Q. How much money are we asking for?
A: As stated above, money is not the main objective but certain
payments need to be made, to build universities, roads, houses,
and to transfer technology, etcetera. A special Committee
is already working out details based upon the actual losses
and what will get Africa and peoples of African descent moving
again. Such payments will also relate to similar payments
and other precedences of reparations such as those made to
Kuwait, Israel etcetera.
Q. Is there any legal base to support the present demand?
A: Our case is based on morality and equity, but it is also
supported in international law. There is a principle in law
known as unjust enrichment: if one party becomes enriched
as a result of a wrong done to another party, the law compels
the former to make an adjustment to the latter. There are
in various Conventions, such as the Geneva Convention, or
the Human Rights Charter of the United Nations, clearly laid
down prohibitions against a denial of human rights.
Q. Should the present generations be held responsible
for the wrong doings of their ancestors?
A: We are not out to penalize the present generations who
are descendants of slave-owners and slave-traders. What we
put before the world is the fact that certain countries today
and certain sections of the present generation are placed
in a better position, economically, politically and socially,
than the claimants, as a result of the unjust enrichment enjoyed
by their ancestors at the expense of claimants.
Facts on: REPARATIONS to AFRICA and AFRICANS in the Diaspora
Q. Is the aid already paid to Africa not enough to settle
A: Not at all.
Even if foreign aid is accepted as part of the returns from
the Western world, the total investment is still only an infinitesimal
part of the value of what they have extracted from Africa,
and from the enforced labour of peoples of African descent.
Q. Some people have argued that slavery and colonialism
have contributed to the development of Africans. Is this true?
A: This is palpably not true. Those who say that Africans
who have advanced have done so because slavery put them in
a "conducive atmosphere" to advance should visit
the slave relics like the Isle of Goree, Elmina Castle, Badagry
and other monuments to the infamous trade to understand how
wrong they are. Those that advanced, as in the Caribbean,
United States and elsewhere, did so by the will of God, and
in spite of the slave conditions, certainly not because of
them. The struggle of the black slaves is an epic worthy to
be remembered. It is the story of a people who fought back
under the most difficult conditions trying to climb the ladder
of progress. Reparations is an attempt to give their descendants
some assistance in climbing that ladder so as to reduce the
odds against them. Struggle is a part of our culture and the
ascent from slavery to our present position is a source of
pride. The struggle continues.
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