Denmark and National Liberation in Southern Africa: A Flexible Response
This book describes and documents the development of Danish support to national liberation in Southern Africa and the two-sided humanitarian and political character of this support. It is based on previously restricted Danish ministry records and on NGO archives and interviews.The Nordic countries were unique in the Western world in their support to individuals, organisations and refugees, struggling to end institutionalised colonialism and racism and alleviate their humanitarian consequences. Nordic support was humanitarian and civilian, and to a large extent was given to refugees and to education. Increasingly, it came to involve national liberation movements and financial support to their civilian activities, at a time when these movements were politically and militarily struggling against the regimes in their countries-including the government of Portugal, a NATO military partner of Norway and Denmark.Danish support developed differently from that of the other Nordic countries. Official support was never given directly to liberation movements. Rather, Danish NGOs were employed to advise on Danish allocations and to distribute these allocations and carry out activities, using their own capacity or through their international networks. In the field of sanctions, Denmark shifted from a policy of awaiting a UN Security Council decision to imposing unilateral trade sanctions as the first Western country to do so, and the book analyses the political developments behind this.The study seeks to determine the events, rationales, arguments and decisions that led to the various forms of Danish support. Key questions are how Danish support was established as a purely humanitarian facility that later developed into supporting also the liberation movements, and how boycott was first considered to be an issue for the individual but eventually became national, official policy.
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