The global movement has begun as peoples of African Descent are coming together to peacefully demand the reinstatement of Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, Permanent Ambassador of the African Union to the United States who was removed from office without a stated cause. The underlying cause is the elephant in the room that she has been talking about, but many are afraid to speak about, and the real reason for the Ambassador’s dismissal.
After almost a year of persuading her to assume leadership as the African Union (AU) Permanent Ambassador in the United States representing the 55 countries of the Union, Dr. HE Arikana Chihombori-Quao accepted the position in December 2016 and has led with courage and vigor in galvanizing peoples of African Descent. Dr. Chihombori-Quao has spoken globally to sensitize and empower all peoples of African Descent to come together and build the “Africa We Want” as adopted in African Union Agenda 2063.
The unification of the African Diaspora as espouded in AU Agenda 2063 is contrary to the Africa that has been marginalized and pillaged through inequitable colonial and post-colonial contracts. Dr. Arikana has been outspoken about neo-colonial maneuverings and exploitation that still exist today. Her dissemination of the truth has garnered her attention and support around the world (you can watch one of her famous speeches published by American journalist, Roland S. Martin, here). You can learn more about Dr. Chihombori-Quao on her Wikipedia page here.
However, not everyone is embracing her bold but honest discourses for effecting change for the betterment of Africa. On October 7th, 2019, Ambassador Quao was relieved of her position as the “Permanent Ambassador” in a unilateral decision made by the African Union Commission Chairman without any hearing or explanation, and yet presented as representing the opinions of all 55 countries. The questions are: why was she dismissed, or better, who benefits from her removal? Were African heads of states and governments consulted? Who called the shot? Or is Africa, and peoples of African descent, still facing the debilitating effects of modern colonialism or neocolonialism? Leadership based on self-interest and preservation that does not benefit the people they serve is no longer acceptable. Here is a copy of the termination letter.
Dr. Chihombori-Quao was treasured by her African Diaspora and was successful in uniting African people to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. She was quite effective in providing access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels just as stated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She is a symbol of hope not only for the African Diaspora, but for humankind as we enter this season of justice for all people.
People of African Descent around the world are appalled by Dr. Chihombori-Quao’s unjust dismissal. Instead of dismantling her movement to liberate the people of African Descent from colonialism and pursue financial freedom, her dismissal has galvanized African Diaspora in the spirit of UBUNTU – I am because you are!
The petition against undue influence and pressure exerted on African leaders and people by the former colonial powers of Europe calls for Dr. Chihombori-Quao’s immediate reinstatement to her position and an apology from the AU Commission. We in the Diaspora were even hoping that Dr Arikana would accept future call for a greater role in the African Union as the African Diaspora continues their journey toward liberation from mental slavery. Her Excellency, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao is an effective leader who should be encouraged for her courage and steadfastness, not dismissed. Who besides her is willing to stand for justice?
We Need Your Support and Signature.
We invite you to share this message and sign the petition. We demand her reinstatement as well as a formal letter of apology from the African Union Commission. We are petitioning the African presidents and Heads of States to get involved in this matter. The silent majority will no longer be silent as this issue symbolizes the need for equity and justice for all people in Africa, the Americas, and around the world.
On behalf of the African Diaspora,
Prof. Apollos Nwauwa Secretary, African Diaspora Forum (ADF)
African Union African Diaspora Health Initiative Africa In Diaspora (AID) – Voice Pan African Diaspora Youth Association Pan African Diaspora Women’s Association Africans in Boston The African Diaspora Foundation
Roland Martin and the #RolandMartinUnfiltered cameras attended the HBCU Africa Homecoming Media Launch on Monday. The event marked a starting point for the African Diaspora Nation to launch a one-stop clearing house to expand educational and economic opportunity exchange between Africa and Black America.
During the launch, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, the Permanent Representative of the African Union Representational Mission to the United States of America offered a masterful history lesson breaking down how Africa was divided into tiny little countries during the Berlin Conference of 1884 and how the nations of Africa are still being adversely impacted.
Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao also dissected “the pact for the continuation of colonization.”
The media launch program line-up included opening remarks by Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao, African Union Ambassador to the United States and official remarks from Dr. Ronald Johnson, member of the United States President’s Advisory Board on HBCUs. Mr. Johnson also serves as Chairman of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and is immediate past president of Clark Atlanta University.
HONG KONG EXPERIENCED another weekend of violent protests as pro-democracy demonstrators marched through the city and attacked and vandalized subway stations, forcing Hong Kong’s subway to close for an unprecedented four days.
Thousands of people marched over the weekend in protest of a new law that bans wearing masks in public. Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam passed the law using colonial-era emergency powers, CNN reported, which prompted backlash over concerns of the infringement of civil liberties.
A majority of protesters wear masks during demonstrations to protect their identity.
Lam said the law was “necessary,” according to CNN, and a High Court judge rejected attempts to repeal the law. A judicial review of the use of emergency measures is scheduled for Oct. 20.
On Sunday protesters vandalized Chinese-linked banks and stores and a taxi cab driver plowed into a crowd of demonstrators. The driver was dragged from his vehicle and beaten by a mob. Protesters also targeted the barracks of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army.
People also vandalized multiple train stations, setting fires to entrances and smashing ticketing facilities.
Law enforcement used tear gas and pepper spray to break up gatherings and several people were arrested. Some people were seen throwing bricks and launching molotov cocktails, sparking fires in the streets.
Protests in the city, now entering their 18th week, were first caused by a now-dead extradition law, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.
Anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong for months and the situation shows no sign of dying down.
To bring you up to date, here’s all the background you need to know in 100 or 500 words – you can read each individually or in turn.
Hong Kong’s protests started in June against proposals to allow extradition to mainland China.
Critics feared this could undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
A former British colony, Hong Kong has some autonomy and more rights than the mainland under a “one country, two systems” deal.
City leader Carrie Lam agreed to suspend the bill, but demonstrations continued and developed to include demands for full democracy and an inquiry into police actions. The bill was finally withdrawn in September.
Clashes between police and activists have been becoming increasingly violent, with police using tear gas and activists storming parliament.
The extradition bill which triggered the first protest was introduced in April. It would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, under certain circumstances.
Opponents said this risked exposing Hong Kongers to unfair trials and violent treatment. They also argued the bill would give China greater influence over Hong Kong and could be used to target activists and journalists.
Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. After weeks of protests, leader Carrie Lam eventually said the bill would be suspended indefinitely.
How did the protests escalate?
Protesters feared the bill could be revived, so demonstrations continued, calling for it to be withdrawn completely. The bill was finally withdrawn in September.
By then clashes between police and protesters had become more frequent and more violent, with injuries on both sides and scores of people arrested.
Police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets while some activists have thrown bricks, firebombs and other objects.
In July, protesters stormed parliament, defacing parts of it. Also in July, a masked mob armed with sticks – suspected to be triad gangsters – assaulted pro-democracy protesters and passers-by inside Yuen Long station, far from the city centre.
In August, one protester was injured in the eye, leading to demonstrators wearing red-coloured eye patches to show their solidarity.
Protest action at Hong Kong international airport in August also saw renewed clashes and led to hundreds of flights being cancelled.
What do the protesters want?
The protesters’ demands have changed over the weeks. They also include:
Withdrawal of the “riot” description used about the protests
Amnesty for all arrested protesters
An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality
Universal suffrage for the elections of the chief executive and Legislative Council, Hong Kong’s parliament.
Some also want the resignation of Carrie Lam, whom they view as Beijing’s puppet. It’s not clear if scrapping the bill will end the protests – some opponents see the move as too little, too late.
After initially staying quiet on the unrest, China has condemned the Hong Kong protests as “behaviour that is close to terrorism” – a sign its approach is hardening.
There have also been reports of Chinese police and military massing across the border in Shenzhen, in a clear show of force.
Protests supporting the Hong Kong movement have spread across the globe, with rallies taking place in the UK, France, US, Canada and Australia.
In many cases, people supporting the Hong Kong demonstrators were confronted by pro-Beijing rallies.
What is Hong Kong’s status?
Hong Kong is a former British colony handed back to China in 1997.
It is run under a “one country, two systems” agreement that guarantees it a level of autonomy.
It has its own judiciary and a separate legal system from mainland China. Those rights including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are protected.
But those freedoms – the Basic Law – expire in 2047 and it is not clear what Hong Kong’s status will then be.