US embassy cable - 89STATE302065

PRESS GUIDANCES - UTA CRASH/ANGOLA/SWAPO

Identifier: 89STATE302065
Wikileaks: View 89STATE302065 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Secretary of State
Created: 1989-09-20 22:16:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: OPRC PREL SF US
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O P 202216Z SEP 89
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL DURBAN IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE
USOFFICE WINDHOEK IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY KINSHASA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE
INFO ALL AFRICAN DIPLOMATIC POSTS PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BONN PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY
AMCONSUL CALGARY PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY
AMCONSUL MONTREAL PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY
USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY
USINT HAVANA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LISBON PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY MAPUTO PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY
USIA WASHDC PRIORITY
UNCLAS STATE 302065 
 
FROM AF/P: INFORM CONSULS AND PAOS 
 
E.O. 12356: N/A 
TAGS: OPRC, PREL, SF, US 
SUBJECT: PRESS GUIDANCES - UTA CRASH/ANGOLA/SWAPO 
 
1. THE FOLLOWING THREE GUIDANCES WERE PREPARED FOR THE NOON 
BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 20, 1989. 
 
2.  Q.  DO YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE CRASH 
OF UTA FLIGHT 772? 
 
A.  WE UNDERSTAND THAT UTA FLIGHT 772 BOUND FROM NDJAMENA 
TO PARIS CRASHED 650 KMS NORTHWEST OF NDJAMENA IN CENTRAL 
NIGER.  THE CRASH SITE HAS BEEN LOCATED AND THERE DO NOT 
APPEAR TO BE ANY SURVIVORS.  THERE WERE SEVEN AMERICANS 
BELIEVED TO BE ON BOARD, INCLUDING THE WIFE OF OUR 
AMBASSADOR TO CHAD, MRS. BONNIE PUGH. 
 
Q.  WHAT WAS THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH 
 
A.  WE HAVE NO INFORMATION ON THE CASE OF THE CRASH AT THIS 
TIME. 
 
Q.  WHAT ABOUT THE CLAIMS THAT AN EXPLOSION PRECEDED THE 
CRASH? 
 
A.  WE ARE UNABLE TO VERIFY PRESS REPORTS OF A POSSIBLE 
EXPLOSION AT THIS TIME, ALTHOUGH WE ARE AWARE THE AIRLINE 
IS NOW SAYING A BOMB MOST LIKELY WAS THE CAUSE. 
 
Q.  WHAT OF THE CLAIMS THAT THIS WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK BY 
THE ISLAMIC JIHAD ORGANIZATION? 
 
A.  WE HAVE NO INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION ON THIS. 
 
SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORT:  U.S. INVOLVEMENT: 
 
EFFORT IS BEING MOUNTED AND COORDINATED BY THE FRENCH WHO 
HAVE EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL IN THE REGION.  THEY ARE 
WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE GOVERNMENTS OF NIGER AND CHAD. 
 
OUR EMBASSIES ARE IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH THE FRENCH AND THE 
GOVERNMENTS OF NIGER AND CHAD, AS WELL AS THE AIRLINE. 
 
WE HAVE DISPATCHED EMBASSY PERSONNEL TO THE CRASH SITE. 
 
WE HAVE OFFERED U.S. ASSISTANCE TO THE OTHER GOVERNMENTS 
INVOLVED; WE ARE WAITING TO HEAR WHAT THEY NEED. 
 
WE HAVE OFFERED ASSISTANCE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGER IN 
INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH, AND A TEAM OF 
INVESTIGATORS IS STANDING BY IN WASHINGTON TO TRAVEL TO 
NIGER.  AMONG OTHER THINGS, THESE INVESTIGATIONS CAN HELP 
WITH THE RECOVERY AND ANALYSIS OF THE PLANE'S FLIGHT 
RECORDER. 
 
THE U.S. HAS A DEEP INTEREST IN THE FATE OF THE PASSENGERS 
AND CREW OF FLIGHT 772. 
 
THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, ED PERKINS, 
HAS SENT A MESSAGE TO AMBASSADOR PUGH ON BEHALF OF ALL HIS 
COLLEAGUES.  HANK COHEN HAS SPOKEN WITH AMBASSADOR PUGH. 
OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH HIM. 
 
3. Q: DO YOU HAVE A READ OUT ON THE KINSHASA SUMMIT? 
 
A: HANK COHEN WAS IN AFRICA LAST WEEK.  HE MET WITH MOBUTU 
AND SAVIMBI SEPARATELY.  ATLHOUGH WE WOULD HAVE PREFERRED 
THAT DR. SAVIMBI ATTEND THE SEPTEMBER 18 MEETING IN 
KINSHASA, SAVIMBI DID SEND A PERSONAL DELEGATION TO THE 
MEETING. 
 
WE URGE ALL PARTIES TO BEGIN A MEANINGFUL NEGOTIATION 
WITHOUT ANY POLITICAL PRE-CONDITIONS OR NON-NEGOTIABLE 
DEMANDS. 
 
THE UNITED STATES STRONGLY SUPPORTS UNITA AND ITS GOALS OF 
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION -- FOLLOWED BY FREE AND FAIR 
ELECTIONS. 
 
THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT ACCEPT THE CONCEPTS OF EXILE -- 
AMNESTY OR INTEGRATION. 
 
WE CONTINUE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN AND SUPPORT PRESIDENT 
MOBUTU. 
 
WE REGRET DR. SAVIMBI'S DECISION NOT TO ATTEND THE KINSHASA 
SUMMIT. 
 
DUE TO HIS ABSENCE, IT APPEARS THAT THE SUMMIT WAS UNABLE 
TO MAKE ANY SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS TOWARD SIGNING A CEASEFIRE 
AND BEGINNING DIRECT NEGOTIATIONS FOR NATIONAL 
RECONCILIATION. 
 
4. Q: CAN YOU COMMENT ON REPORTS THAT SWAPO DETAINED AND 
TORTURED ITS MEMBERS? 
 
A: THE UNITED STATES DEPLORES SWAPO'S REPORTED USE OF 
TORTURE AGAINST ITS OWN MEMBERS. 
 
WE URGE SWAPO TO CONDUCT A PROMPT INVESTIGATION AND 
IDENTIFY ALL INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISTREATMENT. 
 
THE SECRETARY GENERAL'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE (SR) IN 
NAMIBIA HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSURE THAT ALL POLITICAL 
PRISONERS AND DETAINEES HAVE BEEN RELEASED, WHETHER HELD BY 
NAMIBIAN OFFICIALS OR SWAPO. 
 
THE SYG HAS SENT A TEAM TO LOOK INTO ALLEGATIONS AT SWAPO 
CAMPS IN ZAMB1A AND ANGOLA, A MEASURE WE FULLY SUPPORT. 
 
WE CALL UPON THE GOVERNMENTS OF THOSE COUNTRIES AND UPON 
SWAPO TO COOPERATE FULLY AND RAPIDLY WITH THAT 
INVESTIGATION. 
 
 
BAKER 

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