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What was "apartheid"?

In a nutshell, apartheid was a system of government which came into force after the Union of South Africa was created in 1910, a union which gave political control to the whites, thereby leading to black resistance. The white regime instead intensified its tactics against the black protesters. With the Afrikaner National Party's victory in the 1948 election, the party went on to completely marginalize the black population by denying them political and economic power. The regime's brutal enforcement of such inhumane practices that amounted to segregation resulted in the system of apartheid, "an Afrikaans word that means 'apartness' or 'separateness'" (Hamilton, South Africa 29). It was the intention of the white minority to keep the races apart from each other—to separate them so to say—with the white minority having all the best resources and the Africans having nothing and living in despicable conditions.

Are African leader's dictators?

Indeed, a vast majority of African leaders are dictators. In some countries, they are soldiers, and so they can easily use the military to terrorize the people in an effort to maintain themselves in power while draining their nation's resources—financial and otherwise. In other countries where the leaders are civilians, they "bribe" the military into supporting and maintaining them in power by giving them higher pay than the rest of the nation, and interestingly, more than they deserve, of course. As a result, it is not uncommon in some African countries to meet a soldier with a high-school diploma earning more than a medical doctor. The leaders who permit such scenarios care less about their citizens. All they want to do is steal from the country's coffers and stash this money in Western banks. Because of the political stability of such Western nations, the security of their stolen wealth can be guaranteed. In the mean time, they cling to power with the help of an unworthy military that has been corrupted, and by Western nations that look the other way while such ills are perpetrated. These Western nations have a lot to benefit from such puppet regimes—from the nation's resources, to tactical advantages such as military bases—even as the victim nations are portrayed to the rest of the world as poor beggarly nations. Adam Higginbotham gives a typical example of my point when he writes about Liberia and the United States:

The people of Liberia have always believed that they enjoy a unique and close connection with the people of the United States; Liberia was founded by U.S citizens, its constitution was drafted at Harvard, and its flag is even copied from the Stars and Stripes.

But the relationship has been characterized by U.S. exploitation and neglect since 1821, when the swampy island that would become the nation's capital, Monrovia, was purchased only after an officer of the U.S. Navy held a pistol to the head of a local chief. After the barely literate Master-Sergeant Samuel Doe seized power in 1980—by disemboweling then-president William Tolbert in his bed at the executive mansion in Monrovia—the U.S. government was happy to overlook the staggering corruption and human-rights abuses of this regime in exchange for the benefits of a CIA station cite, a convenient African base for U.S. aircraft, and a friendly vote at the UN. (136)

Yes, most of Africa's leaders are dictators, and some are bloody in their deeds. Ironically, their godfathers, who, more often than not, are also heading Western regimes, maintain some of these morons in power in exchange for different benefits. It must be remembered that this is being done at the expense of the citizens who are wallowing in misery of one sort or another.

Why are there so many refugees in Africa?

There are many refugees in Africa because of the different wars and attempts at ethnic cleansing going on in different parts of Africa, say, in The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan at the moment. Sometimes the refugee problem might be due to natural disasters like drought or famine.

 
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