Amara Essy supports compensation for slavery

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Amara Essy, the secretary general of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), said Tuesday in Dakar that he supported demands for compensation for the slave trade and colonisation.
Speaking after calling on Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Essy said that "all the scourges from which Africa is currently suffering, notably poverty and certain diseases, stem from the transfer of her able-bodied children to other continents".
According to Essy, the issue is of concern to all Africans and the black Diaspora.
"Like the (Jewish) Holocaust, the slave trade is not a fabrication", he said, adding that "it is mere prejudice not to acknowledged this fact".
He added that people should "reflect on the modalities of compensation, which may take various forms".
On the United States' threat to boycott the World Conference Against Racism which opens Friday in Durban, South Africa, Essy said that "recognition was an achievement, the beginning of compensation", adding that he could not respond on behalf of the Americans as "every State is sovereign".
However, the OAU chief said that it would be sad for the conference to be boycotted by Washington, because "whatever the problem, we must discuss it.
One cannot hide the sun with one's hand.
Slavery is a historical fact, which was recognised by France.
" France has officially recognised slavery as a crime against humanity, the only western country to do so.
Elected at the OAU's July summit in Lusaka, Zambia, the former Ivorian foreign minister thanked Wade for his support in his election, a gesture that contributed to the "enhancement of relations between Dakar and Abidjan".
Essy will take office on 17 September in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the OAU's headquarters.

29 august 2001 14:07:00




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