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NAMIBIAN/CAPRIVIAN COMMUNITY IN EXILE IN BOTSWANA MEETING WITH THE TRIPARTITE COMMITTEE, NAMIBIA, BO
|May 14, 2015
| NAMIBIAN/CAPRIVIAN COMMUNITY IN EXILE IN BOTSWANA MEETING WITH THE TRIPARTITE COMMITTEE, NAMIBIA, BOTSWANA AND UNHCR
13 May 2015
DUKWI REFUGEE CAMP
REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA
THEME: Namibian Government should consider peaceful Solution to the Caprivi Political Case
1. Botswana Government:
Honorable Minister of Defense Justice and Security, Mr. Shaw Khati
2. Namibian Government:
Honorable Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Madam Pendukeni Livula Ithana
3. UNHCR Representative from Pretoria
It is peculiarly incumbent upon you who have the power and strength to cherish and desire peaceful approach to conflict resolutions, to maintain silence and close ears where attention is highly needed is tantamount to illicit act. Let peaceful dialogue with all its strings be a cheaper commodity and equally accessible.
Democracy should not be seen as an imported idea to African continent, Africans were not supposed to be subjected to toil, pleading for peaceful approach to conflicts as it appears in our case. What we have been entreating for 17 years from Botswana and Namibia is what you claim to be your fundamental principles and policy of your Countries.
Only in the context of none applicability to us would it be understood, since then it could be in proper sense or construed, not worthy applicable to us and our Case. And that could otherwise also mean we have been asking for something that Namibia do not possess, the capacity. We are today regarded and looked upon as lawlessness, obstinate and useless people while we can prove to the contrary.
We are certainly sure that the Botswana Government and UNHCR here present are a witness and aware that what the Namibian government demands is not supported by any facts, and that we have furnished you with all the proof supporting our position; and went ahead to suggest an international recognized approach to resolve the existing conflict.
The following are among the things that you are well aware and informed about:
1. That since our arrival in this Country we have obeyed the laws of this Country and regulations for our stay, and that, relentlessly we called and continue to call for peaceful solution to our cause.
2. That the conflict that made us flea is still in chock-full existence, as our parents, friends and relatives of our party UDP who were apprehended are still incarcerated from 1999 to date.
3. That we are in no ways refusing to leave this place Dukwi, neither desire to be Refugees for all these years.
4. And that your efforts to see us repatriated voluntarily, if not, either by force by the end of the year, is simply a hard push unnecessary to the softer-part that is willing to go even without your word.
5. That in all our endeavors to call for peaceful solution has yielded no tangible results and that this is our Six (6) meeting where the Namibian Government sent delegates to meet us on the same subject but brought no response whatsoever from our previous meetings and correspondence.
6. That our call for a peaceful dialogue shows that we are peaceful people, and that we are ready to seat and talk in a peaceful manner without prejudice, despite the pain you inflicted on us.
7. That the former Prime minister Mr. Nahas Hangula responded to the call for dialogue from Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG), his response was that only if Mr. Muyongo stop his cessation idea, then Namibia could be ready for talks; we would like to put it clearly that we do not have anything to discuss with Namibia only the issue of Caprivi political conflict, and Namibia should have no fear about that.
8. That peaceful Conflict resolution is the rightful approach recognized by international Community,
9. We have proved beyond reasonable that we ran from Caprivi to Botswana because of our Political belief
10. That United Democratic Party (UDP) is the Party we registered when we entered this Country Botswana and that we are still UDP people even today
11. That People who belong to our Political Party in the Caprivi Strip are in Namibian Prisons for 16 years now and charged with 278 counts including high treason, which is undoubtedly a political charge by its nature,
12. That our Party UDP is currently banned by the Namibian Government,
13. Also aware that the Government of Namibia are not willing to settle the existing conflict as you heard the reply from the same Minister seated with us Madam Livula Ithana in the previous meeting, we Quote” I am not here to say what made you run to Botswana but to tell you that the Namibian Government wants you back”.
14. That we have given enough evidence to the Botswana Government and UNHCR about the situation in the Caprivi Strip, which clearly proves our insecurity in that territory without a political agreement to be made here outside Namibia.
15. We have submitted evidences of our contention as to why we feel the Namibian Government is occupying Caprivi by force as per her act signed 24 June 1999 by the former President of Namibia Mr. Sam Nujoma, which they believe permitted their laws to apply to that Country, this was done while we were already in exile in Botswana.
16. That there was a political agreement made between SWAPO and CANU on the 5th of November 1964, and Namibia unfaithfully disregard the merger.
17. That the Namibian tactics that led to the postponement and change of venue for your scheduled tripartite meeting from 15 to 17 April 2015, according to your press Release; this meeting was suppose to be held in Katima Mulilo in Caprivi Strip, but upon realization that Caprivians were aware of the meeting and that they organized themselves to demonstrate against your decision, and such could cause embarrassment to you, so you changed the venue but we understand that you have their petition at hand.
18. Be noted that the idea of repatriation and then peruse the issue in Namibia is completely out of question simply because that will just be fooling us, this issue was started peacefully reminding the Namibian Government to consider the merger but all fell on deaf ears; the only response was harassment, torture, forced displacement of persons and killings.
19. Namibia should also not hide behind Unitary State on the Caprivi case because the issue of Unitary State does not in any way apply to Caprivi Strip because the act of 1999 was not approved by the Caprivian people, since they were not consulted, that makes it illegal and offensive in all its nature.
20. One may ask why Caprivians participated in the Namibian Politics even contesting in the election; we want to put it right that Caprivians participated in the Namibian Politics as pure foreigners in that Country, evidence is clear to anyone, the act of 1999 speaks in volumes.
21. We have a question to ask, from 1921 to 1929 Caprivi Strip was administered as part of Bechuanaland protectorate, was South West Africa/Namibia administered together with Caprivi under Bechuanaland Protectorate? If not why South West Africa did did not claim Caprivi as its Territory that time? This means Botswana has more legitimate power over Caprivi than Namibia.
Caprivians in exile we are, with one voice and determination, hereby reiterate our position, we are determined to face the extreme aggression of privation, torture and even death in our guest for peaceful solution to our cause; Botswana Government seemed to have agreed in principle with the Namibian Government to disregarded international conventions and universal instruments that were set to protect Refugees, human life and human dignity, among others protect the vulnerable people from exposure to danger, they have disregarded our cause and conspired with the Namibian Government in their evil plans to see us exterminated.
We have given enough evidence of what SWAPO Government has done to us from 1960’s, we lost relatives family members and Countrymen in exile in Zambia, we have lost many in Caprivi where others were buried in mass graves, and we have lost more-than 300 people in Botswana soil through natural causes; with all the above, we are ready to be taken in Coffins or sacks whatever way from Botswana soil, not by our own self, if not without a permanent solution to our cause. So go ahead with your plans to destroy us, we are not in a position to help you decimate us.
If not so, the time is now ripe for Namibia, Botswana, UNHCR and the entire international community to get behind the pursuit of peace. Already, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have demonstrated a willingness to take significant political risks. President Abbas has put aside efforts to short-cut the pursuit of peace and come to the negotiating table. Prime Minister Netanyahu has released Palestinian prisoners, and reaffirmed his commitment to a Palestinian state. Current talks are focused on final status issues of borders, security and refugee’s return to their motherland with dignity.
Societies based upon democracy and openness and the dignity of the individual will ultimately be more stable, more prosperous, and more peaceful. We therefore reject the notion that these principles are simply Western attributes, incompatible with African States including Namibia— they are the birthright of every person, but hampered by voracity choices.
We live in a world of imperfect choices, where constitutions which suppose to be the guide for the rule of law are shelved, and only used to solicit western aid. Some Countries are run by daily emotional ideas, options and opinions’; and the principle of State sovereignty has become a shield and center for individual Countries, Regional blocks and international order.
But sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the neighboring Counties or international community to turn a blind eye to commission of evil and slaughter. While we need to be modest in our belief that we can remedy every evil and we need to be mindful that the world is full of unintended consequences.
We hereby submit that our cause is of political in nature and long stated that the tripartite Commission shall never be the rightful platform to address our issue, and therefore would like to urge the Committee, to seek a relevant platform that will have the capacity to accommodate our issue.
Such a platform is not only indispensable, but cost effective, efficiently and shall appropriately address the issue. Time we have spent in Botswana in exile should not be the determining factor for rescind of our refugee status, neither the relationship of two Countries.
We conclude, the Namibian Government should not hide behind the tripartite committee; we give it to you, respected honorable Minister, Madam Livula Ithana, that take this issue with the seriousness it deserves to your Government, with open minds bring the issue to table talk for lasting solution; While we appeal to Botswana to have a protective hand on us, we ran for a cause, others died in that event and others continue to die even today. We also appeal for the international community to urge the Namibian Government to consider peaceful means to the Caprivi case.
Lastly, we would like to refer to the following previous submissions we gave to the present respected delegates from previous meetings:
1. Submission of the 28 November 2011
2. Submission of the 07 April 2014
3. Submission of the 25 March 2015
CAPRIVIAN REFUGEES IN BOTSWANA.
CC: 1. Southern African Development Community (SADC)
3. Ditshwanelo Centre for Human Rights
4. Botswana Christian Council (BCC)
5. Germany Embassy
6. British Embassy
7. South African Embassy.
8. Namibia Council of Churches (NCC)
Source: Caprivian Community in Exile in Botswana
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