A. V. RACHKOV Veteran of TASS The recent first trip of the head of our state to the countries of Southern Africa reminded me, as a former TASS correspondent, that this now peaceful part of the continent, until relatively recently, was the site of fierce battles between participants in national liberation movements for the independence of their countries. At that time, I had the opportunity to personally meet the leader of one of these movements, Sam Nujoma, President of SWAPO (People's Organization of South - West Africa), who later became the long-term president of independent Namibia (from 1990 to 2004). I first met him back in Somalia in the early ' 70s. ...On a sultry January evening, I came out of a stuffy room where a Somalian banquet was being held with representatives of the diplomatic corps in Mogadishu, and in the gathering dusk I bumped into a short, stocky boy I didn't recognize. We talked. It turned out that he was not a Somali, but a native of South-West Africa (later called Namibia). I asked for his name: "Sam Nujoma," he said softly. "Nujoma?" I took a closer look at the modestly smiling "kid". Indeed, he was much older than I first thought (he was already over 40, but looked youngish). The 1st secretary of our embassy approached us. "Who is he?" "What is it?" he asked with mock severity in Russian, pointing at my companion. "I'm from Southwest Africa," Nujoma said, understanding the question. "So what are you doing here?" Our gallant secretary joked gruffly, switching to English. "Go home and fight for your freedom. "It's Nujoma, the SWAPO leader," I whispered. The diplomat was not at a loss: - Ah, well, then recruit a platoon here, write down the correspondent and me, and let's move together - to fight... - he famously turned out of the situation. Later, while working in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, where several liberation movements had their headquarters, I met Nujoma many times - at diplomatic corps receptions, rallies, and even at our embassy ... Read more

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India Online · 310 days ago 0 207
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India Online
Delhi, India
15.08.2023 (310 days ago)
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