Monday, January 26, 2015


Today at 6pm the launch of Albert Rene's book will take place in London at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). This will be presented by Dr. Shillington, the author of this book. In our opinion the book does not reflect the true historical view of the Seychelles and we feel that it is our duty as freedom loving Seychellois to stand for truth in our history. We have written a letter addressed to Dr. Michael Jennings, Chair, Center of African Studies to register our points as well. The letter and ensuing communication with Dr. Jennings are attached.


Dr. Michael Jennings
                                                                                                            CAS Chairman


Dear Dr. Jennings,

It is with deep regret that we have become aware that your university is collaborating in the launch of a book entitled “Albert Rene – The Father of Modern Seychelles – A biography – by Kevin Shillington”.

Reading the introduction to the launch of this book in the Seychelles government mouthpiece, The Nation, it is obvious even without having read this manuscript, that it is nothing but a collection of fabricated untruths, tendentious interpretation of historical events to give credits to Mr. Rene where credits are not due; in short the material serves as propaganda to assuage the image of a Seychellois tyrant who ruled over his people as a  Marxist dictator for 15 years (Amnesty International has documented numerous disappearances and deaths during the period) and only gave up power after world communism had collapsed and the Seychelles economy was on the ropes under combined pressure from the Western democratic governments and the commonwealth.

Referring to Rene as “The Father of Modern Seychelles” and then to “Seychelles’ subjectivity to post slavery…” to “a present cohesive multi cultural society…” are tendentious phrases designed to give credit to Rene for historical events that preceded his accession to power such as a unique multiracial society which the author preferred to call it by UK’s politically correctness term multi cultural, for there has been for centuries  only one culture in Seychelles which was and is driven by Christianity. That leads one to conclude that Dr. Kevin Shillington has either been misled or is ignorant of the real facts that belie the history of Seychelles or that he may be a mercenary “historian” or sycophantic propagandist who will write anything as long as he gets paid handsomely for it.

There is no doubt that this fabricated fairy tale will paint Albert Rene as a liberator of the people of Seychelles from colonialism and “slavery”. I doubt that the book will acknowledge, that, at the time Seychelles became independent voluntarily, the British Labour government of the time had taken a policy decision to rid itself of much of its colonies. Seychelles was one of those on the list. The fact is that when Seychelles was forced to take its independence from Britain, the matter was never referred to the people in a referendum. If it had at the time, it is most likely that the majority would have rejected independence and voted to remain with Britain. Nevertheless the fact is also that the transition to this forced independence was smooth and peaceful and Seychelles became a republic under a democratically elected government led by Sir James Mancham. The next fact is that Albert Rene was graciously given the post of Prime Minister by a magnanimous Mancham, in the spirit of national reconciliation, in spite of the fact that Rene has been soundly beaten in the elections. Barely ten months after, Rene in an act of treachery and without any justification violently overthrew the very coalition government with the aid of Tanzanian mercenaries while President Mancham was attending HM Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee in London. He repaid Mancham’s magnanimity with the crime of high treason.

Following his coup his first act was to abrogate the constitution and rule by decree. He quickly imposed a one party state and a rule of brutal oppression with the help of North Korean, Tanzanian and Libyan mercenaries followed. Political opponents were murdered, made to disappear, jailed without trial or sent into exile. Rene usurped the economy of the islands and put it all under the control of his family members. Properties were confiscated a la Mugabe.

The fact is that Rene was a brutal dictator who has polarised Seychellois society leaving it all but cohesive, and one that still bears the scars of his excesses today. If anyone wants to know of the real Albert Rene, they only have to go on the numerous websites and read about the real history of Seychelles. He cannot control the web like he does the media in the Seychelles and it is the only place where the truth is told in all its glory.

It is rather disappointing that your university that enjoys all the perks of being lodged in a free and democratic country will play a role in glamorizing such a dictator by allowing his fictional and distorted biography to be launched in one of its hallowed halls. It is a crying shame that your august institution, which should promote academic excellence, integrity and the truth, should become embroiled in such an act of deception.

I shall be posting a copy of this letter on a Facebook site which is dedicated to the memory of Gerard Hoarau, who was assassinated in the streets of London in 1985.


Thank you for your email. I understand the reasons why you are angered by this publication (which we have nothing to do with), and about the book launch which we are hosting.

Although we are hosting the book launch, we are not by doing so endorsing any of the views in the book, nor the narrative of the history of Seychelles that is contained within it. We do not set out to cause anger and upset amongst any communities or individuals. However, the role of the Centre of African Studies, as with SOAS, University of London of which we are part, is to facilitate and support academic research, debate and discussion, even that which may prove contentious or be challenged. As an academic institution, we support the freedom of academic enquiry, just as we fully support the right of people to robustly challenge that enquiry and the analysis that emerges from it.

Best wishes,

Mike Jennings


Dear Dr. Jennings,

Thank you for your prompt reply to my letter which has been much appreciated. I am pleased to hear that the University which is part of the group comprising UCL, where my son is currently doing his LLM, is not endorsing this flawed narrative of Seychelles history. However in the spirit of presenting, as you rightly call it “a robust challenge” and a balanced view of this situation, it would be most app...reciated if perhaps it could be arranged that a copy or copies of my letter be displayed prominently at the launch venue so that your students and other attendees may hear a very small part of the other side of this story.

Again I thank you for your reply and your kind consideration in this matter.

Source:Seychelles Hero: Gerard Hoarau Group