Sub Saharan African Insurgency

By Mike Haran
July 1, 2012

At the end of the cold war Africa is left in a state of confusion. There was the US withdrew from Congo, Liberia, and Somalia leading to their collapse. Then France withdrew from its eighteen former sub Saharan colonies forcing them to look elsewhere for support. In 1997 the Organization of African states intervened in Chad in order to prevent a Libyan take over as Nigeria looked on. At about the same time Liberian President Samuel Doe stated rebels within his country were supported by Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Libya but even so he would not take ECOMOG help as it was an Anglo-phone organization made up of Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Gambia. Doe is overthrown, his replacement, Charles Taylor, eventually indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

The deployment of one thousand British troops in Sierra Leone in 2000 in order to rescue their hostages and then those of the Pakistan UN peacekeeping mission convinced the UK to set up an Africa Stabilization Force, the US setting up a similar organization, the UK concentrating more upon security, the US more devoted to development and democratic government. There then is the US backed Ethiopian incursion into Somalia to overthrow of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) resulting in the weakening of the Interim Transition Government (ITG) and the strengthening the Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab (which just recently killed a top Somalia Army commander).

One can sympathize with the average Joe in all of these countries and his desire to emigrate, preferably to the US, failing that to one of the former colonial powers, (or Scandinavia). It makes you wonder why these people, supposedly so eager to see the end of colonial rule, are now so eager to place themselves under these same governments once again, which only goes to show that one shouldn’t be so sure that politicians necessarily speak for the people.

With exodus of the western powers there has been a reintroduction of the same, only under different names, begging the question: what was the point in decolonization?

Sure within the colonial powers there was slavery, exploitation and arrogance but if you study history you will see that this has been going on for thousands of years, and will go on for thousands of years more; just look at present day North Korea,Syria,Baathist Iraq, India and China. At least in the western world there was the realization that this was wrong, the classical Greeks and Romans making slavery subject law culminating in the anti slavery movements in Great Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Since the turn of the century Africa has become ever more inundated with the Muslim culture. In the eastern part of Africa the old Sufi culture still exists.Sufism grew historically as a reaction against the rigid legalism of the orthodox religious leadership and as a counterweight to the growing worldliness of the expanding Muslim empire. In the western part of sub Saharan Africa the preferred interpretation the harsher uncompromising Wasabi making Torquemada of the Spanish inquisition seem like a lamb by comparison.

According to General Carter Ham of the US military’s Africa Command “Africa is increasingly at risk from collaboration between three of the continent's most deadly terrorist groups, Al Qaeda, al Shabaab and Boko Haram all combining efforts to share financial resources and exchange explosives.Sub Saharan Africa today is in the same position as Indo China after WWII where the US just walked away after the defeat of Japan, the former anti Japanese guerilla forces of Ho Ch Minh taking over the northern areas the county, the colonial French administration unable after suffering WWII to eject his forces thus allowing for reinforcement by both China and Russia. Again the same story, this time in Afghanistan where the US, after the defeat of USSR, allowed the former anti soviet insurgents to take over that country.

African Muslim majority countries

Djibouti, Comoros, Gambia, Guinea, Conakry, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan

30%-60% Muslim

Burkina Faso, Chad, Ivory Coaast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gueinea Bissou, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania.

10% Muslim

African Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi.


About the author Mike Haran: Here is the link to my new web site devoid of any connection with the above which I use as a device to publish my war games,link.



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