Military Review

The country of diamonds and uranium. How Namibia fought for independence

November 21 marks its Independence Day in Namibia. History the national liberation movement of this country, located in the southwestern part of the African continent, in the 1960-s - 1980-s. was closely associated with the support of the socialist states, especially the Soviet Union. In fact, it was the Soviet Union that provided direct and indirect military, financial, informational and organizational support for the Namibian fighters for independence.

In 1884, Germany announced a protectorate over the area of ​​the Angra-Peken bay, which was acquired from the leader of the Nama tribe by the merchant of Ludenitz from Bremen. Thus began the penetration of the German colonizers on the coast of South-West Africa. The German Colonial Society of South West Africa was created, the first white colonists began to arrive in Namibia. However, local residents tried with all their might to resist colonization. In response, the colonialists acted extremely harshly. So, after the uprising of the Herero people, a decision was made to destroy all its representatives (but this order was never executed). The most bloody phase of the colonial war occurred in 1904-1907. During the fighting, 60% of the population of the Namibian Plateau died. When the First World War began in 1914, the South African Union (South African Union) entered the war on the side of Great Britain, located next to Namibia. South African troops invaded Namibia and defeated the German colonial units stationed there. After that, the territory of the colony was under the actual occupation of the South African Union, and in 1920 it was officially transferred as the mandated territory of the League of Nations under the control of South Africa. Thus, from the end of World War I to the last decades of the twentieth century, Namibia existed as a colony of South Africa (from 1961 - South Africa, South African Republic). But even under the rule of South Africa, the inhabitants of Namibia did not feel happy. From time to time, popular uprisings flared up, drowned in blood by South African forces, which used, among other things, Aviation to destroy the living forces of the rebels. The South African Union was counting on the inclusion of South-West Africa in South Africa. However, after the end of World War II, the international political situation changed dramatically. The decolonization processes that have begun, including in Africa, could not but affect the situation in South-West Africa. In 1946, the United Nations rejected the application of the South African Union to join South West Africa. But South Africa was not satisfied with the decision of the United Nations and simply refused to transfer the territory of South-West Africa to UN custody. Since that time, SWA has actually turned into an occupied territory. South African troops stationed in South West Africa and local militias of the white colonists severely thwarted any attempts by the African population to achieve national independence. So, in 1959, a demonstration of Africans was shot in the capital of South-West Africa, Windhoek, as a result of which 12 people were killed and 50 people were injured of varying severity.

The desire of the people of South West Africa for independence resulted in the creation of organizations that have set themselves the goal of the struggle for national liberation. Initially, in 1958, the Organization of the People of Ovambland appeared (Ovambo is one of the main nations that make up the population of Namibia). 19 April 1960 was established by the South-West Africa People's Organization (outh-West Africa's Peoples Organization, SWAPO). Its founder was 31-year-old Samuel Daniel Nujoma, better known simply as Sam Nujoma (born 1929). The representative of the people of Ovambo, Sam Nuyoma from his youth participated in the national liberation movement of South West Africa. In 1961, he was forced to leave the country. In 1962, a paramilitary wing was created at SWAPO - the Namibian People’s Liberation Army (PLAN). Initially, the weapons for the PLAN were supplied by Algeria, which supported the national liberation movements of the continent.

The struggle for the independence of Namibia intensified after in 1966, the UN General Assembly closed the South African mandate to manage South-West Africa and transferred the latter to the United Nations. At the same time, South Africa did not rush the decision of the UN to carry out - the occupation regime still existed on the territory of South-West Africa, and South African militias were stationed. In 1966, the armed struggle of SWAPO and PLAN against the South African authorities in Namibia also began. Unlike many other national liberation movements, SWAPO almost immediately received support not only from the socialist states and other African countries, but also from the world community. So, already in 1967, the United Nations recognized South-West Africa as the territory illegally occupied by South Africa. However, the South African authorities themselves paid almost no attention to the attitude towards the “Namibian problem” of the world community. Initially, they hoped to suppress the resistance of SWAPO by the police, however, as military assistance to the Namibian guerrillas on the part of the socialist countries increased, South Africa had to reconsider the strategy to fight the guerrilla formations. At the beginning of the 1970's For the fight against the rebels, the South African Defense Forces - the armed forces of South Africa - were engaged. The situation became much more complicated after the proclamation of independence of neighboring Angola and the coming to power in Angola of the pro-Soviet MPLA. Since that time, Angola has become the main ally of SWAPO. In 1977, the SWAPO headquarters was transferred from the Zambian capital, Lusaka, to the Angola capital, Luanda. Earlier, several hundred Namibian partisans who had previously undergone combat training in training camps in Zambia were transferred to the territory of Angola. The Angolan authorities allowed Namibian refugee camps to be located in the country. In turn, the Namibian partisans were one of the allies of the MPLA in the fight against the South African troops that invaded Angola.

In contrast to many other left and left radical African rebel organizations, SWAPO in 1973 was recognized by the United Nations as the sole legitimate representative of the interests of the Namibian people. Thus, South Africa had to fight against SWAPO itself. The situation of South Africa has especially deteriorated after the decolonization of Angola and Mozambique. Portugal, which remained the last colonial empire, was a natural ally of South Africa in the fight against the partisan national liberation movement in South Africa. After the withdrawal of Portugal from Africa, the situation changed for South Africa for the worse. However, the South African leadership tried by all means to keep South-West Africa under control. To combat the guerrillas of SWAPO, Koevoet-Kufoot detachments were created. They were the classic anti-partisan units that were fighting the rebels by patrolling the “bush”. In “Kufut” served 850 military. Most of the commandos in the rank and file were recruited from representatives of the Ovambo ethnic group — the one whose leaders had created SWAPO in their time. The command of the native special forces was carried out by white officers and non-commissioned officers, there were about 300 people. Officers were recruited from South African police and South-West African police, with selected officers undergoing training at the bases of South African commandos. The detachment was divided into patrols of 40 people in each, who were armed with South African-made Casspir mini-defense armored personnel carriers. Each such armored vehicle had a crew of two people and could take on board up to 12 soldiers - a full-fledged infantry unit. Detachments "Kufoot" quite successfully acted against the Namibian partisans for eleven years. During this time, 153 servicemen died in Kufut, while the Kufut fighters managed to destroy at least 3681 of the SWAPO partisan.

However, despite the deployment of powerful special forces units in South-West Africa and the intensification of repressive measures against the national liberation movement, South Africa was not able to defeat SWAPO. The reason for this was, among other things, military support provided by SWAPO from the Soviet Union. The organization’s militants were trained on the territory of the USSR - in the Crimea, at the 165th training center for the training of foreign military personnel. In 1985, the Soviet Union delivered SWAPO Tanks, cars, light rifle weapon and ammunition, special equipment, uniforms, fuel and lubricants. All this assistance was intended to support the SWAPO units operating against the South African army.

In 1987 - 1988 in the area of ​​the city of Quito-Kvanavale in southern Angola, major battles were fought between Angolan troops and Cuban units in Angola on the one hand, and troops from South Africa and the Angolan insurgent organization UNITA on the other. Large-scale clashes entailed large human casualties both among Angolan soldiers and among Cubans. Moreover, up to ten Soviet military advisers who were under the command and formations of the Angolan army were killed in Kvito-Kvanaval. Among them, Junior Lieutenant Oleg Snitko, mortally wounded on September 26 of September, adviser on organizational and mobilization work under the district commander Colonel Andrei Gorb, a communications driver of the group of Soviet military advisers on the Southern Front, private Alexander Nikitenko, and a number of other Soviet soldiers are among them. As a result of the 1987 battles of May 27, the South African forces left Angolan territory, blowing up the border bridge behind them. After that, the South African authorities began peace negotiations with Angola. Although the Quito-Kvanavala battle was not directly related to Namibia, its outcome, namely, the ousting of South African troops from Angola, had as its main effect the beginning of a gradual revision of South African policy in the region. Already in May, 1988 began negotiations between South Africa, Angola and Cuba in London - with the mediation of American diplomats and in the presence of Soviet representatives. In August 1988, South African troops were officially withdrawn from the territory of Angola. Next came the turn of Namibia. 1988 December 22 in New York signed an agreement to transfer Namibia to the control of the United Nations. Thus ended the 1988-year history of the South African occupation of Namibia.

1 April 1989 began the one-year period for Namibia’s transition to political independence. The situation in the country during the transition period was monitored by the United Nations. During the transition period, rapid changes took place in the political life of the country. First, over 40 thousands of thousands of fighters for independence who lived in Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and other countries returned from emigration to Namibia. Among them were the top leaders of SWAPO. Secondly, political parties were formed and registered, the Constituent Assembly was elected. 57% of voters voted for SWAPO in the elections to the assembly. The tasks of the Constituent Assembly included, first of all, the development of the state constitution of Namibia. 21 March 1990 Namibia was officially proclaimed an independent republic. SWAPO leader Sam Nujoma was elected the country's first president. He remained as head of state for 15 years - until March 21 2005. Then Nuyomu was replaced by his closest ally and friend of Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba (born 1935), also a SWAPO veteran who held the presidency until 2015, as president. During the presidency of Pohamba, the policy of nationalizing the lands of white farmers continued. Currently, the head of state (from 2015) is Hage Gottfried Geingob (born 1941), who is also a representative of the SWAPO party and from 1964 to 1971. led by the official representative of SWAPO to the United Nations.

The country of diamonds and uranium. How Namibia fought for independence
- the first president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma

If we consider the natural resources that the land of Namibia hides, then the country can be recognized as one of the richest countries in the world. Here are uranium, diamonds, copper, gold, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten. Namibia occupies one of the key places in the world diamond mining, besides, there is a large uranium mining pit in the country. Nevertheless, the majority of the country's population lives in poverty, there is a very uneven distribution of income between the upper stratum of society and the main part of the country's population. But one of the undoubtedly positive characteristics of Namibia compared with other African countries is its relative political stability. Only in 1998-1999. in the country was so-called. “Caprivi War of Independence” - a small strip of land in the north of Namibia, inhabited by the Lozi people. But then the Namibian authorities, with the support of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe, managed to quite quickly and firmly crush the resistance of the separatists.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 21 March 2016 07: 37
    Nevertheless, the majority of the country's population lives in poverty, there is an extremely uneven distribution of income between the upper layer of society and the bulk of the country's population... Moreover, mining is in the hands of TNCs .. Thank you, Ilya
    1. siberalt
      siberalt 21 March 2016 12: 38
      And on what African tribes did the guys from outside draw borders and say that now they are independent? laughing Who were they addicted to before? It had never occurred to them before.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  2. Francois de Vivre
    Francois de Vivre 21 March 2016 08: 50
    We cannot reconcile with any white government, no matter liberal or extremist. We are also not interested in this multiracial nonsense. We intend to remove from the face of the earth all traces of a white civilization. We need neither reform, nor bantustans, nor improvement of the conditions of the indigenous population. All we want is complete independence. Black rule - or nothing!

    - Sam Nuyoma, President of SWAPO, at a speech in Tanzania, 1970
    1. ilyaros
      21 March 2016 10: 40
      And what else could you expect from him? For centuries, whites did not consider Africans as human beings, millions were taken into slavery to another continent, and how many were killed were not counted. The plundering of Africa’s natural resources continues to this day. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the words of Nuyoma. Another thing is that for us, as representatives of the Caucasoid race, it’s certainly unpleasant to read. Therefore, it is impossible to accept these words, but it is possible to understand.
      1. Francois de Vivre
        Francois de Vivre 21 March 2016 10: 50
        Black African leaders traded in slaves, who organized raids against weaker nations especially for European partners.
        And yet, about black racism. Ask a Bantu (scythe or zulu) for his opinion about the koisans (Bushmen), he will say - are inhuman and subhuman. There is a lot of shit. But if whites have done shit, this is called shit. If this is black shit, then for some reason it is presented as chocolate.
        1. ilyaros
          21 March 2016 14: 34
          This is all known. But the slave trade itself was organized by Europeans - the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and so on. The scale of this trade is enough to imagine the population of the West Indies, Brazil. In the Caribbean, whole countries are populated by blacks. The words of Nuyoma are quite typical of a nationalist, you can find a lot of quotes from German, English, French and other racists with the same reviews about Africans.
          1. Anglorussian
            Anglorussian 22 March 2016 21: 54
            The international slave trade is the patrimony of the Arabs. The first Europeans to buy slaves were the Dutch.
  3. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 21 March 2016 08: 54
    If we consider the natural resources that the land of Namibia hides, then the country can be recognized as one of the richest states in the world. Here are uranium, diamonds, copper, gold, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten. Namibia is one of the key places in world diamond mining, and there is also a large uranium mining quarry in the country. Nevertheless, the majority of the country's population lives in poverty, there is an extremely uneven distribution of income between the upper layer of society and the bulk of the country's population.

    Does it remind me of anything alone? Or does it just seem to me?
    1. Francois de Vivre
      Francois de Vivre 21 March 2016 09: 16
      Reminds everyone, but not everyone has the conscience to admit ..
    2. excomandante
      excomandante 21 March 2016 10: 49
      Maybe I don't understand what ... In Kazakhstan, "most of the country's population lives in poverty"?
  4. excomandante
    excomandante 21 March 2016 09: 19
    When black racist terrorists came to power in South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Namibia (mainly from the ANC, SWAPO is a branch of the ANC), they surpassed all the white colonialists in the killings and genocide of unwanted tribes in the shortest possible time, quickly and confidently brought their states to the first places in the world in terms of crime in general and corruption in particular. The level of development of industry, education, medical services, etc., etc. has dropped and continues to decline. You shouldn't forget about this either. Unfortunately, the inherited irrational passionate love of the USSR for "oppressed blacks", superimposed on the modern propaganda of tolerance, naturally led to the shutdown of common sense in everything that concerns African countries. Huge funds pumped by the USSR into African "national liberation movements" and "countries of socialist orientation" were wasted absolutely in vain, including in Namibia. The elite had to bribe, and not organize the construction of enterprises! It would be cheaper. Now the same China is naturally buying up African "independent and independent" states wholesale and retail, except for the previously staked out Yankees, of course. It is enough to bring a small slice to the local Zuma or Nujoma - and you can turn back what you want)))
  5. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 21 March 2016 09: 40
    Oh, Ilya, Ilya, it seems that you wrote an article exclusively based on the materials of the Pravda newspaper ...

    But even under South African rule, the inhabitants of Namibia did not feel happy.
    Actually, obtaining citizenship in Namibia was and remains an unattainable dream in all neighboring African "independent" countries.

    Initially, they expected to suppress the resistance of SWAPO by the police, however, as the military assistance to the Namibian partisans from the socialist countries increased, South Africa had to revise the strategy of combating partisan formations.
    That is, no matter how sad it is to state, the USSR with Cuba and other socialist countries with gigantic deliveries of weapons, military advisers, and even some contingents of soldiers who directly participated in the battles, actually launched a civil war in one of the most prosperous countries in Africa.

    The roads in Namibia are especially striking - often these are magnificent German-style autobahns, and when you visit some villages, you don’t feel the difference — you are, say, in Saxony or in Namibia.
    1. Francois de Vivre
      Francois de Vivre 21 March 2016 10: 27
      Warrior, are you crazy to write such a thing? Everyone has long known how the black population was tormented by white power. You cannot change this with any autobahns and salaries - they do not change freedom for sausage. And South Africa is the same today. Yes, the crime rate is high. Yes, rob, kill, rape. Yes, one in five South Africans has AIDS or an STD. Yes, 67% of blacks regret past stability. Yes, the leadership of the ANC and the Communist Party of South Africa got confused with international TNCs, in fact they sold them all mineral deposits (which in Russia was not even under Yeltsin), well, they were put on their allowance. Yes, the elections are falsified - the Nationalist Party has been in power for fifty years, and the ANC is only twenty (now). Thirty more years will pass, and only then can Congress be announced in usurpation. In the meantime, no, no ... Well, so - all this is a difficult legacy of the previous regime.
  6. The comment was deleted.
  7. Sergej1972
    Sergej1972 21 March 2016 11: 30
    Interesting appearance of many residents of Namibia and South Africa. Some local Negroids have clear signs of the presence of the australoid race.
  8. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 21 March 2016 15: 42
    Quote: Sergej1972
    . Some local Negroids have clear signs of the presence of the australoid race.

    More likely Khoisan, of which there were many. In general, there are many later mixes. But by the way, modern genetics as a whole has come to the conclusion that the Negroid, Khoisan, and Australoid races (previously united into a large equatorial race) are not related.
  9. Francois de Vivre
    Francois de Vivre 21 March 2016 15: 48
    ilyaros, these Germans, French, British so-called "racist scientists" are rightly considered scoundrels. but for some reason Nuyoma, or former South African prezik mbeki, are considered heroes, although they are also racist.
    1. pigkiller
      pigkiller 21 March 2016 16: 56
      Africans have gastronomic racism, because the meat of white people is still considered by some tribes to be tasty and healthy.
      1. Anglorussian
        Anglorussian 22 March 2016 22: 03
        On the contrary. When the French legionnaires stormed the palace of Bokassa, they found instructions on how to make edible white meat poisoned by alcohol and tobacco (soak in running water)
    2. Anglorussian
      Anglorussian 22 March 2016 21: 59
      Why did Mandela clatter on Robben island? This is not being advertised now, for it is half correct.
  10. Lord blacwood
    Lord blacwood 21 March 2016 22: 31
    Alas, such is the lot of savages. At one time, the wild tribes of Africa lagged behind the developed countries. They were at enmity with each other, maintaining a traditional society. Europeans easily took control of them, exported them to slavery, and took away resources. But the Africans themselves, who could not unite, are to blame for all this. And today they are reaping the fruits of their mistakes, and everything is ALSO DEPENDENT, as before, from developed countries.
  11. GUSAR
    GUSAR 21 March 2016 22: 54
    And why did the USSR help them? The once prosperous, at least stable states turned into banana-criminal republics, and we did not get any sense from this.
  12. Warrior2015
    Warrior2015 24 March 2016 20: 18
    Quote: Anglorussian
    On the contrary. When the French legionnaires stormed the palace of Bokassa, they found instructions on how to make edible white meat poisoned by alcohol and tobacco (soak in running water)

    No, it’s a bit wrong there - first in water, then in vinegar, then in milk. laughing Well, foodies, what to do ...

    And what’s most interesting, the South African countries have achieved seemingly political independence, and so what? life has become much worse, and economic dependence has become many times greater.

    And the funniest thing, for example, from the practice of South Africa - the wages of workers in the mines have become much lower, they have started to work more, and the working conditions have been monitored, as the "white exploiters" did, in general the current owners of the mines have stopped! laughing
  13. maxim1987
    maxim1987 18 October 2016 12: 48
    privatize the land of white farmers. Only this is unlikely to lead to a good result. examples of mozambique, kenya etc are available