• Short Summary

    The South African army completed its withdrawal from Angola on Saturday (27 March) ending a campaign which, according to Reuters, took it to the brink of a major conflict.

  • Description

    The South African army completed its withdrawal from Angola on Saturday (27 March) ending a campaign which, according to Reuters, took it to the brink of a major conflict.

    The remaining 2,000 South African soldiers moved back across the border into South West Africa, across the Kavango river, after having been dug into positions protecting the Cunene river project in southern Angola. Units of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (M.P.L.A.) were stationed only a few hundred yards (meters) away from them at a point 35 miles (60 kilometers) from the border.

    The main withdrawal took place through the area that includes the Ruacana dam, which is designed to provide hydroelectric power to the Ovembo region of South West Africa. South Africa has received assurances from the M.P.L.A. on safeguarding the dam and respecting the border.

    South African Defence Minister, Pieter Both, took the salute as the troops withdrew. Afterwards he said "We will remain alert".

    During the time that they were in Angola South African forces became involved in running fights with M.P.L.A. troops and ended up 600 miles (1,000 kilometres) north of the border with South West Africa, on the outskirts of Luanda, the Angolan capital.

    A military source quoted by Reuters said that "the idea was to chase the M.P.L.A. away but they kept running and we kept chasing". However, the South Africans pulled back to the border region when the Soviet-armed and Cuban-led M.P.L.A. forces counter-attacked and swept southwards.

    After the South African withdrawal hundreds of Angolan refugees, black and white, were reported to have fled into South West Africa, fearing reprisals by the M.P.L.A.

    South African Defence officials quoted by Reuters said about 1,600 refugee apparently swam or canoed across the crocodile-infested Kavango river, leaving most of their possessions behind.

    SYNOPSIS: The remaining 2,000 South African troops left in Angola completed their withdrawal on Saturday as they crossed the Kavango river into South West Africa, after having been dug into positions protecting the Cunene river project. South African Defence Minister, Pieter Botha, took the salute as the troops withdrew.

    During the time they were in Angola South African troops became involved in running fights with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola - M.P.L.A. - and ended up 600 miles north of the border with South West Africa, on the outskirts of Luanda, the Angolan capital. After the South African withdrawal hundreds of Angolan refugees, both black and white, were reported to have fled into South West Africa, fearing reprisals from the M.P.L.A.

    South African Defence officials, quoted by Reuters, said about 1,600 refugees who had supported western-backed movements during the civil war, apparently swam or canoed across the crocodile-infested Kavango river, leaving most of their possessions behind.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2IS25PQW7HDQ76P7RY2LKOF22
    Media URN:
    VLVA2IS25PQW7HDQ76P7RY2LKOF22
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    27/03/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:09:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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