Friday, 28 June 2013
How Gaddafi`s Great Man-Made River Project became part of the water wars. It was Muammar Gaddafi`s dream to provide fresh water for all Libyans and to make Libya self-sufficient in food production. Libyans called it the eighth wonder of the world. Western media called it a pet project and the pipe dream of a mad dog. The "mad dog" himself in 1991 prophetically said about the largest civil engineering venture in the world: After this achievement, American threats against Libya will double. The United States will make excuses, but the real reason is to stop this achievement, to keep the people of Libya oppressed. Gaddafi's dream It was Muammar Gaddafi's dream to provide fresh water for all Libyans and to make Libya self-sufficient in food production. In 1953, the search for new oilfields in the deserts of southern Libya led to the discovery not just of significant oil reserves, but also of vast quantities of fresh water trapped in the underlying strata. The four ancient water aquifers that were discovered, each had estimated capacities ranging between 4,800 and 20,000 cubic kilometers. Most of this water was collected between 38,000 and 14,000 years ago, though some pockets are believed to be only 7,000 years old. After Gaddafi and the Free Unitary Officers seized power in a bloodless coup from the corrupt King Idris during the Al-Fateh Revolution in 1969, the Jamahiriya government nationalized the oil companies and spent much of the oil revenues to harness the supply of fresh water from the desert aquifers by putting in hundreds of bore wells. Large farms were established in southern Libya to encourage the people to move to the desert. It turned out that the majority of the people however preferred life in the northern coastal areas. Therefore Gaddafi subsequently conceived a plan to bring the water to the people instead. The Libyan Jamahiriya government conducted the initial feasibility studies in 1974, and in 1983 the Great Man-Made River Authority was set up. This fully government funded project was designed in five phases, each of them largely separate in itself, but which eventually would combine to form an integrated system. As water in Gaddafi’s Libya was regarded to be a human right, there has not been any charge on the people, nor were any international loans needed for the almost $30 billion cost of the project. In 1996, during the opening of Phase II of the Great Man-Made River Project, Gaddafi said: This is the biggest answer to America and all the evil forces who accuse us of being concerned with terrorism. We are only concerned with peace and progress. America is against life and progress; it pushes the world toward darkness. Development and destruction At the time of the NATO-led war against Libya in 2011, three phases of the Great Man-Made River Project were completed. The first and largest phase, providing two million cubic metres of water a day along a 1,200 km pipeline to Benghazi and Sirte, was formally inaugurated in August 1991. Phase II includes the delivery of one million cubic metres of water a day to the western coastal belt and also supplies Tripoli. Phase III provides the planned expansion of the existing Phase I system, and supplies Tobruk and the coast from a new wellfield. The 'rivers' are a 4000-kilometer network of 4 meters diameter lined concrete pipes, buried below the desert sands to prevent evaporation. There are 1300 wells, 500,000 sections of pipe, 3700 kilometers of haul roads, and 250 million cubic meters of excavation. All material for the project was locally manufactured. Large reservoirs provide storage, and pumping stations control the flow into the cities. The last two phases of the project should involve extending the distribution network together. When completed, the irrigation water from the Great Man-Made River would enable about 155,000 hectares of land to be cultivated. Or, as Gaddafi defined, the project would make the desert as green as the flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya. In 1999, UNESCO accepted Libya’s offer to fund the Great Man-Made River International Water Prize, an award that rewards remarkable scientific research work on water usage in arid areas. Many foreign nationals worked in Libya on the Great Man-Made River Project for decades. But after the start of NATO’s so-called humanitarian bombing of the North-African country in March 2011, most foreign workers have returned home. In July 2011, NATO not only bombed the Great Man-Made River water supply pipeline near Brega, but also destroyed the factory that produces the pipes to repair it, claiming in justification that it was used as "a military storage facility" and that "rockets were launched from there". Six of the facility’s security guards were killed in the NATO attack, and the water supply for the 70% of the population who depend on the piped supply for personal use and for irrigation has been compromised with this damage to Libya’s vital infrastructure. The construction on the last two phases of the Great Man-Made River Project were scheduled to continue over the next two decades, but NATO's war on Libya has thrown the project's future – and the wellbeing of the Libyan people – into great jeopardy. Water Wars Fresh clean water, as provided to the Libyans by the Great Man-Made River, is essential to all life forms. Without fresh water we simply cannot function. Right now, 40% of the global population has little to no access to clean water, and that figure is actually expected to jump to 50% by 2025. According to the United Nations Development Program 2007, global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth. Simultaneously, every single year most of the major deserts around the world are becoming bigger and the amount of usable agricultural land in most areas is becoming smaller, while rivers, lakes and major underground aquifers around the globe are drying up - except in Gaddafi's Libya. In the light of the current world developments, there is more to the NATO destruction of the Great Man-Made River Project than being an isolated war crime. The United Nations Environment Program 2007 describes a so-called "water for profit scheme", which actively promotes the privatization and monopolization for the world's water supplies by multinational corporations. Meanwhile the World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing, with one of its former directors, Ismail Serageldin, stating: "The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water". In practice this means that the United Nations in collaboration with the World Bank plans to secure water resources to use at their disposal, and that once they totally control these resources, the resources become assets to be reallocated back to the enslaved nations for a price. Those prices will rise while the quality of the water will decrease, and fresh water sources will become less accessible to those who desperately need it. Simply put, one of the most effective ways to enslave the people is to take control of their basic daily needs and to take away their self-sufficiency. How this relates to the NATO destruction of Gaddafi's Great Man-Made River Project in July 2011 can be best illustrated by the Hegelian Dialectic, popularly known as the concept of Problem -> Reaction -> Solution. In this case, by bombing the water supply and the pipes factory, a Problem was created with an ulterior motive, namely to gain control over the most precious part of Libya's infrastructure. Subsequently a Reaction in the form of an immediate widespread need was provoked as a result of the Problem, since as much as 70% of the Libyans depend on the Great Man-Made River for personal use as well as for the watering of the land. A month after the destruction of the Great Man-Made River, more than half of Libya was without running water. Ultimately a predetermined Solution was implemented: in order to have access to fresh water, the inhabitants of the war-torn country had no choice but to fully depend on - and thus to be enslaved to - the NATO-installed government. A 'democratic' and 'democracy-bringing' government that came to power through the wounding and killing of thousands of Libyans by 'humanitarian bombs', and that overthrow the 'dictator' whose dream it was to provide fresh water for all Libyans for free. War is still peace, freedom is still slavery. ___________________________________ Sources and further information: http://www.water-technology.net/projects/gmr/ http://www.uruknet.info/?new=81150 http://american_almanac.tripod.com/libya.htm http://www.activistpost.com/2012/12/the-coming-water-wars.html http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/coming-water-wars http://www.thedailysheeple.com/the-groundwater-footprint-over-population-threatens-water-resources_082012 → The `Green Book Project`: A feeble attempt to disrupt Gaddafi`s ideology → Libya's Great Man-Made River Project And NATO War Crimes → The Great Man-Made River ~ Water, Food and Hope at risk to get destroyed for Oil → Libya's Great Man-Made River
Blood for Uranium Is the Sequel to Blood for Oil Greg Palast's Column Put these three things together: 1 – Despite President Barack Obama’s public announcement that he’s swearing off his addiction to drone strikes, The Drone Ranger has authorised a new drone base in the African nation of Niger. 2 – In May 2010, Obama sent Congress a bill to purchase body armour and landmine-proof vehicles for our troops in Afghanistan. Hidden in the quickly-passed emergency measure: a $9 billion (£5.9 billion) loan guarantee for constructing nuclear power plants in Texas, Georgia, Maryland and South Carolina. 3 – Last week, two suicide attacks killed at least 30 at mine sites in Niger. The attacks were claimed by the Islamist group Those Who Sign with Blood, joined by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, an al-Qaeda affiliate. Niger doesn’t seem much like a place worth fighting over. From the air (I’ve only flown over it), it looks like Death Valley on a bad day – a sand-blasted wasteland, fried and desertified. But it’s what’s beneath the desert, invisible from the sky, that makes Niger the nation – if not its people – very rich indeed. Niger is the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium, the irradiating mineral at the heart of every nuclear power plant. Last week’s attacks on the French-owned uranium mines were portrayed in the New York Times as spillover from the conflicts in Mali and Libya. Merde de taureau! If anything, it is the war over Niger’s uranium that spilled over to Mali. In September 2010, long before the Islamist attacks in Mali and a year before Libya blew up, al-Qaeda attacked the mines, kidnapping a French engineer and his wife. The hunt for their captors and France’s need to protect its mines and resource reserves is what set off the Franco-Qaeda war in the Sahel. Obama is backing the French resource occupation army. Note that his decision to base US drones in Niger – there are many base options in the giant region – came before this last attack. Obama knows: if the US wants hot rocks, he has to send in the hot rockets. Get used to it. If you liked blood-for-oil wars, you won’t have to wait long for the sequel: blood for uranium. The Niger mines’ principal owner, Areva, may have a French accent, but the Obama administration would know Areva as the US nuclear power industry’s number one supplier. Moreover, Areva obtained one of the four coveted loan guarantees from Obama’s “emergency” Afghan war chest. While Areva’s license for that reactor, sited in Maryland, is on hold until it finds a US-based partner, Areva remains a crucial source of the uranium fuel rods needed by the operators of all US plants. The US government also relies on Areva to fabricate MOX fuel. Areva’s MOX is made from uranium ore products mixed with plutonium from Soviet warheads purchased by the US. Obama knows, but will never say, what I’m telling you now: Without a US military force in Niger, there will be no nuclear plant in Maryland, no MOX mix to burn up those old Russkie nukes. The nuclear industry’s frontmen tell us that nuclear power will end our dependence on Mideast oil. If John McCain, the Senator from Arizona, gets his way, the US will build 200 new nuclear reactors at a cost of ten trillion dollars. The result would replace our dependence on OPEC… with dependence on Russia, Kazakhstan and Niger. And Kazakhstan? That’s worth a story by itself. (Watch this space.) That leaves Areva’s Niger supply, if we’re willing to kill for it. Niger’s capital, by the way, is Niamey. I thought I’d give you a head start on most Americans and Britons who don’t learn the names of a nation’s capital until the arrival of the 101st Airborne and the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. (Think Saigon, Mogadishu, Kabul.) But war for uranium might well be worth the blood if you listen to ersatz environmentalists, such as James Lovelock, who tell us nuclear energy is “green”, unlike, say, natural gas. I would invite Dr Lovelock or any other greenie lovesick for radioactive energy to the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico this coming week when these Native Americans who once supplied our uranium will be tested for the cancers and other illnesses that mining the ore brought them. In 2008, for BBC Newsnight, I went to the pueblo following the indictment of local white politicians charged with stealing hundreds of Native ballots. Tribal Councillor David Vallo explained that the pueblo was attempting to vote down the reopening of the nearby uranium mine. The mine, he asserted, did as good a job as Custer in wiping out Indians. “We lost a lot of good people on account of their health.” He then added, “You know, that's irradiation – uranium is irradiation.” Yes, I do know that uranium means irradiation – but it’s green irradiation. Vallo noted that uranium contaminated their water supply and the mine run-off killed their crops. And that’s good, because if something grew, you wouldn’t want to eat it. To white environmentalists, those sculpted nuclear cooling towers do look quite clean. But to the black, Asian and Indigenous peoples who dig the ore, nuclear power’s low carbon footprint comes from heavy jackboots. For one example: France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy has backed Niger’s President Mamadou Tandja, despite dissolving the nation’s constitution, after the de facto dictator agreed to open a new mine site to Areva. France’s Canal 24 reports that Tuareg tribesmen – the group that would form the backbone of the insurgency in Niger and Mali – were cleansed from the mining area.
Vaccine Injured African Children Used as Lab Rats It is no exaggeration to suggest that African children whose lives have been destroyed by a vaccine—given for a disease that isn't a concern to them—were used as lab rats by the Gates Foundation, PATH, UNICEF, and WHO. Their existence proves the vaccine is extremely dangerous. Nonetheless, it was hailed as a success. ~ In December 2012, vaccine tragedy hit the small village of Gouro, Chad, Africa, situated on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Five hundred children were locked into their school, threatened that if they did not agree to being force-vaccinated with a meningitis A vaccine, they would receive no further education. These children were vaccinated without their parents' knowledge. This vaccine was an unlicensed product still going through the third phase of testing. Within hours, one hundred six children began to suffer from headaches, vomiting, severe uncontrollable convulsions and paralysis. The children's wait for a doctor began. They had to wait one full week for a doctor to arrive while the team of vaccinators just carried on vaccinating others from the village. More children became sick. When the doctor finally came, he could do nothing for the children. The team of vaccinators, upon seeing what had happened, fled the village in fear. Fifty children were finally transferred to a hospital in Faya and later taken by plane to two hospitals in N'Djamena, the capital city of Chad. After being shuttled around like cattle, these sick, weak children were dumped back in their village without a diagnosis and each family was given an unconfirmed sum of £1000 by the government. No forms were signed and no documentation was seen. They were informed that their children had not suffered a vaccine injury. However, if this were true, why would their government award each family £1000 in what has been described as hush money? Interestingly, during the time the children spent in the hospital, two more children joined them from another village. To read the full stories of this tragedy, please see references at the end of this article from previous Vactruth world-exclusive reports. [1,2,3,4] Since this time, Vactruth has been passed a series of secret documents, which fill in some missing gaps in this story and expose just how corrupt the organizations behind this tragedy really are. The Exclusive, Heartbreaking Details On January 14, 2013, arrangements were made for seven female patients between the ages of 8-18 to be evacuated from the Hospital of Mother and Child (HME) and the General Hospital of National Referrals (HGRN) in N'Djamena and transferred by air to a clinic in Tunisia. This was scheduled to take place between January 16 and 22. The documents in our possession state that the Chadian government arranged for the patients to be accompanied by Dr. Joseph Mad-Toingue, Chief Service of Infectious Diseases of the National General Referral Hospital; Dr. Moumar Mbaileyo, anesthesiologist employee of the National General Referral Hospital; and Mr. Dihoulne Kakiang, state-certified nurse, employee of the National General Referral Hospital. On January 29, 2013, a letter passed between The Chief Service of Infectious Diseases of HGRN-N'Djaména and Mr. Director General of the National General Referral Hospital, stating: Mr. Director General, Herewith I have the honor of putting into your hands the report of the mission completed in Tunisia between 15 and 22 of January 2013 regarding the medical evacuation of 7 patients. The Chief of Service. Vactruth now has this report. A Parent's Worst Nightmare The report states that seven female patients between the ages of 8 and 18 had suffered adverse reactions after receiving the meningitis A vaccination during a national campaign, which took place on December 11, 2012, for the prevention of this illness. These patients had originally been taken to the Regional Hospital of Faya, before being transferred on December 26, 2012, to the Hospital of Mother and Child (HME) and the General Hospital of National Referrals (HGRN) in N'Djamena. Arrangements were later made for a medical evacuation to transfer these patients to Tunisia for further tests and treatment. According to the report, the departure took place in N'Djamena on January 15, 2013, at 10:50 pm after a long wait at the Hassan airport in N'Djamena because of the late arrival of the plane. The journey took place on board a Tunisian plane chartered by the International Medical Society (SMEDI). The party consisted of seven patients, three members of the medical team and seven parents (two men and five women) who accompanied the sick children. Interestingly, the document states that the party did not fly alone. The government report states that twenty other passengers traveling to Tunisia for the same reason (medical evacuation) also joined the party. Sadly, there were no further details on these patients in the report. Were these patients also vaccine-damaged by the meningitis A vaccination, and where did these twenty other sick patients come from? Just before the plane took off, an 18 year-old patient had what the report describes as a 'shaking episode,' and was given a 10 mg vial of diazepam before boarding the plane. Other than this incident, the flight went well. The Specialists Say "Case Closed" The group arrived in Tunisia on January 16, 2013, and was received by SMEDI agents who took care of the police formalities (entry visa) before dividing the group into three parties. The patients were transported by ambulance to the clinic, the medical staff was taken to a hotel, and the patients' parents were taken to a center. On the afternoon of January 16, the three medical staff were introduced to SMEDI's Director General, M. Ghazi Mejbri, to get acquainted. This was followed by a work session with the medical coordinator, Dr. Folla Amara. In the course of this meeting, the condition of the patients was discussed and plans were arranged for their care. The patients were taken to the neurological department of SMEDI's La Sourka clinic. The clinic had received the children's medical records in advance and was reported to have conducted their own clinical and biological tests on the patients before meeting with the medical team that had accompanied them. On January 17, a meeting took place with Professor Rachid Namai ("chef de clinique"), Dr. Kefi and Dr. Mabet. It was concluded that the children's 'shaking attacks' or convulsions were of no consequence. On the paraclinical level, the report stated that the serum tests of five patients did not reveal any anomalies, nor did the EEGs of six patients. The EEG of the seventh patient showed minor anomalies in the immediate post-critical phase, but was reported to have stabilized. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was to take place on all seven patients. After the meeting, the team visited the patients who were all reported to be well, except for one child who had developed tonsillitis and had to receive appropriate treatment. On January 19, a second meeting took place at the La Soukra Clinic during which they examined the patients' medical records that gave the results of all the medical tests that had taken place. Among the biological perturbations there was reported to be one case of persistent thrombopenia (a lower than normal number of blood cell fragments called platelets), two cases of of elevated immunoglobulines E (Ig E) and five cases of gram negative bacteria directly upon examination—culturing has not been contributory. The report stated that, generally speaking, the patients showed a raised tendency for hypoalbuminemia (swelling), hypo creatininemia (renal dysfunction), and hyper glucorrhagia (no definition found). The MRI results showed no anomalies, and the HIV and hepatitis serologies were negative. The medical team found the children's health to be satisfactory. The report states that the children had no infectious cause for their illness and the hypothesis of an immuno-allergic reaction was deemed to be more probable. At this point, it was decided to close the investigation due to the advice from specialists and followed up with epidemiological and pharmacodynamical studies. No Reason For Concern? On January 21, the mission members visited the clinic at La Soukra for a last time. They found all patients waiting for their stay to end. The report states that a short meeting took place with the chief of service who promised to give his medical report shortly. The mission ended with a visit to the Dr. Naoui Mohamed Néjib's laboratory where the biological tests of all the patients had been performed. The mission members left Tunisia on January 22, 2013, around 2:00 pm and arrived in N'Djaména at 4:00 pm. They concluded that the medical evacuation to Tunisia had given them the opportunity to investigate more thoroughly seven patients who had developed post-vaccination reactions during the national vaccination campaign against meningitis. It was stated that, generally speaking, the clinical state of the patients did not give any reasons for concern and that the paraclinical balance of the majority did not show major perturbations. The mission was deemed a success. The report was signed by Dr. Joseph Mad-Toïngé in N'Djaména on January 28, 2013. Determined Parents Won't Give Up The parents tell a very, very different story. According to parents and relatives, these children were locked into their school, threatened with no education and forcibly vaccinated without their parents' knowledge. They state that the children are still desperately ill and that they have no way of getting any medical care. After the mission, they were left in Faya and had to make their own way back to the village. The children are still suffering severe convulsions. One relative told me: The children drop suddenly to the ground and shake violently before going paralyzed. We do not know what is wrong and we want answers. No one will help us. Our children were well and fit, we have never had meningitis in our area, so why did they vaccinate our children with this vaccination? Our children have since become aggressive in their behavior and have a rash all over their bodies. They are having terrible frightening convulsions. Why won't anyone help us? I have been informed that the parents have formed an activist group to put out their plea to the world. Unanswered Questions The parents ask: Were the vaccines used on our children out-of-date? Had some of the batches used been spoiled in the heat? Did the vaccinators vaccinate our children inadvertently with an unsafe product? Was the maximum duration of four days without refrigeration respected and adhered to? Were the vaccinators adequately trained? They state: All this disturbs us and makes us fear the worst effects for the future. We do not know what is going on behind the scenes and what the Minister of Health, the organizations involved with the tragedy (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH WHO, MVP and UNICEF) are saying or are going to do. As parents, our priority is to get back the health our children. We feel that it is very sad that [our] entire city is paralyzed and is suffering from epilepsy. We were hoping that our government would make a stand and save our children but it has so far failed to do so. Therefore we call assistance for everyone in the world to intervene. Our needs as listed below: A health specialist, an organization or an individual to assist the sick children, who are innocent victims and help them to get their health back. Human rights organization or an individual lawyer who could help the parents' association with legal issues and get justice for the children against the Chad government, WHO, MVP, PATH, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Indian company Serum Institute of India Ltd. Parents need independent and freelance journalists to help them to get media coverage and tell the world what has happened to the children of Gouro, Chad. Conclusion The parents' requests are simple and the same as any other parent left in this impossible situation. They feel deserted and betrayed by the Chadian government, who have left their children to die, while at the same time announcing the vaccination program to be a success. All the parents are very angry and are pleading with the world to help. They state they need lawyers, doctors, medication and above all, support. This whole debacle has been a coverup from the very beginning. One of the children's relatives has told me that there has never been a case of meningitis in this part of Africa. So, why vaccinate children needlessly for a disease that does not exist in this area? Worse still, according to my source, this particular part of Chad is not even on the meningitis belt, and yet this vaccine was given to these children. He could be right, as according to a map attributed to the Gates Foundation, it is not. The abnormal tests demonstrate that the vaccines caused these problems (especially the abnormal immunoglobin levels). Had the doctors done more specific tests proving vaccine damage (especially anti-myelin antibodies), they would have found abnormal levels, which indicate vaccine injury. Did they avoid doing these tests on purpose? It seems very likely that these children, who are now sick and vulnerable, were used as lab rats and have since been left to die by some of the biggest organizations known to mankind. Five months have passed and a lot of covering up the truth has gone on and still, the world waits for answers. The children of Gouro and their parents want the following organizations – PATH, WHO, UNICEF, and the Gates Foundation — to make a public apology and to own up to what has happened. They want and need accountability. This is a violation of the Nuremberg code and these government "officials" are guilty of crimes against humanity. VacTruth wishes to thank medical research journalist and author Desiree Rover who translated all reports and documents from French. Sources: http://vactruth.com/2013/01/06/paralyzed-after-meningitis-vaccine/ http://vactruth.com/2013/01/13/children-paralyzed-by-vaccine/ http://vactruth.com/2013/01/25/paralyzed-symptoms-in-head/ http://vactruth.com/2013/02/12/vaccine-cover-up/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/gatesfoundation/5837851502/
There was a time when talking about Pan-Africanism had become so old and retrogressive. This was a time when everybody was becoming Eurocentric; when Afrocentrism was, just as was the case with everything African, shunned upon. Everybody wanted a piece of Europe and to get one, they had to surrender a piece of their Africaness. But the decision by many African leaders at the recent AU 50th anniversary celebration in Addis Ababa appears to be taking the continent back to the four-way crossing for a new beginning. One thing is very certain – it is not going to be easy going for Africa to change direction now, especially after tying herself up into all the trade and debt knots. While almost every sensible leader can now talk with a straight face about the importance of adding value to Africa’s material resources, those who have been dependent on the continent will not take this lightly. The bloodsuckers will do everything to still suck Africa dry. There will be threats of closing down business in Africa; leaders will be called names; every trick in the book will be deployed to derail the progress this turn-about will bring. The call to take back Africa to the Africans goes back to the times of slavery and it embodied not only the independent part of being African but cut across everything about Africa and Africans. This call was even louder in descendants of Africans that were forcibly uprooted from the continent. Others like Ottobah Cugoano and Olaudah Equiano took to writing about the need for African unity long before the Organisation of the African Unity (the African Union predecessor) was formed. Re-Christened John Stuart, Ottobah Cugoano was a Ghanaian-born man, who was sold into slavery when he was 13 years old. He was initially shipped to Grenada in 1770 and was bought by a British merchant two years later. His new captors took him to England. Once there, Cugoano was lucky that he received his freedom earlier than others in the Americas. Once freed, he found a job and joined a group known as Sons of Africa whose objective was to call for an end to slavery. He wrote “Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species” in 1787, which called for an end to slave trade at a time when the British Royals – King George III did not want the evil trade to end. There he met Equiano, who had also been re-Christened Gustavus Vassa. Equiano was an Igbo born in Nigeria in 1745 and was kidnapped when he was 11 years and sold into slavery. He was initially shipped to Barbados after having been renamed Michael but was later taken to Virginia, which was a British colony then where once again his captors there called him Jacob. His last captor, Michael Pascal ‑ who was a Royal Navy officer ‑ renamed him Gustavus Vassa after the 16th century Swedish King, Gustav I. After buying his freedom, Equiano went to live in Britain in 1792 and became a member of the Sons of Africa. His autobiography, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” talks about his journey as an enslaved African and how cruel European slavers were. It’s believed that the drive for slave abolition picked up speed largely because of the works by Equiano and Cugoano’s narratives, which educated some British families on the exact problems and cruelty of slavery. Cugoano’s involvement in the watershed judgment known as the Somersett’s Case, which led to the abolition of slavery in Britain, also influenced an anti-slavery movement. The case involved an enslaved African known as James Somersett, who was bought from America by a British customs officer called Charles Stewart. In 1769, Stewart took Somerset to England but in 1771, the enslaved man escaped. When he was re-captured, Stewart shipped him off to Jamaica for sale to a plantation owner but this bid was stopped by Christians – Elizabeth Cade, John Marlow and Thomas Walkin ‑ who had baptised Somersett. They applied to the Court of King’s Bench and the ship captain was ordered to release Somersett to the court. The chief justice at the time, Lord Mansfield presided over the case that saw five lawyers representing Somersett. One of the lawyers was Francis Hargrave and Granville Sharp, an abolitionist. The media too, spurred on by Equiano and Cugoano’s writings, followed the case closely while some concerned members of the public donated money. By the end of the hearing, it was established that while colonial laws allowed slavery, English contract law did not allow it. Lord Mansfield ruled in 1771 that no British or Scottish law supported slavery and that no human being must be a slave in England or Scotland. By 1783, calls for an end to slavery reached fever pitch with the formation of a British anti-slavery movement. In 1808, British Parliament enacted the Slave Trade Act of 1807 which tasked the Royal Navy to hunt down slave ships on the coast of West Africa which freed more than 15 000 people from 1 600 ships.
Monday, 24 June 2013
ANDAMANESE TRIBE: ONE OF THE EARLIEST AFRICAN NATIVES OF ASIA AND THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF INDIA The Andamanese tribe may today be seen as facing extinction and still consigned to the hinterlands of India where they suffer massive humiliation as a group of black Africans, but they are one of the original Africans (blacks) who inhabited Asian and the country India before the arrival of the Mangolians or so-called Asians. Out of India`s over 1 billion population, Andamanese population is now below 350. This special group of ancient African Indians and bona fide owners of India as a country will gradually fading out of the world if proper international humanitarian attention is not given to them. Recently the Indian government was using them as "human zoo" to attract tourism to India. Now tourism companies are operating daily “safaris” through natives’ jungle and wealthy tourists are allegedly paying police to make the women — typically naked —dance for their amusement. “It’s deplorable. You cannot treat human beings like beasts for the sake of money.” That is the statement made by India’s Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo on Wednesday after an investigation was launched into a depraved tourist-attraction promoting “human zoos.” “Whatever kind of tourism is that, I totally disapprove of that and it is being banned also,” the minister added. he Andamanese people are the various aboriginal inhabitants of the Andaman Islands, a district of India, located in the southeastern part of the Bay of Bengal. The Andamanese are anthropologically classified as Negritos (sometimes also called Proto-Australoids), together with a few other isolated groups Semang of Malaysia and the Aeta of the Philippines in Asia. They have a hunter-gatherer style of living and appear to have lived in substantial isolation for thousands of years. This degree of isolation is unequaled, except perhaps by the aboriginal inhabitants of Tasmania. The Andamanese are believed to be descended from the migrations which, about 60,000 years ago, brought modern humans out of Africa to India and Southeast Asia. Some anthropologists postulate that Southern India and Southeast Asia was once populated largely by Negritos similar to those of the Andamans and that some tribal populations in the south of India, such as the Irulas are remnants of that period.
Luis Gama was born in June 21 1830 in Salvador the capital of Bahia which in the 1800s was the most important city for the slave trade in Latin America. He was born to a wealthy white father who would later sell his son at the age of 10 to pay off a gambling debt and a free black woman called Luiza Mahn who was from the Nago nation located in Ghana. Although she had been snatched from Ghana, she had managed to gain her freedom by the time Luis Gama was born and was selling fruit and vegetables on the streets of Salvador. Luis Gama never told anyone who his father was, but always wrote and spoke freely of his affection for his mother. According to him, his mother was both strong and vindictive which reflected in the fact that she refused to have her son baptised into the Christian religion, she was also known to be a great leader in several uprisings, and is famed for her involvement in the great Males revolt in 1835 where her home was used as headquarters. The revolt involved African Slaves who had converted to Islam and who went on to carry out a series of holy wars in the hope of erasing Christianity and also the white man, the revolt was eventually suppressed and rumour has it that when Luiza Mahan was accused of involvement in the revolt she fled to Rio de Janeiro, but know one knows for certain, what we do know though is; a young Luis Gama was later sold by his father into slavery at the age of 10. In November 1840 Luis Gama arrived in Rio de Janeiro and was one of 100 slaves purchased by slave trafficker called Antônio Pereira Cardoso. He was to work in the coffee plantations of São Paulo but being from Bahia which had a bad reputation for insurgent slaves, Cardoso couldn’t sell Luis Gama, so he decided to keep him as his personal slave. Gama stayed with his master for 8 years on an estate and learnt how to read and write from a students who rented rooms on the estate. In 1848 Gama escaped and managed to prove that his condition was illegal to justice courts thus becoming a free man. Once a free man he became a solider in the Urban Guard a military police force where he stayed until 1858 until he was discharged for insubornation, after this he joined the police force and progressed to be the scribe at the Sao Paulo Police Secretariat. He made the most of this job and got to know the legislation and how it was used, he then became a special type of lawyer which was called at the time Rabula (a lawyer without a degree) which was basically a man who made lawsuits on behalf of slaves against their masters. This job highlighted his extraordinary intellect and oratory skills which he used to help the defenceless, who were was the black people of Sao Paulo. In 1860 Gama published a collection of poems in which he gained huge notoriety and fame for satirizing and mocking Pardos (The Brazilian term for mixed raced or Biracial persons of African and European ancestry ) who wanted to be white and sold out their black brother and sisters by denying their roots so they could join the elite, also poems condemning slavery, his love of black women and of Africa, and the African customs he had experienced growing up in Salvador from his mother and others, this at the time was un heard of. Even though Gama was also a Pardo he found great pride in his blackness and saw himself as black and was proud to have had such a strong and beautiful black mother. The poems were entitled when first published Primerias trovas burlecas de Getuliano (The burlesque ballads of Getuliano) and the second expanded edition was entitled Novas Trovas Burlescues 1861 In 1869, he lost his job as a scribe due to his behaviour towards a judge who was reluctant to try cases for the release of slaves proposed by him. The dismissal was requested by the Governor of the Province but Luís Gama did not quiver. He replied: “I am honoured at the dismissal I have just received”. He was not only sacked but also sued for libel and defamation. He took on his own defence before a popular jury and was acquitted by unanimous decision. After this episode, Luís Gama worked as a lawyer and a journalist where he scorned the values of the Paulista elite incompetent judges and the monarchy. In response the judges accused him inciting rebellion by slaves, the president of São Paulo at the time accused Gama of confounded philanthropy and to much preference towards blacks in the country, this from a country that would later import white Europeans to whiten the country. Gama was a hero amongst black Brazilians and asserted in articles and speeches that slaves should use violence against their masters if they had to. Alongside the help of the Paulistano club and the masons. His work made sure that many Negro slaves were freed. His main resource was to use the laws currently in effect, that were not respected by the owners. The most important of these was the 1831 law that declared that any Negroes entering the country after that date would be free. By the end of his career over a 1000 slaves had benefited from his legal assistance. Gama was also an exceptional journalist and founded Diablo Coxo (lame Devil) Brazil’s first lampoon magazine, which mocked the Brazilian elite also O Cabario he also contributed regularly to three other newspapers and magazines in São Paulo. During debates over the free womb Gama called for an immediate end of slavery and the other throw of the monarchy, a lot of people in Brazil were very scared of Gama’s power and influence over black people and feared he would inspire blacks to rise to unacceptable positions of power. His obstinate defence of the Abolitionist and Revolutionary causes meant that Luís Gama had a difficult life, almost impoverished yet he was a hero in Bahia, Salvador and Rio with activists naming abolitionist groups after him also a patriotic Battalion. He died on 24 August 1882, of diabetes and his burial was a significant event in Brazil. In the city of São Paulo, which then had 40 thousand people, three thousand people followed the coffin of the abolitionist leader which included very prominent figures of São Paulo. The A Província de São Paulo newspaper published the following comment: “This capital city has never seen such an imposing and spontaneous expression of intense pain and nostalgia from a whole population, towards one citizen.” About Luís Gama, Rui Barbosa said the following: “The heart of an angel, a brilliant mind, a torrent of eloquence, dialectics and grace”.
Afro-Germans in the Third Reich were victims of persecution, isolation, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality and murder. Between 20,000 and 25,000 blacks (or Afro-Germans) lived in Nazi Germany. Africans had come to Germany both before and after the First World War as students, artisans, entertainers, former soldiers, and low-level colonial officials. There was never a systematic plan to exterminate them during the Nazi years; nonetheless they were subject to persecution, isolation, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality and murder. Afro-German mulatto children were marginalized in the Third Reich--isolated socially and economically--and banned from attending university. Most jobs were closed off to them due to racial discrimination. Click here for a rare video interview with an Afro-German survivor of Buchenwald concentration camp (unfortunately it is only available in German with no English subtitles at this time). Black French troops in the Rhineland After World War I and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the French occupied the Rhineland--the coal belt of Germany. Among the French troops were black French colonial soldiers. Their presence--and propaganda about them--exacerbated anti-black sentiments in Germany. The propaganda presented black soldiers as rapists of German women and carriers of venereal and other diseases. The "Rhineland Bastards" There was intermarrying between the French black soldiers and German women. The children of these unions were called “Rhineland Bastards.” Adolf Hitler wrote of them in Mein Kampf. He charged that “the Jews had brought the Negroes into the Rhineland with the clear aim of ruining the hated white race by the necessarily-resulting bastardization.” The "Rhineland Bastards" became an issue once Hitler took power. The leading publication that targeted Afro-Germans was the Neues Volk--with a circulation of 140,000--and an article in that publication of 1933 advocated the sterilization of the children of French black soldiers and German women. Another article in Neues Volk said, "...all inventions and discoveries were made by the white race. The black race has lived in the world as long as the white and has not yet invented or discovered anything." Nazi laws target black Germans In the "Nuremberg Laws" of 1935 marriages between Aryans and non-Aryans were banned, and black Germans and their spouses lost German citizenship and any right to claim state support such as unemployment insurance. In 1936, the "Law on the Hitler Youth" decreed that all German youth may be members of the Hitler Youth with the exception of black children. An article in Neues Volk stated, "...we know of approximately 600 bastards on the Rhine, tomorrow it will be more. Their sorrow will be multiplied through their children--a sorrow that can never be overcome. Let this be said to open the eyes of those in whose hands it lies to prevent this suffering from increasing." (emphasis by the author) Afro-German Musician Kwassi Bruce Kwassi Bruce was born in Togo and had lived in Berlin since 1896, when his father was brought there along with around 100 other black German colonists to participate in the First German Colonial Exhibition. Kwassi became an excellent pianist and had his own orchestra in Berlin when Hitler came to power. He wrote a 10-page typed letter to the Colonial Dept. of the German Foreign Office in August of 1934 about the treatment of himself and other "Colored" Germans. "Since the beginning of the national [Nazi] government," writes Bruce, "we Colored, insofar as we earned our own living as workers...have lost our positions and engagements....It has not been possible for us, even after presenting proof of our origins from the former German colonies, to get new employment..." Bruce explained that he was a naturalized German with a German passport, and that when Hitler took power he played with his orchestra in a "good Berlin wine restaurant....[and] My position was permanent." Bruce continues, "...the owner of the business told me that...he would not be able to employ me further with my orchestra because we were Colored." So he left and tried to find work in vain. Even his participation in World War I as a volunteer for the Germans and two years as a POW "couldn't convince any employer to hire me." "Black Germans do not exist" Born in Berlin in 1916, James Wonja Michael was in Paris in 1937 when his passport had run out. So he went to the German consulate to renew it. The clerk was rude to him, asking him "What do you want?" He explained and the clerk said, "Your passport?! What--are you German?" James said yes and handed him the passport. The clerk disappeared and returned 15 minutes later. He asked for his passport back. The clerk said, "No, we are going to keep your passport. You are no longer German. Black Germans do not exist." Sterilization of the "Rhineland Bastards" By 1937, each of the identified mulatto children from the Rhineland--which numbered 400-- had been forcibly sterilized. A Black Holocaust survivor, Hans Hauck, was a victim of that "program." In the film, Hitler's Forgotten Victims, he explained that he was forced to undergo sterilization--with no anesthetic. After receiving his "certificate" he was "free to go" as long as he agreed to never have sex with any German women. The "Deutsche Afrika-Schau" The Foreign Office, the Colonial Political section of the Nazi party, and the Propaganda Ministry teamed up to create a theatrical troupe to provide "colonists" with employment. This was the Deutsche Afrika-Schau (German African Show)--a blend of theater, colonial exhibition, and traveling circus that toured the Third Reich from the spring of 1936 until the summer of 1940. Click here for a video of Afro-Germans who were in the Afrika-Schau (with English subtitles). Gerwin Strobl writes, "Its involuntary cast of 'colonial Negroes'...acted out supposed characteristic scenes of African life. The paying public encountered happy 'natives'...the cast encountered grim-faced officials, ever mindful of the 'racial peculiarities of the Negroes, especially their powerful urges and their tendency towards sexual excess.' " Closed down in 1940, the Afrika-Schau was a victim of Nazi racism--the "mere sight of Negroes" provoked hostility from the public and Nazi party officials alike. Thus from 1940 on, "Colored" performers were banned from German stages. Ironically, Afro-German performers worked "underground" in the films of Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda. Afro-Germans in concentration camps and death camps Striped of citizenship and passports, black Germans had difficulty leaving Germany. Those who could did manage to flee. Some stayed because they felt that they were Germans and shouldn't be chased out of their country. Approximately 2,000 Afro-Germans perished in the concentration camps and death camps of the Third Reich. They were thrown into cattle cars and deported to the death camps. They were given the most horrible tasks--either in the crematoria or "hospitals" where medical experiments were performed on them. Sources Strobl, Gerwin. The swastika and the stage: German theatre and society, 1933-1945. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
African Towns of South America It is suspected that Africans were in America centuries before Europeans showed their faces. There are dozens of place names with African roots (Mandinga, Guineo, Congo) that are hard to explain away by slavery. Only people of power or influence can name places. How come slaves were able to give the name of their ethnic group to so many places? VENEZUELA El Congo, Hacienda El Congo, Lago El Congo EL SALVADOR El Congo (El Salvador), Municipio de El Congo El Congo in Santa Ana Río Mandinga PANAMA El Congo Quebrada El Congo Ubigantupo Mandinga San Blas Mandinga in Herrera Cerro Mandinga Isla Mandinga NICARAGUA Cerro El Congo, Punta El Congo, Lomas El Congo, Cerro El Congo, Cañon El Congo, Río Congo El Congo in Chinandega ECUADOR El Congo Mandinga, Punta El Congo, Guayas COLUMBIA El Congo, Hacienda El Congo, Quabrada del Congo, Lomas El Congo Hacienda Mandinga Mandinga Airport MEXICO El Congo, Mandinga Oaxaca Mandinga de Agua Cerros de Mandinga Laguna Mandinga Grande El Congo, Durango DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Loma El Congo, El Congo Arroyo Congo Mandinga, Santo Domingo Mandinga in San Cristoba El Congo in La Altagracia Loma el congo BOLIVIA Arroyo del Congo Bajío del Congo Chuquisaca, Mandinga Cadena Mandinga Cordillera de Mandinga CUBA EL Congo Mandinga in Cienfuegos, Congo in Granma HONDURAS Mandinga BRAZIL Congo Pariaba ARGENTINA Mandinga, Corrientes Mandinga Mine CHILE Mandinga, COSTA RICA Congo Hills Bajo Congo in Cartago PARAGUAY El Congo PERU Mandinga Other place names of African origin (guineo) Mata Guineo, Panama El Guineo, Panama Mata de Guineo, Cartago, Costa Rica El Guineo: Sancti Spiritus, Cuba Mata de Guineo Quineo Honduras El Guineo in Petén, Guatemala El Guineo Weather, Dominican Republic El Guineo, Columbia Lago de Guineo, USA Guineo Grande Ecuador El Guineo El Salvador El Salvador, El Guineo Panama La vega del guine, Honduras Arroyo los guineos – Columbia El Guineo , Mexico El Guineo Cabanas, El Salvador El Guineo Peru Cerro Guineo, Peru Sierra de Guineo, Venezuela Quebrada El Guineo, Venezuela Lago El Guineo, Puerto Rico El Guineo, Guatemala. El Guineo , Mexico. Río El Guineo Nicaragua Caño El Guineo, Nicaragua El Guineo Paraguay
A TIMELINE OF AFRICA HISTORY c. 100,000 BC Humans migrate from Africa to other parts of the world C. 3,118 BC King Menes unites the kingdoms of Upper and Lower in Egypt C. 2,600 BC The first pyramid is built in Egypt C. 2,000 BC Bantu speaking people begin to migrate southwards C. 1,700 BC The kingdom of Kush arises south of Egypt 814 BC The city of Carthage is founded in Tunisia C. 650 BC Iron working spreads in North Africa 30 BC Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire C. 50 AD The kingdom of Axum arises in what is now Ethiopia C. 350 AD Bantu speaking people arrive in Zambia 202 BC The Romans defeat Carthage at the battle of Zama in North Africa C. 500 AD Iron working reaches southern Africa 642 AD The Arabs conquer Egypt C. 650 AD Muslims travel across the Sahara on camels to trade 698 AD The Arabs capture Carthage C. 800 AD Trading towns are formed on the east coast of Africa C. 1100 AD The kingdom of Ife in Nigeria becomes important C. 1300 AD The kingdom of Benin in Nigeria becomes important 1324 Mansa Musa ruler of Mali makes a pilgrimage to Mecca and shows off his great wealth C. 1350 AD The kingdom of Songhai arises in west Africa 1415 The Portuguese conquer Ceuta in North Africa. It is the first European foothold in Africa. 1464-1491 Under its ruler Sunni Ali the kingdom of Songhai in west Africa conquers territory and expands 1488 The Portuguese sail round the Cape of Good Hope. 1508 The Portuguese begin to settle in Mozambique 1517 The Turks conquer Egypt 1518 Onwards African slaves are transported across the Atlantic by Europeans 1551 The Turks capture Tripoli 1562 England joins the slave trade 1564 The Songhai Empire in west Africa destroys the Empire of Mali 1575 The Portuguese begin to settle in Angola 1581 The Moroccans begin to expand across the Sahara 1590 The Moroccans capture Timbuktu 1591 The Moroccans destroy the Empire of Songhai 1652 The Dutch conquers South Africa 1700 The rise of the Ashanti kingdom in West Africa 1787 The British send freed slaves in Sierra Leone 1792 Denmark bans the slave trade 1806 The Dutch colony in South Africa becomes a British colony 1807 Sierra Leone and Gambia become British crown colonies Britain bans the slave trade 1808 The USA bans the slave trade 1822 The USA founds a colony for freed slaves in Liberia 1828 Shaka king of the Zulus is assassinated 1830 The French invade Algeria. Over the following years the French build up an empire in North Africa 1847 Liberia becomes independent 1859-1869 The Suez Canal is built in Egypt 1879 The Zulus defeat the British at Isandlhwana but they are defeated at Ulundi 1880-1881 War between the British and Boers (Dutch speaking farmers) in South Africa 1882 The British army occupies Egypt and Sudan 1884 The Germans take Namibia, Tanzania, Togo and Cameroon The Mahdi leads an anti-British uprising in Sudan 1885 Italy takes Eritrea, Belgium takes The Republic of Congo and Britain takes Botswana The Mahdi captures Khartoum and British general Gordon is killed 1886 Kenya becomes a British colony Gold is discovered in Transvaal 1888-89 The British take control of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) 1894 The British take Uganda 1896 The Italians invade Ethiopia but are defeated by the Ethiopians 1898 The British defeat the Sudanese at the battle of Omdurman 1910 The Union of South Africa becomes independent from Britain 1912 Italy conquers Libya 1935-36 Italy conquers Ethiopia 1941 The British drive the Italians out of Ethiopia 1942 The British defeat the Germans and Italians at El Alamein in Egypt 1943 German and Italian forces in North Africa surrender 1948 Apartheid is introduced in South Africa 1951 Libya becomes independent 1952-55 The Mau Mau uprising in Kenya takes place 1956 Morocco and Sudan become independent. So does Tunisia Oil is discovered in Nigeria 1957 Ghana becomes independent 1960 Senegal becomes independent The Sharpeville massacre in South Africa 1962 Uganda becomes independent. So does Algeria. 1963 Kenya becomes independent 1964 Zambia and Malawi become independent. The state of Tanzania is formed. 1965 Gambia becomes independent 1966 Botswana becomes independent 1967 Diamonds are discovered in Botswana 1967-70 Civil War in Nigeria 1969 Colonel Gadafi takes power in Libya 1970 Idi Amin seizes power in Uganda 1974 Emperor Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed 1975 Angola and Mozambique become independent 1979 Amin is overthrown 1980 Robert Mugabe becomes prime minister of Zimbabwe 1990 Namibia becomes independent 1993 Eritrea becomes independent 1994 Nelson Mandela becomes president of South Africa Ethnic massacres in Rwanda 1997 Zaire is renamed Democratic Republic of Congo 1999 Thabo Mbeki becomes president of South Africa.
Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister of Ghana, will forever be remembered as a great Pan-Africanist whose goal was the establishment of a United States of Africa. Instead, in 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown by a United States-backed coup. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi assumed the presidency of the African Union in 2009, vowing to work towards a United States of Africa with “a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport,” so that Africans could “move freely around the continent." Two and a half years later, Gaddafi was overthrown and killed by forces backed by the United States. The 53-member African Union had stood by, seemingly helpless to halt the overthrow of a sovereign African state by the Euro-American war machine. Fifty-five years after Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana won its independence, the military force that counts most in Africa is the United States. Increasingly, the African Union has been transformed into a vassal of AFRICOM – the U.S. Military Command on the continent. The war in Somalia, which now involves the whole of the Horn of Africa, is, on paper, an African Union military operation. But the AU is just a front for the U.S., which provides all the training, weapons, equipment – everything the 15,000 African soldiers from five different nations need except their salaries, which are paid for by the European Union and the United Nations. The recolonization of Africa is well underway, but it will not require a huge American or NATO occupation force. The nations of the African Union will provide the troops for their own subjugation. The African Union pretends not to be a puppet of the United States, but even the Los Angeles Times cannot avoid the conclusion that the Somali mission is “largely a creation of the State Department and Pentagon, trained and supplied by the U.S. government.” Rwandan soldiers have been doing the Pentagon’s bidding in Africa so long, and so loyally, a group of them has been brought to Alabama to learn how to operate the U.S. Army’s drones. Kenya soldiers are also undergoing drone training, so that they might better find, fix and destroy America’s African enemies. “The nations of the African Union will provide the troops for their own subjugation.” That’s all most African armies are good for, now that 53 of the continent’s nations have become military partners with AFRICOM. African officers learn from Americans how to communicate with their troops, how to deploy them in the field, and what tactics are best for defense and attack. They train on American equipment, using American intelligence, and are probably indirectly paid by the Americans. Many of these militaries have closer ties to their American counterparts – to AFRICOM – than to their own governments. As a defense against U.S. aggression in Africa, these guys are quite useless. But they fit perfectly into President Obama’s calculation, that the American public has a great tolerance for war, as long as Americans are not the ones who are dying. By subordinating the African Union to the Pentagon’s purposes, Obama has made it possible for the U.S. to militarily dominate the continent, at very little political or economic cost. Essentially, the Africans are being paid to kill and enslave themselves. Come to think of it, we’ve heard that story, before
Africans Pay For The Bullets The French Use To Kill Them The French Treasury is holding billions of dollars owned by the African states of the francophone nations of West and Central Africa in its own accounts and invested in the French Bourse. The Africans deposit the equivalent of 85%of their annual reserves in these accounts as a matter of post-colonial agreements and have never been given an accounting for how much the French are holding on their behalf, in what have these funds been invested, and what profit or loss there have been. The French have been acquiring and holding the national reserves of fourteen countries since 1961. Even allowing for losses and expenditures in keeping the CFA franc viable, the French are holding about at least four hundred billion dollars of African money, wholly unaccountably to the money’s putative owners, the African states. Even Bernie Madoff couldn’t have constructed a Ponzi scheme that large without being exposed. This ‘bargain’ was made between the African former colonies and the French as part of the Pacte Coloniale which accompanied their independence and controlled through a single currency, the CFA franc... This was largely the work of the French presidential adviser, Jacques Foccart. Jacques Foccart was the chief adviser for the government of France on African policy as well as the co-founder of the Gaullist Service d'Action Civique (SAC) in 1959 with Charles Pasqua, which specialized in covert operations in Africa. It was Foccart “the eminence grise” who negotiated the Pacte Coloniale with the evolving French West African states who achieved their “flag independence “ in 1960. Not really having planned for it, in 1960 de Gaulle had to improvise structures for a collection of small newly independent states, each with a flag, an anthem, and a seat at the UN, but often with precious little else. It was here that Foccart came to play an essential role, that of architect of the series of Cooperation accords with each new state in the sectors of finance and economy, culture, education, and the military. There were initially eleven countries involved: Mauritania, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Dahomey (now Benin), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Niger, Chad, Gabon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, and Madagascar. Togo and Cameroon, former UN Trust Territories, were also co-opted into the club. So, too, later on, were Mall and the former Belgian territories (Ruanda-Urundi, now Rwanda and Burundi, and Congo-Kinshasa), some of the ex-Portuguese territories, and Comoros and Djibouti, which had also been under French rule for many years but became independent in the 1970s. The whole ensemble was put under a new Ministry of Cooperation, created in 1961, separate from the Ministry of Overseas Departments and Territories (known as the DOM-TOM) that had previously run them all. The key to all this was the agreement signed between France and its newly-liberated African colonies which locked these colonies into the economic and military embrace of France. This Colonial Pact not only created the institution of the CFA franc, it created a legal mechanism under which France obtained a special place in the political and economic life of its colonies. The Pacte Coloniale Agreement enshrined a special preference for France in the political, commercial and defence processes in the African countries. On defence it agreed two types of continuing contact. The first was the open agreement on military co-operation or Technical Military Aid (AMT) agreements, which weren’t legally binding, and could be suspended according to the circumstances. They covered education, training of servicemen and African security forces. The second type, secret and binding, were defence agreements supervised and implemented by the French Ministry of Defence, which served as a legal basis for French interventions. These agreements allowed France to have pre-deployed troops in Africa; in other words, French army units present permanently and by rotation in bases and military facilities in Africa; run entirely by the French (and, incidentally, paid for by the Africans),. In summary, the colonial pact maintained the French control over the economies of the African states; it took possession of their foreign currency reserves; it controlled the strategic raw materials of the country; it stationed troops in the country with the right of free passage; it demanded that all military equipment be acquired from France; it took over the training of the police and army; it required that French businesses be allowed to maintain monopoly enterprises in key areas (water, electricity, ports, transport, energy, etc.). France not only set limits on the imports of a range of items from outside the franc zone but also set minimum quantities of imports from France. These treaties are still in force and operational. One of the most important influences in the economic and political life of African states which were formerly French colonies is the impact of a common currency; the Communuate Financiere de l’Afrique (‘CFA’ franc. There are actually two separate CFA francs in circulation. The first is that of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) which comprises eight West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The second is that of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) which comprises six Central African countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon), This division corresponds to the pre-colonial AOF (Afrique Occidentale Française) and the AEF (Afrique Équatoriale Française), with the exception that Guinea-Bissau was formerly Portuguese and Equatorial Guinea Spanish). Each of these two groups issues its own CFA franc. The WAEMU CFA franc is issued by the BCEAO (Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest) and the CEMAC CFA franc is issued by the BEAC (Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale). These currencies were originally both pegged at 100 CFA for each French franc but, after France joined the European Community’s Euro zone at a fixed rate of 6.65957 French francs to one Euro, the CFA rate to the Euro was fixed at CFA 665,957 to each Euro, maintaining the 100 to 1 ratio. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the French Treasury to guarantee the convertibility of the CFA to the Euro. The monetary policy governing such a diverse aggregation of countries is uncomplicated for African Central Banks because it is, in fact, operated by the French Treasury, without reference to the central fiscal authorities of any of the WAEMU or the CEMAC. Under the terms of the agreement which set up these banks and the CFA the Central Bank of each African country is obliged to keep at least 65% of its foreign exchange reserves in an “operations account” held at the French Treasury, as well as another 20% to cover financial liabilities. The CFA central banks also impose a cap on credit extended to each member country equivalent to 20% of that country’s public revenue in the preceding year. Even though the BEAC and the BCEAO have an overdraft facility with the French Treasury, the drawdowns on those overdraft facilities are subject to the consent of the French Treasury. The final say is that of the French Treasury which has invested the foreign reserves of the African countries in its own name on the Paris Bourse. In short, more than 80% of the foreign reserves of these African countries are deposited in the “operations accounts” controlled by the French Treasury. The two CFA banks are African in name, but have no monetary policies of their own. The countries themselves do not know, nor are they told, how much of the pool of foreign reserves held by the French Treasury belongs to them as a group or individually. The earnings of the investment of these funds in the French Treasury pool are supposed to be added to the pool but no accounting has ever been given to either the banks or the countries of the details of any such changes. The limited group of high officials in the French Treasury who have knowledge of the amounts in the “operations accounts”, where these funds are invested; whether there is a profit on these investments; are prohibited from disclosing any of this information to the CFA banks or the central banks of the African states. This makes it impossible for African members to regulate their own monetary policies. The most inefficient and wasteful countries are able to use the foreign reserves of the more prudent countries without any meaningful intervention by the wealthier and more successful countries. Most importantly, the French Government uses these funds on deposit in France as assets of France. The CFA franc devaluation of 50 per cent against the French franc in January 1994 was a great surprise to several of the African states and caused major problems for them. The problems for the African states are growing. The coming crisis in the Euro, with the bailouts of Greece, Portugal and others will have a strong effect on the value of the Euro. With the CFA franc pegged to the Euro the value of the CFA will decline with it. The cost of commodities (petroleum products, foodstuffs, etc.) priced in dollars will grow to be a heavier burden on the African economies. Moreover, France itself is in deep financial trouble. The International Monetary Fund has warned this week that France will have to carry out more spending cuts to ensure it reaches its deficit reduction commitments amid lower-than-expected growth expectations. While France has predicted 2.25 per cent growth for 2012, the IMF has downgraded this to 1.9 per cent next year. The French are spending almost US$2 million a day bombing Libya; above the budgeted expenditure in its defence budget. France is very short of money. However, the cost of massacring Ivoirians, using tanks, helicopter gunships and Special Forces were offset against the Ivory Coast money it was holding so didn’t add to the budgetary problems. The killing of Africans in the Ivory Coast, Cameroons, Rwanda, Chad and the Central African Republic have never been the subject of a budget request to the French defence budget as the Office of the President deducts these from the tranche at the Treasury (which is why it has never been debated in the French National Assembly). To add insult to injury the French estimated that the French business community had lost several millions of dollars when, in the rush to leave Abidjan in 2006 when the French Army massacred 65 unarmed civilians and wounded 1,200 others, the French lost money as they feared the revenge of the Ivoirians, The French demanded that the Ouattara government which they had installed paid them compensation for these putative losses. Indeed the Ouattara government paid them twice what they said they had lost in leaving. Surely the time has come for the francophone governments to ask the French for a proper accounting of the money they are holding. Perhaps the next government in the Ivory Coast which will succeed Ouattara’s assassination or defeat at the polls will ask the French for an accounting. Wade in Senegal has asked but was never answered. The solution seems simple. Until the French give a proper accounting for Africa’s billions the African states should stop sending more to them. It is bad enough paying their overseer for the cost of his whip used to chastise them. It is wholly unreasonable to continue to do so when there is no upside, only potential losses
Simón Bolívar's famous Lieutenant. Black Venezuelans played a decisive role in their country's War of Independence. South American liberator Simón Bolívar thoroughly understood the strategic importance of black soldiers and abolished slavery in 1812 and again in 1816. Bolívar being a slave master himself freed 1,000 of his own slaves, and recruited 5,000 slaves into his army. One of Bolivar's most famous lieutenants, Pedro Camejo, is known in Venezuela's history books as "El Negro Primero (The First Black)," because he was always the first to ride into battle. The only statue commemorating a black person in Venezuela is that of Pedro Camejo, better known as “El Negro Primero” (the First Black) one of Simón Bolívar's famous Lieutenants. A statue of El Negro Primero today stands in the Plaza Carabobo in Caracas—the only statue commemorating a Black person in all Venezuela.
Abram Petrovich Hannibal (1696-1782) Believed to be born in Born in either Senegal or Eritrea, he was brought to Peter the Great as a gift. Abram studied math and languages in Paris, fought in the French military and returned home to become commanding general of the Russian army. He was the maternal great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin, one of the most revered figure in Russian culture. Sold into Turkish slavery, Abram Petrovich Hannibal was brought as a black servant to Czar Peter I, known as Peter the Great. He became one of the royal favorites, a general-in-chief and one of the best educated men in Russia. His great-grandson was Alexander Pushkin, the famous Russian writer who later glorified the deeds of his black ancestor in his book, The Negro of Peter the Great. It is believed that Hannibal was born on an unknown date around 1696 in the principality of Logon in present day Cameroon or South west Eritrea. Abducted by a rival tribe, Hannibal was sold to Turkish slave traders who brought him to Constantinople in 1703. As an eight-year-old boy he came to the court of Peter the Great who adopted him immediately. Being the Czar’s godson, Hannibal assumed his name, Petrovich, and became his valet on Peter’s various military campaigns and journeys. When the Czar visited France in 1716, Hannibal was left behind in Paris to study engineering and mathematics at a military school. Two years later, he joined the French army and fought in the war against Spain. In January 1723, Hannibal finally returned to Russia. To Hannibal’s misery, his protector Peter the Great died in 1725, leaving the black artillery lieutenant in the dependence of the royal advisor Prince Menshikov, who–due to his dislike for Hannibal–assigned him to Siberia and later to the Chinese border where his task was to measure the Great Wall. Hannibal’s fortunes changed in 1741, when Empress Elisabeth took the throne and Hannibal was allowed to officially return from his exile although in fact he had done so clandestinely in 1731. Five years after his illegal return, he married his second wife Christina Regina von Schöberg, the daughter of a Swedish army captain, who bore him eleven children. One of his sons named Osip was the grandfather of the poet Alexander Pushkin. Although it had been his wish to retire, Empress Elisabeth did not want to abandon Hannibal and his engineering skills. He was made commander of the city of Reval between 1743 and 1751 and by 1760 had been promoted to the rank of a full general. During his military career he oversaw various projects such as the construction of the Ladoga Canal and Russian fortresses. Abram Petrovich Hannibal died on April 20, 1781, as one of the leading pioneers of his country and probably the first outstanding engineer in Russian history. Sources: Hugh Barnes, Gannibal: The Moor of Petersburg (London: Profile Books, 2005); Allison Blakely, Russia and the Negro: Blacks in Russian History and Thought (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1986); N. K. Teletova, “A.P. Gannibal: On the Occasion of the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Alexander Pushkin’s Great-Grandfather,” Under the Sky of My Africa: Alexander Pushkin and Blackness, Ed. Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, Nicole Svobodny, and Ludmilla A. Trigos (Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 2006). here are some excerpts from the Economist’s review of Gannibal: The Moor of Petersburg (published in America as The Stolen Prin
History of Capoeira In 1500′s the Portuguese, led by Pedro Alvares Cabral, arrived in Brazil. One of the first measures taken by the new arrivals was the subjugation of the local population in order to furnish the Portuguese with slave labor (for sugarcane and cotton). The experience with the people who belong in this land was a failure. The local population quickly died in captivity or fled to their nearby homes. The Portuguese then began to import slave labor from Africa. On the other side of the Atlantic, free men and women were captured, loaded onto ghastly slave ships and sent on nightmarish voyages that for most would end in perpetual bondage. The Africans first arrived by the hundreds and later by the thousands (approximately four million in total). Three major African groups contributed in large numbers to the slave population in Brazil, the Sudanese group, composed largely of Yoruba and Dahomean peoples, the Mohammedanized Guinea-Sudanese groups of Malesian and Hausa peoples, and the “Bantu” groups (among them Kongos, Kimbundas, and Kasanjes) from Angola, Congo and Mozambique. Who or what is responsible for Capoeira? Where did the foundation of capoeira come from? That is the eternal question that can never really be answered. The Bantu groups are believed to have been the foundation for the birth of Capoeira. They brought with them, from Africa, their culture, a culture that was not stored away in books and museums but rather in the body, mind, heart and soul. A culture that was transmitted from father to son, throughout generations. There was candomble’, a religion; the berimbau, a musical instrument; vatapa, a food; and so many other things. Basically a way of life. The Dutch controlled parts of the northeast between 1624 and 1654. Slaves took steps towards reconquest of their freedom when the Dutch lashed out against the Portuguese colony, invading towns and plantations along the northeastern coast concentrating on Recife and Salvador. With each Dutch invasion the security of the plantations and towns were weakened. The slaves taking advantage of the opportunities, fled, plunging into the forests in search of places in which to hide and survive. Many after escaping founded independent villages called quilombos. The quilombos were very important to evolution of Capoeira. There were at least ten major quilombos with internal socio-economic organizations and commercial relationships with neighboring cities. The quilombo dos Palmraes lasted sixty-seven years in the interior of the state of Alagoas, rebuffing almost all expeditions sent to extinguish it. Because of the consistency and type of threat present, Capoeira developed it’s structure as a fight in the quilombos. The embryo of Capoeira as a rudimentary fighting style was created in the slaves’ quarters and perhaps would not have developed further if left only to that environment. Starting around 1814, Capoeira and other forms of African cultural expression suffered repression and were prohibited in some places by the slave masters and overseers. Up until that date, forms of African cultural expression were permitted and sometimes even encouraged, not only as a safety gauge against internal pressures created by slavery but also to bring out the differences between various African groups, in a spirit of “divide and conquer”. But with the arrival in Brazil in 1808 of the Portuguese king Dom Joao VI and his court, who were fleeing Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Portugal, things changed. The newcomers understood the necessity of destroying a people’s culture in order to dominate them, and Capoeira began to be persecuted in a process, which would culminate with its being outlawed in 1892. Why was Capoeira suppressed? There were many motives. First of all it gave Africans a sense of nationality. It also developed self-confidence in individual Capoeira practitioners. Capoeira created small, cohesive groups. It also created dangerous and agile fighters. Sometimes the slaves would injure themselves during the Capoeira, which was not desirable from an economical point of view. The masters and overseers were probably not as conscious as the king and his intellectuals of his court of all of these motives, but intuitively knew something didn’t “smell right.” It must be stressed that there are many other theories attempting to explain the origins of Capoeira. According to one prevalent theory, Capoeira was a fight that was disguised as a dance so that it could be practiced unbeknownst to the white slave owners. This seems unlikely because, around 1814, when African culture began to be repressed, other forms of African dancing suffered prohibition along with Capoeira, so there was no sense in disguising Capoeira as a dance. Another theory says that the Mucupes in the South of Angola had an initiation ritual (efundula) for when girls became woman, on which occasion the young warriors engaged in the N’golo, or “dance of the zebras,” a warrior’s fight-dance. According to this theory, the N’golo was Capoeira itself. This theory was presented by Camara Cascudo (folclore do Brasil, 1967), but one year later Waldeloir Rego (Capoeira Angola, Editora Itapoan, Salvador, 1968) warned that this “strange theory” should be looked upon with reserve until it was properly proven (something that never happened). If the N’Golo did exist, it would seem that it was at best one of several dances that contributed to the creation of early Capoeira. Other theories mix Zumbi, the legendary leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares (a community made up of those who managed to flee from slavery) with the origins of Capoeira, without any reliable information on the matter. All of these theories are extremely important when we try to understand the myth that surrounds Capoeira, but they clearly cannot be accepted as historical fact according to the data and information that we presently have. Perhaps with further research the theory that we have proposed here, i.e., Capoeira as a mix of various African dances and fights that occurred in Brazil, primarily in the 19th century, will also be outdated in future years. With the signing of the Golden Law in 1888, which abolished slavery, the newly freed slaves did not find a place for themselves within the existing socio-economic order. The capoeirista (practitioner of Capoeira), with his fighting skills, self-confidence and individuality, quickly descended into criminality and Capoeira along with him. In Rio de Janiero, where Capoeira had developed exclusively as a form of fighting, criminal gangs were created that terrorized the population. Soon thereafter, during the transition from the Brazilian Empire to the Brazilian republic in 1890, these gangs were used by both monarchists and republicans to exert pressure on and break up the rallies of their adversaries. The club, the dagger and the switchblade were used to complement the damage done by various Capoeira moves.In Bahia on the other hand, Capoeira continued to develop into a ritual-dance-fight-game, and the berimbau began to be an indispensable instrument used to command the rodas (actual sessions of Capoeira games), which always took place hidden locales since the practice of Capoeira in this era had already been outlawed by the first constitution of the Brazilian Republic (1892). At the beginning of the twentieth century, in Rio the capoeirista was a rouge and a criminal. Whether the capoeirista was white, black or mulatto, he was an expert in the use of kicks (golpes), sweeps (rasteiras) and head-butts (cabecadas), as well as in the use of blade weapons. In Recife, Capoeira became associated with the city’s principal musicbands. During carnival time, tough Capoeira fighters would lead the bands through the streets of that city, and were ever two bands would meet, fighting and bloodshed would usually ensue. In Bahia, the capoeirista was also often seen as a criminal. The persecution and the confrontations with the police continued. The art form was slowly extinguished in Rio and Recife, leaving Capoeira only in Bahia. It was during this period that legendary figures, feared players such as Besouro Cordao-de-Ouro in Bahia, Nascimento Grande in Recife and Manduca da Praia in Rio, who are celebrated to this day in Capoeira, made their appearances It is said that Besouro lived in Santo Amaro da Purificacao in the state of Bahia, and was the teacher of another famous capoeirista by the name of Cobrinha Verde. Besouro did not like the police and was feared not only as a capoeirista but also for having his corpo fechado (a person who through specific magic rituals, supposedly attains almost complete invulnerability in the face of various weapons). According to legend, an ambush was set up for him. It is said that he himself (who could not read) carried the written message identifying him as the person to be killed, thinking that it was a message that would bring him work. Legend says he was killed with a special wooden dagger prepared during magic rituals in order to overcome his corpo fechado. Of all the rouges that led the carnival bands through the streets of Recife, Nascimiento Grande was one of the most feared. Some say he was killed during police persecution in the early 1900s, but others say he moved from Recife to Rio de Janiero and died of old age there. Manduca da Praia was of an earlier generation (1890s) and always dressed in an extremely elegant style. It is said that he owned a fish store and lived comfortably. He was also one of those who controlled elections in the area he lived in. It is said that he had twenty-seven criminal cases against himself (for assault, knifing etc.) but was always absolved due to his influence of the politicians he worked for. The two central figures in Capoeira in the twentieth century were undoubtedly Mestre Bimba and Mestre Pastinha. These two figures are so important in the history of Capoeira that they (and the mystery that surrounds them) are the mythical ancestors of all Capoeira players. Much of what a modern Capoeira player tries to be is due to what these men were or represented. Even though they were not the first, they are definitely the most prominent figures associated with Capoeira today. They are synonymous with Capoeira because they are the heart, soul, spirit and essence of the martial art. Both are legends. In the 1932 in Salvador, Mestre Bimba (Manuel dos Reis Machado) opened the first Capoeira academy. He started teaching what he called “the regional fight from Bahia,” eventually known as Capoeira Regional (faster more aggressive than traditional Capoeira Angola style). This feat was made possible by nationalistic policies of Getulio Vargas, who wanted to promote Capoeira as a Brazilian sport. Although Bimba opened his school in 1932, the official recognition only came about in 1937, when it was technically registered. It must be noted that the Getulio Vargas government permitted the practice of Capoeira, but only in enclosed areas that were registered with the police. With the opening of Bimba’s Academy, a new era in the history of Capoeira began, as the game was taught to the children of the upper classes of Salvador. Bimba was active in Capoeira his whole life. As a matter of fact he was planning to give a Capoeira demonstration on the day he died, February 5, 1974. In 1941, Mestre Pastinha (Vincente Ferreira Pastinha) opened his Capoeira angola school. For the first time, Capoeira began to be taught and practiced openly in a formal setting. He became known as the “Philosopher of Capoeira” because of his many aphorisms. Unfortunately, government authorities, under the pretext of reforming the Largo do Pelourinho, where he had his academy confiscated. Although he was promised a new one, the government never came through. The final years of his life were sad. Blind and almost abandoned he lived in a small room until his death in 1981 at the age of ninety-two. Capoeira has grown tremendously over the last fifty years. It has finally been excepted by the masses in Brazil. Capoeira competitions and academies are surfacing everywhere. In 1974 it was recognized as the national sport of Brazil. This forced the creation of a national federation of Capoeira. It was formed to govern, promote and coordinate Capoeira since no effort was made previously to unite the various emurgances of Capoeira throughout Brazil. How is Capoeira practiced today? It usually starts with musicians playing instruments such as the berimbau (one string, bow type instrument), atabaque (congo), pandiero (tambourine), and agogo (bell). The musicians are based at the foot (pe’ da) of the circle (roda).This roda is made up of participants (capoeiristas or players) crouching down. The musicians and/or players may be singing a song in Portuguese. Players enter the game from the pe’da roda (foot of the circle), usually with a cartwheel (au). Once in the circle the two players interact with a series of jumps, kicks, flips, hand and headstands and other ritualistic moves. Games can be friendly or dangerous. The music plays a big part in the feel of the game. The type of game to be played (fast or slow, friendly or tough) depends upon the rhythm being played and the content of the lyrics. Capoeira has expanded beyond the borders of Brazil and is growing rapidly in other countries (including the United States). Capoeira appeals to many for many different reasons. First of all the pure beauty of the art is hypnotic. Capoeira is a dance and a fight. It’s not only a combination of gymnastics, dance and martial arts but also music, culture, history and knowledge. The capoeirista must learn to balance the physical with the mental. The capoeirista must play many instruments and sing. The capoeirista may at times be your enemy but is usually a friend. The capoeirista is a historian. The capoeirista is all of these.
ndence two decades ago, but unlike its neighbour Zimbabwe, the rainbow nation has shamefully failed to deal with the land issue in A manner that empowers the African majority. Today, very few, if any, South Africans have been allocated land by the Government. Those who have land are the rich who somehow have bought the land from liberal Whites at an overpriced cost. In today’s South Africa, there is no deliberate policy to redistribute land, except political rhetoric at public rallies. On the contrary, every Zimbabwean who needed land during the land reform programme got it, for no cent. No one paid anything. Today, Zimbabweans smile to the various agriculture product markets and if you ask them, they attribute their new found economic power to President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party. The Black Government in South Africa has lived on rhetoric and nothing practical; this is precisely the reason why Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is a hero to the ordinary South African than Jacob Zuma. Given national political dynamics South Africans might not talk glowingly about Mugabe in the presence of their government officials or foreigners but when they are at ease, they tell you Mugabe is their hero and Mugabe has empowered his people. They even wish Mugabe was the President of South Africa. Today debate is raging over the land issue in South Africa, the latest being the failure by the Government to reverse a 1913 law that gives the White settlers advantage over the African majority on land allocation. Correcting the lasting effects of the Natives Land Act of 1913 is a crucial component of South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP), says President Zuma. Passed by the Union of South Africa in 1913, the Natives Land Act gave the right to own the biggest parcel of land in South Africa to white settlers, while Africans, in the words of former African National Congress secretary-general Sol Plaatjie, had to be content with being pariahs in the land of their birth. Zuma was speaking at a gala dinner in Cape Town on Thursday night to mark the centenary of the passing of the Natives Land Act. He said it was an occasion for optimism. Up to us to “do a great right” “The reality is that these days are behind us. A great wrong was done, and now it is up to us to follow up by doing a great right. We are now in charge of our own destiny. We have achieved a successful transition to democracy. We have a model Constitution, based on fairness,” said president Zuma. But he said South Africa still had to reverse the dreadful pattern of poverty and landlessness — “the havoc created by the Natives Land Act”. “Correcting the consequences of this Act is a critical cog in the wheel of state — it is a crucial component in the National Development Plan. There can be no successful national development without accompanying rural development and land reform.” He remarked it was good that there was still co-operation on this matter in South Africa and that the land question was being treated with sensitivity. The Cabinet approved the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill for publication and public comment in May 2013. In addition, the National Assembly recently approved the Special Planning and Land Use Management Bill which is now before the National Council of Provinces. National Support Needed These two Bills would help to reverse the process. “But, as I said earlier, success will require national support,” Zuma said. South Africa’s National Development Plan aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. Among other things, it projects what the agricultural sector should look like in 30 years’ time. South Africa I have appealed the non-response by the Department of Public Works to my application to gain access to the “Nkandlagate”. “In this case, it is important to stress that land reform is not just about how much land is given back to claimants, but should include skills transfer,” Zuma said, adding that claimants should be empowered to use land productively for job creation, food security and attracting young people to farming. The government would provide better incentives for commercial farmers who were willing and capable of mentoring smallholder farmers. Adequate post-settlement support to new landowners would also be given so that land continued to be productive. “We call on all South Africans to commemorate this landmark, with a view to correcting the wrongs of the past and to reinforce reconciliation. We urge the public to participate in the process of improving land redistribution and reform to reverse the impact of the 1913 Act. We call on the public to engage in a meaningful debate about the acceleration of land restitution, within our constitutional framework.” White Settlers’ “Original Sin” Zuma called the 1913 Natives Land Act “the original sin” of those who came to settle in South Africa. He added that the White apartheid government, which had succeeded the Union Government, had from 1948 relocated African people into impoverished homelands and poorly serviced townships. “Since they could no longer provide food security for themselves and their families, they were forced to look for work far away from their families. The Act marked the beginning of socio-economic challenges the country is facing today such as landlessness, poverty and inequality.” The Natives Land Act was repealed in 1991, but its legacy was still being felt today, almost 20 years after South Africa became a democratic country, Zuma said. When a democratic government was elected in 1994, it committed itself, in accordance with the rule of law, to address the inequalities of land ownership and “particularly to those dispossessed as a result of it. “Land dispossession is no doubt the fundamental violation of the rights of the indigenous people and the original sin, so to speak, of those who came to settle in the country.” The government has undertaken to restore 30 percent of the land back to Africans by 2014. Since 1994, when the first democratically elected government came into power, the government has been addressing land reform through restitution, redistribution and tenure reform. The national policy of reconciliation and nation-building also guided this process. “As we are all aware, progress has however been slow, and we have admitted that the 2014 redistribution target will not be met,” Zuma said, adding: “Only 6.7-million hectares of land have so far been transferred through redistribution and restitution.”
Thursday, 20 June 2013
AFRICA AT THE TIME OF ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN EXPLORERS When the first European explorers arrived to explore and discover Africa, they did not find in Africa savages and barbarians or people without civilization, they civilized. The German ethnologist Leo Frobenius (1873-1938) who undertook nearly a dozen expeditions in sub-Saharan Africa between 1904 and 1935, left for us a brief description, an overview of what Africa looked like upon the arrival of the first Europeans, from the accounts and descriptions of Africa given by early explorers. : "When (European navigators) arrived in the Bay of Guinea and landed at Vaida, the captains were astonished to find well-appointed streets lined with over a length of several miles by two rows of trees: they crossed for days campaign covered with beautiful fields, inhabited by men dressed in dazzling costumes which they had woven the fabric themselves! Further south, in the kingdom of Congo, a swarming crowd dressed in silk and velvet, large and well-ordered states that in detail, powerful rulers, wealthy industries. Civilized to the maarow bone! And every such was the condition of the country to the east coast, Mozambique, for example. " When European explorers arrived, they found people who had their own civilization. The accounts of foreign explorers who were very numerous to explore the African continent, are of great importance for us to enjoy the description of the situation inland. Those summaries are still alive in Frobenius minds who gives us his personal perspective of the devaluation of the image of blacks in the interests of the colonial powers "The revelations of the Portuguese navigators of the fifteenth to eighteenth century provide evidence that the negroes of Africa that extended south of the Sahara desert were still in full bloom, shining with culture and well formed civilizations. As they advanced, the conquistadores (conquerors in spanish and portuguese) annihilated every sign of life and culture as they progressed because the new country of America needed slaves and Africa was where they were getting the slaves from in hundreds and thousands. However, the slave trade was never a matter of justice rest it required justification, so we made the negro a half animal, a commodity. And this is how we invented the concept of the fetish (Portuguese word that comes: feiticero) as a symbol of African religion. European trademark! As for me, I've never seen in any part of Africa the natives negro worship fetish (...) The idea of "barbaric negro 'is a European invention which has, against time, dominated Europe until the beginning of this century " Thus the African empires and kingdoms powerful, suffered attacks and destruction, Africa had entered into a cycle of suffering (slavery, colonization, etc ...) that has not ended yet. Sources: African History - Histoire Africaine Jean Phillipe Omotunde: the African roots of European civilization, Editions Menaibuc Leo Frobenius, History of Africa Gon civilization, translated by Back and Ermont, Gallimard, Paris, 1938