THE decision by US President Donald John Trump to deploy soldiers to Gabon over what he says are his country’s ‘fears’ of ‘violent’ protests in neighbouring DRC was not only confirmation that America thrives on strong arm tactics, but also an attempt to scare Africans to tow the line.
Trump was evidently lying as the US has been drooling over the DRC’s vast resources for quite some time and aiming to remove the outgoing Joseph Kabila from power at all costs and by all means necessary.
This is why it has been the norm for the US, over the years, to destabilise resource-rich countries, especially those from Africa and the DRC, just like Zimbabwe, has suffered that fate.
On December 21 2001, the US Congress slapped Zimbabwe with illegal economic sanctions over Harare’s Land Reform and Resettlement Programme of 2000.Now, the DRC is paying the price for safeguarding its resources from a greedy America which used similar tactics to plunder Libya in 2011.
Justifying his senseless deployment of US soldiers to Gabon, Trump told Congress in a letter on Friday last week that the first batch of 80 troops had arrived in Libreville on January 2 2019 to ostensibly “…protect US citizens and diplomatic facilities should violence break out” in Kinshasa, the DRC’s capital.
But it is the lure of the vast minerals in the DRC that is the real reason behind the US’ attempt to intimidate the southern African nation.
The DRC is the size of Western Europe and shares its borders with nine countries.
An October 9 2013 report by the BBC’s Dan Snow titled DR Congo: Cursed by its natural wealth gives some useful insights into why the US and the rest of the Western world are eyeing the DRC.
“The Congo is a massive country, the size of Western Europe. Limitless water, from the world’s second-largest river, the Congo, a benign climate and rich soil make it fertile, beneath the soil abundant deposits of copper, gold, diamonds, cobalt, uranium, coltan and oil are just some of the minerals that should make it one of the world’s richest countries,” writes Snow.
This is why it is important to unravel Trump’s letter to Congress, especially in the context of the deployment of troops to Gabon.
“The first of these personnel arrived in Gabon on January 2 2019, with appropriate combat equipment and supported military aircraft,” reads Trump’s letter to Congress, in part.
He then inadvertently let the cat out of the bag on his real intentions through the following statement:
“Additional forces maybe sent to Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Republic of the Congo, if necessary for these purposes.
These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed.”
The DRC polls, held on December 30 2018, have been inevitably marred by intrusion by pro-Western sponsored entities, including the Catholic Church which deployed 41 000 election monitors and claimed on Thursday last week that it ‘knew’ who had ‘won’ the election.
It ‘urged’ the DRC electoral authority to publish ‘correct’ results.
In June 2017, the Conference of Catholic Bishops called on all the Congolese to “…stand up and take their destiny into their own hands.”
Former DRC colonial master Belgium has also chipped in, calling on the electoral body to urgently publish the poll results.
Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders told AFP on Monday that results ‘might’ not please the DRC authorities in a statement widely seen as supporting the opposition.
“The important thing today is to publish the results of the elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo even if they do not please the powers that be,” he said.
Zimbabwe, which held its harmonised elections on July 30 2018, was also subjected to the same scenario.
In October 2011, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was murdered after Western powers, under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ganged up with rebels to destroy the North African country.
In 2006 Gaddafi made a statement that rattled the West and laid the ground for his subsequent execution.
“Oil companies are controlled by foreigners who have made millions from them. Now, Libyans must take their place to profit from this money,” said Gaddafi.
The Wall Street Journal of May 5 2012 offered evidence, additional to that already accumulated, that NATO military intervention in Libya was rooted in objections to the Gaddafi Government’s economic policies.
With crude oil as the country’s primary export, Gaddafi sought to improve Libya’s oil sector.
But as Gaddafi grew the Libyan economy, so too did the US anger towards him.
NATO claimed it was invading Libya in order to ‘protect’ Arab civilians but author of the famous Economic Hitman, John Perkins, has since revealed the real reason the US accosted NATO to attack Gaddafi.
Perkins says the attack on Libya, like the attack on Iraq, had to do with power and control of resources, oil and gold.
Libya had the highest standard of living in Africa under Gaddafi.
“According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100 percent state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults,” Perkins wrote.
Wikileaks also released an unclassified US Department of State document that was e-mailed to Hillary Clinton, dated April 2 2011.
Clinton’s aide Sidney Blumenthal confirmed that Perkins was spot on in his analysis of the Libyan invasion
“Gaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver. During late March, 2011, these stocks were moved to Sabha (south west in the direction of the Libyan border with Niger and Chad); taken from the vaults of the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli,(sic)” Blumenthal reported to Clinton.
He listed five reasons for NATO’s illegal war against Libya as follows:
“A desire to gain a greater share of Libyan oil production, b. Increase French influence in North Africa, c. Improve his internal situation in France, d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to assert its position in the world, e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.(sic)”
The case is the same with the Ivory Coast’s 2010 presidential elections.
The French supported the opposition’s Alassane Ouattara, was in a tie with the then President Laurent Gbagbo.
Gbagbo said he had won the election and asked for a recount, which was denied.
Ouattara who had strong links with the IMF was declared winner while Gbagbo was accused of rape, murder and crimes against humanity.
He was hauled before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and was convicted of all the charges laid against him.
With the DRC once again under the spotlight it remains to be seen if the AU and SADC take decisive action as they did in 1998 when Zimbabwe became that country’s saviour. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, the US must stay off the DRC.