Courtesy Reuters

Struggle for Southern Africa

As the prime minister of a young and developing nation, I observe with sadness that several developing countries are locked in devastating conflicts. In most cases such countries are mere theaters of wars that have nothing to do with their people or their interests. More often than not, such conflicts occur in areas regarded as "spheres of influence" of stronger and wealthier nations. Indeed, most of the wars that have been fought in the last 40 years have been in Third World countries, but involved the limited participation of the superpowers and some of the great powers. Korea, Vietnam and the Middle Eastern wars are some of the conflicts that brought the world close to the brink of a generalized war.

One such area of conflict now is southern Africa. I use the example of my own region because it presents a clear illustration of wanton destruction of lives and property, and of the danger posed to international peace and security.

Zimbabwe and the United States have mutual interests in bringing an end to the problem of apartheid in South Africa. Time has indeed run out, and South Africa now poses a threat to international peace and security that has implications far beyond the borders of the southern African region.

II

The Republic of South Africa is in the middle of a vicious and ugly civil war. The root cause of this crisis is the obnoxious system of apartheid which the majority of black people of South Africa do not want, as well as their own desire for freedom and independence in the land of their birth.

In the run-up to the general elections of May 6, 1987, we heard a lot of rhetoric about reform of apartheid from the ruling National Party, led by President P. W. Botha. But that was soon proven to mean only cosmetic changes affecting pass laws, freehold title, trade unionism and aspects of social segregation. President Botha’s regime is determined to maintain the two pieces of legislation

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