Namibia: Angola's Lourenço to Attend Cassinga Day

President of Angola, João Lourenço. (file photo).
20 April 2018

Windhoek — Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço has accepted an invitation by President Hage Geingob to pay a state visit to Namibia and participate in the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Cassinga massacre.

The attack, in which about 900 Namibian refugees were killed by apartheid South African troops in 1978, happened on Angolan soil during Namibia's liberation struggle.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, has confirmed that Lourenço would be in the country from May 3 to 5.

This year's national commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Cassinga massacre will take place at the Heroes Acre in the capital.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said during the commemoration Lourenço would lay a wreath at the Heroes Acre and participate in the commemoration as guest of honour.

She said the Namibian heroes and heroines, who lost their lives during the attack on Cassinga and Vietnam camps, would always be remembered.

"These massacres will remain sacred in the collective national memory of present and future generations," she said in a press statement on Wednesday.

She also invited all Cassinga survivors and other fellow Namibians to attend the national commemoration.

On May 4, 1978, the then South African apartheid regime attacked the Cassinga refugee camp and killed hundreds of Namibian civilians. Hundreds of Angolans were also callously killed in that attack.

At the same time, an attack also took place at Vietnam camp. Many of the Cuban internationalists, who were attempting to rescue the Namibian civilians, were also killed.

President Hage Geingob and Founding Father Sam Nujoma last year attended the inauguration ceremony.

Lourenço is Angola's third president.

A former defence minister, Lourenço succeeded President João Eduardo dos Santos, who served as the head of state since 1979 following the death of Angola's founding president, Augustinho Neto.

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