Article 70 of The Vienna Convention is What Applies to Barotseland Now, Delay Not Failure – Saleya Kwalombota

12 January 2015
Author 

"The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia."

The political dimension in Barotseland nation is characterized by misinformation and lack of proper communication link from the top leadership of various liberation groups to the grassroots. The political independence liberation of Barotseland territory is proving to be slowed as the Zambian government continues to hold grip by manipulating the minds of the poverty stricken majority, such as enticing them with job positions. This is the saddening side of poverty because it erodes the moral fiber and diminishes the organic social growth and clumsy liberty struggle.

Some have commented that pointing to the Zambian presidential bye election campaigns sweeping successfully across the 2012 declared independent territory as a sign of weak bilateral relationship between the BRE and Activists groups. However, as much as I respect other people's opinions, it is better to understand that the declaration of independence is usually followed by another process known as disengagement, the latter not being a day's event but it takes time to come to the agreement terms of international acts and orders. The delay should not in any way be viewed as a point of failure but as a sign of law abiding nation that has taken the diplomatic process to resolve the standoff issues with Zambia.

The implications of the illegal occupation of a territory are well challenged in a diplomatic way, that is, to engage international community through international courts and continental bodies. We must remember that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was an international treaty that was concluded peacefully, in like manner, the acceptance of its abrogation, was done peacefully by Barotseland, as the other party and in a lawful process through the Barotse National Council in 2012, after having had exhausted all the channels. To this effect, the people of Royal Barotseland should be encouraged to reject political statements and maneuvers from our soon to be neighbor, Zambia, if not in conformity with the 2012 BNC resolutions, for immediate disengagement.

The most far provoking issue is the destroying of government structures in 1975 by the Zambian government which move was not well accepted by the Lozis as it was the genesis of the loss of sovereignty of our God given territory to a fellow sister African country. What were called customary law, customary land-rights, customary political structure and so on were all invented by Zambia codification by passing laws aimed at fixing Barotseland people. This and other maneuvers against sovereignty of Barotseland, have caused great loss of economic opportunities varying for five decades , leading to the impoverishment of a once rich and self sustaining territory.

Zambian politicians that are campaigning in Barotseland should avoid provoking further the already volatile situation by commenting on the Barotseland status quo as the BNC 2012 independence resolutions have solved it all. The 2012 BNC resolutions still stand and must be the only one to be referred to for implementation other than the non applicable process of referendum in Barotseland impasse.

What applies now is article 70 of the Vienna Convention on the law of international treaties which Zambia’s Attorney General is aware of, hence their reluctance and refusal to appear before international bodies to resolve the matter and commence the disengagement process.

Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu

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