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AFRICA THE WAR.

4 GERMANY'S ALMS.

Macaul.iv. in his ebwiy on Frederick fho Great, wrote: "fn order that ho might rob a neighbour whom he had promised to defend, black men fought ■ 011 tho coatt of Cofomandcl and red men M-alpod each other by the Great Lakes of North America." Slightly altered in form this sentence might well form part of the biography of the present ruler of Prussia. It is fortunately not the case that Indians, either red -or brown, are engaged in combat with one another at the ends of the earth. But through the length and breadth of Africa, the second largest of tho continents, black men are at war, under white leaders, in'a-strug-glo regarding which few of tljem can even dimly guess at the real issues. With the entry of Portugal into tho ranks of the Allies only Spanish and Italian Africa and the independent native States of Abyssinia'and Liberia remain unaffected. The territory,owned by the belligerent Powers amounts to 10.500,000 squaro miles out of a total area of'» 1,700,000. and 125,000,000 of the 137,000,000 inhabitants of Africa aro'subjects of the warrins nations. . , - TOGOLAIN'D. i Togoland. tho first of Germany's overaea possessions to be torn from her ; grasp, was won by the negro soldiers I of Britain and France after a sharp I struggle with the negro troops of Germany. 111 the Kaineruns, the."\Vcst African Regiment—neproes 'Jed!.by white officers—hai. been engaged in bloody struggles with the German-led blacks of that colony. In Nyasaland, British East Africa, and Northern Rhodesia engagements between the native troops of. Britain, Germany, and Belgium have taken place." And now the Portuguese negroes aro also to enter the fray. - s So far there, has been no authentic announcement that the fighting which has occurred has' not been conducted with the ordinary restraint* of civilised warfare. , Nevertheless, reports from various Gources indicate that it will bo fortunate if the latent instincts of tho, negro tribes in the affected areas do not lead to a most regrettable outbreak . of savagery before peace is restored in I the Dark Continent. TRIBAL FIGHTING. ' It has been reported that tho Germans are arming some of the most warlike tribes "of German East Africa and allowing- them to' undertake any raiding operations against adjoining British territory that they find themselves in* a position to carry out. Naturally, if such a policy should be followed by the Germans -it will be necessary for the British to arm tho natives resident near the German border for their own protection, in which case Central Africa will speedily become "onco again the inferno that it was before the stamping out of the Arab slave raiders. Those who set sparks to'tinder by stirring up tribal warfare in Africa deserve to perish miserably in the subsequent conflagration. Were the . unofficial fighting to.be directed by natives of the type of Sir Apolo Kagwa. tho Prime Minister of Uganda, who is haid to be taking the field at the head of 0000 of the Baganda people, there would be less reason to fear tho consequences- fcjir Apolo is an intelligent man and a Christian, and the Uganda natives are'probably as highly developed as any African negroes. In German ICa&t Africa, however, there are some'extremely ferocious tribes, who can be depended upon to make themselves as unpleasant as possiblo to any unarmed natives or the Europeans in their neighbourhood. The Awcmba tribe', which inhabits the Tanganyika Plateau portion of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, is also a fighting peoplo, and if it becomes necessary to arm them there will be some sanguinary tribal encounters in this region. Once the country is well alight the restoration of the Pax Britannica is likely to be a difficult and costry task. IN THE SOUTH. Further south, in the extreme north ' of the German South-\Vesfc Africa, dwell the Ovambos, a warlike race which the Germans have never thoroughly subdued. . -To invade Angola, as the Germans are reported to have done, they would have to traverse the Ovambo country. "Whether these natives can j be persuaded to participate in the attack on Portuguese territory probably depends on whether the Germans are prepared to. allow them to conduct the campaign according to Ovambo ideas of war. From experience gained up to the present no considerations of human- : ity are likely to deter Germany, and if she sees that the game is up she will be quite willing to let hell loose in Africa. Another possibility, which the South | African Government has no doubt con- ' &tantly in its mind, is that the German i emissaries in the Union, having failed : to stif up a Dutch revolt of the desired i magnitude, will turn their attention towards the natives, even if they have not already been at work in this direction. Basutoland. a'mountainous tract in' the heart of South Africa, has a population of nearly half a million natives who have never been, conquered. The men are all mounted, and many possess rifles. Zulaland* and Pondoiand also contain large native populations. It is perhaps fortunate that as recently as 1906 tho Zulus had a sharp lesson at the hands of the local Mill- , tia, and their experiences on that 00-! casion aro probably too fresh in their j memories io allow them to risk. a repetition? There- is reason to believe 1

that the Union Government has had its eyes open for some time regarding German intrigues in South Africa, and that I tho present situation finds it well prei pared for all eventualities. I In view of the dangerous character of ! German aims the complete disappearance" of Teuton rule from Africa has become an imperative necessity the 1 point of view of all the other European nations possessing territory in Africa, and its passing will cause no ■ shedding of tears on the part of the native races which have felt the weight of the Prussian boot. It is well lor us and our Allies that the Germans have made themselves so heartily disliked in Africa. Were it otherwise their opportunities for mischief- would have been infinitely greater. -

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19150102.2.28

Bibliographic details

AFRICA THE WAR., Press, Volume LI, Issue 15166, 2 January 1915

Word Count
1,012

AFRICA THE WAR. Press, Volume LI, Issue 15166, 2 January 1915

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