|OVERVIEW ON INTER-REPUBLICAN AFRICAN BOUNDARIES
BORDERS REMAIN A SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF CONFLICT
The function of territorial borders is the single most important indicator of the cohesiveness of a nation. In Africa today these borders are mostly instruments of bad governance and the oppression of Africans.
Border operations and structures in Africa are a product of the Berlin West Africa Conference of 1885. They are illegal. Moreover, the impact that they have had on African self-determination and freedoms has been extremely negative. The AUF is working to resolve the negative effects of the border regime that was imposed in 1885.
Any borders function as administrative aids and must be designed to make life easier for the Africans. That is not now the case with African borders. The current borders have served the narrow interests of imperial and neo-colonial structures and have been used against Africans to achieve oppression and support repressive policies of colonial and neocolonial oganizations.
Border between Kenyan and Tanzania
Many of the boundaries are the former intra-colonial boundaries of the units of French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa. Thus it was not FWA which became independent but the individual units within the structure. Similarly in the case of FEA. Only the Belgian Congo reached independence as a single unit.
Boundary making generally militated against reference to ethnological considerations. Accidents of prior exploration and military penetration determined delimitations between Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Spain. The boundaries which emerged were generally based upon geographical features, especially rivers and watersheds, and astronomical or geometrical lines.
Colonial policy equated administrative convinience with group unity. Moreover, the rules of the colonial occupation were divorced from ethnological considerations. The arrangements between European military forces dictated the shape of the borders that now define African states. For instance Western Sahara's boundaries are the result of agreements made among the colonial powers anxious to safeguard their interest in the region. In particular, they were defined in agreements made between France and Spain in 1900, 1904 and 1912.
In December 1884 and early 1885, delegates from 13 European countries and the USA portioned out amongst themselves spheres of influence in Africa. As they made this agreement protesting Africans complained, prepared and wrote petitions, resisted by war, but were unable to convince the delegates or their governments to stop the disgusting partition proceedings.
What followed in the wake of the BWAC-1885 was a shameful,inexcusable and unprincipled chicanary. Unscrupulous adventurers used lies, threats, extortion, forgery, blackmail, murder, and genocide to acquire "proof" that Africans had given away their land and freedom, in order to be governed by Europeans.
In all cases, a thumb print or an "X" mark by quill pen on a piece of paper was all they required to parcel out African territory. In most cases the people whose thumb prints they took were not even community authorities. In those cases where "chiefs" supposedly signed away their nations, they had no authority to do so, were not aware that they were doing so, and eventually, when they learned the true nature of the excersise, died fighting for independence.
What the thumb prints did was give an excuse to trading firms in Europe to travel to Africa and to then demand military protection from their nations. Inside of a single year, 1886, most of Africa was occupied by hostile military forces in the employ of European Chartered companies and of European governments. These forces proceeded to perpetrate on Africans all manner of hideous verbal, psychological and physical abuses, mutilation and death.
Under this occupation (from 1886 to 1991 at the fall of Apartheid) over 100 million Africans were murdered, and millions more maimed and injured. Africans resisted throughout this period and by 1970 most of the Europeans had evacuated Africa, but it wasn't until 1991 with the fall of apartheid that the era of colonial occupation ended.
Africans have now entered the final phase of our struggle for independence, to repair the damage that has been done and to eradicate completely from Africa every residual vestige of the occupation of Africa by forces hostile to Africans. We must absolutely, and without remorse, break the back of every institution that uses force to exploit Africans for the benefit of foreigners in other regions of the world. The functioning myth of European supremacy in Africa must be demolished until it remains only a sad chapter in the history books.