Afro-Asia: Mishmash at Moshi

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It was billed as the third Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Conference. But discord turned out to be solidarity's dominant theme when the 400 delegates and observers gathered at Moshi, a hamlet on the coffee slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Setting the tone of the affair was reluctant Host Julius Nyerere, President of Tanganyika, who had not wanted the meeting held in his country in the first place. To the Communists and their pals, he warned that Africa and Asia are imperiled by a "second scramble" of colonization, led this time by Communist powers, "who are committing the same crime as the capitalists before." Shortly thereafter, the head of the Indian delegation denounced the organization as a "fraud," stomped out of the hall because his neutralist resolution on the Sino-Indian dispute was torpedoed. During a debate on Malaysia, the delegate from Singapore was barred, and an Indonesian was accepted as Brunei's representative.

The Russians and Red Chinese delegations carried their own squabble into Africa. There were widespread suspicions that the Chinese were to blame when the amplifier for the Russian translation hookup disappeared, was later found in a ditch outside the conference hall. Tit followed tat. Next day the Chinese earphones went dead, and a British engineer summoned to fix them found that the electrical connection had been spiked.