Rebecca Tinsley

Black African lives should matter too

(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

The treatment of black people, particularly by law enforcement, has become a principal point of protest in the western world. But little it said about the millions of black Africans mistreated by the ruthless security forces of authoritarian African regimes. If black lives matter regardless of where they are in the world, then it’s time to challenge the immensely privileged black African ruling elite that clings to power by persecuting its often-voiceless Black African citizens.

The numbers tell the story. An estimated 5.4 million people or 8 per cent of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s population died in the 1997-2003 conflict at the hands of government security forces and non-state armed militia. DRC’s violence continues today, barely rating a paragraph in newspapers.

In Sudan, at least 12 per cent of the population has died, mostly killed by the security forces of governments recognised and financially supported over the decades by wealthy nations (Two million in Sudan 1983-2005; 400,000 in Darfur; 382,000 in the South Sudan civil war). In Mozambique and Ethiopia, 8 per cent of the population at the time probably died in each country during the Cold War and its aftermath. In Uganda, Obote and Amin consigned 7 per cent of their people to a premature death. These are estimates because black African lives matter so little to those in charge, or the international community, that in most cases, no one is keeping count.

Support for Black Lives Matter is meaningless if the wealthy white world averts its eyes from the suffering of persecuted black Africans

Now, it is the turn of Cameroon to be ignored. The Norwegian Refugee Council has described the devastation in this central African nation as the world’s most neglected displacement crisis for the second year running.

Cameroon has been ruled by President Paul Biya, age 88, since 1982. He continues to win elections that no international monitor considers free and fair, and his country is ranked among the world’s most corrupt and repressive by Transparency

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