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African leaders welcome Western push on Namibia

By With Analysis From Monitor Correspondents Around The World, Edited By Clara Germani / October 6, 1981


African leaders welcomed Western efforts to speed up independence for Namibia (South-West Africa), but warned a 41-nation commonwealth summit meeting here that failure could have tragic effects.

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Speaking about the huge territory South Africa has long ruled in defiance of the United Nations, President Shehu Shagari of Nigeria said, "We cannot afford to wait indefinitely for independence to come to Namibia. Otherwise, Africa will be engulfed in an East-West global power struggle."

South Africa's oppression and repression, Mr. Shagari said, and its armed raids into neighnboring black states and defiance over Namibia, "may well lead to a tragedy of monumental proportions.