Geingob lauds Kenyan forces deployed in Namibia under UNTAG in 1989

21 Oct 2018 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 21 OCT (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has praised the bravery of Kenyan military forces deployed in Namibia in 1989 as part of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) to monitor peace during Namibia’s first democratic elections.
Geingob delivered his words of praise at the commemoration of that country’s Heroes’ Day on Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya.
In a statement availed to the media on Sunday, the Head of State who was invited by President Uhuru Kenyatta for the country’s 66th Heroes’ Day commemoration, ‘Mashujaa Day’, said Namibia’s freedom was attained due to the pan-African bond Namibians share with the Kenyan people.
“We are children of pan-African and international solidarity. When Namibians were victims of apartheid aggression, the people of Kenya stretched out the hand of solidarity,” said Geingob.
In 1989, UNTAG was deployed in Namibia to monitor the peace process and elections in Namibia.
He said even after Namibia’s birth, Kenya was there to render its assistance until the country was on its feet.
Geingob noted that when the rest of UNTAG’s forces departed, founding President Sam Nujoma made a brotherly appeal to then Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi, for the Kenyan Blue Helmet Contingent under the leadership of Lieutenant General (Rtd) Daniel Ishmael Opande, to remain behind for three months to help maintain the country’s stability on the Kenyan government’s costs.
“For this reason, the Namibian Government has decided to award this brave son of Kenya with the second highest honour, which he will receive at an appropriate time,” said Geingob.
He further said Namibia will always be indebted to the people of Kenya for their unwavering solidarity.
The Head of State also showed his appreciation and admiration to African leaders who he said were ready to die for freedom and helped to turn the dream of a free Africa into a reality.
“We are grateful for leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Ferhat Abbas of Algeria, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Agostinho Neto of Angola… These outstanding luminaries belong in the category of ‘Founding Fathers’ and represent the first wave of postcolonial African leaders.”
Geingob also said the heroic feats of these extraordinary personalities inspired leaders in the settler colonies of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia to follow suit and pursue their own desire for independence.
“Thereby, the founding fathers of pan-Africanism helped mould the likes of Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela and Sam Nujoma,” he said.