Sunday, 5 August 2012

Join this movement of the age – Ban all arms to Africa

(excerpts from Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature [pp. 183-194] which you may find helpful as you decide to join the movement)

… It should therefore be stressed that whilst the dichotomy often placed between “legal arms” and “illegal arms” by some observers (in the African militarisation, genocide and war debate) has some analytical credit, its outcome on the ground, particularly in enabling us evaluate the comparative impact that the two categories ultimately pose on African social co-existence and security, always comes as a shock! Contrary to the initial value judgement that most people would make between the “legality” of a particular commodity (in this case, arms) and its “illegality”, it is definitely no comfort at all when it is shown at the end of the exercise that the overwhelming majority of the 15 million murdered in Africa’s genocide and wars in the past 45 years were in fact slaughtered with the use of “legal” armaments, operated seemingly legally by the armed forces of the state and their allies. The examples of the Nigerian state in 1966-1970, the Rwandan central government in the 1990s, and the current Arab regime in Khartoum are acutely illustrative of this cataclysmic sequence. In effect, whether “legal” or “illegal”, armaments in Africa, controlled overwhelmingly by the African state and its allies, are used to murder targeted African nations and populations domiciled within these states; the African states, since the Igbo genocide, have deployed armaments in their armouries to murder their peoples most brutally, massively and extensively. These states, starting from Nigeria, have murdered a ghastly total of 15 million Africans in a generation. They are still murdering without let up… They have devastated communities. They have disfigured and traumatised peoples’ lives and aspirations. In the hands of the typical African state, since the Igbo genocide, these armaments, even though classified “conventional”, are indeed weapons of mass destruction. Nothing else, but weapons of mass destruction… In Africa, the pistol, the rifle, the grenade, the rocket, the bazooka, the landmine, the helicopter gunship, the naval gunship, the fighter aircraft, the bomber, the tank – each and every one of these items, imported by and large from abroad, is a killer used primarily by the state to murder targeted peoples within its border. The African state should and must be stopped from murdering peoples within its frontiers. The rest of the world, especially from where weapons to these African states originate, day in and day out, can no longer remain bystanders as this orgy of death is brazenly played out in Africa. Since the Igbo genocide, the African state has been destroying African lives; they are presently destroying African lives; they will continue to destroy African lives until stopped. The African state must surely be stopped from its pursuit of this pulverising mission of death…

… On this score, the ethos that governs the African journey of recovery is the commitment of all Africans and the demand that they need to make to the rest of the world to place a mandatory embargo on all arms sales and transfers to all of Africa, as well as a complete demilitarisation of the continent. Africa needs justice and peace for, and with itself, to enable it embark on the much-vaunted era of reconstruction…

 … On this, Africa’s challenge to the rest of the world couldn’t be clearer: those who live outside Africa but “care so much for Africa” should now scale down their multitudinous “aid-ventures for Africa” and turn their incredible talents to lobbying their respective states and other institutions in their countries and elsewhere to ban arms sales/transfers to Africa. This new focus for the world’s leading charities, away from the band-aid syndrome, will surely be more exciting, even less taxing, but definitely more rewarding for the ultimate outcome for Africa and the rest of the world alike. Africa seeks no resources from anyone, not even for one US dollar, to accomplish its current transformative mission to dismantle the genocide state. It is simply asking the world to completely seal off its vast armouries to deny access to the deadly claws of the African genocide state. For once, no one is asking anyone to raise money for Africa! Given the devastating impact of arms, arming, armies, genocide and other armed conflicts on Africa’s tragic history and the present, Africa, today, projects an unwavering signpost for the world’s attention that proclaims: Africa Is An Arms-Free Zone. A demilitarised continent. No More Arms Sales Or Transfers To Africa…

(Why not get a copy of Readings from Reading today, read through the argument and join the movement to ban all arms to Africa. There is no centralising arm of this movement. You are the centre! Form yours today by sharing with family and friends and colleagues everywhere – at discussion/entertainment venues, work, places of worship and spiritual fellowship, union meetings [trades, schools/colleges, family/village/town/district/regional, etc., etc.], next surgery with your electoral ward/precinct/local government representative, member of parliament/congressperson/senator… You can begin and join this movement wherever you are in the world. To ban arms to Africa is at once supporting African wellbeing and that of the rest of humanity. Now is the time!)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

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