South Africa Blunting the Spear

The African National Congress suspends military operations after 29 years, but that doesn't mean peace is at hand

The leaders of the African National Congress argued vehemently among themselves before reaching their historic decision. But in the end, Nelson Mandela, co-founder of the movement's military wing Umkonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation, overcame the objections of militants, and the A.N.C. announced that it would suspend the 29-year-old armed struggle, effective immediately.

With that announcement, the drive for political change in South Africa took on fresh life. Following 15 hours of talks last week between delegations led by Mandela and President F.W. de Klerk, the Pretoria government agreed to the gradual release of as many as 1,500 political...

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