Caprivi: NSHR Prompts More Questions

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Kindly allow me to comment on a recent press statement by the National Society for Human Rights in Namibia – calling for a negotiated settlement on the Caprivi dispute. Healing and nation building require truth and honesty in resolving any conflict – be it political or family matters. Therefore, advocates of peace and reconciliation, conflict prevention and management, must learn to tell the truth by giving a balanced version of a crisis and not be biased. If exaggeration and lies become part of such noble endeavours then no initiated peaceful settlement will be attained – it shall be doomed! And worse still shall only fuel more tension, mistrust and suspicion among warring parties. The recent press statement of the National Society for Human Rights leaves less to be desired as it prompts more questions than answers. Has the National Society for Human Rights become a mouthpiece of the secessionist movement? The well doctored and distorted press release bores marks of a dictated and engineered masterpiece that blows the Caprivi out of context with lies citing a conflict which has been in existence over a period of forty five years. How true is that if Namibia has only celebrated its 16th anniversary now! The blame leading to 2nd August 1999 has being wholly put on the Namibian Government – is that a true reflection leading to Namibia’s darkest day in history? One wonders who the National Society for Human Rights is pleasing and serving. NSHR unashamedly compares the Namibian liberation struggle with the Caprivi mishap – that Apartheid South Africa was not willing to find peace and war was waged. Does the NSHR think it was justifiable for Namibians to turn to arms against one another for the liberation of Caprivi? In whose interest is NSHR advocating its sentiments? A call for a negotiated settlement equally raises eyebrows! Negotiating with who and for what? If some elements after learning that some SWAPO supporters were welcoming in having them back home – why not come out openly than start playing “cat and mouse” games and using noble institutes along the way? Compromising a long respectable standing of NSHR. Do such calls not only give more credibility to the secessionist movement to forge ahead with its secessionist agenda? The Namibian government has opened its doors wide open for the secessionist leader to apologise and denounce secession. Why can he not do that? Or is it a question of pride? NSHR must know that should the secessionist leader have answered the call of the Namibian government, the Caprivi misfortune could have been history by now! So, other than trying to play a deceptive game – why don’t the NSHR call upon the secessionist leaders to conform with the Namibian government’s call in pursuance of peace and reconciliation. The Namibian leadership has not failed in bringing peace and reconciliation to the Caprivi region-all it needs is a receptive partner like the saying “it takes two to tango”. That is where the deadlock lies – if NSHR is committed to conflict prevention and management then act now in pursuance of such a noble duty, serving your country than letting your country to always serve you. Joseph Mulife Muchali Namibian Forum for Presidential Pardon