Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

World's Verdict: Apartheid Is Dead

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

World's Verdict: Apartheid Is Dead

Article excerpt

SOUTH Africa is rapidly coming in from the cold. Ever since white voters in March overwhelmingly backed continued negotiations with the African National Congress (ANC), a once-hostile world has been falling all over itself to ease South Africa's outcast status.

Among the most symbolic of recent recognitions was the welcome of South African President Frederik de Klerk to Abuja, Nigeria's new capital. Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, president of Nigeria, is also the current chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

When President Babangida last month rolled out the red carpet for President De Klerk, he conveyed the approval not only of Africa's most populous nation, but, informally, also of the rest of Africa. South Africa intends to apply for membership in the OAU later this year.

Remarkably, Nigeria's invitation to De Klerk was decided in Nigeria without the consultation or concurrence of the ANC. Nelson Mandela, president of the ANC, protested strongly, but Nigerian Foreign Minister Ike Nwachukwu replied that Nigeria's policies would be decided upon only by the interests of Nigeria. As far as Nigeria was concerned, the process of change in South Africa was "irreversible."

Elsewhere in Africa, long hostile nations are seeking South Africa's favor. Tanzania, for decades the home of exiled ANC guerrillas in training, has given South Africa rights to fly over its air space.

Tanzanian businessmen have also persuaded their government to request South African Airways (SAA) to fly to and from Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam. SAA already flies to and from Kenya and the Ivory Coast, as well as to neighboring countries like Zambia and Botswana. Last month, for the first time in 20 years, SAA also resumed flying to Luanda, the capital of Angola.

Diplomatic relations, including the exchange of ambassadors, are about to be resumed with the Ivory Coast and Zambia. (For decades, South Africa's only ambassador in black Africa was based in authoritarian Malawi.)

The Seychelles, off the east coast of Africa, says that it will soon resume diplomatic and trading ties to South Africa. Tiny Djibuti has done the same. …

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