South Africa is willing to assist a peacekeeping force in eastern Zaire once leaders in the Great Lakes region agree on what they want, President Nelson Mandela said on Saturday (9/11).
Mandela was speaking to reporters after being briefed on the situation in eastern Zaire by former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, who has taken on the role of central African peace-broker.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, 09/11
WS South African President Nelson Mandela and former Tanzanian
president Julius Nyerere address news conference
SOT Mandela: "We do understand the important role which South Africa is
likely to play in an initiative of this nature and we want to be part of Africa not only geographically and politically but as part of our commitment and I am waiting for specific information from my leader here and as soon as we get it we'll be able to announce it here"';
SOT Nyerere: "The whole of this exercise is an African exercise, this is an African problem. Obviously we don't have all the means otherwise we would not go outside Africa. We don't have all the means but nevertheless it is an African problem and clearly though the countries of the regions are the ones who have met for this problem, we can't envisage an African force seeking assistance from the outside world, we can't envisage a force that does not have South Africa"';
SOT Mandela: "The supply of arms to Rwanda was influenced by humanitarian considerations that people who were unarmed are going to be victims of that party outside the border which is being trained and prepared to go back and commit those massacres. It is in that light that we took the decision to arm Rwanda with the consutation of the leaders in that region";
Mandela and Nyerere walk back to house;
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These were two Africa statesmen, selfless and people centred. They could be very rich if they were corrupt, but chose to be reasonable as long as wealth accumulation was concerned. It will take a long time for such leaders to emerge again. We will remember them. Baba Nyerere na baba Mandela we are missing you, please intersede for Africa to the Almighty creator.
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