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LSE Expert view on Africa: What were the collateral damages of the West’s counter-terrorism operations in Africa? – Awol Allo February 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption in Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model.
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Counter-terrorism operations have had a corrosive effect on local struggles for human rights and democracy in Africa. The extraordinary powers given to intelligence agencies and the police within liberal democracies enabled authoritarian governments to redefine the internal friend-enemy dynamics and situate local political conflicts within the framework of the global war on terror. The forms of knowledge and systems of truth generated by the discourse of the war on terror supplied authoritarian governments with new conceptual constellations and explanatory schemas within which to rationalise and justify their oppressive politics. In the decade since 9/11, governments that stop at nothing to secure and consolidate their power turned to the discourse of terrorism to silence opposition politicians, journalists, activists and various forms of dissenting voices under the guise of fighting terrorism.

Just as the war against communism at the height of the cold war provided authoritarian governments such as Apartheid South Africa with juridico-political instruments used to justify their violence, the war on terror has become one of the key instruments at the disposal of authoritarian governments used to harass and eliminate legitimate political adversaries from the democratic public sphere.

Awol Allo, is LSE Fellow in Human Rights at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Department of Sociology. For more commentary on African politics and policy, read the Africa at LSE blog:http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/




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