Magazine article The Nation

Nonaligned Speak

Magazine article The Nation

Nonaligned Speak

Article excerpt

The South African government's April 18 announcement that it intended to recognize a puppet government in Namibia called the Multi-Party Conference [see David L. Goodman's cover story] came on the eve of a meeting in New Delhi by the Non-Aligned Movement's coordinating bureau on the territory. The N.A.M. body, which has actively supported the cause of Namibian independence for two decades, took several strong actions in response. Most important, it called on the U.N. Security Council to take up the issue forthwith and it pledged military and material support for the Namibian liberation movement, Swapo, and for the frontline states.

In his first address as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi provided further backing for Swapo by granting it full diplomatic recognition. India's action opens the door for other countries in the movement to follow suit. Diplomatic recognition will give Swapo international legitimacy as the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people and will make any negotiations for an independence settlement impossible without its participation.

The mood in New Delhi was more determined than at previous meetings of the coordinating bureau. Faced with South Africa's clear refusal to resolve the Namibian question through diplomacy, the N.A.M. was forced to re-examine its security policies in the region and to develop new techniques to oppose South African violations of the sovereignty of the frontline states. …

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