Timeline Namibia

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A South-West country of Africa whose majority tribe is the Ovambo. The semi-arid country has a territory one and a half times the size of France, or twice the size of California. The capital is windhoek. Whites make up less than a tenth of the population. The Himba nomadic tribe lived in the north. The Bushmen of the Kalahari live in Namibia and speak Ju’hoansi, a language with clicking inflections.
    (SFC,11/19/97, p.C3)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.T4)(AP, 12/29/03)(Econ, 3/12/11, p.56)

760Mil BC - 550Mil BC    In 2012 researchers said tiny vase-shaped creatures' fossils were found in Namibia's Etosha National Park and other sites around the country in rocks dating to this period. A 10-member team of international researchers published their paper in the South African Journal of Science. The discovery pushed the emergence of animal life back millions of years.
    (AFP, 2/6/12)

650Mil BC    Namibia’s Fish River Canyon, the 2nd largest natural gorge in the world, began forming about this time.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_River_Canyon)

26000BC-16000BC    Africa’s oldest known rock art dated to about this time at a site in Namibia.
    (Econ, 5/3/08, p.56)

1884        Southwest Africa (later Namibia) was made a German protectorate.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.T4)(SFEC, 4/30/00, p.T4)

1904        Jan 12, Anxious Germans opened fire on Ovaherero at Okahandja. The Herero people of Namibia had risen in rebellion against German colonial rule. The deadly Deutsche Schutzruppe “peacekeeping regiment" quelled the tribes. They eventually annihilated 75% of the Herero and Nama peoples. In 1981 Jon M. Bridgeman authored “The Revolt of the Hereros."
    (www.umich.edu/news/MT/NewsE/10_05/steinmetz.html)(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.E5)

1904        Jun 11, General Lothar von Trotha arrived in SW Africa from Germany to take over from the colonial Governor, Theodor Leutwein, the direction of a campaign to quell an uprising.
    (www.umich.edu/news/MT/NewsE/10_05/steinmetz.html)

1904        Aug 11, German General Lothar von Trotha defeated the Hereros tribe near Waterberg, South Africa. [see Namibia]
    (HN, 8/10/98)

1904        Aug 14, The cattle-herding Hereros, a tribe of Southwest Africa (later Namibia), became the first genocide victims of the 20th century. Kaiser Wilhelm II had sent General Lothar von Trotha to put down a Herero uprising along with the groups of rebellious Khoikhoi. Trotha drove the Hereros into the desert and then issued a formal "extermination order" (Schrecklichkeit) authorizing the slaughter of all who refused to surrender. Out of some 80,000 Hereros, 60,000 died in the desert. Of the 15,000 who surrendered, half of those died in prison camps. Some 9,000 escaped to neighboring countries. In 2004 a senior German government official apologized for the genocide during a ceremony in Namibia marking the 100th anniversary of the uprising. In 2005 a German minister acknowledged violence by German colonial powers and admitted that following uprisings, the surviving Herero, Nama and Damara were interned in camps and put to forced labor of such brutality that many did not survive.
    (www.umich.edu/news/MT/NewsE/10_05/steinmetz.html)(HNPD, 4/14/99)(AP, 8/14/04)(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.E5)

1904        Oct 2, General Lothar von Trotha: “I, the great General of the German soldiers, send this letter to the Herero people (SW Africa-Namibia). The Herero are no longer German subjects... The Herero nation must...leave the country. If they do not leave, I will force them out with the Groot Rohr (cannon). Every Herero, armed or unarmed...will be shot dead within the German borders. I will no longer accept women and children, but will force them back to their people or shoot at them."
    (www.umich.edu/news/MT/NewsE/10_05/steinmetz.html)

1904        Nov 27, A German colonial army defeated Hottentots at Warmbad in Southwest Africa (later Namibia).
    (HN, 11/27/98)

1904        Dec 9, Von Schlieffen order von Trotha to pardon all Ovaherero, after tens of thousands had perished in the desert,  except those who were "directly guilty and the leaders."
    (www.umich.edu/news/MT/NewsE/10_05/steinmetz.html)

1904        Dec 24, German SW Africa abolished the slavery of young children. [see Namibia]
    (MC, 12/24/01)

1905        In Southwest Africa (later Namibia) the Nama tribe joined the Herero uprising against German settlers stealing their land, cattle and women.
    (AFP, 10/4/11)

1907        A 4-year German campaign ended against the cattle-herding Hereros of Southwest Africa (later Namibia). It was later estimated that tens of thousands of Hereros were butchered, with only some 15,000 surviving. Many historians called the killings the first genocide of the 20th century. Some 300 skulls were believed taken from the Herero and ethnic Nama who died in German-run prison camps over the four-year conflict. In 2011 a Namibian delegation reclaimed about 20 human skulls used by colonial-era scientists, who sought to prove the racial superiority of whites over blacks.
    (AFP, 9/26/11)

1908        In Namibia diamonds were discovered at Luderitz, a German trading post and fishing town.
    (SSFC, 12/8/13, p.N4)

1915        Jul 9, Germany’s South West Africa surrendered to Gen. Botha of the Union of South Africa.
    (http://home.wanadoo.nl/rhodesia/swatf.htm)

1916        The beginning of 73 years of occupation [by South Africa].
    (SFC,11/19/97, p.C2)

1918        Nov, The British declared the 1915 truce between Germany’s SW Africa and the Union of South Africa invalid.
    (www.deutsche-schutzgebiete.de/suedwest-english.htm)

1919        The League of Nations assigned the colony to South Africa to govern as a "Class A" mandate.
    (www.deutsche-schutzgebiete.de/suedwest-english.htm)

1950        Laurence Marshall, a former president of Raytheon, took his family to the bush land of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa where they encountered the native Bushmen. The area later became the border of Namibia and Botswana. In 2006 his daughter Elizabeth Marshall Thomas authored "The Old Way: A Story of the First People."
    (SSFC, 11/5/06, p.M3)

1959        Hifikepunye Pohamba and Sam Nujoma of Namibia founded the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO).
    (Econ, 11/20/04, p.50)

1966        Oct 27, The UN deprived South Africa of Namibia.
    (MC, 10/27/01)

1967        A 23-year brush war began with the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) rebel movement demanding independence from South Africa.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.20A)

1975        Oct 14, South Africans secretly launched Operation Savannah when the first of several South African columns (task force Zulu) crossed into Angola from Namibia.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_intervention_in_Angola_(1975-1991))

1979        In Namibia Nick (d.2001) and Marieta van der Merwe began taking in injured animals on their 100,000 acre cattle farm. They later turned the farm into a trust called the Harnas Wildlife Foundation (www.harnas.de/en).
    (SSFC, 1/7/07, p.G7)

1980        The film "The Gods Must Be Crazy" was directed by Jamie Uys and starred N!xau (d.2003), a Namibian bushman of the San people.
    (SSFC, 7/6/03, p.A2)

1980        The Harnas Wild Animal Foundation was begun by Nick and Mariet van der Merwes.
    (SFEC, 3/1/98, p.T5)

1982        Nov 20, South Africa backed down on a plan to install black rule in neighboring Namibia.
    (Historynet, 11/20/98)

1988        Mar 22, In Angola the battle of Cuito Cuanavale changed the region's political landscape, accelerating the independence of Namibia and the fall of apartheid in South Africa. While the Cuban and Angolan forces claimed victory, South Africa claimed it lost only 31 soldiers against 4,785 who fell on the other side.
    (AP, 3/22/08)

1988        Jul, The apartheid regime in South Africa, having entered into discussions with the ANC, agreed to elections in Namibia in exchange for the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola.
    (AP, 3/22/08)

1989        The South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) ended its rebellion against South African rule with the UN supervised elections that elected Sam Nujoma as President. A new constitution was written.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.20A)

1990        Mar 20, Namibia became an independent nation, marking the end of 75 years of South African rule. The South African colony gained independence after 25 years of guerrilla war. Namibians began petitioning the U.N. as early as 1947, developing political parties, most notably SWAPO (South West Africa People‘s Organization) to voice opposition to South African rule. Armed resistance to South African rule began in earnest in the 1970s and continued into the 1980s, which combined with drought and other factors, contributed to an overwhelming drain to South Africa‘s economy. The UN Security Council eventually demanded independence for Namibia, but transition elections were not agreed to by South Africa until December 1988 after a military disaster involving Angola. The UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) started work in April 1989 with elections giving SWAPO 57% of the vote. On March 21 of the following year, the South African flag was lowered and the Namibian flag raised in Namibia‘s National Stadium.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.20A)(SFEC, 3/1/98, p.T4)(AP, 3/20/00)(HNQ, 2/13/01)

1990        Sam Nujoma became president of Namibia.   
    (Econ, 11/20/04, p.50)

1994        In the elections SWAPO won over 72% of the vote.
    (LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.20A)

c1995        Pres. Nujoma began to allocate about $3 million a year to buy land from white farmers for black resettlement. By 2000 370,500 acres were purchased and 14,000 blacks resettled.
    (SFC, 5/24/00, p.C3)

1997        Jun 19, In Zimbabwe delegates to the UN Convention on Int’l. Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) approved the applications by Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana to sell an annual quota of their collective ivory stockpile, but only to Japan. Trade in ivory was shut down in 1989 due to extensive poaching.
    (SFC, 6/20/97, p.A20)

1997        Jul, Armed police were sent to break up a meeting between elders of the Himba tribe and their lawyers. They were discussing a challenge a government proposed dam proposal.
    (SFC,11/19/97, p.C3)

1997        Jun 19, In Zimbabwe delegates to the UN Convention on Int’l. Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) approved the applications by Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana to sell an annual quota of their collective 55 tons of ivory stockpile, but only to Japan. Trade in ivory was shut down in 1989 due to extensive poaching.
    (SFC, 6/20/97, p.A20)(SFC, 4/18/00, p.A9)

1998        Aug 26, In Congo Rwandan-backed rebels attempted an assault on Kinshasa but were held off by government soldiers and troops from Zimbabwe and Namibia.
    (SFC, 8/27/98, p.A10)

1998        Aug 27, In Congo Unita forces from Angola joined the rebels, while forces from Namibia fought for Kabila’s regime.
    (WSJ, 8/28/98, p.A1)

1998        Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, chairman of the African body “Organ on Politics, Defence and Security," joined with Namibia and Angola in a war of plunder in Congo.
    (Econ, 3/13/04, p.48)

1999        Feb 10, A UN panel eased a trade ban on ivory. It allowed Namibia and Zimbabwe to sell nearly 34 tons to Japan.
    (WSJ, 2/11/99, p.A1)

1999        Apr 9, Some 13.6 tons of elephant tusks were sold at auction to Japanese buyers at the first legal sale since a 1989 int'l. ban on the sale of ivory.
    (SFC, 4/10/99, p.C14)

1999        Aug 2, In Namibia separatist rebels for the independence of the Caprivi border area attacked the town of Katima Mulilo and 16 people were killed. Pres. Sam Nujoma later blamed the Caprivi Liberation Army and accused from opposition leader Mishake Muyongo of being behind the revolt.
    (WSJ, 8/3/99, p.A1)(SFC, 8/4/99, p.A9)

2000        Jan 4, In Namibia gunmen attacked a family of French tourists, killed 3 children and wounded the parents. Unita rebels were blamed.
    (WSJ, 1/5/00, p.A1)

2000        May, Some 4,000 white Namibians farmed 90 million acres, 44% of the country. Another 400 whites owned 7.5 million acres. About 1 million blacks had access to 83 million acres of communal land.
    (SFC, 5/24/00, p.A15)

2001        Sep 2, Namibia confirmed that it had pulled all its troops from all of Congo except the capital. Uganda said it had pulled 6 of 10 battalions.
    (SFC, 9/3/01, p.A10)

2001        Sam Nujoma, president of Namibia, authored his 476-page autobiography “Where Others Wavered." In 2005 it was made into a film.
    (Econ, 5/21/05, p.49)

2003        Jul 5, Police in Namibia reported the recent death of N!xau, the diminutive bushman catapulted to international stardom in the film "The Gods Must Be Crazy" — he was thought to be about 59 years old.
    (AP, 7/5/04)

2003         Dec 29, Frustrated with the government's stalled land reform program, impoverished black farmers and laborers warned that come January they will start invading the country's mostly white-owned commercial farms.
    (AP, 12/29/03)

2004        Apr 21, President Sam Nujoma assured Namibians that a land expropriation program would be conducted in a legal and orderly manner.
    (AP, 4/21/04)

2004        Nov, Namibia voters elected the hand picked Hifikepunye Pohamba (69), minister for land, as president. Sam Nujoma was due to step aside in March 2005.
    (Econ, 9/25/04, p.62)(Econ, 11/20/04, p.50)

2005        Mar 14, Sam Nujoma, the first president of Namibia, retired.
    (http://asi.ndi.org/delegates/delegates.asp)

2006        May 27, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, was born in Namibia, where the family had traveled for privacy.
    (AP, 5/27/07)

2006        Sep 27, Jacob "Kobi" Alexander, the former chief and founder of Comverse Technology Inc., was arrested in Namibia, where he awaited extradition to the US to face criminal fraud charges related to stock options. Alexander had recently transferred tens of millions of dollars to Namibia. He was released after 6 days on $1.4 million bail.
    (Reuters, 9/27/06)(WSJ, 9/28/06, p.A1)(WSJ, 11/17/06, p.A1)

2007        Feb 5, China’s president Hu Jintao brought his eight-nation African tour to Namibia, a sparsely populated, mineral-rich desert country that hopes to benefit from an influx of Chinese investment and tourists.
    (AP, 2/5/07)

2007        Feb 28, In Namibia hundreds of people protested a visit by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, holding signs reading, "Go home dictator." The local National Society for Human Rights called Mugabe's three-day state visit an insult to Namibia.
    (AP, 2/28/07)

2007        Jun 2, The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) decided to permit a one-off sale of 60 tons of ivory from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa to Japan, saying it would monitor closely the impact on poaching and population levels.
    (Reuters, 6/3/07)

2007        Jun 4, The Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) said a study of mortality patterns in South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Senegal indicated Africa's HIV/AIDS crisis was reaching deep into elected governments.
    (Reuters, 6/4/07)

2007        Jun 14, In the Netherlands four African states (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe), after an 18-year ban, were allowed to put their ivory stocks on the market in a one-time sale as part of a hard-fought compromise reached with other Africans who tried to block the sale. The 171-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, approved the deal by consensus.
    (AP, 6/14/07)

2007        Jul 1, In Namibia a seal hunt started with a planned run of five months saying it wants to save its fishing industry. The start followed a government announcement that it would allow the killing of 6,000 adult males and 80,000 pups, up by 20,000 in 2006.
    (AP, 7/6/07)

2007        Jul 8, Two gunmen attacked a German couple photographing wildlife in Namibia, killing Johannes Fellinger (56), in front of his wife and taking her on a high-speed chase.
    (AP, 7/10/07)

2007        Jul 20, Angola, Namibia and South Africa launched a joint commission designed to lay the groundwork for a sustainable and environmental approach of their shared fishing grounds in the Atlantic Ocean.
    (AFP, 7/20/07)

2007        Zimbabwe and Namibia entered into an agreement under which Namibia gave Zimbabwe a 40-million-dollar loan for repairs to its thermal power stations while Zimbabwe would pay back by exporting electricity to Namibia.
    (AFP, 1/13/10)

2008        Mar 20, Kim Yong-Nam, North Korea's de facto head of state, arrived in Namibia as part of his goodwill visit to three African nations, which also includes Angola and Uganda. Namibia and North Korea hoped to strengthen their economic ties. Kim Yong-Nam warned against countries plundering resources from poor African countries.
    (AFP, 3/20/08)

2008        Apr, In Namibia a 16th-century Portuguese trade vessel was found by chance as mine workers created an artificial sand wall with bulldozers to push back the sea for diamond dredging. Six bronze cannons, several tons of copper, huge elephant tusks, pewter tableware, navigational instruments, and a variety of weapons including swords, sabres and knives were soon tugged out of the beach sand. Over 2,300 gold coins weighing some 21 kilograms (46 pounds) and 1.5 kilograms of silver coins were also found.
    (AP, 9/29/08)

2008        Jul 16, The United States signed a pair of agreements to boost trade and investment ties with countries in southern and eastern Africa. These included the Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation Agreement with the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland; and the Trade Investment and Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the East African Community, which includes Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
    (Reuters, 7/17/08)

2008        Oct 28, Namibia sold more than seven tons of ivory for $1.1 million, in the first legal auction of elephant tusks in nearly a decade, exclusively for Chinese and Japanese buyers.
    (AP, 10/28/08)

2008        Nov 28, A regional tribunal in Namibia ruled that 78 white Zimbabweans can keep their farms because the government's land reform scheme discriminated against them.
    (AFP, 11/28/08)

2009        Mar 11, Officials in Namibia said at least 92 people had drowned in its northern regions since the start of rainy season in Dec.
    (SSFC, 3/15/09, p.A4)

2009        Mar 27, Southern African countries (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia) have been hit by the worst floods in years, killing more than 100 people and displacing thousands, as a tropical storm threatened to bring more pain.
    (AFP, 3/28/09)

2009        Jun 25, In Namibia Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev called for boosting trade ties with Namibia, at the start of the first-ever visit by a Kremlin chief to the southern African nation. Pres. Hifikepunye Pohamba said his nation was also keen to strengthen cooperation and build a durable economic partnership.
    (AFP, 6/25/09)

2009        Jul 1, In Namibia the annual seal hunt opened despite objections by animal welfare groups. Hunters were expected to club over 90,000 seals including 85,000 pups by Nov 15.
    (SFC, 7/7/09, p.A2)(AFP, 8/4/09)

2009        Jul 17, In Namibia 2 European journalists were fined $625 (US) by a court for filming the annual seal hunt along the coast of the southern African nation. On July 31 British investigative journalist Jim Wilckens and South African cameraman Bart Smithers were found guilty of violating the Marine Resources Act by entering a restricted area without permission.
    (AFP, 7/18/09)(AFP, 8/4/09)

2009        Nov 27, Namibia’s Pres. Hifikepunye Pohamba, who is seeking a 2nd 5-year term, was among the first to vote as polls opened in a 2-day election. The elections expected to return the long-ruling SWAPO to power despite a tough challenge from a new breakaway party. The population of the desert nation, half the size of Alaska, numbered about 2.2 million people. President Hifikepunye Pohamba won re-election, with more than six times as many votes as his nearest rival.
    (AP, 11/27/09)(AFP, 11/27/09)(AP, 12/5/09)(Econ, 11/28/09, p.56)

2010        Jan 13, A Zimbabwe state daily reported that the nation’s power utility has been ordered to stop electricity exports to Namibia until it can meet its own country's needs.
    (AFP, 1/13/10)

2010        Nov 17, In Namibia a suspected explosive device was found on a conveyor belt with luggage on a Germany-bound flight. On Nov 22 a court said that Nehemia Shafuda, chief inspector of the Namibian police aviation security, faces charges for smuggling a suspected explosive device, using the device in an airport and giving false information that interfered with airport operations.
    (AP, 11/22/10)

2011        Apr 6, The United Nations said 62 people have been killed and thousands forced from their homes since the start of the year by flooding in northern Namibia. More rains in northern Namibia were forecast for the coming days.
    (AP, 4/6/11)

2011        Sep 30, Namibian tribal leaders took possession of the skulls of 20 of their countrymen, taken by German colonial forces more than a century ago for racial experiments. The 9 Herero and 11 Nama skulls, four females and 16 male, had arrived in Berlin, between 1909-1914. Germany's colonial power in Africa included the bloody suppression of a Herero and Nama uprising between 1904 and 1908 that left tens of thousands dead.
    (AP, 9/30/11)

2011        Oct 4, In Namibia 20 skulls, taken by German colonial forces more than a century ago, returned to Windhoek with military honours to be laid in state at parliament.
    (AFP, 10/4/11)

2011        Nov, A large metallic ball fell out of the sky on a remote grassland in Namibia, prompting baffled authorities to contact NASA and the European space agency. Several such balls have dropped in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America in the past twenty years, authorities found in an Internet search.
    (AFP, 12/22/11)

2011        Namibia’s population was about 2.2 million.
    (Econ, 3/12/11, p.56)

2012        Jan 11, Namibia's competition commission said it has cleared a Chinese nuclear company to take over an Australian mining firm with rights to the world's fourth-largest uranium deposit.
    (AFP, 1/11/12)

2012        Feb 23, Human rights activists said more than 20 traditional chiefs of Namibia's nomadic Himba people have appealed to the UN to stop construction of a huge dam in their area. Their ancestors migrated from the Great Lakes region of central Africa about 200 years ago, and they have survived with their traditions despite wars and droughts. About 18,000 Himbas live in northwestern Namibia, with another 9,000 just across the border with Angola.
    (AFP, 2/23/12)

2012        Jun 26, Botswana and Namibia inaugurated their links to a 14,000 km (8,700 mile) underground cable system that provides both with faster and cheaper Internet connectivity.
    (AFP, 6/26/12)

2012        Jul 2, A Namibian diamond cutting and polishing plant owned by Russian-Israeli tycoon Lev Leviev said it laid off its entire workforce, 150 workers, after its bid to buy rough gems from De Beers flopped. LLD Namibia was established in 2004 at a cost of three million dollars (2.6 million euros) and touted then as Africa's largest diamond cutting and polishing factory.
    (AFP, 7/2/12)

2012        Jul 15, Namibia's annual seal hunt, which will see some 86,000 Cape fur seals slaughtered by end November, began amid outcry from conservation groups that brand it a massacre for trade purposes. The animals are harvested for their pelts, fat, which is used in beauty products and male sexual organs, believed to have aphrodisiac properties in Asia.
    (AFP, 7/14/12)

2012        Aug 28, The Namibian Press Agency reported the discovery of large deposits of iron ore that are the first found in the mineral-rich southwest African country.
    (AP, 8/28/12)

2012        Dec 4, Namibia's President Hifikepunye Pohamba said that Hage Geingob will return to serve as the nation's prime minister as part of a major cabinet reshuffle. Geingob's elevation came after he was confirmed Dec 2 as SWAPO's vice president.
    (AP, 12/4/12)

2013        Jul 18, The UN said Namibia, sub-Saharan Africa's driest country, is suffering its worst drought in a generation, with more than 100,000 children at risk of malnutrition.
    (Reuters, 7/18/13)

2013        Nov 29, A Mozambique Airlines plane carrying 33 people crashed in a Namibian national park, killing all on board. On Dec 21 a preliminary investigation reported that the captain had a "clear intention" to crash.
    (AP, 11/30/13)(AP, 12/1/13)(AFP, 12/21/13)

2014        Jan 10, Namibia wildlife authorities defended the auction of permits to hunt black rhino, saying the kill was aimed at conserving the endangered species.
    (AFP, 1/10/14)

2014        Jan 11, A permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia sold for $350,000 at an auction in Dallas with proceeds going to protect the endangered animals despite protests from animal rights groups that saw the sale as immoral conservation.
    (Reuters, 1/11/14)

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