The nationalist guerrilla organisation fighting in South West Africa (Namibia) has rejected South Africa's plan to go ahead with elections in the territory.
CU United Nations Secretary-General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim speaking.
CU Reporter Brian Saxton asking question.
SCU Dr. Waldheim answering.
CU Brian Saxton asking question.
CU Dr. Waldheim answering.
CU Dr. Waldheim listening to question.
CU Dr Waldheim answering.
WALDHEIM: "I regret this statement. I am sorry that South Africa is not ready to accept the proposals I had made to the Security Council. I do not share the views of the South African Government, that my report deviates from the proposals of the Five. On the contrary I think that my report is fully in line with the letter and the spirt of the proposals of the Five. And in fact I was assured even today by the Five that they fully support my report and consider it fully in line with the proposals."
SAXTON: "Do you think South Africa has in fact now closed the door completely on the Western plan?"
WALDHEIM: "I hope not. I am in contact with the Five Western members of the Security Council and we all hope that South Africa is not closing its door and that we will continue the negotiating process. But of course, time is running out and I think a serious effort has to be made now in order to overcome the difficulties and to agree on the practical implementation of the report."
SAXTON: "Do you think this might in fact lead to an escalation of fighting in the region?"
WALDHEIM: "Well, SWAPO has already made a statement that if a negotiated settlement cannot be achieved, they have no alternative than to step up their military activities. And I really hope we can avoid such a development. I think all parties are interested in a peaceful settlement. So why not continue their efforts in order to achieve a settlement. They are so close to a settlement."
SAXTON: "The situation of course will now obviously go back inside the Security Council. Do you think perhaps the Security Council might consider, reconsider, the imposition of economic sanctions on South Africa? Or do you think such a move might upset the Western strategy?"
WALDHEIM: "There will be consultations of the members of the Security Council very soon, and then probably a formal meeting of the Council to discuss the new situation. I do not know what the Council will decide, what kind of concrete measures the Council has in mind. We have to wait for the consultations, the exchange of views amongst the members of the Council, but certainly this will have serious sequences, also for the decision which the Council will have to make in this regard."
REPORTER: BRIAN SAXTON
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Background: The nationalist guerrilla organisation fighting in South West Africa (Namibia) has rejected South Africa's plan to go ahead with elections in the territory. The South African Prime Minister John Vorster announced on Wednesday (September 20) that elections for a constituent assembly in the territory would be held in November, paving the way to independence. The move was seen as a rejection of a United Nations plan drawn up by the Five Western members of the Security Council, after negotiations with South Africa - which rules the territory - and with the South West Africa Peoples' Organisation (SWAPO). After the announcement, a SWAPO official said the election decision left the guerrillas very little option but to step up the war.
The United Nations Secretary-General Dr. Kurt Waldheim, and Western countries, immediately moved to put pressure on South Africa to reconsider its rejection of the United Nations plan, which envisages a transitional peace force being dispatched to Namibia to ensure peace and supervise one-man, one-vote elections. In New York on Wednesday (20 September), Dr. Waldheim described to Visnews reporter Brian Saxton his reaction to the South African move.