TransAfrica News

(Vol. 11, No. 1)
by TransAfrica
Washington, DC, United States
Winter 1992
6 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Haiti
Language: English
Contents:  HAITIAN MILITARY RETAINS CONTROL DESPITE EMBARGO, U.S. Begins Repatriation of Refugees Following Court Order • State and Local Sanctions in Jeopardy • Foreign Aid Bill Up for Review in March • "DEMOCRACY Now TOUR" VISITS SOUTH AFRICA • Kenyan President Moi Arrests More Government Critics, Foreign Aid Withheld by Western Donors • Mobutu Shuns Democracy in Zaire • SAVE THE DATES!! TransAfrica Annual Weekend Approaches • Exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide agreed to the first part of a negotiated plan by the Organization of American States (OAS) to restore constitutional democracy in Haiti. Aristide accepted Rene Theodore as the candidate for the new prime minister in a settlement that would lead to Aristide's return after an interim period. TransAfrica has steadfastly opposed the forced return of the over 15,000 Haitian refugees who are seeking asylum in response to the political turmoil following Aristide’s ouster. For the last three months, most of these refugees have been housed at Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba and on Coast Guard cutters. In his speech before the U.N. General Assembly in December, 1991, ANC President Nelson Mandela reiterated the need for communities to retain federal, state and local sanctions against the apartheid regime. Although President Bush lifted federal sanctions last July, 26 states, one territory (Virgin Islands), 94 cities, and 24 municipalities continue to enforce economic sanctions against the de Klerk government. In 1991, TransAfrica successfully lobbied Congress to increase development assistance for Africa from $800 million (FY 1991) to $1 billion. The recession, upcoming Presidential election, and $10 billion in housing guarantees promised to Israel all contributed to stalling the foreign aid bill of 1992. Last summer, ANC President Nelson Mandela extended an invitation to prominent African Americans to visit South Africa to discuss progress of the anti-apartheid movement. TransAfrica was asked to assist with the logistics of the trip with Lindiwe Mabuza, Chief Representative of the ANC to the U.S. The result was the “Democracy Now Tour” to South Africa on October 19 - 22, 1991, which included TransAfrica’s Randall Robinson, Anne Griffin, and Kristin Wells. Bowing to internal and external pressure, Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi agreed to allow multi-party participation in Kenyan politics in December of 1991. TransAfrica remains skeptical of Moi's commitment to the democratic process and his ability to allow a fair transition to multi-partyism. Opposition forces, now centered around the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), have been steadily gaining strength, despite arrests of prominent anti-government critics. In mid-January, police broke into the home of Professor Wangari Maathai, a leading environmentalist, to arrest her. The national conference for democracy in Zaire began in August to negotiate a transition to democracy from Mobutu Sese Seko's 27-year rule. Catholic Archbishop Monsengwo Pasinya was named chairman; Mobutu and his latest Prime Minister, Nguza Karl-I-Bond, pledged their commitment to the transition to democracy. After disputes over the number of opposition sympathizers amongst conference delegates, Mobutu's supporters walked out, and government funding for the conference was withdrawn. It had become clear that the delegates were going to vote for Mobutu's removal, so closing the conference allowed the government to reclaim power of planning the transition process. Nguza announced that he would hold parliamentary elections and allow the parliament to write a new constitution and organize presidential elections. Opposition leaders were attacked by police when they attempted to march to the Presidential Palace in protest. TransAfrica’s 15th Annual Dinner and 11th Annual Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. with the theme "Transformations in Africa and the Caribbean: Meeting Democracy's Challenge." The newsletter mentions the U.S. Supreme Court, Quincy Jones, Arthur Ashe, Earl Graves, Dorothy Height, Congresswomen Maxine Waters, former Congressman Walter Fauntroy, Bertram Lee, William Lucy, Mayor Richard Hatcher, the African National Congress (ANC), former Vice President Josephat Karanja, businessman Matu Wamae, Kenya African National Union (KANU), the Paris Club meeting of Western donor nations, Assistant Secretary of State Herman J. Cohen, USAID Director Ronald W. Roskens, scholarship winner Kiarma Cheatom, and TransAfrica interns Raffi Balian, Jory Steele, Tabitha Mann, and Stacee Bain.
Used by permission of TransAfrica.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers