President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has declared 48 hours of national mourning, and all Christmas celebrations have been cancelled.
GENEVA, Switzerland, December 26, 2019 – Simultaneous attacks by extremist insurgents on a military base and Arbinda town in Soum province in the north of Burkina Faso resulted in the deaths of 35 civilians – almost all of them women – as well as seven soldiers. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has declared 48 hours of national mourning, and all Christmas celebrations have been cancelled.
WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit lamented the death and suffering caused by these attacks, the deadliest in five years of escalating violence in Burkina Faso and elsewhere in the Sahel region.
“Even in the midst of our celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, such appalling attacks remind us that conflict and violence remain the daily reality for many communities”, said Tveit. “We pray for the victims of these attacks and their families, and for all the people of Burkina Faso and of the Sahel region, that they might be preserved from such brutality and freed from fear.”
Since 2015 when violence began to spread across the Sahel, Burkina Faso has experienced increasingly frequent and lethal attacks by extremist groups, with hundreds of people killed and an estimated 560,000 displaced. A predominantly Muslim country, Burkina Faso also has a significant Christian population of approximately 20%.
In early November WCC, jointly with ACT Alliance, wrote a letter to President Kabore, based on communications received from Rev. Tegwende Leonard Kinda of the Association des Eglises évangéliques réformées du Burkina Faso which presented an alarming picture of the humanitarian and security situation in the region of Kongoussi town following a spate of attacks in the area. The letter appealed to the Government of Burkina Faso to do its utmost to protect people of that area against an advancing wave of extremist attacks, to preserve all Burkinabé people from sectarian violence and divisions, and to arrest the worsening humanitarian emergency resulting from these attacks.
“We extend our appeal to the whole international community to support the governments of Burkina Faso and its neighbours in addressing this crisis impacting so many lives in the region”, concluded Tveit.
There are some fellows walking on this earth, who has deserved with their persistence and leadership, with their potential and their spirit. That they are justified to become President. The way they are and their aura. It is rare and unique. Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change – T (MDC-T) had deserved to carry that mantle. The way he carried himself through the oppression and the hacks who took him for granted.
Tsvangirai has proven to resilient and strong, he got played, but still showed his character. No one would have judged him if he had given up after the Second Round Elections and the rigged affair of 2008. With all the merciless use of force and the obvious stolen elections. Someone could have given in and said enough. Instead, he shown his leadership abilities. The way he continued to build his party and take a path towards a better tomorrow.
Tsvangirai shouldn’t just be remembered for being the main opposition of former dictator Robert Mugabe, who ruled until last November 2017. Who kept him away from the office and from the Presidency, by all means. Tsvangirai tried by all means to get there and used with peace. He didn’t want to take power by the guns, like Mugabe did and never left. He was tricked by the Global Political Agreement that made him Prime Minister, even if he won the 2008 election. That shows the conning ways of Mugabe and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) helper Thabo Mbeki. His weakness of Mbeki and wishes for stability by any means. That gave Mugabe a freeway to stay in power.
Therefore, Tsvangirai was risked on the alter and ZANU-PF, the Mugabe Presidency lingered on and the MDC-T and the MDC turned into different fractions. That is why it’s with time become the MDC-Alliance. Where some has given up Tsvangirai and others still has hope for the man. Even if he has been sickly and weak, there has still been hope that he could run against ZANU-PF new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. However, today we know, that Mnangagwa doesn’t need to fear Tsvangirai. His body gave way and he finally got peace.
Tsvangirai has fought a battle, he has risked it all and seen comrades die in the street. He has campaigned for a just cause, he has done it with swift actions and persistence. No one can take that away from him.
He has often spoken of not retribution against the regime, against Zanu-PF and Mugabe. Even as he has used the military and police to stifle the MDC. This Tsvangirai did even with the International Community and with communications, which been leaked in United States Embassy Cables. Therefore, Tsvangirai proved his legacy and his wishes of peaceful transition. Not making the same mistakes as in the past of violence and retribution. That could have been understandable with the violations and the harassment of the MDC. Still, he wouldn’t budge and give-in.
That is leadership and consistency. He had deserved to win in 2008, he won it in 2008 by my definition. It was ZANU-PF and SADC who gave it Mugabe. Tsvangirai knew this, but on the alter of International Pressure and a transition, while struggling with hyper-inflation. He gave in and gave way to Mugabe. This is sooner used and his men got the powerful positions. While Tsvangirai was the galleon figure to the international community.
There are people who says he lost 2013 because the party was confused, well, it wasn’t like he would have had the same backing or powerful message after been in power as Prime Minister. A position made to shut him down and not give him enough to be a problem for Mugabe.
Tsvangirai has run against Mugabe since 2002 and has had decent results, he shown that character and resilience matters. I think that he would have been a worthy successor and would have made changes worthwhile. He wasn’t an international stooge, but the world wanted someone else than Mugabe. Mugabe had gone from Liberation Hero into a totalitarian dictator. He had shown his despicable ways. That Tsvangirai proven to different from and wanting a peaceful transition.
Tsvangirai tried to cross the bridge, he tried to find the peaceful means to cross and get there. He worked for over a decade as a Presidential Candidate in the MDC-T. He had deserved to win and be it. Even during the worst economic crisis in near history. MDC could have mustered a direct change and not just a challenge to Mugabe.
Tsvangirai seemed like much more. MDC-T and could have been a great President. However he never got to call the shots, he got played and was tricked. If he in the end became tired and not as fierce as in the past. That comes with age and with experience. There is just as many times you can try the same thing and seeing no change.
Tsvangirai died today, not fool, not a loser, but a legendary politician who fought for the betterment of Zimbabwe and for its people. His service to the country should be remembered. Also his trials and tribulations. The MDC wouldn’t have a power struggle and leadership question of late, if it wouldn’t be for the foundation built by Tsvangirai.
That is just the result of the work done by Tsvangirai. This shouldn’t be forgotten.
Tsvangirai shall not be remembered because of Mugabe, but because of how he fought and did what he could to stand against him day in and day out for years. If people give up and start farming, instead of fighting dictatorship. That would be natural, but Tsvangirai didn’t. That is inspirational and should show us all. How to carry and try to make change into the society you wish for. Not that all tricks and all sorts of play work. However, you cannot deny that he didn’t do what he could.
Tsvangirai, your a hero and a lost one now. But your legacy and your achievements will be inspirational for generations to come. Peace.
“No, I don’t care about that, the international — what they decide is entirely their own affair — their own affair. I’m concerned about Zimbabwe, and I’m concerned about the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. And don’t forget, it was my party which brought democracy into the country. I fought the British. We had to fight the British for democracy for one man, one person, one vote” – Robert Mugabe (Amanpour. 24.09.2009 interview – CNN).
There are these days that vicious attacks from President Mugabe will be normal, where the words of oppressive colonial attacks on Zimbabwe will be addressed with flowery perfection from the old-timer, the long-running President of the Southern African Nation of Zimbabwe, the country he have had in his hands since the Lancaster Agreement and the release of the Country from the British Colonial.
At one point he we’re acting more British than African, but with the Age, he has more and more hated the Europeans and Americans, as their respect for the leader have dwindled. The Respect has fallen as much as the respect for a McDonalds Burger has gone down in the West.
He we’re the man at one point, until the Aparteid of South Africa went sour and his gold-star got taken away. After that he must felt betrayed as he was the man of the continent and the man who even we’re knighted by the United Kingdom at one point and even a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. So the rich history of the man and ruler is vast. My words and reasoning will be belittling the histories and the vicious need for power the man have.
Though there vast amounts of irony from the leader, that is now clear as the sun is setting and rising again. Just as he has blasted the West, had have land-reforms exiting the White farmers and their plantations as they we’re the grand issue of the land. Surely there we’re in-balance between the ‘Africans’ and the ‘Afrikaans’; which is well-known as the British and the Dutch settlers took the best land and let the ‘locals’ become workers and renters. It was natural for anyone who lead to wish for a difference and create a better life for more citizens of Zimbabwe. Though the technic of giving ZANU-PF Elite the best land and evict landowners that have run farms for generations without compensations is just critical; though the colonial powers stole the land, there are ways of punishing the generation for the sins of the for-fathers while still trying to mend on the insufficient systems of the present day. Something that is lost tale and lost option as brutality have become the station of Mugabe, ever since he got his Army and Police trained by the North Koreans. As long as he got rid of his worst opponent in Joshua Nkomo and even raided and massacred the loyalist in the Matabeleland.
With this history and with his reign of power; all of these initial acts of violence and the control of the state; that he has exhausted the state and the economy, while blowing the donor funding from the West and later when they quit funding his oppressive regime. Saying it was colonial acts of belittling African Nation, while he himself was harassing people and detaining opposition of ‘Movement for Democratic Change’. Even at one point accepting the power-sharing agreement made by Thabo Mbeki, though partial and used by Zuma to overpower him in South Africa, the last stain on Mbeki; we’re the weak agreement that gave the Executive back to the loser Mugabe in 2008, while the winner got the VP Tsvangirai. So the tried peaceful transition to another leader was not successful and a reason why the 92 year old man is the king-pin of the Republic Zimbabwe.
“I think in relation to sport, we set out the position many, many times, but nothing that happens in relation to that should take anything away from our total condemnation of the way that Robert Mugabe is making the plight of the people in Zimbabwe terrible. Now whatever issues there are to do with sport, you can put those to one side for a moment, the issue is how do we make sure that we put the maximum pressure on Robert Mugabe’s regime in order that we change the situation in Zimbabwe and change it for the better politically, but also in humanitarian terms as well. And I totally agree with what Prime Minister John Howard was saying just a moment or two ago. There are no grounds, so far as we can see, for saying that there has been any significant progress at all, indeed if anything the situation has got worse, and that means that we have got to keep up maximum international pressure upon the regime” – Prime Minister Tony Blair (Jon Howard Interview at Joint Press Conference with PM Howard of Australia, 07.05.2003).
So that he blames the West and address the West for the shortcomings is natural, but the Economic instability is not all on the Western Sanctions, as that is also because the ZANU-PF, the Benzes bought under the ZANU-PF elite while the schools depleted, the civil servants delayed salaries, the missing of foreign exchange and dollars in the country are run-out. There are reasons as the nepotism, the unstructured business, the export and the agricultural inefficiencies together with draught and all the weak governance that creates deficiencies and devalued the economy. There are reasons for the economy crashed as the empty coffers while the elite was eating elephants and entertaining the Luxury Hotels in the Honor of the President Mugabe latest birthday. So there is money, but they are spent on truffles for the President, instead on citizens and services for the public. That is not the fault of the Western that he claims, together with reforms and not institutions, but instead all centralized in the hands of President.
That is from the same man who has put his hate on the West, as they are sanctioning the Zanu-PF regime and Mugabe long-term reign of the Nation. The same man who have said anything possible about the Americans and British, the man who has claimed that they are the reason for all the troubles, have no quarrel this year and of recent years traded with the Chinese government and their national companies. Like there 128 development projects from 2000 – 2012 made by the Chinese in Zimbabwe. While the Zimbabwean Government have also planned to go from US Dollar to Chinese Yuan (was planned in 2015) as the official currency as the Mugabe regime is more in the pocket of the Chinese, than everybody else (Archdeacon, 2016).
This is also a way of Chinese to grade their power and take more control on the African Continent, as the Zimbabwean have such a monetary fiscal issues that anybody who will clear debt and will drop fresh coins to the regime is friend, especially when there only optional to let the Chinese work and build there; as a way of renting the country away, while the Elite eats the money. Something the country wished the IMF would let them do, but since they are Western, French and even US Dollar fueled they are not as willing as Beijing, therefore Mugabe will easily play kind Uncle Bob, while blasting the West, which is a good luck for the Zimbabwean Government. Though we know and they know, they would easily said ‘YES’ to the loans from the International Monetary Fund.
So the hatred towards the once who was the allies and friends, like he was once so proud of English culture and being knighted, the man who once was their ally and turned into a villain, the question if he was a needed villain for the British, as he fought their colonial rule under Smith Government in Rhodesia and made the new state Zimbabwe. Which was a feat and was something that people could look up-to, when he surged the power he consoled it by all means and even ended lives to keep it; this what happen to Nkomo and to the once that he used the military on, as they we’re not loyal to him; instead to the Opposition that wasn’t him. That is why it is ZANU-PF, as they we’re two parties to take control over and even consolidated with all ways. The same he has done with the state and therefore the disarray and the economic instability, therefore the stop of using own currency and American Dollar together with the newly planned transition towards the Chinese Yuan.
There are an issue and aggression from Mugabe towards the West, he has fought them all his life, but also had a an admiration for it, as he would easily wear Western clothes and import expensive westernized products, as his wife spends the government funds there and not in Beijing, even if the government gets the funds there and development projects from there now, as the IMF and other does not offer the sanctions nation with fiscal financial subsidizes and loans. Peace.
Archdeacon, Olivia – ‘China buys its first African colony for a meagre $40 million’ (15.01.2016) link: http://capx.co/china-buys-its-first-african-colony-for-a-meagre-40million/