KATIMA MULILO, 09 JUL – The police in the Zambezi Region on Sunday arrested five leaders of the Caprivi Concerned Group (CCG) at Liselo village, some 10 kilometres outside Katima Mulilo.
The Namibian Police Force’s Zambezi Regional Crime Investigation Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Evans Simasiku confirmed the arrests to Nampa.
He said a case would be opened by the police and the five would be charged with sedition, incitement of public violence and contravening Article 21 (2) of the Namibian Constitution, which deals with national security and public order.
The group was arrested after they attempted to hold a public meeting at Liselo.
According to Simasiku, based on their investigations, the agenda of the meeting was to organise and mobilise those who allegedly still harbour ideas to secede Zambezi Region from the rest of the country.
He said the group wanted supporters to have a demonstration and to demand that police officers who were involved in the arrests of August 1999 be prosecuted.
In then Caprivi in August 1999, an armed conflict erupted between the Caprivi Liberation Army (CLA), a group aiming for the secession of the Caprivi Strip led by former politician, Mishake Muyongo, and the Namibian Government. The main eruption occurred on 02 August when the CLA launched an attack in Katima Mulilo, occupying the State-run radio station and attacking a police station, the Wanella border post, and an army base. Namibian armed forces quashed the attempt at secession within a few days.
CCG also apparently wanted to demand that the graves of those who died during this conflict be known.
The group further allegedly wants to advance the activities of Muyongo, the exiled former DTA and United Democratic Party (UDP) president, to secede the Zambezi Region from the rest of Namibia.
Deputy Commissioner Simasiku said “though the group wants to hide from the truth, the Namibian Police have evidence that they are planning to secede the region through the moral support of the banned UDP”.
He added: “The mission and vision of the Caprivi Concerned Group are very clear and in addition, they are still saying Muyongo is the president of UDP and that of the Caprivi Strip, now Zambezi Region.”
An attempt by the CCG to hold a meeting two weeks ago, which they called a media briefing, was also stopped by the police.
The arrested members are expected to appear in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court on Monday if their charges are finalised on Sunday, or Tuesday if not finalised, Simasiku said.