Statement and Call for Action

by the African Studies Association Of Africa

On the War in Palestine and the Assault on Academic Freedom

  Wednesday 22 NOVEMBER 2023


  1. The African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) is a membership-organisation of scholars, practitioners and activists of the African continent and her Diaspora. We are an association strongly committed to upholding the sanctity and dignity of life, particularly of Black people on the African continent, the African Diaspora and African people globally. We are united by a brutal common experience of relentless structural violence and racism. Our mission is to promote Africa's own specific contributions to the advancement of knowledge about the peoples and cultures of Africa and the Diaspora.
  1. ASAA was launched in Accra, Ghana, in 2013 as an Africa-led, Africa-centred and Africa-focused convening of African Studies scholars globally. ASAA is grounded in the Pan African ethos of many movements formed at the cusp of self-rule, following many decades of brutality, which resulted from the annexation of African territories decided at the 1884-85 Berlin Conference and the consolidation of colonial regimes, which emerged at the end of World War 1.     

  1. We are gravely concerned by the escalation of violence in Palestine and the savagery that has accompanied it, unleashing untold suffering on already vulnerable populations, essential services, infrastructure and all life forms.
  1. We locate the ongoing crisis in a long and entangled history of dehumanisation that is built upon Slavery, Colonisation, the Holocaust, Apartheid, global state and non-state Terrorism, Genocide, Ethnic-cleansing, and the global loss of lives that results from the denial of cross-border mobility.  As a community, we understand and have documented the violence of colonisation, the savage crimes that enable its persistence, the destructive effects of the fight against colonial powers, and the devastatingly lasting impact on annexed peoples. We therefore call on the global community to declare colonisation as a crime against humanity.
  1. We strongly condemn all acts of violence that have resulted in the loss of life and the destruction of property and public services and have unleashed a deepening humanitarian crisis.
  1. We call on all parties
    1. To unequivocally respect International Humanitarian Law.
    2. To establish humanitarian corridors.
    3. To engage in a cease fire now.
    4. To release all civilian hostages.
    5. To work immediately toward a negotiated two-state solution, consistent with United Nations’ resolutions.


  1. We call on the global community      
    1. To respect International Law.
    2. To support the two state principle and the accompanying peace process.
    3. To establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission underpinned by the principles of Teranga, Ubuntu, Ujamaa and Kizuna.
    4. Through the United Nations and the International Court of Justice, to conduct a full investigation of the conflict and to establish a Special Court to prosecute the crimes committed against humanity, including through the complicity of the global community.
    5. To establish and furnish a Global Reconstruction Fund Facility for Palestine (GRFFP).
  1. We strongly condemn the assault on academic freedom globally. We observe that governments, universities and other bodies are currently censoring speech and policing thought around the crisis in Palestine. We stand with our colleagues around the world who are facing attacks on academic freedom as a result of their reflections on the ongoing global crisis in Palestine. We call on universities worldwide to reaffirm their commitment to academic freedom, resist the pressure to embrace censorship and put in place measures to support persecuted students and scholars. We equally urge students and scholars to exercise the privileges of Academic Freedom with responsibility.
  1. The current crisis in Palestine is a reminder of the dangerous nature of ethno-nationalism, bigotry, all forms of discrimination and the many neglected ongoing violent conflicts that continue to unleash suffering on vulnerable people across the world. We call for an equal dedication and commitment by the global community to bring an end to these sufferings.


Statement in PDF (English)

Download Statement in French

Download Statement in Arabic

Download Statement in Portuguese