Created: 5/1/1984

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Moscow's Response to the Diplomatic Challenge in Southern Africa

in lolriligcecc

Moscow's Response to the Diplomatic Challenge in Southern Africa

Office of AfiKunL*"ii i

ial>tii Comairc directed.


Moscow's Responseic Oiplomalicn Southern Africa

Keyis clearly apprehensive lhai Soulh Africa's: rcceni agreements with

and Mozambique may weaken (he Soviei position in these key

African slates and undermine efforts io support Namibian and

South African insurgents. Soviet commeniaiy ha< focused on Angola rather lhan on Mozambique, because ilie USSR has moie at stake in Luandarealer ability to affect developments theie

While criticizing US and South African motives for arranging il. Ihe Soviets have noi criticized thecease-fire itself. We believe this reflects their belief lhaiouth African withdrawal Irom southern Angola will improve the Aorscning military position of ihe ruling Popular Movement for ihe Liberaiion of Angola (MPLAIheis unlikely to lead to an overall settlement of the Namibia question.

If the Soviets believed the MPLA leaders were movingamibia accord thatuban troop withdrawal from Angola, they would bring iMcssufc io bear on ihcm, as they have done in ihe pasi.ast re-son. Moscow might uy to protoci iis interests byoup b>ardliners. Given the risks inherent in coups, however, and given MPLA determination io resolve the Namibia question, we believe the Soviets would ultimately accede to Luanda's wishes. Moscow would continue io work behind the scenes io maintain its influence wiihin ihe MPLA and to sustain Luanda's suspicions of Washington and Pretoria

Although the Soviets have less ability io influence events tn Mozambique and are evidently dismayed by the cxicnt of President Machel"swiih Souih Africa, ihey have not written off Mozambique Moscow almost certainly will seek to exploit Machel's continued need for military assistance in an effort to limit his lurn to the West, but we do nots any more willing than in ihe pastubsidize Maputo's economic development (CI

Klsewhere in southern Africa, ihe Soviets will try io foment and cicdoit new tensions io undermine Soulh African diplomacy and to sustain the struggle against white minority rule in Pretoria. They will seek to channel addilional assistance io ihe Namibian and South Africanherever possible Without ihe traditional conduits in Amtolj and Motjnv btQue. however. ihe> arc unlikely toenjo; much success

Moscow's Response lo lhc Diplomatic Chalkngc in Soolbern Africa

posituin in <oulh<rn Africa tesis primarily on ns role at lhc region's leading arms supplier. In February andowever. nt key allies ibeie. Angola and Moumhctwc. concludedwiib Sovih Africa Thete are clearly designed Io ieduce ihe miliiary pressure* lhal hat made Ihe two coti"tries so dependtitSend miliiary atsisiancr This paper discusses Moscow's responsehc challenges posed by P'dona't inmairves toward Luanda and Maputo

The Sovietsuable commitment in arms and money lo the socialist-oriented regimes in Angola and Mdxambaquc the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the Mourrb>cuc Liberation From (IRI'LIMO< From iheo the codh< Sends and the East Ea-rope-aat provided someilhoss in military assistance to Luanda aod0 million to Maputo Theyoconomic credits and grants totaling'S million lo LuandaSi million tomuch of this aid has noi been dra-n

I ol crests in Southern Africa

Moscow's basic aims in southern Africa are toor supplant Western and Chinese influence and to promote leliin change More specifically, it seeksonsolidate Ihe emerging leftist. pro-Soviet regimesAngola and Mozambique, to bring the South-Wet( Africa People's Organiialion (SWaPO) to power in Namibia, and ultimately, to undeiminc ihe white minority regime in South Africa. Angola is central to these objective, because it positions the USSR to support and influence Namibian and Soulh African insurgents and to exploit potential instability in neigh-twing Zaire Through their unqualified support of black African self-determination, the Soviets have alsosomeAfrican antipathy toward Pretoria to promote suspicion and distrust of lhc United Stales, which Moscow portrays as Soulh Africa's major "ally*

The Soviets also seek access to southern African landing fields and pons for iheif air and naval forces. Soviet Jong-icrm objectives may also include denial or obstruction of Western accesshe region's strategic mineral resources Even i( while minority rule in South Africa ended, however,denialwuuld encounter serious obstacles, such as (he reaction of Western nations and resistance from Alrivan leadersil'nend on the hard cutrcnev fromalci

to South Africa'*

With Angola tad Moiamb-ijue

General Secretary Cherncnko offered she meal in Ihorilaiivc Soviet comment on recent developments in Africainner tpeech onarch He imptkitly exptesKJ gradgmg approvallhc accords, while crmciatng Washing ion and Pretoria for eaptoitiftg African desires lor peace and stabilitympose their solutions on ihe region and indicating his doubts as to whether Angolan tecum, and Namibian independence are "truly" guaranteed

Soviet media commentaries reflect the ambivalence wilh which Moscow views ihe Angolan and Morambi-can accords with Soulh Africa. Onarch on Soviet televition. political analyst Alcksandr Bovir candidly cited the factors and benefit* thai had induced Laanda and Maputo to reach agreements with Pretoria Nandhelets. he eruiCirtet iheaying tl wrrsto thank that Pretoria* detiah--liftrion efforts temVd be stopped by "ireaties ande concluded by noting that thefundamental problems were all linked lo ihehe -bite minority regime eed for continued armedil Pronto

A* tot an-Soulh Africa* Disengagements

ebruary IVS4 agreement between Angola and Soulh Aftica calls for ike staged withdrawal of South African forces/torn southern Angola In ei-chonge foe an Angolan commitment not lo allow the Namibian guerrillas of the South-West AfricaOrganisation (SWAPO) to operate in ihe area rotated by Pretoria. Both rides agreed tooim Moniioting Commissionolice thearea and prevent StfAPO infiltration of northern Namibia.


In our judgment. Angola views the ccast-flrt at on vpportuaily in improve its capability to deal with Us own insurgencyincreasing threat posed b< fonat Savimbi's. National Union fot the Total Independence ofNITA has grown steadily stronger since she Civil war begani. la 'teem years SO'imbi'i forces hove ranged far be fond their additional stronghold in southeastern Angola, devastating the Angolanby ihe ptctndcpcndentc departure of Portuguese managersnow threatening politically sensitive O'fas of central ana northern Angola.

The MPLA regime has not been able to derate in full miliiary ttsourtts lo cambai ihensurgents, ipprostinaitlyngolan and Cuban noops hate beta lied down in iht south ta guo'd againstAfttcon inttrveniion. The South Aftirans havearge chunk of southern Angola since mid-tvfil and hare staged repeated incursions deep imo Angolan tenllo's in search ofSWAPO guttnllat

Pitioria agreed lo the withdrawala winy of rtamni L'S ptt fluteesture of good faith on

Pttioria's pan lo break the stalemate in thenegotiations was impotiant. Moreover. Pttiotia probably tttws the risk asat he disengagement agteemcnt requires Luanda to keep SWAPO out of Namibia. The agreement also benefits Pretoria domestically as it easel public toncern about South African casualties ond the high economic costs of the sttmingly endless war


Thcfirii three monlhi of disengagement have been successful, bm we believe that building on themioadtt etgional stnltmtni will bebecause.

o'ia continuti to link the implementation of the UN plan for Namibiahe withdrawal of Cuban combat iraops from Angola

Luanda maintains thai Cuban troops will not begin to leavt Angola until all South African iroops hart left Angola, all outside aid to UNITA has stopped and ihe UN plan (or Namibia hot been

Many South Africans belitvt lhai Luanda will not etrteuban troop withdrawal until ii tan deal with iht UNITA threat Consequently, they argutegional stttlemtnt i$ possible only if the MPLA andecontile. ihusuban uoop withdrawal anil NamibianMPLA Itadns. including modt'Oies. suit flatly reject the idta of an accommodation with Soitmbi

t'll if, hied MoputoS ulinerit (owciiilriiii and noted witiiewhaithe mini[tretiion pact thai "urnc willho*ll develop."

Soviet media have fututcdon live Angolan Sou'.li MiMjn ditcngjiif incni-mentionl! ofwith Soiiilt Africa miniM.iuli> iiugnvd

iome Soviets in the region have

concern tnei Anailtiir io coiimjIi lull) "riih

Hid Hjv.mi ii iht|vut'miif


Oeipite Moww's uneasiness, we have seenoviei ellon to nop ihe Angolan South African duatgac sosee the- -

" - astigating Washington and Pretorn

media have not condemned ihe agreement ittel'

The Soviets may feel (here curremly is link reason io >aboiagc Angola's talks with Soulh Africa. The ccase-fire and ihe Soulh African withdrawal from southern Angola hase diminished ihe security ihreal to the MPLAthreat lhai had prompted ihe Stwietsend record It-els of armsuanda in

oreover, if ihe cease-fire holds, ihe Angolans and Cubans could focus all ol their energies toward the iJNITA insurgency. The Soviets may haveaboul temporarily leaving ih* Namibian SWAPO guerrillas in the latch, btii pteserving ihe icgimeore laipotiani pnasrit)

Moscow has notverall posiiross onIt continues to callnilateral withdrawl of South Alrican forces from Namibia and for imple mentation of UN Resolutiont also continue! in eixsciic an. foraiult lhat Imaj ihe South African presence mi Namibia to ihe Cuban troop ptCscacc so Angolathai the Angolans and Cuban*he issue of Cuban withdrawal only after Namibia i> indcpendeni and Ihe security ihreal lo Angola is eliminated The Sosiets presumably asere pleated "tilt thebitn juint stalcmrninoarch,illumed lhatbamiihdtass until after Soajth Africa cnd< it.ITA. withdraw* from both snrotj and Namibia .ind implcmenls law IN plan for Ihe trsde-pendente nf Namibia



In coniraal lo the publicity il has accorded ihe Angolan cease-fire. Moscow only belatedly acknowi-edged the security accord between Mozambique and South Africa. We believe the delay reflects Soviei displeasure wiih FRMLIMO leader Samora Machcl

The Soviets have grounds for concern met Maehcls .ibuul-facc. Hit rapprochement with Pretoria clearly undercuts Soviet interests and prestige and opens up new oppoetuntiies for Western inroads in Mo'am-bu)u< Morerom Moscow's peevpeeiive. it- -Setatreadi haniied carta baHics of ihe African Naiionat CongressSouth Afn-can insurgent group innd thus obstructs ihe LSSR's long-term ob)eciisT of underminingue minoregime in Pretona

rise Soviets cvidentl) irwd to

hi. rapprochementith Pretoria, icrwicdli alieraaithe threat of sal CuttTerv of free ol In ihehsr-cser. MeaiCttui's aid commitment' hair noinuio's mm.mde-lis-si' the Smieis nre -till unuillinginerenid innv isonw noisurVC enough inete Mathtl 'rum Miking ssuh ihe Snuih



from lla-ana?

i.ji'ii-rjlii- j, n

ugnah tuftt'irj lhai Havana

uoi tma'uattng lit foti'iom on the ( rrrvv*

frirrtii in A'toJo An aficltpfwri in ihr

luhan dailv Granma on4 dotuned ihr Aw/am South African difntarrment prtimpi-tnf ipreulolmn lhai Ca.'iro *OJ prefnrinior


therelore.ot It Tiled ii closely lo theegime

l OHM thin

Mosci* hai niii written off Mozambique, houever. Prendrni Machct was accorded high-level itiennun ai ihe Andropov funeral In mid-February: iheaccount of his meetings isiih Politburo member Tih-

honov and Otpory Fortiin Muuaier ll'iehev noted

(hat prospects lor further de-elopcrsent of bilateral relations were favorable Moreover, deliverlei ol Sovi-

ei military equipment have continued since ihe accord

with Soulh Africa was signed

ihrarch loml lonniuniiiiie HIthe Jot Sanlo'wiu amiftexotdilioniAnn>-

iiideilgaed move 'oI Havanaimatff*'O aW<ihrTh'Jaet thai ttovami hat rulrefripreiairion- on (Aetdiratet lhai in privateItmIhe t

rfhatrver Caitro'i ihooghti im the A. 'inwe bellrie Havana would aim- tie-rde'i wlihes. whether ther be to 'endSjio dnenxof I'm"i' tavim/elt ihr

I SSR hmdn Angola or hmd wed the < "iue atfh-tree tame

reialuint iheuhan

mu'- ta'telii n

drprndnur until rAcamMi fail

Soiin I'rocpeeit and Options

In both Angnii and Mozambique.mmedt-ale ooteeirve is locasaic that the accord-ebruirj and March Oo ret lend lo broaderwith booth AllKv

In Angola

ruiorhat ihett be no agreementubani' lhai *ould serious-ly dwninevh Sonet mfluener Iifeeh thai the twrcni talhv are unhhelt to Wadueh agixn the deepnature of regional Itmion.MlA and the Soviet belief lhai Soulh Africa remains unmlling io relinquish Namibia I'ub-

n felh




believe Mi

Sm i

ptilicj .hill, iih.ui iM.iin.-i! ihe

*>SK ihics, mil fiMciCcVlrieaavesmrc


Mofmbn'f 'sente Willi So*th Africa

a formal ceremony on Irle ol ihr harder town nf Nkornaii, Mozambique and Sown Africaonaggression pact Halingould allow in territory lo be uied lo prrpare attl of violence against the other. In practical irtms. Pnioria opted lo slop supporting the Mo:omHcan National Rtiistonce IRENAMOI insurgents in return for Maputo's pledge lo prevent guerrilla aiiacks ugainsi Soulh Africa by the African National Congress tANCy


Mochei's detlsionign the Nkomailfirst of Us kind between South Africa and ablackhard lo moke Ii stemmedn our Judgment, from 'he economic collapse in Moiambique. Beiel by three yean of drought and the debilitating attacks of RLNAMO guerrillas, targe areas of Moiambiaue were suffering from j'am-inefmo'cOiambicons have died) The *fo:onib-<aa securitylarge inft'l'Onl of Soviei miluaryiixapoble of defeating RENAMO. which focused tt$ aitacis on keylargtis and foreign economic advisers. Theroam freely in much of the production and impeding ihe government'of droufhi rebef supplies to the peasant.

roader perspective. Mathel's signing of the acredayor departure fromV heretofore rigidly pro-Soviet, ami- Western policies. Ii reflect! Mochel's calculation that the value of new Soulh African investments and possible increases in Western economic assistance wouldthe eisk thai the Soviets would cm off their militaryin any cose hod not turned ihe tide against ihe insurgents

We expect both sides lo work hard lo make iheir deier.te succeed Moiambicaa security personnel have raided ANC facilities inPretoria that Mochel is holding up his side of the bargain And Pretoria does no* vamet lis diplomatic inumph lomished. as Sowh African businessmen flock into Maputo with offers of new investment. In the..hurt term, therefore. Machelswith blockevil, the while minority regime inlo be paying off In the long

term, however, political SuppO'i for the gamble could

he undermined by continued RLNAMO reduced lewis once the insurgents' stockpile' are consumed, and by poor tcoaonvc conditioni. eren ifre better than today s

The SoviCis would react mare strong l> tf Ihe discn-

Nonethelcvvout-lice inturned oui lobe ihe first ncp toward a

probabh lias shown Moscow thaiinsettlement lhaithdraw-

could moveas damaging io Seme'ol the Cubans Wuh the departure of the Cuban

Should the Soviets become suspicious aboul sinsiroops. ihe Soviets would lose much of their

uliinijti- uiin- in diMlini; wiih Pretoria.uandac.ilcmcnt acluill- dnl (tit

.vr i!-uppl- lines.

I his simr* in ilsconccniraicdmiliijrs ellnrlt

UN ITA. dos Santos would still depend on the USSR for military support Moscow would hardly beabout 'he MPLA's success,its inabilii>efeat UNITAubans on its side

If do* Santasoalition ihat was prepared ic take action on the US Namibia package and comeonciliation wjih UNITA. lhc Soviets could

Use disinformation and other active measures to exploit Luanda's fearsretoria andarc working together lo force onNITA-MPLA coalition government (or. evenNITA seizure of power"

Press SWaPO to step up its activities imidr Vmur.ii) inf turning Pretoriaamibia scnlemcnt.

oup in Luanda in hopes that, if the pro-Soviet hardliners cameower. Angola wouldore confrontational approach toward Southand the SWAPO issue.

Iiii.tiagniril ,tIaHcgCdiimluia ut iVnih



Nil4 Si PIi iI bJftaV

Disinformation might suececd. given lhc historical suspicion and distrust between Pretoria and it* black Alrican neighbors On the Otherrobably would be ineffective if both Luanda and Pretoria were determined toettlement The Namibian insurgents would welcome additional Soviet arms support, to step up their activities, but Moscow would have difficulty supplying SWaPO without itsAngolan conduit

A -oup by MPLA ha'dliners would bring more pro-Soviet leadersower and, by alienating suoportcrs of the ousted leadership, make the new regime more dependent on Soviet aid to keep itself in power Yet. given the aimf factors thatLAtribe, ideology, andcould not be certain Ihatuccessful coup would have the desired result Tensions between the contesting MPLA factions could weaken thestrengthening the position ofSavimbiand his UNITA insurgents. If the coup failed, moreover. Moscow could find itself with no influence inoviet attempt toamibia accord that enjoyed the support uf most Afncnni nko could tcopardirc Soviet credibility and equities among other biaek African states

Disinformation, coups, and simitar measures also fail to take Angola boond the basic dilemmas that prompted it to respond to South African overtures If the USSR succeeded in destroying the tccent gains. Soulh Africa could resume ils pressu'c On Luanda by reentering southern Angola and stepping up aid to UNITA. This would create another security crisis much like lhc one Ihat prompted Moscowend record levels of arms to LuandaJ. Moscow may be prepared to up the military ante, as it warned the South Africans last November, in part because the cipensc would not be great iLuanda's oil earning* have minimized Soviet and Cuban financial com* inhe Soviets arc unlikely however, to pick up the economic assistance burden if the Angolan cccmo-miotal shambkv

We believe thai, if the Angolans icnoIvc the" internal debate on (he deede 'othe LS package -etltenxnl ncad>


ecll ion withould tiyissuade ihem hoi -oald ultimately bow to iVn - . the Soneii>ovld leek strong assurances Itui Luanda would renin ill kftrsi political orientilion and ill close bilateral tiesbc USSR. In (till case.

would continue to maintain ain Angola through iti miliiary assistance

Mpcobtbl) would seek toositive lace onettlement, noting Luanda') continued orientation. US recognition ol* the MPLA (atbclloalition with UNITA1 and the honorable intentions of iheamingey had dirmiuitd the South African security threat and then left when iciucslcdo so Moscow mir.ln go SO far ai lo claim ihai the Namibia setlkment represented afor lhc Cubana and Ibe MPLA Whileto nl'.naic Laanda. the Soviets would turn their attention to independenta SWAPO electoral win--in pursuit ol new opportuni-tret for influence and penetration

There is some slight evidence Ihat the Sonets may be preparing for such an eventuality In December IM).

officials from Ihe Africa institute and the Foreign Ministryisiting US academicilitary solution was not possible in Angola and Ihat peace

could only succeed with the formationoalition

though both officials had doubts aboutole

in such a

Increasing candor in lhc Soviet press about Angola's precarious economic condition also suggests thatredagniKS that the MPLA may take wnsteps to get out nf an increasingly untenabk position Recent articles inTimet. Zo Ruhr:-hum. and Kumutmul'kayo Pranla have provided ibrmmg details abuui Angola's pvedicamenl:erceni of the cuanuy'i bridgeserccot of its irimpon facitmei have been demoted by the aggttv >ors;ens ol thousands of teenagers were> Is"xj; ihat Luanda Is espcriencingihoriagc Ol loodera*" Ki.flu- of ref*gcr> from the -Miih and thaionly the ie-r ntcgnli but lhcthe soung icpubhi' has beenetted

Id Moiamhiijiit

In comparison lo Angola. Mrwcw'i notions Inare -loch more limned since Michel's dramatic aboul-facc in hn dcahngs wuh SoulhSlilL the friendly reception accorded Maehrl duringbruary trip to Mcncow reflects the Soviets" desire inote and presence in Mozambique We believe Ihe* will rry lo sustain the military aittnar.eeas they have inand Guineathe recent setback tonterests. Indeed, deliveriesls haveapace since the accords with Pretoria were signed. As for ccrmomie assistance, however. Moscow ii unlikely to make any new while Machc) continuesccommodate Pretoria. The Soviet! have thown httk sympathy for Moumtnane'i plightthe current diOugfat. although they havetheir recent fond aid commitment! to the Sandims-la regime in Nicaragua

In Relation. Wilh SWAPO nad tbe sNC Tbe Sovieti will trydd.iioriiWAfO and ibe ANC wherever pcinhle Moscow's, efforts on their behalf, however, could increasingly strain its relation! with Angola and Morambiouc. The US Embassy in Maputo, for ciamplc. reports that local security officials were Surprised and uneasy about the amounts and quahlyaponsecent confiscations of ANC arms caches there; ihey suspect ihat the Soviet! and East Germans had transpoircd this material without approval ofe nt

Both the Angolans and Ibc Mozambwani may wello* ict band in any folate actnsm by SWAPO Oi theas Icrrorul atlaehi or bumbingi in Namibia or South Africathat might undermine their accords with Pretoria Moscow'* public emphasis on the need lo continue thes likdyn poundmniioiiwobterm lor the Sonets could aiuc in theii ill tit Stales, which, deipile their public profei-sions of lolidariis with SWAPO and thetettnunc Swullicf.riya!'.

Scire i

SWAPO and ihe ANC.fii IN likely tathat mdho" might taitiTieen position in Luanda and

Mjf-jio Both bberittoomk beentheir lies lo Ihe Chinese. ihii they will ultimately be mote dependent on the USSRctuli of (S; Angolan and MownNcnn agreements wilh Soulh Africa Indeed. SWAPO and the ANC probably attach greater importanceonet back in; than evet before, in hopes that Moscowoniinunri support of ihe liberation struggle may force Luanda and Maputo lo help them also. Without access to camps and transit points ia Angola and Moumbtque.WAPO and tbe ANC wcaald be lettow ly hampered in their effortsontinue the armed struggle

tlwoktir in Afrit*

The Sonrlt ma) be confined that ibe receni accords with South Africa might be pete-ived by otbeinates at of then*dimmestitti ii. athe*


African leaden, hemever.c the accords at htrailed tactical mmcs and arelo attach broader ugrUficancr lo them

As part of its propaganda effort, the USSR will try lo reinforce black Afikan antipathy to>ard Pretoria by

the various BlpCCtt nf

tlieiet In March.

the Sovietsoint ANC-SWAPO press conference in Mali to discuss ihtf blacks in Namibia and Soulh Africa The Soviets naturally have focused on thane lUvei where thevommon position wuh ihe 'jlack African ttalet Soviet media, for example have highlighted ihe calls of all the frontline leaders that Southlan forScui liistmi ituban troop withdrawal from Angola Similar-Is. Soviet commentaries have quoted the public Hate-mint, of i'ambiai) Proidoit Kuunda tthat South Africausing us- in bu) time and deb.r independence! lo irmtorcehsi Pretoria isih


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