African country demands Portugal to pay for colonial damage


(MENAFN) In a significant move towards historical accountability, Sao Tome and Principe, the small African island nation, has announced its intention to seek reparations from Portugal for the injustices perpetrated during the colonial era. Minister
Isabel Abreu, overseeing education, culture, and science, affirmed this stance, emphasizing the government
's commitment to addressing past wrongs.

The decision follows closely on the heels of remarks made by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, acknowledging his country's culpability for the atrocities of colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade. This recognition has spurred Sao Tome and Principe into action, prompting discussions at the highest levels of government
to formulate a strategy for engaging with Portugal on the issue of reparations.

Portugal's colonial rule spanned over five centuries, leaving an indelible mark on numerous African nations, including Sao Tome and Principe, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde. The legacies of exploitation, oppression, and cultural erasure endure to this day, shaping the socio-economic landscape of these former colonies.

Notably, Portugal played a pivotal role in the African slave trade, with Portuguese ships transporting millions of Africans across the Atlantic to be sold into bondage. This dark chapter in history underscores the profound impact of colonialism on the lives and destinies of countless individuals, whose suffering demands acknowledgment and redress.

President Rebelo de Sousa's acknowledgment of Portugal's role in the slave trade signals a shift towards reckoning with the past. However, mere apologies are deemed insufficient by many, including the President himself, who advocates for concrete measures to address the enduring legacies of colonialism.

As Sao Tome and Principe takes bold steps towards seeking reparations, it underscores a broader global movement towards confronting historical injustices and fostering reconciliation. The journey towards healing and restitution is fraught with challenges, but it is a necessary endeavor to forge a more just and equitable future for all.

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