At the United Nations, African members of the Security Council have again called for a mandatory ban on arms sales to South Africa.
At the United Nations, African members of the Security Council have again called for a mandatory ban on arms sales to South Africa. The move follows bannings, detentions and newspaper closures in South Africa last week to suppress anti-apartheid activity.
SYNOPSIS: A meeting of the 15 member-nations of the Security Council was called on Monday (24 October) at the request of the African Group chairman, Mahmoud Mestiri, who is Ambassador of Tunisia. During the brief meeting, Mr. Mestiri formally reactivated four draft resolutions that had been held since March after an inconclusive debate then on the South African situation. The Council is now urged to adopt measures to end military and nuclear co-operation with South Africa and to curb investments and loans to that country. Opening this week's council debate, Mr Mestiri said that if the United Nations did not meet Pretoria's most recent challenge, no decisive progress could be made anywhere in Southern Africa. But he said the African Group was not suggesting that the challenge or racist violence should be met by what he termed legitimate violence of enforcement action.
The Council adjourned after hearing a supporting speech by David Sibeko of the outlawed Pan Africanist Congress.
Diplomatic sources believe there is now a good chance that both the arms embargo and a curb on new investments will be approved, though possibly with the Western members abstaining.
Mr. Sibeko gave this view of the situation.
SIBEKO: "In spite of the savage massacres which have wasted over 1,000 black lives-including four-year-olds-the masses continue to rise in tidal waves in cities and in villages, in urban townships and in the hated Bantustans. At last the Vorster regime has been forced to openly acknowledge that there is a national uprising in the south. Fearing that this uprising is now destined to grow into all out arms struggle, the apartheid regime has virtually declared a state of emergency as a first step towards severely tightening the draconian laws that already exist in that country."