TRANSAFRICA NEWS

(Vol. 2, No. 3 Special Edition)
by TransAfrica
with Salih Abdul-Rahim, Mark Wenner
Washington, DC, United States
June 1982
8 pages
Contents: A FIRST YEAR'S ASSESSMENT OF REAGAN POLICY TOWARD AFRICA AND THE CARIBBEAN • THE U.S. AND AFRICA: POLITICAL AND MILITARY RELATIONS • THE U.S. AND AFRICA: ECONOMIC RELATIONS • U.S./CARIBBEAN: POLITICAL AND MILITARY RELATIONS • U.S./CARIBBEAN: ECONOMIC RELATIONS • U.S.-REFUGEE POLICY • RECOMMENDATIONS • U.S. policy towards Africa does little to promote development in order to help alleviate the problems of unemployment, food import dependency, and growing international indebtedness. Africa includes 21 of the 31 poorest countries in the world, and military hardware is the smallest of needs; yet the Reagan administration sought a 178% increase in military aid for Africa with dramatic increases for Morocco and Tunisia, while development aid fell slightly. Sub-Saharan Africa still receive less than one-quarter of the aid that goes to Israel. Continuing white minority rule in South Africa and South Africa’s illegal occupation of Namibia are the source of extreme regional tensions. Support for the liberation struggles in Namibia and South Africa is the single-most unifying factor of intra-African relations, with which the U.S. is at odds. The current armed conflict in the Western Sahara began in 1975, when Spain withdrew its colonial occupation and granted administrative authority to Morocco and Mauritania. Soon thereafter, thousands of Moroccan troops along with a Mauritanian force invaded and occupied the Western Sahara. The International Court of Justice at the Hague ruled that neither nation could claim sovereignty over the mineral-rich territory, and that the question of the self-determination of the peoples of the Western Sahara was unresolved. Following the invasion, 50-80% of the Saharawi people were forced to flee to Algeria where they now live in refugee camps. Although a 1960 agreement with Morocco limits the use of U.S. weapons to the defense of Morocco itself - not including the Western Sahara – considerable evidence confirms that Morocco is using U.S. arms in the Western Sahara. The U.S. interest in the Horn of Africa is because of its strategic location relative to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean sea lanes. U.S. refugee admissions policy has been grossly inconsistent in application of legal standards and the treatment of asylum petitioners. Too often, political expediency and racial prejudice seems to overshadow individual merits in asylum adjudication. East Europeans, Indochinese, and Cubans are routinely admitted, Haitians and Ethiopians who are fleeing equal, if not worse, conditions are rarely granted asylum. These inequities have become even more blatant, as thousands of Salvadorians have been deported although a civil war rages in their country. The newsletter discusses South Africa’s military assaults on Angola, manipulation of rail ties with Zimbabwe, sponsorship of anti-government insurgents, the U.N. arms embargo, consulates in the U.S., nuclear cooperation, training the South African Coast Guard, negotiations for Namibian independence, lifting sanctions against South Africa’s military and police, "constructive engagement," U.N. Security Council Resolution 435, SWAPO (South West African People's Organization), the POLISARIO Front, King Hassan II, the O.A.U. (Organization of African Unity, OAU), the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), oil imports from Nigeria, U.S. investment in Africa, the Export-Import Bank, trade credits, Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, the Agency for International Development (AID), the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), the Marxist military junta in Ethiopia, Cuban troops in Angola, military aid to Zaire, Alan Simpson, Romano Mazzoli, the Arms Export Control Act, and the Southern Africa Development Coordinating Committee (SADCC).
Used by permission of TransAfrica.
Collection: George M. Houser (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections