African foreign ministers were to begin their twice-yearly conference in Nairobi on Friday (23 February) to implement their task of promoting unity on a continent riven by national, racial, ideological and religious conflicts.
GV TILT DOWN Kenyatta Conference Centre
GV & SV PAN Flags outside building (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Delegates from Nigeria, Togo, Libya, Gabon, and Zambia seated in conference hall (5 shots)
SV O.A.U. Secretary General speaking in French (6 shots)
GV Delegates seated at table, waiting for Ugandan and Tanzanian delegates and observers to leave the room
SV Ugandan delegates looking at map of Ugandan/ Tanzanian border area showing battle area to newsmen
SCU Ugandan delegate talks to reporter in English (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: LUBAGA: "We do not intend to attack Tanzania. We can only defend our country."
REPORTER: "But didn't you attack Tanzania?"
LUBAGA: "We were defending Uganda. We chased away the invaders. In October, they came to Uganda, on the ninth of October, and they continued to occupy our territory until the thirty-first of October, when they were pushed back up the Kagera River."
REPORTER: "You said you had at least one mercenary dead. Do you have any idea what nationality he have any idea what nationality he is?"
LUBAGA: "I wouldn't say at the moment, what nationality, but we do have...."
REPORTER: "Can you tell us if Uganda has any claims on what is recognised as Tanzanian territory?"
LUBAGA: "No, that we don't have."
REPORTER: "You have no claim on the Kagera airstrip?"
LUBAGA: "No, of course not."
REPORTER: "What's going to happen when the talks have ended?"
LUBAGA: "Let's be optimistic, let's hope that the talks will not fail."
LUBAGA: "Of course, that is a nonsense. If anybody is to be condemned it should be Tanzania, but we don't think that this is a positive way of reconciliation."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: African foreign ministers were to begin their twice-yearly conference in Nairobi on Friday (23 February) to implement their task of promoting unity on a continent riven by national, racial, ideological and religious conflicts. The ministerial meeting of the forty-nine-members Organisation of African Unity (O.A.U.) is officially meant to concentrate on budgetary and administrative matters, with political issues left until the summit meeting in July. But, in the past, politics have always intruded into the early session, and conference sources expect it will happen again this year.
SYNOPSIS: Before the conference started, an O.A.U. mediation committee met at the Kenyatta Conference Centre. Their brief was to try to stop the present war between Tanzania and Uganda.
The mediation committee was called together because earlier attempts by the O.A.U. to stop the fighting, as well as missions by Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiri, had failed to end the seventeen weeks of sporadic fighting between the two neighbours of Kenya. O.A.U. Secretary-General Edem Kodjo, addressing the meeting in French, knew before the started that only two issues have ever drawn the forty-nine members states together. These were the battle against South Africa, and support for the Palestinian guerrillas.
Before talks began, the Ugandan and Tanzanian delegates withdrew. The Ugandan delegate, Mr. Matiya Lubaga, spoke to newsmen: