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Unconventional Diplomacy in Southern Africa by Robin Renwick

By Robin Renwick

An insider's account of the negotiations which ended the Rhodesia clash and of the British position in South Africa within the interval prime as much as the discharge of Nelson Mandela.

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Extra resources for Unconventional Diplomacy in Southern Africa

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Before the April elections they had launched a series of successful attacks on guerrilla camps in Zambia and Mozambique and had attacked for the first time a ZIPRA camp in Angola. In March they organized the demolition of the oil-depot in Beira. In April Rhodesian commandos destroyed the ZIPRA headquarters in Lusaka. Raids into Zambia were resumed in August. A massive Rhodesian attack was launched to destroy strategic and economic targets in Mozambique just before the Conference opened. This succeeded in inflicting great damage on what was left of Mozambique's economy, but proved costly also for the Rhodesians, who lost 11 men when a helicopter was shot down.

Nkomo was more receptive than Mugabe, who remained deeply suspicious of British intentions. At one meeting Charles Powell and I had with Nkomo at his hotel, his secretary came in bearing an urgent message. She fell to her knees, before presenting it to Nkomo. Ariston Chambati, Secretary-General of the Patriotic Front, told us, laughing, as we left that if we wished to create the right impression at the Foreign Office, we should need to arrange for my own formidable secretary to do the same. The Conference adjourned for a day to enable Peter Carrington to address the Conservative party conference in Blackpool.

At one meeting Charles Powell and I had with Nkomo at his hotel, his secretary came in bearing an urgent message. She fell to her knees, before presenting it to Nkomo. Ariston Chambati, Secretary-General of the Patriotic Front, told us, laughing, as we left that if we wished to create the right impression at the Foreign Office, we should need to arrange for my own formidable secretary to do the same. The Conference adjourned for a day to enable Peter Carrington to address the Conservative party conference in Blackpool.

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