Kenyan Foreign Minister Munyua Weiyaki condemned the use of mercenaries "anywhere in Africa" when he addressed the staff of the National Christian Council of Kenya in Nairobi on Thursday (12 February).
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DR. WAIYAKI: "We give priority to the halting of hostilities in Angola, because we Kenyans firmly believe in the worth of human life. Our own experience here during the freedom struggle taught us that apart from perpetuating hatred, bitterness killing each other deprived the nation of a most worthy resource .. namely the human resource. Without which the development of our nation would be jeopardised. That of course also applies to the Angolans. We feel therefore that it is important that Angolans should stop killing Angolans. Because, after all, it is the Angolans .. all Angolans .. that will live in Angola when all is settled down. They will need all manpower available to reconstruct their very much devastated country. And we not even now prepared to believe all we've heard before, which we know is a lot of rubbish about the bogey of communism. Because Africans have a right to decide for themselves what road they will pursue, and I have no knowledge yet of any country in Africa which has gone communist. But that is not to say that our grandchildren and our children's children will not go communist .. therefore the young generation including the young people here have not yet in fact heard a communist party in this country and I haven't heard of a communist party in Angola despite the descriptions of the MPLA, and I have been there .. seen what they do. They are certainly left of centre, by a great measure. But I don't think a communist who really understands what communism is about, would really accept the MPLA as a communist party."
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(ED'S NOTE: This film is serviced with part of Dr. Waiyaki's address. A transcript follows.)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Kenyan Foreign Minister Munyua Weiyaki condemned the use of mercenaries "anywhere in Africa" when he addressed the staff of the National Christian Council of Kenya in Nairobi on Thursday (12 February).
Dr. Waiyaki said that, for a start, South Africa should withdraw its troops from Angola and stop "meddling in the internal affairs of the country".
He said this would give the Angolans a chance to solve their own problems without problems.
The Foreign Minister also urged all nations to stop giving sanctuary and rights of passage to mercenaries and appealed to Angolans to cease fighting, pointing out that the country would need all "available manpower to restore a society".
When asked about the Kenyan Government's attitude toward the MPLA's Government, Dr. Waiyaki said the matter would be discussed by the Cabinet and that his Government has not yet recognised a Government in Angola.