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Namibian Officials Deny Ex-President's Nuclear Claims

The Namibian government is downplaying an assertion by former President Sam Nujoma that the southern African nation is ready to develop atomic weapons.

Mr. Nujoma made the comment last Saturday at a ceremony to dedicate a railway station. He said Namibia has uranium and should begin producing atomic bombs.

In an interview with VOA English-to-Africa Service, Minister of Information Netumbo Nandi-Ndaithwah said the former president was referring to uranium as a means of development, especially as a means of improving the lives of Namibians. She said Windhoek has no plans to develop an atomic bomb.

Nandi-Ndaithwah also said she does not expect any negative fallout from the international community over Mr. Nujoma's comments.

Nujoma stepped down last year after ruling the country since its independence from South Africa in 1990.