In the wake of the Rhodesia settlement and independence elections a proposed demilitarised zone along the border of Namibia (South West Africa) has become the focus of more intensive consultations.
CU United Nations Under Secretary for Political Affairs Brian Urquhart speaking in English
South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha speaking in English
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
URQUHART (SEQ 1): "We paid this all too brief visit to Windhoek because we felt that those of us, particularly Mr. Farrow and I, should at least try to take even unfortunately a very brief opportunity to come here just at least to have some acquaintance and contact with the situation here. We've had much experience with demilitarised zones. I must say this is by no means the first one. And there's only one way you can make it work and that is to be quite sure that every-body concerned actually wants it to work and will help to make it work. If that condition doesn't exist it won't work."
BOTHA (SEQ 2): "We're on a knife's edge We've accepted the idea of a demilitarised zone but we want certain assurances. Assurances of a practical nature that that concept can be implemented in practise in such a way that there would be a fair and free election. Now this is what our talks have dealt with during the past few days and weeks. The United Nations team that was here conveyed to us their opinion as to how this project of a demilitarised zone ought to be implemented. We are now studying the information conveyed to us and as soon as possible we would have to make up our minds we will have to complete our examination, all the details furnished to us and then indicate to the United Nations whether we think that that plan, the demilitarised zone plan, as conveyed to us, could be something that we could agree with so that the rest of the settlement plan could be implemented. I cannot say to you today what our decision would be. There are grave matters in issue here which will have to be considered by our military experts but we'll do so as soon as possible. But I want to warn that as far as South West Africa is concerned I do not think that that is going to be an easy decision one way or the other."
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Background: In the wake of the Rhodesia settlement and independence elections a proposed demilitarised zone along the border of Namibia (South West Africa) has become the focus of more intensive consultations. United Nations Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, Brain Urquhart, speaking at a news conference in Windhoek on Sunday (March 9) said the United Nations felt a demilitarised zone was a viable proposition. He said it was now up to South Africa and SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organisation) to decide whether they wished to go ahead with the settlement proposals. South Africa's Foreign Minister Pik Botha in a television interview the following day (10 March) said South Africa had not yet decided if the plan could be implemented. He said that after Robert Mugabe's landslide election win in Rhodesia, the attitudes of Democratic Parties inside Namibia could harden against the demilitarisation proposals.