The Abuja Proclamation

A declaration of the first Abuja Pan-African Conference on Reparations For African Enslavement, Colonisation And Neo-Colonisation, sponsored by The Organisation Of African Unity and its Reparations Commission April 27-29, 1993, Abuja, Nigeria


This First Pan-African Conference on Reparations held in Abuja, Nigeria, April 27-29, 1993, sponsored by the Group of Eminent Persons (GEP) and the Commission for Reparations of the Organisation of African Unity, and the Federal Government of the Republic of Nigeria.

Recalling the Organisation of African Unity's establishment of a machinery the Group of Eminent Persons for appraising the issue of reparations in relation to the damage done to Africa and its Diaspora by enslavement, colonisation, and neo-colonialism.

Convinced that the issue of reparations is an important question recurring the united action of Africa and its Diaspora and worthy of the active support of the rest of the international community.

Fully persuaded that the damage sustained by the African peoples is not a "thing of the past' but is Painfully manifest in the damaged lives of contemporary Africans from Harlem to Harare, in the damaged economies of the Black World from Guinea to Guyana, from Somalia to Surinam.

Respectfully aware of historic pecedents in reparations, ranging from German Payment of restitution to the Jews for the enormous tragedy of the Nazi Holocaust to the question of compensating Japanese-Americans for injustice of internment by Roosevelt Administration in the United States during the World War II.

Cognisant of the fact that compensation for injustice need not necessarily be paid only in capital transfer but could include service to the victims or other forms of restitution and readjustment of the relationship agreeable to both parties.

Emphatically convinced that what matters is not the guilt but the responsibility of those states and nations whose economic evolution once depended on slave labour and colonialism, and whose forebears participated either in selling and buying Africans, or in owning them, or in colonising them.

Convinced that the pursuit of reparations by the African peoples in the continent and in the Diaspora will itself be a learning experience in self-discovery and in uniting experience politically and psychologically. Convinced that numerous looting, theft and larceny have been committed on the African People calls upon those in Possession of their stolen goods artefacts and other traditional treasuries to restore them to their rightful owners the African People.

Calls upon the international community to recognise that there is a unique and unprecedented moral debt owed to the African peoples which has Yet to be paid - the debt of compensation to the Africans as the most humiliated and exploited people of the last four centuries of modern history.

Calls upon Heads of States and Governments in Africa and the Diaspora itself to set up National Committees for the purpose of studying the damaged Black experience, disseminating information and encouraging educational courses on the impact of Enslavement, colonisation ant neo-colonialism on present-day Africa and its Diaspora'

Urges the Organisation of African Unity to grant observer status to select organisations from the African Diaspora in order to facilitate consultations between Africa and its Diaspora on reparations and related issues.

Further urges the OAU to call for full monetary payment of repayments through capital transfer and debt cancellation.

Convinced that the claim for reparations is well grounded in International Law.

Urges on the OAU to establish a legal Committee on the issue of Reparations.

Also calls upon African and Diaspora groups already working on reparations to communicate with the Organisation of African Unity and establish continuing liaison;

Encourages such groups to send this declaration to various countries to obtain their official support for the movement

Serves notice on all states in Europe and the Americas which had participated in the enslavement and colonisation of the African peoples, and which may still be engaged in racism and neo-colonialism, to desist from any further damage and start building bridges of conciliation, co-operation, and through reparation.

Exhorts all African states to grant entrance as of right to all persons of African descent and right to obtain residence in those African states, if there is no disqualifying element on the African claiming the "right to return" to his ancestral home, Africa.

Urges those countries which were enriched by slavery and the slave trade to give total relief from Foreign Debt, and allow the debtor countries of the Diaspora to become free for self-development and from immediate and direct economic domination.

Calls upon the countries largely characterised as profiteers from the slave trade to support proper and reasonable representation of African peoples in the Political and economic areas of the highest decision-making bodies.

Requests the OAU to intensify its efforts in restructuring the international system in pursuit of justice with special reference to a permanent African seat on the Security Council of the U.N.


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