Multi-Party Democracy In Africa: An Imperialist Tool For Conflict, Control And Civil War
By Honourable Saka
The 20th century saw many conflicts in Africa, breaking out along ethnic divisions. But while the impact of tribalism on conflicts in Africa cannot be minimized, many researchers hold different views about the true nature of conflicts on the continent today.
Some causes of conflicts in Africa
It is believed that political and economic development failures have been the root cause of Africa’s political instability. Others also suggests that the rising conflicts in Africa are as a result of bad economic policies which are often imposed and directed from abroad, notably Washington, London and Paris.
An example is the recent IMF-imposed policy of fuel subsidy removal which almost drew Nigeria and other West African countries to the brink of chaos. Clashes between the people and the security forces left scores dead and many others wounded.
Conflicts have also broken out between many African countries as a result of the artificial boundaries created by the colonial rulers that pit neighboring countries against each other. Some examples include the Eritrean–Ethiopian War (May 1998 – June 2000), and the conflict between North Sudan and South Sudan – which holds the record for being Africa’s longest civil war.
Rather than placing blame where it truly belongs, globalists and corporate media blame irrelevant factors, like climate change. The BBC recently reported: “Climatic factors have been cited as a reason for several recent conflicts. One is the fighting in Darfur in Sudan that according to UN figures has killed 200,000 people and forced two million more from their homes”.
Even though some of the above-listed views regarding conflicts in Africa are to some extent credible, they are just a tip of the iceberg, especially when one critically looks at the emerging bigger picture: wars of democracy and electoral disputes in Africa.
The Bigger Picture
For the past 15 years, the most dangerous and most frequent cause of war in what would otherwise be peaceful African countries have not been as a result of tribalism nor ethnic divide as the media would have us believe. These same media outlets will tell you that Western multi-party democracy is the way to a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Africa. But the reality is that wars for “democracy” have resulted in untold deaths, the destruction of societies, and the destabilization of Africa.
Many of these wars have actually been the result of the “democratic process” that have come in the form of electoral disputes and political clashes that leave tens of thousands of people dead or wounded.
To serve as an example, heres a short list of the countries that have been plunged into civil war after failed attempts at Western democracy: Ethiopia(2005), Kenya (2007), Zimbabwe (2008), Burundi (2010), Guinea(2010), Ivory Coast (2011), South Sudan (2011 and the present), DR Congo (2011), andUganda (2011).
Nigeria’s elections that were held in April of 2011 were hailed by many as the fairest in the nation’s history. Yet, the presidential election set off rioting, sectarian violence, and protest that led to at least 800 people killed. In Rwanda, intolerance of political opposition was unchanged since the 2010 elections. Many were reported to have died as a result of the electoral violence.
Another clear example is Liberia, where the elections were boycotted by the opposition, leading many to fear that the situation could even give way to another civil war. Although the election in South Sudan (2011) was relatively peaceful, government forces attacked civilians in the disputed border area of Abyei and in two other states that lie north of the border with the South (Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan). The Sudanese government was again accused of attacks on civilians in Darfur. This is one of the reasons why President Omar al-Bashir currently faces an outstanding arrest warrant from the “kangaroo court” ICC- the International Court of Criminals.
Meanwhile the thought of the clashes in Kenya and recently in Ivory Coast sends a cold shiver down my spine. Images coming from the region are both gruesome and disturbing, and are all the products of so-called democracy. After the Kenyan massacre, it took the mediation process, facilitated by African Union Chairman John Kufuor and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to end the bloodshed with a power-sharing deal that saw Odinga become the prime minister and Kibaki serving as the president.
Today in Kenya, the Kikuyu – an ethnic minority installed in power by the departing British Empire – has to win the election or risk losing everything to their larger tribal rivals, the Luo. What was the result? Elections were held, thousands died and hundreds of thousands of Kenyans were displaced. This upcoming election may see even worse, writes Thomas C. Mountain an independent journalist reporting from Eritrea.
What about the Congo? Ethiopia? Even that supposed success story for African Democracy, Senegal, saw blood in the streets. Then there was the Mozambican Civil War (1977), Liberia (2003), Uganda (1990s), Libya (2011) and countless smaller conflicts that we haven’t mentioned.
Africa, What Are Our Priorities?
The concept of democracy has been given a misplaced priority over other more serious and important human necessities in Africa, whiles African indigenous democracy such as that in the Libyan Jamahiriya, are brutally opposed by Africa’s former colonial occupiers.
Liberia and Nigeria both have plenty “democracy”, but No electricity. Poor African countries spend billions of dollars every 4 years on political elections, yet they don’t have billions for healthcare, education and other social needs.
Guiniea worms, malaria fever and many diseases are killing our people because “there is no money”, yet billions are always available for democracy. Our healthcare systems are in complete jeopardy because money is not available. As a result, even our leaders, who are the major stakeholders of our various countries, have NO confidence in our healthcare. Many of them therefore always travel overseas to seek medical treatment and some of them even die there.
- President Umaru Yar’Adua, the former president of Nigeria, passed away in Saudi Arabia (2010) while receiveing medical treatment.
- Levy Patrick Mwanawas, the third President of Zambia died in France (2008) while receiving medical treatment.
- In Ghana, the former finance minister Kadwo Baa Wiredu passed away while receiving medical treatment abroad.
- Many of the women in government also travel abroad just to have their babies safely delivered because they have no confidence in Africa’s healthcare system.
Yet, whiles we continue to cut the budget on healthcare and education, the amount allotted to holding elections continue to increase every year. What are our priorities?
Has democracy truly proven to be peaceful in Africa? Even in Ghana where the people were hailed by the Obama administration as a shining example of democracy, the country was on the brink of civil war when many opposition leaders threatened to turn Ghana into “Kenya”, if the elections didnt go their way.Members of the opposition were directed to arm themselves with machetes, cutlasses, and all forms of weapons, and thousands besieged the electoral commission’s head office chanting war slogans. It took the maturity of the then political leadership in power to put the love of the nation ahead of politics, to help prevent a potential civil war.In the coming 2012 elections in Ghana, some opposition leaders are already declaring war in the country.
Therefore the question that needs to be asked is: what kind of system is it that always puts African nations on the brink of civil wars every 4 or 5 years? How many more Africans will have to die as a result of election conflicts because of political differences, and for the benefit of some corrupt, puppet politicians who seeks to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses? How can we break these cycles of destruction to ensure national unity?
Nkrumah’s Proposal: a One-Party State Democracy
After considering the case of Ivory Coast where election contest ended in war, one point became clear: If Gbagbo and Ouattara were both members of the same party (one-party state), any competition for president would have unlikely led to a war. Because regardless of whoever wins, their party would emerge as the winner and the followers of either candidate would see themselves as members of the same party.
Also, in Africa the current practice of “winner takes all” makes every election a do-or-die affair. Therefore when one candidate wins, the losing side can – and usually does – mobilize his people against the winning side as was the case in Ivory Coast and Kenya. In such a situation, it also becomes much easier for any foreign influence to slide in and manipulate the opposition groups against the winning side. After all they’re different candidates, different parties and with different motives.
Hypothetically, if Ivory Coast was a one-party state, then the conflict between Gbagbo and Ouattara would not have happened. As members of the same party, they would always find a way to work together, regardless of whoever wins. Also, their followers would see themselves as the same people with the same vision. They would see the bigger picture: like soldiers of the same army. Each candidate may have a different ideology, but at the end of the day, the people and the party are one. Under such a system, achieving national unity would be very simple – under a multi-party system national unity is damned near impossible.
The Single Party system, according to Kwame Nkrumah is what Africa needs. In his book “Consciencism” (pg.100) Nkrumah states:
A people’s parliamentary democracy with a one-party state system is better able to express and satisfy the common aspirations of a nation as a whole, than a multiple-party parliamentary system, which is in fact a ruse for perpetuating, and covers up, the inherent struggle between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.
The globalists and their imperial powers know this fact. Therefore they used the old tactics of divide and conquer strategy for their imperial objective. First, they divided Africa into many smaller and weaker nations. Then they divide the nations into many political groupings, manipulating one group against the other.
There is no doubt that multi-party democracy is the new strategy that is been used to promote this “divide and conquer” strategy. But in the case of Africa, the division is becoming bloodier and much more dangerous.
Africans need to wake up to this reality.
Qaddafi’s Proposal: a No-Party State Democracy
Libyan revolutionary leader Mu’ammar Qaddafi, who drew on the experiences of Kwame Nkrumah and other revolutionaries before him proposed a more traditional style of democracy by completely doing away with political parties. In 1977 the Libyan people were all given local People’s Congresses where they themselves became the legislators. As a nice by-product, this also did away with the need for politicians. Government administration and departments were replaced by People’s Committees, which were nominated from the Congresses and accountable to them. All proceedings were perfectly transparent, and broadcasted live across the nation.
“The Green Book”, written by Qaddafi himself, explains the concept of direct participatory democracy - called Jamahiriya, translated as a ”state without a government” (the Green Book should be read and memorized by ever African across the diaspora. To purchase a copy, scroll to the bottom of the page). Ideas like direct participatory democracies are taking root around the world, with an International People’s Conference Organization providing information on this “jamahiri” democracy, and an International Green Charter Movement advocating it along with other rights and freedoms which were originally legislated by the Libyan people in their People’s Congresses during their June 1988 sessions.
No matter whether one advocates “one party” or “no party” democracy in Africa, both are obviously more in line with African cultural values than Western style democracy. Traditional African values promote consensus and participation, rather than delegation and representation, which are the pillars of the more remote style of European “democracy” which was forced upon their former colonies.
Even now in European countries like Greece and Russia, the people have apparently had enough of the spectacle of this style of democracy, which excludes them whilst essentially serving elites: the recent political developments across Europe are testimony of this.
They too are looking at alternatives, some advocating “one party” democracy under the ideology of communism, with others (greens, anarchists, and a wide range of other ideas) advocating a “no party” democracy. So far, both groups are united on protests against the state, which is seen as benefiting wealthy elites at the expense of the masses of the people, leading to increasing instability in Europe and in America.
About the Author
The Honorable Dr. Saka is a regular contributor to United Black America. His website, The Doctor’s Report, presents thought provoking alternative views on the most pressing issues in Africa and the third world. His site can be found at http://honourablesaka.blogspot.com/.
The Green Book: The Solution to the Problem of Democracy, The Solution to the Economic Problem, The Social Basis of the Third Universal Theory
The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action (IIRE (International Institute for Resear)
Democracy and Elections in Africa
Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in Africa (Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in the Global South)