African viewpoint: Blood and borders
According to some social scientists (the sane ones), it is a basic human tendency for people to move with their own kind. African journalist, Nigerian Sola Odunfa, thinks it is high time African leaders redraw the continent’s borders because he sees nothing wrong with being ethnically proud. I couldn’t agree more. Even South Africa gets a mention in his article where he states: “Take away the strong Afrikaner influence and you will be able to predict how long it will take even the giant South Africa to begin to collapse”.The more intelligent Black South African knows they need the White mind and that is why they keep the Afrikaner suppressed in the job market – to keep him keen. Without the Whites, South Africa would be a bigger basket case than the rest of sub-Saharan Africa put together. White South Africans deserve to have their own homeland – just like each Black South African tribe were given their own land under Apartheid. Under Black rule, the Whites will continue to be subjected to Affirmative Action job selection and rampant Black-on-White crime. But, the ANC terrorists won’t allow them their own homeland as it would mean they’d be left with unskilled, uneducated Black citizens who won’t pay tax but who will still expect their welfare handouts. And who would then support the ANC’s life of luxury? The Western Cape historically belongs to the White and Coloured population and they need to stand up for it!
Over the weekend the people of Jos and some villages nearby were arranging for the burial of 14 more people killed in the long-running ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria’s north-central region.
The total number of people slain in the past year tops 1,000, with many more injured.
I won’t mention trouble-spots like Sudan, Niger, Somalia and the whole of central Africa, but focus on Ivory Coast as senior Nigerian government officials are seeking crucial international support for the use of military force to resolve the seemingly intractable political and electoral crisis there.
Lesotho, which is ethnically homogeneous, is relatively peaceful You may remember that President Laurent Gbagbo and his political foe President-elect Alassane Ouattara are entrenched in a fierce battle over the result of the 28 November election.
The electoral agency declared Mr Ouattara the winner but Mr Gbagbo will not step down.
It is not as if Mr Gbagbo’s action constitutes a grave crime akin to the imposition of the death penalty on poor Ivorians – the poor and helpless are always the victims when their rulers belch – but his peers on the continent are apparently seething with anger at not only his stubbornness but also his naivety in allowing an opponent to win an election.
Therefore West African leaders have declared that Mr Gbagbo must quit office for Mr Ouattara or face the bombardment of his palace and wherever else he may be suspected to be holed up.
Mr Gbagbo represents the interests of the Akan people in the southern part of the country who, though a minority, regard themselves as the anointed rulers of the country and they cannot imagine a northerner occupying the presidential palace.
Mr Ouattara is a northerner. Southerners do not accept northerners as true Ivorians. The problem of Ivory Coast is that simple: North versus south.
Mr Gbagbo probably knows that if he gives up power now, his Akan people may never taste it again.
Other African leaders know it but they won’t talk about it for fear of bringing the ghosts in their own lockers back to life.
To my mind, however, that ethnic sentiment is nothing to be ashamed of.
According to some social scientists it is a basic human tendency for people to move with their own kind.
Multi-ethnic European states like Switzerland ward off internal conflict through a strict federal system which gives autonomy to every group.
Spain is still trying to solve the problem posed by its restive Catalans; the UK is gradually becoming an apostle of devolution.
Thus homogeneity and federalism in member countries make the European Union stable.
On the other hand African leaders are trying to build an African Union (AU) on the foundation of colonial borders.
A basic principle of the AU is that all countries must retain the borders they inherited at independence.
The principle is under great stress. This is why there are wars all over the place.
The only countries which have no such problem, to my knowledge, are Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho – and that’s because they are ethnically homogeneous.
Take away the strong Afrikaner influence and you will be able to predict how long it will take even the giant South Africa to begin to collapse.
Current borders on the continent are colonial and against all human tendencies; they will remain the source of bloody conflicts until leaders of vision and strength emerge to change them.
I commend to all the commonsense in last week’s statement by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga – the failed AU mediator on Ivory Coast – who said that mediation efforts should not be about imposing democracy and free and fair elections but about “avoiding a much greater disaster”.
I tell you, I would rather have justice than free elections.
|Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo garners most of his support from the Akan people|