frontline, adjective

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English frontline, of or pertaining to the most advanced line or military unit of an army.
1. In the phrase frontline state: any African country sharing a border with South Africa; in historical contexts, any African country actively supporting liberation movements in their struggle to bring majority rule to South Africa. Frequently in the plural, these states collectively.
Note:
Also in general English use. The frontline states include Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
[1964 J. Nyerere in Freedom & Unity (1967) 288For Africa, Tanganyika is a ‘border-state’...We have many Freedom Fighters from Mozambique and South Africa organizing their affairs in this country.]
1976 K. Kaunda in Afr. Research Bulletin 1 Apr. (Political, Cultural & Social Series) 4002The strength of the front line states is paramount, and Africa must..strengthen these states..in the heroic struggle against racist oppression and exploitation.
1980 Lye & Murray Transformations 87Though Botswana has remained dependent upon South Africa economically..it has also taken an active role as a ‘Front Line State’ in the negotiations over the settlement of the Zimbabwe/Rhodesia and South West Africa/Namibia issues.
1984 Daily Dispatch 10 Mar. 1Invitations to..leaders of the other front line states..have been issued by President Machel.
1986 Star 26 Sept. 2Commonwealth Finance Ministers have ended a two-day meeting..with a plea for R11,8 billion in international aid for the black African Frontline states hit by what they called South African aggression.
1987 New Nation 12 Dec. 8Pretoria is trying to use every method in the book to destabilise the ‘Frontline states’.
1988 Leaflet (Progressive Federal Party)The ANC has over 10 000 guerillas under arms in the front line states.
1988 Williams & Hackland Dict. of Contemp. Politics of Sn Afr. 99The ‘frontline’ states..regard themselves as in the ‘frontline’ of the struggle against apartheid and white minority rule.
1990 Weekly Mail 21 Dec. (Suppl.) 15The mass slaughter of civilians continued despite negotiations on both Mozambique and Angola, and crossborder violence against other frontline states..likewise heated up.
1990 S. Smith Front Line Afr. p.viiThe ‘Front Line States’..have formed an alliance to fight apartheid and white minority rule in South Africa. They are formally constituted as a group led by one of the Presidents, and they meet regularly to coordinate their policies.
1994 M. Elliott in Newsweek 7 Nov. 15Nelson Mandela’s government is determined to work with the former ‘frontline states’ on regional questions.
2. Of or pertaining to the frontline states.
1978 Afr. Research Bulletin 1 June (Political, Cultural & Social Series) 4900SWAPO..told a front-line Heads of State meeting..that it would intensify armed struggle against South Africa’s occupation of Namibia.
1978 Afr. Research Bulletin 1 June (Political, Cultural & Social Series) 4901Two things are significant about the front-line presidents’ statement.
1984 E. Prov. Herald 6 Apr. 1Mr Ja Toivo..held talks with frontline leaders in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
1986 Pretoria News 25 Sept. 2Schultz to meet Frontline officials...The US Secretary of State..will hold talks with Foreign Ministers of the six Frontline States.
1988 R. McNeill in Sunday Times 10 July 18You will find no shortage of Frontline politicians to slang off South Africa.
1990 Sunday Times 14 Jan. 16Robert Mugabe, still speaking in the anti-South African jargon of the 80s, is audibly out of step with his Frontline neighbours.
any African country sharing a border with South Africa; in historical contexts, any African country actively supporting liberation movements in their struggle to bring majority rule to South Africa. Frequently in the plural, these states collectively.
Of or pertaining to the frontline states.
Derivatives:
Hence Frontliner noun, a frontline state.
1986 E. Prov. Herald 24 Sept. 1Beira plan no solution for Frontliners.

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