An unidentified U.S. soldier training Mali army troops allegedly to combat Al-Qaeda terrorists. The training is part of an overall expansion of U.S. military "assistance" to Africa — including arms sales and training programs — in the period since President Obama took office.
(Photo: Luc Gnago/Reuters)

A repeat of the disorder and pandemonium generated inside Afghanistan is in the works for the continent of Africa. The United States, with the help of Britain, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, created the brutal Taliban and then eventually waged war on its Taliban allies. Similarly, across Africa, the United States and its allies are creating a new series of future enemies to fight, but after initially working with them or using them to sow the seeds of chaos in Africa.

Washington has literally been helping fund insurgencies and regime change projects in Africa. “Human rights” and “democratization” are also being used as a smokescreen for colonialism and war. So-called human rights and humanitarian organizations are now partners in this imperialist project against Africa.

France and Israel: Is Washington Outsourcing its Dirty Work in Africa?

Africa is just one international front for an expanding system of empire. The mechanisms of a real global system of empire are at work in this regard. Washington is acting through NATO and its allies in Africa. Each one of Washington’s allies and satellites has a specific role to play in the global system of empire.

Tel Aviv has played a very active role on the African continent. Israel was a major unapologetic supporter of South Africa under the racist apartheid system. Tel Aviv also helped smuggle arms into Sudan and East Africa to balkanize that sizeable African nation and destabilize its region.The Israelis have been very active in Kenya and Uganda, for example. The Israeli presence has also existed wherever blood diamonds and conflicts have been present in Africa. Israel is also now working with Washington to establish total hegemony over the African continent. It is actively involved through its business ties and intelligence operations in establishing the contacts and agreements that Washington needs for expansion in Africa and to disrupt the rise of Chinese influence.

France, as a former colonial master and a declining power, on the other hand has traditionally been a rival and competitor of Washington on the African continent. With the rise of the influence of non-traditional powers in Africa, such as the People’s Republic of China, both Washington and Paris began to look at ways of cooperating. On the broader global stage this is also evident. Both the U.S. and several of the major powers in the European Union considered China and other emerging global powers as great enough threats to end their rivalries and work together. Thus, a consensus leading to integration emerged, which was greatly boosted by the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

President Sarkozy also wasted no time in pushing for reintegration of the French military command structure with NATO, which has subordinated the French military to the Pentagon. In 1966, President Charles de Gaulle pulled French forces out of NATO and removed France from the military command structure of NATO as a means of maintaining French independence. Nicolas Sarkozy has reversed all of this. In 2009, Sarkozy ordered that France rejoin the integrated military command structure of NATO. In 2010, he also signed an accord to start amalgamating the British and French militaries.

On the African continent, Paris has a special place or niche in the U.S. system of global empire— as a regional gendarme in North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and all the countries that were its former colonies. France’s special role, in other words, is due to history and the existing, albeit declining, position of France in Africa, specifically through the “Françafrique.” The Union of the Mediterranean, which Sarkozy officially launched, is one example of these French interests in North Africa.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has also been working through France’s International Federation of Human Rights (Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme, FIDH). The FIDH is much more established in Africa. The NED has essentially outsourced its work to manipulate and control African governments, movements, societies, and states to the FIDH. It was the FIDH and the affiliated Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) that helped orchestrate the grounds for the NATO war against Libya via the United Nations through unsubstantiated and false claims.

The NED and FIDH

Following the 2007 election of Nicolas Sarkozy as the leader of the French Republic, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) started to develop a real partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Both organizations are also partners within the World Movement for Democracy. Carl Gershman, the president of NED, even went to France in December 2009 to meet with the FIDH to deepen collaboration between the two organizations and to discuss Africa. [1] Most of the partnerships between the FIDH and the NED are based in Africa and the intersecting Arab World. These partnerships operate in a zone that covers countries like Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Niger, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.North Africa, which includes Libya and Algeria, has been a specific area of focus for the FIDH, where Washington, Paris, and NATO clearly have major ambitions.

The FIDH, which is directly implicated in launching the war on Libya, has also received direct funding, in the form of grants, from the National Endowment for Democracy for its programs in Africa. A NED grant of $140, 186 (U.S.) has been the latest amount given to the FIDH for its work in Africa. [2] The NED was also one of the first signatories, along with the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) and U.N. Watch, demanding international intervention against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. [3]

AFRICOM and the Post-9/11 Road Towards Conquering Africa

In 2002, the Pentagon started its first major operations aimed at controlling Africa militarily. This was in the form of the Pan-Sahel Initiative, which was launched by United States European Command (EUCOM) and United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Under the project, the U.S. military would trains troops from Mali, Chad, Mauritania, and Niger. The plans to establish the Pan-Sahel Initiative, however, date back to 2001, when the initiative for Africa was actually launched after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 (9/11). Washington was clearly planning military action in Africa, which already included at least three countries (Libya, Somalia, and Sudan) identified as targets by the Pentagon and the White House according to General Wesley Clark.

Jacques Chirac, the President of France at the time, tried to offer resistance to the U.S. push into Africa by reinvigorating Germany’s role in Africa as a means of supporting France. In 2007, the Franco-African summit even opened its doors to German participation for the first time. [4] Yet, Angela Merkel had different ideas about the direction and position that the Franco-German partnership should take in regards to Washington.

Since 2001, the momentum towards creating AFRICOM had started. AFRICOM was officially authorized in December 2006 and the decision to create it was announced several short months later in February 2007. It would be in 2007 that AFRICOM would actually be established. This momentum also received Israeli encouragement. The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), for example, was one of the Israeli organizations supporting the creation of AFRICOM.

On the basis of the Pan-Sahel Initiative, the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) was launched by the Pentagon in 2005 under the command of CENTCOM.Mali, Chad, Mauritania, and Niger were now joined by Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, and Tunisia in the ring of military cooperation with the Pentagon. The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative would be transferred to the command of AFRICOM on October 1, 2008, which is when AFRICOM would be activated.

The Sahel and Sahara: The U.S. Clearly Adopts France’s Old Colonial Projects in Africa

“Fighting terrorism” and executing “humanitarian missions” are just façades or smokescreens. While the stated goals of the Pentagon are to fight terrorism in Africa, the real aims of Washington are to restructure Africa and to establish a neo-colonial order.In this regard, Washington has actually adopted the old colonial projects of France in Africa. This includes the old U.S., British, Italian, and French initiative to divide Libya after 1943 and the unilateral French initiative to redraw North Africa.

The map used by Washington for combating terrorism under the Pan-Sahel Initiative says a lot. The range or area of activity for the terrorists, within the borders of Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Mauritania according to Washington’s designation, is very similar to the boundaries or borders of a colonial entity that France tried to create in Africa in 1957. Paris had planned to propup this African entity in the western central Saharaas a French department (province) directly tied to France, along with coastal Algeria.

This desired entity was referred to as the Common Organization of the Saharan Regions (Organisation commune des regions sahariennes, OCRS). It comprised the inner boundaries of the Sahel and Saharan countries of Mali, Niger, Chad, and Algeria. The French goal was to collect and bind all the resource-rich areas into this one central entity for French control and extraction. The resources in this area include oil, gas, and uranium. Yet, the resistance movements in Africa, and specifically the Algerian struggle for independence, dealt Paris a hard blow. France had to give up its quest and finally dissolve the OCRS in 1962, because of Algerian independence and the anti-colonial stance in Africa, which also cut France off from the inland area in the Sahara and created opposition towards France in Africa.

Washington clearly had this energy- and resource-rich area in mind when it drew out the areas of Africa that need to be cleansed of alleged terrorist cells and gangs. The French Institute of Foreign Relations (Institut français des relations internationals, IFRI) has even openly discussed this in March 2011. [5] It is also in this context that the amalgamation of Franco-German and Anglo-American interests is allowing France to become an integrated part of the U.S. system of global empire with shared interests.

Regime Change in Libya and the NED: A Nexus of Terrorism and Human Rights

Since 2001, the U.S. has falsely presented itself as a champion against terrorism. The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI), which opened the doors for AFRICOM in Africa, was justified as necessary by Washington to fight organizations like the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in Algeria and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in Libya. Yet, Washington is cooperating and using these very same groups in Libya, along with the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood, as foot soldiers and proxies in Libya and Africa. Moreover, many of the key Libyan individuals that are members of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are members of these groups and have also been part of conferences and longstanding plans pushing for regime change in Libya.

One of the key meetings for establishing what would become the current Transitional Council in Libya took place in 1994 when the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) organized a conference with Ashur Shamis and Aly (Ali) Abuzakuuk. The 1994 conference’s title was “Post-Qaddafi Libya: The Prospect and the Promise.” In 2005 another conference with Shamis Ashur would be held in the British capital of London that would build on the idea of regime change in Libya. [6]

Ashur Shamis is one of the founding members of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, which was founded in 1981. He was also wanted by Interpol and the Libyan police. [7] Ahsur was also a director in the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and in the Human and Political Development Forum (and the editor of the Akhbar webpage, which was registered under Akhbar Cultural Limited and was essentially a NED project). He has also participated in key conferences, including the one in London held by Chatham House in 2011, which discussed NATO plans for the invasion of Tripoli. [8]

Like Ashur, Aly Abuzaakouk is also a member of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and tied to the National Endowment for Democracy. He was one of the key participants and attendees at the roundtable held for the 2011 Democracy Awards by NED. [9] Like Ashur, he is also wanted by Interpol and serves as a director at the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum. [10]

There is also Noman Benotman, a former leader and founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a wanted terrorist. He conveniently left the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group due to the attacks of September 11, 2011 in the United States. Benotman is not only a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) director in the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum, but he is also tied to the news network Al Jazeera.

Not only have these three men lived in Britain without any problems while they were wanted by Interpol and sought because of their ties to terrorism or, in the case of Benotman, drug-related crimes and forgery, but they also received grants from the United States. They received U.S. grants that formalized their NED organizations, which have been integral to the regime change agenda against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. This regime change agenda was done with the help of MI6 and the CIA. The legal documents that have been filed for their NED organizations have been deliberately and illegally tampered with. One key individual’s identity has been hidden in the list of NED directors. Thus, legal documents have been fraudulently filled out to hide a certain individual’s identity under the alias of “Beata Wozniak.” Even Wozniak’s birthday is invalid, appearing as January 1, 1 (01/01/0001). She is listed as a director and secretary of Akbar, Transparency Libya Limited, and several British companies.

The Gate into Africa has been Opened

The fanning of terrorism in Africa is part of a deliberate strategy used by the U.S. and its allies, including NATO, for opening the door into the African continent by expanding the so-called “Global War on Terror.” This will give purpose to the U.S. objective of expanding its military presence in the African continent and it will also justify the creation of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM, which is meant to manage Africa by creating an African version of NATO as a means for establishing Washington’s control. In this regard, the U.S. and its allies have already put budgets aside to fight the very terrorist organizations that they have cooperated with, encouraged, nurtured, armed, and proliferated across the map of Africa from Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Mali to Mauritania, Niger, Algeria, and Nigeria.

The terrorists not only fight for Washington on the ground, but they also interact with Washington through so-called human rights organizations that promote democracy. These individuals not only destabilize their countries, but they also actively work for regime change and military intervention. Libya is a clear case of this.

Source: Cynthia McKinney

[1National Endowment for Democracy, “NED Strengths Democracy Ties with France,” March 16, 2010:

[2National Endowment for Democracy, “Africa Regional,” August 2011:

[3United Nations Watch et al., “Urgent Appeal to Stop Atrocities in Libya: Sent by 70 NGOs to the US, EU, and UN,” February 21, 2011:

[5Etienne de Durand, “Francs-tireurs et Centurions. Les ambiguïtés de l’héritage contre-insurrectionnel français,” Institut français des relations internationals, March

[6The National Conference of the Libyan Opposition, “The National Accord: The National Conference of the Libyan Opposition, London, 26th June 2005,” 2005.

[7Interpol Wanted Notice for Ashour Al-Shamis :

[8Foreign and Commonwealth Office (U.K.), “Chatam House event: the future of Libya,” June 2011:

[9National Democracy for Democracy, “2011 Democracy Award Biographies,” June 2011:

[10Interpol Wanted Notice for Aly Abu Zaakouk: