Africa

Fifty years ago, on 29 April 1972, violence between Hutus and Tutsis broke out in Burundi. This was the latest round of ethnic conflict in the African Great Lakes region, and marked the beginning of a genocide of up to 300,000 people. Western imperialism bears direct responsibility for the horrors of the spring of 1972. They didn’t lift a finger to stop it, and in some cases, they actively supported it. Today, while western imperialists cry crocodile tears over Ukraine, they bury the history of the far greater abominations they perpetrated just 50 years ago.

Last month, on 17 February, President Macron announced the withdrawal of French troops from Mali in West Africa. From 2013, alongside the forces involved in ‘Operation Barkhane’ and the ‘Takuba Task Force’, France led an intervention in Mali with the supposed intention of fighting to “stabilise the country”. All major European NATO countries were involved, and the intervention was fully backed by the UN, which sent a 15,000-strong mission, which it called “MINUSMA”, which also established itself in other countries of the Sahel region.

The EFF’s recent campaign of ‘labour inspections’ at restaurants in Gauteng is a reactionary descent into the xenophobic politics of the right-wing parties like ActionSA and the Patriotic Alliance. These right-wing outfits are very small on a national scale, but their message has been amplified by opportunist elements in the bigger parties such as the DA and the ANC. Now, scandalously, the EFF has joined in the fray.

The Algerian Council of State has banned the Socialist Workers’ Party (PST) and shuttered its offices. This scandalous act of political repression is part of an ongoing, general clampdown on left-wing activism, democratic freedoms and the revolutionary Hirak movement. The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) strongly condemns this outrageous move and sends its solidarity to the PST.

The Sudanese Revolution is at a critical crossroads. The security forces are killing, raping and brutalising the masses with impunity. The revolution has responded by launching new protests, locking down neighbourhoods, and holding a two-day general strike – although the latter was undermined by a lack of organisation. We must be clear: time is short.

We are starting this perspective document with an excerpt from Leon Trotsky’s The “Third Period” of the Comintern’s Errors, written in January 1930. In this work, Trotsky explains the importance of perspectives for a revolutionary Marxist organisation to correctly orient itself towards the working class.

Less than 24 hours after South African scientists announced the discovery of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, rich countries in Europe, as well as Canada and the United States, slapped highly damaging, blanket travel bans on a swathe of southern African countries. The imperialists are reacting in a haphazard fashion to the discovery of this new strain, whose emergence they facilitated to begin with through hoarding the world’s vaccine supply.

In recent days, cities and towns across Morocco have witnessed mass youth movements involving students and unemployed university graduates. Like all serious and deeply-rooted movements, it was marked by mass participation of young women, who stood at the forefront and brought with them high levels of militancy. The movement has been received with warm sympathy by all layers of the poor, not only because its demands are legitimate, but because the masses are angry and looking for a point of reference to rally around.

The Sudanese Revolution has taken a new turn. 28 days after the coup that removed him from power, Abdalla Hamdok was reinstated as Prime Minister by the military junta. The streets, which have fought and shed blood for a month to win civilian rule, have met this news, not with jubilation – but rage.

Yesterday was the bloodiest day of the Sudan coup so far. A nationwide march was met with the deadliest clampdown yet by the security forces. This massacre must be a final warning to the masses: only armed self defence by any means necessary can guarantee a victory for the Sudanese Revolution.

The heroic masses of Sudan are still taking to the streets to resist the military coup, in defiance of bullets, beatings and arrests at the hands of the security forces.

On Saturday 13 November, huge numbers of protestors mobilised for a second nationwide demonstration, after weeks of intense organisation efforts by the neighbourhood resistance committees – despite a total telecoms blackout and a campaign of terror by the counterrevolution.

Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last president of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, died on Thursday in Cape Town. He was president from 1989 to 1994. De Klerk presided over a monstrous counter-revolutionary regime that did everything possible to secure the interests of the ruling class against the revolutionary flood tide washing over the country in the 1990s. He was an unrepentant and committed Apartheid ideologue who defended the regime even after it was overthrown.

One year after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a war against the rebellious Tigray region, his army is on the verge of defeat and the Tigrayan forces are marching on the capital Addis Ababa. The federal government declared a national state of emergency on Tuesday.

In an important development, a fresh wave of strikes is currently rolling across the small Southern African state of eSwatini. This has become some of the most significant movements by the working class in the country’s history. Despite severe repression, new layers are entering the struggle, including transport workers, nurses and government workers, as well as other sections such as students. This entrance of the working class onto the scene in such an organised way could provide the necessary momentum to topple the absolute monarchy of Mswati III.

Four million people hit the streets of Sudan yesterday in a national demonstration against Monday’s military coup. At the same time, a general strike crippled the entire country, as dozens of trade unions and professional organisations came out in solidarity. This was met with ruthless violence by the counter revolution, resulting in heavy casualties and forcing the masses to retreat. We are now facing a decisive moment for the Sudanese revolution. Either it will go onto the offensive or it could face a bloody defeat. From here, no quarter can be asked or given.