Southern Africa: The Continuing Crisis

Southern Africa: The Continuing Crisis

Southern Africa: The Continuing Crisis

Southern Africa: The Continuing Crisis

Excerpt

The area dealt with in this book, the Southern-Central African quadrant, is of special significance today both because it holds possibilities of great power confrontations and because more than any place else in the world it is torn by that most explosive of all issues: black-white conflict for power. American concern derives not only from the United States' own racial history but also from its long and close economic ties with dominant white minorities in the quadrant. Under the Carter administration, the American commitment to human rights and majority rule was articulated clearly in relation to the region. But the Reagan administration, with its global approach to East-West issues, stresses the importance of the rich mineral resources and vital strategic location of South Africa, and warns against undermining the control of its numerous and entrenched white minority.

The authors in this book perceive its purpose to be to analyze the historical, political, economic, and social factors that have molded and are molding the policies of the countries discussed. But none sees any particular country in isolation. On the contrary, all are aware that there are certain common historical, political, and geographical characteristics within the region that cause constant interaction: in particular population movements, including labor migration, financial and economic linkages, and potential for future cooperation. While individual case studies note the historic dominance of South Africa in the region, the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980 following that of Mozambique and Angola limits its earlier political and strategic influence. While in the interests of keeping the book within manageable limits we have decided to concentrate particular attention on nine countries of the quadrant (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland), we are well aware that Tanzania; Zaïre, and Malawi may also be considered part of the Southern-Central African quadrant, and their role is referred to in several chapters.

These countries are distinguished from most of their neighbors to the north, in what is known as Black Africa, by their experience of substantial permanent white settlement. White settlement in the quadrant has varied widely, however, from the long-established white presence in South Africa dating back . . .

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