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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:
  • Lomé Convention (ACP)
  • African Development Bank (AfDB)
  • African Union (AU)
  • Commonwealth of Nations (CN)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Group of 77 (G-77)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • International Criminal Court (ICCt)
  • International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
  • ICRM
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRCS)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Interpol
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM, observer)
  • IPU
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO, correspondent)
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • MIGA
  • Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
  • ONUB
  • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
  • SACU
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC)
  • United Nations (UN)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • UNHCR
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE)
  • United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
  • UNMIS
  • UNOCI
  • Universal Postal Union (UPU)
  • WCL
  • World Customs Organization (WCO)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • World Tourism Organization (WToO)
  • World Trade Organization (WTrO)

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

Angola

In 1999 Namibia signed a mutual defence pact with its northern neighbour Angola. 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. Namibia's fight for independence coincided with the civil war in Angola. 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 enemie 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. Most of them reside in the refugee camp Osire north of Windhoek.

Congo

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.

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.

  • 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.