US to drop ANCís terrorist tag

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 April 2008, 14:24 GMT]
A bill has been introduced in the US Congress to remove South Africa's governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), and its leaders from US blacklists as terrorists, press reports said this week. The United States blacklisted the ANC when the liberation movement was designated a terrorist organisation by South Africa's old apartheid regime in 1960. The end of the Cold War in 1990 in turn ended Western support for the Apartheid regime. Thereafter, the ANC came to power, forming government in May 1994. Its armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was disbanded eight months later.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday it was time to remove Nelson Mandela and the ANC from a US blacklist drawn up during the apartheid era.

"I really hope we can remove these restrictions on the ANC," Rice told a Senate committee.

"This is a country with which we now have excellent relations," she said.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have proposed legislation that would remove the ANC and its leaders from any US databases that list them as terrorists.

The measure's sponsor, Democratic Representative Howard Berman, the chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently introduced a bill aimed at removing "any notation that would characterise the ANC and its leaders as terrorists" from any US databases.

Rice urged lawmakers at a Senate hearing on Wednesday to make sure that the legislation was passed.

Berman, the chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently introduced a bill aimed at removing "any notation that would characterise the ANC and its leaders as terrorists" from any US databases.

 

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