African Day 54th Anniversary Record of Sudan's Outstanding Support For African Liberation Movements

Thu, 25.05.2017 21:10

On this day in 1958, Sudan, along with seven other independent African countries, convened the first Pan-Africa conference in Ghana, not only paving the way for the establishment of the OAU, but also later became the symbol of African collective platform, in their hard fought struggle for freedom and independence. This day symbolizes the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation in all their forms and manifestations.
History shall record with pride, how since its independence in 1956, Sudan has broadly opened both, its heart and borders, to all African liberation fighters , giving them all possible support; security cover, military training, funds and even passports.
It’s important today to recall  that, African leader Nelson Mandela, upon official invitation from Sudanese head of state at that time, seeking Sudan's financial assistance, accompanied by the freedom-fighter Oliver Tampo, was received and highly celebrated  in Khartoum in 1962, in a secret however, important visit.
In Khartoum Nelson Mandela was hosted in Khartoum most prestigious hotel; Grand Hotel of Khartoum.  Commenting on that, Ambassador Omer Siddig Sudan's current Ambassador to South Africa, has drawn the attention to the fact that, the room no. 217 in Grand Hotel of Khartoum where Mandela was accommodated, is still highly celebrated by the Sudanese people, as a symbol of respect and admiration for Africa's greatest leader Nelson Mandela.
In fact Mandela’s visit to Khartoum marked the shift of the ANC’s struggle from peaceful to armed struggle. In Khartoum Mandela was not only accorded duly moral and financial assistance, Sudanese people likewise, were mobilized and encouraged to donate for the cause of  armed struggle in Africa; Sudan trade union alone for instance, has donated 25 thousands sterling pounds.
Sudanese Military supplies and equipment were secretly shipped to the ANC via Dar el Salam in Tanzania.Photocopies of documents proving the Sudan's financial contribution to the ANC, as well as shipments of arms and ammunition are still available. These military supplies were passed on to fighters not only in South Africa; but in Angola and Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South West Africa.
Training hundreds of African freedom fighters on its soil, Sudan has spared no effort to help African liberation movements and at a time, was the only outlet for militants abroad. Fighters, such as Joshua nkomo, the leader of the struggle in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Sam Nujoma of Namibia, to name a few, have received diplomatic, political and financial support from a number of African countries including the Sudan.
More importantly, when the siege and surveillance of the apartheid-regime got intensified against freedom militants, and in order to enable Mandela to travel lobbying for assistance and solidarity, the government of the Sudan at that time, issued Nelson Mandela with Sudanese diplomatic passport, which made it possible for him at that time, to travel to Cairo, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in his efforts to raise further financial and military support of the ANC.
It should equally be noted that Sudan, was one of first countries in Africa that promptly translated into action, the African call to boycott the apartheid regime in South Africa and its immediate supporters and benefactors: Sudan's commitment and fidelity went to the extent of preventing at a time, the British Airways from overflying, landing and refueling at Khartoum Airport.
Likewise, Sudan was one of the few African countries which inscribed in its passports and other travel documents, that the holder of which, is allowed to travel anywhere except Israel and South Africa, in manifest and undaunted solidarity with the freedom struggle.
Indeed, the movement of boycotting goods and the imposition of economic and diplomatic sanctions against the apartheid-regime in South Africa has helped in exposing the despotic structure of the power that rules South Africa, and has given tremendous political impetus and inspiration to the liberation movements across Africa and in different corners of the world.
When Mandela returned home from Khartoum, he was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison, however, he made a statement in which he reiterated his pride and appreciation for  the hospitality of the Sudanese President Ibrahim Abboud amongst other African leaders.
As a matter of fact, Mandela's  gratitude for Sudan was revealed,  when an American media company went to make a documentary on Nelson Mandela upon his universally celebrated release in 1990, by focusing on his struggle stations; in the south Africa, Eritrea and Mozambique. However, Nelson Mandela surprised his interlocutors, by asking them to start their said documentary in Sudan, where according to him, his primary struggle has actually began.
Activist Amira Osman, in her article on the achievements of Sudanese women's movement, elucidates clearly how during that era, Sudanese women in Sudan equally like their male stakeholders, were not lagging behind; Sudan Sudanese Women Union (SWU)  fervently mobilized Sudanese women, to express their solidarity with women in Southern Africa and to campaign against apartheid system in Zambia, South Africa and Namibia.
In 1961, SWU mobilized women to take to streets to protest against the arrest and the execution of all prominent figures of pan-Africanism like Patrice Lumumba for instance, to express their solidarity with the people of the Republic of Congo.
In other instance, SWU also organized rallies and marched to the French Embassy in Khartoum protesting against the arrest of Djamila Bouhired, the Algerian freedom fighter against the French occupation and demanded her immediate release. The SWU also showed solidarity with Arab women freedom fighters in many countries including Palestine.
Arguably, Sudan's outstanding role in Africa, was not solely restricted to politics and diplomacy; regretfully enough, only few are perhaps aware of the fact that, the Sudanese Dr. Abdul-Halim Mohamed, was the founder of the Confederation of African Football. Besides, Sudan was duly privileged by hosting the first football championship in February 1957.
Africanism in the Sudan extends from the time immemorial; in his autobiographic book (the long walk to freedom), Nelson Mandela, the symbol of African resistance and struggle, refers and talks about Nubia as the origin of human civilization. Indeed, it is now widely believed that ancient Nubia or the Kush of the Sudan was the cradle of civilizations, where the first human being is believed to found. In fact many tribes in Africa have actually started to trace their lineage in the Nubia of the Sudan.
In return Africa has continued to exchange with Sudan loyalty, solidarity and support whenever Sudan solicited and requested such support. For Sudan, Africa has always been on the right time and place behind Sudan's just causes; Africa, lined up strongly with Sudan in the face of ICC and the politicization of international justice. Africa still contributes in the pursuit of peace and stability in the Sudan under the leadership of South African former President Thabo Mbeki. Africa shows exemplary solidarity with Sudan just cause, for lifting of the collective sanctions, just to name a few.

By Mubarak M.Musa Diplomat;

Embassy of Sudan in Ukraine, Kiev

Leaving your comment, please remember that the content and tone of your messages can affect the feelings of people, directly or indirectly related to the news. Please, take respect and tolerance to your interlocutors even if your views are opposite.
Opinions expressed below do not reflect the opinions of SP "Ukraine in Arabic," they only reflect the views of the author.

Partner news


Search us in Facebook

Partner news