Charles Blé Goudé Returns Home at Last

Charles Blé Goudé (Source: Dailymail.co.uk)

Joy fills my heart… Charles Blé Goudé is home at last! How long has it been? How long has it taken? The battle has been long, but Truth has prevailed! As a reminder, Charles Blé Goudé, Youth minister under Laurent Gbagbo, had been captured in 2013 in Ghana after the foreign attacks on Cote d’Ivoire by France that forced him to find refuge there [How long shall they kill our prophets…?]. He has spent almost a decade in captivity at the Hague at the International Criminal Court justice with Laurent Gbagbo, like many of our leaders who were deported for standing for their people [Deportation of African Heads of States]. They were both acquitted in January 2019, but the prosecution stalled, keeping them in Europe, trying to find ways to overturn the decision, and blocking all their movements. Two years later in 2021, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude were totally acquitted and free at Last, however, only Laurent Gbagbo was allowed to return home which he did in June of last year [Laurent Gbagbo is Back in Cote d’Ivoire].  Blé Goudé has had to beg for many years to get an Ivorian passport from the Ivorian government (Unbelievable right?).

Did the ICC apologize for all the years of hurt? the tarnished image? the ruined life? And of course mainstream media, which yesterday eagerly published those images of Gbagbo and his wife Simone in their room surrounded by rebels, or Blé Goudé now publish one line if anything at all! Unbelievable! They should be sued for playing such major roles in destroying countries, obliterating people’s images, and causing wars! I live you here with excerpts from an article from the BBC. Note, the love the people have for him has caused the government to ask for the population not to show up at his arrival. All these tough years of claiming his innocence, all these years of constant support, and people’s prayers, dedication, love, and determination have born fruits. Truth always wins! It may take years… but it prevails!

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Charles Blé Goudé cheered by supporters upon his arrival in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on Saturday (Source: Associated Press – USNews.com)

Ivory Coast politician Charles Blé Goudé, once seen as a divisive figure, has flown home after being acquitted by the International Criminal Court.

His charisma and fiery rhetoric led to his nickname “street general”.

Mr Blé Goudé, 50, arrived in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, on a commercial flight from neighbouring Ghana on Saturday afternoon [Charles Blé Goudé was actually met at the airport by former First Lady, Simone Gbagbo, accompanied by around a dozen people – these foreign media are always trying to remove Simone from history, but they will not succeed].

There was heavy security at the airport and his supporters were advised not to go there to show respect for all the victims of the 2010 conflict.

But thousands of them gathered in the suburb of Youpougon – a former stronghold of Mr Blé Goudé’s – where he was expected to make a statement, according to his entourage.

….

Mr Blé Goudé fled Ivory Coast the day before Mr Gbagbo’s capture, going to Ghana by road where he lived in hiding for almost two years.

He was then arrested and transferred to the ICC where he first appeared in 2014 charged with committing crimes against humanity, including accusations that he led a militia.

But both Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé were acquitted in 2019 after the judges said that the prosecution had failed to prove its case. The decision was confirmed by the ICC’s Appeals Chamber last year.

The former president returned to Ivory Coast in June 2021, where he has since tried to play the role of a peacemaker urging reconciliation.

Mr Blé Goudé obtained a passport from the Ivorian authorities in May and shortly after got the green light to go home.

How many Benin Bronzes are there? The Smithsonian Returns 29 Benin Bronzes

Queen from Benin kingdom
Queen from Benin kingdom, exposed at the MET

On October 11, 2022, the Smithsonian museum returned 29 Benin Bronzes to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria. This was done in a ceremony at the National Museum of African Art, and held in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art. The bronzes, which were part of the Smithsonian museum’s collection, were stolen from Nigeria during the 1897 British raid on Benin City (Benin City: the Majestic City the British burnt to the ground). The return of these Benin Bronzes is the first return under the Smithsonian’s new ethical returns policy, policy which authorizes Smithsonian museums to return collections to the community of origin based on ethical considerations, such as the manner and circumstances in which the items were originally acquired. In my eyes, this Smithsonian ethical returns policy sounds more like the thief finding lexicon and grammar to explain its theft and the reason why it is hard for him to return the loot, or rather the reason why he needs to hold onto the loot. As always, the question remains: why now? Are the Western museums really going to deplete their museums from attractions that generate millions of dollars yearly? And then the even bigger question: how many Benin Bronzes are there, and should we applaud the return of 1 here, 2 there, or 29 here?

Benin City in 1897
Benin City in 1897

As a recap, on February 1897, an expeditionary force of 1,200 British soldiers and African auxiliaries, known as the Punitive expedition of 1897, captured, burned, and looted the city of Benin, bringing an end to the West African Kingdom of Benin.  During the conquering and burning of the city, most of the country’s treasured art, over 3,000 pieces of art work, including the Benin Bronzes, were either destroyed, looted or dispersed; see Benin City: the Majestic City the British burnt to the ground.

Exposed Benin Bronzes at the British Museum

So, according to C. Huera, 2,400 of Benin artworks including Bronzes, ivories, and more, are held in museums around the world, even though over 3000 were carried back to Europe in 1897. Of those, only 50 are in Nigeria. Today, there are over 900 objects from the historic Kingdom of Benin in the British Museum‘s collection alone. Around 1950-1951, the British Museum sold, exchanged, donated 26 to the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria (25) and the government of the Gold Coast (1) to be in their countries’ museums; it was said at the time that these were duplicates of originals still held at the British Museum (which was denied… but who can really confirm? after all, in the 1950s these countries were colonies of the Queen, did it make sense to return originals to mere colonies?). I wonder how many today are part of the Smithsonian Museum, or the Louvre, or the… the list is so long. In view of this, the return of 1 or 2, or even 29 Benin Bronzes, although laudable, can be seen as a token gesture, more than anything else. Plus, after 125 years spent outside of Benin City, who can really tell if the returned Benin Bronzes are the real ones? Also, are the returned Benin Bronzes the major ones, or part of the backup, you know the ones that never get exposed? Lastly, I hope the Benin people, and the people of Nigeria as a whole, have put in place great security systems and a loyal patriotic circle of trust so that the returned Benin Bronzes will never again leave the homeland!

Burkina Faso 35 years after Thomas Sankara’s Murder

Thomas Sankara
Thomas Sankara a Ouagadougou

The coup d’etat which just happened a little over 2 weeks ago in Burkina Faso on September 30, 2022, marks the need for Burkinabe and Africans in general to be in charge of their own destinies. We have the land, we have the resources, we should be in charge of our own destiny. We can no longer be ‘partners’ (more like slaves) to a master (France and the West) which takes all our resources while leaving us dirt poor. We deserve dignity, and are going to reclaim our territories, in the case of Burkina Faso or Mali, territories stolen by terrorists armed by foreign powers; we are going to reclaim our resources, and more importantly reclaim our lives, and our futures. As we mark the 35th anniversary since the murder of Thomas Sankara, president of the Faso, his widow Mariam Sankara gave a speech which can be found in its entirety on ThomasSankara.net. I have translated parts of it. Enjoy!

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Flag of Burkina Faso

The date of April 6, 2022 will remain engraved in the history of our country as an important moment during which the justice of Burkina Faso sanctioned the assassins of President Thomas Sankara and his 12 companions in misfortune (Verdict Guilty: Blaise Compaoré Guilty of the Murder of Thomas Sankara).

Once again, I would like to thank you all for your support before and during this first part of the trial. My thanks go to the family lawyers, to the organizers of the “fight against impunity, justice for Thomas Sankara” campaign, to militant Africa in general, to the associations of Burkina, to the Diaspora, to the people of Burkina Faso and to the friends from Burkina Faso.

However, we must know that our struggle is not over. …

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Burkina Faso
Map of Burkina Faso

.. Burkina, as we all know, is going through a serious period in its history due to the destabilization imposed on it by terrorists supported by shadow forces. These forces want to wipe our country off the map of the world. This project is unacceptable.

We must all opt for the support of our security forces, the families of the victims and those displaced by war, who number in the thousands.

Admittedly, we must rely on our own strengths, but it is imperative that we call on honest and credible partners, if necessary.

May Burkinabè patriotism serve as a compass for the final victory against terrorism, for social cohesion and for the prosperity of our country.

Fatherland or death, we will win!

Mariam Sankara, Montpellier 15 October 2022

Nowadays We will Respond in Kind

Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga speaking at the UN General Assembly (Source: DW – South Africa)

I have listened to the Malian Prime Minister’s speech again and again. Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga stated quite a few things which are not only worth restating, but also mark the beginning of a new era for relationships with Africa. For me the clear message was that, faced with the West’s insults, defamations, and aggressions, we will no longer respond with fear, we will stand up and respond in kind; we deserve respect and will be treated as such! France, the west, uses Africa to become 4th world gold producer (without a single mine), yet France walks on Africans, and insult us… the era when our backs were broken, and we held back how we felt by fear of retaliations, or by fear of the master, that era is long gone! We will respond in kind. We are human beings too, we are proud sons and descendants of long generations of great kings, we deserve respect, and we will fight to be treated respectfully. Abdoulaye Maïga honored Malians, and Africans as whole; he said openly what we have all been feeling in the depth of our bellies.

In his speech, Maïga called France’s government, a junta, which by the way is how the French government has been referring to the Malian government… but I ask you, is it not what France’s troops and allies have been doing in Mali? in the DRC? in Libya? That is nothing new for France’s behavior (and the West) in Africa. Isn’t neighboring Ivory Coast a recent example? He added, “The French junta has damaged universal values and betrayed its long tradition of humanistic thought,” … [Paris has acted] “in service of obscurantism” and engaged in “neocolonial, condescending, paternalistic and revanchist” politics.

Move on from the colonial past and hear the anger, the frustration, the rejection that is coming up from the African cities and countryside, and understand that this movement is inexorable,” Maïga said, addressing France.

Your intimidations and subversive actions have only swelled the ranks of Africans concerned with preserving their dignity,” he said. Why, because Africans have all had enough! How can anybody understand that Africa is funding Europe! up to 500 billion Euros per year goes to France through the  FCFA, and yet France leaves abject poverty in its wake? and then France (and the West) treats Africa with the greatest condescension? We are not looking for love in these relationships… we just want what is owed us, respect and dignity!

At the United Nations, Outstanding Speech by Mali PM who Slams France, Praises Russia Ties

Flag of Mali
Flag of Mali

Last week, Mali new interim Prime minister Abdoulaye Maïga gave a speech at the United Nations’ Tribune. It was an amazing speech detailing Mali’s battle for its freedom and its struggle against France and its commies. Excerpts below are from Al-Jazeera.

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Abdoulaye Maiga lashes out at the former colonial ruler, the UN as he praised the ‘exemplary’ cooperation with Russia.

Mali’s military-appointed prime minister has lashed out at France and the United Nations in a grievance-filled address over his nation’s deteriorating security situation while praising the “exemplary” cooperation with Russia.

Map of Mali with its capital Bamako

Addressing the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on Saturday, Abdoulaye Maiga slammed what he called France’s “unilateral decision” to relocate its remaining troops to neighbouring Niger amid deteriorating relations with Mali’s two-time coup leader Assimi Goita.

… “Move on from the colonial past and hear the anger, the frustration, the rejection that is coming up from the African cities and countryside, and understand that this movement is inexorable,” Maiga, who was appointed prime minister last month, said.

Your intimidations and subversive actions have only swelled the ranks of Africans concerned with preserving their dignity,” he added.

The Malian prime minister also offered a grim assessment of the UN peacekeeping mission, known as MINUSMA, while openly praising the “exemplary and fruitful cooperation between Mali and Russia” and the influence of mercenaries from the Wagner Group.

… “We must recognise that nearly 10 years after its establishment, the objectives for which MINUSMA was deployed in Mali have not been achieved,” Maiga said. “This is despite numerous Security Council resolutions.”

Queen Elizabeth II’s Legacy in Africa: What Africans have to Say

Queen Elizabeth II (Source: ForeignBrief.com)

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8th, 2022. The world mourns the monarch who reigned over the United Kingdom for over 70 years, thus winning the merit of having the longest reign of any British monarch, and the supposedly longest recorded reign of any female head of state in history. During her lifetime, she was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states and 15 at the time of her death.

British Empire in 1921 (Source: Wikipedia)

Queen Elizabeth II’s reign started in 1952, at the tail end of the ‘colonization’ era, leading into the independence or decolonization of former British colonies, and then the new era of neo-colonization. The 1960s and 1970s saw an acceleration in the decolonization of Africa and the Caribbeans. More than 20 countries gained independence from Britain as part of a planned transition to ‘self’-government. Newspapers would give the polished version, but it is clear that under her reign, major events rocked nations and particularly the third-world, as we, ‘not the West’ used to be called. She started her reign while in Kenya (i.e. learnt of the passing of her father while in visit of Kenya, and that she was to become queen). She inherited a vast empire spanning the African continent upon becoming Queen, her reign saw all 14 African British colonies gain their independence, starting with Ghana in 1957. And yet the Queen managed to maintain warm relations with them, partly through the creation of the successor organisation to the empire, the Commonwealth. One could argue that the relationship between the British monarchy and post-colonial Africa was a complicated one. 

In a prison camp during the Mau Mau rebellion (Source:The Guardian)
In a prison camp in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion (Source:The Guardian)

Who can forget the Mau-Mau massacre in Kenya by British forces (The British Government apologizes for Mau Mau atrocities)? Or then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)? or Sudan? or the wars of independence in different parts of Africa?

The president of Kenya where her journey as Queen started, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, mourned her passing in a statement, describing her as “a towering icon of selfless service to humanity and a key figurehead of not only the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations where Kenya is a distinguished member but the entire world“.

The traitor Mnangagwa, even though the Queen granted knighthood to President Robert Mugabe to later revoke it, and the relations between Zimbabwe and Great Britain were bad for many years, was quick to tweet that his “deepest condolences” were with the Royal Family and “the people of the United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth“. Zimbabwe held some services.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has, on behalf of the government and people of South Africa, expressed his profound and sincere condolences to King Charles III on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, saying, “Her Majesty was an extraordinary and world-renowned public figure who lived a remarkable life.  Her life and legacy will be fondly remembered by many around the world. The Queen’s commitment and dedication during her 70 years on the throne remains a noble and virtuous example to the entire world.”

Flag and map of Nigeria
Flag and map of Nigeria

The leader of Nigeria, the biggest of Britain’s former colonies in Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari wrote a long tribute to her on Twitter, saying The story of modern Nigeria will never be complete without a chapter on Queen Elizabeth ll, a towering global personality and an outstanding leader. She dedicated her life to making her nation, the Commonwealth and the entire world a better place.”

However, the younger generation of African leaders, and leaders around the world are saying they cannot mourn the passing of the Queen of England.

Uju Anya, a linguistics professor at Carnegie Mellon University on Thursday described the late queen as the monarch of a “thieving raping genocidal empire” in a series of tweets. “I heard the chief monarch of thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating,” Anya said. Referring to Great Britain’s conquest of Nigeria in the 19th and 20th century, she added, “If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.”

Julius Malema, Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (Source: TheSouthAfrican.com)

Julius Malema, of the South African Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), South Africa’s third-biggest political party, criticized the queen, who ascended to the throne in 1952, for reigning for 70 years as a head of an institution “built up, sustained, and living off a brutal legacy of dehumanization of millions of people across the world.

Malema added “We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa’s history,” …

Britain, under the leadership of the royal family, took over control of this territory that would become South Africa in 1795 from Batavian control, and took permanent control of the territory in 1806.

From that moment onwards, native people of this land have never known peace, nor have they ever enjoyed the fruits of the riches of this land, riches which were and still are utilized for the enrichment of the British royal family and those who look like them.” … the royal family’s leadership “has been one of pain and suffering, of death and dispossession, and of dehumanization of African people“.

During her [Elizabeth II’s] 70-year reign as Queen, she never once acknowledged the atrocities that her family inflicted on native people that Britain invaded across the world. She willingly benefited from the wealth that was attained from the exploitation and murder of millions of people across the world.

The British Royal family stands on the shoulders of millions of slaves who were shipped away from the continent to serve the interests of racist white capital accumulation, at the center of which lies the British royal family. If there is really life and justice after death, may Elizabeth and her ancestors get what they deserve,” the statement concluded.

The atmosphere I would say then is nuanced in Africa, some, particularly the heads of states mourn, while the younger generations cannot be bothered to mourn the life of a monarch whose reign caused a lot of pain, suffering, and dehumanization to millions.

Zambia and its Colorful Contribution to the World

Twin Rivers, Zambia

Have you ever heard of Twin Rivers in Zambia? Do you know that humanity came in contact with pigments, color, 300,000 years ago in the area of Twin Rivers? In this area of Zambia, located southwest of the capital Lusaka, is where the most extensive prehistoric mineral pigment collection in the world is found.

Language is not the only way of communicating, color is also part of it. Humanity communicated using pigments and color hundreds of thousands of years ago. Africa has some of the earliest evidence of the use of earth pigments. Evidence includes engraved ochre nodules and ochre processing areas and tools at sites such as the Blombos Cave in South Africa or Porc Epic in Ethiopia; the extensive processing of ochre at sites such as Sibudu in South Africa or Twin Rivers in Zambia, and the extensive mining of shiny bright red ochre in Eswatini (subject for another day). In 2006, in Twin Rivers, Zambia, archaeologists found that early humans used paint for aesthetic purposes much earlier than previously thought. The team found pigments dated between 350,000 and 400,000 years back. As a comparison, the oldest pigments previously found were 120,000 years old (still in Africa) and the oldest known painting is about 35,000 years old.  Huge quantities, about 70 kg or more, were found in a cave, thus implying a systematic use of pigments indicating a purposeful and repeated activity, perhaps linked to a material expression of self-awareness, displayed in the form of body paint/body decoration. Throughout the years, different rocks were excavated, ranging from limonite, hematite, specularite, and different kinds of pigments. The work done by Pr. Barham and his team, shows that even though a variety of colors of ochre were used at Twin Rivers (such as yellow, brown, red, a dark sparkly purple shade of red (specularite), pink, and blue-black) the most predominant color at the site is red.

Enjoy the article below from Colorful beginning for humanity on the BBC, Newsbriefs Archaeology, and check out the extensive work of the Liverpool team.

Zambia Sovereign Debt Crisis

Zambian flag
Zambian flag

When we talk about Zambia these days, there is no way to avoid the elephant in the room: its debt. In 2020, Zambia became the first African country to declare bankruptcy (possibly worldwide) as the pandemic had brought it to its knees: the coffers were empty, and the country owed China, its main creditor, over $3 billion with no clear way to pay it back. This past Tuesday, the IMF announced that Zambia was seeking as much as $8.4 billion in debt relief in preparation for discussion on restructuring foreign liabilities. African debt as Thomas Sankara pointed a while back is a tricky subject… so there is already that fundamental question of debts owed to European countries (like France) which milk Africa via fake currencies such as the FCFA, and treacherous partnerships signed decades ago which benefited only the West. For today though, how did Zambia get here in the first place?

President Edgar Lungu (Source: AllInZimbabwe.com)

The country’s debts quadrupled between 2014 and 2019 amid a surge in infrastructure borrowing under Edgar Lungu, the former president, who lost elections last year to Hichilema. Needless to say that right before Lungu came into power, there had been a collaboration between Norway and Zambia to help the country get better hold of its revenues, via a mineral mining monitoring project aimed at boosting tax revenues. As we learned at the beginning of the week, Zambia is rich in minerals, particularly copper. However, upon arrival in power, president Lungu stopped the program (aimed at helping its country negotiate better deals for its mines), and went into an infrastructure shopping spree with no real regards for what was in his treasury’s coffers; no wonder he got the boots at the end of his first term. This, added to all previous debts, and the pandemic which hit just as the new president was getting into office, made for the perfect storm.

Excerpts below are from the Times talking about Zambia’s discussions this week, and hopefully the start of a better way to close on the debt. Let’s not veil ourselves though, since its creation has the IMF ever helped a single African country come out of problems? Hard to believe that it will – maybe the case of Zambia will be different? You can also read articles from Bloomberg, Atlantic Council, and Financial Times.

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Map of Zambia
Map of Zambia

Not that long ago Chinese credit was easy to get in Zambia. A government department could contact a Beijing lender directly without needing to get it signed off by finance ministers.

Millions of dollars were squandered or used to line pockets. Ministers campaigned in helicopters and the president had a Gulfstream jet. All the while the debts were racking up. It could not last.

We have lost an obscene amount of money on corruption — money that could have been used to feed, house, clothe and educate our children,” said Hakainde Hichilema, a man once mocked as “calculator boy” for his head for dry numbers.

President Hakainde Hichilema (Source: FaceofMalawi.com)

A year after securing the presidency — at his sixth attempt — in a landslide, Hichilema is unpicking the ruinous rule of his predecessor, Edgar Lungu, who threatened to turn Zambia into the new Zimbabwe.

Under Lungu’s administration, international debt quadrupled to more than 120 per cent of Zambia’s GDP. He failed to negotiate a lifeline from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after it became the first African state to default since the 2005 agreement to wipe clean the debts of 30 of the continent’s poorest states.

The $1.3 billion IMF bailout secured by Hichilema’s government last week was seen as a huge vote of confidence in his commitment to restraint and reform. A successful exit from default could make Zambia a model for other states in Africa, where China is the biggest lender and the threat of debt distress is high. China has overtaken the World Bank as the biggest foreign creditor to developing countries.

… Zambia’s debt of $6 billion to 18 different lenders was twice previous estimates.

… New laws on transparency and a cap on future borrowing will keep things honest, [Hichilema] said. “The only change we can probably say is that we have just raised the bar in terms of engagement.

Traditional Coronation of a New Zulu King

King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini (Source: yahoo news)

The Zulu people of South Africa now have a new king, Misuzulu Siqonbile ka Zwelithini who was crowned king in a traditional ceremony last Saturday. The coronation comes after 50 years of his father’s reign, King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu, and a year-long family feud to determine the rightful heir. For many Zulu people, it is a rare event, the first in 51 years, and totally worthy of celebrations as it welcomes the dawn of a new king of the Zulu Kingdom.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and Queen Mantfombi Dlamini (Source: Sundayworld.co.za)

The new king, Misuzulu ka Zwelithini, is 48 years old, and although he is the son of the previous king, some royals had argued he was not the rightful heir and that the late king’s will was in fact forged. Many believed that the feud stemmed from the fact that King Misuzulu’s mother was the late Queen Mantfombi Dlamini Zulu of royal blood given that her father was the late King Sobhuza II of Swaziland and her brother is King Mswati III of Eswatini; her marriage to the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini came with the condition that her first-born son would be first in line for the throne in the event of his father’s death. However, for some Zulus, even though Queen Mantfombi Dlamini held the highest status among the king’s wives as a royal descendant, she was still considered an ‘outsider’ or ‘foreigner’, not a Zulu. In her husband’s will, she had been named as Queen regent – caretaker until a successor was found; however she also passed one month after becoming regent, and left a will in which her son Misuzulu ka Zwelithini was named successor. Since then, there have been a lot of contests in the family.

Celebrations at the new Zulu King’s traditional coronation (Source: Yahoo News)

None of that could dampen the joyous spirit of the thousands that descended upon the KwaKhangelamankengane Palace on Saturday for the traditional coronation of the new Zulu monarch. It was a beautiful celebration. The new king will be officially installed at a public coronation on 24 September – a public holiday in South Africa previously known as Shaka‘s Day – a time when thousands of Zulus would visit his grave to honor him for uniting the Zulu nation.

Please check out images of the celebration on the BBC.

Mixed Reactions to Compaoré’s ‘Apology’

Flag of Burkina Faso

Compaoré’s apology last week raised mixed reactions [Blaise Compaore Apologizes for Thomas Sankara’s Death?]. Almost everybody could smell the trap… It turns out that Compaoré is friend with the current military ruler, and has even visited Ouagadougou, the capital, last month even though he has been found guilty by the country’s courts [Verdict Guilty: Blaise Compaoré Guilty of the Murder of Thomas Sankara].  Many think that he wants a presidential pardon! The coward! See… I always told you that Compaoré is really a coward, always has been, and always will be. After all, he is the one who has changed his citizenship to become Ivorian so as not to be extradited. Imagine that, a man who held the highest position of a nation, finishes and changes his citizenship like some common person… such a coward! Anyways, below are excerpts from AfricaNews.

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Compaore’s apology, issued on Tuesday is leaving mixed reactions as Burkinabe citizens consider the manner and sincerity of the former head of state Blaise Compaoré’s request for pardon.

If they had simply put at the end of the letter, ‘I place myself at the disposal of my country’s justice system’, I would have applauded.” says one passer-by.

… Compaore seized power in the West African nation in a 1987 coup in which Sankara was gunned down by a hit squad. The violent death of his former comrade-in-arms was a taboo subject throughout his 27 years in power.

A Burkina court handed him a life term in absentia in April for his role in the assassination.

… Luc Damiba, Secretary General of the Thomas Sankara International Committee Memorial is disappointed.”You have not been condemned or punished yet nor have you recognised your acts” he says of Compaore.

You deny justice, even defy it and at the end of the chain, when you see that there is no other way out, you come and ask for forgiveness. It’s a forced pardon! It’s as if he was forced to ask for forgiveness.” Damiba lamented. He went further and blasted the apology as “a masquerade… a kind of diversion that he is sowing in people’s minds“.

Compaore’s goal, he said, was “to be able to return to Burkina and get a presidential pardon“.

Blaise Compaore returned to Burkina Faso for several days this month, without facing arrest, after the country’s military leader Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba invited him in the name of “national reconciliation“.

The visit sparked an outcry among civil society groups and political parties, who said uniting the nation should not come at the expense of impunity.