Caprivi Concerned Group
Call: +264814960827 (SG) or email:firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
23 June 2014 Katima Mulilo / Caprivi Strip
1stAve, and 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Tel: 1 (212) 963 1234 / 212 963 5012
Fax: 1 (212) 963 4879 / 212 963 7055
Re: Caprivians’ Plight and Right To Self Determination (Namibia’s Political Crisis)!
We recognize and highly honor your authority as the Secretary General or Chief Administrator of the United Nations (UN). We appreciate your visitto Namibia, a country in a political crisis.
We cannot overstate the relevance and significance of the date you are scheduled to visit Namibia (24 June) as it coincides with the date (24 June 1999), or say the 15th anniversary since, when then president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma signed a law (Act 10 of 1999) to annex Caprivi Strip to Namibia without consulting neither the people of Caprivi nor the UN.
However, we would also like to recognize and honor His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, as the president of the Republic of Namibia, and Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. We value the authority and responsibilities vested in him through these respective capacities.
We further recognize and appreciate that Namibia is a UN member state, and that Namibia would not be an independent country today without the support of the UN during its liberation struggle era. We know very well that Namibia is also a signatory to a number of UN human rights conventions. We understand that being a UN member state, Namibia should always comply than defying UN principles.
Your Excellency, consider the fact that Namibia illegally occupied Caprivi Strip in 1990 and lamented this illegal occupation by Act 10 of 1999 a year after the Caprivians (people of Caprivi Strip) had already disputed the Namibian government’s jurisdiction over Caprivi Strip and many had fled to exile.
In 1998, around 3000 Caprivians fled to Botswana in fear of political persecution and to advance their political belief – that Caprivi should be an independent country. Currently there are just above 1000 of them in Botswana, Sweden, USA, Denmark, and elsewhere. Some were abducted by the Namibian government to face treason charges and others opted for voluntary repatriation yet hundreds have died in exile. The majority of these refugees are in Botswana, a Namibian neighbor and friend. Botswana has already indicated that it is no longer willing to keep these refugees and threatened to revoke their refugee status by December this year (2014).
However, concerned (remaining) refugees have indicated to Botswana and Namibian government that they are willing to come back home only if Namibia accept to have a political dialogue with the leadership of United Democratic Party (UDP) to find a political solution to the Caprivi political dispute.
It is inspiringto note that the leadership of UDP has already indicated readiness to sit around a table for a political dialogue with the Namibian government to determine the political freedom and independence of Caprivians. It is unfortunate, however, that Namibia which is a UN member state have ignored and/or rejected this peaceful initiative, leaving both Botswana and concerned refugees (and UDP) in limbo – a crisis indeed.
On the other hand, about 400 Caprivians were arrested in 1999 of which some were killed, others were tortured and attained permanent injuries or disabilities, and some were released after two weeks without criminal charges, and only 123 were charged with high treason.
Families of those who were killed do not know where they were buried. It has recently come to public knowledge that they were buried in a mass grave. Those who executed (killed) and tortured these suspects have not been reprimanded by the Namibian state. The state witnesses, who were probably “suspect-cum-witness” or close family member were brutally tortured to testify or sign for false testimonies.
The trial of those who were charged took four years to begin (1999 to 2003), and have taken 11 years since commencement. This trial continues up to now while the suspects have been in maximum security prison for 15 years already. The judicial system of Namibia, particularly Windhoek high court is in an awkward situation – by prosecuting victims (of torture and political subjugation) even beyond reasonable time. This is no doubt another crisis indeed.
On the 6th of February 2013 we (Caprivi Concerned Group) submitted a petition to the UN resident Coordinator in Namibia, Mr. Bandora Musinga, calling for UN intervention in the Caprivi political dispute but unfortunately Mr. Musinga did not give us any response.
Nonetheless, Caprivians in prison, exile and home are the most excitedpeople in Africa regarding your 24 June visit to Namibia.Your visit will be meaningless to the territory and people of Caprivi Strip if the following DEMANDS will not be on your agenda in your consultations and discussions, or resolutions thereof, with the Namibian president who is also the Chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security:
- Unconditional release of seventy-five (75) Caprivi high treason prisoners (suspects) who have been detained and tried for nearly fifteen (15) years now and their trial is still ongoing while twenty-six (26) othersmysteriously died in prison since 1999.
- Recommending and/or endorsing the right of Caprivians to self-determination and total independence in accordance with Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter (1945), UN General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 1960 and the UN Friendly Relations Declaration of 1970.
That is our prayer and we believe that it is not beyond your mandate, capacity and compassionate discretion. Caprivians cannot by themselves realize their right to self – determination and total independence without UN support. We will be grateful if you will consider it instantly.
Mr. Edwin Samati
Caprivi Concerned Group
Cc: International Court of Justice
Namibian President, HifikepunyePohamba
UNSC in the Occupied Territories
Botswana President, Ian Khama
USA President, Barack Obama
SADC Executive Secretary
Windhoek High Court (His Lordship Judge Elton Hoff)