The nineteenth annual summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formally closed in Ethiopia's capital of Addis Ababa, by Ethiopia's head of state, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam on June 13.
GV COPWE headquarters
GV PAN Journalists at desks
SV Mengistu Haile Mariam answers reporters questions (AMHARIC SOT) (6 shots)
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Background: The nineteenth annual summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formally closed in Ethiopia's capital of Addis Ababa, by Ethiopia's head of state, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam on June 13. Colonel Mengistu told a news conference on the same day, that the OAU had survived a crisis without precedent but could now speak with one voice. He attacked South Africa for what he called its 'inhuman policies against its people and terrorism against front-line states' in the region. This year's OAU summit was close to collapse, because of the Polisario question. Only the withdrawal of the Polisario Front, the Western Sahara independence movement, whose OAU admission last year sparked a crisis in the OAU, allowed the summit to end in harmony. A majority of OAU states does not recognise the Polisario as the legal representatives of the Western Sahara, in their view only Morocco has the right to speak on behalf of the Western Sahara. Last year, two attempts to hold the summit collapsed in Tripoli, Libya, without a quorum. Delegates at this year's summit said, a third breakdown would probably have meant the end of the OAU as a united organisation of African states. The OAU's 1984 summit is due to be held in Conakry, Guinea.