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Britain's Howe, Zambian Differ on Sanctions

July 10, 1986|From Reuters

LUSAKA, Zambia — British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe voiced sharp differences Wednesday with Zambian President Kenneth D. Kaunda over the effectiveness of economic sanctions as a means of ending apartheid in South Africa.

Howe, who will also visit Zimbabwe and Mozambique in an effort by the European Communities to bring about a peaceful end to apartheid and switch to majority rule in South Africa, said sanctions would result in more violence and misery in the white-dominated nation.

But Kaunda said that only sanctions could bring about an end to apartheid, which he likened to the system that prevailed in Nazi Germany.

"We call upon Britain to lead this war against Nazism in its new form in South Africa," he said.

Kaunda said failure to impose sanctions would result in a "holocaust which is unprecedented, and racial hatred that this is going to generate in this part of the world is also unprecedented."

Concerned at Thatcher

He said he is especially concerned about British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's strong personal opposition to sanctions, and warned that there could be serious problems at a Commonwealth mini-summit in London early next month.

Kaunda threatened to pull Zambia out of the 49-nation Commonwealth, grouping Britain and its former colonies, if London does not abandon its opposition to sanctions.

In reply, Howe said, "We don't find it possible to accept the idea that one last push from outside through comprehensive sanctions will achieve what we all wish and will bring down apartheid quickly.

"I think, sadly, that's an illusion and that economic hardship would actually sharpen the confrontation. The option of peaceful negotiation certainly won't last indefinitely but it is an option that we are going to pursue."

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