• Short Summary

    In New York, the newly-elected Chief of the Herero nation in Namibia has called for elections in his country.

  • Description

    SCU New Chief of the Herero people Kuaima Riruako being interviewed by Visnews reporter Karl Hoffenberg and answering questions in English

    HOFFENBERG: "What are your feelings towards the South West Africa Peoples' Organisation or SWAPO?"

    RIRUAKO: "Well, I don't have any grudge against SWAPO, but I want them to put themselves through ... (indistinct) ... free elections that whether they are the sole representatives or not."

    HOFFENBERG: "There've been no elections of their officers?"

    RIRUAKO: "Pardon?"

    HOFFENBERG: "There have been no elections of any of their officers?"

    RIRUAKO: "No, they have been appointed by the outside forces, without concern for the people at home who support elections. Now they have got themselves a ... (indistinct) ... representative of the people of Namibia, before the United Nations, without being elected by the people of Namibia. Now, to prove themselves, that they are the sole representatives they are supposed to be, to vote in an election and face elections. Then prove themselves to the world."

    HOFFENBERG: "So far, they have no desire to do this?"

    RIRUAKO: "Well, what happened ... I heard that they refused to participate in any elections. They meant to have ... the United Nations was going to be there as an observer. They are not co-operating with the Western powers' proposals. I really don't know what is the position, what their new position is for the moment."

    HOFFENBERG: "What do you think of Sam Nujoma, pardon me. I believe he is the leader of SWAPO?"

    RIRUAKO: "To me, Sam Nujoma is a tool of the Russians. He is the man who happens to go by Russians."

    HOFFENBERG: "By the Russians, you say?"

    RIRUAKO: "The Russians, yes, Moscow. He doesn't have his own idea to decide on his own. He depends on Russian advice. That's all he does."

    Sources quoted by Reuters news agency say that the meeting in Luanda, Angola on Sunday (11 June), between SWAPO and leaders of the five black 'Front Line" states, agreed to restart the stalled talks with Western envoys on an independence settlement for Namibia. Negotiations between SWAPO and the five Western contact states -- Britain, the United States, France, West Germany and Canada -- were suspended on 5 May, following South Africa's raid on a SWAPO base at Kassinga, inside Angola.

    Initials BB/1620

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In New York, the newly-elected Chief of the Herero nation in Namibia has called for elections in his country. Kuaima Riruako, who has been studying at New York University, replaces Clemens Kapuuo, who was assassinated earlier this year. Chief Kapuuo was widely tipped as a future president of an independent Namibia. Some political parties in Namibia blamed his death on the South West Africa Peoples' Organisation -- SWAPO -- which is opposing South African rule in the territory. Visnews reporter Karl Hoffenberg interviewed Chief Riruako.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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