Wednesday, July 6, 1977
LIBREVILLE, Gabon (A) - African leaders
concluded their 14th annual summit meeting yes-
terday with a strong endorsement of the Soviet-
backed Patriotic Front as the sole legitimate
black nationalist movement seeking to end white
minority rule in Rhodesia.
The decision, which has important implica-
tions for the future of the black guerrilla war in
Rhodesia, was made by consensus at the last
working session of the four-day summit of the
Organization of African Unity (OAU).
THE LEADER of a rival Rhodesian nationalist
group immediately denounced the OAU move,
saying it "now makes it impossible for Zim-
babwe to unite." Zimbabwe is the nationalists'
name for Rhodesia.
The approved resolution calls on the OAU's 49
member states to extend military, political and
diplomatic backing only to the Patriotic Front
among the various factions trying to unseat the
white Rhodesian government.
The resolution was the most important deci-
sion taken at the OAU summit and was seen as
a setback for the moderate, Western-oriented
leaders who dominated most of the meeting
ywith a three to two majority.
ZAMBIA'S President Kenneth Kaunda, usual-
ly regarded as a moderate, swung the balance in
favor of the Patriotic Front, which is led by
.Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe.
Speaking on behalf of the five frontline states
most involved in aiding the Rhodesian national-
ists - Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, Angola and
Mozambique - Kaunda warned the summit that
any further OAU hesitation over endorsing the
Patriotic Front could plunge a black-ruled Rho-
desia into civil war.
Delegation sources said Kaunda won over a
number of moderates with the assurance that
the front would not impose one-party rule on a
future black-ruled Rhodesia but would hold free
elections if Prime Minister Ian Smith's white
regime is ousted. '
NKOMO AND Mugabe have said they will
allow the people of Rhodesia to decide whether
they want a one-party state like those in most
of black Africa. The former British colony has
6.5 million blacks and 270,000 whites.
Nkomo and Mugabe control most of the Rho-
desian guerrilla forces, based in Mozambique
and Zambia. The rival African National Council
led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa is widely believed
to have the support of a black majority inside
Rhodesia but has almost no guerrilla support.
The summit decision automatically deprived
Muzorewa of his status as an OAU-supported na-
tionalist leader, though the resolution demanded
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that the Patriotic Front admit Muzorewa and his
supporters if they choose to join.
THE REV. Ndabiningi Sithole, a moderate G T
whose support is believed to be the weakest of 1 E
the four major Rhodesian nationalist leaders, is-
sued a statement here rejecting the OAU deci-
sion and. calling the Patriotic Front "a foreign
organization mainly to serve foreign interests."-a
"Our brothers abroad may help but, we be-
lieve, they may not impose their wishes on us.
The fact that we operate from their soil shouldEiL,.A~
not in any way make them assume a colonial
role over Zimbabwe," he said.
"The decision made by the summit this morn-
ing now makes it impossible for Zimbabwe to
AT THE END of the OAU session, Nkomo and
Mugabe, who in the past have vied with each
other for leadership of the nationalist movement,
told a joint news conference the Patriotic Front
"is keeping the door open for any Zimbabwean
to 'join us in the struggle."
"There is no race for the leadership in the
liberation struggle," Nkomo said.
"Our task is to destroy British imperialism,
colonialism and capitalism," Mugabe said. "The
question of leadership can only be solved after
the successful conclusion of the armed struggle."
NKOMO. WHO has close ties to the Soviet
Union, has said Moscow is the Patriotic Front's
most important supplier of arms and military
equipment. Mugabe, who seems the more ideo-
logical of the two front leaders, has called for
establishment of a "Socialist" state in Rhodesia
after a black takeover.
In other action on the final day of the sum-
mit, the leaders scheduled a special OAU sum-
mit for Lusaka, Zambia, in early October to dis-
cuss the dispute between Morocco and Algeria
over the former Spanish Sahara.
The summit also approved a resolution pro-
posed by Senegal's moderate President Leopold
Senghor calling on all African states to refrain
from using foreign troops to solve their internal
problems and from allowing their territories to
be used for attacks on neighboring states.
THE RESOLUTION did not name any coun-
try but was clearly aimed at the Cuban inter-
vention in Angola and the invasion of Zaire's
Shaba Province earlier this year by Shaba rebels
based in Angola.
The summit set up committees to study vari-
ous border disputes between African neighbors,
and appointed a special six-nation commission
to seek an dffective oil embargo against Rho-
desia from the members of the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
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