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PETITION FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO CAPRIVI STRIP CASE
|April 21, 2012
TO: Cc: THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA
Cc: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF NAMIBIA
Cc: THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF SWAPO
Cc: THE UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR IN NAMIBIA
Cc: FORMER ADMINISTRATORS OF CAPRIVI STRIP
a. Barotse Royal Establishment
c. Federal Government of German
d. Government of the Republic of South Africa
Cc: ALL INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN NAMIBIA
Cc: COUNCIL OF CHURCHS IN NAMIBIA
Cc: THE OMBUDSMAN OF NAMIBIA
FROM: THE UNDERSIGNED PEOPLE OF CAPRIVI, SYMPATHIZERS, AND FRIENDS
DATE: 13 April 2012
SUBJECT: ULTIMATE POLITICAL RESOLUTION TO THE CAPRIVI POLITICAL DISPUTE
INSPIRED by wishes and aspirations of the Caprivian people for peace and unity, justice and equality, including the inherent dignity and inalienable rights provided to all members of the human kind as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976), and articulated for the African peoples through the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (1986);
ALSO INSPIRED by the Namibian constitution, chapter 3 articles 1 to 25 which stipulates clearly the fundamental human rights and freedoms that need to be respected and protected;
CONCURRING with Amnesty International (AI) human rights report on Namibia (August 2003) which stated that seventy-five (75) percent of Caprivi High Treason suspects are political prisoners. We therefore believe and charge that High Treason offences are political offences which only require nothing but a peaceful political resolution;
ACKNOWLEDGING and appreciating Namibia’s leading human rights organization, the former National Society for Human Rights (now Namrights) call for a political solution to the Caprivi conflict (February 21, 2005) where it stated that it believes “that a negotiated settlement is not only cost-effective, but also stands the best chance of bringing about restorative justice and hence, a durable resolution of the Caprivi dispute.”
CONSIDERING the assertive conclusion of the November 28, 2011 submission by the Caprivian community in Botswana to the Government of Botswana, Namibia, and
UNHCR- Botswana that “In the interest of peace, Caprivian people shall continue to seek and appeal for an amicable approach to their political issue. The road to freedom is not easy but we are determined and courageous to face any challenges.”
AWARE of a historical fact that during the Second Berlin Conference Caprivi Strip became a Germany possession after the British exchanged it for the islands of Heligoland and Zanzibar through the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty (1890). Germany was stripped of its colonial possessions (including Caprivi Strip) as stated in the Treaty of Versailles (1919). In 1920, South West Africa (now Namibia) was placed under the mandate of the League of Nations, while the Strip remained under South Africa as a separate entity.
ACKNOWLEDGING another fact that in October 1964, then Zambian Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda and His Royal Highness Litunga (i.e. King) of Barotseland, Sir Mwanawina Lewanika, signed an agreement incorporating the autonomous Barotseland Kingdom into Zambia without the Caprivi Strip;
AND AWARE that in the same year (1964), on November 5, a significant merger agreement was signed between South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) and Caprivi African National Union (CANU) with conditions which includes among others 1) To fight a common enemy, the South African regime that was illegally occupying the two countries. 2) At the attainment of independence, the people of the Caprivi must be asked whether they want to join Namibia or remain independent;
KNOWING that certain laws specific to South West Africa and subsequently Namibia were not applicable to Caprivi Strip until the Application of Laws to the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel Act 1999 (Act 10 of 1999) was promulgated only on June 24, 1999, extending the laws of Namibia to Caprivi Strip, without the consent of the Caprivian population;
HIGHLY inspired by the selfless contribution of Caprivians to the liberation of Namibia such as Brendan Simbwae who mysteriously died in the hands of South African forces, Mishake Muyongo who is now exiled in Denmark, Induna Masida who was roasted over an open fire while his subjects were observing in horror, Judea Lyaboloma whose corpse after being killed by South African forces was displayed at his village for public view as a warning, and many fallen Caprivian PLAN fighters. Against this background, we do not want to see any further form of political suppression in our society, otherwise their contribution is declared worthless, in vain.
RECALLING human rights violations committed by the Namibian government on Caprivians which included “mass arbitrary arrests and detentions, summary executions, torture, enforced disappearances and prolonged detention without trial” according to Namrights and the AI, as admitted in 1999 by then Namibia Defence Minister, Erkki Nghimtina in saying ‘definitely we made some mistakes regarding human rights abuses’
APPREACIATING the closure of the state’s case in the main Caprivi high treason trial despite the unreasonable length of more than eight years, and though legal experts still anticipate that getting to the end of the trial is not going to be a “walk in a park”, meaning it is far from over. We however, believe strongly that only a political resolution shall be regarded as fair and just for the treason suspects, their family and the entire Caprivian population;
DEEPLY concerned about the negative psychological, socio-economic effects of the current political status quo in Namibia, and particularly on the concerned Caprivian population whose families are separated by exile, high treason (political) detention and mysterious deaths, all because of this said living political dispute;
SURPRISED to learn through media reports that this political dispute is falsely used by some Namibians, not Caprivians, to seek asylum in Canada and other western countries for economic reasons to an extent that some even claim to be (or have been) members of the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA);
COMMITTED to our moral submission AGAINST any reasonable political and social unrest in the country over the last twelve (12) years which could and can arise from political humiliations and human rights violations already alluded to, trusting that the Namibian political leadership must find or grant political justice as an ultimate resolution to the Caprivi political dispute;
AWARE and CONVINCED that Caprivi high treason cases and the political dispute can be peacefully settled politically through a UN organized and supervised dialogue and referendum if the Namibian political leadership really want to settle the dispute permanently;
OBSERVING with keen interest of the way the current Zambian political leadership is handling the Barotseland 1964 Agreement issue through presidential inquiry, diplomatic and public engagement of which the Namibian government can do the same if it really wishes to settle the Caprivi secession issue amicably;
CAUTIOUS of a possible war in Caprivi Strip if those peacefully advocating to secede Caprivi Strip based on historical, political and legal facts, are not listened to or provided with any peaceful platform to tell their side of story by either Namibia or the international community. As Martin Luther King Jr. a widely acclaimed Black American civil-rights activist once said “violence is the language of the unheard.”
DETERMINED to responsibly defend all inherent human rights and make sure that all human beings remain equal and free in dignity and in rights despite the kind of political belief they hold. So that all people, including Caprivians should pursue the fullest measure of their political thoughts and beliefs without fear. So that everyone is able to ask political questions, and to be provided with convincing political answers without fear, favor or prejudice;
BECAUSE our friends and families, including ourselves have suffered enough and that we do not wish to pass this political dispute to the subsequent generations;
IN RESPECT of all the lives and souls lost in this dispute;
AGAINST ANY PREJUDICE towards us, we, the undersigned resolve to peacefully seek an amicable political resolution to the Caprivi political dispute, as much as a dying person needs life, by hereby demanding, for the love of the nation:
1. The President of the Republic of Namibia to unconditionally release all Caprivi political prisoners and seek a peaceful political resolution to the Caprivi high treason through dialogue with Mr. Albert Mishake Muyongo, leader of the secessionist movement.
2. The National Assembly of Namibia to initiate, approve or decide to hold a referendum on the Caprivi political dispute as a matter of national concern, where only native Caprivians shall participate.
3. The Secretary General of SWAPO to publicly elucidate the current status of CANU in (or alongside) SWAPO based on the terms and conditions of the November 5, 1964 merger agreement.
4. The UN resident coordinator in Namibia to independently initiate a fact finding inquiry on the Caprivi political dispute and make recommendations for an ultimate resolution to the Government of Namibia and the UDP leadership.
5. Former administrators of Caprivi Strip, the international diplomatic community in Namibia, religious and human rights organizations to publicly persuade the Government of Namibia to seek a political resolution on the Caprivi political dispute.
6. The Ombudsman of Namibia to investigate the violation of Article 21(a), (b), and (e) of the Namibian Constitution by the President of Namibia in banning UDP from holding public meetings in Namibia (07 Sep 2006), and to take appropriate action to call for the remedying, correction and reversal of the ban through negotiation and compromise between the parties concerned. We charge that it is unjust, oppressive and unfair in any democratic society to unconstitutionally ban a peaceful political organization;
We therefore, humbly but firmly demand that our demands be granted within a period of twenty-one (21) days and nights, from today, 13 April 2012, failure of which will compel us to peacefully protest every Sunday.
We thank you.
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