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Whose puppets?

Baffour Ankomah baffles me. Usually I find him transparently clear, and mostly I find myself in agreement with him. Neither is true in his piece, Our Friend Tony (part I), (NA, Dec). Here are a few questions I would like him to clear up:

  1. He tells Prime Minister Blair to tell George Bush "to bring the American troops home from Rwanda and Uganda". Which American troops is he speaking of? The only foreign troops actually in Rwanda are under the flag of the United Nations. I don't know of any American troops in Uganda.

  2. He writes: "It is as clear as daylight that without the huge military, financial and diplomatic support that America and Britain have given to Uganda and Rwanda to prosecute the Congo war, the 'blight' Blair talks about would have long been sorted out."

Two points arise. First, what evidence does he have that the financial support given to Uganda and Rwanda has been used to "prosecute the war" in the Congo? Some convincing evidence please.

Incidentally, why, while Baffour is about it, doesn't he mention Zimbabwe's major intervention in the Congo -- or, for that matter, Namibia or Angola?

What troubles me about Baffour's statements is that he (of all people) should write as if African leaders are puppets in the hands of the US and Britain, who can be bought to pursue interests other than their own.

Isn't it time we abandoned this neo-colonialist way of thinking? Agree or disagree with Museveni and the others, why can't one accept that they are capable of independent thought and action, and of pursuing their own interests?

A serious analysis of the situation in the Great Lakes area would show the particularist interests of each of the African interventionist states. I believe they are wrong, but that does not justify Baffour treating them as puppets of the West.

Turning to a different issue in the December issue of New African -- the gold conspiracy. I don't know how many of your other readers have had the same difficulty as me in understanding what it's all about. Maybe I'm dim, but at least two points leave me asking questions.

First, why should America -- the world's biggest holder of gold as backing for its international trade -- want to devalue its own wealth? It doesn't make sense -- at least not to me.

Second, if this conspiracy is working, how is it that the value of gold, today, is twice the figure quoted in one of the pieces?

Colin Legum

Editor,

Africa Contemporary Record

Kalk Bay, South Africa

Baffour's note: See Baffour's Beefs, p8

Britain's arms and carrots

Reading Baffour's article, Our Friend Tony (part I), although some of his details might need checking, I think his basic premise is correct. Our Tony is looking to interfere in Africa more so than...

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