Namibia consists of three distingtive landscapes
First, the Namib Desert on the coast. The second in the interior is an elongated plateau running from North to South with peaks above two thousand meters. The highest peaks of Namibia are located in the center of the plateau, with the highlights being the Auasberge (2484 meters) and the Brandberg (2610 meters). Finally, in the East, a desert area that gradually descends from the plateau is an offshoot of the Kalahari Desert. The area of Namibia is 825,418 square kilometers. Namibia is about 20 times as big as the Netherlands.
Except along the long Atlantic coastline in the west, there is not much water to be found in Namibia. Most of the rivers that flow towards the ocean fall dry for a part of the year and sometimes do not reach the sea. Important rivers that flow throughout the year are the Kunene, along the Angolan border, and the Orange River that forms the border with South Africa. A tributary of the Orange River, the Nossob, is the most important of the country.
Namibia was a German colony from 1884 to 1915. After the First World War the area came under British authority for some years. In 1921 the Union of South Africa received a mandate from the League of Nations to temporarily manage Southwest Africa. This mandate was lifted by the United Nations in 1966. South Africa, however, refused to withdraw and continued to occupy the area.
Already in 1958, a resistance movement against the South African apartheid regime was established, the Ovamboland People’s Organization, which two years later went up in the South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO), with Sam Nujoma as leader. In 1967, the UN established a Council for Southwest Africa, which had to formally run the area. In 1971, the South African presence in Namibia was declared illegal by the international court. SWAPO was recognized two years later as the only legitimate representative of the Namibian people and also gained observer status at the UN.
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