Guest Contributor, Saajida Malvina highlights the double standards we use when addressing acts of terrorism.
The recent kidnapping of almost 300 girls in Nigeria caused a furore across the world via a campaign to #bringbackourgirls. Celebrities and politicians joined the campaign demanding that girls should be freely allowed to attend schools. Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel peace prizewinner also joined the campaign which attracted the media spotlight. Whilst I can endorse the sentiments expressed by such campaigns, Malala also campaigns for an end to drone attacks in Pakistan. Due to these unlawful drone attacks, children are not able to attend school either. This has received little or no attention.
Similarly, in Nigeria, tens of thousands of people are brought and sold every year, the vast majority are children. The International Labour Organisation estimated that in 2003, as many as 6 million Nigerian children have been trafficked at sometime in their lives. Where is the furore about this?
Whilst we harp on about Boko Haram and Muslim terrorists have we ever asked if they represent foreign interests and if this kidnapping is to do with Nigeria's vast amounts of oil? Oil accounts for 95% of Nigeria's export product.
In October 2012 Irish analyst Finian Cunningham wrote regarding Boko Haram:
"On the surface a militant group known as Boko Haram appears to be the protagonist, but some believe that powerful Western nations are using violence to consolidate foreign control over Nigeria's vast oil wealth."
A Nigerian analyst Olufeme Ijeboude also said after one of the attacks by Boko Haram: "The upshot of the latest massacre is to destabilise the state of Nigeria by sowing sectarian division amongst the population. The killers may have been Boko Haram operatives but Boko Haram is a proxy organisation working on behalf of foreign powers."
The recent attack on the Nigerian girls has raised many questions. Some of which are:
Why was the Nigerian government hesitant to act against Boko Haram until international pressure made the president of Nigeria act?
According to online media, a sum of money was given to the family of the kidnapped girls? Why? Is it blood money?
Is it that Nigeria was given reinforcements and forced to accept the intervention of the West in a bid to undermine Nigeria's capabilities to handle such a sensitive situation? Like it happened in Egypt where after Hosni Mubarak was toppled by peoples’ power and Muhammad Mursi was elected as the president, he was ousted by the Egyptian army that has close links to the U.S.
To destabilise a country, NATO’s presence is inevitable. As we can see, NATO countries have offered their assistance with the presence of U.S. team of experts who are CIA and other intelligence agencies are working with the Nigerian security officials in the country.
There are many Western countries who want the resources of Africa, amongst them are the French, U.S and Israel. The U.S only acts if it’s in their interest like what happened in Libya. People across the world are being massacred; tortured etc. yet Libya was declared a no fly zone and the U.S intervened in the matter due to the country being rich in oil. Gaddafi has been toppled, and warlords now run the country including its oil reserves. The country is plunged into chaos, while an ex-general who was living in the U.S for more than a decade has returned to the country to fight the so called "Islamists" and "terrorists".
Israel is another example. African migrants under immense pressure in Israel. Many Africans who escaped war, poverty etc. for a better life in the apartheid state are arrested as soon as they arrive and imprisoned until they sign consent forms allowing themselves to be deported to Uganda.
Israel has signed trade relations with Nigeria and even offered to assist in the search of the missing Nigerian girls. This is clearly seen as a shift in Israeli policy moving away from European countries as the apartheid state is increasingly concerned about Europe’s heightened criticism of their policies towards the Palestinians, as well as the recent withdrawal and severing of the European pension fund. This as BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanction) gains more momentum.
Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman accompanied by a large delegation will later in the month visit 5 African countries which are Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Angola. The Knesset in Israeli parliament has established a lobby "for strengthening relations between African countries." The lobby's first meeting was held on 19 May wherein they announced economic importance for Israel and the planned visit is to lobby for Israel's bid as an observer status in the African Union. Israel is well aware that African countries are developing nations, and thus unlikely to exert the sort of pressure as European nations.
[Part 2] will focus on French and U.S efforts to control African resources.
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