Africa: Land of Savagery & Violence

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As we have seen, Kenyatta too had made that case in the pages of the New Leader. Detailing the expropriation of hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile Kikuyu land in that country, Padmore emphasised the ways in which punitive taxation, forced labour and widespread impoverishment were constitutive features of colonial rule in Kenya. The uprising which unfolded in Kenya in the early s had indeed begotten a mythology all its own.

The savagery of British counterterrorism in Kenya was built against a belief that the terrorist was a savage.

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If the causes of the revolt could not be social or economic they must be psychological — a belief that resulted in the officially commissioned government report by JC Carothers, The Psychology of Mau Mau. In another work, Maughan-Brown argues that even liberal discourse in Britain was fully in thrall to the language of poison, insanity and disease that prevailed in relation to Mau Mau.

And yet there was more to it. The novel is set on the porous borders of the Cape colony at the cusp of the 18th and 19th centuries. This period, in which Europe was convulsed by revolutionary change, saw the rapid switching of colonial powers — Dutch, French and English — at the Cape, and Anker describes the dark twinning of freedom and power that lies at the heart of modernity and the colonial project:. News from Europe is slow coming to the Cape… but seditious ideas from France make landfall here faster than any new dress patterns. Indeed, as is always the case with messages that have to travel too far, the French slogans have a totally different look when they arrive, scurvy-ridden and scuffed, in Graaf Rijnet.

Red Dog is part novel and part historical account. Like all colonial histories, this one is inked in blood. Buys participates enthusiastically in many murderous sorties.

Sean P. Harvey

The Omni-Buys asks the reader:. Do you also smirk when you read how the terrorists of one authority are accorded amnesty and declared freedom fighters by the next succession of wigheads? The country that Buys inhabited was one in which there were almost no limits on the violence that was meted out by those who had the firepower to control anyone who stood in the way. Coetzee explored in his first novel, Dusklands.

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This reprise of the murderous origins of colonial dominion over South Africa is timely — and depressing, in that the violence of the past continues to blight the present. Rod Liddle.

Alexander Pelling-Bruce. Douglas Murray. Dominic Green. Brendan O'Neill.

Trump asks Pompeo to look into South African land seizures of ‘white farmers’

Isabel Hardman. What is the military or political objective of ramming an assault rifle inside a woman and pulling the trigger? Terror has become an end, not just a means.

Why the continent's conflicts never end.

Quiet places such as Tanzania are the lonely exceptions; even user-friendly, tourist-filled Kenya blew up in Add together the casualties in just the dozen countries that I cover, and you have a death toll of tens of thousands of civilians each year. More than 5 million have died in Congo alone since , the International Rescue Committee has estimated. But this is not about numbers.

This is about methods and objectives, and the leaders driving them. But his words seem downright noble compared with the best-known rebel leader from his country today, Joseph Kony, who just gives orders to burn. Even if you could coax these men out of their jungle lairs and get them to the negotiating table, there is very little to offer them.

Their armies are often traumatized children, with experience and skills if you can call them that totally unsuited for civilian life. All they want is cash, guns, and a license to rampage. How do you negotiate with that? Many are uniquely devious characters whose organizations would likely disappear as soon as they do. In Liberia, the moment that warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor was arrested in was the same moment that the curtain dropped on the gruesome circus of year-old killers wearing Halloween masks.

Countless dollars, hours, and lives have been wasted on fruitless rounds of talks that will never culminate in such clear-cut results. The same could be said of indictments of rebel leaders for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. With the prospect of prosecution looming, those fighting are sure never to give up.

How did we get here? They were fighting against colonialism, tyranny, or apartheid. The winning insurgencies often came with a charming, intelligent leader wielding persuasive rhetoric.


He pulled off what few guerrilla leaders anywhere have done: winning his people their own country. Thanks in part to his tenacity, South Sudan will hold a referendum next year to secede from the North. Garang died in a helicopter crash, but people still talk about him like a god. Unfortunately, the region without him looks pretty godforsaken. I traveled to southern Sudan in November to report on how ethnic militias, formed in the new power vacuum, have taken to mowing down civilians by the thousands.

After transforming minority white-run Rhodesia into majority black-run Zimbabwe, he turned his country into one of the fastest-growing and most diversified economies south of the Sahara — for the first decade and a half of his rule. These men are living relics of a past that has been essentially obliterated. What changed in one generation was in part the world itself. Where meddling great powers once found dominoes that needed to be kept from falling, they suddenly saw no national interest at all.

The exceptions, of course, were natural resources, which could be bought just as easily — and often at a nice discount — from various armed groups. Suddenly, all you needed to be powerful was a gun, and as it turned out, there were plenty to go around.

Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa'

AKs and cheap ammunition bled out of the collapsed Eastern Bloc and into the farthest corners of Africa. It was the perfect opportunity for the charismatic and morally challenged. In Congo, there have been dozens of such men since , when rebels rose up against the leopard skin-capped dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, probably the most corrupt man in the history of this most corrupt continent.

In the anarchy that flourished, rebel leaders carved out fiefdoms ludicrously rich in gold, diamonds, copper, tin, and other minerals.