TransAfrica Forum Issue Brief

by TransAfrica Forum
Washington, DC, United States
Winter 1988/89
6 pages
Type: Newsletter
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Cuba, Europe, France, Haiti, United Nations
Language: English
Contents: TOXIC DUMPING ALARMS AFRICA • U.S. RESUME FULL U.N. FUNDING • AVRIL IS NEW HAITI CHIEF: 2 Haiti Coups Replace Manigat, Then Namphy • In early 1988, toxic waste from the U.S. and Western Europe being dumped in 16 African countries received a lot of media attention. Six countries have rejected approaches or attempts to dump - Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Morocco, and Senegal. Dumping has actually occurred in nine countries - Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Guinea (Conakry), Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. At the May 1988 Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit in Addis Ababa, Nigerian President Babangida ensured that toxic dumping became the most important topic. Then Nigeria called a special summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Lomé, Togo. The West African leaders initiated a program called "Dumpwatch" to monitor attempts at dumping. Also, in a significant state visit by President Babangida to Libya, he and Col. Gaddafi gave toxic dumping in Africa a lot of attention. Reacting to the Italian toxic waste dumped in its territory, Nigeria recalled its ambassador from Rome, demanded that Italy recall its ambassador in Lagos, seized an Italian ship, arrested 54 people, and mandated the death penalty for subsequent toxic dumping. Guinea, Congo, and Sierra Leone have arrested influential local officials and foreign nationals implicated in dumping schemes, and Cote d'Ivoire has promulgated a stiff law against public dumping. On September 13, 1988, Mr. Reagan signed a "presidential determination" authorizing payment of arrears owed by the U.S. to the United Nations and its specialized agencies. This decision appeared to break with Mr. Reagan's long-standing hostility toward the UN. A clear majority of the public reaction supported the President's decision; however, many conservatives, especially Alan Keyes and the Heritage Foundation, were against it. The newsletter mentions asbestos, cyanide, radioactive waste, dioxins, mercury, paints, lead, OCBs, pesticides, solvents, the European Parliament, UN Peacekeeping operations, the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola, AIDS, World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Development Association, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States, the InterAmerican Development Bank, and Voice of America (VOA).
Used by permission of TransAfrica Forum.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers