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Media Centre | COSATU Press Statements
COSATU STATEMENT ON HANGINGS IN NIGERIA
Issued by: Congress of South African Trade Unions
COSATU PRESS STATEMENT NOVEMBER 14, 1995 NIGERIA - KEN SARO-WIWA
The failure of the Commonwealth countries in relation to the recent incident where the Abacha regime hanged Ken Saro-Wiwa and other eight cannot be laid on the shoulder of one person.
It is a wrong assumption to think that if President Mandela had said strong words to the Abacha regime that would have stopped the culprits from hanging Saro-Wiwa and other fellow fighters for democracy in Nigeria.
The hanging of these democrats flied against condemnations of Commonwealth leaders. The Abacha regime have proved to the Commonwealth and the world that a gentlemen discussion will not persuade them to hand over power to the Civilian Rule.
COSATU calls on the following steps to be taken:
1. NLC must be allowed to hold a congress as a matter of urgency and elect leadership and that the military regime must accept the outcome of the congress.
2. Sanctions of arms and oil embargo
3. Demand that Shell make a statement to the public refusing any deals with Nigeria until democracy prevail in that country.
4. Suspension of Nigeria from other world bodies
5. Call on the people of Nigeria to intensify their struggle against this gangster.
6. Release of all political prisoners in Nigeria
COSATU remains sceptical about the biases of the Western Countries and the media in their interventions in African problems. Algeria and Sudan are probably the most dictators ever seen in the African Continent.
Algeria and Sudan are both under military dictatorship. Thousands of citizens had been maimed and continue to be killed by these ruthless dictators. Yet Western powers and media had remained silent in the face of these atrocities.
COSATU calls on the South African Government, OAU, ILO and the United Nation to extend whatever action they will take against Nigeria to Algeria and Sudan.
- The Tripartite Alliance meets today to take decisions on what kind of solidarity to take for the people of Nigeria.
- On the 17 November at 13h00 COSATU will picket at the Nigerian offices in Pretoria. We call on all peace loving people to join us.
- COSATU Executive Committee (EXCO) is meeting on the 20 & 21 November 1995, to discuss practical solidarity with the Nigerian Trade Unions which are severely restricted.