After three days of deliberations and considering questions of the heroes and heroines of the Pan African world, the Colloquium passed three resolutions: Commission of Inquiry into the death of Walter Rodney - Time to complete work; Resolution on the need for Robust intervention of the African Union in Burundi to stop genocidal violence and acts of genocide; and A Petition for the Government of the Dominican Republic to Stop Ethnic Cleansing Against Citizens of Haitian Descent.
1. Commission of Inquiry into the death of Walter Rodney - Time to complete work
The Colloquium calls upon the Government of Guyana to give the Commission of Inquiry into the unnatural death of Walter Rodney the time, space and resources to successfully complete the work of the Commission. Walter Rodney was one of the leading Pan African thinkers and activist of the last century. He died from an explosive device on June 13, 1980. The Global Pan African community has been following with interest the work of the Commission of Inquiry. As members of the community concerned with peace and justice, we are of the view that the ability of the Commission of Inquiry to issue comprehensive findings offers the most complete opportunity for an independent, judicial statement of truth on the death of Dr. Walter Rodney. The Pan African Colloquium meeting in Barbados supports the request of Sir Richard Cheltenham for the necessary time to complete the work of the Commission of Inquiry. As a global justice grouping, with deep connections to struggles for justice internationally, we want President Granger to understand that the question of the untimely death of Walter Rodney remains a matter of concern not only for the peoples of Guyana and the Caribbean, but for all of the Global African family. We support the calls of the Justice for Walter Rodney Committee and the widow of Walter Rodney, Dr. Patricia Rodney, and we agree with their observation that the analysis, conclusions and findings of the Commission on the evidence as presented in the hearings will serve to bring Guyana closer to redemption and reconciliation.
2. Resolution on the need for Robust intervention of the African Union in Burundi to stop genocidal violence and acts of genocide
We join to support the call of the Pan African Movement for the African Union (AU) to mobilize all of the political, diplomatic, material and military support for the AU to forcefully halt the deteriorating conditions in Burundi.
This Pan African Colloquium noted with concern the ongoing loss of life, general disruption and breakdown of law, social cohesion and lack of personal security fueling fears of a possible reemergence of genocidal violence as a prelude to actual genocide in Burundi. The Constitutive Act of the African Union mandated the AU to act in conditions of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Pan African Colloquium meeting in Barbados is concerned with the ongoing killings in Burundi which threatens to undermine all efforts to establish regional stability, unity and peace.
We have joined with the entire Global Pan African Movement in taking note that:
(a) Since April 2015 Political assassinations and attempted assassinations are happening weekly and more than 400 citizens have been murdered and their bodies dumped on the streets;
(b) Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee to neighboring countries because of insecurity directly caused by political maneuvers and persecution
(c) The government of Burundi, headed by President Pierre Nkurunziza is complicit in creating the conditions that have resulted in politically motivated extra-judicial killings;
(d) Politicians from all sides of the dispute are inciting the citizenry to violence, using hate speech provoking xenophobic fears.
We, Pan Africanists from the Global African family together with the citizens of East Africa recognize the Government of Burundi under President Pierre Nkurunziza as the ‘government of the day’. That being so, the government of Burundi, together with the political class on all sides of the dispute, are accountable, for the cost in human lives, destruction of property, increased insecurity, the surge of refugees, and the emergence of politically motivated violence and the militarization and escalation of internal social conflict.
The abandoning of reconciliation and the ‘Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi’ is an insult to the peoples, and governments of Africa. The unilateral reinterpretation of the Peace agreement is an insult to the work, and legacies of Presidents Julius K. Nyerere and Nelson R. Mandela, both of whom worked tirelessly in the twilight of their lives, despite declining health to bring about a ceasefire, a political solution to the civil war and peace among the people of Burundi.
The politically motivated violence in Burundi is an affront to that work and the efforts of the African Union and the East African Community. Most importantly, this self-serving political chicanery is an offense to the democratic aspirations of the women, children and men of Burundi and all of the people of East Africa!
This Colloquium supports the call of the Global Pan African Movement, through its East Africa national chapters, for the African Union to carry out its mandate by mobilizing all efforts to halt genocidal violence in Burundi.
3. A Petition for the Government of the Dominican Republic to Stop Ethnic Cleansing Against Citizens of Haitian Descent
The Pan African Colloquium meeting in Barbados support the efforts of Caricom to continue to highlight the question of the denationalization of Citizens of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. We heard from Prime Minister Ralph Gonzalves of the efforts of CARICOM to raise the question of the human rights of these Dominican citizens at CELAC and other international fora.
The Colloquium condemns the ruling, TC-0168-13, by the Constitutional Tribunal of the Dominican Republic that has led to the denationalization of thousands of Dominican citizens of Haitian descent rendering them stateless.
We strongly condemn these actions and the xenophobic and racially intolerant structures on which these actions are based.
We further denounce the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal, TC-0256-14, which declared that the country’s 1999 accession to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights was unconstitutional. We are deeply troubled by this ruling’s retroactive denunciation of a jurisdiction that has been acknowledged and accepted by all branches of the Dominican government, including its courts, for the past 16 years. This decision denies access to justice and international protection to all Dominicans, not just Dominicans of Haitian descent. We call on the Dominican government to mitigate the effects of these rulings and take the necessary and requisite steps to ensure that the Dominican Republic abides by its domestic and international human rights obligations.
Moreover, we take issue with Law 169-14, which rather than resolving the massive humanitarian crisis caused by TC-0168-13, only further entrenched the discrimination against those affected by forcing hundreds of thousands of Dominican citizens to register as foreigners or face forcible deportations. In October 2014, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found that parts of Law 169-14 violated the American Convention on Human Rights, of which the Dominican Republic is still a signatory. Even more problematic are the anecdotal and statistical reports indicating that the Dominican government has not provided proper assistance to register those eligible under Law 169-14; has established unrealistic deadlines and requirements; and has given practically no guidance as to the fate of the thousands who were not able to timely apply under the law. We strongly urge the government to cease all deportations and to return Dominican nationality to all those who were deprived of it as a consequence of the Constitutional Tribunal’s rulings and to fully comply with the 2014 decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
The Colloquium calls on the peoples of the Caribbean community to continue to stand by the Dominican citizens and applaud the ongoing diplomatic efforts to ensure that the government of the Dominican Republic abide by international Law.
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