The ninth extraordinary meeting of ministers of the Organisation of African Unity opened in Dar Es Salaam on Monday (7 April).
The ninth extraordinary meeting of ministers of the Organisation of African Unity opened in Dar Es Salaam on Monday (7 April). The meeting was called to discuss the situation in southern Africa.
Sixty delegations had arrived in Tanzania by the time the conference opened. Forty-two were from member countries, the rest observers.
Accompanying the Zambian delegation was the wife of the assassinated Rhodesian nationalist leader Herbert Chitepo and his five children.
But the biggest welcome was reversed for Zimbabwe nationalist leaders headed by Bishop Abel Muzorewa of the African National Council. With him were Mr. Ndabaningi Sithole -- who was carried across the airport tarmac on the shoulders of his supporters -- and Mr. Joshua Nkomo.
Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere had also arrived back in his country on the same flight.
In this opening address President Nyerere described South Africa as the key to the liberation struggle in all the territories of southern Africa.
The conference, he said, was not about dialogue or detente; it was about the liberation of southern Africa.
He called for the continued isolation of South Africa but he also offered backing in any negotiations between southern African liberation movements and the white minority governments.