The question of a proposed demilitarised zone along the northern border of Namibia (South West Africa) has been the focus of intensive consultations at the United Nations.
The question of a proposed demilitarised zone along the northern border of Namibia (South West Africa) has been the focus of intensive consultations at the United Nations. In separate meetings, Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim has discussed the proposed zone with all parties linked to Namibian independence negotiations. First, he met with the Western contact group that has been acting as a go-between in the talks--Britain, France, Canada, the United States and West Germany. Less than two hours later, he talked to representatives of the so-called Front Line states--Angola, which proposed the demilitarised zone, Botswana, mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. But, although all the parties agree in principle to the demilitarised zone, there are still several points to be discussed. The General Assembly debated the issue on Monday (10 December).
SYNOPSIS: Cuba's U.N. representative, Raul Rao-Kouri, said helping the people of Namibia is the responsibility of the international community. He called for assistance to be given to SWAPO--the South West Africa' People's organisation. SWAPO'S Foreign Secretary, Peter Mueshihange, and SWAPO'S U.N. observer, Theo Ben Gurirab, met Mr. Waldheim after the other two groups. However, plans for the demilitarised zone are well advanced. West Germany's representative, Rudiger Von Wechmar says the contact group is in touch with Dr. Waldheim and his staff concerning arrangements for talks to work out details of the demilitarised zone.
Soviet representative, Mikhail Kharlamov, said South Africa had no intention of leaving Namibia voluntarily. He said they needed its strategic raw materials--including uranium and diamonds. South Africa, according to Mr. kharlamov, is dragging its feet so it can resolve the question on a neocolonial basis. He called for the transfer of power to SWAPO and sanctions to be applied to South Africa. Angola's representative, Elisio de Figueiredo, said his country had suffered a number of atrocities because it border Namibia.