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Namibia

Volume 986: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1980

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12.

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on Government policy towards Namibia.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
(Mr. Richard Luce)

The Government continue to work in conjunction with our partners in the group of five Western countries and with the United Nations Secretary-General for an early and peaceful transition to internationally-recognised independence for Namibia to be achieved through the plan for United Nations-supervised elections.

Are the Government considering, within the five Powers, making any recommendations for onward transmission to the United Nations concerning the United Nations monitoring of SWAPO bases in Angola and Zambia in the course of a peace settlement?

The South African Government gave their reply on 12 May to the proposals for a demilitarised zone. The ball is now in the court of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in consultation with all the parties, including the contact Western group of five. It is for them to respond to the South African request and to see thereafter whether future progress can be made.

Do not recent and current developments in South Africa shorten the time scale for getting a peaceful negotiated settlement in Namibia since the longer there is not a peaceful settlement, eventually the tougher the line that South Africa will take? Will not that undermine the efforts of the group of five to secure the negotiated settlement that we all wish to see?

Inevitably it is a matter of judgment for all of us to decide what effect internal developments will have on Namibia. Equally, we have to consider the effect upon the successful result of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

I share the view that it is important that progress should be made. The South African Government have made a response with some constructive points in it. I think that it is now possible, as a result of the meeting of the neighbouring States in Lusaka which have expressed this view, that progress can be made based upon United Nations—supervised elections. We now await the Secretary-General's response and hope that progress can be made.

Are not the South African Government proceeding with trying to impose their own internal settlement on Namibia? Will the Government condem any such move and make it clear that there can be no peaceful settlement in Namibia so long as the South African Government are prepared to send military forces to attack refugee camps in Angola ?

Neither we nor the contact group recognise the National Assembly that has been established in Namibia. It is important to keep our sights on the fact that all the parties, iincluding South Africa, are commited to the concept of United Nations-supervised elections. As long as no obstacles are put in the way and we make progress on that issue, there is hope of a successful result.