African Leaders Speak Out Against Neocolonialism at UN
Sept. 21, 2023, (EIRNS)—A particularly strong sentiment against the ongoing policies of neocolonialism was voiced from a number of African heads of state at this week’s UN General Assembly Debate. In the cases of Burundi, Central African Republic, and Zimbabwe, all three Presidents had attended the July 27-28 Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg. Their comments to the UNGA indicate the changed dynamic in the world, and particularly those nations of the so-called Global South that are no longer tolerating the imperial policies dictated to them.
The clearest statement on this came from Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye, who discussed the horrors of colonialism, then said that it has continued with “neocolonialism” today, in the form of interference in the internal affairs of nations, unfair remuneration for raw materials, and unfair conditionalities of the Bretton Woods financial institutions, IMF and World Bank. The various forms of “development aid,” he said, all “seem to be imbued with bad faith,” and only “proliferate to veil this hypocrisy while the resources put into action to hope for economic returns likely to ensure recovery are in decline.”
Ndayishimiye then let loose: “Let us dare to say it: The political and security instability of the countries of the South, especially in Africa, comes from the will of the powers that want to guide the internal policies of developing countries. Africa, in particular, having become the terrain of geopolitical clashes between great powers, is still years behind in terms of economic development. And, it is this economic deficit which becomes the cause of the internal conflicts which still push our countries into extreme poverty.”
In a similar vein, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa pointed to this in his own way. He said: “We strongly condemn tendencies by some powerful countries who preach peace, human rights and democracy and yet clandestinely fund conflicts and the unconstitutional changes of governments, for their own narrow interests.” He went on to condemn the use of sanctions by Western countries, Zimbabwe itself being a victim of such sanctions. “We, further, condemn the use of unilateral and illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool at the disposal of some powerful nations,” he said. Despite these sanctions, Mnangagwa stated that “the people of Zimbabwe have become masters of their own destiny,” and reported that his nation has become a net exporter of wheat this year.
Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadéra also condemned the geopolitical games of certain powerful nations. The worsening migration crisis from African countries “is one of the appalling consequences of the plundering of the natural resources of countries made poor by slavery, colonization, Western imperialism, terrorism and domestic armed conflicts often set up against a backdrop of hegemonic aims, geopolitical and geostrategic tensions among the major world powers.... Today, in Africa as elsewhere, these conflicts, symptoms of the geopolitical and geostrategic tensions that divide the great powers, are set up,” he said.
Touadéra also raised the UN’s Agenda 2030 goals for the elimination of hunger, poverty, and inequality, and asked: How can this be realized “when certain states, from the height of their political, economic and military power, constantly stir up coercive diplomacy or utilize international financial institutions for the purpose of imposing economic, financial and commercial blockades against countries rendered poor by slavery, colonization and imperialism?”
Are these the nations Biden’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment will be assisting? They likely will not be holding their breath.