30 Namibians Guilty Of Treason Failure In 1999 Secession Attempt

A Namibian court on Monday found 30 people guilty of high treason after a failed 1999 secession attempt, marking the end of a marathon case.

The judgment brought to an end the record 16-year court case that saw 379 state witnesses testifying against over 100 suspects, facing a total of 278 charges.

In August 1999, a rebel group attacked a town in the Caprivi Strip, demanding independence for the 450-kilometre (280-mile) long area in Namibia's far northeast, popular for its tropical rivers and wildlife.

Eight people died in the attacks with rocket launchers, mortars and assault rifles on a police station, a border post, the office of Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, the Mpacha military base and a bank in Katima Mulilo, the main town in the stretch of land north of Botswana.

The rebellion was crushed days later.

Windhoek High Court judge Elton Hoff finished delivering his judgment Monday after six days of consideration, finding 30 of the accused guilty of high treason, murder and attempted murder.

Among the guilty was Caprivi Liberation Army commander John Samboma.

They face possible life sentences for their involvement in the insurgency.

Another 35 suspects were acquitted, adding to the dozens more released during the course of the trial and those who died in prison.

( AFP )
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