The people of Kinshasa marched with banners to show their condemnation of the atrocities by forces from the Soviet Union and Cuba in the province of Shaba, and to show their support for President Mobutu.
GV: people carrying banners through streets saying "Halt Soviet and Cuban Imperialism".
SV: Mandungu Bula Nyati in safari suit heads parade. (2 shots)
GV: large crowd go down road, followed by band, towards stadium.
GV: stadium crowds with banners marching through streets towards stadium.
TGV: large crowd arriving in stadium.
SV: crowd entering stadium and taking seats (3 shots)
SV: Mr Nyati speaking to crowd in stadium and crowd cheering. (4 shots)
Since the arrival of French and Belgian troops on the rescue operation, there have been conflicting opinions as to whether there are Cuban troops in Kolwezi. French troops, according to Reuter, found no evidence of Cubans, despite the unconfirmed reports of fleeing Cubans. U.S. and Belgian sources, however, still maintain that Cuban forces are involved. By Saturday, May 20th, several hundred Europeans had been evacuated.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The people of Kinshasa marched with banners to show their condemnation of the atrocities by forces from the Soviet Union and Cuba in the province of Shaba, and to show their support for President Mobutu. It was reported that the people of Kinshasa asked the Minister of Public Works and Territorial Planning, Mandungu Bula Nyati, to persuade President Mobutu to arm Angolan refugees so that they can fight back against the ex-Katangese soldiers who are now armed by Angola to fight in Zaire.
SYNOPSIS: The message on the banners was plain. Halt Soviet and Cuban Imperialism". By the next day (Friday May 19th) as French troops landed on a mission to rescue foreigners trapped in Zaire, a motorized column of black Cubans were reported to be fleeing away from Kolwezi. As Mandungu Bula Nyati led the marchers through the town their mood and their feelings were apparent.
As they marched towards the "Stadium of 20th May" which is named after the national holiday to commemorate the anniversary of the Movement Populaire de la Revolution; the French Government in Paris was already planning a joint operation with the Belgian government to rescue some three to four thousand whites in Zaire. These landings took place on Friday (19 May) night. Sixty bodies of Europeans were found by French troops and it was estimated that at least one hundred European women had been raped. With the European community dispersed round the town of Kolwezi the task of finding them was complicated by the tense situation and the state of extreme shock which the European Community were said to be in. A further nine whites were said to have been taken hostage by retreating rebels.
In his address, Mr. Nyati, who is also urban commissioner of Kinshasa, called upon the people to be vigilant. The response of the crowds was enthusiastic. Their message to President Mobutu-"reply to Angolan aggression by arming refugee Angolans to fight as Angola had armed Katangese to fight in Zaire".