Inside Report (2)

The United States hopes a recent prisoner-of-war swap in southern Africa will have a spinoff effect - perhaps nudging along stalled negotiations for independence of Namibia. But others have their doubts.

The exchange of prisoners involved the US, South Africa, Angola, the Angolan resistance group UNITA, Cuba, and the Soviet Union. The US hope is that the exchange will add a measure of trust between these parties, all of whom have a stake in the talks on Namibia (South-West Africa).

The swap brought the release of 94 Angolan soldiers and three Soviet prisoners held by South Africa and UNITA in exchange for three Americans and the bodies of two South Africans held in Angola.

Despite US hopes, many analysts here feel the prisoner swap may prove of no real diplomatic value to the Namibia talks. The parties remain far apart over the issue of Cuban withdrawal from Angola, and many analysts are skeptical the swap will nudge them closer.m

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