The History of Caprivi Strip. Namibia

Channel of the Chobe River between Namibia and Botswana.
Caprivi is bordered by the Linyati, Chobe, Cuando and Zambezi rivers. Katima Mulilo is the largest settlement town on the Caprivi.The strip is administrated and divided between the western Okavango Region and the eastern Caprivi.

History

Caprivi was named after Leo von Caprivi a German Chancellor, who negotiated the land with the United Kingdom in the 1890 exchange for Zanzibar. Von Caprivi coiffured for Caprivi to be affixed to German South-West Africa in order to allow Germany access to the mighty Zambezi River, the route to Africa's East Coast, where the German colony Tanganyika was based. This annexation between Germany and the UK was a part of the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty, in which Germany ceased interest in Zanzibar for the possession of the Caprivi Strip and the North Sea island of Heligoland.

The Caprivi Strip played a strategic military importance. 1965-1994 the African National Congress operations against the South African apartheid government. 1970-1979 saw the Rhodesian Bush war and the Angolan Civil War. The Caprivi Strip bared witness to continual military activity and multiple attacks on enemy territory by diverse armed forces using the Strip as an ideal corridor to access other territories.The Caprivi Strip also drew attention as Botswana and Namibia had a longstanding dispute over the strip's southern boundary at the International Court of Justice. The centre of the territorial dispute pertained which irrigation channel of the Chobe River was the thalweg, the bona fide boundary.

The Botswana government considered it an inbuilt part of the Chobe National Park, whereas the Namibian government, and other inhabitants of the Caprivi Strip on the eastern end, retained that not only was the island a part of the old German-British agreement, but that generations of inhabitants had habituated it for seasonal grazing, reed gathering and even as a burial site. In December 1999, the International Court of Justice declared that the main channel, and therefore the international boundary, set to the north of the island, hence making the island part of Botswana.

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