Reparations Now!

Q. How do you intend to go about it?
A: There is a Sub-Committee which was appointed after the first International Conference on Reparations in Lagos, Nigeria in December 1990. This Committee has advanced the cause to the national level and President Ibrahim Babangida
has advanced it further to the platform of the OAU which in June1992 empanelled a Group of Eminent Persons (GEP) to work out the different ways in which to proceed, and to secure technical advisers who will help to solve some of the problems raised by this claim. This Group also hopes to make this cause known to the peoples of the world in a quest for justice.

Q. Who is asking for Reparation?
A: The Group of Eminent Persons on Reparations for slavery, operating under the umbrella of the OAU, is a structured body consisting of people with international reputations and is not restricted to one race, sex or religion. They are acting on behalf of the black peoples of the world which we expect soon to be able to place the demand on the agenda of the United Nations, as it has now been supported by the OAU.

Q. Why are we asking so late?
A: This is not late for the following reasons:
(i) There is no law of limitations which limits claim for murder and genocide, such as was involved in slavery;
(ii) Further, when slavery was abolished in the 1830s, it was succeeded by colonialism. This did not abolish exploitation of the colonies, it was merely a transformation from one subjugation to another. Colonialism ended for most of us only 30 years ago and in fact this still exists in some colonies. As colonies, we could not speak for ourselves, as we were not free to do so. Since the abolition of colonialism just 30 years ago, we are free to speak and are asking you to join us. Thirty years is not a long time on the pages of history.
It is the failure of development in Africa over the last 30 years that has underlined the extent to which slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism have remained as shackles that need to be removed if we are to be free to pursue development.
20 and AFRICANS in the Diaspora Extracts from the booklet of Questions & Answers Prepared by:
The Group of Eminent Persons on Reparations

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