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Cuito Cuanavale: SADC reiterates commemoration of March 23

Cuito Cuanavale, ANGOLA, March 23 - President-in-Office of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Hage Geinbob said on Saturday that March 23rd reflects the expectations of the people who fought for liberation of the region and reiterated permanent commemoration of the date.,

Speaking at the Southern Africa Liberation Day celebration ceremony on March 23, Hage Geinbob said that "despite existing voices that try to discredit the date", SADC, the body he leads, will continue to celebrate it as the date reflects the wishes of the people of the region.

Also President of Namibia, Hage Geinbob thanked SADC leaders for join decision taken during the summit held in August 2018 in his country to declare March 23 as Southern Africa Liberation Day, on a proposal from Angola.

He said that the decision is intended to assert the history of the sub-region countries and consolidated the unity, by officially commemorating the liberation which results in a shared future.

According to Hage Geinbob, after 31 years, the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale represents a climate of struggle for independence where the armed forces of Angola, Cuba and the People's Liberation Army  of his country defeated the apartheid regime in  South Africa.

He reiterated that the battle is one of the defining moments of stability in the region, in addition to its role to put an end to the other battles.  

"It is the moment that comradeship has overcome the hatred of apartheid and justice avenged its victims of racial aggression," he said.

Namibian president also acknowledged the bravery of the female and male Cuban revolutionary forces, who, along with the FAPLA and the Liberation Army of Namibia, managed to achieved a victory that became the bond for the liberation of the region, opening the door to unity, freedom, justice.

He acknowledged, however, the efforts made by Agostinho Neto, the first President of Angola, who, after the independence of the country, made the famous statement that "in Namibia and South Africa is the continuation of our struggle."

The head of state of Namibia paid tribute to Fidel Castro, the father of the Cuban revolution, who at the time sent Cuban internationalists to help Angola and Namibia gain independence.

In addition to the president João Lourenço, the ceremony also gathered heads of state from DR Congo Félix Tshissekedi, Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa, Republic of Congo Dennis Sassou Nguessou, and the first vice president of Cuba Salvador Valdez.