Waging Peace for African Countries

The Monitor's coverage of various African countries has been exceptionally good, and the recent Opinion page article "The Homelands Hurdle," Sept. 23, was informative in its breakdown of tribal relationships. I do not agree, however, with the author's conclusion that "the sooner the government abandons its homeland puppets, the better for peace and progress in South Africa."

While restrictions must ultimately be lifted and discrimination stopped as soon as possible, the timing should be left to South Africa to be done in a logical manner to avoid past mistakes. One only has to look at the news each day to see the problems resulting from creating instant countries and self-rule from geography and emotion rather than from ethnicity, ability, and reason.

The large ethnic groups in South Africa are already skirmishing, and it would be a short move to full-scale civil war if the present government stepped down. Let South Africa set its own pace and do it without pressure from outsiders attempting to force a change that they will have to live with. Earle W. Reiley Jr., San Antonio Helping Somalia

I greatly appreciate the thoughtful and hopeful articles on the famine in Somalia. A tragedy of this magnitude should command the whole world's attention and call forth a massive response to help a country in such desperate need. As articles have pointed out, there are small but hopeful signs of progress both in negotiating protection for shipments of food aid and in the early beginnings of getting farmers back on their feet.

The United States should push for deployment of adequate United Nations peacekeeping troops and spearhead negotiations to allow for safe passage of food to those in need. Additionally, there is much that we could do to support long-term development and self-sufficiency in Africa. Our tax dollars should be allocated to support programs that help African farmers increase food production. It is painful to think about the depth of human tragedy in Somalia. B. Scott, Carson City, Nev. Foreigners in Germany

The Opinion page article "Germany Moves to the Right," Oct. 1, is not written with fairness. The occurrences of escalating violence against foreigners is very deplorable and wrong. But the article does not take into consideration the causes leading to these outbreaks. Placing blame is of no help. There is more to it than just a wave of neo-Nazi sentiments.

All those Western countries that refuse to take in more refugees should refrain from scapegoating Germany, because it is their unwillingness to share the burden that causes the steadily increasing influx of refugees into a country that is already overpopulated.

It is absolutely essential that the German government take action toward introducing some measures to stem the steadily increasing influx of refugees, just as all other Western governments have already done. Steps in this direction should have been taken before the outbreak of violence. Such steps have less to do with neo-Nazism than with self-preservation.

The rioters should turn their anger, not toward the refugees, but toward the government and demand a much-needed change of policies. Rose Arndt, Waynesville, N.C.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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