Friday, February 13, 2009

Why is Africa in turmoil?

Currently in Africa, fifteen countries are involved in war, or are experiencing post-war conflict and tension. In West Africa, these countries include Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo. In East Africa; Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda while in Central Africa; Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda are notable examples. In North Africa, the countries are Algeria and Sudan while in Southern Africa; Angola and Zimbabwe are notable examples. Source

Since the 53 states of Africa are quite varied and diverse, it is important to note that they have produced strikingly different patterns of civil violence. Africa has been home to wars of decolonization, secessionist struggles by minority groups, long-running guerilla insurgencies, coups, urban unrest in sprawling slums, clashes between paramilitary thugs with ties to political parties, simple criminal banditry, coordinated mass-murder by state authorities, and anarchic state failure. Source

Why the turmoil?
There are simply too many assorted ethnic and opposing religious groups sharing the same territory. Although it may not appear to be as simple as that, this is exactly where the root of the problem lies.

Establishing a democratic system of government in a mixed society, all too often leads to an ineffective money-wasting scheme designed to make the rich richer, --- while the poor are left to survive on the crumbs of “hope”. To add to the confusion, political leaders will always attempt to conform to the religious beliefs of the voting majority, while their actions seldom display what they preach. This is sadly the case with many so-called “Christian” leaders who don’t have a clue what true Christianity is really about. They just act the part to fool the masses. By the time their deceit (or ignorance) has been exposed, it’s already too late to rectify the innumerable damage caused. The same principle applies to the religion of Islam, or any other religion for that matter. If leaders don’t practice what their religions preach, they will create enemies.

The ongoing tension and recent outbreak of political violence in Madagascar is but one example that illustrates my point. There are many other examples, but I’d like to keep this article concise and to-the-point.

At the time of writing, more than 125 people were killed in the riots opposing supporters of the mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina and President Marc Ravalomanana. During Madagascar’s last election held on 3 December 2006 Ravalomanana won 54.8% of the votes. Now what about the other 45.4% of the voters? How can political stability be attained when nearly half of the voting population did NOT ask to be governed by Ravalomanana? According to the CIA World Factbook only 41% of the population are Christian, 7% are Muslim, and the remaining 52% are classified under indigenous beliefs.

Ravalomanana is known for his fervent Christian faith, and this is probably the reason why it was a guaranteed fact that approx 41% of the votes were already his before the elections started. When demonstrators clashed with riot police near the presidential palace on Saturday, 25 people were shot dead, and 167 wounded. Reports suggest that there was no life to protect in the palace at the time. Now that’s a nice way for a Christian to treat fellow citizens, isn’t it? Besides the facts mentioned in Wikipedia, I have no intimate knowledge about Ravalomanana, except that he is a stinking rich businessman, ruling about 19 million people, the majority of whom survive on 1 dollar a day. I don’t know the man or his political opponent, so I cannot pick sides. I am merely using the situation in Madagascar to illustrate a point.

I am totally convinced that if 100% of the population in a specific territory belonged to the same religious group, and practiced their religion according to the true doctrines of their belief, with God-fearing leaders whose actions showed love and respect for fellow citizens, then all the violence, disorder, crime, corruption, poverty, racist hatred, etc. will vanish.

Only when all the people in Africa start practicing the values found in the Biblical Principles of their respective religions, then only can we truly pray ’Nkosi Sikelela iAfrica’ – God Bless Africa.


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African Countries (Alphabetical list):
(The links will redirect to the page dealing with the specific country.)