In Rhodesia, the flames of war are daily being fuelled by increasingly heavy attacks from across the Mozambique border.
In Rhodesia, the flames of war are daily being fuelled by increasingly heavy attacks from across the Mozambique border. So far, Rhodesian security forces have prevented nationalist guerrillas and Mozambiquan Frelimo troops from fanning the embers into a full-scale conflagration.
SYNOPSIS: But the spark which could explode the gunpowder keg of full-scale war is the forgotten 'second front' -- the 450 miles (725 kilometres) of Zambezi Riber border with Zambia. The Zambezi front has already seen three years of guerrilla fighting in past attempts to dislodge the white minority regime. For the moment it's quiet -- but there are signs that it's going to be opened up again. If it is, Rhodesia's already-overburdened security forces could be stretched even more thinly to fight along the two fronts with a total of more than twelve hundred miles (about 2,000 kilometres) of actively hostile borders. Today the bridge over the border at the Victoria Falls -- once the scene of peace talks -- still carries two-way railway traffic that no-one admits to; Zambian copper one way, Rhodesian grain the other. But two main factors point to the resumption of armed hostility from Rhodesian nationalist guerrillas operating from base camps across the Zambezi.
President Kennety Kaunda of Zambia -- who has been seen to actively seek a peaceful solution for several years -- said recently that the 'time had come to fight'.
And in the wake of the President's warnings of war come reports, which are being taken seriously by Rhodesian security forces, that four hundred Zambian villages along the border are being cleared away. Their inhabitants are being moved further back, away from the front line.
Already the main road south from the Victoria Falls to the Wankie Game Reserve -- Rhodesia's biggest tourist attraction after the Falls - is closed at four every afternoon. The road is heavily patrolled by security forces, and recently Air Rhodesia announced that none of its aircraft would be allowed to remain at the Falls airport overnight.