Is Thabo Mbeki serious?


By necessary implication former South African President Thabo Mbeki expects Africans to protest in favour of their continued oppression by tyrants. Yes, you read that right.

In an interview with the Sunday Times last week Mbeki called for mass protests throughout the continent against NATO air strikes in Libya, as well as French involvement in the Ivory Coast conflict. “As Africans, we need to look at ourselves and say what it is we need to do to defend our interests. The question we need to ask ourselves is: why are we so quiet? What happened in Libya might very well be a precursor of what might happen in another country. I think that all of us need to consider this matter, because this is a major disaster,” Mbeki said.
“We can’t say that we can’t stop these Western powers from acting in the way that they have been acting because they will do it again tomorrow. I think we can, provided that we act and they can see that if they take this kind of action, they are going to meet the resistance of the entire African continent.”

Whatever merit his argument might have, the fact remains the United Nations (UN) and/or France acted against Laurent Gbagbo in the Ivory Coast because he lost an election adjudged free and fair and then refused to go. When he was pushed, he started killing his opponents. “Brother Leader” fell foul of most of the world when he ordered his forces to shoot unarmed “Arab Spring” protesters. This included the use of fighter aircraft dropping bombs, helicopter gunships and even a corvette bombarding a crowd in Benghazi, if reports are to be believed.

Is Mbeki really calling on Africans to protest and demand more of this? Ye gads! Next he’ll want the turkeys to vote for Christmas!

I’d argue the opposite: More protests are needed to demand action to boot out more tyrants, such as Mugabe and King Mswati next door, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Equatorial Guinea and Isaias Afewerki in Eritrea. This is no closed list.