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Ex-PLAN combatants commemorate the Battle of Enghandja

Summary

Ex-combatants of the then Swapo military wing, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), on Friday gathered at Enghandja village in the Ohangwena Region to commemorate the battle of Enghandja which took place at the village on 02 April 1989.The b…

Ex-combatants of the then Swapo military wing, the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), on Friday gathered at Enghandja village in the Ohangwena Region to commemorate the battle of Enghandja which took place at the village on 02 April 1989.

The battle occurred after a ceasefire was already signed between the two warring forces under the United Nations Resolution 435 which paved way for the independence of Namibia on 21 March 1990.

Former commander of the battle and now retired Colonel of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF), Elia Ambambi convened the gathering in order to remember the battle and honour its slain ex-PLAN combatants, which included the laying of wreaths on unmarked graves.

In his remarks, Ambambi informed the gathering that he led a detachment of 430 PLAN combatants, which crossed the border into Namibia from Angola at the end of March 1989 to hand themselves over to the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) to be demobilised.

He described the battle as unfortunate saying: “We were not expecting any battle or shooting as we were heading to UNTAG bases for disarmament, following the signing of the Resolution 435. Little did we know that our footprints were being followed by the troops of the colonial regime.”

According to him, the battle took several hours and also claimed 23 lives of the soldiers of colonial forces, including their commander.

Most of the ex-PLAN combatants, who spoke during the commemoration claimed that the battle of Enghandja is not given the recognition it deserves as the government continues to ignore the marking of the graves of its casualties.

However, Deputy Minister of Safety and Security Daniel Kashikola, who also attended the commemoration, told journalists that government has a program to document the history of the liberation struggle.

This, Kashikola noted, would also lead to the marking of unmarked slain ex-PLAN fighters’ graves that are scattered in the bushes of Namibia.

“There have been several battles in the country and it is not always possible to mention them, thus all of them are covered in the commemoration of days like Independence and Heroes Day,” stated the Deputy Minister.

Source: Namibia Press Agency