The origins of the cordon fence and its main objectives

15 September 2021 | Opinion

W.S. KAMATI

The colonial German authority intended to proclaim the entire Namibia including the far northern part, surprisingly they faced a fierce resistance from the northern leaders such as king Nehale lyampingana and others. In order to secure their security and interests they decided to erect a cordon fence and military garrison with the intentions to curb and control the movement of the people from the northern part into the southern part of the country.

These military garrisons are now seen in Grootfontein, Outjo, Namutoni and Okaukuejo. Amidst this construction there was a countrywide breakout of Rinderpest amongst the cattle (1896-1897).

Due to the pandemic these military garrison were turned into quarantine facilities especially the Namutoni at the centre was used as a control and human checkpoint for northern people who wish to travel to the southern part. In this light the initial fencing was never meant to control livestock movement into the southern part, however currently the cordon fence is now used as a pretext to curb livestock movement.

In 1904 the same fence was set up alongside the Kalahari Desert after the Ohamakali Herero genocide. After the genocide the Hereros fled into Botswana, therefore this fence was intended to stop them from returning to Namibia.

The initial objective of this fence was to separate the northern people from their mother country and the rest of Namibia.

The Germans found a political motivation to punish the northern people due to their resistance that led to the failure of successfully proclaiming the area.

The origins of the Red Line

The Red Line fence was a rebirth from the cordon fence, subsequently the result of the revolt of the northern people and their leaders, in 1911 the Germans made a significant mark on the Namibian map with a red ink that denoted danger and this was deliberately made to bring about fear and scare the rest of the world. This red ink marking on the map is now what we know as the Red Line cordon fence. This fence was to control the northern people and their livestock and products, to prohibit development within the area such as investments, financial markets, banish them from being industrialised.

In the same light due to the Red Line the northern people could only work as contract labours (cheap labour) as they could only get what their masters wish to give and no questioning.

Effects of the Red Line

Currently there are obstructions and threatening Namibian laws that disadvantage people from the northern part, such as:

1. Marriages (community out of property);

2. Property rights;

3. No land title deeds;

4. Credits unworthiness (bank);

5. The prohibition of the livestock and its products from entering the southern part;

6. The regional animal lockdown due to animal disease outbreak, causes loss of income and hugely affects livelihoods. This also affects the local livestock auctions, because only the southern farmers can bring their livestock for auctioning, which result in an unfair competition;

7. Currently there is an estimate of around 1.5 million livestock in the northern part, however these livestock have never contributed towards the country’s GDP.

8. Foreign investors and partnering are affected. One cannot partner with a foreigner in a dairy farming business in the north.

Way forward after abolishing the Red Line

1. Strict and regular livestock vaccinations.

2. Introduction of regular and proper livestock tagging (traceability purposes).

3. Introduction of satellite system (movement especially between Namibia and Angola border).

4. Diversification of the cordon fence concept into the new tech and appropriate tech.

5. The Namibian government should promote the importance of animal medicine and pharmaceutical studies as is the case in Botswana who produce their own animal vaccines. This fence was and is not beneficial to the northern indigenous people

* W.S. Kamati is a northern farmer.

Similar News

 

EDITORIAL: Men lost in abortion discourse

2 hours ago | Opinion

The abortion debate limped on yesterday, and perhaps recorded a major breakthrough when the ministry of health admitted that it’s time the country legalised the...

Education ministry takes over ECD centre

2 hours ago | Opinion

SEM SHINOAfter nearly three decades of rendering support services to hearing-impaired children in Namibia, the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of...

The learners of Pro-Ed Academy shared which study tips...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Opinion

Ceara SinclairI’m a grade 8 learner and I like to make bullet points on my notes as it helps me remember stuff easily. I also...

EDITORIAL: Open-minded debate needed

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Opinion

The current abortion debate is filled with emotion, often revolving around moral, legal and religious arguments.The sides involved are the self-described "pro-choice" and "pro-life" movements....

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Opinion

Tuwilika EliasMy name is Tuwilika Elias. I am doing my master’s degree in public affairs at the University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri State) in the...

Editorial

2 days ago - 18 October 2021 | Opinion

The genocide debate in the National Assembly the past few weeks, as well as the interest it generated, has signalled the seriousness of the matter,...

EDITORIAL: No to forced vaccinations

5 days ago - 15 October 2021 | Opinion

We must encourage vaccination with every joule of energy we have, but must never force them upon anyone.We are pro-vaccination hardliners, but not to the...

Education ministry takes over Early Childhood Development Centre

5 days ago - 15 October 2021 | Opinion

SEM SHINO After nearly three decades of rendering support services to hearing-impaired children in Namibia, the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments...

GUEST EDITORIAL: A good day for Namibia

6 days ago - 14 October 2021 | Opinion

JANA-MARI SMITH Minutes before a High Court judge ruled on the fate of a two-year-old boy, his parents and siblings, those taking...

EDITORIAL: The left hand doesn't know what the right...

1 week ago - 13 October 2021 | Opinion

Police procuring 25 vehicles from private dealerships despite a standing order for all public institutions to buy from the government-owned vehicle assembly plant at Walvis...

Latest News

Govt’s phone spying edges closer

2 hours ago | Technology

MATHIAS HAUFIKU and JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKGovernment is pushing ahead with plans to get a...

Judge chastises ‘homophobic’ home affairs...

2 hours ago | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEKNamibian High Court judge Thomas Masuku has taken aim at the home affairs ministry’s discrimination against same-sex couples.In his...

Abort abortion law, ministry says

2 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe Abortion and Sterilisation Act 2 of 1975 is obsolete and must be discarded for more comprehensive legislation that...

Zim unvaccinated employees barred from...

2 hours ago | Economics

Zimbabwe bar unvaccinated government workers from reporting for duty as part of efforts to fight Covid-19, an official circular showed.The southern African country has, as...

South Africa not authorising Russian...

2 hours ago | Economics

South Africa's drugs regulator said on Monday that it was not approving an emergency use application for Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 shot for now, citing...

EDITORIAL: Men lost in abortion...

2 hours ago | Opinion

The abortion debate limped on yesterday, and perhaps recorded a major breakthrough when the ministry of health admitted that it’s time the country legalised the...

No fear of inflation

2 hours ago | Economics

Global finance officials are worried about rising inflation pressures but there it is little fear that it will become a "runaway train," IMF chief Kristalina...

MTC budgets N$12m to incentivise...

2 hours ago | Health

ESTER KAMATI WINDHOEKTelecommunications giant MTC yesterday launched its new VaxUp081 campaign, which is aimed...

Tweya raps agri ministry over...

2 hours ago | Ministries

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKFormer trade minister and chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources Tjekero Tweya this week tore into the...

Load More