Heroes’ Day in Namibia is observed on 26 August every year.
The day commemorates the Namibian War of Independence. It recognised by the United Nations as “Namibia Day”.
Formerly a German colony, Namibia was governed by the white-led South African government from the 1920s.
From the start of the 1960s, there had been growing external and internal pressure for South Africa to give up control of the region, which it called South West Africa.
In 1966, the United Nations General Assembly revoked South Africa’s mandate to govern the South West African territory and placed it under direct UN administration.
South Africa refused to recognise this resolution and pressure exploded into warfare on 26 August 1966, at Omugulugwombashe, when liberation fighters first engaged with South African government forces.
This signalled the start of the South African Border War, also known as the Namibian War of Independence.
Over 11,000 Namibians lost their lives in the war for independence. The conflict lasted for over 23 years until March 1990, when South West Africa received formal independence as the Republic of Namibia.
National celebrations take place annually at different places, usually in the north of Namibia near past battle zones. Hundreds of people annually gather to watch leaders officially commemorate veterans of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN).