Angola demands condition for a withdrawal of Cuban troopsFights aggravated, large groups of PLAN entered the country. South Africa increased its counter efforts. PLAN had to bear great losses. Still, south African troops suffered a severe defeat near Cuito Cuanavale in Angola.
Angola demanded in 1988 that as a condition for a withdrawal of Cuban troops, the independence of Namibia was to be made real. South Africa hesitated at first but South Africans were tired of war and so they agreed to negotiate with Angola and Cuba and the USA as a mediator. The Soviet Union, who supported SWAPO, acted as background mediator.
After many negotiations, the parties resolved that the United Nations’ resolution No. 435 should become effective on November 1st 1988. Angola, Cuba and South Africa signed a ceasefire, South Africa withdrew its troops from Angola. One week after the elections in November 1989, the withdrawal of the South African army from Namibia was completed. A UN-appointed military commission (UNTAG) supervised the withdrawal.
Thanks to an amnesty, 42 000 exiles and refugees could come back to Namibia in June 1989, among them Sam Nujoma.
In the elections of 1989, which proceeded calmly, SWAPO got an absolute majority. Sam Nujoma was nominated for President. Late in 1989, the elected parties introduced a blueprint for a constitution. In January 1990, March 21st of the same year was pronounced Independence Day, Sam Nujoma was elected first President of Namibia. A democratic constitution was passed in February 1990.
On midnight of March 20th 1990, Namibia became independent Thousands of Namibians watched Sam Nujoma solemnly swear the oath of office to UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar in the stadium of Windhoek.
In order to achieve also economic independence from South Africa, Namibia introduced its own currency, the Namibian Dollar, in 1993. It was linked to the Rand for a transitory period.
In 1994, South Africa gave Namibia back its enclave Walvis Bay. This gave Namibia access to its own economically important sea harbour. The second elections in Namibia were held in 1994, as well. SWAPO kept their absolute majority and Sam Nujoma was confirmed as President.