NAMIBIA: Toward Independence

If wishes were horses and beggars could ride, South Africa would keep control of Namibia (South West Africa), the onetime League of Nations mandated territory that it has ruled since 1920. Not only does Namibia produce some $300 million worth of minerals a year (diamonds, uranium, copper, lead), but it also serves as a partial buffer against the black states to the north.

Last year, however, the United Nations gave South Africa an ultimatum: devise an independence timetable for Namibia by Aug. 31, 1976, or face U.N. sanctions. Reluctantly agreeing to call a constitutional conference, South Africa still hoped to...

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