INTRODUCTION: The Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) began meeting in Addis Ababa on Tuesday (23 February) and immediately heard a fierce attack on South Africa and a call for mandatory economic sanctions against the Pretoria government.
SV PAN Delegates seated at OAU meeting
SV Assistant Secretary-General of PMAC, Fisseha Desta, speaking to delegates (8 SHOTS)
SV SWAPO delegate Mr. Mweshihange speaking as delegates listen (5 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) began meeting in Addis Ababa on Tuesday (23 February) and immediately heard a fierce attack on South Africa and a call for mandatory economic sanctions against the Pretoria government. A draft resolution approved later called for African states at the United Nations to seek a Security Council meeting by April at the latest. They want this to draw up a comprehensive list of sanctions forcing South Africa to give way in Namibia.
SYNOPSIS: It was the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) which called for the sanctions. Pressure was needed, the SWAPO delegate said, before South Africa would agree to negotiate on Namibia. Meanwhile, the armed struggle would go on.
The delegates were addressed at the opening of the meeting by the assistant Secretary-General of Ethiopia's ruling military council, Colonel Fisseha Desta. In a hard hitting speech, Colonel Fisseha attacked the establishment of foreign military bases in the Indian Ocean and the surrounding areas. This was contrary to the principles and decisions of the OAU, he said, measures should be taken to counter it. Colonel Fisseha also strongly criticised what he said were attempts by enemies of Africa to subvert African states and to seek political and military advantages throughout the continent.
The main speaker on the first day was SWAPO's delegate, Mr. Peter Mweshihange. He said South Africa threatened not only Namibia, but had taken the conflict into other neighbouring states. The failure of the recent Geneva negotiations, he said, left SWAPO with no alternative but to intensify the armed struggle for independence. He stressed that comprehensive and mandatory sactions against South Africa, including an oil embargo, were necessary to force Pretoria to negotiate.