West 5 abstain in Namibia vote
United Nations, N.Y.
The United States along with the other four Western powers (Britain, Canada, West Germany, France), which drafted the UN plan for the independence of Namibia , abstained as the United Nations General Assembly voted for sanctions against South Africa.
Eleven resolutions were adopted against South Africa's illegal occupation of Namibia, 10 of which had been approved in 1979. One was submitted for the first time.
The latest resolution condemns South Africa for "blocking a peaceful settlement of the problem" and urges sanctions against South Africa. It was adopted by 114 votes to 0 with 22 abstentions. The decision to abstain by the US on these resolutions was greeted by the other four with a sigh of relief.
This does not necessarily mean, however, that the five Western nations will pursue their joint efforts to persuade South Africa to comply with the UN plan or that the US would not use its veto at the Security Council to block an embargo against South Africa.
Meanwhile in Boston, the Boston Ballet has canceled plans for a two- week tour this summer to South Africa. The company cited increasing pressure from black nationalist and anti-apartheid groups to abandon the tour as instrumental in their decision.