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[Dehai-WN] Globalresearch.ca: The IMF and US African Command (AFRICOM) Join Hands in the Plunder of the African Continent

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 21:27:33 +0100

The IMF and US African Command (AFRICOM) Join Hands in the Plunder of the
African Continent


by Nile Bowie


 <http://www.globalresearch.ca> Global Research, January 9, 2012

Lagos Dissents Under IMF Hegemony

Nigeria: The Next Front for AFRICOM

On a recent trip to West Africa, the newly appointed managing director of
the International Monetary Fund,
-subsidies/> Christine Lagarde ordered the governments of Nigeria, Guinea,
Cameroon, Ghana and Chad to relinquish vital fuel subsidies. Much to the
dismay of the population of these nations, the prices of fuel and transport
have near tripled over night without notice, causing widespread violence on
the streets of the Nigerian capital of Abuja and its economic center, Lagos.
Much like the IMF induced riots in Indonesia during the 1997 Asian Financial
Crisis, public discontent in Nigeria is channelled towards an incompetent
and self-serving domestic elite, compliant to the interests of fraudulent
foreign institutions.

Although Nigeria holds the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_proven_oil_reserves> most
proven oil reserves in Africa behind Libya, it's people are now expected to
pay a fee closer to what the average American pays for the cost of fuel, an
exorbitant sum in contrast to its regional neighbours. Alternatively,
-subsidies/> other oil producing nations such as Venezuela, Kuwait and Saudi
Arabia offer their populations fuel for as little as $0.12 USD per gallon.
While Lagos has one of Africa's highest concentration of billionaires, the
vast majority of the population struggle daily on less than $2.00 USD. Amid
a staggering <http://www.workersalternative.com/economy/118-ol> 47% youth
unemployment rate and
<http://www.workersalternative.com/national-issues/86-oke> thousands of
annual deaths related to preventable diseases, the IMF has pulled the rug
out from under a nation where safe drinking water is a luxury to around 80%
of it's populace.

Although Nigeria produces 2.4 million barrels of crude oil a day intended
for export use, the country struggles with generating sufficient electrical
power and maintaining its infrastructure. Ironically enough, less than
n-fuel-price> 6% of bank depositors own 88% of all bank deposits in Nigeria.
-in-nigerias-new-cabinet-1927001.html> Goldman Sachs employees line its
domestic government, in addition to the former Vice President of the World
PK:64257043%7EpiPK:437376%7EtheSitePK:4607,00.html> Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who
is widely considered by many to be the de facto Prime Minister. Even after
decades of producing lucrative oil exports, Nigeria has failed to maintain
it's own refineries, forcing it to illogically purchase oil imports from
other nations. Society at large has not benefited from Nigeria's natural
riches, so it comes as no surprise that a severe level of distrust is held
towards the government, who claims the fuel subsidy needs to be lifted in
order to divert funds towards improving
the quality of life within the country.

Like so many other nations, Nigerian people have suffered from a
systematically reduced living standard after being subjected to the IMF's
Structural Adjustment Policies (SAP). Before a loan can be taken from the
World Bank or IMF, a country must first follow strict economic policies,
which include currency devaluation, lifting of trade tariffs, the removal of
subsidies and detrimental budget cuts to critical public sector health and
education services.

SAPs encourage borrower countries to focus on the production and export of
domestic commodities and resources to increase foreign exchange, which can
often be subject to dramatic fluctuations in value. Without the protection
of price controls and an authentic currency rate, extreme inflation and
poverty subsist to the point of civil unrest, as seen in a wide array of
countries around the world (usually in former colonial protectorates). The
people of Nigeria have been one of the world's most vocal against
IMF-induced austerity measures,
<http://www.whirledbank.org/development/sap.html> student protests have been
met with heavy handed repression since 1986 and several times since then,
resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths. As a testament to the success of
the loan, the <http://www.workersalternative.com/economy/118-ol> average
laborer in Nigeria earned 35% more in the 1970's than he would of in 2012.

Working through the direct representation of Western Financial Institutions
and the IMF in Nigeria's Government,
<http://www.workersalternative.com/economy/118-ol> a new IMF conditionality
calls for the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund. Olusegun Aganga, the
former Nigerian Minister of Finance commented on how the SWF was hastily
pushed through and enacted prior to the countries national elections. If
huge savings are amassed from oil exports and austerity measures, one cannot
realistically expect that these funds will be invested towards
infrastructure development based on the current track record of the Nigerian
Government. Further more, it is increasingly more likely that any proceeds
from a SWF would be beneficial to Western institutions and markets, which
initially demanded its creation. Nigerian philanthropist
<http://www.bukarusman.com/> Bukar Usman prophetically writes "I have
genuine fears that the SWF would serve us no better than other
foreign-recommended "remedies" which we had implemented to our own detriment
in the past or are being pushed to implement today."

The abrupt simultaneous removal of fuel subsidies in several West African
nations is a clear indication of who is really in charge of things in
post-colonial Africa. The timing of its cushion-less implementation could
not be any worse, Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan recently
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16373531> declared a state of
emergency after forty people were killed in a church bombing on Christmas
day, an act allegedly committed by the
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13809501> Islamist separatist group,
Boko Haram. The group advocates dividing the predominately Muslim northern
states from the Christian southern states, a similar predicament to the
recent division of Sudan.

As the United States African Command (AFRICOM) begins to gain a foothold
into the continent with its troops officially present in Eritrea and Uganda
in an effort to maintain security and remove other theocratic religious
groups such as the Lord's Resistance Army, the sectarian violence in Nigeria
provides a convenient pretext for military intervention in the continuing
resource war. For further insight into this theory, it is interesting to
note that United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
<http://allafrica.com/stories/200908140153.html> conducted a series of
African war game scenarios in preparation for the Pentagon's expansion of
AFRICOM under the Obama Administration.

In the presence of US State Department Officials, employees from The Rand
Corporation and Israeli military personnel, a military exercise was
undertaken which tested how AFRICOM would respond to a disintegrating
Nigeria on the verge of collapse amidst civil war. The scenario envisioned
rebel factions vying for control of the Niger Delta oil fields (the source
of one of America's top oil imports), which would potentially be secured by
some 20,000 U.S. troops if a US-friendly coup failed to take place At a
press conference at the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008,
AFRICOM Commander, General William Ward then went on to brazenly state the
priority issue of America's growing dependence on African oil would be
furthered by AFRICOM operating under the principle theatre-goal of
"combating terrorism".

At an AFRICOM Conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008,
<http://allafrica.com/stories/200908140153.html> Vice Admiral Robert T.
Moeller openly declared the guiding principle of AFRICOM was to protect "the
free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market", before
citing China's increasing presence in the region as challenging to American
interests. After the unwarranted snatch-and-grab regime change conducted in
Libya, nurturing economic destabilization, civil unrest and sectarian
conflict in Nigeria is an ultimately tangible effort to secure Africa's
second largest oil reserves. During the pillage of Libya, its SFW accounts
worth over 1.2 billion USD were frozen and essentially absorbed by
Franco-Anglo-American powers; it would realistic to assume that much the
same would occur if Nigeria failed to comply with Western interests. While
agents of foreign capital have already infiltrated its government, there is
little doubt that Nigeria will become a new front in the War on Terror.

Nile Bowie is a freelance writer and photojournalist; he's regularly
contributed to Tony Cartalucci's <http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/> Land
Destroyer Report and Alex Jones' <http://www.infowars.com/> Infowars.


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