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Security Council in new Namibian independence bid

By Ted MorrelloSpecial to The Christian Science Monitor / June 12, 1985



Vienna

The United Nations Security Council, meeting this week to discuss the issue of Namibian independence, will consider a strategy designed to scare off investment in the disputed territory. The strategy is contained in a document prepared by the United Nations Council for Namibia (South-West Africa), the body designated by the UN to administer Namibia. The Council for Namibia mapped out its strategy for ending South Africa's control of the territory at a just-concluded meeting here.

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The new strategy is designed to reduce outside investment in the territory through actual or threatened lawsuits against international corporations operating there. The rationale is that even if the suits fail, they will make investors hesitate because of the uncertain status of their claims, should Namibia eventually become independent.

On April 30, 1981, the last time an attempt was made to extend sanctions against South Africa beyond the existing arms quarantine, the permanent Western members of the Security Council (the United States, Britain, and France) vetoed the draft.

Speaking in Vienna, Noel Sinclair, the Namibia council's acting president, said, ``The threat of the use of these vetoes has had a restraining effect on the majority in the international community. Vetoes cast, or threatened, against calls for punitive action . . . inevitably have the effect of giving comfort to the Pretoria regime.''

To get around the vetoes the Namibia council has invoked its so-called ``Decree No. 1,'' which would halt exploitation of Namibia's natural resources by foreign companies operating under South African licensing.