NAMIBIA: a background

by National Namibia Concerns
Denver, Colorado, United States
Undated, 1985 or 1986?
4 pages
Type: Brochure
Coverage in Africa: Namibia
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Contents: What is Namibia? • What is Apartheid Anyway? • Why Won’t South Africa Leave? • Why Should We Care? • What Can I Do? • The brochure says Namibia is a large country (the size of Californian Oregon and Washington combined) with a small population (1.4 million) located in southern Africa; it is rich in natural resources – diamonds, uranium, cattle and fish. Yet Namibia is a poor and oppressed nation; today in defiance of the International Court of Justice and the United Nations, South Africa is illegally occupying Namibia, draining the country of its resources, and keeping Namibia in a constant state of terror and war; white South Africa maintains control over the 93% nonwhites of Namibia through a system of legalized racism known as apartheid (pronounced "apart-hate"), meaning separateness. The brochure says Namibia has been involved in a struggle of independence for over 100 years. The brochure says in Namibia (as in South Africa) apartheid means the loss of all human and political rights; black Namibians may not vote or move freely in their country; everything in Namibia is separate and unequal for blacks and whites: housing, jobs, health care, education, even church; families are forced to move away from "white" areas to barren homelands, while fathers work far away in a migrant labor system separated from their families for up to a year at a time. Much of the country is under martial law, with a dusk to dawn curfew for blacks; they may be arrested, tortured, and killed without charges ever being filed; young black men are drafted into the S. A. military to fight against their own people. The brochure says currently, there is an international stalemate. South Africa reversed its agreement to U.N. supervised elections (NSCR 435). The brochure says the United States has agreed to support UNITA forces in Angola, and strengthens ties with S.A.; also, the U.S. has added Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola as a precondition for Namibia’s independence; present U.S. policy still opposes even partial economic sanctions against S.A.; peaceful options are running out; S.A. wants to keep Namibia as a "buffer" state between herself and black Africa; in addition, S.A. continues to exploit Namibia’s people and resources, using the enormous profits to strengthen apartheid rule. The brochure says Namibia is predominantly Christian (85%), and mostly Lutheran (60%); working together as the Council of Churches in Namibia, the country's main Christian churches -- Lutheran, Catholic, Anglican, and Methodist -- have called for an end to the war, for an end to all discriminatory laws and practices, and for free and fair elections under international supervision. The brochure says as a result of this opposition to apartheid and South Africa's reign of terror, the church has been persecuted -- church leaders have been arrested, pastors prevented from performing pastoral duties, printing presses bombed, high schools bombed, the offices of the Council of Churches in Namibia bombed; South Africa labels anyone who opposes its apartheid policies as traitors and communists, whether they be SWAPO or freedom fighters or church leaders and bishops. The brochure says South Africa claims to be a Christian democratic country and uses the Bible to support apartheid, the only system of legal racism in the world; in the name of Christianity and democracy, South Africa continues to deny political and human rights to people of color both in Namibia and South Africa; as well as to block Namibia's independence. The brochure says Namibia is one of the places in our world today where being a confessing Christian is dangerous, often deadly, business. The brochure says excellent films, videos, books, magazines, newsletters, and other materials are available, many of which can be obtained with no charge. The brochure says for more information and resources contact National Namibia Concerns, Namibia Concerns, DMNA/Lutheran Church in America. The brochure discuses World War I, DMNA (Division of Mission in North America), and  the International Court of Justice, ICJ, World Court). • 1884 Namibia annexed as a German colony • 1906-1919 A German "order of extermination" in 1906 eliminated two-thirds of the Herero and Nama people – their cattle and land were taken from them. After Germany's defeat in W W I, Namibia was mandated to South Africa "as a sacred trust of civilization." 1884 Namibia annexed as a German colony. 1906-1919 A German "order of extermination" in 1906 eliminated two-thirds of the Herero and Nama people – their cattle and land were taken from them. After Germany's defeat in W W I, Namibia was mandated to South Africa "as a sacred trust of civilization." The brochure says South Africa was to care for the people and bring Namibia to independence. • 1919-1966 S A. instead, increased oppression, moved to annex Namibia and instituted apartheid. Namibians worked and petitioned for independence, but after South Africa's refusal, the U N. terminated S.A.'s mandate and returned Namibia to U. N. jurisdiction. • 1971 International Court of Justice declared S.A.'s presence in Namibia illegal. • 1973 U. N. recognized SWAPO (S. W. Africa Peoples' Organization) as authentic representative of Namibian people, granting them official U.N. status. • 1978 Passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 435 calling for U. N. supervised elections in Namibia [Note on date: One of the organizations to contact is the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). On January 1, 1988 the LCA was part of a merger of denominations and became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America so this document was created before the merger.]
Used by permission of former members of National Namibia Concerns.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root