THE NATION OF CABINDA CONSCIENCE MANIFEST
Cabinda, 10th of March 2008
Our identity as a Nation has been marked over the last three decades by a deep crisis. This observation is supported by the historic and political misfortune that has been inflicted in its people. Meanwhile, this misfortune has nourished a well-established identity conscience which has turned into the humus of a whole process of political emancipation. For more than thirty years, it has been imposed upon us the law of Humiliation, Deportation, Discrimination, Torture, Rape, Murder, Assassinations and We have insistently and persistently been denied our being as a well identified and defined People and Nation.
WE, here undersigned, are therefore doing so in allegiance to our Land, History and Identity. This visible triad that aggregates us goes beyond the merely visible aspects. Hence, our mission is to make available all our intellectual and affective capacity/capital to this noble cause.
WE, therefore, bring to the eyes of the world in a clear and unequivocal manner, the will and determination that drive us in this crucial time of our History.
Who Are We?
The Treaty of Simulambuco came to strengthen the ethnic and cultural traces of our identity as a Nation. This was ratified as an entity sui juris by the colonizing countries. This is all documented by the History. We are consequently the legitimate heirs/successors of the Kingdoms of N'Goyo, Kakongo and Loango, which already existed way before the arrival of the Europeans. This attestation is stipulated in the 1933 portuguese Constitution in number 2 of its Article 1; clearly expressed in the OAU (Organization of African Union) “pre-figurative map of Africa”, 1965, where it is attributed number 39; and that of the Nations League of 1917, to only mention a few. On the other hand, the process for independence of the two territories (“angola” and Cabinda), ab initio, were separately made by the international entities. In this context, Cabinda is an entity distinctly separated geographically and historically by “angola” (one must know that the northern must boarder of the so called “angola” country was the River Loge in 1885. To try to show the opposite is purely trying to hide a Historic Truth.
PROPHETIC WORDS FROM STANLEY TO JOHNSTON, LEOPOLDVILLE, 23 JULY 1883
. . You have aroused me by your remarks on the portuguese.... I hope you will not be tempted by the self-interested hospitality of the portuguese to give your vote that the Kongo shall be given to them. If England but waits a little she will see sufficient cause to judge that she has as much right as any other nation which only seeks to exclude British trade from this outlet to Central African trade. Despite every prognostication to the contrary, this river will yet redeem the lost Continent. By itself it forms a sufficient prospect, but when you consider its magnificent tributaries which flow on each side of it giving access to civilization to what appeared hopelessly impenetrable a few years ago, the reality of the general utility and benefit to these dark tribes and nations fills the sense with admiration.
Every step I take increases my enthusiasm for my work and confirms my first impression.... Such an ample basin ... with its unmeasured resources would you bestow on the Portuguese, who would but seal it to the silence of the coming centuries? Would you rob the natural birthright of the millions of Englishmen yet to issue, seeking homes similar to those which their forefathers built in the Americas and the Indies? For what? Is the robust Empire called the British on its wane that you will put a limit to its growth? Such an idea is simply self-murder, and a present confession of impotence. Follow the dictates of Nature. As with man as with nations that is the best guide.
Statistics tell us that Englishmen are increasing fast, that ships are building more and more each year, that trade is extending, that the revenue is augmenting, that colonies are forming, that wealth incessantly flows from all lands to England, that education creates thousands daily of men fit to cope with life's best work viz. to thrive and multiply, and we are well aware that the present Government is not less able than its predecessors to direct, and maintain the force of the nation.
Then why lock the gates of a promising field against yourselves? Let it be. Keep the gates open. Let him who seeks to enter do so without let or hindrance and leave it to Time. Time will teach the British Government where its interest lies. Meantime observe your treaties with the native Chiefs of the Lower Kongo.
Protect them as you promised to the Chiefs as far back as 1845 through your naval chiefs. If you deliver these People into the hands of the portuguese, the past as well as the present teaches us what to expect. You deliver them-soul and body-to Hell and slavery. To avoid the imputation of being false and faithless, proclaim a Protectorate over the Kongo, and rescue these poor People from their present impending fate.
You can write and that well. Set to work-the very fact that you are fresh from our work will give what you say an importance. Lend one hand to the present movement so that neither French nor Portuguese nor any other particular nation shall defraud England of her rights and privileges in Africa in broad daylight.
It was Livingstone, an Englishman, who discovered this river, it was Anglo-American money, which explored it and made it known. It was international money, part of which is English, which began the task of making it useful to the world. They are English goods, products, manufactures, which enable us to move on and win the love of the Congo nations. Will you still vote that we shall sacrifice all this in honour of Diego Cam whose countrymen allowed the pearl of African rivers to lie idle for nearly four centuries? Bah! the very thought sickens me.
Historic misfortunes, impregnated of clamorous injustice, integrated the Cabinda nation in the so-called “angolan” state. This only took place in 1956, merely by administrative reasons, as it was similarly done by other colonizing countries such as Belgium. This is where our suffering begins. A “appalling decolonisation” turned the Nation of Cabinda and its People into a “gift”, means of exchange, and another victim of an out-of-place, outdated, out-of-context, pseudo-humanist communism under the cloak of internationalism. A typically colonialist regime which, by all means, insists in denying our identity, was established. Every now and then, the regime is recycled renovating and innovating its instruments of persecution, torture and political schemes with clemencies, amnesties, integrationisms, memorandums and other alike with a cloak of hypocrisy. So, as one may expect, the war continues to needlessly grass the lives of Kimbundus, Ovimbundos and Cabindans. It is important to note to the public opinion that there is no civil war in Cabinda, yes, there is instead an occupationist war that brings a string of atrocities, deaths and arbitrariness; people in rural areas are not given a chance to live a normal life; they feel alienated in their own land.
In this context of colonial rule, sceneries of ostracism and misery; the systematic and unrestrained plunder of natural resources, especially oil, the chief reason of our suffering, will be a common practice. Oil has become more important than its owner. As such, the policies of the unelected criminal regime of the MPLA determines:
a) The politics of impoverishment: Malongo is the den of injustice, marginalization and discrimination against the Native Cabinda;
b) The politics of human and economic desertification (forced moves of Cabinda Cadres to Luanda);
c) The politics of encroachment, conspiracy and insensibility before the suffering of Cabinda People;
d) The politics of bribe and false talks: the petro-dollars are good to go for anything, mattering only the political dividends;
e) The existence of companies and banks without meaningful presence that would represent the enormous profits acquired, sometimes, through over-invoicing and poor salaries offered to Cabindans.
Things We Refuse
The signatories of this “Manifest” frontally declare themselves contrary:
· To letting our destiny in strange hands
· To the politics rehearsed to systematically procrastinate the resolution of the existing conflict between the unelected criminal MPLA and Cabinda,
· To the attempts of undermining Cabinda Culture by permanently obfuscating and negating the “Ibinda language” (National Language of the People of Cabinda) and to the elimination of the native toponymy,
· To the regeneration of the DISA (The MPLA run Information and Security Service Division, African KGB network of intimidation rape and torture) and its repressive methods designed to silence individuals and entities that refuse to enter a world of subservience,
· To the schemes of division in the Cabinda Nation,
· To the curtailment of Freedom.
122 years have gone by during which, first portugal and enclave of Spain and then the unelected criminal thugs of the MPLA, have shown incapacity to interpret the legitimate aspiration of auto-determination of the Cabinda Nation. Recent independences in Europe as in Africa have brought to light an indisputable truth: Freedom is valid for all nations that long for it. Hence, the absurd epithets such as “separatists”, “independentists”, etc..., are unwarranted when we well know that we are in a context of Manu Militari Annexation.
We, the signatories of the present Manifest, having in mind all that has been said, after a profound and mature reflection over the present historic and political moment in which it is insisted to give a false account to the primary object of our claim, we demand, with all weight of historic responsibility that we carry on our shoulders, the following:
a) The unequivocal acknowledgement of the unique object of the claim of the Cabinda Nation: our auto-determination, because, “Man cannot and will not bring together what God separated” (Bishop D. Franklim da Costa).
b) The creation of a political environment appropriate for a sincere and inclusive dialog with the legitimate representatives of the Cabinda Nation.
c) The immediate end to the police and political repression in Cabinda by the unelected and criminal organization of the MPLA, a well-known bunch of corrupt bustards.
d) The scrupulous respect of our dignity as human beings with right to life, freedom (of thought, expression, manifestation, opinion, etc).
e) The end of the occupationist war and the opening of a path that will lead to a real and lasting peace.
f) Total Independence.
Appeal to the Political Parties and Civil Society
The fate of the People of Cabinda is your responsibility. The future of the Republic of Cabinda may well be for you a reason to be proud of or ashamed of. Proud, if you are willing and capable of helping to build, in this small Nation, a future of real peace and fraternal dignity; a shame if the sentiment of imposition of humiliating solutions persists and the subjugation of this brotherly People, in the name of absurd hegemonies and egotistical domination. You also carry over your shoulders the weight of the historic mistake committed in Alvor in 1975, which produced the agreements of the sad memory in which everything went dead, except in what relates to the annexation of the Republic of Cabinda. There is a clear need for more diligence, more involvement, more decisiveness, more straightforwardness and more truth. More than the oil that incites ambitions, often in excess, in Cabinda there is a Nation, a People with its own History, Culture and Specificities. Do not, surely, let History and future generations judge and condemn you for options not so well made and bad decisions taken deliberately.
Appeal to the Church
The Church has an indispensable historic role in the resolution of the Cabinda conflict. This is justified by its option for justice, for the protection of the weak and the oppressed. From the very beginning, the Church, in Cabinda has undertaken a prophetic stand. Hence, the persecutions carried on against the local clergy men, in colonial times and the option for exile, to be with and for the People. This same Church took a clear stand against the corrupt MPLA Marxist-Leninist ideology, challenging the unelected and criminal MPLA that was against the propagation of the Christian faith. In the wake of the same tradition, a new generation of priests and clergymen adopted, with evangelical piety, its mission in the midst of the People, denouncing openly all the injustice that took place.
This is the kind of Church we want. Faithful to its traditions free of political commitments and fully dedicated to its People.
Appeal to the International Community
The international community has played a crucial role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts between peoples and states. Although, with some inefficiencies at times, the international community is, today more than ever indispensable for world peace and international stability.
In this context, the Governments with interests in Cabinda must understand once and for all, that our land is not only oil. It is, and above all, the People, with right to life and right to dispose of its own natural resources.
Today, the unrestrained sharing by foreign economic interests, of the piece of land given to us by God, goes hand in hand with the scorning of our lives and aspirations. With one eye, they witness daily our death while with the other; they make profit with our natural resources, leaving nothing behind. Do you have any feelings?
We appeal to the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union, to adopt with humanity and responsibility, the political and diplomatic mechanisms that will open the path to the definite emancipation of the Cabinda Nation. This is what we want.
Appeal to the African Countries
The instability that exists in Cabinda has always had negative repercussions over the neighbouring countries. The current MPLA politics, in the region, with major emphasis in the defence and security sectors, stem, precisely from the conflict in Cabinda. We, therefore, strongly believe to be in the best interest of our neighbours, with whom we share not only a common border, but also the same culture, the definite pacification of Cabinda. We, therefore, appeal to the governments of the democratically elected countries in Africa to understand the injustices and the plight of the Cabinda Nation set forth, with courage, diplomatic mechanisms, exercise political and economical pressure against the unelected and criminal thugs of the MPLA for a just and dignifying solution of the Nation and Country of Cabinda.
The present initiative tends to open room for a new approach of the Cabinda conflict. It seeks to bring new understandings through a new capacity of dialog that will lead us to a solution. This solution must meet the most legitimate aspirations of the Cabinda Nation, safeguarding a future of cooperation, with reciprocity of advantages.
We want to construct a future free of traumas, violence and hatred, accumulated during all these long years of conflict between the unelected MPLA Regime and the Cabinda Nation.
Therefore, HERE WE ARE, to attest that our signatures represent the will of the People-that-we are.
Cabinda, 10th of January 2008
The People of Cabinda