The EU's Intervention in Africa is a Blow against Refugees as well as against the Sovereignty of African Nations!
Joint Statement of ELA (Zambia) and the African and European Sections of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 31.08.2017
1. At a summit that took place in Paris on 28 August, the heads of state of France, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed to "help" Chad and Niger with border controls in an attempt to prevent refugees from leaving their countries to head to Europe. Libya's UN-imposed government and the presidents of Chad and Niger, who were also present at this conference, submissively agreed to this interference in their countries’ respective sovereignties. They also announced that they would accept asylum claims from refugees who apply for protection while in Africa instead of their original destination countries in Europe.
2. This initiative is related to the creation of internment camps in the aforementioned African countries. The EU has also stepped up its Mediterranean naval mission – in collaboration with the so-called "costal guard" of Libya – in order to prevent African refugees from crossing the Mediterranean. Towards the same goal, the EU is increasingly making it impossible for NGOs to assist African refugees who put their lives at great risk to flee war and misery on their home continent.
3. There are three primary motives behind this EU initiative:
a) The imperialist ruling class of the EU is determined to keep refugees out of Fortress Europe. Europe's capitalists are only too happy to exploit migrants as cheap sources of labor without rights. However, they want to control the influx of refugees so that they can cynically select only the most skilled and fittest among those fleeing war and misery.
b) Europe's imperialists greatly fear the unrest and rebellions which have broken out and spread throughout the Arab world and black Africa since 2011. This is the reason they imposed Fayez al-Serraj as the head of Libya's UN-backed government while at the same time they continue to collaborate with General Haftar, an ex-Gaddafi military commander, who is the strong man in the east of the country. This is also the reason they support the military dictatorship of General al-Sisi in Egypt; why they have close relations with a number of corrupt dictators in black Africa like Kabila in the DRC, Kagame in Rwanda and Gnassingbé in Togo; why they have deployed troops in Mali; and why they support colonial troops – like the so-called AMISOM mission – in Somalia.
c) Europe's corporations are greedily determined to acquire an advantage in the African market where they must compete against their imperialist rivals from the US and China. In the conditions of a crisis-ridden world economy characterized by accelerating inter-imperialist rivalry, the EU leaders are forced to intensify their political and military intervention in Africa in order to enhance their competitive position.
4. We unequivocally condemn as barbaric and colonialist the decisions and dictates of the EU towards the African states. The European colonial powers have been exploiting Africa's resources and peoples for centuries. They continue to do so down till today even though, during the last five decades or so, this economic colonialism has been hidden behind the fig leaf of formal political "independence" of the African states. But when Africans flee their home countries in an attempt to escape the dreadful conditions which the imperialists have created there, the EU sends warships to police the Mediterranean! As a result, according to official figures, 2,410 Africans have already died at sea in the Mediterranean since the start of 2017 (the real figures are certainly higher)!
5. Particularly rife with cynicism and racism is the imperialists’ purposeful promotion of fear among their own citizenry about the 121,000 African refugees who have successfully crossed the Mediterranean between January and August 2017 in their attempt to find refuge within the European Union – a geographical area which is home to 511 million citizens and which enjoys some of the highest standards of living on earth!
6. We emphasize that the roots of the mass exodus from Africa to Europe are to be found in the utter poverty and misery on the continent which are, in turn, the legacy of centuries of enslavement and super-exploitation by the imperialist Great Powers. Today’s barbaric conditions explain why we are now witnessing a new type of "slavery," in which the Africans are selling themselves into the hands of the slaver. Ironically, now the new African slave negotiates for and pays his or her own transportation costs to the slave markets in Europe, with the hope that conditions there will be far better than those which he or she is leaving behind.
7. The only means to overcome this horrible social decay lies in the fundamental change of the political and economic conditions in Africa. Only when the workers and poor peasants expropriate the imperialist monopolies and the local capitalist class, take power and open the road towards a socialist society, only then will it be possible to create the conditions to employ the rich natural and human resources of Africa for the well-being not of the capitalist bosses but of the popular masses.
8. At the same time it is the duty of all socialists in Europe to support all efforts of the workers and oppressed in resisting the ruling class while providing them with a revolutionary and internationalist perspective. Part of this perspective is the struggle against the super-exploitation of migrants which pushes down the wages of European workers and leads to the de facto enslavement of migrant workers. Similarly, it is crucial to fight against racist and fascist forces and to advance the struggle for full democratic rights and equality of migrants. Rising unemployment and poverty, as well as national divisions and racist hatred, can only be eradicated in Europe if the capitalist class is overthrown by a socialist revolution of the workers and oppressed.
9. Centuries of imperialist enslavement and super-exploitation have led to profound deformations in the economic and political structure of Africa. They have also helped the ruling class in Europe create a social-imperialist mentality among sectors of the European working class. It is, therefore crucial for socialists in Europe, as well as in other parts of the world, to fight for a comprehensive plan of reparation payments by imperialist Europe to the African peoples in order to compensate them for centuries of enslavement and super-exploitation.
10. As revolutionaries, we emphasize that internationalism is the basis of our struggle for socialism. Hence, it is the task of all socialist forces in Europe and Africa to support each other and to support the struggle of the workers and oppressed not only on their own continent but in all parts of the world.
11. The foreign policy of the EU is increasingly becoming openly colonialist. Eva Ottavy, of the French charity Cimade, correctly observed: "We're extending the European border farther and farther away." Indeed, the deployment of troops to Mali, of warships to Libya's coast and, most recently, ground forces to the border between Libya, Chad and Niger are undisguised steps intended to strengthen the EU’s political and military control of African countries.
12. We call upon all socialists and anti-imperialists to strive towards unity in the struggle for the following demands:
* No European troops in Africa or navies in the Mediterranean!
* Stop the repression of NGOs which are attempting to help refugees in Mediterranean!
* Down with Fortress Europe! Open Europe’s borders to refugees!
* Support the resistance of Arab and African peoples against imperialist corporations and troops!
* Stop racist oppression and social dumping! For equal wages and equal rights for migrants in Europe! European and migrant workers and youth – fight together against the bosses!
* Expropriation and nationalization of all imperialist corporations in Africa! No to the "free trade" agreements which only make the African countries even more subservient!
* For a comprehensive plan of reparation payments by imperialist Europe to the African peoples as compensation for centuries of enslavement and super-exploitation!
Economic Liberation Association (Zambia): http://www.elazambia.org
Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, México, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Tunisia, Turkey, Aotearoa / New Zealand, Germany, Britain and Austria), www.thecommunists.net