UNTAG Veterans Join Namibia’s Silver Jubilee

19 Mar 2015 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 19 MAR (NAMPA) – A group of United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG) ex-servicemen will attend Namibia’s 25th Independence Celebrations on Saturday.
A media statement issued on Thursday by Senior Researcher at the Australian High Commission in South Africa Will Butler said, the ex-servicemen include six Australians, three Danes and one from the United Kingdom (UK).
Butler said, “The group of veterans served in Namibia between 1989 and 1990 as part of the successful Untag which oversaw Namibia’s transition to independence in 1990.”
The veterans prepared a collection of UNTAG memorabilia that will be handed over to Government and presented by the Deputy Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Hilma Nicanor during an informal barbecue luncheon slated for Friday.
Representatives from the Australian High Commission, other resident diplomatic missions, the United Nations as well as Namibia-resident Australian Volunteers (AVIs) will also attend the ceremony.
UNTAG was made up of persons from 124 countries. The authorised strength of its military component was 7 500 all ranks with a maximum deployment of 4 493 all ranks, supported by almost 2 000 international civilian and local staff, according to the UN’s website.
UNTAG's 1 500 police officers ensured a smooth electoral process and monitored the ceasefire between Swapo and South African forces, and the withdrawal and demobilisation of all military forces in Namibia.
During the elections, UNTAG was strengthened by some 1 000 additional international personnel, who came specifically for the elections.
Namibia became independent on 21 March 1990. On that day, in the capital, the United Nations Secretary-General administered the Oath of Office to Namibia's first President, Sam Nujoma.
On 23 April 1990, Namibia became the 160th Member of the United Nations.