Liberation in Southern Africa: Regional and Swedish Voices : Interviews from Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Frontline and Sweden

By Tor Sellström | Go to book overview

Preface and Acknowledgements

The interviews contained in this book were conducted for a project on National Liberation in Southern Africa: The Role of the Nordic Countries, which had as its main objective to document and analyse the involvement of the Nordic countries in the struggles for majority rule and independence in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Focusing on the relations between the Nordic countries and the Southern African liberation movements, the project findings are published by the Nordic Africa Institute in the form of separate studies on Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. 1

This book is both a companion to the Nordic studies and a reference source. When designed, it was found that the project would benefit from personal inputs by people with a direct experience from—or knowledge about—the relations between the Nordic countries and the Southern African liberation movements. Oral testimonies could inform the studies and add texture to the presentation of a relationship that for reasons of security had largely developed outside the public arena and of which there was little evidence in open sources. 2 There was, in particular, a lack of `voices from the South' in the form of statements and comments by representatives of the liberation movements and their allies.

During the course of the project, it became increasingly apparent that the testimonies should be made available to a wider public. Generally found to contain relevant information and express important opinions on the relations between the Nordic countries and the Southern African nationalist movements, they, for example, ought to be useful for further studies on a number of related questions.

The title—Liberation in Southern Africa: Regional and Swedish Voices—indicates that the book primarily covers Sweden's involvement in the liberation process. 3 Formal interviews were used differently and to varying degrees in the Nordic studies. In addition to the testimonies collected in Southern Africa, more than twenty tape-recorded and transcribed interviews were carried out in Sweden. A smaller number of similarly documented interviews were done in Denmark and Finland, while informal exchanges were conducted in Norway. The interviews done in Sweden are here published with those from Southern Africa.

It has been a time-consuming and arduous task to prepare, transcribe, edit and clear the more than eighty interviews contained in this volume. To state that it has only been possible with the assistance of many and that the book is the result of a collective effort is far from a cliché. My thanks go to all those involved.

____________________
1
Iceland forms part of the Nordic group of countries. Due to its marginal involvement in the liberation process in Southern Africa, no particular Icelandic study has, however, been undertaken. The Danish study is authored by Christopher Morgenstierne; the Finnish by Pekka Peltola and Iina Soiri and the Norwegian one is edited by Tore Linné Eriksen.
2
See the introductory chapter to Volume I of the Swedish study: Tor Sellström: Sweden and National Liberation in Southern Africa: Formation of a Popular Opinion (1950-1970), Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala, 1999.
3
On the 'Swedish bias' of the interviews conducted in Southern Africa, see the Introductory Note.

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Liberation in Southern Africa: Regional and Swedish Voices : Interviews from Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Frontline and Sweden
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Liberation in Southern Africa— Regional and Swedish Voices - Interviews from Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Frontline and Sweden *
  • Contents *
  • Preface and Acknowledgements *
  • An Introductory Note *
  • Angola *
  • Mozambique *
  • Namibia *
  • South Africa *
  • Zimbabwe *
  • Zambia, Oau and the Soviet Union *
  • Sweden *
  • List of Acronyms 356
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