• Short Summary

    The South West African People's Organisation, known as SWAPO, has called for the renegotiation of Western proposals for the independence of Namibia (South West Africa).

  • Description

    SV & CU: Members seated. (3 SHOTS)

    CU: Mr. Sam Nujoma President of SWAPO speaking in English.

    SV: Members seated.

    CU: Soviet U.N. delegate Mr. Yury Fokine speaking in English. (3 SHOTS)

    NUJOMA: "I must say, in all sincerity and frankness, that the recent development surrounding the manner in which the Western proposal have been handled and presented here, has had the effect of creating confusion which was perhaps the objective in the united Nations. Another added element with equally confusing effect is what was contained in a note dated 25th April 1978 from racist South Africa. I have no intention to address the note itself or its source. I am however, concerned about what it contains. In it, Vorster talks about the assurance and the clarification given to his regime by the Western, by five Western governments on their proposal shortly before and after their strategy meeting held recently in London. It was only after this guarantee that the regime decided to accept the Western plan.

    FOKINE: "I am afraid that the five Western powers adopt an inadmissable attitude, trying to pressure SWAPO into accepting the plan by rather undemocratic means. Now, to say to SWAPO her, at the United Nations, that: 'you'd better take this plan unless', is something that remains very much of an attitude of coercion. Well, the least that the Western countries could do is to say to SWAPO 'take it or leave it'. Now we don't even have that here. We have a very definite attitude of: 'you'd better accept it or...etcetera'. We have the majority of the United Nations' member countries, behind the SWAPO, we have the majority of the countries of the world behind the SWAPO, we have majority of the people of the world are behind the SWAPO. They are still supporting the SWAPO position in this respect. And we have only a very small group of countries that is trying to preserve both South African interests and their own economic, political, military and other interests in this territory."

    The Independence Plan, which had been discussed for more than a year after being submitted to South Africa and SWAPO, was evolved by the United States, Britain, France, West Germany and Canada. The United Nations is now holding a special ten-day session on the future of Namibia, which is administered by South Africa in defiance of United Nations resolutions. Under the Western proposal, Namibia would gain its independence at the end of this year. SWAPO's objections include the size and location of a South African military force which is to remain in Namibia until after elections, and the future of Walvis Bay, the region's only port, which South Africa wishes to retain.

    Initials JS/1920


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The South West African People's Organisation, known as SWAPO, has called for the renegotiation of Western proposals for the independence of Namibia (South West Africa). In an address to the United Nations General Assembly last Friday (28 April), the President of SWAPO, Mr. Sam Nujoma, objected on several counts to the Western plan which had won acceptance from South Africa earlier in the week. He insisted that South Africa should take a subordinate role to the United Nations during Namibia's transition to independence. Western sources have said this response by SWAPO may ruin the initiative and cause South Africa to grant independence to Namibia on the basis of ethnic divisions, which would be unacceptable to the United Nations.

    SYNOPSIS: Because of the possibility of a failed initiative, Mr. Nujoma has been under pressure to moderate his objections. But he told the Genera Assembly of his concern.

    Soviet delegate Mr. Yury Fokine spoke in support:

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