News and Information

December 29, 2005

The year 2006 marks the 42nd anniversary of the formation of CANU- The Caprivi African Union of Caprivi, the first national liberation movement dedicated to the complete overthrow of South African rule in Caprivi.

Formed in 1964, CANU united the entire various and colonial forces in Caprivi. Of course the CANU leadership had realized the Caprivian people’s need for a nationwide movement to confront effectively the South African colonial regime. But today the UDP- United Democratic Party has become the embodiment of the Caprivi people’s aspiration for freedom, locked in an intricate combat with the Namibia for our liberation. Our people recognized UDP as their sole authentic representative in their Endeavour to free themselves.

The Namibian regime, which now occupies our country, succeeded the South African colonial regime that handed over Namibia to SWAPO under the UN resolution 345. Namibia, realizing the Caprivian people had been turned political robots during the struggle in exile where many had perished in dungeons in Angola, drove them into subjection under a battery of repressive tribal laws and organized brutality. The regime introduced the rule of divide and rule and turned the Caprivians against one another.

Namibia has systematically exploited the Caprivians and their resources. Its right to administer Caprivi has been revoked by its people and the same people now declare its presence illegal. Caprivians revile and hate the Namibian regime. Caprivians have and will never accept any type of foreign domination. Yet this colonial regime continues to defy the people of Caprivi and refuses to withdraw from Caprivi.

Since Namibia occupied Caprivi under the pretext of independence, Caprivians have gone from bad to worse in both their social and economic lives. They are defined, as either Zambians or Batswana and therefore they are foreigners – Ambowela.

Economically, whatever is produced in the Caprivi is shipped to Namibia to develop other parts of that country. We must carry passports in order to be admitted into free Namibia and we are so called citizens of that country. A Caprivian, regardless of his education is regarded uneducated and discriminated against. He guards shops, factories and residential areas even if he is armed with university education and speaks the best English language in the country. Under these conditions, we had no choice but to decide our own fate and we chose to pursue our struggle for our independence.

It must be understood that the past 42 years of direct confrontation with South African and Namibian regimes have seen us pass through a variety of stages, the experience of which has truly shaped and transformed our determination to fight on despite all obstacles before us. The decision to launch the armed struggle on 2nd August 1999 was of particular importance and this is likely to become the main form of our resistance if Namibia is still obstinate in relinquishing its occupation of our country. The clashes between the Namibian occupation army and our heroes has led to increased repression and organized violence from the Namibian regime against the Caprivian people. It is therefore of great necessity to put equal effort into our work of political mobilization throughout Caprivi as a pre-requisite for total successful development of our liberation movement. The heightened activity on the political front has brought about increasing support for UDP, and established it without question as the vanguard party of liberation in Caprivi.

Today, UDP draws its support from all sectors of the Caprivian society. We have therefore been able to weather the storm of both the South African and Namibian repressions and above all to successfully undermine the efforts of Namibian regime. Truly the political consciousness of the Caprivian people and the determination of their liberation movement UDP, to foil the Namibian plan to divide and rule them is another victory. Armed with the experience gained during the struggle against apartheid South Africa, the Caprivian people and their vanguard party the UDP will continue our struggle until our goals and national independence are totally achieved.
Our ancestors and we today did not, neither do we nor will we permit any foreigner usurp our motherland and impose his will on us. We hate colonialism of any kind and we are ready to fight the colonial man to the last. Freedom and independence were given to man in the Garden of Eden and no human is allowed to rob us of these two indispensable natural items. Democrats do not colonize others and they respect others’ freedoms, independence and justice.

For forty –two years we have deemed it vital and necessary to elucidate our struggle to as many people as possible. The people of Caprivi believe that their fighting for freedom should not be in the vacuum for it is part of the entire world’s war against colonialism, for freedom and national independence. We therefore believe that the international community understand us, accept our cries and is ready to share its solidarity with us for our alienable cause.

Of course our main effort is to close the liberation chapter and start the new chapter and task of national reconstruction, a new era to enable us to run our own lives and affairs.
That will be a new chapter of love and tranquility of our people.




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