A call for sanctions against South Africa is expected before the end of this week at the United Nations Security Council -- with three Western vetoes (the United States, Britain, France) in prospect.
This may not be the end of the road as far as the independence of Namibia is concerned, and that is certain to be a complicating and delaying factor.
Whether this collision between black Africa and the Western nations will strengthen US strategic interests in Africa against Soviet expansionism is questionable, according to diplomats from all walks of life here. They believe that it will not, in the meantime, enhance the US image with the majority of African nations, including some like Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, and Ivory Coast, not known to be hostile to the West.
The fact, according to high officials close to the negotiating process, is that this confrontation was entirely avoidable.
The African envoys believe they had been mandated by the group of nonaligned nations and by the Organizations of African Unity (OAU) to press for sanctions against South Africa and to call for the convening of an emergency special sessi on on Namibia under the United For Peace procedure.