At the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit in the Sudan, African leaders have discussed the increasing role being played in the continent by Soviet and Cuban military forces.
GV Friendship Hall in Khartoum
CU President of Somalia Siad Mohammed Barre speaking in English
CU Ethiopian Foreign Minister Mr. Feleke Giorgis speaking
CU Nigerian Head of State Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo speaking in English
SEQ. 2: TRANSCRIPT: BARRE: "The two superpowers recognise the catastrophic implications of the direct confrontation between themselves and they, in all their actions, are anxious to spare their own people from the havoc and misery of war. In order to be reminded of the possibility of direct confrontation, they camouflage their military interventions in various parts of the world by use of surrogate and mercenary forces. In this respect, Cuba is the surrogate of the Soviet Union in the Horn of Africa. In subjugating his nation's interests to that of the world power, by (indistinct) his henchman Cuba, has in recent years completely reversed his position in the international arena."
SEQ. 3: GIORGIS: "Cuba and the Soviet Union cannot be said to be intervening in African affairs since there isn't a single Cuban or Soviet personnel in Africa without being invited by the concerned sovereign state whose prerogative to extend such invitations cannot, in any way, be challenged. The Soviet Union, Cuba and other socialist countries have always been in the forefront when it comes to assisting africa to shake off its colonial yoke while the imperialists and reactionary powers have taken sadistic delight in the agony and death of Africans. The representatives of Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and all those African states who won their independence through bitter struggle bear witness to these facts. Even today, in our struggle against colonialism and racism in ???, Namibia and South Africa, we know from which quarters most of the support for these African causes is coming. At the same time, we also know the allies of our enemies in Southern Africa and those who are assisting the apartheid regime of Pretoria to develop a nuclear capability. It is therefore not difficult for africa to distinguish a supporter from her exploiters, a genuine fried from her mortal enemies."
SEQ. 4: OBASANJO: "Unless we wish an undesirable situation to remain in Africa, recent manoeuvres in Europe and America strengthen our suspicions in this respect. We should not be over concerned by the presence of those we invited to fight for specific causes and no more. The Cubans are, of course, much of a newcomer to Africa. Their presence has the same background as the Soviets. In every case, whore Cuba's intervention was established, they intervened as a consequence of the failure of western policies and on behalf of legitimate African interests. We have no right to condemn the Cubans nor the countries which felt they needed Cuban assistance to consolidate their sovereignty or territorial integrity."
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Background: At the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit in the Sudan, African leaders have discussed the increasing role being played in the continent by Soviet and Cuban military forces. the President of Somalia, Said Mohammed Barre attacked the Cubans who he described as the "surrogate of the Soviet Union in the Horn of Africa" and said that heavy concentrations of Cuban and Ethiopian troops close to his borders were preparing to invade. But the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Feleke Giorgis and Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo both endorsed the Soviet and Cuban presence.
SYNOPSIS: The issue of foreign intervention dominated the summit at Khartoum's Friendship Hall.