INTRODUCTION: After the failure of the recent Geneva Conference on Namibia (South-West Africa) to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, fighting has increased in the area.
SV Military convoy entering Rundu camp
GV School children singing
SV Soldier leads singing
GVs Military convoy along road (2 shots)
TRAVEL SHOT Bush beside road
GV PAN Soldiers in long grass during mock battle
SV Soldier firing
GV Soldiers taking cover
GV Stretcher bearers
SV Stretcher team
CU PAN FROM Soldiers in armoured car PAN TO Zambesi River with Zambia on far bank (2 shots)
GV Armoured car, mortar bunker, soldiers with mortar (2 shots)
SV Black soldiers along road chanting
SV Soldiers doing press-ups and crawling under barbed wire (2 shots)
SV Soldiers along suspended ropes
GV PAN FROM Open country TO Okovango River with Angola territory on far side ZOOM IN TO SV (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: After the failure of the recent Geneva Conference on Namibia (South-West Africa) to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, fighting has increased in the area. The South Africans claim the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO) has stepped up its operations, and the South African-backed Namibian forces have increased their vigilance.
By an accident of history, nomadic bushmen are fighting on the side of South Africa in the guerrilla war against SWAPO. Many of them with their families are in camps like this one at Rundu, near the border with Angola.
There are about 29,000 bushmen in the sparsely-populated country, one quarter of them refugees who fled Angola after the end of the Portuguese rule in 1975.
Two bushman battalions have been formed under the joint South African and South West African military command. The tracking abilities of these vanishing primitive peoples are invaluable in this kind of guerrilla war. They are fighting the war because they supported the Portuguese colonialists in Angola, and fear a SWAPO victory.
A mock battle was staged during a tour of the area by a group of journalists.
The South Africans only rarely allow reporters and cameramen into sensitive areas like this.
The bushmen and their families are scattered in an undisclosed number of training camps dotted along the Caprivi, a fertile area, rich in game, in the northeastern corner of the Namibian-Angolan border.
This active training is taking place close to the Zambesi river, with another neighbour, Zambia, on the other side. Apart from two bushmen corporals, all the officers are white. Both black and white privates are paid an equal 300 Rand (390 US dollars) a month.
A former Rhodesian soldier, now an officer in the Namibian forces, said the bushmen spend their money on bicycles, cars and second wives.
At this Omega base camp,. where a major civic action programme is under way, tribal leaders allow girls only one or two years of schooling before they are married, aged about nine years.
The Namibian territories commander Major-General Charles Llyod issued a warning on Friday (6 February) to Angola, where most of the SWAPO guerrillas are based. He said South African troops may step up operations into Angola, just across this Okovango River, to get at the guerrilla bases, even if it means clashes with Angolan government forces.