Delegates to the sixteenth Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit held in Monrovia have now left from home with many questioning the usefulness of the annual meetings.
MONROVIA, LIBERIA (RECENT) (REUTERS)
***CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY***
MV Liberian President William Tolbert at rostrum addressing delegates.
GV Conference hall Tolbert speaking in English
CU Africans in national dress
CU Egyptian President Anwar Sadat speaking in Arabic, with President of Algeria, Chadli Benjedid listening (3 SHOTS)
GV Conference hall
MV Sudanese President Nimeiri addressing meeting in English and CU of Tanzanian President Nyerere speaking in English and delegates in national costume listening (4 SHOTS)
CU Nigerian President Obasanjo addressing delegates in English and CU three women listening (3 SHOTS)
GV Conference hall
CU Ugandan President Binaisa speaking in English while delegates listen (5 SHOTS)
CU UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim
CU Assistant Secretary General of OAU
CU Patriotic Front leader Joshua Nkomo speaking in English as delegates listen (3 SHOTS)
OBASANJO: "We fear that the strength of insecurity may be engendered by this act in the weaker and smaller nations of Africa. They may now have to look over the shoulder of their more powerful neighbours at every step the smaller nations take in pursuit of their sovereignty and independence."
BINAISA: "Your excellencies, fascism knows neither colour nor race. The oppression, torture and murder of Africans by black fascists in Kampala is no more acceptable than the oppression, torture and murder of Africans by white racists in Pretoria. In the name of Africa, in the name of Uganda we salute our Tanzanian brothers and sisters for their fraternal solidarity with our people."
NKOMO: "We have been bombarded by what Britain intends doing. They talk about changing the constitution so as to include the Patriotic Front. We don't need to be included. We are the people concerned."
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Background: Delegates to the sixteenth Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit held in Monrovia have now left from home with many questioning the usefulness of the annual meetings. The conference ended last weekend (21-22 July). There were several disagreements during the four-day meeting, some of which resulted in rows or walk-outs, but the forty-nine delegations attending the summit came close to unanimity on the subject of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. A resolution naming the Patriotic Front as the "sole and authentic representative" of the people of Zimbabwe" was adopted, and Britain and the Untied States were warned against recognising the Zimbabwe-Rhodesian Government of Bishop Abel Muzorewa.
SYNOPSIS: Liberian President William Tolbert, who was to be the new chairman of the organisation replacing the Sudanese leader, Jaafar Nimeiri, welcomed the delegates to the summit in Monrovia. The turn-out disappointed some observers: only twenty-five heads of state were among the forty-nine delegations, and several of them left early.
A row broke out and eight delegation leaders left when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat spoke in defence of his country's peace treaty with Israel. President Chadli of Algeria led the walk-out. The future of the former Spanish Sahara--ceded to Morocco and Mauritania--provoked further walk-outs.
The hottest issue was the debate on Tanzania's intervention in Uganda. Sudanese President Nimeiri saw the action as a threat to the OAU charter and called for stronger powers for the OAU chairman. Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo backed this view.
Uganda's President Godfrey Binaisa defended the Tanzanian action: However Patriotic Front leader Joshua Nkomo did succeed in evoking a unified response.