10 Dec 2014 22:40pm
WINDHOEK, 10 DEC (NAMPA) - The human rights abuses that were committed against Namibians during the forced relocation from the Old Location to present-day Katutura 55 year ago shall never be forgotten, said President Hifikepunye Pohamba here on Wednesday.
The Namibian Head of State said this in a speech which was read on his behalf by Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku during the commemoration of World Human Rights Day in the capital on Wednesday.
World Human Rights Day is marked on 10 December each year, but Namibians also remember the Old Location massacre on the day.
On 10 December in 1959, police were called in to forcefully remove people (the natives) from the Old Location (present-day Pioniers Park and Hochland Park) to the tribally-segregated Katutura township.
The peoples resistance was subdued with police brutality and the killing of unarmed men and women, resulting in what has today become known as the Old Location massacre.
This occurrence is viewed by many an historian as the pivotal act that provided the impetus for the launching of Namibias long and bitter armed struggle for independence and self determination under the umbrella of the South West Africa Peoples Organisation (Swapo) and its military wing, the Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN).
I pay tribute to Namibian heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives and shed their precious blood during the forced and illegal removal of our people from the Old Location to Katutura, said Pohamba.
On 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Palais de Challiot in Paris France, leading to the global annual observance of International Human Rights Day.
We believe human rights are our common heritage, and their realisation depends on our contribution towards protecting and promoting these rights, now and in the future. This is indispensable in bringing about an end to human rights abuses, to which many people are still subjected today, he stressed.
The president also paid tribute to all the human rights defenders who, in formal and informal settings and in large or small communities where they often face hazardous situations, still manage to contribute to building a universal culture of a respect for human rights.