64. Namibia/Caprivi Strip (1994-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (February 1, 1994-August 1, 1999): The Caprivi Liberation Front (CLF) was established in support of self-rule for the Caprivi Strip in northeastern Namibia in February 1994.  The Caprivi Strip is mainly inhabited by the Lozi people.  Mishake Muyongo, former head of the Caprivi African National Union (CANU), became the leader of the CLF in 1998.  Local elections were held in the Caprivi Strip in November 1998.  Government troops discovered a training camp run by the military wing of the CLF in Muduma National Park in October 1998.  Some 2,400 individuals fled as refugees to Botswana (where most of them were granted political asylum).  Mishake Muyongo, head of the CLF, fled to Denmark and was granted political asylum in May 1999.

Crisis Phase (August 2, 1999-August 25, 1999):  Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA) rebels attacked a military base and police station in the regional capital of Katima Mulilo on August 2, 1999, resulting in the deaths of three government policemen, three government soldiers, five rebels, and three civilians. President Sam Nujoma declared a state-of-emergency in the Caprivi Strip on August 2, 1999.  The South African government condemned the violence in the Caprivi Strip on August 4, 1999.  Organization of African Unity (OAU) Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim condemned the CLA on August 6, 1999.  Some 300 individuals were arrested for their involvement in the rebellion.  Some 132 individuals, including the commander of the CLA, John Sambona, were charged with treason by the Namibian government.  The government lifted the state-of-emergency on August 25, 1999.  Sixteen individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (August 26, 1999-present):  Government troops killed three CLA rebels near the village of Sibbinda on September 1, 1999.  Four civilians were killed in an ambush in the Caprivi Strip on January 15, 2000.  The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) agreed to provide repatriation assistance to refugees in Botswana on April 11, 2002.  Government troops killed five suspected CLA rebels on Situngu Island on November 4, 2002.  The trial of some 122 suspected members of the CLA were put on trial for treason in Grootfontein beginning on October 27, 2003.  Forty-three of the remaining 108 suspected members of the CLA were acquitted of treason by Judge Elton Hoff on February 12, 2013.  The Namibian government renamed the Caprivi Strip as the Zambezi Region on August 8, 2013.

[Sources: Associated Press (AP), August 2, 1999, August 3, 1999; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), November 30, 1998, January 11, 1999, August 3, 1999, August 4, 1999, August 25, 1999, September 2, 1999, January 15, 2000, August 1, 2001, October 28, 2003, August 8, 2007; Keesing’s Record of World Events, August 1999; Reuters, August 3, 1999, August 4, 1999, August 6, 1999, August 25, 1999, September 3, 1999; The Namibian, February 12, 2013, February 26, 2013; United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) press release, April 18, 2002.]