Barotse must have more self-belief in 2018; UN, EU, AU, SADC which prefer firefighting won’t help much – BTG

06 January 2018
Author 
Incarcerated Barotseland Administrator, Afumba Mombotwa

 

As the new year dawns, we wish to commend the many people who have held their ground in our push for a completely self-determined Barotseland amidst much pain and retribution from an increasingly repressive Zambian regime that seeks to obliterate our kingdom through a forced union that neither recognizes nor offers any real benefit to the Barotse.

Special prayers and efforts must continue to go towards the freedom of our leaders; Barotseland Administrator, Afumba Mombotwa, Likando Pelekelo and Inambao Sylvester Kalima, who continue to serve illegal imprisonment in Zambian jails of Luwingu, Mansa and Kasama respectively. Their selfless sacrifices towards Barotseland’s self-determination are worth emulating.

However, we must continue to urge against the belief that others such as the UN, EU, AU, SADC and many such member-based organizations will swiftly rescue Barotseland from Zambian subjugation. To the contrary, it may be noted that most such bodies are inherently reactionary or fire-fighting organizations that lack practical instruments to proactively resolve potential areas of human conflicts, especially when such conflicts are caused by their members. In fact, many examples show that these bodies also have a tendency to side with their member states regardless of how rogue they may have become. A case in point is where they prefer to support their rogue member state Somalia while diplomatically ignoring the more peaceful and better governed Somaliland which declared independence from Somalia in 1991. Another sad example is their continued support of repressive Indonesia in the face of grave human rights abuses it continues to inflict on the people of West Papua, a nation peacefully questing for self-determination like Barotseland.

Therefore, although, we will continue to engage these international organizations, we must always remember that self-determination is by nature self-driven. Similarly, Barotseland’s self-determination will be achieved by the selfless collective efforts of the Barotse themselves. We must, therefore, cultivate a spirit of self-belief like the people of Somaliland, who, although no single UN, AU or any such international body has officially recognized their 26-year-old independence from Somalia, have relentlessly governed their own affairs even better than Somalia. Let us work and live as though we had no one else but ourselves, while we continue to seek out those that truly wish to help us attain total self-determination.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR BAROTSELAND?

Realizing Zambian impunity, many times encouraged by the international community’s non-committal attitude towards Barotseland’s peaceful struggle for self-determination, the Royal Barotseland Government (RBG), which is currently styled as Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG), will this year continue to solidify relationships with those who have already embraced our right to self-determination in the international world, and through its membership in organizations like UNPO, FFSA, UNFS and many other self-determination bodies, but more so in resource mobilization, so that we can initiate our political and economic programs.

Our search for friendship will not be restricted to the UN, EU, Commonwealth, AU or SADC membership. In fact, anyone who will seek to help us exercise our legitimate right to self-determination will be welcome.

In this regard, we are glad to report that we are already establishing a Cultural, Trade & Diplomatic Mission in Europe to coordinate our European operations. Further, we are also establishing similar missions in the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Angola.

With the development of these foreign missions, we hope that we can continue to lobby more effectively for Barotseland and forge real international ties that will help us implement our legal, political and economic development agenda.

Please, note that the public unveiling of these missions abroad and all their various attachés can and will only be announced when specific circumstances are right.

REGULAR BAROTSELAND GOVERNMENT UPDATES

Although we understand and appreciate the need for regular public updates, we will, in many cases, continue to work quietly because of the delicate nature of most of our efforts. Thus, our perceived silence should not be confused with inactivity. Our assurance to the people of Barotseland is that we have a dedicated and selfless team of individuals that are laboring, even at personal cost, to ensure that Barotseland self-determination is actualized promptly, with the cooperation of our partners and all the people of Barotseland.

WHEN WILL BAROTSELAND GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES BE ACTUALLY VISIBLE?

Until Barotseland attains the capacity to counter the illegal Zambian State occupation, there will generally not be many visible Barotseland government activities in the territory. In the meantime, however, we will continue to encourage civil disobedience to all Zambian state activities in Barotseland in line with the March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) resolutions.

Accordingly, we should not be deluded that our national aspirations could be achieved through Zambian State programs. We should all awaken to the realization that no Zambian State programs, political, economic or otherwise, will deliver Barotseland Self-determination because they are all fashioned to perpetuate Barotseland servitude and subjugation to the Zambian state.

WHEN WILL THE STRUGGLE END?

The struggle for Barotseland is an ongoing project which will end as soon as we are able to actually secure and defend the Barotseland territory from foreign occupation. And it is towards this goal that we urge all Barotse people, home and away, to dedicate their personal and collective efforts. Barotseland independence will not be achieved on a silver platter, neither will Zambia voluntarily give up their illegal occupation, but it will require the dedication of all Barotse nationals, especially the youthful men and women who can volunteer their time and energy to mobilize other nationals all over our country.

The elderly and more financially enabled are also encouraged to support the cause for a free Barotseland with their generous financial and resource contributions.

In this regard, we urge all to work with the many thriving independence movements that are truly working for Barotseland independence and stop looking to Zambia and its politics for solutions for Barotseland. Zambia has no answers to Barotseland’s quest for self-determination!

THE BAROTSE ROYAL ESTABLISHMENT

The Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE, with the Litunga in Council, who are the key custodians of our culture and traditions, know better than to engage in or initiate any activities which have no popular mandate of the people of Barotseland. They cannot and must not pursue initiatives that have not been sanctioned by or that frustrate the unanimous resolutions of the Barotse National Council (BNC) which is supreme to all our national institutions of governance.

The last BNC of March 2012 unanimously and specifically mandated Barotseland Independence from Zambia and not ‘Restoration’ of the dead Barotseland Agreement 1964 which neither Zambia nor Barotseland wants. Therefore, we wish to warn that anybody or any institution pursuing unsanctioned 'restoration' of the non-existent 1964 agreement is in direct violation of the 2012 popular mandate of the people of Barotseland, and must be ready to face the people's wrath when the day of reckoning comes.

We are, therefore, confident that the BRE and the Litunga in Council will use their age-old wisdom and experience to deliver the popular BNC 2012 mandate of the people for a totally independent Barotseland. The people will simply not participate in or sanction any forced dialogue with the now illegal Zambian government, which is aimed at perpetuating Barotseland subjugation.

WILL BAROTSELAND PURSUE ARMED STRUGGLE TO ATTAIN SELF-DETERMINATION?

As a matter of preference, Barotseland currently pursues peaceful, legal, political and diplomatic negotiations to attain sovereignty. It should, however, be noted that any oppressed people, Barotse included, can use any means necessarily possible to attain their freedom as supported by international law and politics.

WE WISH ALL A PROSPEROUS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!

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The Barotseland Post, also known as The Barotsepost, is an online media platform, for now, that is dedicated to reporting stories and news around Barotseland and beyond, giving exclusive coverage and access to the people and the nation of Barotseland to fully express themselves in their aspirations for self- determination.