In 1973 the General Assembly adopted a resolution by which it decided to
commemorate 26 August each year as Namibia Day. It was on this day that the
South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) decided to take up the struggle
for the independence of the former German colony and League of Nations Mandate Territory.
Before the Second World War the Union of South Africa
was the administrative authority on behalf of the League of Nations. However after the
war South Africa refused to transfer administration to the UN Trusteeship Council. After
the International Court of Justice ruled in 1960 that it had no power to render
a decision on the legitimacy of South African rule, the General Assembly by
resolution 2145 (XXI) of 27 October 1966 terminated the mandate of the Republic
of South Africa over South West Africa and assumed direct responsibility for the administration of the
territory until its independence.
rejected various Security Council resolutions to withdraw from Namibia,
the General Assembly by resolution 3111 (XXVIII) designated the UN Council for Namibia as
the legal authority for Namibia. The former Irish foreign minister Sean MacBride
was appointed Commissioner for Namibia.
Observance of Namibia Day went on until the
independence was reached in 1990. After that 26 August became Heroes' Day, a
national remembrance day in Namibia.
On Namibia Day 1974 the president of Guyana,
Forbes Burnham, unveiled the African Liberation Monument in the capital Georgetown. This monument was erected in memory "of all those who have
struggled and continue to struggle for the freedom of Human Bondage". The
monument consists of five polished greenheart logs encased in a jasper stand on
a granite boulder. The varying heights of the logs are representative of the
different ages of those who lost their lives; the slab of granite represents
the strength of the freedom movement and the pebbles around the base of the
monument represent the millions of peoples who are involved in the fight of
Stamp catalogue - 1983
Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics 26 August 1983
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last revised: 5 July 2009