Bishop Abel Muzorewa of the African National Council at a reception in New York

Bishop Abel Muzorewa of the African National Council at a reception in New York

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New York, New York, United States
March 1972
Type: Photograph
Coverage in Africa: Zimbabwe
Coverage outside Africa: United States
United Kingdom
Language: English
Bishop Abel Muzorewa (right) of the African National Council and George M. Houser of the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) at a reception for Muzorewa at the ACOA office in New York. The African National Council was leading a campaign against a proposed settlement between the UK government and the white minority regime of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). In 1965 Rhodesia under the leadership of Ian Smith had issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the UK. Shortly after UDI at the request of the UK government the United Nations had imposed mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia. Under the proposed settlement worked out by British Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Smith the UK government would recognize the white Rhodesian regime and the end of sanctions and in exchange the Rhodesian regime guaranteed slow progress toward majority rule but without any timeline. Under the agreement the settlement had to be approved by Rhodesian people as a whole. The UK Government sent a commission under Lord Pearce (the Pearce Commission) to carry out on inquiry as to opinion of the Rhodesian people. The African National Council was set up to organize opposition to the settlement. The Commission spent two months, January and February 1972, in Rhodesia. Despite significant repression by the Rhodesian regime on May 23, 1972 the Pearce Commission officially released its report that found the vast majority of Rhodesian Africans opposed the settlement. As a result the settlement was abandoned and sanctions remained.
Collection: Private collection of George M. Houser