Thursday, January 10, 2008

More charges filed against Sam Nujoma; successor hits back

Interesting developments in a country that doesn't make the headlines very often.

The Namibian National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has filed more charges for human rights violations with the International Criminal Court against the country's founding president Sam Nujoma.

The group says the abuses occurred during the country’ struggle for independence. The group said its action followed the advice from some international human rights groups and after supporters of former President Nujoma as well as partisans of the ruling SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization) party allegedly threatened staffers of the organizations with bodily harm, reports Voice of America.

NSHR chairman Phil Ya - Nangolo stated, "the Namibian government in particular the SWAPO party have launched attacks on us; issuing death threats, issuing orders of expulsion from this country, and this is a direct result of that [initial] submission we made to the court."

This, he said, provoked a second submission of accusations.

This was not well-received by the government, that is run by the SWAPO organization founded (and until a few months ago presided by) Nujoma.

National and party president Hifikepunye Pohamba attacked the NSHR. According to The Namibian newspaper, Pohamba said that THOSE who don't like Government protecting former President Sam Nujoma must 'pack up and go' and the State would happily give them one-way tickets.

The president said he felt 'embarassed' by the NSHR's actions, contending that Nujoma was a symbol of national unity and stability.

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