Talk:Zanzibar Revolution

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Page move proposal[edit]

The article talks about a massacre and yet the title says it is a revolution. I'm requesting a new title [Zanzibar massacre]. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 14:56, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I second that [Zanzibar massacre]; or even ethnic cleansing. Perhaps a pogrom? Has anyone any information on any of the murderers being brought to justice? I've seen the film and it is brutal.

The article says about the successful evacuation of British Nationals (whites) only but does not mention any thing about Indians and others who were British Nationals and holding British Passports who were left to fend themselves.This was a real case of apartheid and colour discrimination.Even today these Indians and others who were British Nationals by registration under British Nationality Act 1948 and were holding valid British Passports are left high and dry by the British Government that these British Citizens have forfeited their British Nationality under Zanzibar independence Act 1963 without giving these colour British Citizen the option whether they wanted to opt for Zanzibar Citizenship or retain their british Nationalty.Even after 45 years many of these people are just living a miserable life.It is time the British government gave a though to this and correct the mistake and reinstate the British Nationaliy of these people.Even after 45 years it is not too late. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:02, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Zanzibar Revolution[edit]

Zanzibar64 10:17, 15 October 2007 (UTC) The Revolution occured during the night of January 12th 1964. It was a violent one. over the following weeks and months, many thousand Zanzibari Arabs and others were killed. There are various reference books that can be supplied to support this.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Zanzibar Revolution/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

On first glance, this looks very good. I expect a pass. A few things:


  • This is a personal preference: I know there are a group of Infobox haters on Wikipedia. And I have nothing wrong with that. However, is it possible that you add one? ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 01:07, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I have added an infobox. I left out the strengths of the forces as I only have figures for Okello's men (which is still an estimate) and the casualties as there were relatively few in the actual fighting (I have not found any figures for Okello's casualties) but most were in the massacre afterwards (estimates for which vary widely). If I find any more info I will, of course, expand this - Dumelow (talk) 10:47, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I still think you should add the estimate for Okello's men and the caualties - some information is better than none. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 20:37, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
OK now done - Dumelow (talk) 23:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "The revolution occurred early on the morning of 12 January 1964 when the revolutionaries overran the country's police force and took their weaponry before proceeding to Zanzibar Town and overthrowing the Sultan and government." - I think this should probably be mentioned first, ahead of the motives. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 01:11, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I have changed the lead, hopefully for the better - Dumelow (talk) 10:34, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for reviewing this article. I agree with what you say and will get on it as soon as possible (bit busy at the moment). Many thanks- Dumelow (talk) 08:26, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey, I'm not done reviewing, I just went to bed! On another point, I think the map of Zanzibar should go in the infobox and an image of Karume or Abdullah should go in its place at the Origins section. I'll do some looking myself. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 20:27, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I personally prefer the map where it is, with the section that explains where Zanzibar is. I could not find any PD images relevant to the revolution but perhaps another fair use image may be found to be applicable - Dumelow (talk) 18:02, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "Instead the communist powers of China, East Germany and the USSR gained influence by recognising the country and sending advisors to its government." - I'm sorry, but what influence did they gain? Also, after instead needs a comma. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 20:37, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

::Good catch, there's nothing that states that they directly influenced Zanzibar. I have changed this to read "sought to gain influence" - Dumelow (talk) 22:32, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I was not happy with this and changed it again. Hopefully it is better now - Dumelow (talk) 22:38, 27 October 2008 (UTC)


  • "Prior the revolution the country was governed as a constitutional monarchy under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah who was liked by the majority of population." Priar to the revolution? ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 20:40, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Correct, now done - Dumelow (talk) 22:32, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "Zanzibar had been a part of the British Empire and during the process of decolonisation was allowed some self-governance." Other than elections, anything specific? If not I suggest merging the next too lines to form something along the lines of "Zanzibar had been a part of the British Empire, and during the process of decolonisation British authorities drew constituencies, and held elections held 1961." ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:07, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Yep, that sounds good. Done - Dumelow (talk) 23:16, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "Despite winning a majority of the vote, the ASP, led by Abeid Amani Karume, did not win the majority of seats." - I'm assuming this refers to the previos election. This should be made a tad clearer. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:08, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I have, hopefully, clarified this now - Dumelow (talk) 23:16, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "The ZNP/ZPPP coalition won the next election in July 1963 again, despite the ASP gaining 54% of the vote, and set about strengthening their power still further.[3][5] The ASP gained just 13 of the 31 seats in the parliament." - A bit messy. I think the amount of the vote the ASP received and number of seats should be combined in a seperate sentence. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:13, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Now combined and a few prose changes made - Dumelow (talk) 08:26, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

The revolution[edit]

  • "Abdulrahman Muhammad Babu, the leader of the Umma Party was also absent, being in Dar es Salaam at the time of the revolution." - seems out of place ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:22, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Made a few changes to this section, hopefully flows a little better now - Dumelow (talk) 17:58, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "Following the revolution..." - Personal preference again, ignore if you want, but I think this entire paragraph belongs in the next section. Are you sure absolutely nothing more is available on the revolution itself? Check out 1964 Gabon coup d'etat for what I mean - and this coup wasn't even successful! ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:26, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah ideally it would be with the aftermath section as it does not deal with the revolution itself. However details are very sketchy of the actual events of the revolution with the official Zanzibar government version not being trustworthy. The only other source I can find is a book on the revolution by Okello which has been reviewed as unreliable by the African Studies Review Journal. Those really are the only actual facts that I can find on the event, sorry - Dumelow (talk) 00:05, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Does the African Studies Review Journal state exactly what is unreliable about it? what facts it overlooked? ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 00:26, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
It just says unreliable and that Okello was egotistical and mentally unstable. The review is here if you want it. It is primarily a review of another source I was considering (Revolution in Zanzibar: An American's Cold War Tale by Don Petterson) but it is pretty damning of that as well. The African Studies review is the only book review of it that I have been able to find and is published by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts. Cheers - Dumelow (talk) 00:38, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Could you mention what he said he was doing during the revolution, while saying that he was mentally unstable? For example 1964 Gabon mentions how Paul Yembit claimed that he called for French intervention while rebels held Leon M'ba hostage, when he was in reality doing some campaigning. Really, no more news reports either? ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:20, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a good compromise. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the book and have been unable to find it for a reasonable price, but if I can get hold of a copy in the future then I will certainly add relevant information to the article. As to the news articles, the only online source I have been able to find is the NYT stuff. Unfortunately I do not have a subscription to their full archive and can only read the first paragraph of any article. If a NYT subscriber could be found then more information on the actual revolution may be available from there. I should add that this is not my main area of expertise on Wikipedia (that is historical British civil engineers!) but I came to this in a roundabout way from the Anglo-Zanzibar War which I have edited extensively. I therefore do not have many relevant offline sources to hand. Thanks for your help thus far and for any further advice you can offer - Dumelow (talk) 23:46, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I know User:Nishkid64 has access to a bunch of newspaper archives - ask him. I won't fail this because the article could be expanded a bit, though I do imagine you will be sending this through FAC and I just want to prep you for that. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:53, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks, I will head over to his talk page and ask him - Dumelow (talk) 00:09, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

(arbitrary break)Thanks to some pdfs of the articles that User:Nishkid64 sent me I have expanded the info on the revolution and moved the "following the revolution..." bit to the aftermath. Hopefully the article is a bit more complete now - Dumelow (talk) 21:44, 31 October 2008 (UTC)


  • "After the confused events of 12 January a temporary government was set up by the ASP and Umma Party" - Confused events? Why not just revolution? ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 00:24, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
See next bullet - Dumelow (talk) 13:20, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "This took the name of the Revolutionary Council and Karume, the leader of the ASP, was named President with Babu, leader of the Umma Party, as his Minister of External Affairs." A bit long. I think it would sound better as "This took the name of the Revolutionary Council and Karume, the leader of the ASP, was named President. Babu, leader of the Umma Party, was named his Minister of External Affairs." Also, why do you restate that Karume was the leader of the ASP when it said that in the "Origins" section? Seem a bit redundant ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 00:28, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I have rewritten this bit and the sentence mentioned above, moving some parts to different paragraphs and making other changes, and hopefully it is better now - Dumelow (talk) 13:20, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I probably messed up the refs when copyediting the senteces following "Following the revolution..." Please fix these if I did. ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 01:18, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Fixed - Dumelow (talk) 12:33, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "The New York Times ran with a figure of 2,000–4,000 deaths." - is this really that important? What makes this more notable than figures from other news agencies? ~one of many editorofthewikis (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 01:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps not. It is the only number that I have seen quoted in (reliable) news articles so I added it for comparison with the widely varying estimates. i thought it might be useful to see how the western press assessed the casualty figures coming out of Zanzibar. I will ltake a look for some more figures from other sources to see if I can improve this bit - Dumelow (talk) 12:33, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Foreign reaction[edit]

  • "British military forces in Kenya were made aware of the revolution at 4.45 am on 12 January and were put on 15 minute standby to conduct an assault on Zanzibar's airfield in light of a request for assistance from the Sultan." - this needs commas or needs to be broken up. ~the editorofthewiki (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 00:47, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Should read a bit better now - Dumelow (talk) 12:14, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about that, must be a bad habit I have developed. I have removed instances which I think are overreffed from the entire section. Thanks - Dumelow (talk) 12:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I rewrote that part - Dumelow (talk) 11:52, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "The Western Powers were still concerned by the possibility of a communist state emerging. In February the British Defence and Overseas Policy Committee said that whilst British commercial interests in Zanzibar were "minute" and the revolution by itself was "not important" the possibility of intervention must be maintained as Zanzibar could as a centre for the promotion of communism in Africa much like Cuba in the Americas." - too long. ~the editorofthewiki (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 23:03, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Fixed (my sentence there made no sense anyway!) - Dumelow (talk) 23:44, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

British military response[edit]

  • "The forces were to land by parachute and helicopter and take first Unguja and then Pemba in the largest British airborne and amphibious operation since the Suez Crisis." - do you mean "first take?" ~the editorofthewiki (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 21:40, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Poor wording on my part. I have rewritten that part to remove it - Dumelow (talk) 22:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "As the situation developed a new plan was designed, known as Operation Boris this would have involved a unit of paratroopers flying out from Kenyan airfields to land on the island." - unclear. Is this supposed to be two sentences? ~the editorofthewiki (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 02:12, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Should read better now - Dumelow (talk) 12:06, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


Fixed - can't believe I missed that! - Dumelow (talk) 15:00, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Passing. Congratualations! ~the editorofthewiki (talk/contribs/editor review)~ 18:47, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Many thanks for a thorough review of the article which has helped it to improve greatly. Next stop: A class! - Dumelow (talk) 22:32, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Forced marriages? They are not mentioned here, but how big an issue were they?[edit]

when I google "zanzibar forced marriages" I get 64K hits, presumably related to the revolutionaries forcibly marrying women of Arab and Shirazi descent. The current article makes no mention of this practice in the early post-revolutionary period. Can somebody more knowledgeable discuss this, especially if this was a big deal then, or else at least explain why it WASN'T a big deal? (talk) 23:43, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Copyedit notes[edit]

A few questions, comments etc for the subject expert(s)... EyeSerenetalk 10:10, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

  • The article feels slightly unbalanced at the moment. We have a short(ish) section on the actual revolution itself, while the longest sections are on the foreign reaction and British military response. Can we get more information for the former? Looking at other articles, I see that Okello's article claims he organised the coup without Karume et al's knowledge, and it was he who set up the Council - this seems to be an important snippet that, if supported, should be included. There is some other stuff in related articles that may also be useful (as in Babu's, which claims he was later involved in Karume's assassination - could be mentioned in 'Legacy'?).
I had meant to develop Okello's article further but haven't got round to it (not enough time on my hands for another big article yet). The mention of Karume and Babu not being informed about the coup seems to have remained from an early form of the article. I have not seen any references in the sources I have access to about this fact and I think it may have come from Okello's autobiography (which is not a reliable source). I will take a look and see if I can find an RS that states this. It is a similar case with the claim about Babu, his article is sourced to two dubious websites. Non of the newspaper archives that I can access have details about his involvement, just that four gunmen shot him. I will continue looking though. It is a shame that there I could find very few RS about the actual revolution as it is a very important time in East Africa's history but the only part covered in detail is the immediate aftermath and the British plans. Thanks for bringing this up - Dumelow (talk) 14:53, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Heh, I'm not surprised at the difficulties you've had with sourcing, given the nature of the subject ;) I think it's right to go with what we can source over concerns about completeness. EyeSerenetalk 12:32, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The organisation of the uprising could do with more detail - currently we seem to have a relatively stable country with a popular Sultan, then a few hundred revolutionaries spontaneously appear and overthrow the government. Presumably there must have been some training and organisation going on? What made the British believe civil disorder was so likely?
Again I have drawn a blank in this area. There doesn't seem to be much recorded about the planning of the revolution. Speller mentions a few things which I will add shortly. He also says that the British civil disorder predictions were accompanied by intelligence of increased Communist activity in the area. I will add that as well. Thanks - Dumelow (talk) 16:03, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I have tried to clear up the bit on leadership but couldn't get the text to read right (It is fragmented into two sentences at the moment) and you may want to take a look over it. Cheers - Dumelow (talk) 16:15, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I think that helps. Everyone does seem to agree that Okello appeared almost from nowhere, so there obviously wasn't any particular attention paid to him before the revolution - reflected in the apparent lack of information. If the Brits were concentrating on possible communist subversion I suppose they wouldn't have been looking at him much anyway. EyeSerenetalk 12:32, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Karume's article claims he wasn't taken out of Zanzibar until the day after the revolution.
Interesting. I have not seen that claim made by an RS before (discounting the official history). I think that might be the result of some vandalism somewhere along the line. An older version of the article says "Karume was not in Zanzibar on 12 January 1964". I will hop over to the article and correct it (with a ref). It is a shame that the supporting biography articles are in such poor states - Dumelow (talk) 17:59, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it might help to attribute some of the opinion in the article ("According to one source..."; "A moderate socialist, Karume may have agreed to the merger..."). How would we describe the sources for these? Historians? Writers? Commentators?
I have tried to introduce this in the two places you mentioned (I used historians) and changed the bit about the merger to, hopefully, clarify the sources - Dumelow (talk) 17:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "Many Arabs fled to Oman..." Elsewhere I've seen "expelled" used - were there expulsions too?
I can't recall reading about forced expulsions but it is a possibility. Do you have any more information on this? Cheers - Dumelow (talk) 17:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't - I can't remember where I read it, though it was probably in one of the other related articles. EyeSerenetalk 10:23, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Is there any more information for the Legacy section regarding the atrocities that were committed during the revolution? Prosecutions, reconciliation, that sort of thing... EyeSerenetalk 10:23, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

An eyewitness account of revolution is that Abdul Rehman Babu,a communist and a member of ZNP fall out from ZNP and escaped to main land Tanganyika.He organised the revolution.Most of the revolutioneries were outsiders from main land and not Zanzibaris except AR Babu who was a Gazija,that is the cross breed of an Arab and African.The so called revolutionaries were having support of Nyerere and most of these revolutioneries were trained near Velezo in the jungle.Some of the revolutioneris were policemen in Zanzibar Police.Tanganyika was involved in the Mapinduzi. There were about two hundred revolutionaries in the beginning.The Police Officer (name forgotten)in charge of Zanzibar Mobile Force Camp At Mtoni that fateful day had all the weapond of these armed police deposited in the armoury as part of conspiracy.The first ever casualty of the so called revolution was a sentry in the sentry box at the gate of Mtoni Zanzibar Mobile Force camp.There after the armed man entered the camp killing other four guards and broke opened the doors of armoury and looted the weapons.The unarmed police force was taken asleep at Mton and many lost their lives and some joined the revolutioneris. There after the killing and plundering took place and continued for several days.The so called Field Marshall John Okello was a outsider and a mason.All the time Abdul Rehman Babu was in Tanganyika.

The last police station to fall was Mulandege police station.The Sultan of Zanzibar escaped in his small ship and was granted assylum in Britain.The rest of the Government ministers were arrested and imprisoned.Some died in prison and others were released after many years in prison.

Arabs and asians were mercilessly murdered and their women raped and property either plundered or destroyed.Zanzibar was a ghost town.Okello use to announce all sort of whimsical orders from Sauti ya Unguja.

British naval force evacuted its white British nationals living the Asian British Citizens to their fate and at the mercy of Okello and his men who raped young girls and committed all kind of atrocities.Many people fled the country at the first opportunity.Some to main land and others to either middle east or India.

All this time Karume was in hiding but not in Zanzibar.Both Karume and Babu stayed out side the Island in Dar Es Sallam for fear of arrest in case the revolution failed.

Those people who left Zanzibar after revolution are not allowed to return re enter Zanzibar till date even though they were born in Zanzibar and had their property there.

The Brirish have disown the British Citizens of Asian origin and are not allowed to enter or stay in Britain.

It was belief at that time that the Brirish knew about the comming revolution but did not inform the Zanzibar Goverment to settle the score.It was a case of wounded pride and hurt ego. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:32, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the information - are you able to provide sources for this (ie books, reputable websites or newspapers)? Because Wikipedia can only report what others have already published, unfortunately we can't include any information that can't be verified by reference to what Wikipedia calls reliable sources (click on the link for more information). EyeSerenetalk 08:17, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


Targeting of Arabs for mass killings, isn't that genocide? -- (talk) 23:05, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Seriously guys, is this necessary...[edit]

Operation Parthenon——name change——>Operation Boris——name change——>Operation Finery——name change——>Operation Shed——name change——>Plan Giralda——>CANCELED

We don't need 5 large yet almost identical articles of operations that all failed to be implemented, do we? (talk) 10:19, 13 May 2015 (UTC)