Rhodesian leader Ian Smith told a news conference on Wednesday (January 31) that the closure of Rhodesia's border with Zambia had been a correct decision.
GV PAN. Rhodesian TV station
SV Rhodesian flag outside
CU INT. Map of Rhodesia on wall
CU Ian Smith
SV PAN. Press seated in front of Smith
SCU Ian Smith speaks
(SMITH): "The position is more serious than we had originally contemplated. We have got a new situation in Rhodesia that we have not previously experienced. Namely, that the terrorists were operating across the border, an easy border which is simply a line on a map and were able to cross backwards and forwards with facility. And for some time they have been in this area and this has enabled them to come into the area and subvert pockets of tribesmen onto their side. In addition, as I mentioned, they were fortunate in obtaining the services of a few witch doctors. I'm pleased to say witchdoctors of no great repute. However, they were off assistance. These poor gullible tribesmen who believe in witchcraft and the throwing of bones unfortunately were able to be manipulated and were easy prey in the hands of the combine of the witchdoctors and the terrorists. And therefore we have got a problem, we've conceded this, we're facing up to it. I don't want to lead anybody to believe it is a simple one we can solve overnight. I think it is going to take a little time to successfully carry out our decontamination exercise."
Initials ESP/2302 ESP/2312
In this film, Mr. Smith outlines the reasons for the programme of "decontamination" his regime is planning in areas close to the border, where guerrilla incursions have been claimed to be numerous. A transcript follows:
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Rhodesian leader Ian Smith told a news conference on Wednesday (January 31) that the closure of Rhodesia's border with Zambia had been a correct decision. He said it was purely defensive, aimed at combatting the movement of terrorists into Rhodesia from Zambia.
He said the closure was not an effort at sanctions, but said he would only re-open the border when he received satisfactory guarantees from President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. He gave no indication of what such guarantees should be.
Rhodesia closed its border in early January, cutting off Zambia's route to the sea.