Namibian War of Independence
||This article is incomplete. (May 2016)|
|Namibian War of Independence|
|Part of the Cold War and the South African Border War|
Geopolitical situation, 1978. States friendly to the nationalist guerrillas are denoted in red, and Namibia itself presented in a maturing pink.
African nationalist forces:
|Commanders and leaders|
| Gerrit Viljoen
Willie van Niekerk
Pieter Willem Botha
|Casualties and losses|
|2,038 – 2,500||11,335|
Part of a series on the
|History of Namibia|
The Namibian War of Independence, which lasted from 1966 to 1990 and gained independence for the country, was a guerrilla war which the nationalist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) and others fought against the apartheid government of South Africa. It had occupied and controlled the territory since 1915, during World War I. This independence movement was closely intertwined with the South African Border War.
South Africa had administered what was then still known as South West Africa since it captured the German territory in 1915 during World War I. It received a League of Nations mandate in 1920 (via the United Kingdom) to administer the territory.
In the post-World War II period, indigenous peoples of Africa organized in numerous movements to gain independence from colonial powers. Among them were members of freedom movements in Namibia, who petitioned the United Nations to withdraw its mandate from South Africa, claiming its administration abused its peoples.
In 1966 the United Nations General Assembly, successor to the League of Nations, revoked South Africa's mandate to govern South-West African territory and declared that it was under direct UN administration. South Africa refused to recognise this resolution and continued to administer the territory de facto.
On 26 August 1966, SWAPO guerrilla forces launched an attack against the South African Defence Force at Omugulugwombashe. It was the first armed battle in the Namibian struggle for independence. In commemoration of the day, 26 August is a public holiday in Namibia. It is recognised by the United Nations as Namibia Day but Namibians refer to it as Heroes' Day.
The war ended with the New York Accords signed on 22 December 1988, which also ended direct involvement of foreign troops in the Angolan Civil War. A Constituent Assembly was organized to draft a constitution. Namibia celebrated independence on 21 March 1990, following elections in which SWAPO won 55 of 72 seats in the National Assembly of Namibia, enabling them to form a national government. They have maintained power since then.
- South African Border War
- Angolan Civil War
- South West African Territorial Force
- South West African Police
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