Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #436) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #436)
Transcript: with heavy tanks and artillery we could see with our own eyes the history of that country's struggle for independence.
I was then 44 years old and this was the first time for me to see black armies commanded by black generals. The first parade was in Debra Zaid (check spelling) and the soldiers on parade were a unit of the Ethiopian army. The statesman who took the salute was Emperor Haile Selassi and the command was given in Amharic, the official language of the country. The second parade was in Oujda, the headquarters of the Algerian army on the Moroccan side and was in honour of Ben Bella, who was cunningly arrested by the French in 1956 and imprisoned for 6 years.
Among the dignitaries that were on the pavillion were Dr. El Khatib, Moroccan Minister of State for African Affairs and himself a former guerrilla leader, Jacques Verges, formerly of Reunion, Mario Andrade, the general secretary of the MPLA, Marcelino Dos Santos, Micane(spelling?) from the Cameroons and Gibo Barkary (spelling?), leader of the Wasaba Party and former premier of French Sudan, who was deposed by the French when he followed the example of Sekou Toure and opted for independence outside the French community of states, and Robert Resha.
Ben Bella, admist prolonged cheers, introduced us all in a 5 minute speech in which he made the single point that the freedom of the people of Algeria was meaningless in an Africa that was still under the claws of imperialism. He appealed to his people to do everything in their power to assist liberation movements in their struggle against colonial exploitation.
Extent and Medium: 1 page