INTRODUCTION: The two main parties to the UN-backed peace talks on Namibia have each denied responsibility for the failure of the conference.
CU SWAPO leader Sam Nujoma speaking in English at news conference in Geneva
CU (MUTE) Reporter taking notes
CU Pik Botha speaking in English in Cape Town
ENGLISH SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT)
(SEQ 1) NUJOMA:
"Because of intransigence and the complete refusal of the South African delegation to negotiate, we are now returning to our bases of operations to carry out both military and political struggles against the enemy. The armed revolutionary struggle will be carried out with intensity. And from here, some of my delegation will go directly to New York to participate in the resumed session of the General Assembly. SWAPO will request the General Assembly to recommend strongly to the Security Council to take appropriate measures under the charter of the United Nations, and in particular, we will ask for comprehensive economic sanctions, including an oil embargo, against South Africa in order to compel that regime to relinquish its colonial domination over Namibia".
(SEQ 3) REPORTER: "Are you satisfied in your own mind that the South Africa and South West Africa delegations went in with enough good intent, hoping that it would succeed?".
BOTHA: "Well, naturally. Naturally, they went there expecting not a miracle, but certainly fairness. That's what they expected. So if there is a collapse or a deadlock, then it's simply because fairness was not displayed to a sufficient degree".
REPORTER: "You say a collapse or a deadlock. Is there any chance of it being revived, the talks in Geneva, at any stage, later?."
BOTHA: "It ... it is possible. I can't tell you what is possible. The South African Government would now first wish to study the reports of the events in Geneva properly. And that we will do in the days that lie ahead of us before we can consider what our future position would be".
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The two main parties to the UN-backed peace talks on Namibia have each denied responsibility for the failure of the conference. The Geneva talks set out with the aim of getting agreement on timetable for Namibian independence, but South Africa pulled out on Tuesday (13 January), the day before the conference was due to end. South Africa claims the talks were biased in favour of the South-West Africa People's Organization, which is fighting for independence from South African control. SWAPO President Sam Nujoma was in no doubt as to where the blame lay for the failure of the talks when he spoke to reporters in Geneva on Wednesday (14 January).
A day earlier, in Cape Towm, South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha explained to reporters why he recalled his country's delegation from Geneva.