By Martin K. N. Kollie,Monrovia
April 20, 2015.His Excellency, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Assembly Chairman African Union, Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Dear Chairman Mugabe:
I am mournfully penning down these few words with deep sympathy and empathy overshadowing my entire being for our fellow African brothers and sisters who are undergoing cruel persecution simply because they are not South Africans. My heart is beset by series of atrocious scenes emanating from cities across South Africa as inhumane hostility against peaceful immigrants and foreign nationals intensifies. The dawn of brutality and bloodletting pervading every echelon of South Africa today is a complete contradiction to Pan-Africanism and an irony to African Unity.
The most pathetic and deadliest incident of recent in Africa is the unending xenophobic campaign in South Africa. Mr. Chairman, the African Union must act fast to find a permanent resolution to this dilemma in order to avert potential insecurity and instability in the region. I foresee a continental crisis if genuine steps or measures are not taken to arrest the petrifying wave of violence and intolerance in South Africa. The continent is descending into a dangerous pit of disintegration, discrimination, vandalism, and gangsterism.
No one needs to tell me that Africa is slipping slowing into an irreversible quagmire of bewilderment and terror. The gloomy atmosphere in South Africa speaks volume. Sometimes, I wonder whether Africans will ever rise above the surging semblance of extreme hatred and malice. African Solidarity goes beyond words! We cannot claim to be brothers and sisters from the same continent when a certain group of nationals (South Africans) are orchestrating a ruthless crusade of cruelty and atrocity.
Mr. Chairman, Africa is currently sitting on a time-bomb and only waiting to explode. If the African Union and all its Member States, including global partners, do not derive a comprehensive remedy speedily Africa will forever remain a continent of anarchy. The time to redeem Africa from unending carnage is now and we must do all we can to prevent potential risk of insecurity, instability, intolerance, and indiscipline. The debate for a new Africa does not begin with xenophobia; neither does it end with hostility.
I am really panicking and pondering over what is happening in South Africa. The rights of immigrants and foreign nationals are violated daily through a sinister scheme of intolerance. Why must South Africans brutally murder other Africans? Foreign nationals are not and can never be responsible for unemployment or joblessness in South Africa. Is this the South Africa we knew few years ago especially during the lifetime of Nelson Mandela? It is too soon for South Africans to forget their past as a nation.
History is meant to re-examine our present by using our past as a mirror. Mr. Chairman, when vast majority of South Africans were compelled to succumb to a cruel system of racial segregation enforced through legislation by a brutal regime from 1948 to 1994, the entire Africa stood up and championed a common cause to ensure black inhabitants were unchained from repression and isolation. Sadly, the spirit of pan-Africanism is wearing way day after day. The solidarity of Africans worldwide is dissipating.
Mr. Chairman, in as much racism was condemned yesterday; xenophobia must also be condemned today. If imperialism was a bad precedence yesterday, intolerance is also a bad precedence today. Mr. Chairman, We cannot afford to live on a continent where South Africans are cutting off the necks of Nigerians. We cannot live in an Africa where South Africans are burning Zimbabwean immigrants to death. This is totally unacceptable and unfair!
Mr. Chairman, we cannot cultivate a new Africa of mutuality and brotherhood when the properties of foreigners in South Africa are being vandalized and looted by muggers and assailants. It is totally evil for Malawians and Mozambiqueans to be harassed and persecuted by Zulu men even though they are neighbors. The greatest form of injustice in human history is for a Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini to instruct all foreigners to pack their bags and go home because they are taking jobs from his citizens.
South Africa as a member State of the African Union must do all it can to provide maximum protection and safety for all African immigrants. Mr. Chairman, South Africans are presently violating articles 3, 5, 7, 13, and 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Right to life is a moral principle based on the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not be unjustly killed by another human being. Mr. Chairman, it is time for the African Union to prevail on the government of South Africa to uphold these fundamental provisions within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security person
- Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
- Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
- Article 13: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
- Article 14: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
Mr. Chairman, the bloodshed in South Africa has to stop. This can only happen if the African Union intervenes promptly. Africa must unite by defeating XENOPHOBIA and defending Pan-Africanism. Unity in Africa is crucial to ensuring a prosperous continent.
In addendum, I would like to recommend the following:
- Justice for all direct victims (perpetrators of these heinous crimes must be prosecuted)
- Reparation for families affected
- Hosting of anti-xenophobic conferences in all African States on a bi-annual basis
Mr. Chairman, I am confident that your able leadership will put an end to the gloomy atmosphere existing momentarily in South Africa.
Martin K. N. Kollie
Republic of Liberia
cc: United Nations
African Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
International Criminal Court
Human Rights Watch
The Government of South Africa
African National Congress – ANC
Economic Freedom Fighter