Contents: THE RHODESIAN CRISIS • The Significance of UDI • The Real Struggle • The UK and the US • The UN View • Effects of UDI • The report says Southern Rhodesia, a land-locked, self-governing British colony, is a buffer between South Africa and black Africa; a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) from the UK by the Rhodesian Government would precipitate a major crisis in southern and central Africa; American interest in Zambia and South Africa would be involved. The report says the UK holds these residual powers. Under the present constitution, white settlers (who number about 250,000 or 6% of the population) are guaranteed domination for many years to come. The report says the heart of the Rhodesian problem is not in the interminable jurisdictional conflicts between the UK and Rhodesia, but rather in the all-or-nothing stakes of who should rule – black or white; Africans (94% of the population) came under total white domination, largely by the trickery of Cecil Rhodes, about the turn of the century. The report says there are two nationalist groups however: Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and the American-educated Rev. N Sithole's Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). The report says both parties are banned; nationalists refuse to join in constitutional talks unless they are guaranteed to be given a clear majority of seats in a new legislature. The report says Premier Smith has warned that in case of sanctions, his government would retaliate against Zambia; Zambian copper production (half controlled by American Metal Climax) is greatly dependent on Kariba Dam power, Wankie Coal and the railroad line to Beira (Mozambique)…all three are in Rhodesian hands. The report says Zambia is the world's second largest copper producer; South Africa, which has made several large loans to Rhodesia, has increasingly identified itself with the settler government. The report discusses Rhodesian White settlers, the Land Apportionment Act, Rhodesian big business, Edgar Whitehead, Roy Welensky, the 1961 Constitution, constitutional changes, the franchise, a referendum, a general election, state of emergencies, political prisoners, the UN, tobacco, American investments, Ford, the Security Council, economic and political sanctions, the Committee of 24, decolonization, Premier Ian Smith, a Tory block, settler interests, and Ndabaningi Sithole.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Africa Action Archive