After months of a policy which can only fuel imperialist conflicts in the Maghreb, the Spanish government seems bent on turning Algeria into “the Russia of the South” and undertakes the construction of an enemy in the press… and vis-à-vis NATO.
NATO is preparing its “2022 strategic concept”. It will be officially presented at the Madrid summit in June. The movements and pressures of the states follow one after the other to outline the “novelties”. The most disturbing of them: a new “Russian front” in the Sahel with strong reverberations and possibilities of destabilization in the Maghreb and the whole of West Africa. Great Britain, Germany and Spain are leading the push that promises to open a new imperialist battle for the control of Africa.
Overnight, Spain has made a U-turn on the Sahara. Sánchez has committed to Spanish support for the Moroccan occupation of the former Spanish colony. A new impossible balance of Spanish imperialism in the Maghreb dangerously inflaming the tensions which keep Algeria and Morocco permanently on the brink of war.
From the Maghreb to Bosnia via the Horn of Africa and Syria, a loop of simmering armed conflict is reactivating around Europe as the bulk of the U.S. imperialist effort shifts to Asia.
The signs of the end of the cold war between Morocco and Spain did not turn out to be such good news. The Moroccan overture involved more than just the dismissal of the Spanish foreign minister. Just a few days later, Algeria formally broke diplomatic relations with the Makhzen. With warlike rhetoric, Algerian diplomacy blamed Morocco for aggressions, threats and terrorist attacks. Since 1963, when the two countries went to war over Tindouf and Colomb Bechar, the situation has never been as tense as now. What are the bases of the imperialist conflict between Morocco and Algeria? What has triggered it now? Could there be another war?
There has been a coup in Tunisia. After a day of anti-government demonstrations across the country, Tunisian President Kais ben Said, backed by the military leadership and trade unions, suspended the parliament, recalled Prime Minister Mechichi and stripped the ruling party of immunity. The islamists, who have been ousted from power are denouncing a coup d’état and the closure of the local branch of the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera is being used as proof of repression. Qatar, Turkey and the European media owned by Qatari capital, such as El País in Spain, are calling on Said to restore the Parliament. France and its press, on the other hand, support the President and welcome the opportunity. What is behind the coup in Tunisia? What does it mean for the workers?
The Ethiopian army, reinforced by Amhara militias and Eritrean and Somali troops has been driven out of the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle. The Tigray war has been turned on its head as the unstable imperialist balances between Arab countries and the U.S. have shifted against the government in Addis Ababa. And despite the announcements, the war is not over yet, although it has already left mass killings, ethnic cleansing with tens of thousands of dead, crimes against humanity, famine and destruction. At issue now are the future of Ethiopia and the fear of an extension of the war to other regions of the country.
As the concern of Egypt and Mauritania corroborates, the situation threatens to deteriorate into a new Sahara war. This time it would not be a war by interposed force. The Polisario does not even have the capacity for a guerrilla war like in the seventies. It would be a frontal combat, an open imperialist war between Morocco and Algeria.
A brief historical perspective of Ethiopia to understand how and why this country of 110 million people is now facing the abyss of a new war between factions.
The protests that began in August in Tripoli have not yet been exhausted as a new wave of protests in Benghazi and its zone of influence has led to the resignation of the rival government in the east of the country. Will these struggles be enough to impose peace in a country torn apart by imperialist conflict?
The change of rudder -and imperialist alignments- of a country that until now has been the last frontier of Europe, is a stone thrown violently into the already uneasy waters of African equilibrium. It will leave waves of war in its wake.
Tunisia is experiencing a summer of struggles and mass worker mobilizations that draws on the lessons of the January 2018 movements while raising new challenges.
From the Ivory Coast to Niger, from Libya to Crete, and from Ethiopia to Egypt, the northern half of Africa is being torn apart by a violent reshuffling of forces between imperialist powers that is threatening to overwhelm the continent’s borders and lead to war in Europe and the Middle East.