The International Conference on Namibia (South West Africa) and human rights has been meeting in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, this week to discuss conditions for the declaration of an independent South West Africa.
SV President Senghor arriving, accompanied by UNESCO Director-General M'Bow and UN Commissioner MacBride and Minister Diouf and others (2 shots)
SV PAN ACROSS Flags of participating nations
SV INTERIOR Delegates seated
CU PAN FROM UN Special Anti-Apartheid Committee sign TO Delegates
SV Mr. M'Bow speaking PAN TO MacBride listening
SV Ambassadors and delegates listening
CU SWAPO spokesman Njuma speaking
SV Diouf seated with M'Bow
GV SWAPO sign and delegates listening to Senghor speaking (3 shots)
SV Delegates applaud and give standing ovation to President
Initials CL/1850 CL/1905
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The International Conference on Namibia (South West Africa) and human rights has been meeting in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, this week to discuss conditions for the declaration of an independent South West Africa.
Namibia is the name given by the United Nations Decolonisation Committee to the South West African territory now administered by the South African government.
The conference -- set up by the International Institute of Human Rights and the International Association of Democratic Jurists -- is taking place under the patronage of the Senegalese President, Dr. Leopold Sedar Senghor.
Among the 300 delegates attending are the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia, Mr. Sean MacBride, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Mr. Amadou Makhtar M'Bow, and the President of the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO), Mr. Sam Njuma.
A number of leading officials from Senegal, including Prime Minister Abdou Diouf, are also taking part in the four-day conference -- which opened on Monday (5 January) -- as is the Zambian Foreign Minister Mr. Bwezani Banda, on behalf of Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda.
The conference has been working under the form of two committees, each discussing aspects of human rights in South West Africa. Their findings will be presented to a meeting of the U.N. Committee on Namibia due to meet in Dakar on Friday (9 January).
In his opening speech, President Senghor roundly condemned what he called "the miserable conditions off life in the homelands" set up by South Africa for its black population.
His comments came shortly after the SWAPO President, Mr. Njuma had warned that the South African government must recognise the territorial integrity and independence of South West Africa. He also listed the conditions SWAPO had set for talks with the South African government.
These include a complete withdrawal of South African troops from the mandated territory, recognition of SWAPO as the sole legitimate body representing the people of South West Africa, release of all political detainees and permission for all political exiles to return in safety.
For the U.N., Mr. MacBride has said that he foresees a U.N. administration in the territory within three to five years. At present South Africa is strongly resisting U.N. pressure, despite the face that the mandate over South West Africa has expired.
SYNOPSIS: Senegal's President Leopold Sedar Senghor's been heading an International Conference on Namibia and Human Rights in Dakar this week. Delegates included U.N. Commissioner for Namibia, Mr. Sean MacBride, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Amadou Makhtar M'Bow, and Mr. San Njuma, President of the South West People's Organisation, SWAPO. Namibia is the name given by the U.N. Decolonisation Committee to South West Africa -- at present administered by South Africa.
The United Nations says South Africa's administration is illegal ... that its mandate for control has expired.
UNESCO Director-General, Mr. M'Bow expressed grave concern over the development needs of the territory, which is potentially rich in metals and minerals. Conditions for development and independence formed the main theme of the four-day conference.
For SWAPO, Mr. Njuma outlined conditions him movement had set down before talks with the South African government can begin. These include complete withdrawal of South African troops and recognition of SWAPO as the legitimate representative of the territory's people. President Senghor then took the rostrum to roundly condemn what he called the miserable living conditions in South Africa's back homelands. The findings of the International Conference will be presented to a special meeting on the U.N. Committee on Namibia in Dakar on Friday.