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Caprivi Concerned Group

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A LETTER TO PRESIDENT HAGE GEINGOB

Caprivi Concerned Group

 

 

 

A LETTER TO PRESIDENT HAGE GEINGOB

01 October 2015

 

“Human rights are not divisible, fundamental freedoms are not divisible, democracy is not divisible, self-determination is not divisible”. These are your words at the UN General Assembly, on 29 September 2015, President Geingob.

 

Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG) is a peaceful organisation persuading GRN and the leadership of United Democratic Party (UDP) to peacefully and jointly find a lasting political solution over the Caprivi political dispute. This dispute is an argument on whether or not a) Caprivi is legally part of Namibia and b) the majority of Caprivians want total independence from Namibia.

 

The dispute began in 1964 when Mishake Muyongo of CANU signed a merger agreement with Sam Nuyoma of SWAPO. Some CANU leaders and supporters accused Muyongo of selling Caprivi Strip to Namibia by agreeing to merge CANU with SWAPO. This was followed by a “hunger strike” by Caprivians in 1965 at Kongwa, in protest of the merger. SWAPO executive met with CANU leaders in September 1965 to discuss “problems of Caprivians”, where Greenwell Matongo defiantly said “we remain CANU not SWAPO”!

 

As head of United Nations Institute for Namibia, asked about Caprivi independence around 1980, you said “if people want to change borders… it can be considered after independence..” Now it’s 25 years after Namibia got independence, and you are the President. Do you now have a different opinion?

 

In 1982, CANU leadership in exile appealed to then President of Botswana, Sir Quette Masire, for his intervention before Namibia’s independence, warning that if the plight of Caprivians would not be addressed, Caprivians would be forced into an “unholy alliance with Namibia”, and that there would be serious repercussions. Today we have Caprivians in exile, dozens in prison and some in mass graves as consequences of this dispute.

 

Zambezi Regional Council petitioned Central Government to “take action” against CCG at least twice this year. One was registered through SWAPO Secretary General, and another through you as Head of State. The best “action” is one which settles the dispute peacefully and durably, not one which silence CCG and other voices.

 

UDP is willing to have dialogue with the Namibian government over the Caprivi dispute; Prime Minister Angula rejected a referendum on the matter and indicated that dialogue with UDP would be possible if UDP denounce secession; and a month ago, you rejected dialogue and indicated that a referendum would be possible.

 

Surely, this dispute can be effectively settled through dialogue between Government of Namibia and the leadership of the UDP first, and a subsquent UN supervised referendum. GRN and UDP need to listen to each other, the truth be told, and people be accorded the right to decide.

 

Credit to you for successfully engaging in dialogue with Affirmative Reppositioning leaders, proving that diplomacy can put out any fire. We appeal to you, President Geingob and your Government, to consider entering into dialogue with UDP leadership to resolve the Caprivi dispute once and for all, or atleast, issue a clear (GRN) position statement on this dispute and request.

 

The earlier the better.

 

Mr. Edwin M Samati

Secretary General

Caprivi Concerned Group

concernedcaprivians@gmail.com

 

Annual Report 2014

Annual Report 2014

Grant Caprivians Their Political Freedom And Independence Instead Of Forced Repatriation

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Attention:

UNHCR Botswana
UNHCR Namibia
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Botswana
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Namibia

Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG) has learnt that Government of Namibia is tirelessly trying to entice the government of Botswana and the United Nations (UN) to forcefully repatriate Caprivians by all means possible.

We understand the hardship which Caprivi refugees have gone through since 1998 and we are aware that hundreds of them have passed on and buried in foreign lands. It is a fact that their hardships in Botswana are also experienced by other refugees and non-refugees in Caprivi and Namibia, for example. Not all their problems are natural or universal but some of them are administrative problems – which include unemployment, denied or delayed health care, poor sanitation and restrictions on freedom of movement and others.

We are also aware that some of these refugees have been repatriated from as early as 1999 due to personal or family problems back home but most of them have been subjected to torture, imprisonment and some were forced to testify against their own brothers in Caprivi high treason trial.

On our part, like other independent civil or rights organizations, we have been calling for a political solution to the Caprivi political dispute, a dispute in which Caprivians argue that Namibia is forcefully governing them. However, GRN have constantly rejected compromise solutions such as political dialogue and a referendum over this dispute.

Besides, there are a few facts amongst others, which Botswana, UNHCR and Namibia should have known better and therefore acknowledge as follows:

  1. That Namibia is illegally governing Caprivi Strip and her people.
  2. That all Caprivi refugees in Dukwi or elsewhere followed their political and traditional leaders as members of a political organization, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Mafwe tribe.
  3. And that both this political party’s leadership and its followers went into exile fearing political persecution and to seek peaceful means to liberate Caprivians from the Namibian brute and foreign government.
  4. That in both cases above, it is ONLY the leadership of UDP which must be engaged directly by UN, Botswana or Namibia on any issue regarding its members or followers who are referred to as refugees.
  5. That the family members and political cadres of these concerned Caprivian refugees in Botswana or elsewhere whom GRN wants to repatriate are in Namibian prisons for their political opinion while others are currently in mass graves.
  6. And that this political party (the UDP)to which they (Caprivi refugees) all belong to was banned in Namibia by the same Namibian government in September 2006.
  7. That the laws of Namibia were only extended by Act of Parliament (Act 10 of 1999) in Namibia to apply in Caprivi Strip in June 1999, a year after the Caprivi political leadership had already disputed the Namibian government over Caprivi and fled to exile.
  8. That concerned Caprivi refugees and many Caprivians at home, even in the high treason trial have publicly dispute the authority of Namibia over them, refer to the 28 November 2011 submission by Caprivian community in Dukwi and recent court records from the main Caprivi treason trial.
  9. That there is a mass grave of seven Caprivians in Katima Mulilo, who were executed by the same Namibian government in 1999, and that CCG has clues of where it is exactly found.
  10. That there are more than twenty four (24) Caprivi political prisoners who died in Namibian prisons due to negligence, unhealthy environment and food, and poison by state agents.
  11. That Caprivi Strip is the poorest territory administered by Namibia with high poverty, unemployment and HIV prevalence, the National Planning of Namibia can attest to this.
  12. That Caprivians do not have the right to peacefully protest on issues regarding the Caprivi political detainees and dispute, reference to Caprivi Concerned Group which was totally denied to peacefully demonstrate calling for a political solution in 2012 and 2013.

Given this background, it is up to the government of Botswana and the UNHCR (acting on behalf of the United Nations) to collaborate with Namibia in its political war and international crimes against the Caprivian nation, where political intolerance, subjugation, war crimes, torture and political detentions are imminent.

We have known the good character of the Botswana government in political issues within Southern Africa and we haven’t realized its bad character thus far. We live to see if Botswana will conform to Namibia’s ill political character or not.

We suggest that Botswana, Namibia, and UNHCR or UN should uphold, protect and ensure the political rights of Caprivians, which is the right to self-determination, and therefore grant them the freedom and independence they desire and deserve.

Thank you.

Edwin M Samati
Secretary General
Caprivi Concerned Group

Cc Namrights, Ditswanelo, UDP, Namibia Attorney General

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Call for Botswana Voice on Caprivi Political Dispute

We hereby call upon the Government of Botswana to take the social responsibility of publicly advising Namibia to allow a political solution on the Caprivi political dispute.

Botswana is possibly haunted by the direct or indirect economic and social burden contributed by thousands of Caprivian refugees it is hosting since 1998. And we ask, why should Botswana keep paying the prize of a political dispute in Namibia?

We do respect the bilateral and diplomatic relations between the two countries and do not intend to harm such relations.

However, Namibian political leaders should already be capable of peacefully solving domestic political disputes at 23 years after independence than shying away from a dispute they have known for about 50 years now.

On our part, since April 2012, we peacefully called for an unconditional release of all Caprivi political prisoners, a political dialogue between Namibian government and UDP leadership, and a referendum over the Caprivi political dispute. The loudest response we received were threats by the Namibian government to be shot dead or arrested.

Many other individuals and organizations have called for a political solution on this case. The latest is the former Army General, Martin Shali who publicly called for a political solution to the Caprivi high treason trial in the Windhoek Observer (newspaper) of January 24, 2013.

Many Caprivians to a total ranging from 321 to 400 have perished and buried in Botswana, away from their motherland. About 24 political prisoners have died in Namibian jails so far, while others remain languishing in Namibian jails for about 14 years now, still on trial, waiting for justice.

We were stunned on Wed, 13 Mar 2013, when Namibia’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Veiccoh Nghiwete issued a statement demanding “an immediate and unconditional release of all the Saharawi political prisoners, held in Moroccan jails, and a referendum to enable people of Western Sahara to exercise their right to self-determination and independence.”

The situation of Saharawi people is not so different from, and not even worse than this one of the Caprivian people. Hence, it is only logical for the Namibian government to lead by example in these two almost similar situations. That is, to practice what they preach to Morocco and sweep own house clean first.

Perhaps Namibia is just waiting for an advice from sister countries. We urge Botswana to publicly advice Namibia to allow a political solution on the Caprivi political dispute in the same manner that Namibia advised Morocco.

When people run into your home you don’t just give them shelter and food but be motivated by their faith and trust in you to find a way to address the problem that led them to escape their home – sweet home. That is our expectation for Botswana.

It is time up, Namibian government must allow a peaceful political solution over the Caprivi dispute and unconditionally release all political prisoners.

Edwin Samati
Secretary General
Caprivi Concerned Group
Cell phone: +264814960827