EMERGENCE AND DEVELOPMENT
1. The High Council of Cabinda – its emergence
The High Council of Cabinda was created at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC), during the Inter-Cabindaise Meeting held in Accra, Ghana between October 21 and 24, 2019. It is the the most significant event since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 2006 in the historical panorama of the political organizations which fight for the freedom and the dignity of the Cabindais people. Its emergence and consolidation are part of an innovative initiative on a new paradigm of collegial and consensual governance. The creation of the HCC was also born out of a particularly exceptional situation for the following reasons:
On June 3, 2016, the Cabindian separatists lost their last figurehead, the last founding father who kept the flame of the struggle of the Cabindian people at the top, the late President of Flec-Fac, Nzita Tiago Henriques. This disappearance had a great impact on the struggle, with obvious signs of weakening, a situation which led the process of claiming the rights and freedoms of Cabindans into a state of lethargy.
After seeing this void which, to tell the truth, left a feeling of orphanage in the Cabindian nationalist soul, some of the children of this people began to move to exchange ideas on how to continue this march more effectively. , with no intention of replacing existing organizations.
2. The High Council of Cabinda – Its elaboration
A. Debates and reflections
The High Council of Cabinda was born from the idea and the need to bring together the sons and daughters of Cabinda who are fighting for the same cause. From the first moments, it was the idea of union that was at the basis of the meetings that began in mid-2018 in Lisbon, in embryonic form, and took a real shape in October of the same year. There was a long discussion to try to determine what would be the best model of union to build and the best strategies to achieve it.
Unity in diversity seemed to be the best answer to the questions of those who pondered the issue. The idea of bringing the Cabindans together on a common platform also seemed like a real utopia. However, this idea of building the union on the occasion of an inter-Cabindaise meeting was another common sense challenge that the participants in these reflections undertook. Such a meeting required significant financial means, but nobody knew where to find the said means.
The presence in the reflection team of interdisciplinary skills and people from different professional and political backgrounds allowed the decoding of many puzzles that emerged during the process of debates and reflections. In early March 2019, a partner was identified and volunteered to fund the meeting. It was hard to believe the promise made, but the African Development Organization, ADO in acronym, kept its word, one thing leading to another, Accra has become a reality.
The issues identified by the preparatory team for the inter-Cabindaise meeting were very lucid: contacting all those fighting for Cabinda and other influential figures in society to jointly consider the possibility of organizing and holding such a meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together the Cabindaise forces within a new representative and consultative organization in order to harmonize and structure the main demands of the various political and military sensitivities, in cohesion and consensus.
Contacts with the various leaders of political organizations have started since November 2018. And, knowing well the mentality of the Cabindan political class, the initiating and preparatory team took all the necessary precautions: avoid drawing up a work and then submit it to other organizations. This team knew that things don’t work that way in the Cabindaise mentality. Everything was left open to give everyone the opportunity to participate in the development of the meeting project, as well as in the agenda of the meeting. This effort had a concrete objective: to make all participants active in the process, without anyone feeling behind anyone, much less claiming to be the owner of the process.
B. Was the Accra process a failure ?
Despite the efforts shown, the results were not as expected in terms of participation. Many political actors in Cabinda, after showing their willingness to collaborate, as requested, decided to create unproductive polemics linked to protagonism and egocentrism, which led many of them to decline, at the last minute. the invitation, which they received directly from ADO partners.
What people did not understand about this process was that the initiators of the process had good and honest intentions. Despite the idea initially of finding, by co-opting the participants, the first objective was not to swallow up this or that organization. All the participants went there with equal rights. Had it not been for some blunders after Accra, the President of the High Council of Cabinda was indeed unanimously elected.
Today we have a High Council of Cabinda without the office of President, a decision taken after the resignation of its elected President. The High Council of Cabinda now favors collegial and consensual governance, a new paradigm to overcome the eternal egocentric pitfall of leadership. Quite simply, it is the failure of those who have the virus of protagonism and leadership as their only means of existence.
HCC emphasizes the challenge of democratic learning, a bet for the future.
Courage, perseverance, determination… tolerance, hope, the future… peace, solidarity, fraternity… so many words, values, which resonate more than ever in our heads and in our hearts… strengthen our Faith in Life, Dignity and Freedom.
It is the mirror effect of the Beauty of our struggle, of the Strength of our conviction and of the Wisdom of our hearts and the minds of our ancestors. The HCC thus hoists the white flag of Peace.