One of the ways the world could make reparations to Africa is by giving 
support to the democratic resolution of its conflicts.

This Time article characteristically pinpoints a dilemma for western 
capitalist governments.

>                   May 9, 2000
>                   By Tony Karon
>                   In Kosovo, the West went to war to stop ethnic 
> cleansing; in Sierra Leone the
>                   international community appears unable to muster the 
> will and resources to stop
>                   a ragtag guerrilla band that has already killed and 
> mutilated tens of thousands
>                   more people than Slobodan Milosevic's forces ever did.

The British government has sent in 700 troops on the pretext of withdrawing 
European nationals. They have got out 100 so far. This is a typical excuse 
for imperialist intervention. Britain has also claimed it has secured Lungi 
airport for the United Nations.

In Parliament the debate is between the Conservatives who demanded a strict 
assurance that the British involvement was only for the purpose of getting 
British and Euorpean nationals out, and the Labour government which kept 
the door open for a wider involvement.

 From the Guardian webpage today:

>Mr Cook said that the operation is
>proceeding "smoothly", but said that there
>is no timetable for its completion.

In the case of East Timor, progressives in the west, such as Chomsky, 
called for Western intervention.

IMO this particular British involvement is progressive and is part of the 
developing process of world governance, so long as it assists the UN and 
the West African peace keeping force to re-organise. I say that, conscious 
at this moment, that the British government deserves strong criticism for 
its interference in the developing land redistribution in Zimbabwe.

I suggest that only left wingers who are in fact anarchists or pacifists 
would *in this particular context* denounce British intervention in Sierra 
Leone as imperialist in nature.

Chris Burford



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