Out of Africa

From the December 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

A significant change is taking place in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Africa. Increasingly worried at U.S. dependency on Middle Eastern oil, American diplomacy took a new shift towards Africa in 1994. This prompted a number of disastrous adventures, including the CIA initiative to overthrow the government of Rwanda in support of the Tutsis’ return from exile in Uganda, the Somalian debacle, and support to Laurent Kabila’s coup against President Mobutu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

America’s bumbling interventionist diplomacy culminated in President Clinton’s tour of African countries earlier this year. The ploy was to offer multiple billions of dollars in aid to African nations which lay in the oil-rich basins to the north.

U.S. diplomacy was heavily at odds with France, which opposed the U.S. by backing the Tutsis in Rwanda and supporting Mobutu. It is also reported that a French company paid $150 million to Congo president Pascal Lissouba’s enemy to overthrow him in 1997.

During his much-touted visit to president Mandela in South Africa, President Clinton was explicit about the extent of the billions awaiting his ruling combine should they kowtow to U.S. ambitions in the region to the north.

Yet, to date, no aid, no increased trade and no enhancement of African development has emanated from the U.S. in support of their former promises. Why not?

The answer lies in the U.S. response to the terrorist attacks on its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The Americans have simply jumped ship at the first sign of trouble.

The U.S. has all but vanished from Africa. American embassies are either closed or operating with mere skeleton staffs out of fear of further terrorist reprisals. Meanwhile, the whole of central Africa, from Angola to Uganda, seethes under inter-Nicene warfare producing tribal genocide at a level far surpassing the ethnic cleansing seen recently in the Balkans. This has created a sea of refugees innumerable in its proportions.

Watch for France and the EU countries taking advantage of the U.S. withdrawal to consolidate their oil interests in Africa.