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Namibia: The current treatment of Caprivians both in the Caprivi region and in Windhoek (2001-2002)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 12 March 2002
Citation / Document Symbol NAM38582.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Namibia: The current treatment of Caprivians both in the Caprivi region and in Windhoek (2001-2002), 12 March 2002, NAM38582.E, available at: [accessed 20 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

For information on the treatment of the Caprivians in 2001, please consult NAM36458.E of 19 March 2001 available in REFINFO.

Additionally, in 2001, the government of Namibia reportedly "filed a case in Botswana seeking the repatriation of 13 Caprivians, whom it wants to put on trial for alleged murder, treason and other crimes" (PANA 30 January 2001).

According to New African,

the current situation in Caprivi has been complicated ... by the appearance on the scene of soldiers of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), invited into Caprivi by Nujoma to launch attacks on SWAPO's [South West African People's Organization] one-time allies, the UNITA [Union for the Total Independence of Namibia] forces of Jonas Savimbi, long suspected of aiding and arming the CLA [Caprivi Liberation Army].

For most of last year, and this year to date [2000 and 2001], Caprivians and visitors to the territory have been terrorised by bands of armed men as visits to the web-site of the The Namibian ( regularly report.[. ...]

There have been further accusations by Muyongo amongst others that Namibian soldiers have deliberately raped and impregnated Caprivi women to dilute the Lozi identity and make local people more 'Namibian.'

Currently, in excess of 130 Caprivians are held in prison in Grootfontein, accused of treason and plotting against the Namibian state. It is there, in detention that Stephen Mamili died last February from pneumonia and the effects of his imprisonment (1 Apr. 2001).

Amnesty International states:

more than 100 people remained in custody throughout 2000 after an armed secessionist uprising in Katima Mulilo, the provincial capital of Caprivi, in August 1999. About 300 people were initially arrested and others were arrested in the following months. All of those initially arrested were reportedly tortured during their arrests. More than 130 of those released without charged filed complaints of torture during 2000 and sought compensation. Their cases were still pending at the end of the year. Three police officers named by many detainees as perpetrators of torture remained on duty (2001, 177).

According to The Namibian, the case of 128 Caprivi reportedly arrested and charged with high treason shortly after the "surprise attacks at Katima Mulilo on 2 August 1999" is still pending and was postponed to 25 March 2002 (The Namibian 12 Feb. 2002).

Country Reports 2001 states that

members of the security forces committed several extrajudicial killings in the Kavango and Caprivi regions along the northern border, where fighting between FAA [Angolan Armed Forces] and UNITA [National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola] forces spilled over into the country ... During arrests and detentions, security force members beat citizens and Angolan refugees suspected of complicity with UNITA (Mar. 2002).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Amnesty International. 2000. Amnesty International Report 2001. New York: Amnesty International USA.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001 . 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office [Accessed: 5 Mar. 2002]

The Namibian [Windhoek]. 14 February 2002. Menges, Werner. "Caprivi Trial Hit by More Delays." [Accessed: 5 Mar. 2002]

New African . 1 April 2001. Nyendwa, Mike. "Troubled Waters: Whatever Happened to Caprivi." (NEXIS)

Pan African News (PANA). 30 January 2001. "More Namibians Granted Asylum in Botswana." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social, and Cultural Series

Africa Research Bulletin.


Resource Centre. Country File. Namibia.

Internet sites including:

All Africa News

Southern Africa Library in Switzerland

The Namibian

Search engines including:



Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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