Lesotho, the former British colony, which is completely surrounded by South Africa, claimed in the United Nations on Tuesday (21 December) that South Africa was blackmailing it into recognising Transkei, the black homeland which was declared independent in October.
SCU Lesotho representative Charles Dube Molapo speaking
SCU Libyan ambassador Mansour Kikhia speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: MOLAPO: "Mr. President, as this august council assembles here today, a quarter of million of my people are in a state of siege. These people are held hostage by South Africa in an attempt to coerce Lesotho to accord recognition to the Transkei bantustan. Since the 26th of October 1976, three border posts between Lesotho and South Africa have been unilaterally closed by the South African government. These are Taylor's Bridge, Qachas Nek and (indistinct) following the border closure, my government took immediate steps to impress upon the South African government, that closure of the three border posts was not only in violation of international law and maintenance of friendly relations among states, but in violation of the customs agreement, and the labour agreement."
The Libyan ambassador proposed a resolution calling on the Security Council to appeal to all countries to give immediate financial, technical and material aid to Lesotho.
SEQ. 2: KIKHIA: "Mr. President, the security council should take appropriate initiative to one; implement effective measures against the racist regime of South Africa and to end its defiance of United Nations resolutions and world opinion; two, condemn the plans of South Africa to create so-called independent bantustans; three, support the government of Lesotho in its plans for........an emergency programme to offset the effects of the border closure. Finally, Mr. President, I would like to stress that all the African states, including my own country, the Libyan Arab Republic, fully support the government and the people of Lesotho and will spare no effort to ensure our solidarity with them."
Landlocked Lesotho's only access to the sea is through Transkei. South African Foreign Minister, Dr. Hilgard Muller, said in a latter to the United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim on 16 November that there had been no interference of any kind with Lesotho's access to the sea.
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Background: Lesotho, the former British colony, which is completely surrounded by South Africa, claimed in the United Nations on Tuesday (21 December) that South Africa was blackmailing it into recognising Transkei, the black homeland which was declared independent in October. Lesotho's Foreign Minister, Charles Dube Molapo, made the accusation.