Namibia: Assembly Rejects 'Linkage', Calls for Sanctions

UN Chronicle, February 1984 | Go to article overview

Namibia: Assembly Rejects 'Linkage', Calls for Sanctions


The General Assembly on 1 December firmly rejected and condemned attempts by the United States and South Africa to establish a linkage between the independence of Namibia and the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola, and called on the Security Council to immediately impose comprehensive mandatory sanctions and a tighter arms embargo against South Africa. The Assembly took that action in adopting five resolutions (38/36 -A-E) recommended by the United Nations Council for Namibia.

Resolution 38/36 A, which concerns the situation in Namibia resulting from the illegal occupation of the Territory by South Africa, was approved by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to none against, with 28 abstentions. Among its 62 operative paragraphs are those in which the Assembly reaffirmed its earlier commitments regarding Namibia, including the United Nations' direct responsibility for the Territory, under resolution 2145 (XXI), until "genuine self-determination and national independence are achieved". It reaffirmed the Council for Namibia's mandate as the legal Administering Authority for the Territory until independence, as well as recognition of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) as the sole authentic representative of the Namibian people.

In other paragraphs, the Assembly

Condemned South Africa for its military build-up in Namiba and its persistent acts of aggression and subversion against Angola;

Condemned "the continuing military and nuclear collaboration on the part of certain Western countries and Israel" and the increased assistance to South Africa from the major Western countries and Israel;

Declared that the European Parliament's resolution of January 1983 calling on the European Economic community to extend aid to occupied Namibia and the "so-called 'refugees from southern Angola' in Namibia" flouted international law by implying recognition of South Africa's presence in the Territory, while encouraging its aggression against Angola;

Reiterated its call on all States to take measures to prevent the recruitment, training and transit of mercenaries for service in Namibia and asked them to provide assistance, including military assistance, to the front-line States;

Called on Member States and the specialized agencies and other international organizations to render assistance to sWAPO and provide increased aid to Namibian refugees;

Asked the Secretary-General to continue to develop, in consultation with United Nations Development Programme, a comprehensive programme of assistance to neighbouring States of South Africa and Namibia, to enable them to overcome short-term difficulties and move towards complete self-reliance;

Demanded the release of all Namibian political prisoners, declared South Africa liable for compensation to the victims and their families, and demanded that all captured freedom fighters be accorded prisoner-of-war status under the terms of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

All activities of foreign economic interests in Namibia were declared illegal and liable for payment of damages to the future lawful Government. The Assembly asked the Secretary-General to ensure that all banks and other institutions with which the United Nations had contracts were in compliance with its sanctions against South Africa.

Resolution 38/36 B concerns implementation of Security Council resolution 435 (1978). The Assembly reiterated that that resolution, in which the Council endorsed the United Nations plan for the independence of Namibia, was the only basis for a peaceful settlement of the question of Namibia and demanded its "immediate and unconditional implementation without qualification, modification or amendment or the introduction of extraneous and irrelevant issues of 'linkage', 'parallelism' or 'reciprocity' insisted upon by the United States of America and South Africa". …

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