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The meaning of «omugulugwombashe»

Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}17°46′05″S 14°42′11″E / 17.7681345°S 14.7031394°E / -17.7681345; 14.7031394 Omugulugwombashe (also: Ongulumbashe, official: Omugulu gwOombashe; Otjiherero: giraffe leg[1]) is a settlement in the Tsandi electoral constituency in the Omusati Region of northern Namibia. The settlement features a clinic and a primary school.[2] In Omugulugwombashe the first battle of the South African Border War was fought in 1966. The government of Namibia erected a monument in honour of this battle at the thirtieth anniversary of the start of the conflict in 1996.[3]

Omugulugwombashe is located 22km west of Tsandi, on the D3633 gravel road.[4]

In 1966 the United Nations General Assembly revoked South Africa's mandate to govern South West African (now Namibia) territory and placed it under direct UN administration. South Africa refused to recognize this resolution.[5] South West African People's Organization (SWAPO) at that time prepared for armed resistance and founded its armed wing, the South West African Liberation Army (SWALA) in 1962. Many of its erstwhile commanders were in exile but SWALA began to infiltrate the north of Namibia to establish training camps. Omugulugwombashe was one such training camp, established in June 1966 by SWALA commander John Ya Otto Nankudhu. The group under Nankudhu had just started to build defensive structures[1] and planned to train about 90 insurgents there.[6]

The area in which the battle took place is forested, on the western fringes of the Cuvelai Basin.[7] On 26 August 1966, eight helicopters landed troops of the South African Defence Force and South African Police to attack the guerrilla fighters at Omugulugwombashe. At the time of attack there were only 17 insurgents in the camp.[8] It was the first armed engagement of the South African Border War, also known as the Namibian War of Independence.[9] Among those SWALA fighters captured and imprisoned were:

Other guerrillas escaped but were detained in later years for their participation in the setup of the camp, for instance Lameck 'Kagwaanduka' Ithete who was arrested only in 1969. He served three years jail time in Pretoria for his involvement.[15]

After the battle, PLAN blamed spies in the region for betraying them. Sam Nujoma held a council in which he reportedly stated that "We made mistakes. We won't do that again".[16]

In commemoration of this day, August 26 is a public holiday in Namibia. It is recognized by the United Nations as Namibia Day[17] but Namibians refer to it as Heroes' Day.

Omugulugwombashe today features one of Namibia's two state cemeteries, where national heroes are buried. It also contains a memorial shrine, inaugurated by Namibia's founding president Sam Nujoma, and a statue of the six soldiers leading the camp when the attacks started on August 26, inaugurated by Namibia's second president Hifikepunye Pohamba:[18]

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omu-gu-lu-gwombashe_ _
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