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Namibia's Long And Winding Road To Independence

1885: The Germans, under Bismarck, declare the colony of South-West Africa. 1915: Colony falls under South African administration after military victory over the Germans. 1920: Mandated to South Africa by the League of Nations. 1946: UN Trusteeship replaces the League of Nations mandate. 1957: The South West African Peoples Organization (Swapo) is formed in Cape Town, South Africa. 1966: UN General Assembly revokes Pretoria's right to rule the territory. 1969: UN Security Council declares South African occupation of the territory illegal. 1971: World Court rules against South African occupation. 1973: UN General Assembly recognizes Swapo as the ``sole and authentic representative'' of the Namibian people. 1978: UN Security Council adopts Namibian independence plan known as Resolution 435. 1982: Pretoria endorses Resolution 435. 1987: South African forces suffer heavy casualties at the battle of Cuito Cuanavale. 1988 May - US-brokered peace talks between Angola, Cuba, and South Africa begin. Dec. 22 - Foreign Ministers from the three countries end South African occupation through the implementation of UN Resolution 435. 1989 April 1 - Implementation commences under UN supervision but is almost derailed by Swapo-South African Defense Forces clashes. Sept. 15 - Swapo leader Sam Nujoma returns to Windhoek after 29 years in exile. Nov. 13 - Swapo wins a simple majority in independence ballot but fails to win two-thirds necessary to draw up new constitution alone. 1990 Feb. 9 - The elected Constituent Assembly unanimously adopts constitution based on multiparty democracy and a bill of rights. March 22 - Nambia is independent.

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