TELLING STORIES, CHANGING THE CONVERSATION

Activists ask Nelson Mandela Foundation to rescind Barack Obama’s invitation to speak

in Africa & the Diaspora by

International organization focusing on war and terror says Barack Obama’s speaking engagement at annual lecture is direct opposite of the violent legacy left in Africa during his tenure as US president.

Cage Africa, an advocacy organization sent an open letter to the Nelson Mandela Foundation insisting that they withdraw their annual lectureship invitation to former US president, Barack Obama.

Citing a list of abuses against Africans and Muslims, and allegations of human rights violations throughout the continent, including an increased military presence that ushered in more armed forces, Cage Africa details:

. . . multiple news and independent research reports, ongoing criminal investigations and court cases have linked Obama as the US Commander – in – Chief of the US military between 2009 and 2017 to war  crimes, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment and rendition, and extrajudicial killings through indiscriminate drone and air attacks that have killed thousands of innocent civilians, mainly Muslims, in the name of “fighting terrorism”.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, chaired by Njabulo Ndebele, Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, brings leaders throughout the world to discuss various topics that align with Mandela’s life and philosophy.

According to the foundation’s website, Obama will speak on “renewing Mandela’s legacy,” with a “focus on creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality.”

Cage Africa says that Obama’a allowance to speak will damage the foundation’s mission and the history of Mandela’s cause. The South African stalwart who played a major part in dismantling Apartheid, at one point, was labeled a terrorist.

The organization says:

Barack Obama, despite the world’s high hopes for him, rather than being the champion of human rights as he will no doubt cast himself to be during his upcoming lecture as your guest, has in fact ensured that the United States has set an unacceptable low moral standard when it comes to human rights and the dignity of local populations globally.

Despite the ask, the Foundation moves forward with Obama.

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