Today, therefore, we wish to stand in solidarity with the people of Barotseland in their quest for free exercise of their various cultural, political and economic human rights, among them freedom of expression, association, self-determination and conscience.
We further wish to unequivocally call on the Zambian state to allow reason, logic and humanity to prevail by unconditionally setting all Barotse political prisoners free and halt all ongoing politically motivated trials of Barotse people arrested purely for exercising their freedom of expression and conscience. Messrs Afumba Mombotwa, Pelekelo Likando and Inambao Kalima, who are political prisoners in Zambia, must forthwith be set free unconditionally!
It is a legal fact that Zambia ceased to have authority over Barotseland and her people in 1969, when it unilaterally abrogated and repudiated the Barotseland Agreement 1964 which gave the Zambian government authority over Barotseland in shared sovereignty. Therefore, the Zambian government’s presence in Barotseland must rightly be deemed as 'illegal occupation' by all members of the free world in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution Number 276 of 1970.
Our appeal to the world is that cautionary and punitive sanctions must now be imposed on the Zambian government for its continued violations of various international laws and statutes. Crimes against humanity, genocide and illegal occupation are contrary to the UN Security Council Resolutions 2625 & 276, UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV), Statute International Tribunal and the Genocide Act 1948 respectively.
It is a mockery to the UN and the international community at large to watch the Zambian government join the rest of the world in celebrating the international Human Rights Day every 10th December when in fact Zambia is in clear violation of the inherent and inalienable rights of the Barotse people.
We believe that sanctioning Zambia would be part of the remedy to the Barotseland impasse.
We further hope and expect that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia, a learned lawyer, will show exemplary respect for Human Rights and good governance through the rule of law.
Department of Justice & Legal Affairs,
ROYAL BAROTSELAND GOVERNMENT (RGB)