The US record of failure in Somalia

On March 7 the Pentagon announced that it had killed 150 members of the Al-Shabaab guerrilla movement in a bombing operation in Somalia. These military actions are part and parcel of a broader United States foreign policy strategy to dominate the Horn of Africa. The administration of President Barack Obama has continued the military and political intervention in Somalia aimed at remaking the political landscape of the East African state which shares borders with some of Washington’s closest collaborators in the region including Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The administration’s rationale for a renewed air campaign in Somalia was to downgrade … Continue reading

Fighting for freedom in Swaziland

“Victim” is the name that Mphandlana Shongwe – a founding member of Swaziland’s democratic movement, PUDEMO – is commonly known by in the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland. He was given his nickname, after reflecting on his life in Matsapha Central Prison, while awaiting trial for treason in 1990. It was here he started counting the many setbacks he had experienced. He has been expelled from college, been denied a living by the government because of his activism, been arrested on many occasions for trivial “offences” such as shouting “viva PUDEMO” and wearing a PUDEMO t-shirt, and been held in … Continue reading

Fanon defends revolutionary violence

The naked truth of decolonisation evokes for us the searing bullets and bloodstained knives which emanate from it. For if the last shall be first, this will only come to pass after a murderous and decisive struggle between the two protagonists. That affirmed intention to place the last at the head of things, and to make them climb at a pace (too quickly, some say) the well-known steps which characterize an organized society, can only triumph if we use all means to turn the scale, including, of course, that of violence (Fanon, 1963: 37). Frantz Fanon used his lived experience … Continue reading