IV-6. USSR and Decolonization of Africa

Convener: Andrey Yu. Urnov (Institute for African Studies, Moscow, Russia); e-mail: aurnov@yandex.ru

The USSR policy in Africa during the years of liberation struggle has always been a subject of both praises and criticism. The controversy continues today. So the suggested theme is topical and the panel discussion will contribute to the search of truth. The process of colonization had been developing along side with the cold war. It was global and one of its front lines ran across the colonial (third) world. The cold war had its impact on the anticolonial struggle, its forms and methods, political and ideological orientation of liberation movements and newly independent states. Both blocks pursued their own interests. The fact remains, however, that the struggle of the colonial people for the liberation and the consolidation of their independence objectively ran contrary to the interests of the West and corresponded to those of the East. In the course of all its history the Soviet Union consistently stood for the liquidation of colonialism. Through rendering support to this just anticolonial struggle the USSR and its allies were on the side of the Right Cause, while the West was on the other side of the barricade. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the policy of the East was irreproachable. Mistakes were made, the assistance was not always effective. For the Panel discussions we suggest the following topics:
- Colonial question and the policy of the USSR;
- The decolonization of Africa in the context of the Cold War;
- USSR – US policies in Africa at the time of the Cold War comparative analysis;
- Armed struggle as a legitimate and at times unavoidable form of the liberation movement;
- Decolonization and neocolonialism;
- Socialist orientation of newly liberated states;
- USSR contribution to the liberation of the Portuguese colonies and the liquidation of racism and apartheid in the South of Africa;
- Assistance to liberation movements, rendered by the Soviet Afro-Asian solidarity committee and other soviet nongovernment organizations.
We welcome other suggestions from prospective papergivers.