By Gugulethu Hughes
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.
War criminal and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made a name for himself as the bridge between businesspeople and governments. Tony Blair’s footprints are all over the world, particularly in the areas where there is hard commodities extraction happening. His reach goes as far as the countries that have been deemed undemocratic by the Western body politic such as Iraq, Libya, and many others. He represents the interests of multinationals and global billionaires by using his access to various government leaders and strategic political players that he gained while he was still serving as British Prime Minister. When his associates don’t get what they want, they fuel political instability and get Blair to become the “peacemaker” and political fracas negotiator.
His Africa strategy differs from the rest of the world in that he has set up organizations seeking representation in high government offices in countries where his billionaire business friends have vested interests. He serves as the unofficial mentor to Rwandan President Paul Kagame whose country is now being advertised by imperialist media as the beacon of hope and the benchmark that all African countries ought to emulate. In his path to influencing African government policies, Blair has drafted Kagame into his criminal syndicate.
In the aftermath of the Western-sponsored genocide in Rwanda, where the Tutsi were pitted against the Hutu leading to the death of millions of people in 1994, the peacemaking process presented the West with a golden opportunity to nurture Rwanda into its sphere of influence.
In the year 2000, Paul Kagame, a military general from the Tutsi minority group that suffered massive killings from the Hutu, emerged as the president of a new Rwanda. The man had a huge take to heal a broken nation and mend relations between the rival tribal groups. In the year 2000, Stephen Smith and James Smith founded Aegis Trust, a UK NGO with a focus in humanitarian work in genocide-hit areas.
As early as year 2001, the Aegis Trust had raised more than $2 million for the building of the Kigali Genocide Memorial which was officially opened in year 2004 and serves as the final resting place for more than 250 000 victims of the 1994 genocide. Some of the funding partners of the Aegis Trust include the Clinton Foundation and some European organizations and governments.
In 2001, in his capacity as British Prime Minister, in the aftermath of the September 11 twin tower attacks in New York, Tony Blair made a “passionate” speech about the importance of investing in global security. Part of his speech read as follows, “The state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world which can be healed if the world community focuses on it. This would entail a more interventionist role for Britain and the international community. If Rwanda happened again today as it did in 1994, when a million people were slaughtered in cold blood, we would have a moral duty to act there also…”
Where many saw this as a messianic revelation from a “statesman,” this was in essence a war criminal preparing to serve the interests of multinational companies in resource-rich regions. Two years after his speech, he joined forces with George W. Bush in invading Iraq. Later, he landed an advisory role with South Korean oil company UI Energy, which operated in the oil-rich Kurdish region of Iraq.
In 2008, the Rwanda Development Board was established as a merger of more than eight government institutions tasked with the goal of modernizing the densely populated Rwanda and turning it into an attractive investment destination. The Board reports directly to Paul Kagame and has Tony Blair as a major adviser. In a recent article titled, “What is Tony Blair Doing in Africa”, journalist Lester Holloway perfectly captured Tony Blair’s involvement in Rwanda, writing,
“Team Blair has staff in the presidents and prime minister’s offices as well as in the Ministry of Finance and in the Rwandan Development Board. They are said to mentor local workers and help them implement policy.
Soon after AGI (Africa Governance Initiative) was established in Rwanda, in 2009, it is reported that Blair led a delegation to the capital Kigali which included Christian Angermayer, a founder of one of Germany’s largest financial services groups. Famous banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, and his wife Lady Rothschild, visited Rwanda accompanied by presidential guards. It appears that Blair’s charity is operating as a firm of commercial management consultants, drawing up policies and implementation plans for African governments, while at the same time hooking their clients up with high-level contacts made during his time as prime minister for business deals. In Rwanda, Blair has picked one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”
In 2008 that Tony Blair founded the Africa Governance Initiative. The organization creates fertile conditions for Blair’s multinational clients to flourish. Rwanda is one big recipient of AGI’s benevolence and the ultimate benchmark of what cooperation with the “international business community” looks like for African countries. It is equally interesting that Blair and others like him refer to Africa, a continent made up of 55 countries, as an entity existing outside the international framework. Like all nations existing under the influence of Tony Blair, Rwanda, together with Sierra Leone, were in 2009 ranked by the World Bank as the most improved nations when it came to the ease of doing business.
Commenting on this cooked achievement, Tony Blair stated, “This is a landmark achievement in the progress of a great country, which is becoming stronger by the day under the leadership of President Kagame. Despite the global economic situation, Rwanda has made more progress in expanding the capacity for private sector investment and growth than any other country. Rwanda can be proud that it is the first sub-Saharan African country to be named top global reformer by the World Bank – success which the President has every intention of building upon. Anyone considering where to invest should go to Rwanda and see the hugely significant progress President Kagame’s government has made in recent years. With his zero-tolerance approach to corruption, extra protection for investors and sustained economic growth, investors should sit up and take note of this African success story.”
Sierra Leone also received praise from the war criminal. In 2007, Blair was bestowed chieftainship and highest traditional honor by Freetown elders for “sending British troops to Sierra Leone in May 2000 to halt the advance of murderous Revolutionary United Front rebels on the capital.” Little did the people of Freetown know that Tony Blair, who remains a popular figure in Sierra Leone, sent British troops to protect the interests of his diamond mining clients in Sierra Leone. A 2010 Report found that 60% of exports from Sierra Leone were from the mining industry, yet only 8% of government revenue came from the mining sector.
Tony Blair has managed to use his links to weapons suppliers to equip the Rwandan Army into a formidable force that he now conveniently uses to advance the interests of his corporate clients. Whereas when he was British PM and had the privilege of dispatching the British army to his areas of interests, Rwanda afforded him a military solution for his Africa strategy which guarantees zero British casualties.
In 2014, Tony Blair advised the Rwandan government to send troops to the mineral-rich Central African Republic to protect the interests of Blair’s mining clients. The dispatch of the RDF to CAR was disguised as a peacekeeping mission. In 2021, Tony Blair and Paul Kagame sent troops to the gas-rich Cabo Delgado region of Mozambique where Blair-centric multinationals like Total Energies and Italian ENI have a strong presence. One of his last deals before bowing out as British Prime Minister was to secure an oil deal for British Petroleum in Libya, which was his last trip to Africa before resignation.
Tony Blair has presence in several African countries like Guinea where he was also at the center of a struggle between Israeli Benny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources, British-Australian Rio Tinto, Brazilian Vale, and George Soros. Tony Blair had in 2010 advised Guinea’s government to cancel a deal with Vale where the BSG had sold its majority stake in the Simandou Mine. The deal had been preceded by the previous President Lansana Conte, ordering Rio Tinto to relinquish all its mining rights in Simandou for failing to commit to development. The internal strife that followed was spearheaded by George Soros. Soros has interests in Rio Tinto and hired Tony Blair to be his political consultant. He succeeded in being at the citadel of the Guinea government’s decision-making body which brought Rio Tinto back into the fray.
In 2021, Tony Blair was hired by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, a decorated imperialist stooge, to be the country’s Covid-19 response champion while playing the advisory role on government policy reforms. Zanzibar followed suit and brought in the services of Tony Blair to play an advisory role on economic policies. In Southern Africa, Tony Blair struck gold in 2020 in Malawi when a theologian with an exotic accent called Lazarus Chakwera became president and brought in Tony Blair to advise on policy and communication. It was not long after Zambia got its own apparatchik named Hakainde Hichilema who invited Tony Blair to assess Zambia.
To date, Zambia has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States government to hand over its copper and cobalt supply chain along with the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is also important to highlight that the DRC accounts for more than 70% of global cobalt supply. Thus, it’s no surprise the Blair-advised Rwandan government is arming the M23 militia to cause instability in the mineral-rich eastern region of the DRC. This leaves Rwanda as the conduit for the cobalt that leaves the DRC while the country remains in absolute poverty in the face of Blair-linked multinationals like Glencore.
Glencore has previously paid Tony Blair millions of US dollars for an hour’s work for brokering a commercial deal for the multinational. Today, Rwanda ranks as one of the top exporters of cobalt, yet it possesses none of the mineral. Tony Blair also possesses an obsession only second to that of Bill Gates when it comes to vaccinating the entire African population for COVID-19. He managed to get Rwanda and Malawi to partner with Pfizer in running trials on the citizens in the two countries.
The clarion call for Africans is to have the awareness that a war criminal like Tony Blair is not the yardstick for governance. Accepting Tony Blair as our policy messiah is tantamount to drinking petrol as a means of extinguishing a ravaging fire. Paul Kagame is a danger to any hopes of a prosperous Africa, and this is precisely why he got British aid and used more than half of it for the Rwanda-Arsenal FC deal meant to promote Rwanda as an attractive destination for tourists. While Rwanda is indeed attractive, the Arsenal deal only serves to cover up the heinous crimes being committed by the two men. Today, a densely populated Rwanda with no space is set to become an offshore detention center for British immigrants who may soon turn out to be military personnel sent to destabilize more African countries. To paraphrase Robert Mugabe, “Blair keep your Britain and we will keep our Africa.”
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