Contents: TransAfrica Maintains the Pressure in 1990 • Stronger Liberia Policy Needed • Looking Ahead: TransAfrica's Policy Priorities for 1991 • Chapter Updates • 1991 Robeson Scholarship • Africa NewsBriefs • TransAfrica's Executive Director Randall Robinson and his former legislative director, Ibrahim Gassama, travelled to South Africa last May to brief Nelson Mandela about the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act and potential for its eventual lifting. Robinson also met with African National Congress (ANC) members about logistics of Mandela’s U.S. visit. TransAfrica displayed support for Kenya's movement toward multi-partyism when Robinson spoke at a rally sponsored by "Kenyans for Democracy." Last year, Jonas Savimbi, leader of the UNITA rebels in Angola, asked for an additional tranche of covert U.S. aid. TransAfrica continued to oppose Congress’ funding of this 15-year-old civil war by coordinating a series of meetings with Secretary of State Baker and House and Senate leaders and organizing sign-on letters from prominent African Americans. The Solarz amendment to the 1991 Intelligence Authorization bill was passed, which placed conditions on continued covert funds for UNITA. However, President Bush immediately vetoed that bill. The Liberian people may now have a chance for peace; at a December meeting in Banjul, Gambia, the warring parties agreed to a temporary ceasefire and established a deadline for an All-Liberia Conference to negotiate a peace settlement and to establish an interim government. TransAfrica’s 1991 legislative priorities are maintaining U.S. sanctions against South Africa, ending U.S. aid to UNITA, increasing U.S. foreign assistance to Africa, and providing Caribbean debt relief for the Caribbean Community and Common Market Member (CARICOM) countries. Grace Jones reported that the Cleveland chapter organized seven buses to Detroit to see Mandela in June. The City of Detroit passed a selective-buying ordinance aimed at limiting business with South Africa. TransAfrica is forming a new chapter in Los Angeles, with help from Donna Guillaume and Marcia Thomas, and hopes to start a chapter in Rhode Island or Atlanta, also. Reports were also made by Chapters in Cincinnati (by Denise Crews), Boston (by Patrick Seyon), and Chicago (by Melvin Johnson). After launching a military campaign through the Northern parts of Chad, General Idriss Deby's Patriotic Salvation Movement brought the reign of President Hissein Habré to an end. Major General Fred Rwigyema, a Rwandan refugee serving as an officer in the Ugandan army, led a group of refugees across the Uganda-Rwanda border last October in an attempt to overthrow the government. Sudan is threatened with widespread famine. The Red Sea port of Massawa is set to reopen to international relief agencies based on plans of the United Nations World Food Program; this port is currently controlled by the Eritrean Peoples' Liberation Front (EPLF). The newsletter mentions sanctions, democratization, Charles Taylor, Prince Johnson, AFL (Armed Forces of Liberia). peacekeeping forces, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Samuel Doe, military and financial aid, the Mandela Freedom Fund, Lindiwe Mabuza, Black and African Student Unions at SUNY/Buffalo, SUNY (State University of New York), President Muhammad Kenyatta, President Juvenal Habyarimana, the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army, the United Somali Congress, the Somali National Congress, Mohammed Siad Barre, the Ogaden War, President Menguistu Haile Mariam, Wollo and Tigre Provinces, and TransAfrica staff Anne Griffin, Kristin Wells, and Robin Lofton.
Used by permission of TransAfrica.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers