The United Nations hopes to receive an early answer from South Africa on proposals for keeping peace in Namibia (South West Africa) as the territory moves towards independence.
CU Mr Brian Urquhart United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs speaking in English with delegates listening (5 shots)
URQUHART: "We have discussed a fairly wide range of subjects relating to the concept of the demilitarised zone, which as you can well imagine is a relatively complicated concept to put into effect. It involves an area some fourteen hundred kilometres long and a hundred kilometres wide, in a very varied and difficult country. It involves the forces of four governments and it involves others as well. And there naturally are a great number of things that have to be discussed. And I think that it is not in any sense an enforcement procedure. This is very important. The United Nations operates in a different way from ordinary military forces, even when it is using military personnel for its purposes. The basis of any such arrangement, especially in such a complicated area as this one, much be firmly based on the understanding and the co-operation, and the desire to make it work of everybody concerned. We are in no sense re-writing or re-negotiating the basic proposal for the transition to independence of Namibia. That is the basis of all our actions. The (Indistinct) is simply in addition to trying to get over certain difficulties which have arisen.
Mr Urquhart said the African countries attending the talks -- Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique and Nigeria -- agreed with the concept of the demilitarised zone, and so did SWAPO.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United Nations hopes to receive an early answer from South Africa on proposals for keeping peace in Namibia (South West Africa) as the territory moves towards independence. United Nations Under-Secretary-General Brian Urquhart told reporters that the South African delegations had returned to Pretoria to report to the government on a United Nations plan for establishing a demilitarised zone along Namibia's 1,400 kilometre (870 miles) border with Angola and Zambia. He spoke at the end of five days of talks on the plan. They were attended by delegations from around the world and members of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO). SWAPO is fighting a bush war against the South African Security forces in the territory.