Demba Diop, a loyal Pan-Africanist and trade union activist

Already a year since his death…

Even though death is a destiny common to all mortals, that of Demba Diop took us by surprise. He left this world without giving us the slightest indication, thus preventing us from saying our goodbyes. He left this world in silence and total discretion. Diop was a fine man, discreet and not at all talkative in his daily life. He communicated more with his silence and a smile that did not leave his face. Even though he rarely spoke, whenever he did, it carried a lot of meaning.

Demba Diop was convinced of his stance as a pan-Africanist and was part of this race of hardened trade unionists. He was faithful to his principles and convictions, and never compromised on the values he held dear. Despite the horrible torture he experienced in the hands of his jailers during the period of his imprisonment by Moussa Traoré, who overthrew the first President of the Republic of Mali in 1968, he didn’t succumb to the pressure.

Coming from the aviation sector, he engaged in the workers’ union action early on. After having been a member of the leadership of the National Workers’ Union of Mali, he joined the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) in 1986 as Deputy Secretary-General until his retirement in 2012. On March 23, 2020, he died in a hospital in Bamako, Mali.

Leaders around the world, especially trade unionists, will certainly remember him as an honest and committed trade unionist leader. May he rest in perfect peace!