PAN-AFRICAN UNITY MOVEMENT AGAINST SECOND SLAVERY
Email: [email protected] ; +232-31-511915
25th May, 2020
Freetown, Sierra Leone. West Africa
Call For The Lifting Of All Unilateral Sanctions That Obstruct The Humanitarian Responses Of Sanctioned States
Greetings from the Pan-African Unity Movement Against Second Slavery (PANUMASS), as we join our brothers and sisters worldwide to mark 57th anniversary of the formation of the African Liberation Day, on 25 May 1963. This Day is a special occasion set aside not only to remember and honor those who sacrificed their lives serving the Africa, and to reaffirm Africans love for the continent as well as their commitment to realising the goal of Pan-African unity. It is also to honor the current African leaders who continue to face serious challenges on the continent.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary social distancing, Africans across the continent and the diaspora people will honor the memory of the fallen. Life has to continue but with the necessary steps needed to keep all safe and healthy. This date, which is considered as Africa Day, is, like all historic days, a moment of pride, reflection and meditation.
The Pan-African Unity Movement Against Second Slavery (PANUMASS), is extremely proud to join the rest of Africa to honour this day, of African Liberation Day, 2020. We are also marking the birth of a struggle-the triumph over colonialism, racism and the obnoxious apartheid enclave. We are singing and beating the drums of a United Africa, which is open to all oppressed and whites advocate against imperialist onslaught on Africa. Though there are attempts to prop the status quo against the unity of Africa, there can be no doubt that the New Africa, which we are about to launch will send shocking waves to the enemies of the continent.
The history of the struggle of the African people is in our blood; it is in our marrow. Same also, the history of Africans in the diasporas would be extremely incomplete without the unification of the African continent under a unified government. Today, as we mark the African Liberation Day, we are bound to dig our history of racism, oppression, exploitation, violent wars, aggressions, degradation and dehumanization. We remember the pains, tribulations, suffering and misery we are forced to go through during the obnoxious slave trade.
The concept of African Liberation Day (ALD) was born in April 15, 1958, when a historical meeting of African leaders gathered at Accra Ghana for the first Conference of Independent States to discuss the state of the African continent and the impact of colonialism. Represented were governments from Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, The United Arab Republic, representatives of the National Liberation Front of Algeria, and the Union of Cameroon. In recognition April 15th was dubbed Africa Freedom Day. Five years later, on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 32 leaders of independent African States met to form e the Organization of African Unity (OAU). By then more than two thirds of the continent had achieved independence, mostly from imperial European states. At this meeting, the date of Africa Freedom Day was changed from April 15 to May 25th, and Africa Freedom Day was declared African Liberation Day (ALD).
On this historic date, this forum calls for Africa’s relationship with the Caribbean and Latin America to be reinvented to make bridge our historic connections. Africa’s relationship with Cuba in particular is dated as far back as during the obnoxious slave trade, whereby over one and a half million retired African slaves were resettled to Cuba, and who today are very essential of that nation’s history and revolutionary transformation.
The historic relationship between Africa and the Caribbean cannot be swept away and this, we have to fight hard for its growth and strength, just as when Cuba helped many countries to free themselves and gained national independence in Africa. The battle for the independence of African countries, such as Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, the list is endless, would not have been achieved within a shorter period had it not been the role of hundreds of thousands of Cuban combatants in the just struggle against colonialism, apartheid and foreign domination on the continent. Thousands of Cubans paid the supreme sacrifice fighting for the liberation of Africa.
Thus Cuba solidarity with Africa is a moral duty, so also Africa owes Cuba a moral responsibility to fight for an end to US blockade and other hostile behaviours against the Caribbean nation. Africa owes Cuba a historical duty since the end of the cruel slave trade. “From the African land in which they worked and fought voluntarily and selflessly, they only took back to Cuba the remains of their fallen comrades and the honor of having fulfilled their duty,” to borrow the word of Commandant Fidel Castro, when he commented about Cuba’s combatant role in the African liberation frontlines.
Cuba’s solidarity with Africa did not stop at the liberation frontlines, but its continuing in the midst of the painful, unjust, wicked and criminal US blockade against the Cuban people, in other sectors like education, health, agriculture and development of the continent. This day should therefore serves to show appreciation to Cuba for her relentless efforts, which manifest in the form of sharing with Africa whatever little available to help the African people. Cuba has committed herself to accompany Africa achieve lasting peace, stability and prosperity.
The African Union (AU) has declared the theme for this year’s commemoration of the African Liberation Day to be- “SilencingTheGuns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa's Development and Intensifying the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic.” This theme fits in the current circumstance, especially in the context of COVID-19, which is having a debilitating impact of millions of lives and wrecking havocs on national economies across the continent and the wider international community. Africans should wake up and face those things that lead to the obstruction of development and realization of Pan-African unity.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the continent, it is urgent that African leaders should coordinate unified response to combat the devastating pandemic. The liberation struggle that continues today deals with the challenges posed by corruption, bad governance, economic disarray, poverty, injustice, wars, violence, insecurity and the steady erosion of the dignity of the continent.
Our experience confirms that Africa cannot move forward if the right policies are not put in place and absence of favourable conditions for socio-economic development. One of those policies that are at variance with peace, stability and development on the continent is the establishment of the so-called AFRICOM, which in actual fact strives to achieve US military superiority in the world. Currently the US has 29 unmandated and unwanted military bases in 15 African countries, including Djibouti (2 Bases), Kenya (3 Bases), Uganda, Tunisia, Niger (6 Bases), Gabon, Mali, Cameroon (2 bases), Ghana, Burkina Faso, Libya (2 bases), Senegal, Somalia (5 bases), Ascension Island, and no one really knows their relevance to the host countries.
Africans would have to deal also with foreign terrorists, who are trained, recruited, armed, funded and backed by foreign powers. Thievery mentality of former French colonial masters of the wealth of Franco-phone African countries is another cause for alarm. It is estimated that France is stashing out of former French colonies of the sum of 400 billion dollars every year as colonial tax.
The African Union would have the arduous tax of ending Africa’s political adolescence tied to the purse strings of imperialism-a crippling dependency syndrome. Africa should not give in any of its territories to be used either as a military base or staging posts to launch attacks against other countries. This is what exactly AFRICOM is about, to build and expand US military might across Africa, and this must be resisted for the sake of peace, stability, security and development.
Currently, the U.S. has imposed cruel, unilateral and criminal sanctions against 39 countries around the world. The strongest sanctions are against the countries of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Russia, China and Nicaragua. On the African continent, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on Sudan, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, South Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Rwanda, in addition to Zimbabwe.
These sanctions constitute act of criminal war, designed to punish whole peoples. All of these countries under US unilateral sanctions are members of the United Nations, and have a right to their own self-determination, independent national sovereignty and democratic self rule. This forum of the Pan-African Unity Movement Against Second Slavery (PANUMASS) is in solidarity with these countries as they battle to exist as free, peaceful and prosperous nations on earth.
Unity against unilateral sanctions against the countries of Africa will lead to the total emancipation of the continent against foreign domination. Unity is strength, so says the wise African adage. Our advocacy network believes that for Africa to be respected and treated equally, we have to abandon all negativity things that are at variance with peace and development. We need unity badly in Africa for peace and security.
This forum joins the call for the immediate and complete lifting of those measures that hinder countries to respond to the Corona virus pandemic; and to reject the politicization of the pandemic. This is a naturally acclaimed demand to save lives.
God save Africa!
God save friends of Africa!!
Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh
Pan-African Movement Against Second Slavery