Africans await US support in Rhodesia debate
United Nations, N.Y.
African nations will be looking for American support in the fortcoming United Nations Security Council debate on Rhodesia -- in return for their recent support of the United States on sanctions against Iran.
The US is likely to be reminded of this at the Security Council meeting the Africans have requested to examine the "threat to peace" resulting from "repeated violations" of the London Lancaster House agreements regarding Rhodesia.
Recently, the African members of the Security Council did not turn a deaf ear to the US when it called for their voting support on Iran sanctions. But some Africans said then, "How can one consider the taking of 50 American hostages [in Iran] as a threat to peace when the fact that 800,000 Namibians [in South-West Africa] are kept hostage by South Africa is not considered to be one?"
Should the US not support the Africans in their call for a strict adherence to the London agreement on Rhodesia and the removal of South African troops from Rhodesia, it then would find itself in a difficult position, as far as calling for African support is concerned, if American vital interests were threatened in the future.
The foreign ministers of th five "frontline" states that border on Rhodesia, as well as those of Nigeria, Somalia, Algeria, and Liberia, have come to the UN to dramatize the African complaint against Britain.
The Africans are disturbed by the following violations:
* The presence of South African and other alien forces in Rhodesia.
* The deployment and use of Rhodesia forces by the British Governor to kill and harass Patriotic Front guerrilla forces.
* The renewal of th state of emergency by the Governor for another six months.
They believe that this makes it impossible to have a free and fair election in Rhodesia.
Meanwhile, South Africa has let it be known that it will withdraw its troops from the Beit Bridge area just inside Rhodesia territory.
According to informed diplomats, the British have reminded the Africans that the Governor, Lord Soames, is operating under very difficult circumstances.