Broadcast On African Liberation Day
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 in 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
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 U.N.
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
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 Portugal.
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.
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