Last modified: 2006-01-07 by bruce berry
Keywords: zanzibar | oman | helgoland |
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In historical times, the island of Zanzibar, famous for its trade in
spices and slaves, was part of the Sultanate of Oman,
as was much of the East African coast. Oman flew a plain red flag. This
continued in use after the Sultan Sayyid transferred his seat of government
to Zanzibar in 1840.
Stuart Notholt, 29 Jun 1996
The text is incorrect.
First, Germany's (indirect) claim on sections of the mainland coast of East Africa was established in a treaty with Britain in 1885 (not in 1884); at that time both the British and the Germans respected the independence of the Sultanate of Zanzibar. When the German administration in places on the mainland coast, established in accordance with the Sultan (a treaty had been signed) met the determined resistance of the population, the British and Germans blockaded the coast, in the name of the Sultan. What has happened in 1890 was that the Germans ceded their claim over Witu and recognized the (new) establishment of a British protectorate over the (hitherto independent) Sultanate of Zanzibar. The idea of Germany 'ceding' Zanzibar in 1890 is a rather popular misconception in colonial history.
Alexander Ganse, 26 Jul 2001