Zanzibar scholars’ statement of concern

Zanzibar scholars’ statement of concern

Zanzibar scholars’ statement of concern

We, as concerned scholars of Zanzibar, write to express our dismay at recent events following the elections of 25 October 2015.

We continue to be deeply thankful for the repeated opportunities afforded us by the Government of Zanzibar to study, document, and try to understand the lives of Zanzibaris - their complexity and inventiveness, their countless achievements, and the challenges they face.

America and Britain voiced “alarm” on Thursday after Tanzania risked unrest on Zanzibar by cancelling the archipelago’s presidential election without announcing the result.

Over 200,000 tourists visited Zanzibar last year with Americans and Britons comprising more than 40 per cent of the total. The Foreign Office warned any Britons in Zanzibar to stay in their "homes or hotels" and avoid “being out on the streets” or visiting the centre of Stone Town, the island’s capital.

 

We, as concerned scholars of Zanzibar, write to express our dismay at recent events following the elections of 25 October 2015.

We continue to be deeply thankful for the repeated opportunities afforded us by the Government of Zanzibar to study, document, and try to understand the lives of Zanzibaris - their complexity and inventiveness, their countless achievements, and the challenges they face.

Our work - our research, writing, and analyses of history, culture, geography and language - has given us a firm appreciation for the people of Zanzibar. Treating us with enormous generosity and patience, they have repeatedly taught us the value of community, hospitality, and perseverance.

In our many combined years of listening to and learning from Zanzibaris about so many aspects of their lives, we have consistently been struck by their decency, kindness, and their remarkable ability to meet adversity with grace and good humor. Today we extend our deepest gratitude to them. And we beseech the Governments of Zanzibar and of the United Republic of Tanzania to honor their commitment to multi-party democracy and to keep all of their citizens well and free from harm.

We present this statement in the hope that both the Government of Zanzibar and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania will reassert their belief in democracy's core values; that they will resolve this crisis with wisdom and humility; and that security organs will exercise restraint and good judgment, prioritizing at all times the safety, dignity and rights of the people with whose protection they are charged.

SIGNATORIES

1. Nathalie Arnold-Koenings, Hampshire College, USA

2. Anne K. Bang, Universitetet i Bergen, Germany

3. Grete Benjaminsen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

4. Ann Biersteker, Michigan State University, USA

5. William Bissell, Lafayette College, USA

6. Chambi Chachage, Harvard University, USA

7. Maïlys Chauvin, Les Afriques dans le Monde, France

8. Katrina Daly Thompson, University of Wisconsin Madison, USA

9. Corrie Decker, University of California Davis, USA

10. Altaïr Depres, École des Hautes Études, France

11. Annmarie Drury, Queens College, USA

12. Jeffrey Fleisher, Rice University, USA

13. Marie-Aude Fouere, École des Hautes Études, France

14. Linda Giles, Illinois Wesleyan Univserity, USA

15. Jonathon P. Glassman, Northwestern University, USA

16. Rachel Hamada, Independent Cultural Scholar, Scotland

17. Marla L. Jaksch, The College of New Jersey, USA

18. Arielle Levine, University of California Berkeley, USA

19. Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein, Independent Scholar, USA

20. Nathaniel Mathews, Northwestern University, USA

21. Thomas J. McDow, Ohio State University, USA

22. Bruce McKim, Yale University, USA

23. Elisabeth McMahon, Tulane University, USA

24. Sigrun Marie Moss, Norwegian University of Technology, Norway

25. Marco Motta, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

26. Laura Murray, Avon Wildlife Trust, United Kingdom

27. Jeremy Prestholdt, University of California San Diego, USA

28. Allyson Purpura, Univerity of Illinois Champaign Urbana, USA

29. Ben Rawlence, Independent Scholar, United Kingdom

30. Morgan J. Robinson, Princeton University, USA

31. Erin Stiles, University of Nevada, USA

32. Kjetil Tronvoll, International Law & Policy Institute, Norway

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