Civil society activists from 21 countries across Africa have pledged to intensify the fight against Israel's apartheid practices against Palestinian, isolate Israel in the same way that apartheid South Africa was sanctioned and work to have Israel's accreditation to the African Union revoked, the Afro-Palestine Newswire Service reported.
The decision came during the Pan-African Palestine Solidarity Network (PAPSN) meeting in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, over the weekend. Delegates discussed how Israel had undermined Africa's long-standing support of the Palestinian liberation struggle by supplying weapons, military hardware and surveillance technologies to repressive African governments. In doing so, Israel has helped to undermine democracy and human rights in Africa, and fuel repression, coups and wars on the continent.
The conference also addressed how Israel attempts to "greenwash" its apartheid crimes through the sale of irrigation, water and agricultural technology to African countries. These projects are unsustainable and damaging to local communities, they added, saying they will highlight the destruction nature of the measures.
Delegates vowed to strengthen pan-African solidarity for Palestine by mobilising all sectors of African society to build an effective Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel that is modelled along the social justice movement that isolated and helped defeat apartheid in South Africa. PAPSN demanded African governments, Regional Economic Communities, and the African Union revoke Israel's accreditation to the AU; investigate Israel for perpetrating the crime of apartheid and hold it accountable; and lobby for the reactivation of the UN's anti-apartheid mechanisms against Israel. It also called for African states not to purchase agricultural equipment, military or surveillance goods from Israel.
"This will ensure that Israel is held to account, just as it was done to apartheid South Africa," said PAPSN spokesperson and co-ordinator of the South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Coalition, Roshan Dadoo.
Representatives from civil society organisations and groups from Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended the meeting.
"This was the first time that Palestine solidarity activists held a gathering of this nature in Africa. The wide representation of groups from across the continent is unprecedented in terms of Palestine solidarity," says PAPSN spokesperson and co-ordinator of the South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Coalition, Roshan Dadoo.