• Short Summary

    The President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, has claimed that Rhodesian security forces have launched 35 incursions into his country in the past two years.

  • Description

    SV: Mr. Paul Hartling, U.N. High commissioner for Refugees followed by President Seretse Khama and his wife.

    CU: Mr. Hartling speaking in English.

    SV: Mr. Hartling presenting award to Seretse Khama.

    MV: Africans listen to Seretse Khama's speech in English with cutaways of scenes of refugees in Botswana. (7 SHOTS)

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: HARTLING: "The Nansen Medal Award Committee, instituted by the United nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recognizing the exceptional services by the Government and people of Botswana to the cause of refugees by giving shelter to thousands of victims of racial discrimination, decides to award the Nansen Medal for 1978 to His Excellency, Sir Seretse Khama, K.B.E., President of the Republic of Botswana."

    SEQ. 4: SERETSE KHAMA: "I cannot promise that I or my people will be able to strengthen the cause for which that great philanthropist, Pridoj Nansen, gave the best of his life. But I can comment on what I think my people can promise is our continuing appreciation oft he plight of the many refugees we have in our country and are still to come. We will continued to do our best in ensuring that while they are in our country, life should be made more bearable for them, even as we expect them to understand that life in exile is one of the most difficult of human experiences."

    It was the first time that a chief of state, having been awarded the Nansen Medal, had gone personally to Geneva to receive it. Sir Seretse also said that the present refugee problem in Southern Africa, was only a prelude to a greater refugee problem or even a tragedy. He said, "I don not even want to imagine what Southern Africa will be like in a few years time".

    Initials JS/1800

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, has claimed that Rhodesian security forces have launched 35 incursions into his country in the past two years. Sir Seretse was speaking in Switzerland on Monday (22 May) where he received a United Nations award for his help in re-settling refugees from South Africa and Rhodesia in Botswana. Sir Seretse said Rhodesian forces has crossed into Botswana from time to time and had burnt down huts and shot at women working in fields.

    SYNOPSIS: In Geneva at a special ceremony, Mr. Paul Hartling, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, greeted Sir Seretse Khama and his wife. Mr. Hartling praised the Botswana leader's humanitarian attitudes towards refugees in Africa.

    Accepting the Nansen Award, named after Norwegian explorer, Pridjof Nansen, who became the first League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sir Seretse said there were about 10,000 refugees in camps in Botswana. He said a further 30,000 had passed through the camps in the last two years.

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