By M. Uneh Yahmia
The reaction of the AU and ECOWAS to the military putsch in Mali only shows how disconnected these regional bodies are from the African people. In fact, the conduct of ECOWAS is a reflection of how each member state treats its people: playthings that must be denied the right to a dignified and secured life to the advantage of the African political elites and international finance capital.
And when the consciousness of the people awakens and they take matters into their own hands to resolve historical grievances, violence becomes the reserve of just the totalitarian neocolonial African state. ECOWAS looked with callous indifference as IBK beat, tortured, and killed Malians because they took to the streets to oppose a Supreme court decision. He has been rounding up opposition leaders. Some have been behind bars while others have gone missing perpetually. Yet, ECOWAS remained passive.
Similar cynicism has been shown by the AU and Ecowas in the cases of Guinea and Cote D’Ivoire. SADC and the AU have also been passive or have implicitly endorsed the violence and brutality of the Emmerson Mnangagwa government against the people of Zimbabwe. Have we seen any concrete action from the AU and the Central African Economic Community against the tyranny of Paul Biya in Cameroon? Absolutely not! In Mali, the military became outraged by the violence, torture, slaughter, and deaths and they went in defense of the masses.
They chose to intervene to protect the lives of the people. Remember the army, although it serves the interest of the elites and their foreign backers, consists of the brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers of the people. They fraternize with them daily and are more connected to the people than they are to those whose interests they serve. They heard the cries of their brothers and sisters. They move in and the move was decisive.
We pay homage to the gallant men and women of the Malian Army. May they now move to establish a transitional authority that would carve out plans for the election. The only sustainable way out of the socioeconomic and political instability in Mali is a revolutionary leadership that would radically transform the economy by taking over all mineral resources for the benefit of the Malian people as opposed to French, British, and American imperialism and the domestic lapdogs. It is only through the economic inclusion and popular democratic participation of the people that they would get armed to chase the imperialist backed extremists in the SAHEL Region into the sea.
No amount of foreign army with a vested interest can deal with the terroristic threats in the region but the people. Arm the people to defend their motherland. But the comprador elites would do no such thing as they see the armed people as a threat to their misrule. Only a revolutionary leadership that has faith in the people can build a popular front to settle scores with the armed bandits. The lessons of Vietnam, Venezuela, Cuba, Angola, etc. are guides to action.
Main Photo: Colonel Assimi Goita, Mali Junta leader /AlKhaleej Today