Notes from talks with one of the leaders of the Pan-Africanist movement

Notes from talks with one of the leaders of the Pan-Africanist movement

Kemi Seba is one of the most prominent figures in today’s Pan-Africanist movement. His full birth name is Stellio Gilles Robert Capo Chichi. The name Kemi Seba means “Black Star” in Ancient Egyptian language. He is of Beninese origin. He travels around the African continent and organizes a movement against the French neo-colonialism.

Kemi Seba has been to Moscow recently. Onur Sinan Güzaltan and me have met Kemi Seba and his delegation, and held a meeting that lasted more than two hours. We informed him about the latest news from Turkey and the adjacent region. We have explained the battlefronts, where Turkey faces the US imperialism, from the Cyprus crisis to the fight against the PKK/PYD terrorist organization.

Kemi Seba is closely observing Turkey and has even visited our country before. He even held talks with some government officials, including the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The pan-Africanist leader closely follows Turkey’s stance against the Western imperialism, and considers it as quite interesting and promising for the African continent.

The solid foundations of Pan-Africanism

Kemi Seba highlights that the Western neo-colonialism has been using ethno-sociology as an instrument to further divide Africa. He stresses that “We can also see the differences and problems between the peoples and ethnic groups in Africa, but we instead utilize this to unite Africa. Besides, every single tradition in Africa has a common root”. Our friends insist on the idea that the borders in Africa are drawn completely artificially, and advocate that the African peoples essentially share a common culture, civilization, history, mentality and a worldview. In Kemi Seba’s own words, Pan-Africanism is based on solid foundations.

Kemi Seba adds that North Africa has stayed a little further away from Pan-Africanism, but has gone through the same processes as the rest of Africa and shares the same fate. He also emphasizes that they are trying to draw North Africa into Pan-Africanism.

“Why should we get divided when Europe unites!”

He then continues:

“Now you can take a look at us. One of us is Beninese, one is Congolese, and the other is Cameroonian. However, same ideals and problems unite us together. Pan-Africanism is also one sort of a Eurasianist project, just like the Arab League… The Flemish and the Walloons can manage to live under the roof of a single state in Belgium. So why should not we? Europe is constantly trying to divide Africa through ethnic borders, while trying to unite itself.”

Then, Kemi Seba gives out the examples of the initiatives for the unity of Africa, by the leaders such as Lumumba and Ghaddafi.

“They want to establish a Tuaregland just like Kurdistan”

We learn from our African friends living in France, that a 2011 report by the French senate also listed Pan-Africanism, along with the Jihadism, to be one of the two main threats for the country.

Naturally, our conversation focuses more on what France has been doing over the African continent, rather than at home. They explain in detail how the African continent was set on fire by the military interventions in Libya, and the Balkanization of Africa, how the ethnic tensions are being strained, and the sinister plans conducted through the Tuaregs… And at one point, they even make the analogy of “the imperialists want to establish a Tuaregland, just like Kurdistan”.

The importance of unity between the Army and the people

However, France is losing in Africa. The rise of Eurasia is going hand in hand with the liberation of Africa. They pay a special attention to the recent events in Mali. They support any movement that would shrink the maneuver space of France.

And the leaders of the Pan-African movement are also expressing the need for a strong state. However, they also say that this will not be enough, and that the unity between the army and the people must be established. They emphasize the example of Mali. The people have played a locomotive role in aligning the army and the state towards an anti-imperialist ideology. In this sense, they call on countries such as Turkey and China to come in touch, not only with their political elites, but also with popular movements.

They point at Niger and Chad for the continuation of the new awakening in Africa to follow the examples of Mali, Burkina Faso and many others.

The Russian victory is a hope for Africa

Our conversation naturally comes to the issue of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. Kemi Seba believes that the Russian intervention is aimed at liberating Ukraine from the dictatorship of the neo-Nazi regime, supported by the Atlanticists:

“The statements that describe it as a Russian aggression are complete disinformation. The Western media is spreading lies. Of course, war never brings joy to anyone, and it is painful to see people die and be displaced. Russia, however, was forced to react. A large portion of the African youth is well- aware that the neoliberal global oligarchy, the NATO or Washington has been using Ukraine as a tool to threaten and repress Russia for many years.”

Kemi Seba states that the victory of this Russian campaign, will also gain strengthen the struggle for freedom of the African continent, while accelerating the decline of neo-colonialism and imperialism will decline. According to Seba, the Russian victory will be a guarantee of the victory of the African struggle for freedom. The leaders of the Pan-African movement are sympathetic to any power that resists the globalization, that supports multipolarity and that prospers its own identity. For Kemi Seba, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a part of a larger conflict between those who want to Westernize entire humanity, and those who seek to protect the indigenous identities of the peoples of the world.

“We have invited both Russia and Turkey”

“Today, Russia challenges the Western hegemony. We want a strong cooperation also with Venezuela, Cuba, Turkey, Iran as well as we already have it with Russia. We welcome everyone who opposes the globalization. Africans want to save themselves first, and we are looking for any support we can get”.

Kemi Seba also underlines in this context the difference between Turks and Russians on the one side and the French on the other. “The French came uninvited, while it was us who invited the Turks and the Russians” he says. He says that there would be a mutual benefit from cooperation with both Ankara and Moscow. Whereas you give the French an inch, and they take an entire yard.

The decision for cooperation

The stories that Kemi Seba and his friends tell us show us all once again that the problems of the peoples, no matter where they are in the world, Africa or any other continent, are not at all different from each other. There are only common threats, common problems and, of course, common solutions. And the international plan for this solution is only to bring Eurasia together with its footholds in Africa and in Central and South America.

Africa is proving once again, that it will be one of the most important pillars of the struggle, as a new world is being built. And this fight against the neo-colonialism in Africa has been exciting us. We say our farewells to Kemi Seba and his friends, with these kinds of thought in our minds. Of course, also with the determination to improve the cooperation between these nations, in all areas possible…

Mehmet Perinçek
Historian and political scientist (Turkey)

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February 2024