Correspondence and Interview with Alkebu-Lan, edited and expanded
Part One: Preliminary exchanges
In your email of 05Feb13, inviting me to take part in the Mali discussion, you said:
Mainstream media is advancing a narrative of European 'humanitarian intervention' to aid a
beleaguered people in mortal danger of advancing islamist hoards, yet these same hoards
were "freedom fighters" in Libya where they slaughtered Afrikans with impunity.
We want to unravel the real story behind the headlines to get a handle issue like:
Was France/Europe right to go in?
Can Mali govern itself?
Have the "freedom fighters" now turned to 'terrorism'?
What links, if any do these "freedom fighters" have to their former European/NATO
Are the European and Arabs forces working in cahoots to subdue Mali/Afrika?
What should ECOWAS and the AU be doing about the situation in Mali?
Will it spread to neighbouring countries?
Is the whole scenario a USA lead plan to stem China's encroachment on Afrika?
Of course we welcome any additional perspectives on the situation. Our objective to bring
some clarity to the situation for our community and to examine what approach/strategy will
best benefit Afrikans?
I shall start with additional perspectives and then address the 8 issues you have raised.
The questions you propose to discuss prompt me to ask:
If we are truly Afrocentric, shouldn’t our first question about any situation (Mali, Libya, Cote
d’Ivoire , Haiti, Marikana, Zimbabwe, climate change, “gender mutilation” or wherever or
whatever), about any situation or issue whatsoever, be this: What is our Black African/Negro
interest in this situation and how should we define, defend and advance it? Rather than what are
the interests/motives of the Europeans/Americans, or what are the Europeans and Americans up 2
to, and how should we regard or react to it? It is only after we define our Negro interest that we
should look around to find how the interests of other groups can hinder or be used to serve our
interests. Isn’t that the mature, as opposed to the helpless, crybaby approach to issues?
In this specific case of Mali, I think it is necessary and proper for Pan-Africanists to start by
considering the interests of the Malians and not get sidetracked into the game of guessing
what the Europeans and Americans may be up to. Therefore, I think Afrocentrists should start
1. What are the Afrocentric, Black-Africa-wide issues raised by the Islamist
attack on Mali?
2. And most important of these: What are the interests of the Malians?
3. Do the Malians, like any other Black-Africans, have a duty and a right to
defend themselves from any outside invaders? Or do they lose that right
when the invaders are their fellow Muslims, and especially Muslim Jihadists?
4. As they clearly are unable to defend themselves, and the AU is also unable to
defend them militarily, don’t the Malians have the duty and right to use
whatever help they can get?
5. What is the historical context of the Mali crisis?
6. What is the history of Mali and what is their local historical experience of
Arab as well as European imperialism, etc. That should help non-Malian
Afrikans to appreciate the Malians’ welcoming of the French intervention.
Those Malians who know their history would know what Es-Sadi recorded
about the Morrocan expedition in 1591 that ruined Songhai in the 1590s. And
given the centuries-long Malian tradition of preserving manuscripts in family
libraries, it is most likely that enough elite Malians know that history for it to
have been a background factor influencing the Malian response to these
events. So, in welcoming the French intervention, the Malians have
presumably chosen the lesser of two evils. We can’t forget that history. It is
our duty not to forget that history.
7. What has been the role of the Tuaregs in all this?
8. What do they want?3
9. Why should they not break away from Mali if they want to?
10. Are these Berlin Conference entities and borders sacred? If so, why?
11. At the start of this Mali crisis last year, when the Tuaregs proclaimed their
breakaway Azawad republic, and before the Islamists took over the
Tuareg/Azawad territory, one of our Continentalist ideologues, Gamal
Nkrumah, wrote a piece in Al Ahram and insisted that “Azawad, will be
short-lived” and would be brought back into Mali. Now Why? Don’t the
Tuaregs have the same right to self-determination as the Ghanaians,
Algerians, Namibians, South Africans, South Sudanese, Saharawi, etc? Do
they lose that right just because they are imprisoned in a Berlin Conference
entity whose territorial integrity is allegedly sacred to Continentalists? Now,
Continentalist Pan-Africanists can’t continue to denounce these colonialist
entities and borders, and then turn around and insist that they must be
maintained at all costs. That isn’t being consistent. It’s like swallowing your
own vomit. It doesn’t make common sense. It is a backhand endorsement of
the European colonialism and neo-colonialism that Continentalists have railed
against since the 1950s.
12. Is Arab or Islamist colonialism preferable to European colonialism and to be
accepted without resistance by Africans or protest by Pan-Africanists? If so,
why? There are Continentalists who seem to think that it is ok for Black
Africans to be colonized by Arabs and Muslims. And that these Islamist
invaders of Mali should be endured by the Malians to avoid the “politically
incorrect” resort to getting help from the West, or even just to spite the
West. As if a taking over of Mali by invading Islamists is not an imperialist
attack, just because it is not being done by Europeans. They should be told
that an imperialist is an imperialist, whether he is Arab or European or
Chinese or Martian. As the historical record shows, European imperialism is
not the only possible imperialism. And it hasn’t been the only one in Mali
territory. I have already mentioned the Moroccan expedition that wrecked
Songhai in 1591, looting Gao, Timbuktu, and Jenne! Just like these 21st
century Islamists are doing today.4
13. Why do we waste our time speculating about the minutiae of what
others are doing and why? Even if we were to prove that their motives were
the purest or vilest possible, how would that change the humiliating fact that
we still can’t defend ourselves? So why waste time on that decoy discussion?
The real discussion, I think, should be about building our own power,
so we can prevent such humiliating situations from arising ever
I hope you find the above 13 questions helpful in clarifying what an Afrocentric perspective
Your original questions are important. I will therefore give my answers to them, even
though from your subsequent synopsis (below), I see you no longer intend to ask them in the
Initial set of questions
1] Was France/Europe right to go in?
Right for who?
Right for France/Europe? But that’s entirely their affair!
But right for the Africans? Neither of them (Islamists or Europeans) is good for us. But When
we need help we accept help wherever we can find it—even from the devil.
2] Can Mali govern itself?
"Govern" is different from "defend." Clearly, Mali couldn’t defend itself from
these Islamists. But even if they can govern themselves, they won’t now
under the French, let alone under the Islamist invaders.
3] Have the "freedom fighters" now turned to 'terrorism'?
If there are any “freedom fighters” in this crisis, it is only the MNLA of the
Tuaregs. But from available reports, it is not the Azawad forces (the Tuareg
rebel National Liberation Front of Azawad, MNLA) that have demolished 5
shrines and tombs, cut off hands and feet, and applied "pure and hard"
Islamic Sharia law and banned alcohol, soccer and television in Timbuktu,
Gao, etc. It is the Ansar Dine together with the hard-line Islamist jihadists
of MUJWA, AQIM etc. These groups are Islamic fundamentalists; they are
made up of people from Jihadistan--countries such as Algeria, Libya and
even as far afield as Afghanistan and Pakistan. These Global Jihad
barbarians are not freedom fighters. The Libyans among them may have
been freedom fighters in their own country, Libya, but they are not freedom
fighters in other people’s country. In Mali, they are invaders, pure and
Whatever the names or acronyms they display, we should realize that
these Islamist fighters are mercenaries of Arab Imperialism and
expansionism. They are to the Arab Empire (a.k.a Dar al-Islam/Muslim
World) what the Foreign Legion is to French Imperialism. They are recruited
internationally and exported to do the fighting wherever their Arab
imperialist masters need some fighting done to defend or expand their
empire (Dar al-Islam/Islamic World).
We must never lose sight of the fact that the Global Jihad is an
imperialist war for the Arabs to conquer and rule the whole world under the
camouflage of their religion, Islam. The Arab religious Empire, (The Muslim
World) like the European secular empires (such as the British
Commonwealth), is a highly profitable economic enterprise for its masters.
For an indication of what the Arabs earn from their religious empire, consider
this: The International Islamic News Agency (IINA) reported Saudi Arabia’s
“revenues from Haj and Umrah services in 2012 at more than SR 62
billion ($ 16.5 billion), 10 percent up from 2011 figures.”
4] What links, if any do these "freedom fighters" have to their former
European/NATO benefactors? 6
Who knows? But you seem to be assuming that these are some of the antiGadafi “freedom fighters” rather than the defeated Gadafi forces who are
seeking refuge elsewhere. Now, why would the victorious anti-Gadafi
“freedom fighters” leave Libya to go to Mali instead of enjoying their victors’
spoils in Libya? It doesn’t seem plausible to me. Any Libyans among these
invaders in Mali are more likely to be from the defeated Gadafi forces.
5] Are the European and Arab forces working in cahoots to subdue Mali/Afrika?
The Arab forces are, for sure, trying to subdue Mali/Afrika. I think we know
Europeans and their agenda well enough. Also their penchant for
“humanitarian” excuses for their interventions. They don’t need to get in
cahoots with Arabs to do their dirt. In any case teaming up with Arabs at
this time would only aggravate their own terrorist/al Qaeda problem. And
even if they temporarily do so, they are not in long-term cahoots. Their
interests in global domination are irreconcilably opposed; mutually exclusive.
6] What should ECOWAS and the AU be doing about the situation in Mali?
Send troops to help defeat the Islamists. But the AU is not an independent
Afrikan factor, since it is 97% funded by the West—according to the current
AU Commission Chairperson.
7] Will it spread to neighbouring countries?
If left unattended, definitely. Boko Haram & Co are already jihading in the
wings next door in Nigeria. And one of the Global Jihad groups in Northern
Mali, The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO/MUJWA),
aims to spread jihad to the whole of West Africa. And if undefeated, that’s
precisely what they will proceed to do.
8] Is the whole scenario a USA led plan to stem China's encroachment on Afrika?
Remote but possible. Maybe they are trying to militarily intimidate the
African governments which are trying to make deals with China. As part of
resource rivalry, the West may be trying to put a lock on resources that are
already under the West’s control. And their way to do so could be to bring
these governments under their military protection by exploiting the Islamist
Part Two: The Interview
From: heru [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 7:23 AM
Subject: Afrika Speaks with Alkebu-Lan 11/02/13 – Chinweizu Live! Mali Crisis – What is the Afrikan
Greetings Baba Chinweizu,
Please see below the synopsis for the show. . . . We’ve tried to summarise the issue then round
it up with a consideration of what we as a people need to do.
Will contact you later
As things turned out, the interview went on for only about 30 minutes before the phone
connection failed and we were cut off.
Below are my written answers to the questions in the synopsis.
3-5 pm Daylight Saving Time
Hear weekly discussions and lively
debate on all issues affecting the
Afrikan community, at home and
We talk it straight and make it plain!
This week’s show
Monday 11th February 2013
Mali Crisis – What is the
The ongoing crisis in the west Afrikan state of Mali has attracted in depth commentary and
analysis from around the world. In January last year a rebellion by the Tuaregs, a berber
people based the northern part of the country essentially set in train the events that lead to
the intervention from former colonial power France a year later. The Tuareg’s history of
rebellion against Mali’s central government dates back to the early days of independence in
1960 but what made the January 2012 situation different was that they were now equipped
with modern and heavy armaments, having just returned from Libya after Gadaffi’s
overthrow. Different Tuareg groups united to form the MNLA -Mouvement National de
Libération de l'Azawad (the National Liberation Movement of Azawad, the Tuareg name for
the northern Mali region where they are based).
MNLA was soon in control of several northern towns, which prompted one of the several USA
trained army officers Amadou Sanogo to stage a coup in march 2012, citing President
Amadou Toumani Touré’s inadequate handling of the Tuareg rebellions as the main reason.
By this time the independence seeking MNLA had allegedly forged links with hard line
Islamist groups such as Ansar Dine, that seeks to impose Islamic law across the country, AlQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that includes mostly foreign fighters, and Movement
for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) said to be an AQIM splinter group whose aim
is to spread jihad to the whole of West Africa. The Malian army under Sanogo were routed
within ten days aided by the defection of three of the four Malian military commanders in the
north to the rebels, declared Azawad independent in April 2012. However, since then MNLA
nationalist have found themselves marginalized by the other Islamist groups that have
imposed Islamic Sharia law and set about destroying Afrikan artifacts as their forces pushed
further south towards the nation’s capital Bamako. Their successes against a weakened
Malian army compelled France to intervene in January. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said
France had to send in troops "very, very rapidly otherwise there would be no more Mali,”
adding “the hour has come for a broader commitment by the major powers and more
countries and organisations... to show greater solidarity with France and Africa in the total
and multi-faceted war against terrorism in Mali." UK has also announced that it is sending
troops to Mali, while the USA is offering logistical support and all are said to be assisting in
the training of ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) troops to take over
when France leave.
Other factors that are said to be playing out in the background of the Mali crisis include
allegations that the USA is using Mali as one its projects to establish AFRICOM in the region;
that, according to Jeremy H. Keenan Professorial Research Associate as SOAS, Algeria’s
secret intelligence service, the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS)
“regularly colludes with western military intelligence to fabricating ‘false-flag’ terrorism to
justify the West’s “global war on terror” in Africa”; that AQIM is “Al Qaeda in the West for
the West”; and that a key objective is to maintain the lucrative drug trafficking route. An
estimated 60 per cent of Europe’s cocaine passed through the region - some $11 at Paris
street prices billion and seen as the main reason that the DRS supported factions had to
thwart MNLA’s nationalistic intentions.
So although there was outrage that, after Côte d'Ivoire in 20111, France has made yet
another incursion in west Afrika coupled with ongoing concern at USA’s agenda for the
continent, on the other side Malians are also suffering brutally at the hands of the likes of
MUJAO. With ECOWAS effectively under the tutelage and direction of Europe and the African
Union reliant on external funding, there is no clear Afrikan position being advanced. Not by
any stretch of the imagination a situation unique to Mali but a grave one nonetheless.
As renowned Pan-Afrikanist and scholar Baba Chinweizu stated in 2010 at the CBAAC conference on
Pan-Africanism in Abuja: “The Black race will be exterminated if it does not build a black superpower in
Africa by the end of this century.” Thus, “protection” from one Afrikan enemy from another not protection.
Elsewhere he stated: “to liberate ourselves from domination by the West, we must become as good at
organized violence as the West. We must get on with the project of building a black superpower in Africa.”
Baba Chinweizu’s contribution to inculcating the necessary consciousness for the missions includes
establishing the Committee Against Arab Colonialism in Black Africa (CAACBA) “an informal network of
black African scholars and activists, in Black Africa and the Diaspora, who, over the years, have kept an
Afrocentric sentinel's eye on Afro-Arab relations,” and the Pan-Africanism Study Project (PASP) that aims to
“harvest and hand on to the next generation the wisdom learned in two centuries of liberation struggles by the
Black Race. That is to ensure that they are not ignorant of what they should know.” He further suggests Three
Cardinal Goals for 21st century Pan-Africanism: 1) Raise the quality of life/standard of living of Blacks in the
mass; 2) Win the respect of the world for the Black race; 3) Achieve a Renaissance of Black African Civilization,
concluding: “How will we know when we have built that Black superpower? When we have at least one big
country in Black Africa, preferably of sub-continental size (e.g. ECOWAS or SADC), that has mighty armies
equipped with atom bombs, ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines. When we have Black African economies with
heavy industries, turning out iron and steel, petrochemical products, ships, aircraft, articulated trucks, trains,
tanks, artillery, microchips etc. Then we would have arrived.”
So tonight, we ask the question: