UN Ambassador Haley visits Africa amid US military escalation, social catastrophe
28 October 2017
Amid a wave of social catastrophe engulfing the African continent on several fronts, including the expansion of war, historic famine, and social and political upheaval, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley embarked on a three-nation tour beginning Monday, with stops in Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The tour happened against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s escalation and expansion of US military operations on the continent in response to the October 4 ambush that killed four Green Berets in Niger.
Overshadowing the UN ambassador’s trip were the deteriorating situations in Somalia with the recent massive bombing attack in Mogadishu, and South Sudan’s protracted civil war, ongoing since 2013 and exacerbated by famine and the worst refugee crisis in the modern era.
Also informing the envoy’s trip was Congo President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to hold elections and the armed conflicts devastating the Eastern region of the country fought by several rebel militias, which has caused a separate refugee crisis, with millions of villagers fleeing the violence both internally and externally in the last few years.
The overriding aim behind Haley’s tour was the reinforcing and reorienting of African heads of state to the Trump administration’s objectives of escalating US military operations, in particular in Somalia, South Sudan and the Congo.
The trip must also be considered in light of President Donald Trump’s remarks last month at the United Nations to African heads of state during a luncheon, in which Trump extolled the “tremendous business potential” of Africa, and boasting, “I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich.”
The day preceding her trip, Haley penned an editorial for CNN titled, “This Is Why the President Is Sending Me to Africa.” Beginning her essay by making empty expressions of sorrow for the complete social disaster plaguing South Sudan, Somalia and the Congo, which are the product of decades of US imperialist intrigue, Haley outlined Washington’s imperial strategy for Africa, writing, “The United States has many interests in these war-torn African countries. Our interests are certainly humanitarian, but they are also economic and strategic.”
The previous week, in speaking about her upcoming Africa tour before an event held at the George W. Bush Institute in New York, Haley said, “The president is sending me because we want to build (our Africa policy) back up to what it was under (President George W. Bush); it has fallen and our African friends feel that.”
The first stop on Haley’s itinerary was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she met Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and afterward, convened with African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs Minata Samate Cessouma at the headquarters of the African Union.
The meeting with Desalegn was centered on reinforcing Ethiopia’s agreement with Washington to continue committing Ethiopian troops to the US offensive in Somalia. Likewise, the discussion with Cessouma was aimed at shoring up further support for Washington’s military offensives in several countries, including Somalia, Sudan and the Congo, countries in which the African Union has committed troops.
Underscoring Washington’s true designs of securing for American corporations Africa’s vast economic resources, Haley told the media, “The United States very much sees Africa as a very important part of the world. We see great opportunities in Africa, we see challenges in Africa, but we want to support and help in those situations.”
The hypocritical stench of both Haley’s and Desalegn’s declared determination to preserve human rights during their meeting were exposed when just the day before, Ethiopian security forces killed 11 protesters in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Oromia, a large province to the south of Addis Ababa, has been experiencing protracted unrest. More than 700 protesters were killed late last year by government forces.
In her meeting with Cessouma, Haley emphasized the African Union’s cooperation with Washington’s imperialist objectives. A transcript of the meeting’s minutes reads: “Ambassador Haley expressed the United States’ appreciation for the African Union’s partnership in UN peacekeeping operations,” and “[T]he indispensable partnership between the African Union and both the United States and the United Nations and underscored the leading role the African Union can play in stabilizing the region and in advancing peace, security, and human rights across the continent.”
When arriving in South Sudan for the next leg of her tour at a UN refugee camp in Juba, Haley and her entourage were greeted by a group of angry demonstrators protesting the US-backed government of Salva Kiir.
When the demonstrators were informed that due to time constraints that they would not have a chance to meet Haley, the crowd became agitated, to which the police responded by firing tear gas at the protesters. Haley and her envoy were swiftly evacuated.
Completely omitting Washington’s responsibility for its criminal role in creating the social catastrophe in South Sudan, Haley condemned the US-backed Kiir government: “We are disappointed by what we are seeing. This is not what we thought we were investing in. What we thought we were investing in was a free, fair society where people could be safe and South Sudan is the opposite of that.”
As the World Socialist Web Site has noted, Washington, as part of its geopolitical strategy in East Africa, carved South Sudan from Sudan in 2011 primarily to neutralize China’s economic influence in Sudan, in particular Beijing’s development of Sudan’s oil deposits and extraction infrastructure.
Since Washington created the nation and placed a gang of assembled killers and criminals in power in Juba, it has committed $11 billion in an as yet fruitless attempt to stabilize its puppet government.
On the final stop of her trip in the Congo on Thursday Haley visited a refugee camp in Kitchanga in Eastern Congo. She continued spouting insincere rhetoric regarding Washington’s concern for the horrific plight of the Congolese masses suffering the social catastrophe wrought by decades of American and European interventions of which the United Nations has played a significant role.
Haley told reporters, “The reason I got emotional today was the hundred-plus kids that were chasing our cars and seeing us off. All I kept thinking was, what’s going to happen to them? The sad reality, as it looks now, is that they are going to end up just like their parents.”
She finished her tour meeting with President Joseph Kabila, expressing the Trump administration’s dismay with the US-backed government’s refusal to hold elections, in which Kabila is constitutionally barred from running for another term. Haley gave Kabila the ultimatum of no longer than the end of 2018 to hold elections. Washington has increasing reservations over Kabila’s ability to stabilize the country, as the protracted armed conflicts are bad for the Western business interests seeking to plunder the Congo’s rich economic resources.