South Africa and the United Nations are in conflict over the pullout of SWAPO guerrillas from Namibia, and the dispute is stopping the U.N. peacekeeping force from doing its job.

"There is a total stalemate," a European diplomat said. "The U.N. and South Africa are still bickering about the interrogation of SWAPO people and the communication between them is virtually non-existent."Anouar Cherif, spokesman for the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG), said communication with the South African authorities in Windhoek was poor.

He said South Africa had not informed UNTAG about a battle with the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) in which seven rebels died, and there was no agreement on how to repatriate rebels to Angola.

The first contingent of U.N. police arrived in Namibia Saturday, but their commander, Col. Klaas Roos, told reporters they would not be deployed in the border war zone until a ceasefire was in effect.

Cherif said the police monitors would be sent north to bases near the border Thursday and Friday.