The World: Caught in the Middle

Belingwe is a cattle-ranching and mining region in south-central Rhodesia. The landscape, raw and parched, is broken by boulder-strewn hills and will soon be softened by the splashing pinks and magentas of blooming wild msasa trees. To the south of the town of Shabani (pop. 1,900 whites, 14,000 blacks) stretches the Belingwe Tribal Trust Land, a reserve inhabited by 140,000 blacks, where the guerrilla presence is most deeply felt. On election day last week, TIME's Xan Smiley visited Belingwe and filed this report on its troubled mood:

ARE YOU A DOOM GLOOM GOBLIN? demanded the posters of the right-wing Rhodesian Action Party....

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