The Art of War: The Reconquest of Africa

At the very moment when the Democratic Party President Barack Obama reiterated in his inaugural address that the United States “must be a source of hope for the poor” and will “support democracy from Asia to Africa,” giant U.S. C-17 aircraft were carrying French troops into Mali, where Washington a year before had put in power Captain Sanogo, trained in the U.S. by the Pentagon and CIA, exacerbating Mali’s internal conflicts.

The speed with which France launched the operation, ostensibly to protect the Mali from the advance of Islamic rebels, shows that it had long since been planned by France’s Socialist Party President Francois Hollande. The immediate cooperation of the United States and the European Union, which also decided to send military specialists to Mali to carry out training and command functions, shows that it was planned jointly with Washington, Paris, London and other capitals.

The Western powers, whose multinational corporations vie with each other to grab markets and sources of raw materials, come together when their common interests are at stake, such as those in Africa endangered by popular uprisings and Chinese competition.

Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world (with a per capita income one-sixtieth of Italy’s, and with more than half of the population below the poverty line), is rich in raw materials. Mali exports gold and Coltan, the proceeds of which, however, ends in the pockets of multinational corporations and the local elite.

The same is true in neighboring Niger, which is even poorer (with a per capita income less than one-one-hundredth Italy’s) despite being one of the richest countries in uranium, whose extraction and export is in the hands of the French multinational Areva. Not surprisingly, at the same time as the operation in Mali, Paris has sent special forces into Niger.

A similar situation exists in Chad, whose rich oil deposits are exploited by the U.S. ExxonMobil and other corporations (but Chinese companies are also coming): what remains of the proceeds go into the pockets of the local elite. For criticizing such a mechanism, Bishop Comboni Michele Russo was expelled from Chad last October.

At the same time, Niger and Chad are providing thousands of soldiers who, under French command, have been sent to Mali to open a second front. The invasion launched in Mali with French forces as spearhead is therefore one of vast range, extending from the Sahel extends to West and East Africa. It is joined to the one in North Africa that began with the destruction of the Libyan state and maneuvers to stifle, in Egypt and elsewhere, the popular rebellions.

This is a long-term operation that is part of the strategic plan aimed at putting the whole continent under the military control of the “great democracies,” which are returning to Africa with their colonial pith helmets painted in the colors of peace.

Article in Italian :

Hillary missionnaire en Afrique

L’arte della guerra : La riconquista dell’Africa Il Manifesto, January 29, 2013

Translation: John Catalinotto

Articles by: Manlio Dinucci

About the author:

Manlio Dinucci est géographe et journaliste. Il a une chronique hebdomadaire “L’art de la guerre” au quotidien italien il manifesto. Parmi ses derniers livres: Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013; Geolaboratorio, Ed. Zanichelli 2014;Se dici guerra…, Ed. Kappa Vu 2014.

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