How Long Will the Black Man Last if We Don’t Defend Our Kind?

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The tragic events in Darfur continue to fill ordinary Africans with awe, as the gruesome attacks intensify unabated. Countless numbers of merciless militiamen roam the countryside, wreaking havoc ad lib. Darfur continues to be something of an enigma on the African scene, as elusive to politicians and human rights activists as though it is in outer space. And now the man whose task it is to see that such scores as this ugly wound on the African landscape are settled timeosuly, UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, is leaving his post to go into retirement, a position he has held for ten solid years. Another ugly 12-year-old scar is on the Equator, Rwanda that is, brought about also by the dragging of feet and delayed action on the part of the world community. After the Second World War, the Jews swore that never again would they be subjected to the same holocaust that befell them during the Hitler war. Well, on our continent it happened twelve years ago in Rwanda, and is repeating itself in Darfur now. It is so heartbreaking to realize that while it is possible to put a stop to the massacre, those with power who are capable of doing so, either do not care at all or are impervious to the cries of those dying in the wilderness. The Sudanese government does not behave like the government of an African country. Even the white apartheid racist regimes of southern Africa are not known to have slaughtered so many of our people. Why should the government of Sudan enjoy the hospitality of African governments if it hates Africans? Why, that government has embassies and high commissions all over the continent. Why can’t the AU break down all relations with governments who are killing black people like we did with Ian Smith, and the apartheid Pretoria regime of the past? The Janjaweed (rhymes with ‘ganja weed’), a heavily armed, well-fed and mobile militia group, is on the loose in Darfur, killing, raping and maiming. The spectre of ethnic cleansing takes place but a stone’s throw from Kofi Annan’s home in Ghana. Indeed, if he does not come to grips with this situation before he leaves office at the end of this month, then, this is one chapter in history which will come to haunt him for the rest of his retirement. Ironically, the person who I think should come to his rescue is the very man he is highly critically of, having bungled by attacking Iraq. George Bush is the man of action who could save lives in Darfur, by bringing in the marines to make short shrift of the Ganjaweeds. The Bush and Blair combination may not have made the right decisions for what is today regarded as irresponsible adventurism on their part in the Iraq/Afghanistan attacks, but they are definitely men of action. They are sought after here in Africa in particular, to act as equalizers in situations where poor, unarmed people are taken advantage of, and messed around with until they run away from their own homes to go elsewhere as refugees. The alarming record of so-called leaders who betrayed their own people and kicked democracy in the teeth, reads like hell’s own diary: – Idi Amin took advantage of his people and killed masses of those he did not like. – Mobutu killed masses of people who begged to differ with him politically. – Bokassa killed, murdered and executed masses of people who annoyed him. – Omar Bongo lived off the fat of the land while his people starved. – Soldiers in Nigeria helped themselves to the oil revenues at the expense of their fellow countrymen. – Taylor tailored himself to be the only man who was entitled to smuggle his country’s diamond wealth to acquire weapons of war. – And Foday Sankoh, and Verwoerd, and Botha, and Mengistu Haile Mariam, and Samuel Doe, and Eyedema, and…and…and… – the list is endless. And now we are held spellbound as the political pendulum swings with awesome force: changing minutes into hours, hours into days and days into weeks and months, while the unfortunate souls of Darfur bite the dust, decimated by machine guns fired off the backs of running camels. The Janjaweed make certain that no man will survive to tell the story of their dastardly deeds perpetrated in the name of ethnic cleansing. One obviously scarce resource among our African countries is no doubt money. We lack the finances to afford a well-equipped, well-fed and mobile army that could occupy Darfur in the name of the United Nations, and cut down the Janjaweed to size. With Christmas around the corner, men, women and children who would, under normal circumstances, be preparing themselves to celebrate the birthday of the Lord will, under the circumstances, be spending most of their time running from bush to bush to hide. Less fortunate ones will be shot like rabbits and left to die, to be eaten up by wild animals. What a life, brought about by evil men on their own fellow human beings. But, of course, the Jangaweed do not consider the blacks as ‘fellow human beings.’ They have only one thing in mind, and that is to rid Sudan of black people. A new generation of ‘acceptable’ citizens will be brought about by the process of cleansing, carried out by the Jangaweed. Are we Africans that ugly that we have to be cleansed and replaced by a new breed? How long is the black man going to last in Africa if we do not defend our kind? There are those who speak of a prophecy. Is the current heavy Chinese influx into Africa perhaps the beginning of that prophecy? It will be a sad day when black men vanish from the continent, replaced by coloured people. Darfur must be tackled now! Tailpiece: I join the editor in wishing all our readers a Merry Christmas, free of uncalled-for accidents, muggings, murders, rapes and all types of unholy activities. We also wish them a Happy New Year of determination to work hard and improve our lot, with constant prayer the key. Andrew Matjila Windhoek

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