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.
Nathalie Arnold-Koenings, Hampshire College, USA
Anne K. Bang, Universitetet i Bergen, Germany
Grete Benjaminsen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway
Ann Biersteker, Michigan State University, USA
William Bissell, Lafayette College, USA
Chambi Chachage, Harvard University, USA
Maïlys Chauvin, Laboratoire les Afriques dans le Monde, CNRS, France
Katrina Daly Thompson, University of Wisconsin Madison, USA
Corrie Decker, University of California Davis, USA
Altaïr Depres, École des Hautes Études, France
Annmarie Drury, Queens College, USA
Jeffrey Fleisher, Rice University, USA
Marie-Aude Fouere, École des Hautes Études, France
Linda Giles, Illinois Wesleyan University, USA
Jonathon P. Glassman, Northwestern University, USA
Marla L. Jaksch, The College of New Jersey, USA
Arielle Levine, University of California Berkeley, USA
Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein, Independent Scholar, USA
Nathaniel Mathews, Northwestern University, USA
Thomas J. McDow, Ohio State University, USA
Bruce McKim, Yale University, USA
Elisabeth McMahon, Tulane University, USA
Sigrun Marie Moss, Norwegian University of Technology, Norway
Marco Motta, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Laura Murray, Avon Wildlife Trust, United Kingdom
Jeremy Prestholdt, University of California San Diego, USA
Allyson Purpura, University of Illinois Champaign Urbana, USA
Morgan J. Robinson, Princeton University, USA
Erin Stiles, University of Nevada, USA
Kjetil Tronvoll, International Law & Policy Institute, Norway
1 November 2015