Rebels From Four Nations Form Anti-Communist Alliance
JAMBA, Angola (AP) _ Representatives of guerrilla groups in four nations, at a meeting in the African bush arranged by lobbyists for President Reagan, have agreed to cooperate in their fight against Soviet-backed governments.
The representatives from Angola, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Laos declared themselves founders of the Democratic International, an alliance to oppose the spread of communism.
The guerrilla representatives and reporters traveled from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Jamba for the weekend meeting at the headquarters of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Most flew out of the southeastern Angola bush Wednesday.
Some experts on guerrilla movements characterized the meeting as the first attempt by anti-Marxist rebels to cooperate across national borders in the way Soviet-sponsored forces have done for 20 years.
It was not immediately clear how guerrillas from four distant countries could cooperate, but Lewis Lehrman, chairman of the group that arranged the meeting, said the rebels could raise morale by exchanging information. He said the alliance would establish a ″clearing house″ in Washington with the help of his organization, Citizens for America.
Laotian representative Bee Moua said the meeting produced nothing substantial and ″all we did was to get to know each other.″ He said the success of the alliance would depend on its producing practical gains for the guerrillas, but did not explain how this would be attempted.
Moua lives in Fitchburg, Mass. Seng Her, another of the four Laotian delegates, lives in Atlanta, Ga. The two Afghan delegates live in Bowie, Md.
The guerrilla representatives signed a document declaring that the ″Soviet empire″ is ″more vicious and oppressive than all others″ and is ″fated to fall ... because Soviet imperialism violates the true nature of man.″
Jonas Savimbi signed the declaration for UNITA. Other signers were Adolfo Calero of the Nicaraguan Unity of Opposition, Pa Kao Her of the Ethnic Liberation Organization of Laos, and Ghulam Wardak of the Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahedin.
Lehrman said the meeting was organized by Citizens for America to put into action what he called the ″Reagan Doctrine:″ national self-determinat ion and freedom from Soviet oppression.
The group’s executive director, Jack Abramoff, said the meeting was held in Angola because Savimbi ″is a prominent symbol of anti-Soviet fighters.″ UNITA claims undisputed control of one-third of Angola, more territory than is held by any of the other three movements.
Lehrman, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of New York in 1982, carried a letter from Reagan expressing sympathy for the guerrillas’ cause. He presented each delegation a framed copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
Lehrman founded Citizens for America two years ago to raise funds and lobby for Reagan’s economic and military policies. It claims 5,000 contributors in nearly three-quarters of the 435 U.S. congressional districts.