AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY May 26, 1965
"The first conference of the independent African states was
held in Accra, Ghana, on April 15, 1958. It was decided then to celebrate this
historic day as African Freedom Day. Until recently, April 15 was celebrated
throughout our continent as African Freedom Day. However, two years ago today
n May the Summit Conference of the Independent African States, which was
convened in Our Capital City of Addis Ababa, decreed that May 25,
the day on which the historic Charter of the Organization of African
Unity was signed, be celebrated every year as African Liberation Day.
Accordingly today is celebrated as African Liberation Day.
The African Unity Charter was signed two years ago today.
Within this brief period much has been accomplished that augurs well for African
Unity. In accordance with the resolution of the first Assembly of African Heads
of State and Government held in Cairo last year, the headquarters of the Organization
of African Unity has been established here in Addis Ababa. Under its Secretary-General,
His Excellency Mr. Diallo Telli, of Guinea, the Organization is successfully
discharging its responsibilities and commitments.
The Ethiopian people, who have struggled and made untold sacrifices
for their independence and freedom for thousands of years an independence that
has been a beacon for all of Africa today celebrate this day together with all
Africans by consolidating their freedom and independence with the freedom and
independence of their African brothers in the spirit of Modern Ethiopianism.
This year, two sister African states Zambia and Gambia have
won independence and they have joined the family of independent African states.
We share their joy and we extend again, as we did on the occasion when they
won their independence, Our sincere felicitations. We are anxiously awaiting
the day when those Africans in the dependent territories break the shackles
of foreign tutelage, and become masters of their own fate.
On this solemn day, all of us must pause and remember the
plight of our African brothers who are under foreign rule and who are desperately
struggling to win their freedom, their basic fundamental human rights. Instead
of granting their rightful freedom and independence to the indigenous Africans
in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea, the Portuguese Govemment has intensified
even more its campaign of ruthless suppression of African freedom fighters in
these territories, under the outmoded, illogical pretext that these territories
are part of Portugal. In concert with the other African members of the United
Nations Organization, Ethiopia has never ceased advocating at United Nations
and other international conferences that the Portuguese Government should grant
independence to each and every territory under its rule.
The United Nations Anti-Colonial Committee of which Ethiopia
is a member, is presently visiting Africa to follow closely the dangerous situation
in Southern Rhodesia. In South Africa and in South-West Africa, the policies
of apartheid and oppression are becoming increasingly unbearable. The South
African Government is accelerating its ruthless campaign: a methodical campaign
of arresting daily, detaining without trial and torturing the Africans and their
leaders who are struggling for the their fundamental human rights and freedom.
All the peace-loving countries of the world must act together to force the colonial
governments of South Africa and Portugal to desist from these policies - policies
which are inhuman, policies which deny basic human rights, policies which are
detrimental to the peace and security of the entire world and grant independence
and freedom to these oppressed people.
To the UN
The Assembly of the African Heads of State and Government
has authorized the Foreign Ministers of Senegal and Algeria to bring the cases
of racial discrimination and oppression in South Africa, the inhuman colonial
rule of the Portuguese Government and the dangerous situation in Southern Rhodesia,
before the Security Council of the United Nations to find permanent solutions
to the unrelenting struggles of the African governments and people. As a result
the entire world is today more conscious of these pressing problems.
From discussions in the United Nations in recent years, We
have cause to believe that some friendly nations fully support the efforts to
impose an economic boycott on South Africa and Portugal; it is unfortunate that
some great powers who have been entrusted with the maintenance of international
peace and security have not co-operated inthese worthy efforts. These powers
are the main obstacles to an effective economic boycott of South Africa and
The establishment of the Organization of African Unity, the
concerted action of the member-states and the pooling of the aid to Our brethren
African freedom fighters, have helped to revive and strengthen as well as intensify
the liberation movements throughout Africa. For this we are grateful to the
Liberation Committee of the nine African States, of which Ethiopia is a member.
On this day, we should all recollect with gratitude the support of all those
friendly nations in our endeavour in the United Nations and other international
conferences to free Africa of all the colonial vestiges.
It will be recalled that the Cairo Assembly of the Heads of
State and Government decided to convene the Second Assembly of the Heads of
State and Government in Accra, Ghana, in September this year. Because of misunderstandings
among certain member states of the Organization of African Unitys voices have
been occasionally raised recently against the convocation of the Assembly in
Accra. Nonetheless, the regular Assembly of the Heads of State and Government
was, in the first place, designed to find peaceful solutions, through deliberations
and frank exchange of views to such misunderstandings among member-states. We
believe, therefore, that any change in the venue of the next Assembly will make
no major difference. Consequently we have dispatched our Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs to West Africa, with personal messages from us, to mediate vith
the leaders of the West African states concerned.
We earnestly hope that the member-states of the organization
of African Unity will meet in Accra in September in accordance with the decision
of the first Assembly of the Heads of State and Government. On this day, we
extend our fraternal greetings to all our brethren Africans who are still suffering
under foreign colonial rule. We reiterate that Ethiopia, in co-operation with
the member-states of the Organization of African Unity, will always continue
to give her full support for their just struggles to win their inalienable rights
to freedom and independence, and to be masters of their own destiny. May Almighty
God assist us in these endeavours."
H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I
May 26, 1965