Czech book details Swapo's struggles abroad

19 April 2021 | History

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



A representative of the group Their Blood Waters Our Freedom, Borro Ndungula, alleges that Namibian children were sent to the former Czechoslovakia from refugee camps in Angola and Zambia with the intention of training them as child soldiers.

He added that a book by Czech anthropologist Katerina Mildnerová on the experiences of Namibia's struggle children in that country has the potential to open a can of worms about the treatment those children received.

The book, titled 'Namibian Czechs: History and Identity of the Namibian Children Raised in Czechoslovakia', focuses on a group of child refugees admitted by the Czechoslovakian government in 1985 as an expression of international solidarity with Swapo's armed wing, the People's Liberation Army (Plan).

Speaking on the 'Evening Review', Ndungula shared what had happened to him and others sent to the former communist state by Swapo.

“The whole issue here was to turn us into soldiers, so we were the first children to be indoctrinated with Swapo's ideology with the purpose of turning us into future leaders of the nation but also preparing us to become soldiers,” Ndungula said.



Rights violations

According to Ndungula, children were conceived outside the normal conventions of a romantic relationship for the sole purpose of ensuring there would be a future generation of soldiers for the liberation struggle.

“When you look at the book, you also realise some of us could be products of rape. There was a command that leaders needed to impregnate women and that they must produce children to become soldiers.

“Some of these things were done in violation of human rights; these are some of the things that you will discover,” Ndungula said.

Mildnerová's book was released in January this year.

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