We live in a world of double or triple standards. We live in a world where might is power; and where some individual nations set rules, standard of behavior, police other nations, if these rules are observed or not.
Same nations have become law enforcers, from arrest to civil or criminal trials, sanctions, imprisonment, assassination through undercover forces or by supporting oppositions, rebel groups to overthrow legitimate or and (il) legitimate governments, which western nations think are against their economic interests in Africa.
Granted, there are corrupt and despotic governments in Africa, just as we have them around the globe.
Also, their populist or people-oriented governments led by no-nonsense political leaders, leaders western nations do see as threats to their economic interests in Africa.
These types of leaders were or are never allowed to rule by western nations, they continue to use all forces open or hidden from International platforms to continental, regional and local to bring these governments down.
These were few examples of democratically elected government, which western nations brought down.
1. Democratic Republic of Congo under Patrice Lumumba.
2. Ghanaian Government under late Dr. kwame Nkrumah
3. Burkina Faso under Thomas Sankara
4. Togolese Government under Sylvanus Olymipio
5. Egyptian Government under Gamal Abdel Nasser and his successor
There were multiple attempts on several African governments the western world considered very unfriendly, some attempts were successful others unsuccessful.
Several military coups were sponsored by western nations to install undemocratic regimes across Africa.
Several covert operations in Africa in the name of United Nations Peace Missions. Many covert operations in the name of military assistance or military help to fight oppositions and or rebels. Unfortunately, though, there were operations with hidden agendas to retake Africa for colonial masters’ interest.
The question now is why did western nations assassinated most African leaders?
1. Economic Reason: European countries or nations will be quick to say, these rulers were killed because they were dictators, who abused and denied their citizen’s basic human rights. Granted, most of these rulers may carried European tag of dictators or autocrats. However, their flaunted democratic credential has never been the main reason, other than economic interests.
For many centuries of colonial domination, Africa provided both the labor and raw materials to Europe. From Africa raw materials to feed European industries emanated; raw materials gotten at token, at low prices, or practically for free. From Africa come cocoa, coffee, tea, timber, gold, tin, bauxite, diamond, limestone, platinum, oil and gas, copper, lead, coal and many more. As soon as African nations became independent from mid-fifties, economic nationalism began, economic patriotism started, this development was a threat to western nations, and the earlier they nipped the development at the bud the better.
Western world may justify their support for change of government in Ghana for human rights abuses; however, same western world may have nothing to say about the evil and human rights abuses in Congo in the days of President Mobutu Seseko Waga Banga. Same western nations will blame Sylvanus Olympio of Togo; just as it closed eyes to horrific crimes of his successor, late President Gynansigbe Eyedema. Same western world may tacitly supported yesterday military regimes in Nigeria, but condemned Libyan military strong man, Mohammad Ghadafi.
2. Political Reason: After independence in mid-fifties to the early sixties, Africa became western nation’s football field to fight proxy wars between the West and the East on the supremacy of two powerful 20th-century political ideologies. Two powerful political ideologies dominated the twentieth century: Capitalism championed by the United States and Western Europe; Communism propagated by defunct Union of Social Soviet Republics (USSR) and Warsaw Pact/Eastern Europe. Soon Africa became divided or rather sandwiched by these ideologies with little or no relevance to African socio-economic and political interests. Unfortunately, Africa was made to fight for the survival and supremacy of these ideologies from East-West power lines. Wherever communism had roots, the west supported opposition to uproot communism. And where capitalism was dominant, east continued to cause uprisings to outshine capitalism. For decades, this was the situation in Africa. In the process, many African leaders, through military coups, assassinations, were eliminated.
3. Pan Africanism. Immediately after independence, most African nations believed their survival depended on collaboration, collectivism and working towards a common interest and continental goal of united Africa. However, this goal was possible by coming together to form a united front. Which a new continental organization set to achieve. With the formation of Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) in 1963 at Addis Ababa by the likes of Emperor Haile Selassie, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Julius Nyerere, President Sekou Toure; President Modibo Kieta of Mali; President Jombo Kenyatta; Sylvanus Olympio of Togo; western nations became very uncomfortable with the unity movement that will end 1884–1885 Berlin-based African artificial borders, which benefited Europeans for almost a century now.
To make Organization of Africa Unity ineffective, and to destroy what it stood for; European nations infiltrated the two blocs that created OAU; the Casablanca Group and Moravia Group. For years, politics of division along sub-Saharan African and North/Arab/Maghreb North made the organization failed in its objective. Unfortunately, strong leaders within the fold were either removed or assassinated.
4. Economic Burden: in the name of economic development or cooperation, many anti-African economic policies from Bretton Wood institutions-the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Banks, International Financial Corporation, London/Paris Clubs have been challenged by a new generation of African leaders, that wanted freedom for Africa and Africans. Thomas Sankara, former Burkina Faso president belong to this group, who somehow paid a supreme price.