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CAR is Fighting against Both the Domestic and Foreign Enemies

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For four centuries African nations suffered from the evils of the slave trade, until, in the mid-19th Century Europeans discontinued this commerce, no longer seeing it as profitable. But the decline of the slave trade saw the dawn of another terrible time for Africa – the colonial period. African warriors were unable to resist attacks by European armies equipped with the latest weaponry. The colonists benefitted from internal African rivalries, sowing the seeds of ethnic and tribal warfare in order to gain control, step by step,over the continent.

By the beginning of the 20th Century the Western nations had completed their conquest of Africa. It was Britain who succeeded in occupying the largest area – the whole eastern half of the continent from Cape Town in the south to Cairo in the north – excluding only the German colonies in East Africa. Britain’s African colonies had a total population of 58 million people.

After Britain, the second largest colonial power was France. The French colonies extended from the Mediterranean coast to the Gulf of Guinea in the west and Lake Chad in the east. The French controlled territories were home to 27 million Africans.

Other parts of Africa were controlled by Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Spain.

During the colonial period, when Africa was carved up between competing powers,millions of Africans died from conflict, famine and disease. Thousands of villages and towns were burned or demolished. Agriculture declined, with huge falls in the number of livestock and the area of land being farmed. For many years, development in Africa stood at a standstill. The Africans suffered immensely from the imperial system, with colonialists ruthlessly plundering the territories under their control.

In the mid-20th Century the African nations were able to throw off the colonial yoke, but nevertheless the continent has still not been able to entirely rid itself of its former masters. Unwilling to lose access to these sources of wealth, the Western nations have continued to dictate terms to politicians in the post-independence African states, maintaining a hold over their former colonies, inciting ethnic and national conflicts and making use of different militant groups to achieve their goals. To observe these processes, we need only look at the activities of the former colonial powers,especially France, in Africa today.

Here, it is worth remembering something that Jacques Chirac, the President of........

© New Eastern Outlook

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