Erick Achilles Nko'o: a terrorist geo analysis of the security situation in Africa is needed
The guest of the redaction of Flashmag this month is Erick Achille Nko'o, a
political analyst and writer specialized in Arab-Muslim geopolitics. In an extensive and concise interview and on the security situation in Africa and the Boko Haram phenomenon, he gives us his opinion on the matter.
Flashmag: Hello, Erick Achille Nko'o happy to have you as the editorial guest this month you speak fluent Arabic and have long been studying in the northern part of the African continent, where you could finger certain realities as the growing strength of terrorists nebulae. So without further delay the first question I want to ask you is how did we get there, in your opinion?
Erick Achille Nko'o: We must first of all recognize that violence has existed since the creation of mankind. Except that it has undergone changes with the structural evolution of humanity. Contemporary terrorism meanwhile has increased with the fall of communism. So to answer your question, I think in my opinion that the insecurity facing the world today is probably the consequence of the Arab revolution and especially the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya. It was obvious that all these weapons that were walking in the hands of militias, mercenaries who fought against the Libyan leader would get to another battle ground. On the social level, poverty opens a large door to cross-border terrorism. Finally economically, energy conquest like the gas that the great powers are fighting for in Asia and Africa, as it was the case in Libya and Syria, and even in Ukraine.
Flashmag: you seem at first to admit in some of your writings that terrorism fiercely opposed in the East by the West has moved to Africa where he found a haven, seen the social chaos that prevails there can you be more explicit?
Erick Achille Nko'o: Needless to say, terrorism lived in Africa and in the world in general, is primarily an extension of the wars and the discontent that the West has created in the middle east including its troubled role in the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the destruction of Iraq and the sentence to guillotine Saddam Hussein in full sheep festival. Inhuman act that insulted and skinned Islam, in light of what the feast of Tabaski is for Muslims. Moreover, it should be noted the occupation of Afghanistan by the United States. From this point of view, one can infer the existence of a high probability that their enemies of the Middle East will pursue their activities on African soil. And that is why we see here and there terrorist attacks and kidnappings against US, French and British.
Flashmag: terrorism that Africa suffers for some is understood as a new war of oppression against the continent, a war whose sole purpose is to keep under the yoke of colonialism the continent, do you agree with this?
Erick Achille Nko'o: Nothing can be excluded. Although African and even Asian countries where terrorism is bubbling are victims of their desire to multiply economic partners. France, for example is losing more and more markets in Africa in favor of China, which does not interfere in the political life of African states. We saw the role played by France in Ivory Coast and Libya. In the case of Cameroon where France lost important markets, the direct consequence was the kidnapping of the Chinese who were performing critical projects in the northern part of Cameroon.
Flashmag: Speaking of Boko Haram and the situation in Cameroon and neighboring Nigeria what are the realities of the forces in presence? Is there a chance that this scourge will be eradicated once and for all?
Erick Achille Nko'o: One thing is certain Boko Haram will not prosper. The military approach probably dwindle its violence and destructive capacity. But however, the ideology that advocates they will remain if no ideological approach is established in each of the countries where takfirist nebula is present, an alternative has to be found to be able to counter it. In my view, to fight an ideology, it must be opposed to another ideology, if not; it could rebound in the future.
Flashmag: a coalition is set up how can you enjoy the entry into the war on the side of the Chad Cameroon to combat terrorist network?
Erick Achille Nko’o: let’s say the response of the Committee of the Lake Chad Basin against Boko Haram is beneficial. The presence of Chad, involves primarily the protection of its economic interests in Cameroon and its capital Ndjamena which is vulnerable because of its geographical position. The entrance in the War of the member countries of the Committee of the Lake Chad basin shows the capacity of African countries to support them instead of waiting eternally, the help of great powers that often end up by undermining hopes for peace as was the case in Central Africa. Beyond that, we must understand that global security governance requires more solidarity between states. In other words, it is imperative that all states of the world come together to bar the way to terrorism worldwide. Every country without exception can suffer terrorist acts.
Flashmag: the Chadian army in this conflict is considered by some of our fellow French journalists as a proxy army of the French troops that installed the base of the barkhane operation in Chad, France that increasingly is accused to withstand volatility in the sub-region for its neo-colonial interests do you think that Cameroon must trust Chad, especially against the latest attack on Fotokol that was fatal for about a hundred persons in Cameroon military and civilians confused, the highest toll since the beginning of this conflict?
Erick Achille Nko'o: It is true that because of the murky role of France in the post-election conflict in Ivory Coast, in Libya and in the Central African Republic, there is no doubt that the sincerity of France who wanted President Paul Biya of Cameroon to declare the war against Boko Haram in its soil without giving him logistical means to make the war, is at odd. In any case, I think that France has interest to shows its sincerity in the fight against terrorism if not, its own security would be threatened more. Seen in this perspective, the Operation Barkhane could assist the Cameroon Army logistically without getting involved directly.
Flashmag: In one of your memo I have read with great interest that you seem to be pessimistic about the ability of African governments to overcome this nebula why?
Erick Achille Nko'o: This is simply because the source of terrorism is not African. How do you want African governments to Dam an evil that has its roots elsewhere? The West plays an important role in the proliferation of violence. If we want to reduce terrorism, it is necessary to have a comprehensive response as President Paul Biya of Cameroon said: "global response to global threat." Read well, it first goes to great powers to make more efforts in the fight against the real terrorism. And more, the major powers must stop imposing the world the demon-crazy in favor of democracy as they did in Libya and Iraq. In addition, one must understand that Africa seems to be favorable to the insecurity due to the porosity of its borders. There is a deficiency in advanced safety systems so that African governments are not always able to respond to possible terrorist attacks promptly. Also, African leaders are diverging on several important aspects of political life in Africa. However, in order to curb this phenomenon, it is wise to cooperate to better clean the governance of global safety specifically. This is far from being realized in Africa.
Flashmag: for you the cross-border terrorism and Takfirism are only a mafia, with this in mind we are tempted to ask the question of what is the real purpose, since the victims to this day are people who do not drive really on gold as you know, Logically you cannot decimate a population and claim to want to rule over the same population that no longer exists because it undergoes massacres and exile?
Erick Achille Nko'o: Needless to say, terrorism as it is configured in Africa today is the continuation of arms trafficking, drugs and money laundering that have long dominated in the Sahel region. This part of Africa has long been the crossroads through which cannabis passes with of course all kinds of crime and violence that go with it. Moreover, for a group such as Boko Haram to have sophisticated weapons, it requires funding financial powers of certain states or entities, and weapons manufacturers to furnish them. It is true, that some of these weapons came from Libya, but in my opinion, we need to look in the side of Western powers that make and sell weapons.
Flashmag: what there remains to be done to overcome this nebula about to you?
Erick Achille Nko'o: As I said earlier, all states must come together in a sincere way to fight against violence. It is important to improve the security governance. To reach this goal each State must get a sort of mechanisms designed to clean governance as a whole. The international community must above all, also offer the possibility of a democracy that respects the cultural values of each geographical area. Moreover, without hypocrisy they must resolve once for good the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that implicitly is fueling violence in the world; that is to say, understanding that Palestine should exist as a state alongside Israel.
Flashmag: with the current military approach and direction that seems to have taken the way of dealing with this conflict can you make a prediction?
Erick Achille Nko'o: Whether Boko Haram or even ISIL none of these groups has a chance to thrive.However, in a burst of pride cornered they could use attacks with suicide bombers, and high-density cities with heterogeneous populations are particularly vulnerable an effort must be made at this level.
Flashmag: Erick Achille Nko'o Flashmag and its readership thank you for this interview.
Erick Achille Nko'o: I’m the one saying thank you for inviting me.
Interview Realized by Hubert Marlin Elingui Jr