Arms sales to South Africa were one of the main topics on the agenda when African Foreign Ministers assembled in Addis Ababa on August 30 and 31.
Arms sales to South Africa were one of the main topics on the agenda when African Foreign Ministers assembled in Addis Ababa on August 30 and 31. They were there to prepare an agenda for the organisation of African Unity (OAU) Heads of State meeting which opened on Tuesday.
The arms sales issue was the subject of a resolution proposed by the Ministerial Council. The draft resolution, placed before the summit, suggested that a special mission of foreign Ministers be sent to France, West Germany, Britain and other countries who were selling or intending to sell arms to South Africa.
It also calls on African governments to exert maximum pressure on countries that sell arms to South Africa to "stop such sales".
All 41 member states of the OAU were expected to be represented at the conference, but only about a dozen heads of state were expected to be present.
This is the first OAU summit not to be faced with a major problem within a member state or among member states since the organisation was formed in 1964.
The majority of items on the agenda deal with routine administrative and institutional matters, although it is expected that debate will become more inflamed when decolonisation is discussed. An important result of the meeting may be the reconciliation of Nigeria with Tanzania and Zambia, following the split when the two states recognised the secessionist Biafra regime during the Nigerian Civil war. Biafra was also recognised by Gabon and the Ivory Coast.