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Namibia: Key dates since independence



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As Namibia votes in general elections on Wednesday, here is a look back at key events since its independence:

March 21, 1990: After nearly a century under German and South African rule, Namibia becomes independent following a UN-monitored peace process.

Its first president is Sam Nujoma, leader of the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) that led the drive for independence. SWAPO has been in power ever since.

September 15, 1993: Introduction of the Namibian dollar.

March 1, 1994: South Africa hands over the key fishing port of Walvis Bay, an enclave within the country that it had controlled for 84 years.


August 2, 1999: Militants seeking the secession of the far-northern Caprivi Strip attack the town of Katima Mulilo, killing more than a dozen people.

The separatist uprising is quickly put down and 30 people are later found guilty of high treason. The Caprivi Strip, which had been named after a late 19th century German chancellor, is rebaptised the Zambezi Region to erase the colonial connotation

August 14, 2004: Anniversary of the killing a century earlier of tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people by German colonial forces.

A German minister offers the first public apology, but Namibians still await a formal government apology. Germany also rules out compensation for descendants of those killed.

In 2015, a German government official unequivocally labels the slaughter a systematic “genocide” and three years later, Germany hands over remains of a number of those killed.

October 5, 2018: President Hage Gottfried Geingob announces plans to expropriate land owned by foreign absentee landlords as part of land reform measures, with whites owning most of Namibia’s commercial farmland.

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