Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Gorbachev acknowledged for key role in Namibia’s independence

INSTITUTE for Public Policy Research, executive director and political analysis Graham Hopwood said that Mikhail Gorbachev died yesterday at the young age of 91. His geopolitical changes were instrumental in Namibia’s independence.

Gorbachev was the last Soviet leader to bring the Cold War to an end.

He was elected to power in 1985 and opened the Soviet Union up for the world. He was unable stop the slow fall of the Soviet Union from which the modern Russia emerged.

“He wanted to open up the Soviet Union through glasnost and perestroika rather than bring an end to it, and it happened,” Hopwood says.

“Many eastern European countries that are now independent, working democracies, will forever be grateful for Gorbachev’s role in removing Soviet domination and allowing democracy to develop.

“However, the changes have also led to instability in countries like Ukraine, and to the ‘strongman’ politics we now see in Russia and Belarus,” Hopwood says.

He believes that Namibian independence was facilitated by Gorbachev’s geopolitical changes. However, there were other crucial factors like South Africa being in conflict with southern Angola militarily, the diplomatic efforts of Swapo and increased internal resistance in Namibia.

“The timing and the fact that things moved quite quickly in the period from 1988 to 1990 had a lot to do with the changes in the Soviet Union under Gorbachev,” he says.

Jerobeam Shaanika, acting head of multilateral relations and cooperation in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, says it is impossible to underestimate the importance of Gorbachev’s role in ending the Cold War. There are also evidence that he took steps that support this claim.

“He was the last leader of the Soviet Union, from 1985 to 1991. In fact, this was a short period to carve out a foreign policy image, but he played a significant role in ending the Cold war,” he says.

Shaanika claims that Gorbachev was a key figure in ending the Cold War when Namibia gained independence. This helped to reduce tensions around the world.

“You cannot put Gorbachev in the same category as Fidel Castro or Leonid Brezhnev. This is a fact, but I couldn’t pinpoint any particular personal role played.

“Gorbachev is also not Leonides, but he was part and parcel of the system that supported the liberation struggle in Namibia and in southern Africa, as well as in Africa and worldwide,” he says.

Shaanika claims that Gorbachev was a member the Politburo the Communist Party in 1979. This Politburo was very important in the foreign policy of Russia as well as Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

“In 1987, to be precise, on 8 December, Gorbachev and Reagan, who was the president of the United States, signed the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty.

“The treaty required that the Soviet Union eliminate its nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5 500 kilometres,” he says.

Nahas Angula, former prime minister, says many people were disappointed by the disintegration of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Gorbachev is the reason for the war between Russia, Ukraine.

“The ongoing war between the two sisterly countries is the result of Gorbachev’s policies. That is what I can say,” he says.

Source: namibian

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of

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