This statement was made by the African Socialist International North American Region on November 17th at a press conference in front of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The African Socialist International, in unity with other organizations of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, proudly announces the launch of an international workers party that will begin contesting for state power in Sierra Leone. The launch of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) in Sierra Leone marks the first officially registered political party led by and benefiting the masses of African workers and peasants in Sierra Leone’s history. As we speak, Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, a former child soldier, journalist and activist, is leading a conference attended by hundreds of Africans from Sierra Leone and by an international delegation of members of the African Socialist International from the North American region.
The international significance of this event cannot be overstated. The existence of the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone is here to expose the illegitimate attempts by neocolonial rulers that have their interests everywhere except with the masses of workers and peasants. We see that since the 2007 election of president Ernest Koroma and the overall leadership of the All People’s Congress, the conditions of the everyday worker in Sierra Leone have not improved. Rather we see president Koroma appealing more to the interests of foreign nations such as the United States, England and China. Koroma’s betrayal of his people is evident in the million dollar deals with the British Department for Foreign International Development (DFID) that provide monies for supposed social programs that alleviate nothing for the masses but result in securing the UK’s interest in the diamond mines. Further betrayal is exposed in Koroma’s permission of AFRICOM’s Africa Partnership Station to impose U.S. maritime security interests on how Africans in Sierra Leone use their own waters. This new program, in addition to the FBI’s legal attaché in Freetown, allows for the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus to trump any attempt by Sierra Leone to set the terms of their own security. No Western nation would allow Africans to set up militarily in their home region.
The launch of the African People’s Socialist Party is a bold step in a new direction. It says that Africans will not put the interests of foreign nations before those of her own citizens. This has been a longtime coming and should be embraced by all working class Africans around the world as a necessary step in moving towards a true freedom that we can believe in. Furthermore, in this period when the affairs of the entire African world are dictated by foreign interests and when the interests of the toiling masses—the workers and the peasants—are not represented, the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone now gives a voice to the voiceless. They are speaking truth to power about the various diamond miners that keep up the criminal economy of resource extraction without just payment of these precious stones—miners like the Global Exploration Corporation, Rex Mining Corporation, DiamondWorks (BranchEnergy and BranchMining), and Sierra Rutile-Nord Ressources. They are exposing the devastating scenario where more African women in Sierra Leone die from preventable childbirth related complications than anywhere else in the world.
Joining the hundreds of African workers in Sierra Leone Party is an international delegation from North America that will be there for 2 weeks. The delegation is led by Chairman Omali Yeshitela. Some of the activities they will participate in are: 1) a conference from November 16-18 that lays out the initial goals and objectives of the APSP in Sierra Leone, 2) setting up an FM and internet radio station that will allow African workers in Sierra Leone to hear news and other programs that articulate a political understanding of local and global political affairs with their interests in mind, and 3) launching the Oloshoro Fishing Project as well as a program to address the alarming infant and maternal death rates in Sierra Leone as led by the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project.
We, children of the African world far away from the motherland, stand proud today in unity with our sisters and brothers in Sierra Leone who have done the hard work of launching this much needed international political front. The African Socialist International of the North American Region salutes your bravery and commitment to the worldwide struggle for liberation, particularly at this difficult point in history of sophisticated oppression—where it hides in the cloak of neocolonialism and Africans everywhere are encouraged to feel hopeful in the most desperate and devastating of times marked by a global economic crises and militarism. We stand here in front of the Sierra Leonean embassy as part of the global African nation that is one billion strong. Your achievements in launching this workers party will not go unnoticed and we stand together with you to say, “One Africa! One Nation!”