African delegates fired their opening shots on Friday (17July) in the United Nations Security Council debate on the sale of arms to South Africa.
African delegates fired their opening shots on Friday (17July) in the United Nations Security Council debate on the sale of arms to South Africa. The 15-nation council had been called into urgent session at the request of 35 African states, supported by India, pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yugoslavia. Among those expressing their concern about the possibility of arms sales to South Africa was Somali delegate Abdul Rahim Abby Farah, Chairman of the General Assembly's Special Committee on Apartheid.
The opening session had been expected to be a brief one, but reports of an imminent British decision on the resumption of arms sales and a Paris dispatch that a French aircraft firm has offered the South Africans anti-submarine aircraft sparked off a lengthy discussion.
In addition to U.N. Secretary-General U Thant, British Ambassador Frederick Warner attended the debate. Neither Britain nor France replied, but Mr. Warner is expected to speak early next week.
The resolution the Afro-Asians will submit to the Council at the end of the debate is expected to include demands that supply of all vehicles and equipment for the use of the South African armed forces be withheld and that all licenses granted to South Africa or South African companies for the manufacture of arms be revoked.
Diplomatic observers doubted, however, that the Council could in fact do more that reaffirm its mandatory embargo of 1963 and 1964.