UN chief to visit key African area

UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar is to start an African tour Sunday that will take him to Kenya and to five African states that support independence of Namibia (South-West Africa), Monitor special correspondent Louis Wiznitzer reports.

Although South Africa, which illegally occupies Namibia, and Angola appear to be heading toward a cease-fire along the Namibia-Angola border, negotiations on Namibia's independence are regarded as deadlocked as a result of:

* United States insistence on linking Namibia's independence to the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola. This linkage is opposed vocally by the African ''frontline state'' states (Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) which Mr. Perez Cuellar will visit, and it is more discreetly opposed by the four partners of the US in the ''contact group'' (France, West Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada) that is trying to work out a Namibia settlement.

* South Africa's recent return to direct rule of Namibia and dissolving of its internal government. Bilateral talks between Angolans and South Africans on the one hand, and between Angolans and the US on the other, are continuing, but the evidence at hand suggests that no movement is expected in the near future that would allow Security Council Resolution 435 to be carried out.

Mr. Perez de Cuellar, who has been careful to keep his channels to Pretoria open, considers his mission to be mainly exploratory. The secretary-general plans to take two other trips early this year: to Moscow, where the subject of Afghanistan is likely to arise, and to New Delhi, for the conference of countries calling themselves nonaligned.

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