By John Carey
IAN SMITH must be forced to 1.:..• hand over power to the British s Government if Rhodesia is to be r .' saved from "total destruction". And everything possible must be ; done to bring together the divided ;. armies of the Patriotic Front in ;,.• the context of a negotiated settle:•• ment. .• Those are the twin recom,•'smendations in "Rhodesia After ' .: the Internal Settlement", a new ; report published this week by the :Catholic Institute for Inter
. national Relations (CIIR). The • :report claims that the war cannot . be ended until it is recognised that ..the internal settlement has in • effect collapsed.
At a Press conference in : London this week, Brother S, Fidelis Mukonori, Si, and Mr Michael Auret, who are both . members of the Rhodesian Justice and Peace Commission, stressed the urgency of the situa • ,,, tion, and called on Britain to fulfil s its responsibility of "decolonis' ing" Rhodesia.
' It was important that Britain , and not America should take the . lead in bringing about a negotiated settlement, they said. ' The CIIR report says: ' • The internal settlement does not guarantee the transfer of ;:power to the black majority. In stead it leaves effective military and economic power in white hands, together with control over the civil service and the judiciary.
• Most Africans now regard the agreement as "fraudulent and worthless".
• The Patriotic Front guerrillas are gaining ground.
• The three "internal black leaders", Bishop Muzorewa, the Rev Sithole and Chief Chirau, are now seriously compromised by their partnership with Mr Smith.
• Ian Smith is not to be trusted, and the Patriotic Front cannot be expected to lay down their arms unless Smith categorically abandons white control.
▪ The interim government is now pursuing the war and internal repression even more brutally than before.
The recent air strikes by Rhodesian forces on guerrilla camps, both military and refugee, in Zambia and Mozambique, are described as "not only politically inept but morally indefensible."
Their effect, the report says, has been "to harden the attitudes of' the Patriotic Front and its supporters making negotiations that much more difficult and exacerbating the racial aspect of the war with obvious implications for the future of white Rhodesians."
The rapidly deteriorating situa lion means that the internal black leaders must dissociate themselves from the government and isolate Mr Smith. This, the report argues, would force Mr Smith to deal with the British Government on the basis of the Anglo American proposals.
"Once authority has been ceded to the British, the opportunity will again arise for a cease fire to be proclaimed, for a United Nations force to be established, for free and fair elections to take place, and for subsequent independence to be granted," it says.
It highlights the growing threat being posed by the growth of "private armies" which are being recruited by the internal black leaders.
It adds: "We do not argue that a military victory for the Patriotic Front would provide a panacea for the accumulating sufferings of the country. What we do argue is that there can be no possibility of making common cause among the nationalist movements until the Salisbury Agreement is abandoned."