• Short Summary

    The last South African troops, who where guarding the big hydro-electric and irrigation scheme on the Cunene river in southern Angola, withdrew into South West Africa on Saturday (27 March).

  • Description

    The last South African troops, who where guarding the big hydro-electric and irrigation scheme on the Cunene river in southern Angola, withdrew into South West Africa on Saturday (27 March).

    The soldiers were stationed around installations of the unfinished project at Ruacana and Calueque.

    The Cunene development, a joint South African-Portuguese venture, involves the building of dams at Calueque, 15 miles (25 kms) inside Angola, and at Ruacana, on the border.

    It is aimed at supplying water and power to parts of southern Angola and northern South West Africa.

    The MPLA government had demanded the withdrawal of the South Africans, who had been in Angola since last August, initially to guard the project during the civil war.

    But, according to a South African military source, they had become involved with running fights with MPLA troops. These clashes had taken the South Africans almost to the outskirts of Luanda, the Angolan capital, 600 miles (1000 kms) to the north.

    South Africa finally agreed to withdraw, after the Angolans had given assurances that the project would be allowed to continue.

    The South African withdrawal across the border was watched by defence minister, Mr. Pieter Botha.

    SYNOPSIS: The swollen waters of the Cunene river, harnessed by the Calueque dam in southern Angola, which has been the subject of dispute between South Africa and the new MPLA government. The last South African troops guarding the huge hydro-electric and irrigation scheme were withdrawn into South West Africa on Saturday.

    the MPLA government had demanded the withdrawal of the South Africans who had been guarding the project since last August. South Africa agreed to pull out after Angola gave assurances safeguarding the project.

    The Cunene development is a joint South African-Portuguese project, which involved the building of dams, here, at Calueque, 15 miles inside Angola, and at Ruacana, where the river forms the border with South West Africa. It was aimed at providing irrigation and hydro-electric power for northern South West Africa and Southern Angola.

    South African troops moved into the area at first just to guard the installations during the Angolan civil war, but they became involved in running battle with MPLA forces.

    South african defence minister, Pieter Botha, took the salute of the 2,000 soldiers as they moved back into South West Africa. The territory is controlled by South Africa under a disputed League of Nations mandate. Mr. Botha, surrounded by defence officials, said that the withdrawal was the "end of a chapter, but hopefully the beginning of a better chapter". MPLA troops were expected to move to the border in the next few days.

    Despite Mr. Botha's expressed hopes for better relations, South African military men believe there could now be an increase in guerrilla activity by the South West African People's Organisation, Swapo. Swapo is fighting to end South Africa's administration of the territory.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA31YD6EVQLRC9QBYBRG8EPA5RV
    Media URN:
    VLVA31YD6EVQLRC9QBYBRG8EPA5RV
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    28/03/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:01:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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