May 4 – Cassinga Day in Namibia

Posted on May 4, 2019

Do humans love tragedy so much that violent storms and earthquakes aren't enough - that they go out of their way to cause needless tragedies?

Today the African nation of Namibia commemorates hundreds of victims of an attack by South Africa on Namibians in the town of Cassinga.

But...the town of Cassinga is located in the nation to the north of Namibia, in Angola!

During the time of the 1978 attack, Namibia was in a war of independence with South Africa, and it was using Cassinga as a training site and refugee camp.

Namibia didn't gain full independence until 1990, and it didn't gain control of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands until 1994!

I always think of Namibia in terms of the gorgeous Namib and Kalahari Deserts...

...and the place where desert meets ocean...

...but let's check out the Penguin Islands:

They are tiny and uninhabited, and they are scattered far and wide along the coastline. Some teeny "islands" are actually just rocks!

This old map was made back when Namibia was
German SouthWest Africa, before it became
territory of the United Kingdom and was administered
by South Africa.

BUT the Penguin Islands are more valuable than one would imagine, since they are rich in guano deposits (bird poop, used in fertilizers) and have even been a source of diamonds!

The islands' name comes from the fact that African penguins lives there.

In fact, lots of seabirds take sanctuary on the tiny islands. (No duh: guano!) One island, Mercury Island, is important in the life cycle of 80% of the world's black cormorants!

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