Angolan border security accused of harassment

• By Marx Itamalo

NAMIBIANS living along the Namibian-Angolan borders say they have become victims of constant harassment by Angolan security forces and are urging Namibian authorities to protect them.

Confidente has learnt that over the past couple of months incidents of harassment against Namibian nationals from villages along the border in the Ohangwena region have been reported among community members.

The security forces are allegedly involved in incidents of assault, forcefully taking Namibian nationals accused of committing crimes into Angola from Namibia across the border; and confiscating vehicles belonging to Namibians, which are accused of having been parked on the Angolan side or near the edge of the Angola border.

The owners of these vehicles have to pay unspecified amounts of money before their vehicles are released.

The Namibian police allegedly does nothing to protect their own citizens who experience harassments.

“What is happening along the border needs the attention of the authorities in both countries. People are being harassed by the Angolans on a daily basis but no one is doing anything to protect them,” a businessman from Onanghwe village told Confidente this week.

He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation

According to the businessman, who owns a mini-market, Angolan security forces have made it a habit to threaten and solicit bribes from Namibians accused of committing minor acts such as parking a car on the edge of the Angolan side of the border.

Namibia and Angola shares a vast and porous frontier with shebeens and villages straddling both sides, the border has no fence.

In the Ohangwena region, many Namibians and Angolans share family and cultural ties, with Ovakwanyama people living on either side of the border. They cross the border at any point to either country to visit relatives, graze animals, conduct informal business or run any other chores.

According to Confidente sources, these activities were carried out without any hindrance or much trouble from the authorities in the past but lately Angolan security forces have started harassing Namibians.

Ironically, Angolan citizens carry out their activity’s harassment free in Namibia according to sources familiar with the matter.

A source at Oyongo village on the Namibian side of the border told Confidente that on Sunday 09 October 2022, Angolan police entered Namibia in pursuit of three youth accused of stealing goats in that country.

“They found them in a church and forcefully removed them taking them inside Angola in full view of other churchgoers,” she said adding that the police were fully armed.

According to her, members of the Namibian police force stationed at a mobile police station nearby looked on without taking any action.


Angolan security forces have been accused of harassing and demanding bribes from Namibians over the years. According to this source, who is a prominent member of a Pentecostal church along the border, on Friday September 10 this year, another local Namibian had his car confiscated after he was accused of parking inside Angola.

“The man, like many others always park their cars on the ‘no-man’s land’ between the border and they can then enter Angola.

That day the FAPLA-Angolan military- came and accused him of parking in their country and he was taken together with his car to the FAPLA base where he paid a bribe for the car to be released,” the source said.

Protection needed

Local headman, Likius Kamunga, implored Namibian authorities especially the police stationed along the borders of the two countries to protect their citizens against the Angolan security forces.

“We all know how they (Angolan security forces) are feared.

We all know they do not have respect for human rights. They also know that Namibians fear them which is why they can do what they want by threatening our people.

Border harassment is not only happening in Zambezi but also in Ohangwena,” he stressed.