Contents: OAU ECONOMIC SUMMIT • REFUGEES AND U.S. POLICY: THE CONTINUING CRISIS by Herschelle S. Challenor • SOUTH AFRICA: RESURGENCE OF THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS • ELECTIONS IN JAMAICA • RECENT EVENTS • REAGAN'S VIEWS: U.S./AFRICA POLICY • ACTION ALERTS • The first OAU Economic Summit held in Lagos in August marked the beginning of a new era of hope for African development. The “War Plan” for the struggle for economic independence adopted at this conference was assessed by participants and observer as realistic and acutely necessary. The conference accepted a Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa. More than 70,000 people in South Africa have signed a petition calling on the government to commute the life sentence of former African National Congress (ANC) president Nelson Mandela. Mandela has been serving his sentence on Robben Island since his conviction at the Rivonia trial in June 1964 on charges of planning acts of sabotage and making preparations for guerilla warfare against the apartheid state. The exodus of black youth from South Africa following the Soweto riots of 1976 has increased the ranks of Umkhonto we Sizwe. The ANC has recently escalated the armed struggle with the successful bombing of two top security oil plants. The SASOL plants are a several billion dollar oil-from-coal conversion project that is a symbol of South Africa’s self-reliance. ANC forces were able to penetrate and set off explosions that ripped through the SASOL I plant and the NATREF oil refinery a few miles away. At the invitation of the Democratic Arab Saharawi Republic (RASD), Randall Robinson, TransAfrica Executive Director, visited Algeria and the Western Sahara from June 18-23. RASD solders resisting Moroccan occupation of their Western Sahara homeland took Robinson on tours of their refugee camps and schools near Tindouf, Algeria and into desert battle areas of northern Western Sahara and southern Morocco. Robinson talked to Moroccan prisoners of war and examined Moroccan captured weapons, many of which were of U.S. manufacture. Meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Organization of African Unity called for total withdrawal of Western investment from South Africa. People are asked to tell their Congressman and Senator that HR 7854, the FY 1981 foreign assistance appropriation bill, should be passed without delay. The newsletter mentions President Shagari, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), President Nyerere, OAU Secretary-General Edem Kodjo, the ANC Youth League, the Sharpeville massacre, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the United Nations Security Council, sanctions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Michael Manley, Ambassador Salim Ahmed Salim, Hannah Atkins, Richard Hatcher, Mona Bailey, Reverend Charles Cobb, Otho Green, Gayla Cook, Samuel Jackson, Howard Manning, Jr., R. Prexy Nesbitt, Maxine Waters, Robert White, Wyatt Tee Walker, the International Freedom Mobilization, Walter Carrington, and the Sullivan Principles.
Used by permission of TransAfrica.
Collection: Dean McHenry, Jr. Southern Africa Collection, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections