Heads of State at the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) conference in Liberia have dropped the divisive issue of Tanzania's invasion of Uganda, but only after the annual summit exploded into violent agreements.
GV & SV OAU BUILDING IN MONROVIA WITH FLAGS FLYING
SV EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT ANWAR SADAT AND WIFE ENTERING BUILDING
SG GUINEA PRESIDENT AHMED SEKOU TOURE ARRIVES
SV LIBYAN FOREIGN MINISTER ABDELSALAM TURKEIKI ARRIVES
SV NIGERIAN PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO ARRIVES
SV UGANDAN PRESIDENT GODFREY BINAISA ARRIVES
GV OAU ASSEMBLY DELEGATES SEATED
SV LIBERIAN PRESIDENT WILLIAM TOLBERT ADDRESSING ASSEMBLY
SV UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY KURT WALDHEIM AND OFFICIALS LISTENING TO SPEECH
GV DELEGATES SEATED IN CONFERENCE
SV OAU OUTGOING CHAIRMAN PRESIDENT JAFAAR NIMEIRI ADDRESSING CONFERENCE
SV TANZANIAN PRESIDENT JULIUS NYERERE SPEAKING (2 SHOTS) AND DELEGATES APPLAUD
TRANSCRIPT: TOLBERT: "On this prestigious occasion of another happy gathering, my dear brothers, it is still our profound pride and honour on behalf of the government, the jubilant members of the True Whig party and joyful Liberian citizenry, and in our own name, to welcome you to this land of hospitality which offers with outstretched arms and a home to every African."
IMEIRI TRANSLATOR: "This regrettable conflict between the two sister states, and the serious results, were a regrettable African precedent, and I believe that we are called upon to examine it is adherence to the charter of the organisation of African Unity, which prevents interference in the external affairs of any country, and does not permit the armed invasion of the territories of others. I think we are also called upon to examine this serious precedent, and to receive the necessary message and lesson from it, so we will not be surprised by its repetition once again in another part of our beloved continent."
NYERERE: "He wants this matter discussed. My only criticism i that he would like to see in the dock, not the aggressor in the dock, but the victim of aggression. But at least I am glad that he is now prepared to see that type of aggression discussed, by the OAU. Thank you Mr. Chairman."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Heads of State at the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) conference in Liberia have dropped the divisive issue of Tanzania's invasion of Uganda, but only after the annual summit exploded into violent agreements. They broke out on Wednesday night (18 July), following a blunt address by Uganda's new President, Godfrey Binaisa. He attacked former President Idi Amin, calling him a primitive fascist, and strongly defending Tanzania's military intervention to oust Amin. The OAU is under pressure to revise its charter to give it greater power to deal with African wars and disputes. But the issue reached a deadlock with some factions insisting that Tanzania's intervention must not be condoned, while other countries fully supported the armed invasion of Uganda.
SYNOPSIS: The OAU conference in Monrovia got underway on Tuesday (17 July). Trouble started immediately with a walkout by Arab and Left wing African leaders when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat---seen arriving here--later took the podium to defend his peace treaty with Israel. Among those attending the first session were Guinea's President, Ahmed Sekou Toure, and Libyan Foreign Minister, Abdelsalam Turkeiki, who criticised Tanzania's intervention into Uganda. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said no African leader had the right to forcibly effect a change in the government of another country, but Uganda's President Binaisa challenged the OAU on its record of silence on human rights violations in Uganda and other African countries. Liberian President, William Tolbert, opened the first session on a note of optimism.
Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere and Sudanese President Jaafar Limerri, then began the debate on interventionism in Africa.