Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa (STOPFIIA) arose from the concerns a number of Africans living in London had in relation to the “bring back our girls” campaign that was instigated as a consequence of the abduction of over 200 girls from a village in North eastern Nigeria in April 2014. This brutal act garnered international attention in hashtags, newspapers and social media. More dangerously, the heads of state of Nigeria, Chad, Benin and Cameroon were summoned to Paris with the US, France and European Union observers to conclude a global and regional action plan as part of the global war on terrorism and its manifestation in Boko Haram. In the wake of this conference, the US sent 80 troops to Chad and drones to neighbouring Burkina Faso. In short, riding on the momentum of ostensibly rescuing the girls and international voices demanding “Do Something!”, it appears the “Save our Girls” chorus has become a godsend for Western imperialism as several military advisors (British, American and Israeli) have been sent to Nigeria, to allegedly assist the Nigerian government to deal with Boko Haram.
It is in this context that some of us are concerned with the deepening militarisation of Africa under the pretext of assisting in the defence and security of Africa. Yet, such militarisation continues to destabilise the African continent. It is also about training African armies in death squad strategies and tactics via the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) as Americans have done in several Latin American countries with disastrous effects.
Since the overthrow of Colonel Gadaffi in 2011 and the French government sending troops to Mali in 2013 Western governments have used the idea of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). This alleged“R2P” is a dangerous fig-leaf to hide their continued political and economic interests in Africa.
New Scramble for Africa
Despite Africans being perceived as poor, hungry and diseased (now with the onslaught of Ebola in West Africa), Africa’s physical resources such as coltan, uranium, oil, tungsten continue to be highly prized by foreign interests - especially Western industries and world markets. In fact, this western intervention is part of a ‘new scramble’ for Africa, in which there is
contention between the big powers, including China, for Africa’s resources, markets and labour.
The interventions in Libya and Mali have been highly damaging for the people of these countries, despite Western pretensions that they are helping Africans. Libyans (like Iraqis and Afghans) are far worse off today after Western intervention than they were before it. Libya remains a country in chaos and far from protecting the people, NATO, under the pretext of the UN, has contributed to the devastation of the country as a civil war engulfs it. R2P is the 21st century version of the 19th century doctrine of the “white man’s burden” when Europeans decided it was their responsibility to invade and conquer Africa during the latter quarter of the 19th century. In fact, the NATO bombing of Libya that has led to the disintegration of that African country, has had the knock on effect of leading to an influx of arms from Libya to insurgents in Mali and in the rest of West Africa.
Defining Foreign Intervention
Our group sees foreign intervention in Africa as all the actions taken by foreign powers in Africa which are harmful to Africa and Africans and which are intended to secure the interests of those foreign powers. This does not only take a military form. It is also economic and as result, African countries have been suffering from foreign control of their key economic resources and Western economic prescriptions. These economic policies have been in the form of IMF and World Bank programmes, otherwise known as “Structural Adjustment Programmes” or “Suffering African People” for the last 40 years. Yet, there is not one African success story of such economic intervention under the guise of such IMF and World Bank dictates. Intervention in Africa also occurs on the cultural and intellectual level by which foreign ideas, theories, perspectives and paradigms are often consciously and unconsciously imposed on the African continent. This is cultural imperialism from which Africans have yet to free their minds.
We, Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa, are a group of activists who are opposed to foreign intervention in Africa on a military, economic, political and cultural level.