Angola + 1 more

Namibia: US concerned at border tension

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JOHANNESBURG, 14 February (IRIN) - The United States has advised volunteers working in northern Namibia to withdraw because of tension along the Angolan border following the government's decision last month to let Angola use Namibian bases in their drive to flush UNITA rebels from strongholds in southern Angola.
The American embassy told IRIN on Monday it had "strongly urged" its citizens to avoid travel to the "entire northern border of Namibia". The announcement came as 'The Namibian' reported that Peace Corps volunteers at five sites near the border town of Oshikango had been "temporarily" moved south.

"US citizens in the area are urged to depart and US government personnel are being relocated," the embassy said.

"UNITA has staged violent cross-border raids and planted landmines. Foreign tourists have been attacked and killed by men in military uniform on the Trans-Caprivi highway between Rundu and Katima Mulilo," it said referring to a spate of recent incidents. In the most recent incident a week ago, 28 people were killed, when suspected UNITA rebels routed the Angolan border village of Santa Clara.

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e-mail: irin-sa@irin.org.za

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