Namibia's long-standing land issue remains unresolved

1 November 2018

Thirty years of German settler colonialism in South West Africa – from 1884 to 1914 – paved the way for continued apartheid under South Africa. The resistance of the local communities against the invasion culminated in the first genocide of the 20th century among the Ovaherero, Nama and other groups.

 As main occupants of the eastern, central and southern regions of the country they were forced from their land into so-called native reserves.

Forced land dispossession continued. Even independence brought little relief. The negotiated transition to independence in 1990 entrenched the structural discrepancies created during colonialism.

 In exchange for occupying the political commando heights of a sovereign state the national liberation movement SWAPO accepted the material inequalities it inherited without any major debate.

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