President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia said on Monday (27 June) that his forces had fired on a South African aircraft as it flew over Zambian territory.
SV President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia leads the National Council in song.
SCU President Kaunda addresses the Council in English.
KAUNDA: "We are not warmongers. If we are not provoked, we will not disturb anyone. But if we are provoked, we reserve the right, I emphasise, to hit back at anyone. Rebel leader Ian Smith is sending innocent white youth, innocent children, these are the innocent white youth hardly of mature age who have done their national service, so called, to guard the borders.
He has made these innocent youths trigger-happy. He has made them believe they have to shoot at every Zambian they see across the river. Zambian forces have firm instructions not to provoke any situation. On the other hand, they have equally firm instructions to hit back at any provocation. This is what they have been doing. (PAUSE) We have received messages from the South African government, racist government. I want to make it clear that the plane which our boys shot, South African plane which our boys shot, was shot over Zambian territory. There is no doubt about that. Once I had given instructions to our boys to shoot anything on sight any plane over Zambia which is not Zambian, the boys of the field had to do those instructions. The plane they shot was on Zambian territory, overflying Zambian territory. We had warned them weeks before and this repeated as many times as our airspace is violated. We have the right to defend our country."
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Background: President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia said on Monday (27 June) that his forces had fired on a South African aircraft as it flew over Zambian territory. The state-owned radio reported the plane had been brought down over the south-western Zambian frontier town of Sesheke.
SYNOPSIS: President Kaunda made his statement to the policy-making National Council of his United Independence Party. The Zambian leader has already restricted civilian flights over his country and ordered a full army alert. The South African government made no immediate comment on President Kaunda's statement about the aircraft. But President Kaunda was firm in his claim that the incident had occurred and also warned against any further incursions into Zambia by South Africa or Rhodesia.