Country of the World Namibia

About the country Namibia, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.



Size: 318,261 sq. mi. (824, 297 sq. km.).

Population: 945,863.

Rich in diamonds, copper, and other minerals, this mostly desert land has been the center of a dispute between the U.N. and the Republic of South Africa for more than a quarter of a century. After W.W. I, the League of Nations mandated Namibia (then called South-West Africa) to South Africa, with the understanding that the territory would be prepared for eventual self-rule. Instead South Africa encouraged Afrikaner settlers to take up farming in the north, expropriated large areas of land for mineral and diamond exploitation, and imposed the rigid racial strictures of apartheid. After W.W. II, all countries holding mandated territories turned them over to the U.N.-except South Africa. Years of legal battles in the World Court ensued, until, in 1971, the court declared South Africa's control over Namibia illegal. In October 1977, South Africa abolished the laws which prohibited interracial sexual relations and which required black Namibians to carry identification at all times. In 1978, negotiations leading to independence began between representatives of the white South African government and the black South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). However, no agreement has been reached despite U.N. intervention. South Africa continues to spend $1.5 million a day on its 15,000-man army, which battles the 4,000-man SWAPO guerrilla army. Mining companies hold considerable power in Namibia, especially the giant South African diamond corporation, De Beers, Large tracts of land are completely closed to the public, and trespassing is a capital offense in these areas.

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