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The message of Benny Wenda and Wyclef Jean


Dakar 12/12/2010

The third annual World Festival of Black Arts was the perfect opportunity for Benny Wenda, West Papuan independence leader, in Melanesia (New Guinea), who lives in exile, and Wyclef Jean, Haitian-born singer, to address Africans around the world. Wenda demanded the liberation of his people from the yoke of Indonesia. His country suffers a real silent genocide before the absolute silence of the international community and especially the countries of the South Pacific. Jean launched an appeal to the African presidents to not forget Haiti, a country devastated by an earthquake and cholera.

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The Festival of Black Arts, FESMAN, was inaugurated in Dakar on Friday , December 10, with the participation of the African continent and the Diaspora, an event organized under the seal of the African Renaissance. Moreover, African intellectuals and the diaspora have been invited to reflect in a forum organized for the occasion entitled "The African diaspora: geography, population, history, political situation." Other conferences and round tables are to focus on the black origins of the ancient Egyptians, the renaissance of black people, etc.

In his opening speech, held at the Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium before thousands of people, the president of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, declared Dakar the capital of black African culture until December 31.

Personalities from the political, intellectual, and artistic sphere of Africa and the Diaspora attended the event, a time for celebration. The president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (Mauritania), Malam Bacai Sanha (Guinea Bissau), Teodoro Obiang (Equatorial Guinea) and the Brazilian Minister for Equal Opportunities, Eloi Ferrero de Araujo, participated, along with Wade in the opening ceremony.

The presence of Benny Wenda was a notorious one, pro-independence leader of West Papua, a Melanesian country (New Guinea) who lives in exile in Great Britain. Wenda used the forum on the African diaspora to launch a distress call to Africans and the world to liberate his people, now colonized by Indonesia. According to Wenda, his country is suffering a real genocide before the silence of the international community.

With great emotion, he said that his ancestors left the black continent 4,000 years ago. "For us, black people from the Pacific, this third FESMAN is the symbol of unity with Africa," he said. And he wondered aloud "Who can help my people to be free?" Before answering himself: "only Africa can."

Another figure of the diaspora, Wyclef Jean, Haitian-born singer took the rostrum of this festival to appeal to African presidents: "Do not walk away from Haiti, a country that has recently experienced an earthquake that left tens of thousands dead.

Today, that same country is languishing under the weight of a cholera epidemic and its trail of death. Jean wanted to be president of Haiti, but he saw his candidacy rejected by the Provisional Electoral Council for not meeting certain requirements to be eligible for the presidency. For example, to be eligible he should have been living for at least five years in the territory on November 28, Election Day. And it was not the case.

Having thanked President Wade for hosting Haitian students in Dakar, the pop star said that "I like Senegal because its president gives youth the opportunity to express themselves."

Wade welcomed people from all over the world to Dakar: people from Africa, America, Europe, Asia, etc. This is the particularity, according to the president, of this third edition of FESMAN, unlike previous editions in Lagos (1977) and Dakar (1966).

President Wade reminded youth the intellectual battle to be won: that of the United States of Africa. "Be prepared for the great battle of the United States of Africa," he said. "Our continent, Wade continued, is rich but has been exploited, impoverished and is still divided. "he battle for African unity is a challenge we must overcome," he said.

On the musical side, the opening concert was worthy of the size of the event with great stars of African music. Ismaila Lô, from Senegal, sang his song Africa, the Ethiopian singer Minyeshu Meba, the three singers of the South African group Mahotella Queensm Baba Maal, Angelique Kidjo of Benin with her song Malalaika, Youssou Ndour with Salagne Salagne, traditional music artists Samba Diabare Samb, Sire Guisse, and Khar Mbaye, Doudou Ndiaye Coumba Rose and his drums, etc. All of this preceded by a beautiful choreography that culminated with a fireworks display.

Comments - 8

8ali khazan22/10/2011 17:04h.
the papuans know exactly indonesia loves papua's richfull natural resources and large area for its overpopulated inhabitants (non papuans). that's why she avoids a direct talk with genuinene papuan leaders and prefers a dialogue with puppet papuan "leaders". no need to worry as God will drive them away from the Papua as what this evil nation does to papua is really evil. this is why she forbids foreign journalists stay longer or visit papua. God knows and He will give a lesson to Indonesia as what happened in libya won't make her understand. time will tell. timor leste is the clear example. God bless papua.
7YUNUS EDOWAY11/03/2011 09:07h.
6YUNUS EDOWAY11/03/2011 09:05h.
5Wandering Hobbit06/01/2011 12:46h.
What an incredible call for support from Benny Wenda for his people in West Papua. The international community has a responsibility to respond and stand up to Indonesia and its brutal military. Young West Papuan girls have told me how they have been raped by Indonesian soldiers and the men just walk away with no conscience. They are not put on trial and they don't even lose their jobs, they carry on raping women as a part of their work in West Papua. SILENCE. These rapes are inflicted open these young women in Silence. They are unaccounted for and unheard of, not talked about.I met a man who had his genitals electrocuted by Indonesian soldiers. Thousands of Papuans have had their houses burnt to the ground, so they are forced to live in the jungle and are dying of starvation. This is the reality for Papuans NOW. Listen to Benny Wenda's call for support. Contact your politicians. This is his website -
4brata27/12/2010 15:39h.
Isupport by pray for God to give health,so live for westpapua
3trek-papua21/12/2010 04:18h.
thanks for the campagn. I am happy if I were free from ethe vil country
2turwen20/12/2010 05:34h.
Thank you for the opportunity on this forum, we in West Papua have the opportunity to convey the suffering of God's people in West Papua by Benny Wenda .. Please support and solidarity for our greater in Papua, we suffered a lot of barbarism Indonesia and ethnic cleansing is happening in West Papua, please support for our independence from colonial nation of Indonesia. by Turwen West Papua
1Micky gombo17/12/2010 12:10h.
I wish thanks a lot of to our brothers in Africa. I am from West Papua in Africa Diaspora fell great and happy when i saw my elderbrother Mr. Beny Wenda follow African Celebrate World Festival Arts. Thanks you again. Help us please! We are suffer when we live together Indonesia people is crime caracter and they done like devil to us so we hope our brothers and sister in africa please hear our cry. Thanks your attitude for us. God bless you effort and fight for us. Micky Gombo, West Papua


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