Delegates of Mauritius stormed out of the final session of the Organization of African Unity summit Saturday and accused the OAU of hypocrisy for criticizing their nation's increased trade with South Africa.
"These self-righteous, hypocritical accusations are an insult to Mauritius," said Satoam Boolall, the island nation's chief representative at the summit. "My government feels that it is being unfairly and unjustly singled out."Boolall, of Mauritius' Foreign Ministry, said Prime Minister Aneerood Jugnauth ordered the delegation to walk out of the session.
Conference sources said the Comoros Islands and the Seychelles, two other Indian Ocean islands, also protested the summit's adoption of an OAU Liberation Committee report expressing embarrassment and concern at their growing trade ties with South Africa.
Thirty heads of state attended the OAU's 25th anniversary celebrations and its 24th summit in Addis Ababa, the organization's headquarters.
OAU Secretary-General Ide Oumarou of Niger said the final resolution criticized those African nations that do not border South Africa and whose economic relationship with the white-dominated government was "voluntary and deliberate."
He said the organization was not being hypocritical in not citing the countries whose geographical proximity to South African and colonial heritages have forced their economies to be integrated into that of South Africa.
Black Africa does about $1 billion a year business with South Africa, most of it covert. The summit established a committee to investigate that.