Urgent Call to the World Civil Society
| Urgent Call to World Civil Society:
Break the Conspiracy of Silence, Act Before it is Too Late
We, the undersigned organisations, believe that a full-scale Namibian offensive throughout the Caprivi Strip is imminent and that such unprecedented attack demands from global civil society an unprecedented response. For this reason, we urge global civil society - including human rights organisations, solidarity groups, and individuals - to take immediate direct action to stop Namibia's all-out war against the Caprivian people and its 12-year belligerent military occupation of the Caprivi Strip.
As our incessant calls for an immediate end to Namibian occupation resound, the onslaught against our people continues unabated, while the entire world watches in silence! Caprivians are being massacred and are facing the most brutal and unprecedented military measures, and they are not being noticed.
The need for international protection is becoming increasingly urgent as our men, women and children stand subjected before the formidable Namibian army force, thus the continuation of the Namibian violation for every article of international and human law and allowing heavily armed Namibian settlers to colonize our land.
More over if this situation is ignored and not dealt with immediately by the international community* it will inevitably put the whole Southern African region on the edge of war.
As we call on the international community to rise up to its responsibility of providing protection for the Caprivian people, we hold it accountable for the continuation of the Namibian attacks and for creating and encouraging this destructive unbridled force bent on dispossessing our people and creating facts on the ground by aggression and state organized terrorism, by turning a blind eye to our plight and refusing to accord us justice!
Three years ago to this month, escalating Namibian attacks - including willful killings, indiscriminate shelling, complete economic and social suffocation, and mass destruction of housing and agriculture - culminated in full-scale invasions of Caprivian villages that killed hundreds of civilians. Recent statements by Namibian President Sam Nujoma referring to Caprivian Leader Mishake Muyongo as the "enemy" and speaking of the need to "wipe out Caprivian secessionists everywhere they exist" indicate that such attacks are set to resume, with greater ferocity and scope, leading to disastrous consequences.
Caprivian civil society groups have warned for years that Namibia's freedom to act above the law would severely undermine chances for a just and lasting peace. After more than a decade of Namibian occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing and 3 years of all-out war against a civilian population, we call for the international community not to wait for massacres on the scale of those in Katima Mulilo and Linyanti in 1999; the time for action is now.
The support for the Caprivian people shown by international solidarity groups manifested m numerous statements, visits, and actions, has proved invaluable throughout this crisis. Now is the time for global civil society to use the momentum it has generated and the ethical integrity it has demonstrated to forcefully demand immediate action from governments to end the Namibian occupation of the Caprivi Strip, which is the root cause of the conflict.
Governments - including the African Union (AU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the United Nations (UN) - must face direct and unambiguous pressure from their own people to immediately secure Namibia's respect for the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 and its complete withdrawal from the Caprivi Strip as necessary steps towards achieving a just and lasting peace.
To this end, we call upon all those who oppose occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes., who are committed to justice and peace, who are willing to speak truth to power, to:
1. Raise your voices to break the conspiracy of silence among governments that allows Namibia, which enjoys the unlimited and unconditional support of some SADC members, to commit war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law with impunity.
2. Clearly, vigorously, and publicly demonstrate before governments and international organisations to demand immediate and effective protection for Caprivian civilians in the Caprivi Strip, through protests, marches, media campaigns, and other peaceful means.
3. Demand that governments end military assistance to Namibia, suspend economic ties, and support the prosecution of war criminals, and urge other states to do so.
4. Continue and intensity your activities as part of a sustained and systematic
campaign to end the occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes in
the Caprivi Strip and to support the legitimate rights and aspirations of the
Now is the time for immediate and direct action, as the pattern of escalating
oppression and brutality that we have experienced over the past 3 years moves
inexorably towards a disaster whose consequences we can only begin to imagine. In
this dark hour of suffering and determined resistance, we are sure that the worst is yet
to come, but we are equally sure that, with the support of global civil society at this
crucial time, peace and justice will prevail.
The fate of a whole people is at stake! The future of the whole region is threatened with war and destruction! We call upon you to act before it is too late!
1. Caprivian Council for Justice and Peace
2. Caprivian Women's Forum
3. Caprivian Action Network
4. Caprivian Refugee Services
5. Caprivian Education & Legal Defence Fund
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