Namibian Party Calls for National Reconciliation

Posted Apr 9, 2009 by Christopher Szabo
In Namibia, a political party, The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) has called for the establishment of a South African-type Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Namibia  Land of Open Spaces
Namibia, Land of Open Spaces
Christopher Szabo
The RDP, which was formed in 2007 by a breakaway group of the ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), says if elected, it plans to: “Formulate a genuine national reconciliation policy, whereby past mistakes and wrongdoings are to be openly admitted and forgiven.” The party accuses SWAPO of causing the disappearances of its own members during the war for independence from South Africa from 1966-1989, the German press agency DPA reports.
The National Society of for Human Rights has welcomed the RDP initiative, saying: “A truth telling process is a sine qua non element of the democratization process.”
A civil society group called the Wall of Silence, made up of family members of those missing, has long been calling for a Truth Commission along the lines of that in South Africa after the anti-Apartheid struggle there. The governing party has never revealed any information about its missing members and has drawn a veil of secrecy over the issue.
SWAPO has been the elected government since Namibia gained independence in 1990.