Political Turmoil in Southern Africa

May 22, 1963

Report Outline
Threats of Violence South of the Congo
Economic and Political Forces in Region
Southern Africa, the West, and the East

Threats of Violence South of the Congo

Long a cauldron of racial animosities and political and economic inequities, white-ruled southern Africa is bubbling dangerously in 1963, bringing new concern to world capitals. Termination of white rule in its last strongholds on the continent dominates the thoughts of participants in the African summit conference now in progress at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and is a continuing theme in halls of the United Nations.

Recent months have seen a new drift toward violence. “Violence must come and the peoples of the world will be drawn into the struggle,” says a black Southern Rhodesian. “We know we are embarking on a dangerous course,” says a South African. “We have no lever but violence,” says a Mozambique African. “Violence has always been necessary in southern Africa,” says a South West African, “but previously conditions for it were lacking.” These observations, made by heads of African independence movements in recent weeks, illustrate the current grim mood of nationalists in that region.

To stem the rising tide, Portuguese and South African authorities have placed their territories on a war or near-war footing. Southern Rhodesia is viewed as a tinderbox. A struggle of major consequence seems in the offing, but few are prepared to say when it will reach its peak, how long it will last, or how deeply it will rend the continent.

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