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African leaders asked not to get involved in US, North Korea bluster

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Kim Il Jong – North Korean leader

African leaders have been cautioned not to allow themselves to be dragged into the competing bluster between the United States of America (USA) and North Korea even though they may remain their individual allies.

Professor Emeritus Divine Edem Amenumey of the Department of History, University of Cape Coast (UCC), in his caution, said Africa stood to lose far more than what was experienced in the Second World War should there be another world war.

“If African leaders decide to allow themselves into wars that do not concern us, then we do not have a future but if we are able to detach ourselves from what does not concern us, we have a future,” he said.

Prof Amenumey was addressing participants at the Second International Conference on; Revisiting Africa and the Second World War, organised by the Department of History, UCC at the weekend.

The conference, which sought to re-examine the African dimensions of the Second World War and its impact on African countries, societies and people, brought together participants from all parts of Africa.

Tensions between the US and North Korea are said to be the most serious threat to world peace at the moment.

Prof. Amenumey challenged historians and those in academia to take up the task of educating the wider public on the incident.

He said it was imperative for African leaders to examine earlier accounts, versions and interpretations and be guided by them in order to make informed decisions that would benefit their people and make the Continent a safe haven.

He noted that though Africa did not directly contribute to the causes of the Second World War, the Continent was subjected to the predatory nature of the war.

He said the war also led to military recruitment, exploitation of the colonial economy to support the imperial war effort, and the unleashing of social traumas that escalated quotidian struggles inherent in the colonial situation.

Prof Amenumey said aside slave trade and colonisation, the two world wars, especially the Second World War, exerted a long lasting impact on Africa and constituted the cataclysmic episode in colonial history.

He said despite the fact that the war provided the background for the eventual emancipation of Africa, colonial powers still enjoyed residual influence on the policies of their former colonies.

From that perspective, he wondered whether the political decisions taken in 1945 at the end of the Second World War sowed any future conflicts and whether that could involve Africa, which is politically sovereign.

Topics discussed included; Participation of Africans in the Theatres of the Second World War, Demobilisation and Discontent, the Effects of the War on African Societies, Politics, and Economies; and The Ways that the War Contributed to Decolonisation of Africa.

Source: GNA

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