"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 and commitments.
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.
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