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.
CU Cuban Permanent Representative Raul Rao-Kouri speaking in Spanish
CU West German Permanent Representative Rudiger Von Wechmar, speaking in English
CU Soviet First Deputy Permanent Representative Kikhail Kharlamov speaking in Russian
CU Angolan Permanent Representative Elisio de Figueiredo speaking in English
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: VON WECHMAR: "If full agreement is not reached in the near future then we must--collectively--examine appropriate net steps. All concerned must understand that the five are dedicated to the early achievement of an internationally recognised independence for Namibia. Mr. President, as we near that goal we wish to reiterate our Governments' support for the efforts of the Secretary General and his staff and our great appreciation for the support of the many member states which have joined in this settlement effort".
SEQ. 4: DE FIGUEIREDO: "The world knows what the People's Republic of Angola has faced since our independence four years ago, armed South African invasions, paratroop assaults, bombing, strafing, shelling, armoured assaults, helicopter assaults, wanton destruction of livestock factories mines, communications and transport equipment. Not to mention the loss of human lives not only military but civilian. Children in schoolrooms, women in the fields, men in factories killed by Western supplied aircraft, weapons and ammunition wielded by the racist South African troops. All this is daily experienced by thousands of Angolans as our borders are violated both on the ground and in the air. And yet, Mr. President, we take our wounded to the hospital, we replace the livestock, we rebuild our schoolrooms, we bury our dead and we too, Mr. President, return to the negotiating table so that the cause of peace and stability may be strengthened in Southern Africa".
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Background: 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.