By Guy Arnold (auth.)
The authors argue that Nelson Mandela and F.W.de Klerk carry the foremost to a calm answer of South Africa's political difficulties. President de Klerk needs to both come to phrases with the black majority or see South African society collapse.
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Additional resources for South Africa: Crossing the Rubicon
The South Mrican appointed Odendaal Commission which reported in 1964 recommended the division of Namibia into ten self-governing homelands covering 40 per cent of the territory, which spelt the break-up of Namibia as a single entity. In 1966 the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2145 terminating the mandate and stating that South West Mrica was the direct responsibility of the UN. The world body then set up the Council for Namibia. South Mrica ignored the resolution and persisted in its application of apartheid to Namibia.
From South Mrica's point of view three military factors were of crucial importance: loss of air superiority in face of FAPIA's deployment of MiG-23s and its sophisticated air defences including a radar screen and SAM missiles; the deployment of Cuban troops along the Namibian border which threatened to cut off their forces at Cuito 20 South Africa: Crossing the Rubicon Cuanavale; and what was developing into an unacceptably high (white) casualty rate. Until Cui to Cuanavale the South Mrican forces had raided the territories of their neighbours more or less with impunity.
It was a notable achievement for all the participants. The much maligned United Nations had finally presided over the independence process with its force of 4327 military personnel drawn from 21 countries supervising the South West Mrica Police Force who acted - theoretically - as impartial peace- Namibia 31 keepers during the election while another 1500 UN police monitors from 26 countries watched the voting process inside the booths. About 1500 journalists descended upon Namibia to record an election that until the last moment few had believed would take place.