September 25, 2011

Antigua, Barbuda demands reparation for African slave trade

United Nations – The Caribbean Island state of Antigua and Barbuda has demanded reparations for injustices suffered by African slaves and their descendants.

Mr Baldwin Spencer, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, told the UN General Assembly annual debate on Saturday that segregation and violence against people of African descent had impaired their capacity for advancement as nations, communities and individuals.

“None should disagree that racism and other legacies of slavery continue to shape the lives of people of African descent, thus   reparations must be directed toward repairing the damage inflicted by slavery and racism.”

He stressed that former slave-owning states should begin a reconciliation process by formally apologising for the crimes committed by the nations or their citizens over the 400 years of the African slave trade.

“And to help counter the lingering damage inflicted on generations of peoples of African descent by generations of slave-trading and colonialism, we call on those very states to back up their apologies with new commitments to the economic development of the nations that have suffered from this human tragedy.”

He said that planned African Diaspora Summit in South Africa in 2012 would provide a platform for the African in Diaspora to put in place economic policies to ensure sustained economic cooperation among public and private stakeholders to promote development, entrepreneurship and business opportunities.

Saturday, Mali’s Prime Minister Cissé Sidibé called on the international community to support the country’s constitutional referendum and national elections scheduled for 2012.

Sidibé said both the referendum and elections would cement the nearly two decades of democratic practice in the West African country.

Sidibé said the elections were a culmination of a process launched by the President Amadou Touré who she said would not seek  re-election.

As part of that process, Sidibé said the laws governing Mali’s electoral processes, Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, media and political parties would be revised and updated.

She added that an inclusive political process was already under way to guarantee transparency and credibility of the referendum and elections.  (NAN)