Plot for Peace (Complot pour la Paix)

Vive la Namibie, Vive la Francophonie

This March, the Embassy of France and the Embassy of the Republic of Congo celebrated the month of Francophonie along with the Silver Jubilee of the Namibian Independence. The Franco-Namibian Cultural Center (FNCC) hosted a two day screening of the Film Plot for Peace, a documentary thriller that tells an untold story of Algerian-born French businessman Jean-Yves Ollivier’s involvement in the Cold War-era African parallel diplomacy and the signing of the 1988 Brazzaville Protocol, in the Republic of Congo that led to the implementation of Resolution 435 and the discussions surrounding the eventual release of Nelson Mandela.

The first day of the screening, March 24th was a private screening for Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Government Officials, whereas the second day, March 25th, was free to the Public. The two-day event was patroned by the Ambassador of France H.E Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni and the Ambassador of the Republic of Congo H.E. Marie Thérèse Avemeka.

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Mme the Ambassador of France (center) and her Congolese counterpart (to her right) and the minister of Defence (to her left)

In his opening Remarks on March 24th, Mr Patrick Portes, Director of the FNCC and Counsellor for Cooperation at the French Embassy, stressed about the fact that the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre is part and parcel of the Namibian Community. As such, it had to get involve with the celebration as Namibia reached such an important milestone.

Before inviting the Guests to watch the movie, The Ambassador of France spoke about the long lasting relationship between France and Namibia and how France was one of the very first Western countries to recognise SWAPO and allow the then liberation movement to open an Office in France, in 1981.

After the screening, Former Prime Minister Nahas Angula or citizen Nahas as he requested to be referred to, addressed the gathering on the subject of history and the importance to have a holistic picture of how events panned out. There are many stories within one main story and knowing them all is the only way to understand the full story. The Former Prime Minister went on to say that the Independence of Namibia is the result of a joint effort. Efforts from the Namibian people ought to be commended. Despite their small size in number, and the fact that only Namibia and Algeria had the disadvantage to be colonised by a neighbour, the Namibian people fought bravely. However, it was also an effort of the international community through international solidarity and support that aided to achieve the Namibian liberation. The Former Prime Minister concluded by commanding the organisers for their initiative and to keep educating the Youth.

In her vote of thanks, the Ambassador of the Republic of Congo, H.E Ms Marie Thérèse Avemeka emphasised that the movie showcased how international solidarity but even more so, how African involvement into African issues can be significant into peaceful conflict resolution. On behalf of the organisers, Ambassador Avemeka thanked the guests in attendance for having taken the time to come celebrate with them both the Francophonie and the Silver Jubilee.

The audience was fortunate to have a first hand witness in the person of H.E Mr Giraldo Mazola, Ambassador of Cuba whom as a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs was involved in the negotiation and at the signing of the Brazzaville Protocol. He shared some of his insight of these historical events and the relationship between Namibia and Cuba.

Plot for Peace (Complot pour la Paix) - documentary, Directed by Carlos Agullo and Mandy Jacobson, South Africa 2013, 84 min. Language: French with English subtitles.

published on 23/04/2015

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