Anniversary of the death of Diallo Telli. Letter Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta to the President of the African Union
March 1st, 2015
To His Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma,
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
On March 1st, 1977, the first General Secretary of the Organization of African Unity, Mr. Boubacar Diallo Telli, was assassinated by starvation by the regime of Sékou Touré. To date, his remains have not been located. After the arrest of Mr. Diallo on conspiracy fabrications, the Guinean regime of the time triggered a campaign against Mr. Telli’s Fulani ethnic group of Guinea. Civil war and pogroms were avoided, due to the restraint and wisdom the Guinean populations displayed. During those dark years of Guinea’s history, neither the Organization of African Unity nor any African leader made a public statement condemning the regime of Sékou Touré or at least appealing to the Guinean leader for restraint, in his campaign against one of the ethnic components of Guinean nation.
Mr. Diallo Telli was a fervent militant of the liberation of the continent; as a Permanent Representative of Guinea’s Mission at the United Nations to his position as head of the OAU. At the OAU, he was an advocate of the unity of Africa. He cemented the foundation of the organization by vigorous diplomacy that enabled the merger of the two blocks of independent Africa: the block of Monrovia and the block of Casablanca. Mr. Diallo Telli has marked the history of modern Africa through his work for total independence of the continent and the fight against apartheid, namely with the Liberation Committee based in Dar-Es- Salaam, which reported directly to the OAU and to his authority.
The disappearance of Mr. Telli Diallo in tragic and ignominious circumstances is an open wound of Guinea’s history. The silence surrounding his fate, thirty-eight years after his death, is a spot that tarnishes the image of the whole continent. The Republic of South Africa has certainly honored Mr. Diallo Telli posthumously for his contribution to the struggle against apartheid. In addition, Guinea has named one of the main boulevards in Conakry after him. The purpose of our letter is to ask you to pursue, across the continent, the recognition due to the great African that Mr. Diallo Telli will always be. Your promotion as the head of the African Union, symbolizes the promise of emancipation of Africa through its women. Added to your background as militant of the ANC, nobody has higher moral ground to pursue the rehabilitation of Mr. Diallo Telli. We propose that the African Union marks every 1st of March with a minute of silence in memory of the first Secretary General of the OAU. We urge you to take measures, through an ad-hoc committee of Africans, to locate the remains of Mr. Diallo Telli and hold proper funeral for him. Such action would be an act of historical significant importance. It would be an acknowledgement from the African Union to present and future generations that Africa is no longer willing to carry the image of a continent of violations of human rights with an entrenched culture of impunity that have ruined the chances of economic and social development on the continent.
Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon is a non-profit organization from Guinea, dedicated to regional development and self-reliance, with as foundation, justice for all. Mr. Diallo is a citizen of our region in Guinea. It is our first and foremost duty to preserve his memory as the embodiment of the noblest African values. However, it is the people of Guinea as a whole that bitterly resents the silence that has surrounded the tragedy that has led to the killing of Mr. Diallo and of so many of distinguished citizens of our country. This silence, under the guise of national sovereignty, continues to maintain an unhealthy climate of impunity in our country.
We are convinced that any actions on your part would be an opportunity for renewal of government practices in Africa. As such, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon has appealed to many human rights organizations, to all citizens of Guinea and Africa dedicated to justice, to join in the call we are making to you.
Excellence, we remain available for any further information that would help clarify the object of our demand. Please accept here the expression of our highest consideration and our best wishes for your success in the service of Africa.
COMMISSION CENTRAL POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL Fouta-Djallon
Mr. Désiré Ouedraogo Kadré, President of the ECOWAS Commission
President John Dramani Mahama, President of the ECOWAS
Security Council and the African Union Peace
President of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Alhassane Ouattara
President of Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall
Commission of the UN Human Rights
UN Commission against Violence on Women
Mr. Léon Tanoh, ECOWAS, the UN representative
Representative of the European Union in Guinea
US Department of State – Global Justice System
Law Commission of the National Assembly of Guinea
Minister of Justice of Guinea