TRANSAFRICA FORUM ISSUE BRIEF SPECIAL

NEW APARTHEID TACTIC IN U.S. ALARMS BLACK, WHITE LEADERS Attempts to Beautify Apartheid's Terrorists, UNITA and Renamo
(Vol. 6, No. 2)
by TransAfrica Forum
Washington, DC, United States
Summer 1987
8 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Contents: INTRODUCTION • THE ATROCITIES OF WAR: The Reality of UNITA and Renamo • The Horrors of War • Children at Risk • Destruction of the Economic Infrastructure • Lasting Effects • THE ORIGINS OF UNITA AND RENAMO • WHO SUPPORTS THEM? • South African Support • American Support • Attempted Inroads into Black America • Other, Non-American Support • Keeping Support in Perspective • U.S. POLICY: THE NEED FOR CHANGE • Current Policy Toward UNITA and Renamo • A Policy Critique • YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE • Southern Africa liberation groups have treasured U.S. connections, especially with multifaceted black American support. In sharp contrast, the U.S. government historically has been unremittingly hostile to their interests. Today, in the milieu of the Reagan Doctrine and escalating pressure against the apartheid, two new groups from Angola and Mozambique - the Union for Total Independence in Angola (UNITA) and the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) - have surfaced in the U.S. claiming to be liberation movements and seeking access to the decisive support that a galvanized black America can offer. Black Americans must scrutinize their claims, credentials and promises. This ISSUE BRIEF SPECIAL answers some questions raised by the new developments. Angola has the highest number of amputees per capita in the world – about 20,000 people; the small land mines that UNITA places along roads and farmland are meant to cause suffering and permanent disfigurement. In Mozambique, Renamo has been accused of similar atrocities. Rebel forces have attacked plantations and civilian villages as well as military targets; the soldiers burn villages after stealing food and other supplies. The inhabitants are then stripped of their clothes, sometimes raped or mutilated, and left to wander in search of food and medical care. As recently as July of 1987, more than 386 Mozambican men, women, and children were shot, bayoneted, or hacked to death by Renamo forces in the coastal village of Homoine. The most heartrending effects of the wars have been the violence committed against children by UNITA and Renamo. Mozambique estimates that more than 100,000 people died in its 1983-84 famine; a similar figure is quoted for Angola between 1980 and 1985. UNITA was formed by Jonas Savimbi who, even his supporters agree, wants power at any cost; an opportunist, Savimbi broke away from the western-backed and now defunct FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola) headed by Holden Roberto, in 1966 to form UNITA. Secret files discovered after the Portuguese coup in April 1974 document extensive contacts between Savimbi and Portuguese authorities and businessmen. When Robert Mugabe's ZANU won the election to lead Zimbabwe in 1980, the Rhodesian secret service reached an agreement with the South African military and secret services to take over funding and direction of Renamo. President Reagan's seven-year old policy of "constructive engagement" has aided and abetted the South African government. The newsletter quotes Coretta Scott King, Congresswomen Patricia Schroeder, Congressman William Gray, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Jesse Jackson, Senator Lowell Weicker, Harry Belafonte, and Randall Robinson. The newsletter mentions the ANC (African National Congress), the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), South African-backed destabilization, journalists, human rights workers, torture, refugees, Ian Smith, Rhodesia's Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), Ken Flowers, the Clark Amendment, terrorist groups, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the American right wing, Cuban troops, Jesse Helms, progressive activists, humanitarian relief efforts, Bob Dole, Luis Serapiao, Assistant Secretary of State Chester Crocker, MPLA, UNICEF (United Nations Children Fund), and TransAfrica staff Niikwao Akuetteh, Ibrahim J. Gassama, Hope Lewis, Cassandra Q. Butts, Maryse-Noelle Mills, Mwiza Muntha, and Kelly Brown.
Used by permission of TransAfrica Forum.
Collection: George M. Houser (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections