The United States Senate delegation that held discussions with Phnom Penh officials to appeal for permission to allow food convoys into Kampuchea, reported to United Nations Secretary Genera Kurt Waldheim on Monday (29 October).
LV INTERIOR: Senator James Sasser of Tennesse and Senator John Danforth of Missouri seated at Missouri seated at news conference
CU: Senator Danforth speaking in English.
CU: Senator James Sasser speaking in English.
DANFORTH: "An absolute disaster is now going on in Cambodia. People are dying by the hundreds of thousand. According to international relief organisations--and this is concurred in, by the officials in Phnom Penh-two and a quarter million people are facing extreme hunger. Malaria is rampant. A country which has already seen its population be reduced from about seven million to four million, is facing extinction. It is genocide. If that term has any meaning at all, that is what we are looking at right now. And it deserves the attention of the world."
SASSER: "The tremendous volume of food and medicines which are needed, cannot be delivered using air routers, and also using ship routes. This ship routes are too slow. They do not have the port facilities to offload these enormous quantities of food. So the deliveries must be made overland by truck. If the authorities in Phnom Penh will give the go-ahead, the trucks can be rolling into Kampuchea within three to five days."
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Background: The United States Senate delegation that held discussions with Phnom Penh officials to appeal for permission to allow food convoys into Kampuchea, reported to United Nations Secretary Genera Kurt Waldheim on Monday (29 October). They believe that a land route is the only feasible way to provide the massive amounts of food an medicine that are needed in kampuchea. But they say the Phnom Penh government has refused to permit the convoys safe passage into the country.
Two of the Senators, James Sasser of Tennessee and John Danforth of Missouri spoke to newsmen after making their report.