Foreign relations of Namibia

Foreign relations of Namibia

Namibia follows a largely independent foreign policy, with strong affiliations with states that aided the independence struggle, including Libya and Cuba.

In Africa, Namibia has been involved in conflicts in neigbhouring Angola as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

International organizations

Namibia is a member of 46 different international organizations. Theses are:

United Nations

Namibia became the 160th member of the United Nations on April 23, 1990 upon independence.

African Union

With a small army and a fragile economy, the Namibian Government's principal foreign policy concern is developing strengthened ties within the Southern African region. A dynamic member of the Southern African Development Community, Namibia is a vocal advocate for greater regional integration.

Other countries


main|Angolan-Namibian relations

In 1999 Namibia signed a mutual defence pact with its northern neighbour Angola.cite web
first = Vincent
last = William
url =
title = Namibia: Situation Report
publisher = United Nations High Commission on Refugees
accessdate = 2006-08-26
] This affected the Angolan Civil War that has been ongoing since Angola's independence in 1975. Namibias ruling party SWAPO wanted to support the ruling party MPLA in Angola to fight the rebel movement UNITA, whose stronghold is in southern Angola, bordering to Namibia. The defence pact allowed Angolan troops to use Namibian territory when attacking UNITA.

The alliance between SWAPO and MPLA is old began as both Angola's and Namibia's ruling parties sought independence during the mid nineteenth century and into the Angolan Civil War. In Angola, the leftist movement MPLA was fighting the rightist movement UNITA, which was supported by South Africa. In Namibia, SWAPO, then being a rebel movement, was fighting for independence from South Africa. As MPLA and SWAPO shared a common ideological ground, and had a common enemy in South Africa, they came to cooperate.

The Angolan civil war resulted in a large number of Angolan refugees coming to Namibia. At its peak in 2001 there were over 30,000 Angolan refugees in Namibia. The calmer situation in Angola has made it possible for many of them to return to their home with the help of UNHCR, and in 2004 only 12,600 remained in Namibia.cite web
url =
title = 2004 UNHCR Statistical Yearbook - Namibia
publisher = United Nations High Commission on Refugees
accessdate = 2006-08-26
] Most of them reside in the refugee camp Osire north of Windhoek.


Along with numerous other African nations, Namibia intervened in the Second Congo War, sending troops in support of the Democratic Republic of Congo's president Laurent-Désiré Kabila. It is not clear why Namibia intervened in the conflict, although it has been suggested that Namibia was interested in Congo's natural resources, especially copper. Fact|date=February 2007

Namibia's decision to join the conflict resulted in criticism from opposition parties, the public, as well as from within the ruling party SWAPO.

International disputes

Namibia is involved in several minor international disputes.cite web
title = CIA - The World Factbook - Namibia
url =
publisher = CIA
accessdate = 2006-11-9
* Commission established with Botswana to resolve small residual disputes along the Caprivi Strip, including the Situngu marshlands along the Linyanti River
* Botswana residents protest Namibia's planned construction of the Okavango hydroelectric dam on Popa Falls
* Managed dispute with South Africa over the location of the boundary in the Orange River
* Dormant dispute remains where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe boundaries converge
* Angolan rebels and refugees still reside in Namibia.

See also

* Diplomatic missions of Namibia
* List of diplomatic missions in Namibia

Notes and references

* cite web
title = Bakground Note: Namibia
url =
publisher = U.S. Department of State

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