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"Zimbabwe Achieved Independence Through A Combination Of Negotiation And Armed Force". Discuss, For The Period Of 1965 To 1980. (70)

1313 words - 5 pages

In 1953 settlers in Rhodesia began to want complete independence from Britain as well as Dominion status. They used both negotiations and armed force in order to gain their independence.The Central African Federation was created in 1953 as it was believe that it would increase economic prosperity and maintain white supremacy. The Southern Rhodesian whites eroded black right and were unwilling to negotiate. In 1960 the British government saw the force of growing Black Nationalism in Africa and recognised the right of secession in Rhodesia. Malawi and Zambia were now formed as separate countries; this was as a result of the Rhodesian Government's refusal to negotiate and Britain's having exercised its strong hold on Rhodesia.Ian Smith, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia, demanded independence on the same grounds as Malawi and Zambia in 1964. Despite having promised Rhodesia their independence should the Federation dissolve, Britain would not grant a 'white' Rhodesia independence. The government imposed totalitarian measures and used armed forces to imprison African opposition and censored the press. Had Britain been willing to negotiate, armed force would not have been used.Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence was announced on November 11th, 1965. This was a direct act of rebellion against Britain. Independent African nations requested British intervention as sanctions were ineffective due to Rhodesia's trade with South Africa.Following talks between Smith and Wilson (1966) aboard the HMS Tiger, reasonable concessions from Britain were rejected by Rhodesia. Isolated attacks on white farmers were dealt with but this was proof that the armed struggle had begun and negotiations were no longer the only vehicle to independence. In 1968, once again, no compromise could be reached during talks between Smith and Wilson aboard the HMS Fearless. Again Rhodesia proclaimed the Republic of Rhodesia and broke all links with Britain in a direct act of rebellion against them.In 1971 Britain sent the Pearce Commission to Rhodesia to determine the indigenous population's views on Douglas Holmes' settlement proposals. The Africans were opposed to the proposals and hence riots occurred. Africans had rejected the proposals and Smith refused to negotiate with African Nationalists. His failure to negotiate brought about an armed struggle. Armed rebels were, however, eliminated by the Rhodesian Military in 1972. Black Nationalists therefore had to reconsider their military strategies: they were given aid by Frelimo after 1970. As a result of this aid the armed struggle escalated and the Rhodesian economy suffered severely.Repeated guerrilla attacks in the north-east caused white immigration to increase and the economy therefore suffered. Retaliatory measures were taken and harbouring guerrillas resulted in the death penalty. In 1974 the guerrilla war intensified and Rhodesia hence had to use force (protected villages) and was criticized, therefore losing the...

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