Africa

In this article, the comrades of the Nigerian Marxist journal, Workers' Alternative, examine the revolutionary essence of the music and songs of the late Afro-beat master, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who died on August 2, 1997. The article was originally written on the first anniversary of his death. This artist was and still is extremely popular among African workers and youth for the radical and revolutionary content of his lyrics.

In May 1997 Kabila came to power in the former Zaire (which he renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo), ousting dictator Mobutu. The US diplomacy was euphoric. They now had a string of "client" regimes which included Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, the DR of Congo and also a great deal of South Africa's foreign policy in the region was dictated by Washington. But many things have happened since. At least nine African countries have become involved in the Congo conflict which broke out on August 2. What is the meaning of the conflict in the DR of Congo?

The ruling class of Nigeria is facing a dilemma. The Indonesian revolution has brought home to them what could happen in Nigeria in the coming period. As in Indonesia, one man at the top was attempting to hold onto power in spite of the growing undercurrents of discontent among the masses. The overwhelming majority of the Nigerian population wants an end to military rule. That is why people came onto the streets to celebrate the death of the hated dictator, Sani Abacha, in June.

The brutal air strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan constitute a further sample of the bullying tactics of US imperialism and will be condemned by activists in the labour movement everywhere. By such means Washington uses its powerful airforce in order to throw its weight around and intimidate and blackmail all the peoples of the third world. This latest escapade is clearly intended for US public opinion, to show that "something has been done" in relation to the terrorist bombings in Kenya.

This article, by Ted Grant, deals with the refugee crisis in Central Africa at the end of 1996, when Belgium and French imperialists were demanding military intervention in the area for 'humanitarian purposes'.

On October 16, 1997, the troops of the former president of Congo Brazzaville, M. Sassou Nguesso, took control of the capital Brazzaville, thus ousting the current president Pascal Lissouba, after a five month long civil war. It would be very difficult to understand the reasons for this conflict without taking into account the background struggle for influence between French and US imperialism in Africa, and the interests of the different oil companies in the rich oil fields in Congo Brazzaville's Atlantic coast.

On May 17 the forces of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL) took Zaire's capital Kinshasa and changed the name of the country to Democratic Republic of Congo putting an end to 31 years of dictatorship by Mobutu Sese Seko. This article analyses the different forces behind the conflict and outlines a socialist perspective for the masses of the Central Africa region.