Barotseland, a region of Western Zambia that is slightly larger than Germany, looks increasingly determined to end its union with Zambia, following what appear to be very serious breaches of the terms of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964, an international treaty signed between the Kingdom of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia (to be named Zambia) immediately prior to Zambia’s independence.
With roots dating back to the 13th century, Barotseland was one of the few nations in Africa never to be conquered or annexed by a European power, although it was temporarily administered as a British protectorate. For what appear to have been reasons of purely British administrative convenience, the British chose to administer Zambia and Barotseland as one administrative unit and at independence urged that this partnership continue.
Barotseland was only willing to do so on the basis that it remained an autonomous region, continuing its own local courts, its own treasury, its own local taxation, continued ownership of its land, the due recognition of the rights and privileges of its King and his Council, and many other aspects of self-governance that had existed for centuries. Kenneth Kaunda agreed to this via the international Barotseland Agreement of 1964, establishing Barotseland as an autonomous region with a special status in Zambia.
Zambia subsequently flouted the terms of its accord with Barotseland, starting soon after independence, as it refused to recognize the powers of its leaders or the autonomy of its institutions, changed the name of the Barotseland Province to the Western Province (Barotseland itself was slightly larger than Western Province today), changed the legal status of much of Barotseland’s land to pass it under the Zambian President’s control, and even passed a law declaring the Barotseland Agreement to be void (although over two-thirds of the population of Barotseland itself voted against this in a referendum).
Following decades of fruitless negotiations with the Zambian government, which appear to have failed, and while Barotseland has gone from being one of Zambia’s richest regions to one of its poorest, due to misrule and neglect, and the increasingly hostile acts of Zambia such as the recent imprisonment of Barotseland’s former Prime Minister, the imprisonment of many pro-independence activists, and by the recent occupation of Barotseland by Zambian troops and police, the abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement was accepted by Barotseland, meaning that Barotseland, in principle, has reverted to being an independent State under international law.
Below, you will find the orders, published on 17 October 2013 in the Barotse Post, whereby the King of Barotseland orders all Zambian political figures to leave the territory of Barotseland within two weeks. The statement itself poses a number of interesting legal issues concerning the nature of sovereignty under public international law, but an initial analysis of the legal materials concerning Barotseland suggest that the law of treaties is purely on Barotseland’s side.
This post was submitted without the approval of Barotseland, although I am serving as Barotseland’s legal counsel in relation to public international law matters. Hence, all characterizations and analysis are mine alone, and I reserve my right to modify them on the basis of new information.
– William Kirtley
Administrator General Mombotwa Writes Zambian Minister in Barotseland.
Published on Thursday, 17 October 2013 17:52 | Written by The Online Editor | Print | Email | Hits: 1012
Mongu, Barotseland on the 17th of October 2013
To: The Appointed Minister of the Republic of Zambia to The Kingdom of Barotseland.
From: The Office of The Administrator General of Barotseland
Subject: Extra- territoriality/ Termination of obligations
With due respect you are requested to conceive what is tabulated and act accordingly.
Really the world is guided by principles and compacts. That is what makes life enjoyable; without which there would be chaos. One such principle is that of territoriality.
WHAT IS TO BE CONSIDERED
OBSERVATION: A protectorate is a territory whose soil does not belong to the Queen or the crown.
ARGUMENT: Barotseland was a protectorate; hence her soil did not belong to Britain.
OBSERVATION: A protectorate is a territory where sovereignty does not belong to the British Crown.
ARGUMENT: Barotseland was a protectorate, thus sovereignty did not belong to the British King.
Moreover, the Barotzish did not surrender their sovereignty to any one.
OBSERVATION: The Secretary to the cabinet, Mr. Eldridge wrote a circular to all government ministries in 1964; that ‘’ the relationship of Barotseland with Britain was regulated by the Agreement arrived at between the two.
ASSERTION: Territories of Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) signed an agreement in 1964; That was a successor treaty to the treaties subsisting between Barotseland and Britain hence, Zambia inherited the obligations of Her Majesty the Queen of Britain over Barotseland.
OBSERVATION: When the treaties between Britain and Barotseland terminated;
(1) the relation ended
(2) The obligations of Britain over Barotseland ceased
ASSERTION: The treaties between Barotseland and Britain did not make Barotseland part of Britain.
ARGUMENT: The successor treaty between Barotseland and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) did not make Barotseland part of Zambia; it intended to preserve Barotseland’s autonomy.
OBSERVATION: The agreement of 1964, on part dealing with implementation, states; “the government of the Republic of Zambia shall take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that the laws for the time being in force in the republic are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement.
The question that may arise is what happens when laws are inconsistent; answer – (Problems start)
OBSERVATION: Because Zambia does not respect other people she made laws not only repugnant but They terminated the agreement.
(1) The relation based on agreement automatically ended
(2) The obligations of Zambia over Barotseland if any ceased as was the case with Britain.
Barotseland was not an enclave to Zambia.
Barotseland was not resnullies; it was occupied by people and these were not conquered.
Barotseland was not annexed. Zambia only inherited the obligation of the protector.
Without annexation the territories are technically foreign to each other.
The consequence of dishonouring or termination of agreement is that: “once a treaty is dishonoured the parties to that agreement refrain from making each other’s territory the object of acquisition by means of military occupation, or by direct or indirect measure of force and no such acquisition will be deemed as legal.
N.B Apparently there is no federal constitution. Zambia has a monolithic constitution that has nothing to do with Barotseland; and all Zambians know that. Hence, no ties could be claimed. It is incredible to realize that Zambia is the only country in the world not established on the principles of law, but on slogans and coercion.
Zambia and Barotseland are not compatible; one is a republic, the other is a Kingdom. Only those obsessed with UNIP dogma of wamuyayaya thought Barotseland is western (province); and think there is one Nation where there are two. However, we cannot be drawn into cheap politicking.
One word is enough for a wise person; Barotseland is ours “KA LIWANIKA’’
In the name of His Majesty the King of Barotseland all Zambian politicians are given 14 days to vacate offices and stop influencing anything in Barotseland in compliance with law viz territoriality.
CC U.N. Secretary General
Territoriality in International law, it is the principal that states should not exercise their jurisdiction outside the area of their territory.
N.B. jurisdiction applies either in policing, judiciary or legislation. None of these should be seen to be exercised in others territory.
A state may exercise jurisdiction over crimes that are either originated within its territory but completed outside or originated outside its territory and completed inside.
Barotseland was not annexed to Zambia. In international law annexation is the acquisition of legal sovereignty by one state over the territory of another; usually by occupation or conquest.
N.B Even if Barotseland was annexed to Zambia that was not going to make it any good for desperate Zambia, why? Annexation is now generally considered illegal in international laws; even when it results from legitimate use of force.
Barotseland is now a sovereign state by principle of law viz postliminium. Considering that there are two separate states of Barotseland and Zambia, none of them should attempt to exercise extra-territorial authority over the other. As doing so would be contemptuous to the U.N. General Assembly Resolutions 2949 (1972) that re-affirms that :
“The territory of a state shall not be the object of acquisition or occupation by another state resulting from the threat or use of force’’ This clause is explicitly clear, whether Zambian Politicians or Police officers know this or they don’t, nothing can change the validity of the Resolution because even school children of lower primary in Barotseland are able to comprehend the Resolution.
From the foregoing it is apparent that the inadmissibility of illegal occupation cannot be over emphasized. Unfortunately we have been dealing with either people with intellectual problem or people who are professional robberer, who want to deprive us of our territory by any means. In either case we can’t make them upright. Hence my appeal to all the Barotzish is that, these people ought to be given the treatment they deserve. When it comes to foes, there is special law that deals with them.
Rt. Hon Afumba Mombotwa
– See more at: https://barotsepost.com/index.php/en/frontnews/local-news/536-administrator-general-mombotwa-writes-zambian-minister-in-barotseland#sthash.cXJHS7xl.dpuf