Africa

From the March 26th to 30th the 13th World Social Forum took place in Tunisia. Tens of thousands of activists from hundreds of organisations around the world came together in workshops and meetings on the campus of the university to discuss solutions to the social problems of the world.

The French government claims it has sent troops to Mali to combat terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. However, the truth is very concrete: France has major interests in the regions and is fighting to hold on to its spheres of influence. Tragically, the leadership of the French Communist Party (PCF) supports the war. Greg Oxley, editor of La Riposte and member of the "Conseil Départemental" of the Paris PCF, in this interview, recently given to Raoul Rigault of the German left-wing paper Junge Welt, explains the reasons for all this.

The ninth edition of The Communist, paper of the Moroccan section of the IMT, is out! This new edition contains articles on the new government budget, the uprising of the masses in the Sidi Youssef Ben Ali neighbourhood in Marrakech, the meaning of the imperialist intervention in Mali, and the future of the left student movement.

On the morning of February 6th, the prominent left wing leader Chokri Belaïd was assassinated in front of his house in Tunis. Thousands have taken to the streets, attacked offices of the ruling Ennahda party, which they consider responsible for the assassination, and a general strike has been called for tomorrow, February 8th. This could be the incident that sparks a much needed second revolution, two years after the overthrow the hated Ben Alí regime.

Francois Hollande has decided to flex his muscles. Based on the "threat of Islamic terrorism", the French president has deployed more than 4000 soldiers. The "international community" has unanimously approved of the intervention.

Contrary to the statements of François Hollande and his government, the intervention of the French army in Mali has nothing to do with the stated “French values”, “human rights” or any other humanitarian preoccupations. It is an Imperialist intervention aiming to protect the interest of French multinationals in the region. The recent collapse of the Malian state and the Jihadi offensive in the north of the country threatens to destabilise neighbouring countries, whose natural resources are exploited by the French ruling class on a vast scale: Uranium in Niger, gold in Mauritania, gas and petrol in Algeria etc.

Once again the Democratic Republic of Congo has been through months of turmoil, soldiers defecting en masse from the Congolese Army (FARDC) followed by fighting between government forces and militia in the Kivu regions. But why is all this happening and what interests lie behind these events? Gavin Jackson looks at the different forces on the ground and outlines the looting on the part of the various imperialist powers that is the real reason behind the barbarism.

Clashes between  protesters and the armed forces continue as the Tunisian town of Siliana enters the fourth day of a general strike led by the UGTT trade union federation. The clashes which have led to more than 300 injured have become a focal point for people all over Tunisia.

Two weeks have passed since thousands of vineyard farm workers from the area of De Doorns in the Western Cape went on strike. They are demanding that their daily slave wage be doubled to a minimum of 150 rand ($17) per day; currently they are earning R69.39 per day. But there is more behind this genuine issue of low wages. In our “democratic era” since the fall of Apartheid, this is and will probably be the longest period on strike for these farm workers in this region.

Floyd Shivambu was a leading member of the South African Students Congress (SASCO) as well as a leading member of the Young Communist League (from which he was suspended in 2010). As a leading member of the ANC YL he played a key part in developing this organisation’s stance on the need to nationalise the mines which has now become a central issue of the political debate in the revolutionary movement in South Africa.