Rebels fleeing from the battles in Zaire have been sighted moving through neighbouring Zambia on their way back to refuge in Angola.
AVs showing rebels' trail back from Zaire, through Zambia and into Angola
GV Guerrillas standing by roadside
SV Group of white newsmen talking to guerrillas
CU Guerrillas with loot stolen in Zaire PAN TO reporter's car
CU White journalist gets into car and it drives off
GV TRACKING SHOT inside car along roadway to Sekeji, Zambia
GV PAN FROM School - house TO children exercising in yard
SCU Headmaster David Foster speaking to reporter with shots of children overlaid (7 shots)
FOSTER: "We had one lorry and four vehicles, and we estimated that we could have fitted all the children into all of those vehicles and get them safely away."
REPORTER: "What preparations have you made for a very speedy getaway? Have you got stocks of food ready, water, things like that?"
FOSTER: "Yes. That Friday evening, after we had discussed what we should do, each member of staff made preparations. Those with classes prepared boxes of essential -- things like writing paper, and pencils, a certain amount of games equipment to keep the children occupied. And from the kitchen point of view, stocks of food which would have lasted from thirty-six to forty-eight hours. And I checked up all the vehicles and made sure they were ready to go at any minute's notice. The staff also prepared bedrolls, and that sort of thing, and the next morning the plan was to get the children to prepare their own bedrolls. And we estimated we could have been away within one hour."
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Background: Rebels fleeing from the battles in Zaire have been sighted moving through neighbouring Zambia on their way back to refuge in Angola. Eyewitnesses in Zambia said on Wednesday (24 May) there was no sign of white hostages -- scores of men, women and children -- the rebels were alleged to have taken. However, the rebels in Zambia told sources the hostages were being sent from Zaire to Angola by a direct route.
SYNOPSIS: Striking south-west from Kolwezi, scene of the bloody massacre last week, the rebels on a direct path to Angola had to cross a narrow neck of Zambian territory, less than fifty kilometres wide. Reports said hundreds of rebels were seen passing through north-west Zambia apparently unmolested by Zambian authorities. An eyewitness said they began coming early on Tuesday (23 May) without visible official hindrance. But there had been a report of a skirmish between rebels and Zambian troops on the main road through to Angola. The Zambian government refused to confirm any movement of rebels through their country.
Some of the rebels were carrying loot from Zaire. This area, which sits like a carbuncle on the north-western shoulder of Zambia, is sparsely populated. Only a few police patrol it on bicycles, and the government's presence is minimal in places like this...the road to Sekeji, a border village.
The road, along which some rebel vehicles had already passed, runs close by the Sekeji school. Headmaster David Foster described the anxieties the rebel traffic had caused them, and plans for the children's safety.