At the moment I am reading a book called “Gott und die Krokodile”, which was written by the journalist, Andrea Böhm. It is well narrated, well written, and I am at a point in the book where she is following in the footsteps of a certain William Henry Sheppard who was one of the earliest African-Americans to become a missionary for the Presbyterian Church. At the beginning of the 20th century he became known due to his efforts to publicize the atrocities which were being committed against the Kuba and other Congolese Peoples by Belgium’s Leopold II’s Force Publique. Leopold had been handed the Congo as a personal fiefdom by an act of 1885 following the Berlin Conference of 1884, as long as he cared for the material conditions of the people and helped suppress slavery. Apparently, Sheppard documented crimes which showed that the Belgian king was breaking laws that had been set by other European nations.
Of course, while the crimes in the Congo might epitomize the worst excesses of imperialism this smacks of a disgusting hypocrisy. Or were the other European powers engaged in a humanitarian civilizing mission elsewhere in Africa? Nevertheless, the real point is that in the Congo, as elsewhere in Africa, it was all exploiting the continent’s mineral wealth and, of course, it still is.
That is something we should always bear when we read of American soldiers going after Joseph Kony, when we discuss the Rwandan genocide, when we read of the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir being indicted by the ICC, and when we read of French troops in Mali. Certainly, the “Kony-al-Bashir” pretext is useful, the moral high ground is welcome but this isn’t rocket science here and there should be no illusions. Therefore, while the maniacal Mussulmen in northern Mali are a source of instability, there is no reason to question the article which I have decided to share from the Global Research website: The War on Mali. What you Should Know: An Eldorado of Uranium, Gold, Petroleum, Strategic Minerals ….
It is time to stop contenting ourselves with the King Leopold the II version of events and remember that William Henry Sheppard and others like him make a mockery of the belief that colonial powers ever get involved in Africa for altruistic reasons.