It's time for Barotseland to constitute a national defense force - Saleya Kwalombota

21 December 2014
Author 

The concern about Barotseland's security should now take center stage because Barotseland has the right legal framework to do so, therefore, it's right time now for Barotseland to constitute a national Defense Force to defend the territory from external threats. This time around Zambia will be held responsible should this issue spill into armed conflict, if Zambia persist to control Barotseland territory contrary to the dictates of public international law.

Even before recognition Barotseland state has the right to defend its integrity and independence. For any country to effectively and authoritatively command control of her territory, it should have established defense force. According to Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States Signed at Montevideo, 26 December 1933 and Entered into Force, 26 December 1934 article 3 starts that ,

"The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts."

Therefore, there is nothing wrong for Barotseland to exercise her right under the Rights and Duties of States by establishing national defense force to stand against external threats especially from Zambia the occupying force in Barotseland territory.

Legal interpretations and knowledge are at our disposal, to enable us to stand against Zambia's uncalled violation of Barotseland's right to self-rule. States signatory to the Geneva Conventions undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances.

The Barotseland transitional government through the Acting Administrator General is expected to take appropriate action to take Zambia to the international Court of Justice if Zambia thinks they can use domestic Zambian jungle laws to hold the people of Barotseland captive. The question at hand now is how far the Barotseland government is prepared to stop this extra territorial operations by Zambia? We understand the defense force requires good funding to procure necessary military hardware and to sustain personnel through salaries and training.

Of course with the efforts put so far these are non challenges for Barotseland as a state to constitute a defense force.

The people, who are the citizens of Royal Barotseland, have already spoken and opted for independence through the BNC of 29th March 2012 , whose resolutions insisted on an urgent government formation and peaceful independence struggle to prevail even if it faces stiff opposition from the occupying force.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 15 (2)) stipulates

“No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his Nationality nor denied the Right to change his Nationality.”

Indeed we are Barotzhish, and as nationals of Barotseland, we are ready to defend our country if pushed too far.

Zambia's persistent and violation of various international conventions on the rights of people to self-determination is regrettable, and it will cost Zambia in compensation to pay Barotseland for the lost economic opportunities for five decades.

The recent arrest of the Administrator General Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa and two transitional government officials may best be seen as the arrest of an ex‐diplomats of a foreign State, and is viewed as hostile acts on the part of Zambia against unarmed people of Barotseland.

Tukongote Litunga Ni lyetu.

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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.