It’s no secret that foreign interventions have been helping to create and stoke conflicts all over the over world, but most famously in the Middle East, as the US has armed and trained proxy forces known as ‘moderates’ to help overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. However, these sorts of activities are conducted in other nations and on other continents as well. In Africa, conflicts are often initiated and prolonged over economic interests tied to Africa’s natural resources. In a recent interview with Sophie Shevardnadze on RT’s Sophie & Co, a South African private military contractor delves into the topic and explains how and why Western interests are so interested in prolonging conflicts on the African continent.
The Western powers are interested in prolonging conflicts in Africa as they crave after the continent’s resources, a private military company founder told RT. Most African forces are “set up to fail” by foreign advisors, he added.
The Western nations see prolonged African wars and chaos as just a means to get their hand on the rich African resources, Eeben Barlow, the founder of Executive Outcomes, the South African firm that started a private soldier boom, told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze. “As long as there is conflict on the go, certain deals can be struck with governments,” which allow foreign powers to “get hold on these resources for own use,” he said.
Barlow went on to say that foreign and particularly the western powers often opt for supporting armed groups or various forces that actually destabilize the situation in the region as “rebels do not have to provide any taxation to whoever mines resources within the areas.” The anti-government groups are also eagerly used as a means to “replace a certain government that is not compliant enough with the wishes of those that are outside driving these actions.”
As for the foreign advisors to the governmental forces, the quality of training and advice they provide to the African authorities is usually “poor,” the former lieutenant-colonel of the South African Defence Force complained. “Most African armies are being set up to fail by … foreign armed forces or foreign advisers that they make use of,” he told the SophieCo show.
The foreign private military companies (PMCs) are usually only just “are out to see how long they can actually prolong a conflict or a war because the longer that goes on, the more money they make for themselves,” Barlow said, adding that he “does believe” that many “foreign forces in Africa are here not to solve problems but to ensure that the problems continue.”
When the African governments try to use local forces, including the African PMCs, to help them deal with conflicts, terrorist groups or insurgencies, “they are continually threatened that … it will be to their disadvantage.”
“These are threats that come from beyond Africa. And it is really just a proof to us that a stable and secure Africa appears to be in very few people’s interests,” Barlow said.
Western business interests are very concerned with ensuring that destabilizing forces remain effectively unchecked in variously places of the world with relatively weak governments, due to any number of different reasons, where certain natural resources may be plentiful. As long as instability reigns, these interests can maintain control of these resources, and the combat forces in the region can milk the government for as much money as possible. The same motivation continues as the driving force for so much death and destruction, and that is the motivator of money.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.