Geography Archives: West Africa

  • US Special Forces soldier trains Niger troops. (photo Credit: Reuters)

    Why is the U.S. at war in West Africa?

    Between 2006 and 2010 the deployment of U.S. special forces troops in Africa increased by 300 percent. From 2010 to 2017 the numbers of deployed troops exploded by nearly 2000 percent, occupying more than 60 outposts tasked with carrying out over 100 missions at any given moment across the continent.

  • The Light Brigade: Cuban Doctors Fight Ebola

    The Ebola epidemic . . . whereas most of the world tightens frontier control and essentially flees from the problem, Cuba opens a new chapter of solidarity and faces the danger.  By sending 255 doctors and nurses to West Africa to deal with the latest Ebola outbreak, the heroic island — with few resources except […]

  • Immigrant Workers Are Organizing in New York — With or Without Immigration Reform

    Some 50 to 60 union meat cutters and their supporters turned out on the afternoon of April 6 for a noisy protest against what they said was a lockout by Trade Fair, a chain of nine small supermarkets based in Queens, New York. Standing in a picket line on a busy sidewalk outside a Trade […]

  • U.S. Hands Off Mali! An Analysis of the Recent Events in the Republic of Mali

    Recent developments in the West African Republic of Mali are raising serious concerns about the possibility of yet another U.S. intervention.  On March 22, one month before a scheduled presidential election, a military coup toppled the government of President Amadou Toumani Touré.  Quickly taking sides, the regional 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) […]

  • The New Scramble for Africa

      Is current U.S. foreign policy in Africa following a blueprint drawn up almost eight years ago by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, one of the most conservative think tanks in the world?  Although it seems odd that a Democratic administration would have anything in common with the extremists at Heritage, the convergence in policy and […]

  • Ivory Coast: Humanitarian Intervention or Debt Collection?

    This just in from Bloomberg: The West African nation’s 2032 bonds issued a year ago jumped 7.7 percent to 55.438 cents on the dollar, the highest since Dec. 2, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  The debt has rallied 14 percent in the past two days after Gbagbo troops surrendered. . . .  The country’s […]

  • Three Protests and What They May Mean for Immigrant Rights

    The immigrant rights movement is moving to a new level of militancy, at least to judge by events in New York City the first week of June. At noon on June 1 several hundred people gathered in front of the Jacob Javits Federal Building in Lower Manhattan for a press conference and a civil disobedience […]

  • Vernacular Politics in Africa

      1 The republication of Jean-François Bayart’s classic book-length essay, The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly, is an opportunity to reflect on the hypotheses he raises and their application to Sudan and especially Darfur.  Bayart’s book mentions Sudan only in passing but the scope of his ambition is certainly relevant to Sudan […]

  • Nation-States as Building Blocks

      Paul Nugent.  Africa since Independence: A Comparative History. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.  xix + 620 pp.  $99.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-333-68272-2; $35.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-333-68273-9. This is a masterful work of usable academic history.  By sharply delineating diverse trends in scores of countries, it applies expert analysis to sub-Saharan Africa, “the continent which has been […]

  • Do Darfur’s IDPs Have an Urban Future?

    Most of Darfur’s internally-displaced camps are urban settlements in all but name.  In geographical terms the most striking impact of the last seven years has been to change Darfur from being overwhelmingly scattered rural villages and hamlets to huge extended cities.  In the wake of the abrupt expulsion of the international NGOs which provided a […]

  • This Alien Legacy: The Origins of “Sodomy” Laws in British Colonialism: I.  Introduction

      “Our community is expanding: MRZine viewers have increased in number, as have the readers of our editions published outside the United States and in languages other than English.  We sense a sharp increase in interest in our perspective and its history.   Many in our community have made use of the MR archive we […]

  • Africom: From Bush to Obama

    “Our community is expanding: MRZine viewers have increased in number, as have the readers of our editions published outside the United States and in languages other than English.  We sense a sharp increase in interest in our perspective and its history.   Many in our community have made use of the MR archive we put […]

  • Intermediaries, Interpreters, and Clerks

      Intermediaries, Interpreters, and Clerks: African Employees in the Making of Colonial Africa.  Madison University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.  342 pp.  $45.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-299-21950-5. In the 1970s and 1980s, an edited volume focused entirely on African colonial intermediaries such as interpreters, translators, clerks, and secretaries would not have aroused much interest from historians of […]

  • How Europe Underdevelops Africa and How Some Fight Back

      In even the most exploitative African sites of repression and capital accumulation, sometimes corporations take a hit, and victims sometimes unite on continental lines instead of being divided-and-conquered.  Turns in the class struggle might have surprised Walter Rodney, the political economist whose 1972 classic How Europe Underdeveloped Africa provided detailed critiques of corporate looting. […]

  • Cuito Cuanavale: A Tribute to Fidel Castro and the African Revolution

    In March 2008, the President of the African National Congress of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, led a high-level delegation of South African parliamentarians to the site of the victory of the forces of liberation at Cuito Cuanavale in Angola.  This visit was linked to the numerous ceremonies in Angola to commemorate the victory of Angola, […]

  • Making a Killing from Hunger: We Need to Overturn Food Policy, Now!

    For some time now the rising cost of food all over the world has taken households, governments and the media by storm.  The price of wheat has gone up by 130% over the last year.1 Rice has doubled in price in Asia in the first three months of 2008 alone,2 and just last week it […]

  • Making Sense of Chad

    The war for Chad is not over.  It is likely to become more bloody and involve a wider humanitarian disaster before any solutions can be grasped.  The next week will be critical for the future of the country — and for the wider region, including Darfur, as well. Last weekend’s battle in the Chadian capital […]

  • Africom Threatens the Sovereignty, Independence, and Stability of the African Continent: A Position Paper of the National Conference of Black Lawyers

    The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) concludes that the mission of Africa Command (Africom) infringes on the sovereignty of African states due to the particularity of Africa’s history and Africa’s current economic and political relationship to the United States.

  • Africom: The New US Military Command for Africa

    On 6 February 2007, President Bush announced that the United States would create a new military command for Africa, to be known as Africa Command or Africom.  Throughout the Cold War and for more than a decade afterwards, the U.S. did not have a military command for Africa; instead, U.S. military activities on the African […]

  • Darfur: Give Them a Megaphone Instead

    Harlem’s Canaan Baptist Church, long associated with human rights activism, hosted a fundraising rally for women in Darfur, on June 13.  Billed as “Voices for the Voiceless,” the program featured speeches and fund-pitches by the program’s emcee, business developer Judith Price, and main speaker, peace activist and church leader Dr. Thelma Adair, with proclamations by […]