Nandi-Ndaitwah commends Angola for allowing Namibian farmers to graze on its land

WINDHOEK: The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, has praised the Angolan government for permitting Namibian farmers to graze their livestock on its soil.

She said during a joint meeting with the Angolan External Relations Minister, Tete Antonio, at Helao Nafidi on Friday that the gesture demonstrates the existing strong relationship between Angola and Namibia.

‘I wish to reiterate Namibia’s appreciation to the government of Angola for allowing Namibian farmers to graze their cattle on Angolan territory due to severe drought and the lack of available grazing area in the northern regions of Namibia as a result of climate change. As we know, climate change does not respect borders. However, we do not take the goodwill shown by the fraternal people and government of Angola for granted,’ Nandi-Ndaitwah said during the public meeting.

Before the two ministers met at Helao Nafidi in the Ohangwena Region, they visited Ondjiva in the Angolan provin
ce of Cunene. They engaged Namibian farmers grazing their cattle in Angola about the value of amicable coexistence and neighborliness.

In her statement, Nandi-Ndaitwah cautioned the farmers, mostly from Ohangwena, against contravening Angolan laws.

‘As a sovereign state, Angola, within its territory, retains the right to enforce its laws and regulate the activities of all Namibians, including the Namibian farmers who have been allowed to graze in Angola,’ she said.

The deputy prime minister also stressed that the Namibian government will not condone the behaviour of its citizens who are not complying with the Angolan laws, adding that the northern neighbour has the right to enforce its laws against anyone.

Last October, Nandi-Ndaitwah traveled to Luanda for an urgent meeting after Angolan authorities threatened to evict about 400 Namibian farmers for transgressing local laws. Authorities in the Cunene Province accused the farmers of various transgressions, including fencing off communal land, as well as i
llegal timber harvesting and mining.

Nandi-Ndaitwah told her Angolan counterpart that ‘the prevailing cross-border issues of mutual concern and interest highlight the need to operationalise bilateral instruments and agreements on border-related matters between the two countries.’

She added that the matter requires the activation of the governor’s forum and the Joint Technical Committee.

Source: Namibia Press Agency