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Easing the Drought in Southern Africa

Thank you for the article "Southern Africa Fights Drought of the Century," Dec. 16, part of a special report on "Southern Africa's Drought." While this focus deserves praise, unfortunately it serves to perpetuate the Western world's perception that Africa's problems are due to local imperfections, and that progress requires guidance from the Western world.

The author states that the drought relief effort has "played a significant role in breaking down political barriers and easing historical tensions...." The relief effort has also "bolstered the fragile peace accord in Mozambique" and "... increased pressures for democratic reforms in Zimbabwe." The failure to point out the role of global powers in creating many of these problems is an extreme oversight. John L. Largier, San Diego

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