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Opinions of Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Columnist: Nana Yaw Osei

Africa and matters arising from global politics

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It is an open secret that post-colonial Africa is still meandering its’ ways between an abyss of decay and an ocean of dependence. In West African country of Ghana for example, frantic efforts by the first president Kwame Nkrumah, to deconstruct the country’s institutions and economy from its colonial and western structures saw the finances and the prospects of that nation condemned to decomposition.

Tensions are rising in international politics. As territorial beings, we cannot eschew divine intervention in keeping at bay, possible theatres of war in the world. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the history of global wars and also remind African leaders of the economic challenges ahead of them under global tension. I will limit myself to Ghana.

History bears an ample testimony that the First World War (WWI) was caused by the eastern question. The eastern question centered on one predominant conundrum: what should happen to the Balkans if and when the Ottoman Empire collapsed as a formidable political influence in the Southeastern Europe? Each of the great powers namely: Turkey, Russia, Great Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Germany tackled each crisis with the conviction of becoming advantageous over the other.

The immediate cause of WWI was the relationship between Austria and Serbia. In 1911, a secret society known as the Black Hand was formed under the auspices of Col Dragutin Dimitrijevic of Serbia. Members of the society were predominantly soldiers and some government officials.

The Black Hand adopted terrorism approaches to free the Serbs (People from Serbia) in dispersion from Habsburg dynasty in Austria or Ottoman government. The Black Hand master-minded the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. This egregious crime sparked-off the WWI.

The immediate cause of the 2nd world war (WWII) was Adolf Hitler and Nazi’s territorial aggrandizement which culminated in the invasion of Poland in 1939. Great Britain and France heretofore pledged to protect Poland’s boarders from Hitler’s aggressive expansionism. When Germany invaded Poland, France and Great Britain kept their promise and as a corollary declared war on Germany.

The alliance between Germany under Hitler, Benito Mussolini’s Italy and Hideki Tojo’s Japan became known as the Axis forces. The Axis forces fought against the allies comprising Great Britain (under Prime Minister Arthur Chamberlain), United States (under Franklin D. Roosevelt) and the Soviet Union (under Joseph Stalin). Hitler’s invasion of Russia under Operation Barbarossa drove Russia into the conflict.

Japanese bombardment of the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1941 attracted the USA into WWII. Following the defeat of France in 1940, Great Britain became lonely relative to the War under discussion. American General Dwight D.

Eisenhower who later became president was instrumental in the Allies successes chalked against the demonic Hitler and his partners in crime. In 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with calamitous consequences. The Axis forces surrendered unconditionally in 1945.

Since its formation in 1945, The United Nations (UN) frowned upon weapons of mass destruction like nuclear weapons. According to the UN office of disarmament affairs “Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons on earth.

One can destroy a whole city, potentially killing millions, and jeopardizing the natural environment and lives of future generations through its long-term catastrophic effects. The dangers from such weapons arise from their very existence. Although nuclear weapons have only been used twice in warfare—in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945—about 22,000 reportedly remain in our world today and there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted to date.

Disarmament is the best protection against such dangers, but achieving this goal has been a tremendously difficult challenge.” Discerning readers can follow this link:

Campaign against weapon of mass destruction remains an illusion. In Syria chemical weapons attack killed many civilians. According to CNN “The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government airbase in response to a chemical attack weapons that killed dozens of civilians earlier in the week.

On President Donald Trump's orders, US warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the airbase that was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks, US officials said.” Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria had been accused of the chemical weapon explosion.

Against the UN orders, North Korea is reported to have conducted five nuclear test. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop the North Korean Nuclear nonsense. Will China be happy with military intervention in North Korea? Japan colonized Korea from 1910 until 1945. Per the agreement between USA and Russia, the latter liberated the northern portion of Korea compelling USA to move to southern part. As the friction between capitalism and communism gathered momentum, Korea was divided into two (North Korea and South Korea).

The major Allies of the North Korea now is China and Russia. USA is in loved with South Korea.

Politically China wants to be glorified as a formidable force in the Southeastern Asia. In spite of North Korea’s oppressive regime, an attack on the country will strike a lethal blow to China’s foreign relation with that country orchestrated by diplomatic susurrus and brinkmanship.

Strategically, about 25 million North Korean population will increase the number of refugees into China, South Korea or Russia. China is already saddled with lots of North Korean immigrants. Economically, about 80% of the coal and Iron from North Korea are exported to China. However, recent reports reveal that China turned down North Korean coal ship.

A military intervention in North Korea with subsequent reunification of South and North Korea will harm China economically. China will do everything possible to avoid military intervention in North Korea. China’s Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi is reported to have said in Beijing that “If they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this,” North Korean deputy ambassador to UN, Kim In-Ryong has predicted an outbreak of nuclear war any moment soon. He reportedly accused US of unjustly disturbing the global peace.

See the following link:

President Trump will no longer tolerate any nuclear test in North Korea. CNN quoted US vice president Mike Pence as saying: “era of strategic patience is over.” Pyeongyang’s Kim Jong-un has promised merciless response to USA’s military intervention including the use of nuclear weapon. From the experience of WWI and WWII, what will be the reaction of China?

Russia also formed an alliance with Assad’s regime to drive away ISIS. What will be the reaction of Russia? Will United States enemies join forces with North Korea and its’ allies? Can the four headmasters, Assad, Trump, Kim Jong-un and Putin be trusted with the world peace? Is the world on the verge of destructive rampage?

Brethren, let us pray fervently against the spirits of War. United Nation must move in swiftly to clamp down a possible outbreak of 3rd world war (WWIII).

Ghana and other African countries which depend on gold, diamond, oil, and cocoa exports will experience major economic setbacks under global conflict. Imported goods will be scarce due to maritime insecurity. A high profile global war will be a catalyst for political instability. The donor support on Ghana’s budget may not come.

Businesses will collapse with its attendant rising unemployment. Government may not have funds to pay workers and manage the country. African leaders must undertake austerity measures, avoid profligate spending and save funds for unforeseen contingencies. Believers, let us pray for global peace and security. God redeem this world from another holocaust!

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