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Bloodshed could have been averted if Ahtisaari had acted By Gwen Lister
HUNDREDS of lives could have been saved if the Special Representative of the United Nations, Mr Martti Ahtisaari, had acted swiftly and promptly on information received from the South African -Foreign Affairs Minister on March 31, reported a large gqerriIla presence just north ofthe border with Angola. According to a report by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Javier Perez de Cuellar, released yesterday.
Mr Ahtisaari was informed on March 31 by the SA Foreign Affairs Minister that in the previous 10-12 days 150 armed Swapo personnel had crossed the border into Namibia. and between 500 to 700 fighters were at the time deployed just north of the
Namibian border. If Mr Ahtisaari had taken action immediately per-haps the bloody battles between Swapo forces and SA security forces which started on April 1 and are still con-tinuing, could have been averted if he had acted promptly to defuse the situation.
Mr de Cuellar's report said that Mr Botha had also informed the Special Representative at the same meeting that 60 percent of Swapo' s forces in Angola were south of the sixteenth
parallel, in breach, he had said, of undertakings in terms of the Geneva Protocalof August 5 last year, signed by Angola, Cuba and South Africa.
Mr de Cuellar then stated that before noon the next day (April 1) the Administrator General informed Mr Ahtisaari that the Swapo guerrillas had cross the border during the night of March 31, and that incidents were occurring across a broad front in northern Namibia with numerous casualties.
Mr de Cuellar himself had urged Mr Botha to "show restraint" when he gave sanction to the deployment of military to deal with the situation. Mr Botha had informed him that it was "impossible for South Africa to remain passive, and its troops con-fined to base in the face of these
. , events, particularly since Untag's deployment had been delayed".
Mr de Cuellar said he had then contacted Mr Theo Ben Gurirab, Foreign Secretary of Swapo, and the Permanent Representative of Angola, and urged them to do what they could to "affect the situation positively" .
Mr de Cuellar admitted that the UN was behind schedule, and !itated that "while 280 of the 300 military monitors were in place throughout the territory on April I, their effec-tiveness was seriously hampered by their limited mobility and restricted access to comrmmications". He added that it was unlikely that Untag re-
cont. on page 2
CAPTURED Swapo righter, Johannes Mathias, pictured in the north this week by Guy TiIlim of Afrapix. Relatively few (apparently four) PLAN guerrillas have been captured, and the death toll of Swapo insurgents was almost 200 late yesterday.
'WHOLESALE SLAUGHTER' ~utherans send urgent message to UN following Onandjokwe hospital raid
THE Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia yesterday sent a telext to the United Nations Special Representative, Mr Martti Ahtisaari, expressing concern at the 'wholesale slaughter' taking place in northern Nam ibia. The m es'sage was sent following reports of army and police units surrounding the hospital at Onandjokwe in the north yesterday.
The church also expressed con-cern at the lack of Untag observers with police and military forces in the area. Mean while it is understood that there are presently only nine Untag police in Namibia, and those Untag members in the far north are merely ' monitoring empty army bases' ac-cording to one source.
It has also been lel/.med that Mr Ahtisaari's report on the war situ-ation to the Secretary General, Mr Javier perez de Cuellar, upholds claims of a large Swapo infiltralirn of Namibia from Angola but states that the fight-ers did not come in an 'aggressive'
capacity, but in order to 'hand them --selves over' for confmement to base by the Unitt:d Nations.
The Churches said that' it seems as that Swapo guerrillas had expected to be safe with Un tag forces, military observers and police observers to stay between them'. The churches also fe lt that clashes could have been avoided had police and military been accompanied by Untag ..
Untag had not been seen investiga-tion the sites where the clashes had taken place, the telex stated, adding that neither the people, nor church officials, knew where Untag could
be contacted in the north. In a statement, Mr Kandetu said he
regretted that the Untag force com-mander had not replied to an invita-tion by Swapo in March to discuss steps in demobilisation and confme-ment to bases in the light of there
being 'confusion on the interpreta-tion of United Naticns Security Council Resolution 435 regarding the demo-bilisation and restriction to bases of warring factions'.
The CCN expressed its trust in the United ~ations. but added 'they must
STOP PRESS . . . STOP PRESS . .. STOP
435 ON BR,INK 't OF COLLAPSE t~, AF' -. TE-,R: ~ -- S.A . .. ~;C~'.. . W~ '. WARNING .~,
do their job properly ' , a spokesman said.
If they were not able to 'handle the thing' because of the low deploy-ment of forces due to logistical rea-sons, the Security Council should be called on to discuss the matter.
THE ENTIRE Namibian peace process was in danger of collapse, South African Foreign Minister warned late last night. In a letter addressed to United Nations Secretary-General Dr Javier Perez De Cuellar, Mr Botha called for active and effective measures to be taken in a matter of hours to halt the bitter fightin . in northern Namibia.
Continued on page 6
2 Wednesday April 5 1989
oR ~. B ....... 1. ' 0 .,' X ?A')? ~. '. ~ . . ' I(VL.. ,
Picketers outside the Kalahari Sands protest the Un Secretary General's permission to SA to deploy Battalions 101 and 202 in the north.
WAPAC TO BE PRIVATISED STAFF REPORTER
THE state-run South West African Performing Arts Council (Swapac) is to be privatised in the form of a company known as the National Theatre of Namibia - but opposition to the idea has emerged.
Two weeks ago, Dr Daan Gresseof the Department of National Educa-
cont. from page 1
gional and district centres would be fully operational before late April, and police monitors would also not be deployed until the same time. Furthennore, the three enlarged bat-talions to be deployed would not be emplaced before April 20.
Mr de Cuellar had then agreed that , 'certain specified units (of the mili-
tion sent letters to 11 N amibians informing them that in tenns of an interim government Cabinet resolu-tion on February 28, they had been nominated as possible signatories to a memorandum outJiniJlg the func-tions of the new C9ffipany.
The letter stated that the Cabinet had recently ordered Swapac to be registered as a non-profit company.
The nominees included DrGresse, Mr Hannes Home, Adv Pio Teek, Mr Dieter Voigts,Mr.FreddiePhilander, Mrs P Muundjua and Bishop Kle-opas Dumeni.
It was suggested that the signato-ries meet as soon as possible, under ~e chainnanship of the Secretary of the Department of National Educa-tion, to discuss stepS necessary to establish the company.
UNTO BLAME tary) to be agreed, will be released from restriction to base to provide such support as may be needed by the existing police forces in case they cannot handle the situation by them-selves. The situation will be kept . under continuous review and the movement out of existing bases will throughout be monitored by Untag military observers". (The Namibian understands that reinforcements are
We congratulate the editor and staff of the
Namibian on the in-c~pt.iof' . o.f t~ei~ ,d.~ily
.newspaper .- SECRETARIAL COURSES FUN . FAST
FLEXIBLE COMPunR COURSES BOOKKEEPING COURSES
The letter added that the Depart-ment was presently engaged "in the design of a scientifically-based for-mula for the subsidisation of hte performing arts" which will take effect at the beginning of the 1990/91 fmancial year.
At least one nominee has refused the offer to become a signatory.
The nominee, who did not wish to be quoted, said that while she sup-ported the idea of a National Theatre, she also believed that the fonnation of national 'institutions should be delayed unitl Namibia was an inde-pendent nation.
In the memorandum, the names of the first employees of the company are given. The executjve director of the proposed National Theatre of Namibia is Mr Hannes Home and the Head of Orama is Mr Mees Eksteen.
The names of people filling other posts ranging from the Liaison Offi-cer to the cleaners are also men-tioned.
arriving from as far afield as Walvis Bay, where convoys of Ratels were seen travelling north. Are the Untag monitoring these military movements in addition to those in the north? - Ed)
Mr de Cuellar claimed that two Swapo combatants taken prisoner had been interviewed by a UN team on the night of April 1. The men had said they had been instructed to enter Namibia by their regional command-ers, but that they were' 'not to engage the security forces, even if (they) saw them, because a ceasefire was to. be in effect and there was to be no more fighting". The fighter had been told that once in N'amibia, the UN would supervise him and his colleagues. Their purpose was to establish bases in N arnibia.
Swapo, he said, had emphatically denied violating the ceasefrre and stated its personnel had responded in self-defence. . On -the 'basis of infonnation so far available, Mr A,h~saari WII$ of the. vjew that Swapo ha4 infiltrated armed personnel and material'into Namibia 'around the time of the ceasefrre\ This infiltration may not have offen-sive intent bu