NAMIBIA AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

by Elizabeth S. Landis
New York, New York, United States
March 20, 1987
9 pages
Type: Conference Presentation
Coverage in Africa: Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Liberia
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Canada, Cuba, Europe, Germany, United Nations
Language: English
Contents: Present status of Namibia • Namibia through revocation of the Mandate • The road to resolution 435 • Metamorphosis of resolution 435: the US role • South Africa’s "second track": fake independence • Paper for a conference on Namibia held at the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota March 20-22, 1987, sponsored by the Lutheran College Task Force on Peace and Justice. Elizabeth Landis describes Namibia’s colonial history, its current international legal status, and the role of the United Nations. The paper says in 1878 the British took title to Walvis Bay, Namibia’s only deepwater port and attached it to their Cape Colony as a sort of colony of a colony. The paper says Pretoria, in cahoots with the U.S., invaded Angola late in 1975 to install a pro-South African UNITA government in Luanda. The invasion was turned back by the Angolans, aided by Cuban troops, and South Africa withdrew, deliberately devastating the countryside as it retreated. Secretary of State Kissinger, recognizing that the Turnhalle Conference was not capable of providing a credible formula for a future independent Namibia, formed the so-called "Contact Group." Landis says clear-headed, tough-minded citizens must persuade the U.S. government that real development for the Namibian people requires first assisting them to gain independence in accordance with international law. The paper discusses the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Caprivi Strip, President Wilson, peace without annexation, the League of Nations, World War II, the Trusteeship System, the Mandate System, the General Assembly, "bantustans" ("homelands"), Ethiopia, Liberia, resolution 2248, Western Europe, SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization), liberation movements, armed struggle, the coup in Portugal, the independence of Angola and Mozambique, Security Council resolution 385 (1976), a territory-wide one-person-one-vote election, the Western Permanent Members of the Security Council, West Germany, Canada, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative, the South African Police (SAP), World War I, South African troops, a cease-fire, the Reagan administration, constructive engagement, the Namibian negotiations, Cuban troops, UNITA, MPLA, US military support for UNITA’s rebellion, the South African Administrator-General, the Multi-Party Conference, and natural resources. [Note: For information about the conference, see the United States Anti-Apartheid Newsletter (Vol. 2 No. 1), Winter 1987, published by American Friends Service Committee, available on this website.]
Used by permission of Elizabeth S. Landis.
Collection: Elizabeth S. Landis collection, National Archives of Namibia