Namibia History Timeline

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According to Extrareference, Namibia is a country located in the southernmost part of Africa. It borders Angola, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. The land is predominantly flat and is located in a desert area that is characteristic of Capricorn’s Tropic.

The first settlement in Namibia took place for approx. 25,000 years ago and consisted of khoisan groups that subsisted as hunters and gatherers. The first Bantu-speaking peoples brought between 500-1000 farms and livestock to Namibia. The rugged Namib Desert protected the country from the slave trade and meant contact with Europeans before the early 1800s. was very limited. The population around 1800 consisted mainly of ovambus who were farmers, as well as in Central and Southern Namibia hereros and namas who were respectively. cattle and sheep farmers. The Namibian communities were organized into smaller units around local kings or chiefs, and there was a high degree of self-sufficiency.

Dry and sparsely populated, the Kalahari Desert was not very attractive for European colonization. It was not until well into the 19th century, when the 2nd Reich in Germany under Bismarck began its colonization of the remaining “empty territories” in Africa, that one of the goals became Namibia. The area was declared a German colony in the mid-1880s. However, the country was not “empty,” and the most heinous methods of genocide were used to quell local resistance and control the interior. The Herero people were particularly hard hit, and in a short time were reduced from 80,000 to 15,000. Out of the 20,000 from the Nama people, less than half survived the German «pacification».

Namibia was formerly known as German Southwest Africa and was one of the German colonies on the African continent. After German colonists came to Namibia in the late 1800s, the friction between the Germans and especially the Herero people escalated, and the German exploitation of the Herero, a nomadic people with large herds of cattle, wandered around between Angola and present-day Namibia to find grazing land., resulted in 1904 in the Herero’s violent revolt.

Namibia is the world leader in diamond mining. In addition, large amounts of lead, zinc, silver and tungsten are extracted.

Namibia does not have a uniform population. One of Namibia’s peoples, the Himba, is most distinguished by the fact that the women lubricate themselves with goat fat, which is mixed with a red soil. Therefore, the women appear completely red. The married women wear on their heads some goat ears as a symbol of their status.


1904-1907 – The genocide of the Herero and Namaquas is considered the first genocide of the 20th century.

1978 – May 4 South Africa carried out a terrorist attack on the Cassing camp in Angola, in which about 1,000 people were killed.

1988 – A strategic defeat is added to South Africa in April, paving the way for Namibia’s independence and eventual collapse of the apartheid regime. South Africa carried out a comprehensive military offensive in Angola with the aim of establishing a UNITA government in “liberated territory”, but the South African military was defeated by Cuban-Angolan forces at the Cuito-Cananale.

After intense negotiations between the United States, South Africa, Angola and Cuba, an agreement was reached in December 88, according to which South Africa was to withdraw from Namibia and Cuba was to withdraw its 50,000 troops from Angola.

1989 – In September, SWAPO leader Sam Nujoma returns home after 30 years in exile to lead his organization to the elections, which are to be held two months later. The movement tried unsuccessfully to allow large guerrilla units to enter the country from Angolan territory, but they were discovered and neutralized by South African forces – with significant casualties. Almost at the same time, the movement was hit by two other major scandals: the torture of political dissidents by the political leaders in SWAPO’s refugee camps and the revelation that the movement had greatly exaggerated the number of refugees in its camps, in order to obtain larger food rations from abroad.

1997 – Environmental and human rights organizations oppose the construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the Kunene River in the north of the country. Among many other damage, the building would cause the expulsion of the Himba people – a larger semi-nomadic tribe.

The number of HIV positive and AIDS deaths rose drastically. In 1997, the disease alone cost 1,539 deaths, bringing the number of deaths since 1988 to 3,677. The number of HIV positive people reached 40,629.

2002 – In January, the Herero people demanded compensation of 2 billion. US $ for war crimes committed by the German Empire in 1904-07. A number of German companies, including Deutsche Bank, were accused of entering into a “brutal alliance” with the German Empire to eradicate 65,000 Herero.

2004 – In January , Germany apologizes for the killing of the Herero people during the colonial era, but at the same time rejects any claim for compensation.

2010 – The trial against members of the Caprivi Liberation Army continued. 117 members had been imprisoned since 1999, and it remains uncertain when the trial may end. Until then, 21 had died in police custody. The year before, a mass grave was discovered in northern Namibia, where the bodies of 30 people believed to be 30 San-speaking men who had disappeared from military detention in 1999 were found.

Namibia History Timeline

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