Quantcast

The Guardian/Africa : African chiefs urged to apologize for slave trade by Nigerian civil rights group. Are African tribal leaders partly to blame for Slavery ?

CAPISCE 2013/08/29 19:09:11
Yes
no
other
You!
Add Photos & Videos
Nigerian civil rights group says tribal leaders' ancestors sold people to slavers and should say sorry like US and Britain

Slave trade shackles
Shackles used to capture people to be sold into slavery in Africa in the 18th century. African tribal leaders have been ordered to apologise for the role of their ancestors in the transatlantic trade. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

Traditional African rulers whose ancestors collaborated with European and Arab slave traders should follow Britain and the United States by publicly saying sorry, according to human rights organisations.

The Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria has written to tribal chiefs saying: "We cannot continue to blame the white men, as Africans, particularly the traditional rulers, are not blameless."

The appeal has reopened a sensitive debate over the part some chiefs played in helping to capture their fellow Africans and sell them into bondage as part of the transatlantic slave trade.

The congress argued that the ancestors of the chiefs had helped to raid and kidnap defenceless communities and traded them to Europeans. They should now apologise to "put a final seal to the history of slave trade", it said.

"In view of the fact that the Americans and Europe have accepted the cruelty of their roles and have forcefully apologised, it would be logical, reasonable and humbling if African traditional rulers ... [can] accept blame and formally apologise to the descendants of the victims of their collaborative and exploitative slave trade."

Estimates vary that between 10 million and 28 million Africans were sent to the Americas and sold into slavery between 1450 and the early 19th century.

More than a million are believed to have died in transit across the so-called "middle passage" of the Atlantic due to inhumane conditions aboard slave ships and the brutal crushing of any resistance.

Three years ago Tony Blair described Britain's participation as a "crime against humanity" and expressed his "deep sorrow". The US Senate voted for an apology this year.
Shehu Sani, head of the congress, said it was calling for traditional rulers to apologise now because they were seeking inclusion in a forthcoming constitutional amendment in Nigeria.

"We felt that for them to have the moral standing to be part of our constitutional arrangement there are some historical issues for them to address," he told the BBC World Service. "One part of which is the involvement of their institutions in the slave trade."

He said that on behalf of the buyers of slaves, the ancestors of the traditional rulers "raided communities and kidnapped people, shipping them away across the Sahara or across the Atlantic".

Many slaves captured inland in Africa died on the long journey to the coast.

The position was endorsed by Henry Bonsu, a British-born broadcaster of Ghanaian descent who examined the issue in Ghana for a radio documentary. He said some chiefs had accepted responsibility and sought atonement by visiting Liverpool and the United States.

"I interviewed a chief who acknowledged there was collaboration and that without that involvement we wouldn't have seen human trafficking on an industrial scale," said Bonsu, the co-founder of digital station Colourful Radio.

"An apology in Nigeria might be helpful because the chiefs did some terrible things and abetted a major crime."
The non-government organisation Africa Human Right Heritage, based in Accra, Ghana, supports the campaign for an apology. Baffour Anning, its chief executive, said: "I certainly agree with the Nigeria Civil Rights Congress that the traditional leaders should render an apology for their role in the inhuman slavery administration." He said it would accord with the UN's position on human rights.

But the issue was not a high priority for most African citizens, according to Bonsu. "In my experience it's mainly the African diaspora who want an apology. People aren't milling around Lagos or Accra moaning about why chiefs don't apologise. They are more concerned about the everyday and why they still have bad governance."

Fred Swaniker, the founder of the African Leadership Academy, said: "I'm not sure whether an apology is needed, but it would be worth looking at and acknowledging the role Africa did play in the slave trade. Someone had to find the slaves and bring them before the Europeans."

The shameful history of some traditional leaders remains an awkward subject on which many politicians prefer to maintain silence. One exception was in 1998 when Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, told an audience including Bill Clinton: "African chiefs were the ones waging war on each other and capturing their own people and selling them. If anyone should apologise it should be the African chiefs. We still have those traitors here even today."


Add a comment above

Top Opinion

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • MisterOriginal 2013/09/17 01:51:25
    Yes
    MisterOriginal
    +1
    Simple, ugly fact.
  • Greg Deane ~PWCM~JLA 2013/09/01 10:59:51
    Yes
    Greg Deane ~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    They were on the Supply side-if there's no supply, there's no market. Along with the Arab slave traders, they are more responsible than European planters. But of course they won't apologise.
  • Woof 2013/09/01 08:09:03
    other
    Woof
    Hilarious ! No one should be asked to take blame for another's murderous behavior. This happened generations ago.enough is enough.
  • Rob Smith 2013/09/01 01:12:04
    Yes
    Rob Smith
    I think the biggest thing to blame for slavery is the monetary system. Not having to pay for labor, in theory, is great! However it's not humane. Right now a lot of people are loosing jobs due to automation. i wen to a giant eagle grocery store and it was packed with people. Yet they only had two cashiers open. So everyone who was in a hurry did the self checkout. I mean eventually we won't need cashiers. And then we eventually won't need people to stock shelves.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?...

    technology is great, but in a monetary system you just can't keep automating jobs. Because eventually most people will be unemployed, the rich will be richer, and since the consumers won't have jobs, no one will be able to buy the products. This would collapse the monetary system. And i could go on about a resource based economy, but that's a whole other topic.

    Slavery is bad. All races in some way have been slaves or slave owners at some time in history.
  • Jesferkicks 2013/08/31 05:56:15
    Yes
    Jesferkicks
    +1
    Of course. Slavery and submitting other tribal members to the European slave trade have been around many moons.
  • Meagan 2013/08/31 01:40:02
    Yes
    Meagan
    +1
    Of course. There are still slaves in Africa.
  • Phil 2013/08/31 01:02:04
    Yes
    Phil
    +2
    Many African tribal chiefs sold their fellow Negros into slavery.
  • dave.bost.7 2013/08/30 23:21:44
    Yes
    dave.bost.7
    +2
    Of course though we tend to overlook it now the Africans were perfectly happy to sell each other into slavery.
  • Adam Ruck 2013/08/30 20:41:02
    other
    Adam Ruck
    +2
    This is a completly of kilter question, considering how much slavery still goes on withing Africa today.
  • daniel wayne 2013/08/30 16:30:53 (edited)
    Yes
    daniel wayne
    +2
    the oldest known babylonian texts (4000 b.c.) has a part that mentions nubian slaves. the abolition of slavery is very new compared to the practice of slavery, but only people who actually dealt in slavery or owned slaves need apologize.
  • Doc Holiday 2013/08/30 14:16:49
    other
    Doc Holiday
    who cares?
    seriously, who cares?

    slavery has been around since the beginning of time. it just goes to show that freedom is not free. however you paint the picture, a price is to be paid for freedom.

    to this day people in the US are slaves to something or someone and this will go on till the end of time. people need to learn / want freedom and be willing to die for it. this will be the only way they will obtain it.
  • Jim 2013/08/30 14:00:17
    Yes
    Jim
    +3
    If it wasn't for the Africans selling their own people into slavery there never would have been a slave trade in the first place.
  • cddjmikey 2013/08/30 09:06:42
    other
    cddjmikey
    +1
    Who knows and at this point what difference does it make ? It happened over 200 years ago !!! They want apologies from people that had absolutely NOTHING to do with it !!! GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON !!!!!!!!!
  • whipnet 2013/08/30 05:10:40 (edited)
    Yes
    whipnet
    +3
    1) The U.S. and British didn't run the slave trade, the Portuguese did.

    2) Only 5% of slaves from Africa came to the U.S. Most went to Central and South America.

    These numbers here are lies. There were only 11 million enslaved Africans and only 5% came to the U.S. That's less than 1 million.

    http://www.theroot.com/buzz/b...


    (P.S. - The Irish were persecuted for 600 years, much longer than any African)
    *
  • lark 2013/08/30 03:34:53
    Yes
    lark
    +2
    They should but will not.
  • Cold Warrior 2013/08/30 02:22:48
    Yes
    Cold Warrior
    +3
    Slavery existed way before Christ was born, all over the middle east, Africa, Asia, even American Indians kept slaves, all sad but true.

    Yes Africans rounded up neighboring tribes to sell to the Europeans and should apologize for their part.
  • BestPolitics 2013/08/30 02:06:35 (edited)
    Yes
    BestPolitics
    +5
    Yes, I've aways known ,their OWN people sold them to slave traders. The Smart Africans had the DUMB , less intelligent Africans, as SLAVES FOR THEMSELVES, TOO.
    We have so much trouble,,because we got MOST OF THE DUMB ones. Once in a while a smart one got, snared in with the dumb ones and sold to the traders. Then posting history, I was called racist,,,of course. FACTS ARE ALWAYS RACIST.
    So happy you posted this. Most of the blacks in America do not know, this, OR ,OR,,that there were MORE WHITE SLAVES THEN BLACK SLAVES, AT ONE TIME. Nigerea, the biggest con artists and scammers on the internet and PHONE.
    .
    "The Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria has written to tribal chiefs saying: "We cannot continue to blame the white men, as Africans, particularly the traditional rulers, are not blameless."
  • Dikki BestPol... 2013/09/01 15:41:40
    Dikki
    That's right! I've said before! Whites have been slaves all over the world, hundreds, thousands of years beforehand! There have always been slaves, and somewhere there probably still is! Only here in America are the ancestors.of former slaves STILL moaning about history that happen so long ago! Instead, you'd think they'd be happy that they are free! It's not often I see a happy black man or woman.
  • JamesChevyII 2013/08/30 00:54:13
    Yes
    JamesChevyII
    +3
    It was a way for a politician to make money... Politicians have not changed from when they started... Crooks then crooks now...
  • Divided States of America 2013/08/29 23:47:06
  • BestPol... Divided... 2013/08/30 02:15:25
    BestPolitics
    +3
    Time for the MUSLIMS to apologize for having us, a slaves. wait,,THEY STILL BELIEVE IN SLAVERY, AND a lot of black race, SUPPORTS the muslims. Go figure.

    "A million or more European white Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780. It is useful to compare Mediterranean slavery to the Atlantic slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. Over the course of four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade was much larger – about 10 to 12 million black Africans were brought to the Americas. But from 1500 to 1650, when trans-Atlantic slaving was still in its infancy,******** more white Christian slaves******* were taken to Barbary than****** black African slaves******* to the Americas, according to Robert Davis.
    Human is human. All races have been used & abused by others that believed they were superiors to those they owned. Not many societies avoided slavery or its impact.
  • EvilMonkey 2013/08/29 23:13:12
    other
    EvilMonkey
    +1
    Just throwing out the fact that the US actively fought foreign slave trade after the founding. The US Navy seized slavers when they caught them.
  • BestPol... EvilMonkey 2013/08/30 02:17:10
    BestPolitics
    So, muslims should apologize to us? They STILL believe in slavery.

    "A million or more European white Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780. It is useful to compare Mediterranean slavery to the Atlantic slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. Over the course of four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade was much larger – about 10 to 12 million black Africans were brought to the Americas. But from 1500 to 1650, when trans-Atlantic slaving was still in its infancy,****** more white Christian slaves****** were taken to Barbary than *****black African slaves to the Americas,****** according to Robert Davis.
    Human is human. All races have been used & abused by others that believed they were superiors to those they owned. Not many societies avoided slavery or its impact.
  • EvilMonkey BestPol... 2013/09/03 17:03:35
    EvilMonkey
    +2
    Can't think of a single society that didn't have slavery at some time in their history.
  • BestPol... EvilMonkey 2013/09/04 23:01:42
    BestPolitics
    +1
    YES, that is the point, and my great, great (great) Grandfather was a slave. White slave.
    But, some act like 'THEY' were the only ones.
  • KQBAHA (the Hammer) 2013/08/29 22:26:39
  • BestPol... KQBAHA ... 2013/08/30 02:17:53
    BestPolitics
    +1
    But, they WON'T GET OVER. I think most of them need major therapy.
  • KQBAHA ... BestPol... 2013/08/30 04:55:20
    KQBAHA (the Hammer)
    +1
    Therapy as in someone needs to tell them STFU and get a life.
  • Justin Wolf 2013/08/29 22:03:48
    Yes
    Justin Wolf
    +5
    Well ofcourse they are! They're no less evil than every other ignorant mook.
  • dave l Justin ... 2013/08/29 22:07:45
    dave l
    +3
    Right..
  • vinnysmom1221 2013/08/29 22:00:08
    other
    vinnysmom1221
    +4
    The ones who did it were.But not their ancestors. "Nigerian civil rights group says tribal leaders' ancestors sold people to slavers and should say sorry like US and Britain" F**K you! I am not to blame for the actions of my ancestors, nor are these current tribal chiefs! We cannot move on if we keep demanding an apology from people who never did anything!
  • CAPISCE vinnysm... 2013/08/29 22:17:34
    CAPISCE
    +1
    So are White responsible for their ancestors ?
  • KQBAHA ... CAPISCE 2013/08/29 22:28:26
    KQBAHA (the Hammer)
    +2
    I'm sure somehow it's Bush's fault.
  • vinnysm... CAPISCE 2013/08/30 00:32:18
    vinnysmom1221
    +2
    No.. "I am not to blame for the actions of my ancestors" I am white Cap
  • BestPol... CAPISCE 2013/08/30 02:19:45
    BestPolitics
    +1
    NO. I knew, they sold their own people. Time for muslims to apologize?
    .
    A million or more European white Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780. It is useful to compare Mediterranean slavery to the Atlantic slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. Over the course of four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade was much larger – about 10 to 12 million black Africans were brought to the Americas. But from 1500 to 1650, when trans-Atlantic slaving was still in its infancy, *****more white Christian slaves****** were taken to Barbary than ******black African slaves to the Americas,****** according to Robert Davis.
    Human is human. All races have been used & abused by others that believed they were superiors to those they owned. Not many societies avoided slavery or its impact.
  • Don 2013/08/29 21:11:18
    no
    Don
    +2
    Only the ones that did the crime should say sorry
  • BestPol... Don 2013/08/30 02:22:02
    BestPolitics
    I would guess, MOST ARE DEAD! Here is some news for you. And they were tortured just like your people. Nailed on crosses, beheaded, dragged through streets, much like what happened to Chris Stevens and those three other white men.
    .
    A million or more European white Christians were enslaved by Muslims in North Africa between 1530 and 1780. It is useful to compare Mediterranean slavery to the Atlantic slave trade that brought black Africans to the Americas. Over the course of four centuries, the Atlantic slave trade was much larger – about 10 to 12 million black Africans were brought to the Americas. But from 1500 to 1650, when trans-Atlantic slaving was still in its infancy, *****more white Christian slaves***** were taken to Barbary than *******black African slaves to the Americas,******* according to Robert Davis.
    Human is human. All races have been used & abused by others that believed they were superiors to those they owned. Not many societies avoided slavery or its impact.
  • Boetica 2013/08/29 21:09:41
    other
    Boetica
    +2
    In the past, yes. Current chiefs seem to be running the same kinds of operations.
  • BestPol... Boetica 2013/08/30 02:25:16
    BestPolitics
    Are they muslim? They still believe in Slavery. This is what BO, wants. Sharia law.
    .
    6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.
    .
    11- Sharia never abolished slavery, s3xual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.
    .
  • Aurora 2013/08/29 21:03:53
    Yes
    Aurora
    +4
    And please send a letter to every Black in America who wants reparations for this

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2014/09/16 13:32:50

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals