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Research Report

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The views of the various African thinkers, which will be systematically explored in this Study, are neither "true" in any absolute sense, nor are they an "ideology" or false consciousness. Rather, they are the self-expression of an open-ended historical process. The works of Fanon, Cesaire, Cabral, etc., with which we shall be engaged in formulating the overall perspective of the struggle for African freedom as a discourse aimed at reclaiming history, are the self-expression of this process itself. These works are the artful and effective self-presentation of those engaged in the struggle, i.e., the rhetoric of African liberation.

The basic task of the Study is two fold. We shall first (in Sections II and III) begin by presenting a systematic explication and interpretation of a limited number of political texts, by way of formulating an overall position regarding the perspective and orientation of the anti-colonial liberation struggle in Africa. Based on the interpretation of these texts, the rhetoric of African liberation will be presented as a discourse aimed at reclaiming history. Reclaiming, that is, the history or historicality of the African peoples derailed by colonial conquest. Following this theoretical exploration, we will then (in Section IV) look at the historical context - the various developments and transformations of the Eritrean Liberation Movement - within which the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (E.P.L.F.) is located and go on to examine the self-reliant orientation that constitutes the E.P.L.F.

The central concern of the Study is to see how the practice of self-reliance originates from within the concrete historical engagement of the E.P.L.F. and is a strategy for liberation in tune with the politico-philosophical aspirations of the struggle for African freedom, i.e., the rhetoric of African liberation. Thus, the polemical thrust of the study is directed against the conventional/convenient and mistaken view that the Eritrean anti-colonial struggle is an Islamic secessionist movement.


Research Report No. 10


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