Namibia. In July, the government announced that oil
fields estimated to contain a total of eleven billion
barrels of crude oil had been found off the Namibian coast.
Production was expected to start within four years and could
make Namibia an equal oil producer as neighboring Angola.
In April, South Africa-based company Gecko announced
plans to build three factories to produce sulfuric acid,
sodium carbonate and phosphoric acid. The factories would be
gathered in an industrial park near Swakopmund. There, a new
port would also be built for transport to and from the
Namibian uranium industry. In total, this would amount to an
investment of US $ 1.8 billion and during the construction
period provide over 11,000 jobs.
Not unexpectedly, the message was met with great concern
by the population, which forced the company to promise that
the project will not be lost if it can be proven that people
or the environment can be harmed.
Strong feelings were also aroused when Germany returned
20 skulls used for race biology studies more than a century
ago. According to
Countryaah official site, the skulls had belonged to people from the Herero and
Nama people who died of starvation in concentration camps in
the then German colony. The government described the return
as a symbolic way to end a tragic chapter in the country's
history, but many demanded damages. However, the German
state has consistently refused to pay with reference to many
years of extensive assistance to Namibia.
1988 Strategic defeat for South Africa
From 87, the states involved in the conflict began to
show greater interest in ending the fighting. Negotiations
were difficult due to the many conflicting interests.
Angola's economy was on the brink of collapse. The civil war
had so far cost the country about $ 13 billion. But also for
the apartheid regime in Pretoria, the permanent war against
Angola and the occupation of Namibia was costly - both
financially and diplomatically. In April 88, South Africa
was then added a strategic defeat that paved the way for
Namibia's independence and ultimately the collapse of the
apartheid regime. South Africa conducted a comprehensive
military offensive in Angola aimed at establishing a UNITA
government in «liberated territory», but the South African
military was beaten by Cuban-Angolan forces at
After intense negotiations between the United States,
South Africa, Angola and Cuba, an agreement was reached in
December 88, after which South Africa should withdraw from
Namibia and Cuba withdraw its 50,000 soldiers from Angola.
Through 89, many Namibians returned from exile abroad and
many political prisoners were released. In September, SWAPO
leader Sam Nujoma returned home after 30 years in exile to
lead his organization up to the election to be held two
months later. SWAPO had not participated in the peace talks
and did not feel obliged by the agreements. The movement
tried unsuccessfully to allow large guerrilla units to
invade the country from Angolan territory, but they were
discovered and neutralized by South African forces - with
significant casualties. Almost simultaneously, the movement
was hit by two other major scandals: the torture of
political dissidents by the political leaders in the SWAPO
refugee camps and the revelation that the movement had
greatly exaggerated the number of refugees in its camps.