Is The Rest of Africa Being Ignored?
Six activist were convicted this morning by a Zimbabwe court for what the court called “perpetuating violence” after they were found guilty of discussing the events that took place in Tunisia and Egypt earlier last year known as the “Arab Spring.” Zimbabwe like many other African nations is currently ruled by a dictator who refuses to step down and who only came to power by way of a coup d’état (the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group). The current President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe said the meeting by the six activists was in the early stages of plotting to try to unseat him in the form of an “Arab Spring” styled protest. President Mugabe, who was earlier endorsed by Zimbabweans, has now become known as the man who refuses to let go of a country who no longer loves him out of fear he may become obsolete.
This African nation is not the only country that has a modern-day dictator or autocratic leader they cannot get rid of. Equatorial Guinea, who now has the longest-serving dictator since the fall of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is also subject to the hands of its current leader President Teodoro Obiang. With so many African nations being led by dictatorships and those who have a sham of democracy, making sure true freedom is neither experienced nor expected; one would suspect a monumental revolution should not be far off. The host of candidates that say they will ensure democracy once elected only extend their presidential powers and/or term limits once in office after holding overtly corrupt political elections and shutting down the opposition by way of threats and violence.
Does this ever make you wonder when the revolution that has systematically altered the fate of northern Africans will hit the rest of the continent? When will black Africans receive the same media attention/social networking buzz/western world backing that Arab Africans receive? Yes, I wonder and we do celebrate the liberation of any people from its oppressor’s but the question has come up. Although, aid contributions to these specific regions has increased over the years, especially under the Bush administration; public statements in support of such revolutions are vehemently denounced and shunned. Is it me or am I reading way too much into this, I mean George Clooney did just get arrested this past weekend for protesting outside of the Sudanese Embassy for trying to bring attention to the atrocities taking place in Sudan, another region in Africa, and it made headline news. Consequently, the media forgot to mention that Ben Jealous, the current president of the NAACP was right beside him.
Not sure if the media alone is to blame for the lack of coverage and progress in developing and creating movements that demand sustainable change including a leadership shift. If I remember correctly back to last week it was the media who relentlessly attacked the now infamous NGO (non-governmental organization) Invisible Children for over simplifying the abuses of Joseph Kony (the leader of the LRA- Lord’s Resistance Army) after he long left Uganda years ago but is still operating in the Congo. The NGO methodically and brilliantly developed a campaign along with a video to catapult Joseph Kony into superstar status(make him famous) there were over a 100 million views within a matter of days. Regardless, to whether or not Invisible Children did or did not do enough, or whether the founders are credible or not, more people now know where Uganda is than they did a week ago. This is a simplistic view to a very complex matter of course, but for now we hope! Indeed, none of us would deny the desire that each of us have of one day seeing the entire continent, beautiful in land, resources and people free of all dictators, robbers, and child murders.