The United Nations ad hoc committee on international terrorism on Wednesday (25 July) discussed what constituted terrorism, and whether it included the action taken by governments against groups which opposed their rule.
GTV ZOOM IN Debate in progress
CU Zambian speaking
"The oppressed people of Africa have a right to use whatever means available to them to free themselves from the ghastly vestiges of colonialism. We know, Mr. Chairman, that the racist regimes themselves are ultra-ruthless in their method of suppression of indigenous people in their respective areas of authority. We know, for instance, that in Rhodesia, the rebel government has risen to introduce on bloc, collective, on bloc, signs in several villages of the (unclear) area. We know, also, that in South Africa, the regime there has, and continues to use, some of the most heinous methods of human torture. Sir, you perhaps have heard or read of the atrocious and barbaric murder in Mozambique by Portuguese forces of four-hundred men, women and children in the village of Wiriyamu. Quite obviously, this committee ought to understand that if this is the kind of brutality by which the minority regimes wish to govern the governed,the eruption of violence of all shapes and spectrum by the oppressed against the oppressor is inevitable. Mr. Chairman, this kind of reaction to dictatorial rule is a natural process. It would be outrageous for this committee to suggest to punish such violence. Having stated the price of the oppressed masses in Africa, or be it in Asia, I think it is significant for this committee to agree on special status of the freedom fighters in my continent before tackling the issue before us in greater depth."
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Background: The United Nations ad hoc committee on international terrorism on Wednesday (25 July) discussed what constituted terrorism, and whether it included the action taken by governments against groups which opposed their rule.
Mr. William Silweya of Zambia said the recent instance of Mozambique revealed the terrorist tactics of colonial oppressors. He said the U.N. committee should understand the "special status" of the nationalist movements in Africa before it made any determination on what constituted terrorism.