News Editor, Barotseland Post
As the Royal Barotseland Government winds up its programs leading to the end of Zambia’s illegal occupation of Barotseland, we wish to advise that the Colonizer, Zambia’s activities are erroneous, illegal, intimidating, false, misleading, null, void and misplaced, and as such must not discourage us from lawfully functioning as a Nation State awaiting full International Cooperation.
The recent illegal arrests, detention and erroneous sentencing of our gallant, noble and visionary heroes and leaders of our political struggle honorable Boris Muziba, Mwenda Nayoto, and Sikwibele Wasilota, who are Barotseland National Youth League officials as well as government leaders, including our Barotseland Administrator General Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa, Hon. Likando Pelekelo, Hon. Silvester Kalima, Hon. Mubita Waluka and Hon. Masiye Masiyaleti, must not deter us from achieving our TOTAL INDEPENDENCE. It is now a well known fact that Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) is not only an illegal and failed ‘unitary’ experiment, but also a Satanic State!
Therefore, as a Royal Barotseland Government Official who by political affiliation belongs to the Barotseland National Youth League, I wish to categorically emphasize the following factual points of history;
1. Barotseland as a Nation existed long before Northern Rhodesia (modern Zambia) was dreamt of.
2. Barotseland’s most famous and prominent King Lubosi Liwanika signed treaties that led to the birth of Northern Rhodesia. In short, Barotseland is the ‘Grandmother’ of the ‘stubborn Girl’ by the name of Zamb(ez)ia!
3. Northern Rhodesia (which rejuvenated to Zambia), being a plastic State, bore the name of its Father, Cecil John Rhodes while Barotseland is a natural and organic nation and acclaim only God (Nyambe) to be its Principal Founder, Protector and Defender.
4. Barotseland was and still is a peaceful and democratic Kingdom Nation whereas Northern Rhodesia is a draconian and lawless Republic.
5. Barotseland was a British Protectorate while Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) was a British Colony: a Protectorate and a Colony, however one probably wishes or thinks, are—regrettably—not one and the same thing!
6. Barotseland was not part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland: for how could a Protectorate enjoying full legal protection enshrined in the various International treaties be a part of the Federation of Colonies? That is mere wishful thinking! Those with arguments should refer to the 1953 Northern Rhodesia Order-in-Council.
7. Barotseland had and still has a far much different yet democratic governance system from that of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).
8. Barotseland signed the BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 in Great Britain with Northern Rhodesia as an economic ‘partnership’ treaty replacing the diverse previous Concessions between Barotseland and the Great Britain, and not as a union treaty: for there was no mention in the Barotseland Agreement 1964 for the dissolution of the Barotse government Systems but rather that the Litunga and his Barotse government would still be in charge of the Barotseland territory within the new republic of Zambia.
9. BAROTSELAND AGREEMENT 1964 never entered into force because it was unilaterally abrogated by the Northern Rhodesian Parliament partly in 1965 and fully in 1969.
10. The ‘unitary’ nature of Zambia was a declaration not a law; therefore, it is illegal!
11. If BAROTSELAND + NORTHERN RHODESIA through BA1964 = ZAMBIA, then without the BA1964 we can simply say: ZAMBIA – BAROTSELAND = NORTHERN RHODESIA. This is the simplest explanation of this scenario especially after Barotseland accepted the spiteful unilateral abrogation of that International treaty at the 2012 Barotse National Council.
12. Barotseland was deprived of its Sovereignty and its Nationhood arbitrarily by the Zambian Government, including the right to existence. Grave atrocities have been committed to the general populace of Barotseland. Hence the need for reversion.
13. Barotseland, as a lawful Nation, peacefully declared total Independence firstly on the 8th of September, 2011 under its current Administrator General, His Excellency: Rt. Hon. Kenny Mombotwa Afumba and Zambia did not legally react internationally to challenge that Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).
14. Barotseland suffered injustice at the hands of the Occupier (Zambia) and had its (Barotzish) citizens massacred on January 14th, 2011. This is the major reason why the Royal Barotseland Independence struggle could not be reversed by anybody.
15. Barotseland held a historic Barotseland National Council (BNC) in 2012 which sought to legally accept the termination of a valid international treaty, BA1964, and to confirm the 2011 Afumba Declaration of Independence.
16. Barotseland made its people driven Emancipation Order 2012 (Royal Barotseland Kingdom’s Transitional Constitution) approved and signed for by over 20,000 indigenous Barotzish Citizens as per international requirement on Statehood. It is just over a thousand signatures that are required.
17. Barotseland is reflected in many early World Atlases. Many of the super powers know what Barotseland has been and currently is. We have our international identity already because we have been operating on an international scale way before 1964.
18. Barotseland formed the Royal Barotseland Government on August 14, 2013 and His Excellency Rt. Hon. K. Afumba Mombotwa took Oath of Office as the Administrator General of Barotseland, and he subsequently announced his Cabinet publicly on the 15th August 2013.
19. Barotseland attained international recognition as a Sovereign State on the 3rd and 4th October, 2013 by the Federation of Free States of Africa (FFSA) and the Union of Free States (UNFS), respectively. And after that the other recognition by the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization (UNPO) on 1st January, 2014. Barotseland consequently became a Member State of these International Organizations.
20. In March 2014, United States’ Secretary of State, Rt. Hon. John Kerry mentioned in his 2013 Country Reports of the existence of the Royal Barotseland Government. That on its own is implied recognition.
21. Barotseland has its media; Radio Barotseland and The Barotseland Post. All of which operate on an international scale, 24 hours’ service.
22. Barotseland signed about 48 treaties with the Great Britain but:
- Was never a British Province;
- Was never ruled by Britain; and
- That did not turn the Barotzish into British Citizens.
- How could we, therefore, accept to be Zambians by the Agreement (BA’64) that never even entered into force?
- How special is Northern Rhodesia’s claim over us and our territory without the BA1964?
Please, these above points are evidence that legally and rationally, Barotseland is FREE! This, however, does not mean we must sit by and calmly watch the enemy (Northern Rhodesia) carry out her illegal and provocative activities in our land. No!
Therefore, this is a wake-up call to all those who have not been living up to their potential, either for fear of being arrested by the illegally occupying forces or for the lack of patriotism. If ever there has been a suitable time for the youth to face the foreign law enforcement agencies defiantly head on, it has never been more appropriate than now!
We must also understand that Barotseland is not Northern Rhodesia, and Barotseland is not ‘western province’ but that in fact ‘western province’ is just a small part of Barotseland. The two, therefore, do not mean one and the same thing.
Finally, we must all unite and continue the fight against forced assimilation of Royal Barotseland by these lawbreakers in the name of Zambians. This is our one and only Barotseland, and we, therefore, should cherish, defend and be proud of it!
Long live the gallant men and women leading these foreigners out of our Motherland.
TUKONGOTE, LITUNGA NI LYETU!
Chris Lubasi wa Luzongo
BNYSC National Secretary,
Department of Youth and Sport
Royal Barotseland Government.
The matter between Mweene Mutondo and senior Chief Amukena both of Kaoma today (Thursday 26th) heard evidence from the Barotse Royal Establishment, BRE’s Induna Imandi as the last witness from the defendant's side.
Induna Imandi introduced himself as the Induna in charge of education and Customs in the BRE structure. Like the other four witnesses who had given their evidence in court before, he was required to outline how the Lozi culture and customs work, which he explained clearly, citing on how a chief is appointed and how the installation process is done. He also explained the governance structure from the Litunga, who he described as the supreme ruler of the Barotse Kingdom, followed by the Ngambela, who himself is assisted by Indunas in terms of day to day administration of the Kingdom. These all report to the Litunga accordingly. Then comes the level of the Resident Prince and Princesses assisted by their own Indunas at that level. These report to the Ngambela on administrative issues. Thereafter, comes the Chief area, headed by the chief, to which level Mweene Mutondo and Mweene Kahale belong. These chiefs at that level preside over a Silalo headed by sub-chief. Then comes the Lilalanda Indunas and finally village indunas and village headmen who are assisted by elders in the villages.
This governance structure is replicated across the Barotse kingdom and is not applicable to the Nkoya ethnic only.
He further stated that the current Mweene Mutondo is not a recognized Chief according to Lozi custom and tradition because he did not go through the normal installation process that every chief go through, this is despite other Mweenes who ruled before him having gone through the same process.
Apparently Induna Imandi had no kind words to former Zambian presidents Kenneth Kaunda and FTJ Chiluba, first and second republican presidents respectively. When asked by the defense lawyer as to whether both presidents were wrong to gazette the chief as a recognized chief without going through the process he had described as the legal one.
“My lady Chiluba was a master dribbler who wanted votes from the Nkoyas,” the visibly emotional Induna answered.
He added that it is the Zambian politics which has caused problems in Barotseland,
"My Lady, I am disappointed with Zambian leaders; they preach one Zambia one nation, but on the other side they promote division.
“We in Barotseland have managed to rule ourselves with 38 ethnic tribes in unity, although diverse, for over 400 years without these problems, but the last 50 years of our union with Zambia has been full of problems because of political interference in the governance of traditional affairs.
“Leave these issues to us; we can solve them without problems at all. If the Nkoyas had come to us their parents, we could have listened to them because they are our children. But they did not do that.
“ Instead they chose to be influenced by politicians to cause problems.“
The lawyer representing the Nkoyas asked Induna Imanda if he knew what Kaunda had said in his public press in 1969 entitled "I wish to inform the nation", to which he responded that in fact Kaunda had violated a number of laws like the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, which was signed in good faith by the Barotse people, as well as the Zambian constitution.
“My lady I do not know how to describe Kaunda. I do not have any good word to say, but what I am trying to say is that he is a person who says something but on the other side does something opposite. Hypocrite! Both Kaunda and Chiluba should have been impeached for gazetting a chief against the law which they swore to protect.
“Therefore, I ask this honorable court, My Lady, to consider their actions ULTRA VIRES, and declare their actions NULL and VOID” prayed Induna Imenda.
When asked if he, too, agrees with Induna Mutwaileti who said yesterday (Wednesday 25th) that if Nkoyas are not ready to be ruled by Lozis they should go where they came from, he answered;
“Yes, My Lady. They should go back. It is like, My Lady for example, you adopt a child and later on the child wants to be at the same level like you? You chase him. Nkoyas, My lady, if they want to create their own Kingdom, it is not possible. The creation of the Kingdoms was not by mistake. How can they claim to be at the same level like the Litunga? That is not possible in Barotseland. Maybe, somewhere else.”
The induna also refuted and dismissed claims of oppression of the Nkoya, the banning of their music and teaching of the Nkoya language from schools as the BRE was not government, and he could therefore, not answer on the behalf of the Zambian government. He was quick to mention though that Nkoya music was lovely;
"My lady we enjoy Nkoya music. Even up to now during Kuomboka its played as an intergral part of the ceremony. It is nice and lovely. So the claim is false.
Asked as to how the 'Lozi' minority in Kaoma could rule over the majority Nkoyas, the Induna said that was not true that the Nkoya were the majority as there other many tribes in the district who together make up one tribe called Lozi.
"My lady, Lozi is merely a 'Lingua franca' in Barotseland and it encompasses all tribes,"said the emphatic Induna.
To this effect the Induna submitted a government document dated 1962, which showed the composition of languages in Kaoma at the time, and it revealed that there were more than 43,000 people in Kaoma, and only 7080 were Nkoyas, much to the surprise of everyone in the court.
The Nkoyas will now have to wait for another five months before they could hear their long awaited judgment. This is because the matter has been adjourned to Monday 27th July, 2015 at 10:00 hrs as the state's key witnesses were not ready to testify in the matter.
Meanwhile, this particular court session was not without drama when one Nkoya man’s mobile phone rung during the court proceedings, despite the court having informed everyone that they needed to switch off their mobile cell phones; forcing the court to get it from him as they declared it state asset.
Judgement set for July 27th, 2015.
Barotse Imilemas, BIs, the youth wing of the Barotse Freedom Alliance BNFA, is currently embroiled in internal wrangles with one faction suspending 8 of its key members on allegations that they recently visited State House in Lusaka. It is also reported that the 8 accused received undisclosed amount of money from some Zambian government officials during their visit to Lusaka to frustrate the independence struggle of Barotseland internally. The BNFA aligned social media BBN, Mongu based Radio Lyambai and the Zambian privately owned MUVI TV have all reported that the eight were suspended after it was discovered that they were involved in clandestine meetings with Lusaka administration and selling of Barotseland privileged information.
Announcing the news of their suspension today (20th February 2015), the eight have been accused of been involved in selling information to GRZ (Government of the Republic of Zambia), and holding private meetings. They (BI) have said that this suspended team was actually in Lusaka twice, holding meetings at state house without their consent, BBN reports.
According to BBN the suspended people have been receiving money and pretending to be fighting for the independence of Barotseland when in fact not. Among the suspended are named as the out-spoken Muyunda Makala, Mushokabanji Wamuwi, Anthony Sinonge, Situmba Lyamba, Brian Simataa and Mutemwa Pumulo and two others, all from Kamulanga branch.
On further investigation, BBN reports that their findings were that the suspended group was actually in Lusaka for meetings under the auspices and in accompaniment of some top BNFA leadership over matters related to the AGAPE ASSOCIATES who proposed the RESTORATION of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 last year. BBN further reports that the Agape Associates conflict international team met in Lusaka last month. The AGAPE Associates group had offered and proposed to mediate between the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and Zambian Government last year, the time when the late Zambian president Michael Sata was about to hold a national meeting with Litunga and resolve the impasse by way of RESTORING the defunct Barotseland Agreement 1964 as an alternative to TOTAL independence of Barotseland, a proposal that was strongly reject by the leading Barotseland independence advocates and more radicalized Linyungandambo movement and others. The proposed plans also failed to proceed due to the illness and demise of the Zambian leader.
Meanwhile, the suspended group has today ‘rubbished’ their reported suspensions calling it ‘fake’ and ‘malicious’ work of some ‘sponsored’ individuals who wish to bring the BI name into disrepute.
“No one has been suspended or expelled from the BI organization. The BI leadership is intact and perfectly working well and still remains under the Umbrella of Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA)” said Jason Situmbaeto speaking in his capacity as national chairman.
The BNFA, under the chairmanship of Hon. Clement Sinyinda, is an alliance of some Barotseland liberation movements, although it lacks the official support of the major liberation movement Linyungandambo who are instead backing the Afumba Mombotwa led transitional Barotseland government.
There has been recent calls for the BNFA to disband and instead join in support of the transitional government in line with the 27th March 2012 independence declaration. The BNFA has often been accused of supporting an agenda towards the RESTORATION of the defunct Barotseland Agreement of 1964 rather than the total independence of Barotseland as declared by the 2012 BNC because of their their refusal to participate and support the transitional government headed by the now incarcerated Barotseland Administrator General Hon. Afumba Mobotwa.
Se here below the entire press release refuting the reported suspensions as well as the MUVI TV news report on the wrangles:
PRESS RELEASE BY THE BAROTSE IMILEMAS (BIs)
Please note that the reported suspension of some members of the Barotse Imilemas (BIs),from the BI executive committee is fake and malicious. The reported news on Facebook and MUVI TV was not from the BI executive committee, but done by some sponsored individuals who are not BIs but serving the interest of our enemy Zambia, with an agenda to bring the BI name into disrepute, undermine and destroy the BI organization.
No one has been suspended or expelled from the BI organization.
The BI leadership is intact and perfectly working well and still remains under the Umbrella of Barotse National Freedom Alliance (BNFA),coordinating the implementation of the sovereign resolutions of March 2012 Barotse National Council (BNC) in the pacific Manner.
Jason Situmbaeto- National Chairperson
On 19 February 2015, the Mauritanian diaspora in Brussels staged a demonstration in front of the European Parliament demanding the release of Biram Dah Abeid, President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA-Mauritanie) and other anti-slavery activists from prison in Rosso, Mauritania. The demonstrators also called for the European Parliament to do all they can to pressure the Mauritanian government to eliminate slavery which remains deeply institutionalized within the country.
The demonstration followed the release of an open letter sent to the Mauritanian government by imprisoned activists Biram Dah Abeid, Brahim Bilal Ramdhan and Jibril Mamadou Sow. The letter called for the trio to be detained within what they see as the correct jurisdiction in Nouakchott, instead of Rosso; for their families to be allowed visitation rights which, up to now, have been denied; and for fellow activists and those held in arbitrary detention to be given the right to a fair trial and proper judicial process.
On 15 January 2015, the court in Rosso, Mauritania, sentenced the three activists to two years in prison following their arrests on 11 November 2014. Since then a number of high profile statements condemning the actions of Mauritania have been made by the U.S. Department of State, the European Union, Amnesty International and many others. Those who have participated in demonstrations in Mauritania calling for the release of these three activists, as well as the fair treatment of many others, have been dealt with violently by the authorities.
The demonstrations on 19 February 2015 in Brussels echoed the growing sentiment within the international community that more must be done to end slavery within Mauritania. Members of the Mauritanian diaspora gathered outside the European Parliament to express their disgust of the actions taken by the Mauritanian government to suppress civil society and perpetuate the racially motivated practice of traditional slavery. As well as demanding the release of anti-slavery activists within the country, they also called for Mauritania to “end the feudal system” and implored those at the European Parliament to aid them in their struggle, shouting: “We demand justice, we demand equality, and we demand our freedom”.
According to the Global Slavery Index, there are over 150,000 people still in conditions of slavery in Mauritania, accounting for around 4% of the total population. This means Mauritania has the highest estimated proportion of slaves by population in the world. Slavery remains a highly racial issue within the country and it is estimated that over 20% of the Haratin ethnic community in Mauritania are subject to traditional slavery.
UNPO condemns the actions of the Mauritanian government with regards to these activists and its failure to realise the elimination of slavery. As a democratic and non-violent organsiation, UNPO will continue to support the peaceful actions of civil society within the country and remains united with IRA-Mauritanie in its mission to eradicate slavery and all other forms of discrimination within Mauritania. To learn more about the situation please read our timeline of events.
Please support us in freeing the anti-slavery activists and ending slavery in Mauritania: sign our appeal.
Please click to view UNPO’s joint statement calling for the release of the jailed activists.
The Zambian government will soon deploy Commandos in Kazungula and Zambezi River following the splitting of the Commando unit to form a marine troop.
Zambia army Commander Lt General Paul Mihova recently revealed that the government had authorised him to split the Commando unit and form a marine troop to protect water bodies shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Marine school will be based in Kawambwa but some marine troops will also be deployed on Lake Kariba, Zambezi River and Kazungula.
The Commandos to be deployed in Kazungula will add to the thousands of soldiers that Zambia has stationed in Barotseland.
President Edgar Lungu will soon launch the marine unit.
Meanwhile, the Zambian president, Edgar Lungu, has directed that the ‘One Zambia One Nation’ propaganda slogan be recited before the broadcast of any and every news bulletin on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation ZNBC - the only broadcasting house with national coverage. This, he claimed, would enhance ‘Tribal’ unity, when the historical and apparent truth is that it is actually aimed at brainwashing unsuspecting citizens to suppress the eminent full separation of Barotseland.
The truth the Zambian government is yet to come to terms with is that Barotseland’s independence as declared on 27th March 2012 Barotse National Council is final, and that it is just a matter of time before major and visible structural changes begin to occur in the two regions of Zambia and Barotseland.
Therefore, tactics like propaganda sloganeering and heavy Zambian militarization of Barotseland, coupled with arbitrary and mass arrests of Barotseland independence leaders, is now what is left for Zambia in her last attempts to keep Barotseland subjugated after they (Zambian government) unilaterally abrogated the unitary agreement of 1964, The Barotseland Agreement 1964.
On March 27th 2012, Barotseland unanimously accepted Zambia’s abrogation of the 1964 treaty and declared that henceforth Barotseland would be an independent state separate from Zambia, a process that Barotseland has pursued since then, with an interim government currently seeking international recognition.
Palestine qualifying for and taking part in the Confederation Asian Cup, which starts this month [January 2015], can be seen as another symbol of the international community accepting it as its member. For other regions or de facto States around the world, such as Iraqi Kurdistan and Kosovo, that are trying to achieve similar recognition, the example of Palestine illustrates the important role of sports, in particular football, in achieving statehood.
Below is an article published by Daily News Egypt:
Palestine has set a new benchmark for nations like the Kurds and the Kosovars, who see football as a key part of their toolbox to achieve statehood, with its qualification for this month’s (January 2015) Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup even if the Palestinian road to statehood is increasingly pockmarked by seemingly insurmountable barriers.
When Palestine kicks off its first Asian Cup match against Japan on 12 January 2015 in Australia, the football pitch will have emerged against a backdrop of setbacks as the most important venue on which the fledgling state has advanced its quest to take its place among the family of nations.
The kick-off follows the United Nations Security Council’s recent refusal to set a deadline for an end to almost half a century of Israeli occupation and comes as the International Criminal Court debates whether the Palestine Authority is an entity or a state. As a state, Palestine would qualify for taking Israel to task on alleged war crimes as well as infractions on international law governing the administration of occupied territory.
Palestine’s progression on the Asian football stage also focuses attention on its campaign to get Israel suspended by world football body FIFA for alleged obstruction of the development of Palestinian football that is part of a broader effort to squeeze Israel within international organizations. After years of failed mediation efforts, FIFA last month, December 2014, warned that Israel could be sanctioned if it failed to ensure the free movement of Palestinian players.
Palestinian football officials complain that Israel restrictions on travel within the West Bank and between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as well as internationally obstruct the development of Palestinian football. Israeli officials are likely to suggest that Palestine’s qualification for the Asian Cup proves opposite while Palestinians see it as evidence of their determination and resilience.
In making it to the 16-team tournament in Australia, Palestine has achieved what other fledgling states like Iraqi Kurdistan and Kosovar dream of: recognition of nation and statehood in a world that dances around their national aspirations. To be sure, Palestine with Arab backing established as far back as 1998 with admission to FIFA even though it was not a legally recognized state the base line for the employment of football in nation building and state formation. Qualification for the Asian Cup allows it to capitalize on the FIFA recognition in an unprecedented way that would only be triumphed by qualification for a World Cup.
By contrast Iraqi Kurdistan’s national team has competed so far only in the likes of the unofficial VIVA World Cup, which it hosted in 2012. The team played last year in the ConIFA World Football Cup that is populated by squads representing regions or groups that are recognized by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).
A statement by Iraqi Kurdish president Massoud Barzani equating sports to politics as a way of achieving recognition adorns Iraqi Kurdistan’s three major stadiums and virtually all of its sports centres and institutions. “We want to serve our nation and use sports to get everything for our nation. We all believe in what the president said,” says Kurdistan Football Federation (KFF) president Safin Kanabi, scion of a legendary supporter of Kurdish football who led anti-regime protests in Kurdish stadiums during Saddam Hussein’s rule.
Like Kosovo, Kurdistan is barred by FIFA on the grounds that it is not a full member of the United Nations. Kosovo’s aspiration are complicated by the fact that European governing body UEFA, which initially accepted the UN rule adopted in 1999 to appease Spain which was opposed to Gibraltar being granted membership. Gibraltar ultimately became an UEFA member in 2013 after the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) ruled in its favour. Gibraltar’s success raised Iraqi Kurdish hopes in the knowledge that the AFC’s statutes refer to the UN rule only indirectly by stating that membership has to comply with FIFA’s statutes and the fact that the AFC in the past has successfully defied FIFA by expelling Israel and Taiwan on political grounds.
Even so Iraqi Kurds realize that with Syria and Iraq battling to retain territorial integrity and remain nation states, Islamic State’s control of a large swath of their territory, and sectarian warfare, chances for international support for Kurdish national aspirations are zero. Although threatened by Islamic State, Kurdistan has nonetheless developed into a state in all but name ever since the US declared a no-fly zone above northern Iraq in 1991 to protect the Kurds against the wrath of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein.
Kurdistan deals directly with many governments on an informal basis but lacks the kind of acknowledgement that Kosovo enjoys. The former Yugoslav region has been recognized by 110 countries, including 23 of the 28 European Union member states, 24 of NATO’s 28 members and 34 of the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The Kurdish Football Association has nonetheless demanded that FIFA grant its team like it did in the case of Kosovo and Catalonia the right to play international friendlies. “Like any nation, we want to open the door through football. Take Brazil. People know Brazil first and foremost through football. We want to do the same. We want to have a strong team by the time we have a country. We do our job, politicians do theirs. Inshallah (if God wills), we will have a country and a flag” said Kurdistan national coach Abdullah Mahmoud Muhieddin.
Both Palestine and Kurdistan have a ways to travel before they achieve statehood. Both confront regional powers opposed to their aspirations. The Kurds will nevertheless monitor Palestine’s performance in Australia and even more importantly how the Palestinians seek to capitalize on their Asian Cup qualification to advance efforts to achieve an end to Israeli occupation and full-fledged independence in the hope that they too will eventually be able to follow suit.
Photo courtesy of the Palstinian Football Association, 2015