A massive programme is expected to begin in about two weeks to repatriate about one hundred and fifty thousand refugees who fled from the Rhodesian guerrilla war.
GV Border post on Rhodesia side
SV Name on border post, "Chirundu"
SV Union Jack flying above border
SV Zimbabwe Rhodesia flag flying on border
SV PAN FROM Sign Zambezi River -- PAN TO Bridge and ACROSS River
PAN Across Zambezi River to bridge
GV Zambian border post with Zambian flag flying
SV Men painting markings on side of road and crowd walking toward bridge and crossing bridge (2 shots)
SV Policeman leaving damaged police station
SV PAN Wrecked building
SV PAN Building with bullet scars on wall
GV Destroyed garage
CU Bricklayers rebuilding wall
LV Water tower with shell holes
GV Garage being rebuilt
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Background: A massive programme is expected to begin in about two weeks to repatriate about one hundred and fifty thousand refugees who fled from the Rhodesian guerrilla war. The programme, to be co-ordinated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will concentrate on bringing back able-bodied adults from Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique. They'll be processed in newly-created camps throughout the country.
SYNOPSIS: Another border post--this one at Chirundu between Rhodesia and Zambia--was re-opened this week (14-18 January). Chirundu will be one of the main frontier transit points for an initial eight thousand refugees to be repatriated from Zambia. Under the Lancaster House Settlement Agreement, as many refugees as possible should be brought back to Rhodesia to vote in the general elections scheduled for February the 27th to 29th. The refugees will spend about one week in reception centres, where voting facilities have been arranged, and then they'll be transported to their home areas. The frontier between Rhodesia and Mozambique was also re-opened this week after almost four years.
Officials expect an initial flow of some one-hundred and fifteen thousand refugees to begin shortly to move across this border. As yet, there are no plans to arrange voting facilities for any refugees unable to return to Rhodesia before polling day.
Many of the frontier crossing points are either remote, or badly damaged by the war. Officials believe many refugees will use unofficial routes along the borders to thread their way back into Rhodesia--the same routes many of them used to leave their country, and which are also the traditional infiltration routes for guerrillas. The International Committee of the Red Cross in Salisbury believes there are about one-hundred-and-eighty-five thousand genuine refugees expecting to return to Rhodesia.
Now that the peace treaty is force, repairmen are optimistically covering such scars of war as bullet holes--renovation work that is part of the programme of bringing the country back towards a state of normalcy. Meanwhile, road and air links between Rhodesia and neighbouring countries are also opening up. Talks are being held between officials in Rhodesia and Mozambique on getting traffic moving again along their joint rail links. The talks involve working out when train services will resume and settling details of financial arrangements and border controls.