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The massacre forgotten in the court of the hague
José Ribeiro |
4 May, 2016

The Cassinga Massacre of the apartheid regime called it “Operation Reindeer”. “Reindeer” Means Reindeer, frequent mammal in South America, known for caribou.
The attack was perpetrated by the South African army against a refugee camp namibians on the 4th of may 1978, 38 years ago today.
In the book “Eagle strike”, The Colonel South African Jan Breytenbach, the same of the battalion 32 “Buffalo”, Responsible for other crimes in Africa, it collects the data of those who have been involved in the massacre, an act as serious as the srebrenica genocide, but which the international court of Hague never gave the slightest importance.
The Commander of the massacre, the Colonel Jan Breytenbach, wrote a book, in which he says the cassinga massacre was for you “a day of glory and of shame” and don’t hide your sympathies with the nazism of Hitler.
Breytenbach gave the book the title ” Eagle strike ” (blow) because of the eagle, comments to the newspaper of Angola Angola, a military analyst of defence matters, the look of the eagle is ” haughty and penetrating ” and she ” only depends on you to get Data in three dimensions that allow you to prepare for hunting with total efficiency “.
By analogy, the apartheid in the rsa had a “secret comint”, Installed in Malawi, in rhodesia and comoros that “brought to light the importance that cassinga had to the namibians”.
Other features of the eagle ” is the strength, the boldness, the courage ” and ” attacks normally live animals, likes fresh meat, hunting during the day and can stay hours flying due to its great resistance “. The attack of the apartheid regime, the cassinga, adds the military, also “looks like the work of an eagle, because there was a lot of people, especially young people” fleeing the South-West Africa (Namibia) today and did not know the capacity of the sadf to fly 500 Miles in the mainland of Angola, carrying 356 paratroopers militiamen ready for the kill.
” it has been so that the author called his work as ‘Eagle strike'”, Says the angolan military.
Why cassinga
Cassinga was an area where the refugees were like those who escaped the racist apartheid regime in South-West Africa.
The ” Operation Reindeer ” was an imitation of ” Operation Silver Fox ” (” Silver Fox “, In German), Joint Military Action Finnish-German during the second world war, with the aim of taking the important Soviet Port of murmansk, with attacks from the territories of Finland and Norway.
The Massacre of cassinga began on the morning of the 4th of may 1978. was the second major military operation in South Africa in Angola, after the “Operation Savanna”, Intervention of the sadf to prevent the independence of Angola between 1975-76 and who became responsible for the start of the war in Angola that only ended on 4 April 2002, with the death of Jonas Savimbi. The massacre has been through two separate attacks: the refugee camp of cassinga and delegation of swapo in chetequera, 250 miles and 15 miles south of the border, respectively.
The South African operation consisted in the first place, in an attack by the 2. th Infantry Regiment, South African delegations of swapo in chetequera and dombondola, near the border between Namibia and Angola. Secondly, an attack by the 32. th Battalion to the headquarters of the swapo in omepepa-Namuidi-Henhombe, 20 miles east of chetequera.
Finally, the great massacre was carried out by paratroopers of the sadf cassinga, a refugee camp and regional headquarters of Swapo, situated 260 kilometres in the interior of Angola.
The attacks lasted six days and just finished the 10 May 1978.
With the independence of Mozambique and Angola, the apartheid regime felt in danger. The Then Prime Minister of South Africa, John Vorster, gave orders, in December 1977, for tougher actions against the swapo and preventive attacks in Angola. All the external operational plans would have to have the approval of vorster.
The first namibian refugees started coming to cassinga in April 1976. at the time, with the freedom conquered by angolans, the namibians who were in the South-West of Zambia since the beginning of the 1970 s, felt safer in the south Of Angola.
Three companies from the 32. th Battalion of Colonel Jan breytenbach – considered by many as the best tactical unit of Africa since the days of scipio, “the African”, And its roman legions during the punic wars – have advanced to the first target, with the 1. th company to protect the troops of artillery, while the 5. th company was kept in reserve. The moments following the massacre (” Operation Reindeer “, To Apartheid), Are described in the book “Eagle strike”: ” on the line for attacking the first target, it was requested artillery fire to soften the target. During the 8th of may, the helicopters of the saaf were added to the plan of attack and the soldiers of the 32. th battalion airborne were of a target to the other, having attacked, that day, five bases of swapo. On The 9th of may, the operation was resumed without air support, taking the foundations been attacked throughout the day. The 10th of may was followed by new attacks against the foundations that were being abandoned by the forces of Swapo, resulting in some units of the 32. th Battalion had to go back to the board of the border. Although the operation had officially ended on the 10th of may, the last base was attacked in the early morning of 11 may, with all the forces of the sadf to return to the border around 10 scrub of the day 11 May.
The Mass Graves
” when the news about the first attacks have been reported in the South African Television, the movie made by the sadf on cassinga were interspersed with images of chetequera. The movie about chetequera was useful for the sadf, because in chetequera there really was a military force of swapo. The idea that cassinga was a military camp almost passed, it wasn’t for the work done by a team of the united nations which visited the site of the massacre, at the request of the government of Angola and the swapo. It was the un who took the first images of the huge mass grave where people lay the bodies of over 400 men, women and children “, Describes the angolan military dedicated to issues of defense.
The Journalist Jane Bergerol, the newspaper “the guardian”, It was of the first people who were at the scene and photographed the ditch. Jane has followed the entire phase of the war of destabilisation of South Africa against the states of the front line and the anti-Apartheid struggle led by the ANC. When he saw the reality in cassinga, horrified, said: ” the first thing I saw were dresses and colourful shirts, pants ‘ jeans and sweaters and very few uniforms. There were signs that these clothes they were wearing the people that were there dead. Swollen and stained with blood, these bodies belonged to girls and young boys, some grown men and some teenagers, all seemingly close of Namibia “.
In the picture to illustrate the work of Jane Bergerol that was published in ” the guardian ” of London of 10 may 1978, the caption is: ” mass grave containing more than 400 bodies of namibians massacred by South African troops. Photo taken four days after the attack “.
The attack of the racist army of South Africa on the morning of 4 May 1978 in cassinga ” resulted not only in a carnage and mass destruction, in time and space, but seeped into the collective memory of the people of Angola and Namibia of the need to continue to fight to the overthrow of apartheid “, Comments on the angolan military analyst.
After 38 years of the heinous crime against humanity which was the massacre of cassinga, Namibia is independent, South Africa has abolished the apartheid regime of apartheid and the countries of Southern Africa build with sadc a partnership for development. But the question that arises is why this massacre committed by Generals South Africans who are alive, and that even today boast that attack on human rights, which dismembered families whose survivors are in these days crying your loved ones Dear, are not judged by the international court in the Hague. For The International Criminal Court (ICC) should be taken every criminal South Africans who participated in the massacre of cassinga.
The Colonel Frans boats, one of the fellow of jan breytenbach which contributed to the publication of the book “Eagle strike”, Besides not be held responsible for the crime, you still have the courage to write the following words: ” back in the 4th of may 1978 we made history, jumping for operations in the biggest launch of paratroopers since world War II. I also believe that it was the most successful, if not the only one, launch completely successful in history. Jan Breytenbach proved to be exactly the right man to accomplish something like this “.