The UN and Rhodesia

The watered-down resolution on Rhodesia adopted by the Security Council shows clearly the limits to which the major Western Powers are willing to go. They will not do anything more than what they have been doing so far – and that has been quite ineffective – to bring the illegal Smith regime to heel. That they are not for throwing out that racist regime by force is implicit in the Anglo-American veto of the Afro-Asian proposal to condemn Britain for not having used force. The Council imposed economic sanctions a long time ago but it has not worked because many countries, particularly Portugal and South Africa, have found ways to circumvent it. The Council has now ordered diplomatic sanctions and the severance of all transportation to and from Rhodesia but these steps are not likely to be of any more value than the leaky economic sanctions. The Smith regime can count on continued help from Portugal and South Africa, even if all the other U.N. members should honour the Security Council’s directive.

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