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Halifa Sallah addresses social forum

Feb 15, 2011, 1:31 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh just from Dakar

Halifa Sallah, an executive member of the opposition People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), on Thursday addressed the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar.

The conference held at the Cheikh Anta Diop University, was attended by thousands of people from various walks of life and countries. The theme of the discussion centered on Democracy and Crisis in Africa.

"After we attained the right to self-determination and independence, the second phase of national liberation should have started," Halifa Sallah said. "The phase of the sovereignty of the people - for each African in the respective countries should realise that the people are embodied from the sovereignty of the nation to the sovereignty of the people."

Each African should realise the power of the nation, Mr Sallah said, adding that looking at the constitutions of nations, "what is put there is technicalities".

The social advocate also pointed out that the president of a republic and the ordinary citizen are equal before the law of the land, in the sense that "every president is entitled to only one vote and the worker one vote thus symbolises that the two are equal". "So we should not underestimate the essence of democracy," Sallah says.

Since the era of the African liberation movements, African independent leaders eventually failed to build their citizen to uphold their rights.

"We must build instruments, institutional processes that would come up with policies and programmes that will address the needs and aspirations of the people," he said.

This is what is happening in Ivory Coast, Kenya as well as Zimbabwe; that is why "there is a crisis of citizenship", he said, adding that the problem of the continent is not democracy but the sovereignty of the people, which is the way to move forward.

This is the second phase of the national liberation; that is the phase of assertion of sovereignty of the African liberation, he said, adding that the World Social Movement must always put across that agenda not only for Africa but for the whole world.

The Gambian vocal politician explained further that the work for the liberation of Africa must not stop at liberalism; it is the social movement impacting on the 'repatriate' states.

"We must see the struggle of social movement in Europe to expand the space so that at least certain gains can be achieved and pressures can be put to attain real freedom, liberation and development. They want to make that social movement their achievements but the achievements are universal."

Mr Sallah finally said: "It is important for us to realise that our discussions are very significant issues; they are not academic issues, they are issues of life and death."

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