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Assistant Secretary of State Herman Cohen
Program:
[US pushes for negotiations in South Africa]
Original Airdate: 10/30/1989

Length: 00:04:32
Item Type: newstape - edited story master


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Full Description

1:00:10
Visual: Footage of Herman Cohen (Assistant Undersecretary of State for African Affairs) being interviewed by Carmen Fields. Cohen says that the US is encouraging the South African government to reach a negotiated settlement with the black majority. Cohen says that the South African government needs to realize the necessity of eliminating racial barriers in South Africa. Cohen notes that the US has told black South African that negotiations are a better strategy than conflict.

Fields reports that the African National Congress (ANC) has been banned by the South African government; that the ANC held its first public rally in thirty years yesterday; that the ANC celebrated the release of its leaders from prison. Fields notes that the South African police did not interfere with the rally; that yesterday's events show a new maturity on the part of both sides.

V: Shots of the ANC rally on October 29, 1989 in Johannesburg. Shots of black South Africans at the rally; of the released ANC leaders at the rally; of the large crowd at the stadium where the rally was held; of a sign for the ANC. Footage of Cohen being interviewed by Fields. Cohen says that the white South African government is releasing political prisoners; that the government has allowed political demonstrations; that the government is restoring some normalcy to political life in the country. Cohen says that black South Africans have been holding peaceful demonstrations. Cohen says that he hopes the new political climate will lead toward negotiations. Fields asks about the US position on negotiations. Cohen says that the US wants many of the same things that the ANC wants. Cohen says that the South African government must release political prisoners; that the government must lift restrictions on political organizations. Cohen says that negotiations can proceed once those conditions have been met. Fields asks if George Bush (US President) will ask F.W. de Klerk (President of South Africa) to visit the White House. Cohen says that he doubts that Bush will ask de Klerk to visit the White House. Cohen notes that US policy has focused on events in South Africa. Cohen says that US officials have agreed to maintain existing pressures on the South African government; that the US may lift some sanctions if de Klerk's new government makes progress toward ending apartheid. Cohen says that the US may increase pressure on South Africa if no changes are made.

Fields notes that the Bush administration is more supportive of sanctions than the administration of former US President Ronald Reagan.

V: Footage of Cohen being interviewed by Fields. Cohen notes that sanctions went into effect in October of 1986; that the Bush administration has seen the positive impact of sanctions. Cohen says that the white minority is beginning to realize that they must negotiate with the black majority. Cohen notes that sanctions threaten the lifestyle of the white minority. Cohen notes that sanctions have caused an increase in the unemployment rate in South Africa. Cohen says that the US is looking forward to lifting sanctions after political progress is made.


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