Senegal calls for home to Haitians on 'homeland' Africa

Senegal's president called for Africa to make room for victims of Haiti's earthquake to restart their lives on the continent.

Senegal calls for home to Haitians on 'homeland' Africa

Senegal's president on Sunday called for Africa to make room for victims of Haiti's earthquake to restart their lives on the continent from where their ancestors were snatched as slaves.

"The repeated calamities that befall Haiti prompt me to propose a radical solution -- to take measures to create somewhere in Africa... the conditions for Haitians to return," President Abdoulaye Wade told France Info radio.

"They did not choose to go to that island," he added, referring to the mass deportation of African slaves to Haiti, then a French colony, from the 16th century.

"It is our duty to recognise their right to come back to the land of their ancestors."

Local media quoted Senegalese officials as saying the country was ready to offer parcels of fertile land to Haitians, many of whom are still waiting for aid after Tuesday's earthquake believed to have killed as many as 200,000.

The idea for a new state is reminiscent of the 19th century creation of Liberia by freed U.S. slaves.

Wade said that Haitians are the descendants of slaves and so had the right to repatriation on the African continent. Senegal has also pledged $1 million emergency aid and begun preparations for televised fund-raising event.

His spokesman Mamadou Bamba Ndiaye gave further details of the proposals.

"If it is just a few people, we will offer them a roof and a patch of land," he told the radio station. "If they come in large numbers, we will give them a whole region."

A massive earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday, killing tens of thousands of people and leaving more than a million others homeless, according to the Haitian government. The island is also often hit by deadly hurricanes and floods.


Agencies

Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2010, 15:31
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