartels that govern like war lords. In North America the 99% movement has been decapitated by the 1% that practically owns America. Ordinary people are reduced to unemployed, losing their homes and assets at the whim of a free market that is in reality controlled by the 1% of wealthy Americans.

The few peaceful states are Demark, Norway, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Iceland, Belgium, and Switzerland. These nations remain distant from conflict and focus on economic and social progress.

South Africans leaders must learn this lesson if we are to progress. To restore ourselves as the moral conscious of the world, we must focus on our shared social and fiscal progress and remain guarded with regards to global conflicts.

While the ideal goal is to develop renewal energy, we cannot afford to choose sides between the expansionist projects of the east or western powers. By intending to spend R100 billions on nuclear facilities with the Russians is a problem. By dealing only with the Russians we will anger the USA and Europe. We should spread the contracts among various nations as this would be the safest options.

While critics may scorn the advice of Pope Francis, many believe that the Pope is speaking the truth.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress