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CSUB History Forum Presents “The Wiriyamu Massacre of 1972 Examined”

The California State University, Bakersfield, History Forum presents “Epistemological Imperialism and Mass Violence in World History: The Wiryamu Massacre of 1972 Examined.” Speaker Mustafah Dhada, CSUB Professor of History, will lead the discussion on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 3:30pm in the Music Building, room 112.

Three years before it exited Mozambique as its imperial ruler, Portugal’s colonial army massacred nearly 400 civilians in Wiriyamu.  Portugal initially denied the carnage and then admitted it - not in the scale as publicly revealed - as an inevitable consequence of hunting down insurgents clamoring for independence in Mozambique.  Portugal’s refusal to allow the United Nations to investigate the massacre compounded the problem of knowing why, how, and what happened at Wiriyamu.  Dhada will discuss his research on this topic, including his personal toll and his methodology.

“The substance of this research has profound implications on Portugal's colonial past and its conduct in violating basic and collective human rights in colonial Africa,” said Dhada.  “The research is a culmination of twenty years of painstaking historical reconstruction of massacres which will be published in a forthcoming monograph and for which Portugal is still held unaccountable to this day. The magnitude of the slayings rivals that of King Leopold's in Belgian Congo.  Nothing of this magnitude has been tackled by historians in the field."

Dhada was born in Mozambique, is a Fulbright Scholar (1994-1995), Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and teaches African and Middle Eastern history at CSUB. His full CV can be found at For more information on the event, please call the CSUB History Department at 661-654-3079.

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