• Alyssa Petrus Amupanda The University of Namibia, Windhoek


Africa’s borders are bestride with many challenges ranging from religious and terrorist movements to cattle rustling, military conflicts to human trafficking. The challenges are endless, but whether the boundary disputes are terrestrial or maritime, they are mostly about security and prestige. The African continent is characterized by lots of maritime boundary disputes and unless these are resolved through negotiation or other diplomatic measures and acceptable means, it will jeopardize the continent’s short and long term implementation of maritime policies and strategies. Currently, close to 100 active border disputes exist across the continent. Rising nationalism, population and environmental pressures mean that the situation is likely to get worse. Unless, that is, an army of indigenous peace practitioners work closely with available pan-Africanist leaders and statesmen to douse and resolve tensions. Namibian exploitation of the Okavango River has been a source of disagreement with Botswana. Unresolved boundaries afflict portions of the Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia borders. Borderlands where mineral resources are being explored or exploited are experiencing increasingly frequent disputes over land claims, delimitation disputes, lawlessness, security alerts, and bitter political exchanges between governments. In theory, boundary tensions could be addressed through various indigenous mechanisms. These include the elders and the use of peace radios and peace newspapers  As regards Angola’s relationship with Namibia, it has always been one of peace, nonetheless it needs to be noted that peacemaking is necessitated by conflict. Although economic ties have existed between Angola and Namibia, it does not mean a lack of communication about inherent corruption, illegal deals and other inconvenient events. . In spite of recognition that the colonial boundaries are not viable in their current state, the continent’s governing elite has elected and stuck to a policy of territorial status quo, partly because of a legitimate concern that any attempt to review the boundaries will lead to anarchy. Although Africa’s governing elite has remained faithful to its policy of territorial status quo, strong lateral and vertical pressures appear to be forcing a re-orientation in the approach to the management of state boundaries.

Keywords: Border, Dispute, Resolution, Mechanisms, Southern, Africa, Namibia, Angola, South Africa


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