My dear friends, the black child of Camara Laye on his knees in the silence of the African night will know and understand that he can raise his head and look with confidence to the future. And this black child of Camara Laye will feel in himself the two parts of himself reconciled. And he will at last feel himself to be a human being like all members of humanity.
In 1966, soon after the world commemorated the 21st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and made the customary solemn declaration of ‘Never, Never Again’, Hausa-Fulani emirs, muslim clerics and intellectuals, military officers, politicians and other public figures in Nigeria defiled that season of reflection, commiseration and hope. They planned and executed the first phase of the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide in post-conquest Africa. This genocide became the clearing site for the haunting killing fields that would snake across the African geographical landscape in the subsequent 40 years. A total of 100,000 Igbo were massacred across north Nigeria and elsewhere in the country, with the active support of the central government in Lagos headed by Yakubu Gowon during the months of May-October 1966. Most were killed in their houses, offices, businesses, schools, colleges and hospitals, as well as those who were attacked at railway stations and on trains, bus stations and buses, airports and in cars, lorries and on foot as they sought to escape the genocide for their homeland in east Nigeria.
Earlier on in January 2003, France had significantly escalated its 2002 intervention in Côte d’Ivorie, to the west, by reinforcing its overall troops’ deployment to about 4000 and expanding the so-called sandwich territory between it and the forces of the Ivorian state and north-based insurgents. Given the frequency and the tally of its military interventions in Africa since 1960, France has, contrary to prevailing international perception, the worst record of Northern World power state military intervention in the Southern World.
Under the cloak of this "philanthropic" organization, the king assembled a private army called the Force Publique that, through horrendous brutality, extracted rubber and ivory riches from the region. Stanley thus laid the groundwork for long Belgian rule over the Congo, a regime that we know today claimed between 8 million and 30 million African lives. The French, who did not recognize Leopold's private colonization, tried to lay claim to the region themselves. Out of this dispute, the Berlin Conference of 1884 convened, at which 13 European countries and the U.S. recognized Central Africa's Congo region as Leopold's private property.