About 500 angry students stormed the British High Commission building in Lusaka on Tuesday (July 21), stoning the barred windows and ripping the Union Jack from its flagpole.
About 500 angry students stormed the British High Commission building in Lusaka on Tuesday (July 21), stoning the barred windows and ripping the Union Jack from its flagpole. The students were demonstrating against the British policy statement on arms for South Africa.
On Thursday (July 23) the Security Council of the United Nations called on all States to ban "unconditionally and without reservation whatsoever" all arms sales to South Africa. Approving a resolution by its African and Asian members, the Council also condemned "violations" of the embargo called for in 1963 and 1964. Britain, France and the United States abstained from the voting.
The protesting students carried placards and banners which read: "Hang Heath High", "Down With Toothless Bulldogs", and "Zambia On the Doorstep of British Arms".
On several occasions the students forced their way past the police cordon to the door of the High Commission. Military Police re-inforcements were rushed up and, after two hours of sporadic battles, finally dispersed the demonstrators with a barrage of tear-gas bombs.
About 30 staff were inside the High Commission building during the demonstration. Also there was the High Commissioner, Mr. Lawrence Pumphrey.
At the time of the demonstration, Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda and his Cabinet were meeting in urgent session at State House about a mile (two kilometres) away, to consider Zambia's position following the statement in the British House of Commons by the Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home on the subject of arms for South Africa.
Five student demonstrators were arrested but later freed after the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia had paid an urgent visit to President Kaunda. One policeman was injured.
A spokesman for the British High Commission said no serious damage had been done to the property, but that a protest would be lodged with the Zambian Foreign Affairs Ministry about the violence display by the students.