• Short Summary

    The Secretary-General
    of the Commonwealth, Mr. Shridath Ramphal, says Mozambique has been hit hard by
    its decision?

  • Description

    CU Secretary - General Ramphal
    listening to question

    CU Secretary - General
    speaking SPEECH IN: "It has been SPEECH OUT: ...with Rhodesia"

    CU Reporter asking question and Secretary-General replying
    SPEECH IN: "What kind of aid.....SPEECH OUT:....ultimate stage."

    RAMPHAL: "It has been hit very heavily. You have to remember
    it's a new country, it's within the first six months of its independence. It is
    a country that has fought for independence, started with a great burden of
    rehabilitation on the social and certainly on the economic side and with a heavy
    backlog of dependency in economic terms on South Africa and on Rhodesia. Now,
    it's in this context in response to United Nations resolutions, Mozambique has
    closed the border with Rhodesia."

    REPORTER: "What
    kind of aid is being given to Mozambique, that for does it take?"

    RAMPHAL: "Well part of my, the reason of my visit to
    Mozambique was to ascertain what the areas of need were and from very much a
    preliminary visit, Mozambique is a country with a very limited infrastructure, I
    believe as events unfold one of their needs will be a need to ascertain their
    needs. We've made a preliminary estimate of these, I'll be reporting to the
    Commonwealth Sanctions Committee on it. Broadly, their needs are in areas of
    finance, they're very shot of cash, short of revenue from the railways, from the
    harbours. They'll be short of food -- short of maize, of wheat, of rice, short
    of meat, many of which have been imported from Rhodesia. And they'll be
    desperately short of manpower, a need that has been greatly aggravated by the
    effect of sanction."

    REPORTER: "Even given that they
    have this broad range of needs, what guarantee is there that cash particularly
    which might go to Mozambique might not find its way to guerrilla units which are
    fighting Mr. Smith's regime in Rhodesia?"

    "On I shouldn't have thought there would be the remotest possibility of that.
    Economic assistance to help Mozambique bear the burden of sanction will, of
    course, be channelled for that purpose and donor governments will ensure that it
    is so channelled. It's not just a fund which is handed over to Mozambique. It
    may take the form of export credit, it may take the form of cash donations from
    some governments earmarked for particular projects. In Commonwealth terms it
    will take the form of technical assistance."

    REPORTER: "Bishop Muzorewa, one of Mr. Smith's strongest opponents outside
    Rhodesia has said in Mozambique that he is considering asking for the assistance
    of Cuban troops if need be to help his Cause. Are there Cuban troops in
    Mozambique and would the Commonwealth be prepared to back their use against Mr.
    Smith's regime?

    RAMPHAL: "Well, if there are Cuban
    troops in Mozambique I certainly didn't see them. Nor did I see any sign or
    indication of a development along those lines. What we have to recognise however
    is that the breakdown of negotiations, the non-acceptance by Mr. Smith and his
    colleagues of the need to move for majority rule, the total frustration of all
    efforts to achieve this by dialogue will lead to armed struggle and armed
    struggle has a capacity of self generation and self-escalation. What we're all
    trying to do, desperately is to ensure that we do not reach that final and
    ultimate stage."

    Mr. Ramphal praised Mozambique for
    its stand and told of the effect the border closure has had to BBC newsman,
    Dennis Touhy

    Initials BB/0440 DE/PN/BB/0450

    TELERECORDING This film is serviced with an
    interview with Mr. Ramphal by BBC reporter, Dennis Touhy. A transcript appears

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Secretary-General
    of the Commonwealth, Mr. Shridath Ramphal, says Mozambique has been hit hard by
    its decision to close its border with Rhodesia earlier this month.

    Mr. Ramphal had extensive talks with Mozambique leaders last week and said their
    need for aid will cover many areas.

    His visit was for a preliminary investigation into what economic assistance the
    Commonwealth could give.

    On his return to London, Mr. Ramphal praised Mozambique for its stand and said
    the burden of applying sanctions against Rhodesia should be fairly shared. Later
    this month he is fly to New York for talks with the United Nations
    Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, on assistance for Mozambique and other southern
    African developments.

    SYNOPSIS: The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr. Shridath Ramphal, has just
    returned to London following a visit to Mozambique, to investigate what aid is
    needed following that country's decision to close its borders to Rhodesia.

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
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