Although it is with some delay, I am reproducing herunder a Call for an Immediate African Board of inquiry, receeived from the Council of the Intellectuals of Africa and the African Diasporas on the massacres in Guinea: on September 28, 2009:
Whereas, on Monday September 28, 2009, Africa and the whole world waited to live again and reinforce the historic Non of Guinea to French colonialism and General Charles de Gaulle, that powerful resounding Non that had come a year after the Independence of Ghana in 1957, and had given a strong signal of the political emancipation of the French ex-colonies of Africa from the yoke of the old colonial power. But, alas, against any waiting, and instead of the celebration of the honor and dignity found in that Non, it is a disastrous catastrophe which was unrolled in the first independent French-speaking country in Africa. We know that a blood bath is neither a celebration nor is the slaughter of several tens of people a democratic act of faith.
Thus, the executors of September 28, 2009 had decided to proceed to the ritual crime of killing the independent will of the African people that had been established on September 28, 1958. They had wanted to terminate this great victory of the Guinean and West African people. It is not nor should it be appropriate that the scenario of September 28, 2009 functions like the punitive sanction of a whole people for crime of Independence with respect to France and the European colonial powers whose seizure of Africa still persists in a thousand manners. Therefore, the day before September 28, 2009, when Guinea waited for its celebration, the gathering storms were assembling to make the date a caricature, a counterfeit, of the original. Indeed in its reformulation with a half century of distance from the founding document which puts an end to French colonialism, i.e., we see the engagement of the people of Guinea in the second battle for decolonization, in an effort to bring about sub-regional integration in direction of the United States of Africa.
Whatever the reasons, the immediate actions of the actors of this day make this September 28, 2009 more a time of nightmare and tragedy than celebration and victory. It is a PROVOCATION intended to push the Guineans in a contrary direction against their objective and subjective interests, but also it is an INSULT against Africa and the conscience of Africans, just at the moment when the question of the United States of Africa is at the forefront of our thinking. Indeed, the United States of Africa, as an immediate collective solution to the common problems of Africans on the continent and in the Diasporas, is our most urgent task. Therefore, the winners of this traumatic day are not Guineans, whether in one ethnic group, political party, or social organization or another, but the hidden enemies of Africa, those in the shade, who have decided to keep Guinea away from the political evolutions of CEDEAO like its own historical trajectory. They prefer to see it look outwards with contempt for democratic transitions as well as the progress in the integration of Africans from the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania. This action seeks to continue the exploitation of Guinea’s mining and strategic agricultural wealth, by starting the attack on its most invaluable Inheritance symbolic system and history, which nourished the strategic thought of African Independences: the historic NON of Guinea to French Colonialism on September 28, 1958.
In fact, if September 28 is a capital symbol from history and the memorial perspective for Guineans and Western Africans and beyond, it is because it is a historic symbolic resource and reference mark which weighs much more than just Guinean mining or strategic richness. African independences are the children of Guinean September 28, from Dakar to Abidjan, Lome and Ouagadougou, Bamako and Nouakchott, Cotonou and Niamey, Paris, London and Manhattan, Moscow and Washington. This is so because in truth, it is from September 28, 1958 that the swing of Africa passed over the slope of strategic political emancipation. This is why the anti-African attack of September 28, 2009 is equivalent to a work of deconstruction of the memory of Independences of Black Africa and to the will for rewriting the History of Africa by fire and blood by expressions of Freedom, Honor, Historicity, and Acts of strong men and women of Africa. We do not want a September 28, 2009 which is solved with the promotion of exchange-values and negative models instead of the lessons of the history of African Independences. These lessons form and educate our values, standards, and altruism toward each other and generations of Guineans, Senegalese, of Cameronian, Malians, the Burkinabes, Ivorians, of Dahomeans (Beninese), or Ghanaians, will always be galvanized by the historical exploit of independent Guinea which preferred freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery. What we claim is neither more nor less than the truth on these anti-productive events of September 28, 2009, i.e., the elucidation of the mechanisms and the disassembling of the procedures having transformed the commemoration of a major African event into a driving bolt against the people, and instituted a historical revisionist and anti-African practice against the strong symbolic system of the contribution of the people of Guinea to African Independences. We could not accept this widespread thesis found in the heated media by groups of restorationists willing to get rid of the strong symbols of African independences, beginning with the historic NON of Guinea, and to ravish the resources of the country.
September 28 remains a strong symbol of African Independences. One does not kill a symbol without making an attempt on the conscience and inheritance of a whole people. After having learned dignity from the people from the sub-regions and taught West African elites the superiority of self-respect, altruistic engagement, and Freedom from various forms of dependence, alienation and humiliation the people ask, “How can we allow one moment, September 28 , to work against the land, culture, and identify of the Guinean people?”
This is why we could not accept to legitimate this insult against the people of Guinea and Africa through this attempt at stifling the memory of the historical date of September 28, 1958. It is the same for all these strategies of denigration of the strong symbols of Africa. Following the example of this aggression which was intended to proclaim the strategic nullity of the places of memory in Guinea we have given our objection.
On the whole, the Council of the Intellectuals of Africa and the African Diasporas warns the new African elites and the diasporas of Africa against the revisionist steps and the practices of rewriting the history of Independences by particular extra-metropolitan forces and their African allies, tending to make the legality of African Independences and historical ruptures with French domination in the name of the projects of departmentalization or integration in more or less retrograde forms of association, control and guidance of the African economies by the European or American power stations, which intend to oppose obstinately the realization of the United States of Africa, according to the characteristic needs of Africans themselves.
To raise any ambiguity, if we condemn without reservation and by principle the slaughter without name which occurred on September 28, 2009 in Conakry, and if we estimate that the moral and political responsibility of current Guinean authorities is plausible; we must nevertheless make a clear difference between Responsibility and Culpability in this business. Indeed, in any authority, culpability should not be supposed nor confused with responsibility; and any defendant is supposed innocent until the culpability is shown or its established innocence, by a regular procedures. It is the principle that justice should be independent. Therefore, if the current Authorities perceived in its time as a liberator and savior by the people and the whole of the Guinean citizenship, with the principal burden for the safety of the goods and the people, including the guarantee of the rights and freedoms of the demonstrators, of the persons, values, morals as well as the prerogatives of the political associations, civil and professional, that implies, some form of responsibility. In any event, the negative actions of September 28, 2009 can be called a chance mishap of the military regime, a political act of conspiracy of whole or part of the opposition, or a provocation of the narco-traffikers, or a last-ditch struggle of the revisionists for the re-colonization of the country. Thus, it is not for the actors or their subjects to impose truth, but rather for an independent justice or an African Board of Inquiry Having Authority to put in play all objective and rational issues. In witness whereof, if there is culpability of some actors, whether civil, military of other actors, it is with justice that a credible African Board of Inquiry should take precise measures to inform the public with impartiality as is required by the scope of this tragedy.
In addition, the Council of the Intellectuals of Africa and the African Diasporas warns the authorities as well as the total actors of the Guinean citizenship, including the soldiers, just as the intellectuals, the political parties, the trade unions and associations of the civil society, are against the recurring and persistent dangers of the manipulation of ethnic identifies, the political use of collective feelings must not be used as diversions from solidarity. Of course, we recognize that Guinea does not have a monopoly on this type of diversion.
These attitudes have put many nations of Africa at their knees but we must be dedicated to prosperity and civil agreements that will work for patriotic ends. Indeed, almost always and everywhere where these ideas took root, to substitute for the processes of coalescence and fusion of the social segments in progress in all West Africa, the rigidity of the sectarian ethnic identities transmitted detrimental feelings and were in opposition to the emergent national identities, whereas these last generally result from multiple secular efforts of million of citizens of all ethnicities, all the beliefs and all regions, and generations. How could we tolerate even one moment, in Guinea or elsewhere, the idea that the bases of African integration and cohesion of our historical collectivities are being distorted so that we have to abandon plans for social solidarities, linguistics, sociological, cultural policies between the various people of Africa, in the trans-border zones, and on the level of the dynamic populations and migrations at the levels regional and sub-regional? Not! We cannot tolerate it. The future of Africa and of the United States of Africa cannot be enclosed in any tribo-ethnico-regionalistic idea where indelicate politicians benefit from maneuvers meant to catch the voting massses. The History of Africa and that of all the nations prove that the progress of trans-ethnicity remains the key for the construction of national identities and transnational, African and trans-African, frontier and trans-border divisions between the people. Ultimately, the Council of the Intellectuals of Africa and the African Diasporas, fully conscious of the stakes of the hour, as of the various obstacles set by the hostile forces toward the progress made as regards sub-regional integration in direction of the United States of Africa, calls for the vital energy of Guinea to be directed towards the process of unification and away from insulation. This is the only course that will thwart the international plan, pushed by the enemies of Africa, the strategists of the re-colonization, and the sirens of ethnicity and regionalism which made and still make so much difficulty in Guinea. Taking into consideration the recurring stake, which threatens to plunge Guinea in turbulences which will completely affect and durably destabilize the sub-region whose priorities and urgencies are elsewhere, in particular the development of the economy, of health and education, the rehabilitation of the State, the rebuilding of capital-confidence in the institutions and the governorship; the Council of the Intellectuals of Africa and the African Diasporas calls all of the responsible actors for this African drama which is played out at present in Guinea, a drama whose exit is not fatal, nor predestined even in sight of the painful current experiments, but in way a drama that needs to be surmounted by the will of the actors themselves, as in Ivory Coast, Sierra-Leone, and in Liberia, in Guinea-Bissau. It is of immediate urgency for the Council of the Intellectuals of Africa and of the African Diasporas to give the attention to preventing a transition away from the ultimate destination of the dynamic integration and unification of Africa engaged by CEDEAO and the UA.
For an African Board of inquiry having the authority to ensure Guinea and the sub-region of the advantages of an alleviated Transition.
For the unconditional defense of the symbolic system of September 28, 1958, because the historic NON of Guinea to French Colonialism and Charles de Gaulle remains a fundamental reference mark of the modern history of Africa and for civic education and morals of the people of Africa and the World.
Malick Ndiaye, Molefi Kete Asante, Ama Mazama,. Kojo Aidoo Thomas, Laure Clémence Capo-Chichi, Djibril Tamsir Niane, Taoufik Ben Abdallah, Anthony Jeverse Yak, Charles Simpson Akibode, Samuel Hakizimana, Guezlane Soraya, Séri Dedi, Byabato Kamugisha, Patrick Matloleng, Emmanuel Akwetey, Tolentino Corsino, Iva Cabral, Mahamadé Savadogo, Samia Nkrumah.
October 13, 2009