By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK Commemorating the Cassinga massacre on May 04, 1978, President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Friday reminded the nation that the freedom and independence enjoyed today resulted from a bitter and protracted war fought for the liberation of the country. On that fateful day, 600 innocent Namibian men, women and children died during an air raid by the apartheid South African regime on a refugee camp in southern Angola. The president was addressing a commemorative service at Eengodi constituency in the Oshikoto Region. “The commemoration of this day as a national holiday is a declaration by all Namibians that we will never forget our heroes and heroines whose blood waters our freedom,” Pohamba emphasized. “Their acts of selfless sacrifice, bravery and patriotism will continue to inspire us and future generations to build a better society for all our people.” In acknowledgement of the grave loss of lives for the cause of liberation, Swapo Party established a committee after independence to facilitate the erection of tombstones on the graves of fallen PLAN combatants all over the country. “Many of our compatriots who witnessed and survived that brutal assault are still with us today. They are living witnesses whose lives have been traumatized by the events on that fateful day. We are saying to them, you are in our thoughts as we recall once again the atrocities and violence committed against your comrades who were killed in cold blood by the forces of apartheid colonialism,” the president affirmed. To keep the memories of those who have fought and died in the liberation struggle alive, Pohamba stressed the need for the history of the country to be written, told and taught to the younger generation in schools. “I also believe that another fitting manner in which we can honour the memories of our fallen patriots is through hard work to build a stronger Namibia,” he continued. “[We] must endeavour to make Namibia a better place, guided by the principles of social justice, democracy, respect for human rights and the improvement of the standard of living of all our people.” He reiterated that development efforts should be intensified on all fronts, as government continues to bring public amenities to all parts of the country. In this vein, the president announced the construction of silos, or storage facilities, for communal farmers’ grain in the Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati, Caprivi and Ohangwena regions. Such facilities are already in place at Rundu in the Kavango Region. He added that the government is continuing with the implementation of fish farming and other aquaculture projects, which can raise the income levels of participating communities. The president called on all citizens to “rededicate” themselves to the development of the country, “to ensure that we stay on the path of peace”.
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