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Armed Conflict and War in Africa

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Anonymous

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Most wars fought during the 1990’s took place in countries that are poor – to poor to buy weapons, however millions of small arms and light weapons are simply given away by militaries that are downsizing, or they are recycled from one conflict to another. In some lands there is such an abundance of a**ault rifles that they are sold for as little as six dollars or can be traded for a goat, chicken, or a bag of clothes.
Cheap, ma** produced weapons and small caliber ammunition have since late 1945, for the greater part killed an estimated 50,000,000 people around the world.

Another reason small arms are popular, is that they are rugged and remain operational for years. Rifles such as the AK-47 and the Ml 6, which soldiers carried in the Vietnam War, are still being used in wars of today. Some rifles used in Africa date back to World War I. Further, guns are easily transported and concealed. A column of horses can carry enough rifles to outfit a small army.

Cheap weapons have not disrupted life in the industrialized world, excluding where drug dealing and political terrorism flourish. The rich states have failed to recognize the horror, suffering and hardship this evil has brought to the lesser developed countries, especially in Africa. Experts currently estimate that +/- 500 million military style firearms are currently in circulation around the globe.

Apart from low cost and wide availability, there are other reasons why small weapons are so popular. They are lethal. A single rapid-fire a**ault rifle can fire hundreds of rounds a minute they are also easy to use and maintain. A child can be taught to strip and rea**emble a typical a**ault rifle. They can also quickly learn to aim and fire that rifle into a crowd of people.

The global traffic in guns is complex. Huge supplies of guns pa** legally from nation to nation. After the Cold War, armies in both the East and the West were reduced, and governments gave or sold excess equipment to friends and allies. According to a writer at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway, since 1995 the United States alone has given away more than 300,000 rifles, pistols, machine guns, and grenade launchers. It is reasoned that giving weapons away is cheaper than dismantling or storing and guarding them. Some analysts estimate that perhaps three billion dollars’ worth of small arms and light weapons legally cross national borders each year.

The illegal trade, however, may be much larger. Black-market weapons usually have to be purchased. In some African wars, paramilitary groups have bought hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of small arms and light weapons, not with money, but with diamonds seized from diamond-mining areas. The New York Times commented: “Where governments are corrupt, rebels are pitiless and borders are porous. The glittering stones have become agents of slave labor, murder, dismemberment, ma** homelessness and wholesale economic collapse.”

Having read the above, let us not forget that behind every illegal diamond that is seized we must have willing buyers, where do these unscrupulous buyers come from? How ironic that a gemstone traded for a**ault rifles may later be sold in an elegant jewelry boutique as an expensive symbol of eternal love!

Weapons are also linked to the illegal trade in drugs. It is not unusual for crimi­nal organizations to use the same routes to smuggle drugs in one direction as they use to smuggle guns in the other. Weapons thus have become a virtual currency, bartered for drugs.

When wars end, the guns used in them often fall into the hands of criminals. Consider what happened in South Africa that experienced a shift from politically motivated violence to criminal violence. Political violence there took the lives of some 10,000 people in just three years. When that conflict ended, criminal violence soared. Competition between taxi drivers resulted in “taxi wars,” where thugs were hired to shoot the pa**engers and drivers of rival companies. Increasingly’, military type a**ault rifles were used in robberies and other crimes. The number of homicides committed with guns reached horrific proportions, it was recorded as the second highest rate in the world for countries not at war.

The knowledge that criminals are armed and dangerous creates fear and insecurity. In many developing countries, the wealthy live in virtual fortresses, surrounded by walls and electrified fences that are guarded day and night. Residents of developed countries also take precautions. This is true even in places that have not experienced civil strife.

No human can measure the deadly work of cheap ma** produced weapons; nor can we tally the dead, the wounded, the bereaved, and the shattered lives. Yet, we do know that the world is awash with arms and that their numbers keep rising. Increasingly, voices cry for something to be done. But what can be done?

My African brothers it is time to “WAKE UP” we don’t need cheap weapons that have been dumped here by the developed countries, we don’t need to fight and kill each other. Destroy your cheap weapons; resolve your differences through dialogue and debate.

STOP THE SENSELESS KILLING OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. Let us channel our energy toward a constructive cause and let us rebuild our land to its former glory.



BHLAKHROZE

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hey, thanks chicken (wish you had a name so i could thank you properly, u now)

anyway, my thing is this, and i feel that our collective thinking should be moving in this direction, by now we know what the issues are (if you dont you are just not being serious and ku-late for you ke), we´ve read the books we´ve either experienced or seen the ´messed upness´ of the system thats been created, right?

so how about we start talking about how to constructively do things differently. i mean yes, AFRIKA has had it ruff, but then when the baton is in our hands its like we dont know how to create a different picture. everytime we get SO caught up, its become a joke.

its not helping rehashing the dramas, what now. thats where our headspace needs to be @.
significant change that becomes experienced reality, not just imagined. when we clearly know what it is we want, then maybe we can start getting ready to do whatever it takes for it. eish i dont know, its just that im tired of living in such a defeated space. in such shady times.
we´re smart, yo - strategic thinking for our own benefit needs to start happening. fast.

- soul activist. poet. flower. fairy -


Anonymous

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my name is shane

im tired 2 , but things are happening , more peoples are wakin up to this .
When the rest of the world truly releases our chains we will be able to build untill then we have to educate. Most whites in europe america dont know about this things and they probly dont really give a fck.
I mean we STILL TODAY have african debt !! http://www.africaaction.org/action/debt.htm" target="_blank" target="_new">http://www.africaaction.org/action/debt.htm

the rest of the world needs to change and we need to make them change by waking them up.

You know that most kids in europe will tell you when you ask them about what history is all they will come back with is hitler and world wars.  Shit there was a time befor that shit, that is whats holding africa back. People still dont know the truth.

You can teach your brotha who spends his time drinkin smokin an f***in about this shit so together our voice is louder and thouse in power will hear us. "you cant drink ya life away smoke ya life away f*** ya life away, coz ya seed grows up the same way"

thouse who control the past controll the present, and thouse who control the present control the future. Bout time we teach the REAL past to the youth  of the world. Hiphop is out last chance.

peace