Namibia: Cease-Fire Flop

A conference ends in disarray

The grim gray cold that assaulted delegates as they left Geneva's snow-covered Palais des Nations matched their spirits. After a week of deliberations, the United Nations-sponsored conference on the future of Namibia (South West Africa) had ended in acrimony. South Africa, which has administered the former German territory since 1920, once again rejected a Western proposal to end the civil war that has wrenched mineral-rich Namibia for more than a decade. Concluded Britain's Brian Urquhart, the U.N. Under Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, who ran the conference: "A great opportunity was missed."

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