Special Report - South West Africa Namibia and 435 PDF Print E-mail

 AREA: 824 000km2 (Three times the size of West Germany; or S.W.A. equals the combined size of the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Liberia, or almost four times the size of Great Britain).

South West Africa BORDERS on Angola and Zambia in the North, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the East, South Africa to the South and the Atlantic Ocean on the West.

Well developed INFRASTRUCTURE: 4 80Okm of tarred roads, 37 01Okm of secondary/gravel roads, airfields at most towns, 2 349km railway lines.

Very UNDER-POPULATED with 1 200 000 people, comprising 11 ethnic groups, 14 languages.

ECONOMY based on agriculture, especially Karakul sheep in the South and meat in the North; and mining - lead, diamonds and uranium in particular, as well as fishing and tourism.

Since 1966, when hostilities began, the Marxist terror group, SWAPO (South West African Peoples Organisation) through its "military" wing, PLAN (People's liberation Army of Namibia) have lost in excess of 11 000 guerrillas/insurgents killed in action by the Security Forces.

The War in S.W.A. has been a revolutionary war, a political war, aimed at the hearts and minds of the people. Therefore the war was concentrated on the main residential area of S.W.A. - Ovamboland - where SWAPO has constantly attempted to politicise, organise and mobilise the masses of the people. Their emphasis has continued to be on controlling people through fear, panic and intimidation. Therefore SWAPO fought the war through landmines, sabotage, assassinations, murders, abductions and mortar bombardments.

The South African Security Forces achieved a great degree of military success in the twenty-two-year war. Aside from killing more than half of SWAPO's terrorists in counter?insurgency actions and cross-border pre-emptive raids, the S.A.D.F. has managed to clear Sector 70 (Caprivi) of all terrorist incursions since 1978. Sector 20 (Kavangoland) has been cleared of all terrorist incursions since 1984. Kaokoland had very few incursions and the farming areas of Sector 30 had no incursions after 1984. Only in Ovamboland (360km x 10Okm, which is equal in size to the combined size of Israel, Belgium and Holland) did terrorist activity continue to take place, and then only at a low and ineffective level. This military success is borne out by the following charts detailing the statistics relevant to the war in South West Africa:


INCIDENTS 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
CONTACTS AND AMBUSHES 644 545 297 299 307 252 176 213 134
MINES DETONATED 327 349 311 188 169 170 105 103 101
INTIMIDATION 120 121 102 92 67 98 68 60 33
SABOTAGE 84 37 46 41 96 136 127 107 112
TOTAL 1175 1052 756 620 639 656 476 483 380

As the Marxist guerrillas have lost the military struggle, so in desperation they have progressively increased their terrorist tactics of sabotage and their cowardly reliance on landmines.

MINES DISCOVERED 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 TOTAL
1. VEHICLE MINES 89 77 147 328 479 411 1531
2. PERSONNEL MINES 20 142 284 569 569 189 1765
3. TOTAL 109 219 431 889 1048 600 3296


1985 - 31 DECEMBER 1988

EQUIPMENT 1985 1986 1987 1988
HAND GRENADES 512 741 761 209
RIFLES 514 613 623 251
RIFLE GRENADES 1006 1338 1323 738
MACHINE GUNS 26 42 48 22
MORTAR TUBES 26 41 142 61
MORTAR BOMBS 1966 2637 3081 705
B 10 CANNONS 3 2 2 -
B 10 BOMBS 439 418 63 23
SA-7 MISSILES 7 4 3 4
SA-7 LAUNCHERS 3 10 3 2
122m ROCKETS 31 - 35 12
RPG-7 LAUNCHERS 41 70 79 44
RPG-75 LAUNCHERS - 37 7 35
RPG-7 ROCKETS 421 942 1010 403
PERSONNEL MINES 284 561 569 189
VEHICLE MINES 147 358 479 411
EXPLOSIVES (kg) 1177 902 664 417,5
BOATS 7 4 8 5
122mm (GRAD?P) LAUNCHERS - 1 - 2

These clear military successes of the South African Defence Force and South West African Territorial Force make it clear that South Africa was not forced to the negotiating table by the pressure of military reverses. Clearly South Africa has been negotiating from a position of strength. This is further borne out by statistics of the SADF's bold actions to stop the massive Soviet/Cuban/MPLA offensive against Savimbi's UNITA freedom fighters.

Cuban Division General, Ulises Rosales del Toro, speaking to former Prensa Latina correspondent, Francisco Forteya on Cuban television, reported that "The first thing we did was send our most experienced pilots to Angola. We also sent tank and artillery units. From December 1987, to March 1988, more than 400 attacks (from the South Africans) occurred. From December to March our aviation made more than 1 500 combat flights."

Despite massive Cuban military involvement and many thousands of millions of dollars in Soviet military equipment, the Communist forces in Angola suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the South African Defence Force in South Eastern Angola, as the following statistics clearly show:

A N G 0 L A


6 SEPTEMBER 1987 1
13 3
16 1
12 6
16 2
25 1
14 FEBRUARY 1988 4
21 3
25 2


TANKS 94 253.8
BTR-60 62 29.76
BMP-1 8 6.0
BRDM 30 5.4
BM-14 3 0.9
BM-21 31 10.85
B-10 3 0.9
MORTARS 20 0.338
AGS-17 7 1.75
GRAD 1-P 5 0.02
D-30 7 2.45
M-46 2 0.9


RADARS 5 6.0
SA-8-MISSILES 8 140.5
SA-14/16 MISSILES 19 2.85
ZU-23 AA 22 6.0
SA-8 SYSTEMS 7 140.0
SA-9 SYSTEMS 2 20.0
SA-13 SYSTEMS 6 77.0


Clearly, by 1988 the South African Security Forces had achieved ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL COUNTER-INSURGENCY OPERATIONS IN MODERN HISTORY. The Soviet-backed SWAPO terrorists had lost more than half their numbers killed in action by the South Africans - and were limited to seasonal infiltrations into one sector only - Ovamboland. Thousands of Ovambos had joined the South West African Territorial Force (part of the SADF) and a unit like 101 Bn had 35% of its troops made up of ex?SWAPO terrorists who had defected. Instances of the local population informing on SWAPO terrorists,to the Security Forces had doubled and quadrupled.

Not only was SWAPO losing support and failing to achieve any military obiective within South West Africa, but they were rapidly being denied a safe external base for operations in Angola. South African crossborder raids, hot pursuit operations and pre-emptive strikes had pushed SWAPO bases further and further north, requiring all terrorists to travel by foot 300km south before being able to attempt to infiltrate South West Africa. Also, 2 800 SWAPO terrorists were involved in helping the MPLA (communist) government to fight against the anti-communist resistance movement - UNITA.

This twenty-two years of armed failure by the Marxist SWAPO was compounded by the fourteen years of military failure by the communist MPLA government to eliminate or even contain the UNITA guerillas' campaign to free Angola of Marxist tyranny. Not even the $15 000?million of Soviet military aid, 50 000 Cuban troops and thousands of Russian, East German, North Korean and other Soviet bloc military "advisors" could prevent successful South African raids against SWAPO terror bases in Angola or UNITA from occupying a vast liberated zone ? Free Angola ? in the South?East.

These hard facts explain why the Marxist forces in Angola were suddenly eager to "negotiate" for "peace" with South Africa. What is not as clear is why South Africa should risk military advantage on the battlefield for political promises at the negotiating table. Especially promises from communists who have a consistent record of broken agreements, unfulfilled promises and violated treaties.

Clearly, South Africa has been negotiating from a position of military strength. Equally understandable is South Africa's concern to end the loss of life, stop the spiral of violence and prevent further escalation of the confrontation. The economy, suffering under the United States sanctions, has been hard pressed to meet the escalating costs of prolonged war. Under the United Nations arms boycott, Armscor (the SA arms industry) has been under great pressure to keep up with the vast amounts of advanced Soviet weaponry being poured into Angola, and other neighbouring states.

The South African Defence Force is facing an ever-increasing threat from the Marxist frontline states (Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania) where South Africa faces 400 000 hostile military personnel, 2 700 tanks and 330 fighter aircraft. In Angola alone the number of Soviet tanks rose from 531 in September 1987 to 1 590 in September 1988.

On its own the external military threat is sobering enough. Backed as it is by a major superpower with clear global designs, the fanatical ideology of communism, and tens of thousands of Soviet bloc military advisors and troops, it is an awesome threat.

And of course, South Africa is also beset by internal unrest, a campaign of terrorism through bombs, landmines, assassinations and sabotage, undermined by labour disputes and strikes and the target of an unrelenting psychological war waged through the newspapers, radical church groups and other media worldwide.

In addition, the South African economy has had to endure the irrational and hysterical international sanctions campaign.

Now, South Africans are fighters with a history of stubborn resistance against all odds. The Reformation faith is firmly rooted in South Africa and has inspired a strong individualism in its people. There is no question that with God's help South Africa can face all these challenges and overcome. It would help of course if our Western allies - for whose freedom our ancestors fought in two world wars and in Korea ? would not wage an economic war through sanctions, a psychological war through sports boycotts, and a media war through the newspapers. But hoping for fairness and complaining against double standards and hypocrisy is perhaps expecting too much from our old allies in the West.

It is against this background of sustained external and internal threats, international sanctions and domestic strikes, Soviet aggression and Western betrayal and escalated and prolonged war that South Africa jumped at the opportunity to end the wars in South West Africa and Angola by negotiation. Of course negotiating with communists is a bit like jumping in where angels fear to tread, but the possibility of attaining peace without the further loss of life was of course a tempting and irresistible proposition. In this respect the Marxists have a clear advantage - to lose many of their soldiers in battle is not a serious problem but for the South African people every life is precious. Whenever the communists start to Lose , all they have to shout is "Peace" and "let's negotiate" and, suspicious though we may be, we will always "give peace a chance" and "at least try". This, of course, enables the Marxists to gain through negotiations what they failed to achieve through battle. And Marxist governments have a long record of abusing negotiations and deceiving adversaries. As they have themselves often declared: "Peace (or politics) is war continued by other means. "

Even while "negotiating for peace" the Cubans brought in over 10 000 more combat troops to Angola and moved strong mechanised battle groups further south. Even while signing agreements their pilots were treacherously bombing South African troops at Caleque. The Geneva protocol signed in October 1988 required all SWAPO terrorists to redeploy north of the 16th parallel (near Cuvalai). Yet well over 3 000 SWAPO terrorists are within a day's walk of the S.W.A. border - in clear violation of the protocol.

In fact, three new battalions have been formed by SWAPO - each comprising approximately 300 SWAPO terrorists, 150 Cuban troops and 20 FAM(MPLA) soldiers in integrated battalions. These three new SWAPO/Cuban battalions are Rhino based at Tchipa, Zebra at Xangongo, Ongive and Cuamoto, and Tiger Bn based at Mulemba and Chiede. These new integrated battalions have been trained as raiding forces to attack S.W.A. in battalion strength, as reaction forces to counter SADF raids into Angola, to guide and bring in air attacks, for intelligence collection and monitoring of the border with S.W.A. Their initial aggressive posture has, however, recently changed to a more defensive position.

The Soviets and Cubans have moved 500 tanks to the Southern Angola region bordering on S.W.A., together with 40 Mig 23 fighter jets, 8 of which have a nuclear capability. The Cubans have also established 5 airfields in Southern Angola and have erected the most sophisticated and comprehensive air defence system outside of Eastern Europe, with overlapping radar and surface?to?air missile batteries (including 36 mobile radar intercept units).
Under this massive Cuban and FAPLA protection, the SWAPO terrorists have been able to - in violation of the Geneva Protocol - establish their Eastern Area Forward Command Post 1 at Anhanca and EA FCP 2 west of Mulema. SWAPO's Central Area Forward Command Post 1 is now at Ongiva and CA FCP 2 is at Chiede. Many of their detachments are now deployed near the cutline.

Nevertheless, despite SWAPO now being in their most advantageous position right on the S.W.A. border, there have been no major infiltrations during this traditional rainy season infiltration time. There have been a few violations of the ceasefire by way of landmines being detonated and arms caches hidden, but mostly SWAPO seems to be entirely trusting in the United Nations 435 process to achieve their objectives.

SWAPO terrorists are infiltrating in ones and twos in civilian clothes, normally unarmed, mainly in an intelligence-gathering role, and in order to dispense SWAPO propaganda.

The U.S.-sponsored peace accord between Cuba, the communist MPLA Government of Angola and South Africa provides for the independance of South West Africa under United Nations military occupation linked to the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola.

However, UNITA resistance leader, Dr. Jonas Savimbi, voices grave reservations about the agreement, describing it as "Not a good deal". Savimbi predicted a SWAPO victory in SWA./Namibia under its sponsor, the United Nations, and a major Cuban offensive against UNITA once South Africa had fully withdrawn from S.W.A. He compared the agreement to the historic blunders of Western appeasement of Nazism in Munich and Communism in Yalta, where totalitarian states exploited the negotiation process to advance their strategic objectives at the expense of the Western democracies.

Jeremias K. Chitunda, vice president of UNITA, also expressed grave concern about the regional peace settlement, saying that the agreement was based on the premise that there were 50 000 Cuban soldiers in Angola. Chitunda asserts that in fact there are 60 000 Cuban soldiers, plus 20 000 Cuban civilian "advisers" who have been given Angolan citizenship. Even if 50 000 Cubans withdraw - this could still leave 30 000 Cubans in Angola. "It only took 10 000 Cuban troops to install a pro?Soviet government in Angola in 1975," Mr Chitunda warned.

Others have compared the United Nations 435 process for South West Africa with the British LANCHESTER HOUSE agreement for ZIMBABWE/RHODESIA. In Rhodesia, even after one?man?one?vote elections had installed a black majority government under Prime Minister Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the British forced Muzorewa to resign and allow a British Governor, Lord Soames, to hold new elections, this time with armed ZANU and ZAPU terrorists allowed back into the country. Despite massive intimidation, murders of candidates, gross violations of the terms of the agreement by ZANU (who had over 60 000 terrorists threatening and politicising the voters), the British refused to ban ZANU or to declare the fraudulent election null and void. In this way a pro-Western democracy was overthrown and a pro-Marxist terrorist leader was catapulted into power. Concern has been expressed that the United Nations would similarly refuse to recognise or punish Marxist violations of the agreement.

Other observers express dismay that the time schedule is entirely biased in Cuba's favour. All South African troops are to be withdrawn from S.W.A. by 8th November 1989, whereas the Cubans have until 1 July 1991, to withdraw from Angola. In fact only 50% of all Cubans will have withdrawn by the time the last South African is scheduled to leave S.W.A.

Even more disconcerting is how SWA/Namibia is to be placed under United Nations military occupation for UN-supervised elections, whereas Angola remains under the Communist MPLA with no requirements for free elections there. And while 4 500 U.N. troops will supervise the SADF withdrawal in S.W.A. only 90 U.N. "observers" will monitor the Cuban withdrawal.

Constantine Menges, a former foreign policy adviser to President Reagan, has stated that the Accord is the latest in a series of "defective political settlements" entered into with U.S. State Department sponsorship. Menges warned that the communists use each agreement to weaken Western support for anti-communist allies, and then they violate its terms. "Every agreement serves the tactical purpose of that time and is then ignored by the communist regime. Tragically, the agreement is then forgotten by the West."

As examples, Menges cited the Arias Peace Plan, which called for cutting off U.S. military aid to anti-communist Nicaraguan freedom fighters in exchange for promises of democratic reforms by Nicaragua's Marxist regime, and the 1962 Kennedy-Kruslichev agreement which pledged Cuba's communist regime to foreswear all subversion in Latin America.

Howard Philips, Chairman of the Conservative Caucus, has expressed alarm at a statement by Brazilian General Pericles Ferreira Gomes, who will command the UN Angola Verification Mission overseeing the Cuban withdrawal, The General declared that he will rely on "trust" in determining if the Cubans are actually complying with the Accord.

PHAMBILI, a radical pro?Marxist publication edited at Khotso House, Johannesburg (the headquarters of the South African Council of Churches), declares that the successful implementation of the Accord means a decisive defeat for Western interests in Southern Africa and a giant step forward for the Marxist plan of action and the prelude for the final advance toward taking control of South Africa.

Phambili, which describes itself as a journal for political education and discussion, aimed at "Activists of the Front", comments that:

"Probably the most significant indication of the shift in the balance of forces was the reversal of SA's position on the so-called 'linkage' question. SA has always maintained that UNTIL the Cuban troops left Angola, SA would continue to occupy Angola and Namibia, and SA would withhold independence from Namibia. Now Angola and Cuba have successfully turned this 'linkage' on its head, effectively all parties agreed that Cuban troops would only be finally withdrawn from Angola AFTER the withdrawal of SA forces from Angola and Namibia ... A global political settlement ... will demonstrate that the regime is not invincible. Secondly, it will confirm the position of democrats throughout the world that only comprehensive and effective pressure at all levels will force the SA government to the negotiating table. The Reagan?Thatcher?Kohl plea for 'quiet diplomacy' will finally find its true place in the dustbin of history."

Dr Ed Cain of Signposts reviews the details of the proposals:
"On September 29, 1978, the United Nations Security Council accepted Resolution 435 (1978). The resolution approved the proposals for a settlement of the Namibia situation which had been drawn up by the governments of Canada, France, West Germany, Great Britain and the United States. (The US permanent representative at the time was Andrew Young). It also established a United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG) to assist the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General who is to supervise free and fair elections in SWA/Namibia."

From the day of the implementation of 435, the political process will be in the hands of the UN Special Representative who will satisfy himself as to the appropriateness of all measures affecting the political process.

As soon as the implementation begins, all South African and Swapo forces will be restricted to their bases and all hostile acts must cease. (The fact that Swapo has no bases inside SWA/Namibia seems to have escaped the UN!). There will be a phased withdrawal of all but 1 500 South African troops within 12 weeks and prior to the official start of the political campaign. The remaining soldiers must be confined to Grootfontein or Oshivelo or both. They would be withdrawn upon the certification of the elections.

All citizen forces, commandos and ethnic forces (including the SWA Territorial Force and the Bushman Battalion) will be demobilised and their command structures dismantled. There is no similar provision to disarm or demobilise Swapo forces or to reduce their numbers.

The police will be vetted by the Special Representative to ensure their suitability to maintain law and order during the transitional period. The policemen found suitable will be allowed to carry only small arms and will be accompanied by members of the military section of UNTAG.

Prior to the beginning of the electoral campaign, the Administrator General will repeal all discriminatory or restrictive laws, regulations or administrative measures. He will also arrange for the release of all political prisoners and detainees so that they can participate fully and freely in the electoral campaign. Provision will be made for the peaceful return to Namibia of Swapo personnel who will also participate freely in the electoral process.

Elections must take place within 7 months of the start of the implementation of 435. They will be held under the supervision and control of the UN, and the official electoral campaign will commence only after the Special Representative has satisfied himself as to the fairness and appropriateness of the electoral procedures. Those elected will form a Namibian Constituent Assembly which will draw up and adopt the Constitution for an independent and sovereign Namibia.

The duties of the UN Special Representative are similar to those conferred by the Lancaster House agreement on the British Governor who supervised the elections in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia. The weaknesses revealed in that agreement are also present in Resolution 435.

The triumphant return of the external wing of Swapo and especially its military wing, PLAN (People's Liberation Army of Namibia), will have a tremendous intimidating effect which would be impossible to counter. They will tell the people that the UN has recognised Swapo as the legitimate representatives of the people of Namibia. They will claim the presence of UN forces proves they have won the war. They will say they are coming back to rule the country. They will warn the people that they had better join the winning side and vote for Swapo. If they don't, Swapo will find out and punish them.
Like Mugabe's ZANLA forces, Swapo agents will tell the war-weary people that unless they win the election, they will continue fighting. Again the Special Representative will have no answer for that kind of intimidation.

There were also violent acts of intimidation in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia. Political parties opposing Mugabe were unable to campaign in many areas and their candidates were murdered. Lord Soames continually threatened to ban ZANU or cancel the elections. Although he had the power to do so that would have put Britain in the position of fighting an unwinnable colonial war.

Psychologically he had no alternative but to make the best of a bad job, put on a bold face and allow the elections to go ahead, with predictable results.

If Swapo decides to add violence to its other intimidation options, the UN Special Representative will find himself in an identical position and will act in exactly the same way.

Add to all this the support Swapo is getting from the Council of Churches of Namibia. The CCN has been telling Christians for years that only Swapo can bring justice, freedom and peace. It has already greatly stepped up its campaign in support of Swapo and will pull out all stops once the election campaign starts. How will the Special Representative handle that situation?

In any case, the only military force left in Namibia once the new constitution has been drawn up, will be Swapo's PLAN. It will become the army of newly independent Namibia.

A joint declaration issued by the Soviet Union and the MPLA's Jose dos Santos at the end of October reaffirmed Moscow's traditional hardline position. The conflict in Southern Africa, it states, is "rooted in the policy of apartheid pursued by the South African government."

In other words, the peace talks have got it all wrong! Neither the departure of the Cubans from Angola nor the independence of Namibia will bring peace to South Western or Southern Africa. Only the dismantling of apartheid can bring that about. And only an ANC government in South Africa is capable of dismantling apartheid!

Nevertheless, despite the pro?SWAPO bias of UN Resolution 435 and the proCuban bias of the withdrawal timetable, military leaders point to several problems the terrorist movement will be facing in 1989. Amongst them:
1. SWAPO has little way of knowing just how much support they actually have amongst the population.
2. There has been tremendous racial friction within SWAPO between the Kwanyama (Ovambo) leaders and other tribes.
3. Many of the external SWAPO leaders, who have been living in luxury in exile will have trouble adapting to more humble conditions within SWA. The SWAPO ambassador in the United Nations has already announced that he has no intention of returning.
4. The average Ovambo tribesman (the majority tribe in SWA/Namibia) is a capitalist. There are over 6000 "Cuca" shops in Ovamboland alone.
5. Rumours that SWAPO is promising free everything is upsetting store owners.
6. The finances required for transporting and accommodating SWAPO "guerillas, exiles and refugees" are being collected internally, with substantial intimidation and threats of force against the local population. This is creating an anti?SWAPO resentment.
7. The International Society for Human Rights have documented the horrific abuse of human rights in SWAPO terror training camps, breeding camps and prison camps in Angola and Zambia. Many of the returning refugees" will have understandable bitterness and hatred for Marxism in general and SWAPO's deception and abuse in particular.
8. The Parents Committee in Windhoek have expressed the fear that many of the abducted and abused "refugees" will be killed by SWAPO rather than risk their exposing the true nature of the movement.
9. SWAPO will have to explain why so many of the "refugees and exiles" cannot return: the maimed and tortured dissidents, the executed suspected "spies" and the unaccounted for "missing" ones.
10. SWAPO terrorists have been undergoing severe morale problems due to their humiliating defeats, battle fatigue, the months of inactivity since the ceasefire and the constant fear of a South African attack.
11. The limited Cuban withdrawal has already had negative effects upon both FAPLA and SWAPO morale.
12. After 1 April 1989, SWAPO is to indicate all "liberated zones" and internal bases within SWA/Namibia. It will be a great public humiliation for SWAPO to admit that there are none.

In addition, the SWA news magazine 'On Record' (November 1988) reported that: "Local and foreign doctors are of the opinion that of the 80 000 expatriates who will be returning to SWA/Namibia from Zambia, Angola Zimbabwe and Botswana, several thousands could be infected with the deadly AIDS virus.

Sexually transmitted diseases have become a major health problem in SWA/ Namibia with 15 238 such cases reported to the Department of National Health and Welfare last year. This is more than three times the number of tuberculosis (TB) cases reported. The only other disease claiming more' victims at present is Malaria."

Africa Confidential (Vol. 29 No.25, December 1988) reports:
"The South-West African People's Organisation (SWAPO) is now in sight of achieving its goal of becoming the government of an independent Namibia. It seems that Pretoria will leave Namibia in 1989. And, it is generally agreed, SWAPO would win free elections in Namibia.

But many SWAPO cadres, instead of feeling elation and facing the future with confidence, are disturbed at the prospect of SWAPO taking power in its present form. The reason is, simply that the leadership has behaved with incompetence and brutality towards its own cadres. None of those in a position to speak out about this - the United Nations (UN), the support groups, and above all the churches - has lad the courage to do so. They fear rocking the boat.

The fate of the SWAPO detainees, who number at least 100 and perhaps many hundreds, must be resolved when SWAPO participates in the eventual UN sponsored transition process in Namibia, in other words by 1 April. Whichever way the SWAPO leadership handles this, it will be embarrassing. The existence of the detainees is too well-known simply to cause them to "disappear" and deny any knowledge of them. And if they are released on the verge of an electoral campaign in the spotlight of the world media, their harrowing tales of injustice perpetrated on its own kind by SWAPO will be grist to the mill of propagandists.

Although detentions are technically operated by the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), the movement's armed wing, evidence suggests that PLAN leaders have a secret security unit at their command.

SWAPO is not divided by ideological or policy disputes. Such factions as exist run along ethnic and linguistic lines. Power in the organisation lies with a handful of people who have resisted any challenge to their power from a younger generation of SWAPO members and from those outside their own ethnic group.

The dominant group is the Kwanyama, the leading sub-group of the Ovambos. It is quite natural that Ovambos should dominate SWAPO, which was founded in 1960 as an outgrowth of the Ovambo People's Organisation, which represented contract workers in the country's diamond and copper mines. Ovambos are a majority of Namibia's population. In fact by the end of the 1970s, SWAPO had expanded from its Ovambo roots to win the support of Nama communities in the south, sections of the Herero community in the centre of the country, and small ethnic organisations. However the detentions have alienated some young members, especially educated Namibians from the south and centre.

Chief among the Kwanyama faction are Hidipo Hamutenya and Peter Mueshihange, who hold the key portfolios of information and defence respectively, and Finance Minister Lucas Pohamba. The PLAN chief of staff is another prominent Kwanyama, Dimo Amambo. They dominate the organisation.

The second most important ethnic group is the Ndongas, another Ovambo sub-group. The most prominent Ndonga is Secretary-General Herman Toivo ja Toivo, who for all his status as a founder of SWAPO and a long-time prisoner in South Africa, does not feature in in-fighting. Other Ndongas include the popular Education Secretary Nahas Angula, who has considerable patron age at his disposal in the form of scholarships. Members of minority groups tend to ally with the Ndongas to balance the power of the Kwanyama block. The Ndongas have lost power since the death in 1983 of their leader, Defence Secretary and PLAN leader, Peter Nanyemba. He enjoyed a reputation as a peace-maker. He recruited supporters among alleged dissidents sent for re-education under his control in Lubango, Angola, and was particularly popular with teachers in the refugee camps, whom soldiers generally tended to despise.

SWAPO President, Sam Nujoma, himself from a minority group of Ovambos, is not the most important person in SWAPO but understands well that his survival depends on his role of legitimating Kwanyama control.

The leading SWAPO power-holders make and enunciate policy as they see fit. The Central Committee has become a rubber-stamp. There has never been a formal congress. Power lies above all in the exercise of patronage. in a movement which receives abundant external funds, which enjoys the legitimacy endowed by UN and Church support, and in which SWAPO leaders enjoy unchallengeable power over their charges. It is impossible for any internal dissident to find a platform to criticise the leadership.

Although SWAPO is able to carry on some legal campaigning inside Namibia. the main leadership is based in exile, mostly in Angola. Large SWAPO refugee camps there and in Zambia cater for some 80 000 Namibians in exile, providing schools, medical clinics and farms. In fact, the pressure of coping with the refugees has been one cause of SWAPO's internal problems.

This first became evident in 1976. Eleven leading SWAPO members, including then Information Secretary, Andreas Shipanga, and several Youth League leaders, were detained on suspicion of plotting to overthrow Sam Nuioma. The Youth leaguers in particular had been pressing for a congress and leadership elections. The detainees were held at SWAPO's behest in Tanzania's Dodoma Prison until 1978. Another cause of the rebellion was protest by the 5 000 or more Namibians who had fled the country in 1974-5, whom the organisation was unable to supply with adequate food and clothing.

Among the rebels was a section of SWAPO's armed wing, the PLAN. The then Defence Secretary, Peter Nanyemba, managed to hold the army together and avoid pitched battles between factions.

Nanyamba's death in 1983 gave the Kwanyama faction the chance to take over the defence portfolio, which set off a new wave of internal strife. The following year one of Nanyemba's brightest and most ambitious aides, Tauno Hautuikulipi (from Windhoek, not Ovamboland) was accused of being a South African spy. He was said to have committed suicide in detention. There followed a spate of, accusations and detentions, as SWAPO rounded up what it claimed was a spy network, including Central Committee members, Lucas Stephanus and Ben Boys. Many made confessions in a series of video recordings, which were greeted with stunned disbelief when they were shown to SWAPO members. Most of the alleged spies who featured in the videos were from south or central Namibia, many of them the young activists who had revived SWAPO's political campaign in Namibia in the 1970s. Their arrival in exile had created tension between the old generation which runs the movement and the young lions.

Non-Ovambos in high positions include Ben Gurirab (foreign affairs), Hage Geingob (Director of the UN Institute for Namibia in Lusaka), and Moses Garoeb (Administrative Secretary). All take care not to mix too closely with southerners for fear of being labelled as spies. One explanation for the behaviour of the SWAPO old guard is that they could expect to see themselves outshone by better-educated youngsters in a future Namibian government, where technocratic skills will be more in demand.

This may explain, for example, the disappearance in recent years of two British?based cadres. Othniel Kaakunga, a law student at Warwick University, flew to Angola in August 1986 and disappeared. He has since been accused by SWAPO of being a spy. He was previously SWAPO's Deputy Administrative Secretary.

Bience Gawanas, a barrister admitted to the London bar in 1988, flew to Lusaka in August to see her daughter and was reportedly detained by SWAPO security officials on arrival. SWAPO has denied holding her, although sources say she is being held in Lubango. No one doubts that South Africa uses spies to infiltrate anti-apartheid organisations. But few also doubt that, under conditions of war and exile, unscrupulous SWAPO officials attach the label 'spy' to any dissenter. SWAPO has no judicial apparatus to investigate accusations. The pattern of accusations suggests that anyone who comes into conflict with a senior SWAPO official risks being labelled a South African agent and detained at the pleasure of the leadership. This is reported to include women who reject the sexual advances of their superiors.
The resulting fear in Namibian communities must give great cause for satisfaction to enemies of SWAPO. Refugee camps in Angola and Zambia are rife with rumours of South African spies sent to kill SWAPO leaders. Some Namibian students, especially the friends and relatives of those detained by SWAPO, worry they may be deemed guilty by association. A number of Namibian students in Europe have refused to go back to Angola and Zambia after completing their studies, preferring to apply for political asylum in the countries where they are staying. But as SWAPO offices hold their UN passports, they then have no travel documents."

The International Society for Human Rights (IGFM ? Kaiserstrasse 72, Frankfurt / MainI D?6000, West Germany) has published an authoritative research report "Human Rights Violations in SWAPO Camps in Angola and Zambia", which documents SWAPO's activities.

The ISHR report details SWAPO atrocities in Oshatotwa, SWAPO's central prison, 16km east of Lubango, Camp Etale, Vienna, Haidongo, Kamati and Nyango prisons and Kwanza-sul . It includes lists of some of those detained and murdered, eyewitness testimonies from those who have escaped and letters that have been smuggled out. It also details 155 "disappeared and/or detained persons."

The ISHR report concludes with "AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NAMIBIAN CHURCHES" written by former SWAPO activist, David A. Ausiku, who has since fled to Canada to escape death threats from SWAPO leaders. This letter declares:


c/o SWAPO Office
P.O. Box 30577
Lusaka / Zambia

An Open Letter


Dear Brothers and Sisters

I greet you in the the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My mission to you at this critical situation is to reveal to you the unbearable conditions which is prevailing now in SWAPO here abroad. The condition of SWAPO here abroad at present is very bad and complicated due to poor leadership. Those who are supposed to lead the liberation struggle of Namibia as a whole, are now fighting for so-called socialism and communism but in distortion way. As your fellow Christian, I urge you to resist Satan's tricks in which SWAPO abroad is involved.

Some of you even have heard that Hidipo Hamutenya organized a murderer squad to kill me for the reason I don't know, and when I sought protection from SWAPO president Sam Nujoma, my request of protection was not answered. I think it was the will of God that such type of situation could happen so that the Namibian people and many Christians in the world can be told of what is happening now in SWAPO here abroad.

The Namibian people need peace justice and freedom but not communism which is anti?Christ ideology, or Apartheid System which is distorting Christianity. What the Namibian people should fight for first is unity as a Christian Nation (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Being a committed SWAPO member for 24 years, dear fellow Namibians and dear Christians, I want to reveal why I resigned from SWAPO. It is not only because Hidipo Hamutenya & Company wanted to kill me but there are many reasons which I can tell you. SWAPO here abroad is no more SWAPO you know who was fighting for all Namibians well being, but has become a complicated and opportunists organization. Let me put it in a clear way:
1. SWAPO has become a pure communist organization which is forcing people to denounce their Christianity and the existence of God.
2. SWAPO is fighting only for the well?being of Ovambo speaking people but with jealousy among themselves also.
3. SWAPO has become a pure Ovambo Organization because all high positions are occupied by the Ovambos only and their very few puppets from other tribes who were given chance to occupy second rank positions.
4. SWAPO leadership defends all Ovambo criminals who killed many Kavangos and Caprivians starting in the 1970s to the 1980s mostly. 
5. Namas, Hereros, Damaras and Coloured people became also the Ovambo criminals' target since the 1980s mostly.
6. Corruption is the order of the day in all SWAPO departments and offices.
7. The Ovambo People have resorted to a dirty strategy in SWAPO of eliminating all well educated Namibian patriots from other tribes. The reason of doing that is that Ovambos do not want the idea of sharing power with non?Ovambos in the future government of independent Namibia. This is the thing that has resulted the killing and detention of thousands of non?Ovambos by the Ovambo speaking people ....

Al this happened in Angola and Zambia and is still happening. There is a great violation of human rights in SWAPO, and all United Nations offices including many agencies in Zambia and Angola are being controlled direct or indirect by SWAPO leadership. As a result, those offices are now refusing to assist or provide scholarship to those who resigned from SWAPO.

Fellow Namibians, brothers and sisters in the Lord, each one or rather every one should now ask himself and expose his/her plan to the public of what has to be done so that Namibia can have constant peace under brotherhood leadership. Those who are thinking to reform SWAPO after the establishment of already spoiled socialism, one-party state in Namibia, are dreaming. It is impossible to resist communism after it gained power in a country. This will happen to the Namibian people if we think to reform SWAPO after independence.

SWAPO at present is being controlled by Russian and East-German instructors. This means that, if SWAPO is going to win elections in Namibia, the Namibian people will never be in position to resist already spoiled socialism tide which will be led by Russians and their surrogate Cuban and East-German soldiers.

Dear fellow Namibians, what I am trying to prevent is a chaotic situation which is prevailing now in Angola and Mozambique, and the Idi Amin type of a regime to appear in our beloved Namibia. I am not after position or being somebody to be known in the world, but I am only after peace, justice, freedom and human rights as a simple Christian and a mere human being. I have a lot to tell you, dear fellow Namibians, but first I am very eager to advise you that Namibia needs peace, justice, freedom and all Namibians' well-being. But before our country can have all these, we as the most suffering people, have to create first unity among ourselves as a Christian nation based in invincible love (John 13:34-35).

Although I have only listed a few names of Namas, Kavangos, Hereros, Coloureds, Caprivians and Damaras who were killed by the Ovambos and some are still detained in SWAPO concentration camps, there were some Ovambos killed by their fellow Ovambo speaking people because they demanded justice and unity within SWAPO. Many were killed deliberately during the time of Andreas Shipanga's rebellion. Some were killed and jailed during Enias Peter Nanyemba's resistance when he refused to kill those who were regarded by SWAPO as Andreas Shipangals supporters in 1983. Even when I am writing all these to you, I got information that there is a big tension between Kwanyamas and Ndonga tribes because of positions in SWAPO leadership. I am really fearing the future of Namibia if the Namibian people inside Namibia can not act now to force SWAPO to reform while it is still in exile.

I know that some church leaders are collaborating with SWAPO and many were already bribed without knowing what will happen to their religions after SWAPOs one-party government of distorted socialism in Namibia takes place. Socialism, especially one which is going to be led by the Ovambos only with their fellow Russian surrogate Cubans, will be chaotism. I am very sorry for the Tanzanian, Zambian and many governments and their people who are very serious in supporting our liberation struggle, suffering for the cause but not knowing that the Ovambo people who are the majority in SWAPO are not serious with the just cause. They are only serious in making themselves millionaires with the money friendly countries and progressiven movements giving to SWAPO with the aim of helping the true Namibian refugees.

Fellow Christians, peace, justice, freedom and human rights' fighters, this is only my experiences and views to you. I studied socialism and communism policies for a few years, and I know it better than many SWAPO leaders.

It is up to you, fellow Namibians and fellow Christians, to be on the side of what you think Is right, and which will bring peace, justice, freedom and progress to all Namibian people. On my side, I am going to resign from politics after one country will offer me resettlement. Unless .... But I continue clinging to the truth written in The Holy Bible.

According to Articles 18 and 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I have the right to do what I have done. Finally, I am requesting you all to remember me in your prayers.

May Almighty God bless all through our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, Socialism and Communism are Satan's forces. They are there to destroy our commitment to serve God and we have to fight them openly (2 Corinthians 6:14?15).

Your brother in the Lord Jesus Christ.
David A. Ausiku (Lyangurungunda)"

Yet, despite such irrefutable evidence from former SWAPO members and thorough research from human rights organisations, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has given the Council of Churches of Namibia (CCN) R60-million before the election to work towards a SWAPO victory.

In fact many key leaders of the Council of Churches of Namibia's Politburo are also SWAPO Politburo members like David Tjongerero, Frans Kambangula, Jason Angula, and the others are SWAPO members or sympathisers. The CCN promotes a radical "Liberation Theology" based on a Marxist analysis of socio?political history and openly supports SWAPO providing the Marxist terrorist group with printing facilities at their Angelus Printing Unit in Odbra, transport facilities, safe houses. legal expenses and a mouthpiece through its "CCN Information" magazine.

The CCN consists of the Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) and Methodist Churches of SWA/Namibia. The CCN is supported by many well?meaning but misinformed groups overseas, such as Bread for the World (Ger), Christian Aid (UK). Holy Spirit Lutheran Church (Ger), Churches help Churches (Ger), Lutheran World Federation, Oxfam (UK), Geneval Diakonal Board (Swiss). Joseph Rowndtree Trust, Anglican Conference of Canada, National Council of Churches (USA), Miseror (Ger), Shilfe (Ger), ICCO, Scarborough Mission, Canadian Embassy, World Association for Christian Communication, Holden Village, World Council of Churches, Development Project (Holland), Danida (Denmark) Amnesty International, Evangelishe Kirchenkreis (Ger), Bishops of Namibia (RC) Discretionary Fund and several other groups.

Millions of rands have been given every year to a wholeheartedly Political organisation dedicated to supporting the Marxist terrorists of SWAPO. Radical statements like the AI-II GAMS declaration, and their publications and meetings should provide conclusive proof that by supporting the CCN, overseas groups are actually financing Marxist revolution. Even more damning is the unChristian attitude of many of the liberation theology infected member churches of the CCN who have refused to baptise, marry bury or even allow into the church buildings soldiers, policemen or their family members.

Howard Philips, Chairman of the Consertive Caucus, in his Issues and Strategy Bulletin (9520 Bent Creek Lane, Vienna, VA 22180, USA), summarises the situation:
"There is war in southern Africa. It is a protracted struggle for control of port facilities, populations, strategic resources, and crucial sea lanes of communication and supply. The war will have winners and losers. If America's enemies prevail in the war, our country's domestic industries, defense capabilities, and international position will be fundamentally undermined. The instigator of the war is the Soviet Union, operating variously through direct provision of military aid and equipment from the USSR as well as by the terrorist aggression of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, the South West African Peoples Organization (SWAPO) in Namibia, the armed forces of Communist Cuba, military "team-mates" from North Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

"Last year they were defeated," UNITA resistance leader, Savimbi, declared in Jamba, Angola, "the Russians and the Cubans were defeated .... Over 10 000 Cubans have died in Angola since 1975 - from disease and in battle. They had lost both the war and the will to fight .... How it comes that this year - we are going to be defeated on the negotiating table- We cannot accept it. The friends of the United States in this country are UNITA ?nobody else. The MPLA, they are trying to come to you with new offers - commercial offers. They are not your friends: they have never been your friends. They don't share anything with you, any common value. Most leaders who are here are Christians ? Protestants and Catholics. We share with you the belief that there is a God, who governs the destiny of man. In your Declaration of Independence, it is said that God made all men equal, and that's the value we share with you. Equal in freedom ... We think that freedom is one of the gifts that comes from our Lord. And, also, God gave us the capability of thinking, finding and treasuring that freedom. You have the freedom - you are keeping, defending freedom. We are fighting to acquire that freedom. That's a common bond we have with you."

Constantine Menges, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, reminds us that a 1986 United States Defense Department report cited widespread Communist violations of four earlier negotiated settlements: the 1953 Korean armistice, the 1954 Geneva accords on Indochina, the 1962 declaration of Neutrality on Laos, and the 1973 Paris Agreements on Vietnam. The record showed that "significant violations, including military ones, began immediately after the agreements went into effect, suggesting the Communists were planning the infringements even as they were negotiating." The report, found that in all four cases the Communist side circumvented the international control and monitoring mechanisms with "relative ease and at little political cost." For example, in violation of the Laos agreement, North Vietnam withdrew only 40 instead of all of its estimated 10 000 troops. After the 1973 Vietnam accord, the Communist side totally ignored the commitment to withdraw all its troops from Cambodia. Within three months of the treaty, North Vietnam illegally infiltrated into South Vietnam 30 000 additional troops and tens of thousands of tons of military supplies. These violations continued and culminated in the 1975 invasion and defeat of South Vietnam."

Menges then comments that: "A South African departure from Angola and UN supervised elections in Namibia will likely result in SWAPO's taking power in Namibia. However, it is not clear how much genuine support SWAPO has even among the Ovambos. SWAPO refused to test its popular support when it boycotted Namibian elections held in 1975, 1978 and 1980. SWAPO has been dominated by Marxist-Leninists since the mid-1970s when it expelled moderate leaders and forged close ties with the Soviet bloc and Cuba.

UN-supervised elections would most likely produce a pro-Soviet dictatorship presided over by SWAPO. UNITA would then be caught between two Soviet allies, the MPLA and Namibia. Cuban troops and perhaps other pressures would likely be used against bases in Zaire or elsewhere from which UNITA receives support. The result would be a UNITA that is politically and militarily isolated, and far more vulnerable in every way.

If UNITA were defeated, there would almost certainly be a resurgence of Soviet bloc, Cuban, Libyan, Angolan, and now SWAPO-Namibian military support for the pro-Soviet ANC and a dramatic expansion of its war for control of South Africa. With the major democracies isolating South Africa, the ANC could ultimately take power.

A genuine political settlement in Angola would involve a return to the principles of the 1975 Alvor agreement. This would include a cease-fire between the Communist government and UNITA, followed by fair, open, national elections, which would be monitored by representatives of genuinely democratic countries. All of the estimated 57 000 Cuban troops would leave Angola during the cease-fire to be replaced by a neutral buffer force from the monitoring countries while MPLA and UNITA troops would remain on their respective bases. There would also be amnesty for both sides under the newly elected government.

South Africa would then permit free elections in Namibia for a new government. But these elections should not be monitored by the UN because the General Assembly has taken the biased position that the pro-Soviet armed movement, the South West Africa Peoples Organization (SWAPO), is the "authentic representative of the Namibian people." This assertion could only be tested by genuinely free elections, which cannot occur unless an effective monitoring and buffer force protects the Namibian people from indimidation and coercion by the estimated 8 000 SWAPO guerrillas."

Constantine Menges then concludes: "Why does the State Department repeatedly make mistakes in negotiating with Communist regimes? First, THERE IS A LACK OF COMPETENT UNDERSTANDING OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AND OF THE SOVIET UNION AND ITS ALLIES. IT ALSO SEEMS THAT THE HISTORICAL RECORD OF ITS PAST UNSUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATIONS WITH COMMUNISTS HAS NOT BEEN STUDIED. In contrast, there is abundant evidence that Communist negotiators systematically use the lessons of the past. For example, a defecting Sandinista official revealed that the Nicaraguans were advised by Vietnamese Communists on how best to use negotiations with the United States to gain their objectives.

Second, THE STATE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT SET THE DEFEAT OF COMMUNIST REGIMES AS ITS OBJECTIVE, in direct conflict with President Reagan's policy. Therefore, State has entered into these negotiations with the illusion that the resistance movements should and could be incorporated into the existing Communist governments, using some "national reconciliation" formula.

Third, THERE IS AN INCLINATION IN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE TO VIEW PAPER AGREEMENTS AS THE END OF THE "PEACE PROCESS" RATHER THAN TO ASK WHAT COMES NEXT. State Department negotiators are perceived as successful if they can reach an agreement. But, in their desire to do so, they at times deceive themselves about whether the agreement is in the national interest.

Fourth, despite decades of negative experiences - and four annual reports by President Reagan documenting Soviet violations of most of its international arms control agreements - THE STATE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES OF POSSIBLE COMMUNIST VIOLATION OF THE NEWEST AGREEMENT OR PLAN HOW TO RESPOND TO THEM BEYOND ISSUING INEFFECTUAL PROTESTS

Finally, THE COMMUNIST SIDE HAS LEARNED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREE WORLD POLITICAL AND MEDIA CULTURE WHEN NEGOTIATING THESE COMPLEX AND SEEMINGLY ARCANE ISSUES. Most political leaders in democracies like to have "peace agreements" to solve situations of conflict -and this is especially helpful on the eve of major national elections. It was no accident that the Vietnamese Communists - with astute advice from their Soviet allies - always sped up the pace of negotiation on the eves of the US presidential elections in 1968 and again in 1972. Nor is it coincidental that US-Soviet summits and agreements so often occur close to national elections.

"For senior State Department officials, diplomacy with Communist governments and movements usually brings enormous media attention. There is an almost irresistible momentum toward the dramatic media and political event of a "successful" negotiation. Furthermore, the career prospects of State Department officials are almost never hurt by defective agreements - even when subsequent events prove they made egregious mistakes. There is generally little congressional or media interest in holding previous State Department officials accountable for their judgments. No congressional oversight hearings were held on the failure of Carter administration officials to follow through after playing a main role in shaping the 1979 OAS political settlement in Nicaragua, which required the Sandinista-led coalition to establish genuine democracy and remain non-aligned. Will there be such congressional hearings if the Afghan accord leads to the defeat of the Afghan resistance, or the Angola/Namibia arrangement helps to defeat UNITA and results,in one more pro?Soviet dictatorship?

The defective agreements in Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Angola can still be reversed. The administration should put its full political weight behind a call for full military aid to the Contras. The Afghan accord should be r enegotiated to obtain agreement on an independent non-Communist government to replace the illegitimate Communist regime, and the State Department's proposals for Angola should first seek a free Angola without any Cuban troops, and fair elections for Namibia thereafter. What is needed, in short, is a diplomacy of victory, not a diplomacy of defeat."

During January and February of 1989, I led three Frontline Fellowship teams in an extensive series of evangelistic meetings throughout South West Africa/Namibia. The nine members of our teams travelled many thousands of kilometres to reach over 15 000 South Westers with an urgent message of the need for turning away from all evil in repentance, and turning to God in faith and obedience. The action was called J435 (John 4:35 "You have a saying, 'Four more months and then the harvest.' But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested!").

Recognising the urgency of the situation, we wanted to respond to the challenge for Christian action. It is said that it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. In the same way, we saw the need to go beyond feeling dismay and despair at the possibility of disaster for S.W.A. We resolved to do something constructive to encourage and help the people of South West. Several all-night prayer meetings and a countrywide evangelistic crusade which concentrated on Ovamboland, Kavangoland and Caprivi (but also included Keetmanshoop, Gobabis, Mariental, Okahandja, Windhoek, Otjiwarongo and Grootfontein) was the result.

Our message was that God controls the destiny of nations and individuals. That our problems are not primarily political but spiritual. We have created and aggravated our own problems through our disobedience to God's holy law. It is human greed, lust and selfishness that underlies the corruption, immorality and crime in our society. It is man's desire to be independent of God, free of moral restraint and liberated from ethical considerations that has led to the breakdown of moral standards, break?up of modern families and sell?out of countries to terrorism.

Our problem is sin. We spend more time reading the newspapers than reading the Bible. We spend more time listening to the communists than in listening to God. We spend more time watching TV than in worshipping Christ. We are playing more often than praying. We worry more about what people think of us than what God thinks of us. We labour harder to appease "world opinion" than to please God.

The Scripture teaches us in Jeremiah 18:7-10 that if any nation turns away from evil God will bless and strengthen that nation. But if any nation turns away from God and turns to evil God will uproot, break down and destroy that nation.

Deuteronomy 28 teaches us that if a nation is faithful in obeying the clear commands of the Lord, God will bless their fields and their crops, their children and their homes. He will send rain at the right times and grant victory in battle. Similarly it warns, "If you do evil and reject the Lord, He will bring on you disaster, confusion and trouble in everything you do ... the Lord will strike you with infectious diseases, with swelling and fever ... drought and scorching winds ... disasters ... duststorms and sandstorms ... The Lord will give your enemies victory over you." Deut 28:20-25.

The Scripture declares that:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Prov 1:7. Yet how often do we fear man and reject God's law? We cannot blame God for our failures caused by our own unethical opportunism, We must not be surprised when our wisdom is shown up to be sheer stupidity, when our strength is exposed as weakness and when God judges our arrogance with disgrace.

We do not so much break God's laws as break ourselves upon God's laws. Just as every manufactured item needs to be operated in accordance with the guidelines laid down in the manufacturer's instructions, so too we should not be surprised if things go wrong when we ignore the Creator's instructions as spelled out in the Bible.

This is true for nations, families and individuals. The best guidelines for life, morals, ethics and standards is found in the Law and precepts of God as recorded in the Scriptures.

Recent history is littered with Western defeats. It was not so much that Communism triumphed in Cuba and Cambodia and Nicaragua and Laos - it is the Western democracies who failed. Since the Second World War, forty countries have fallen to Communism - none of them by military means - but by demoralisation, deceit and propaganda. These nations fell, not to external military invasion. but by internal subversion. They were not defeated, they were talked and tricked and threatened into compromise and surrender.

As Colonel Jan Breytenbach, founder of the South African Special Forces (the Recces), 32 Battalion and 44 Parachute Brigade, has declared: "We in the West have been winning our battles, but losing the wars. The French in Algeria, the Americans in Vietnam, the Rhodesians in what became Zimbabwe -they won all their battles but they lost the war ... I am convinced that it is our failure to fight on the spiritual front that causes us to lose the war. The military aspect is only part of the total strategy of warfare today. When we allow corruption, atrocities, immorality and blasphemy in our ranks we sabotage our war effort and invite judgment from Almighty God. When we make our plans and then arrogantly try to use God to bless our plans - instead of humbly studying God's Word, obediently submitting to God's Will and faithfully carrying out God's plans - when we fail to submit to God, then we are doomed to defeat. Unless we turn to God and carry out His Will we are doomed to winning the battles but losing the war. If South West Africa becomes a Communist state then it will be God's judgment on us for playing the fool with Him and trying to use God. But if God saves South West from the consequences of our stupidity and disobedience - then it will be in answer to the humble prayers and repentance of His people - and He will be giving us yet another chance to obey Him."

The West won in South Korea but lost in South Vietnam. What made the difference?

The American (and other allied) armed forces in KOREA had a high percentage of Christians and a God-fearing, Bible-reading Commander, General Douglas McArthur. South Korea has millions of Christians who gather daily for prayer. Christian meetings have been held with over 2 700 000 people present at one time and place. The Gospel influence in South Korea has given the people the spiritual guts, stamina and backbone to withstand 40 years of Communist subversion and terrorism.

By way of contrast, there was a minimal Christian influence in the American armed forces in VIETNAM. The chaplains' services were badly attended. And drug abuse, corruption, blackmarketeering, prostitution, crime, and alcohol abuse turned Saigon into an immoral sewer. South Vietnam lacked the moral, ethical and spiritual foundation to withstand the onslaught of Communism. It was a case of "corrupt and conquer."

Morals do matter. The spiritual life of a country is crucial. Our relationship to God makes all the difference. Not just lip service or religious ritual but a personal relationship with God as our Father. A Christian is someone who has experienced the forgiveness that comes from Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. A true believer is one who has been changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. That kind of Christianity is unbeatable.

As the Scripture says:
"Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil, between life and death. If you obey the commands of the Lord your God .... if you love Him, obey Him, and keep all His laws, then you will prosper and become a nation ... but if you, disobey and refuse to listen ... you will be destroyed - I warn you here and now ... Choose life. Love the Lord your God, obey Him and be faithful to Him, and then you and your descendants will live long
in the land." Deuteronomy 30:15-20

God's Word to the people of South West Africa, South Africa or the United States of America remains the same:
"If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear them from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

May God find each of us faithful to His Word and faithful to His Work. May we be brave and bold for God.

Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74
South Africa

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