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n Historia - Regiment Mooirivier and South African Transborder Operations into Angola during 1975/76 and 1983/84

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Abstract

<b>Regiment Mooirivier en Suid-Afrikaanse oorgrens-operasies in Angola gedurende 1975/76 en 1983/84.</b> <br>Regiment Mooirivier (RMR) het weens die betrokkenheid van die Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag (SAW) in Angola (sedert 1975) aktief betrokke geraak by oorgrensoperasies. Die SAW en die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisie (SAP) was vir die volle duur van die Grensoorlog aan die noordelike grens van Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië betrokke. Die South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) het hom beywer vir die bevryding van Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië. Gedurende 1962 het SWAPO besluit om die politieke bevrydingstryd te kombineer met militêre optrede teen die Suid-Afrikaanse magte. Vir dié doel is 'n militêre vleuel, die People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), in die lewe geroep. Internasionale gebeure het daartoe bygedra dat die stryd om Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië nie net tot SWAPO en die Suid-Afrikaanse magte beperk was nie. Weens 'n staatsgreep en die ekonomiese en morele eise wat oorsese kolonies meegebring het, het Portugal hom inderhaas in 1974 aan Angola en Mosambiek onttrek en gevolglik die voormalige kolonies in chaos agtergelaat. SWAPO, ondersteun deur die MPLA, het militêre basisse in die suide van Angola gevestig om sodoende Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië meer effektief binne te dring. Dit was dus slegs 'n kwessie van tyd voordat die Suid-Afrikaanse magte met SWAPO en sy MPLA/Kubaanse bondgenote te doene sou kry. Suid-Afrika het egter nie net 'n wag-en-kyk-houding geopenbaar nie, maar wou deur veral die sogenaamde voorsprong-operasies die inisiatief behou. Die algemene doel van Operasie Savannah (1975-1976) en ook Operasie Askari (1983-1984), was om die insypeling van SWAPO vanaf die suide van Angola na Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië te kortwiek. In hierdie artikel word die rol wat Regiment Mooirivier in die genoemde operasies gespeel het, beskryf en geanaliseer met die klem op die wyse waarop die lede van die Regiment self hulle ervaringe onthou.

Because of the involvement of the South African Defence Force (SADF) in Angola since 1975, Regiment Mooirivier (RMR) actively participated in transborder operations. The SADF and the South African Police (SAP) were involved for the full duration of the so-called Border War on the northern border of South West Africa/Namibia. The South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) strove for the liberation of South West Africa/Namibia. During 1962, SWAPO decided to combine the political freedom struggle of South West Africa/Namibia with military actions against the South African forces. To this end a military wing, the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), was created. International events contributed to the fact that the struggle for South West Africa/Namibia was not confined only to SWAPO and the South African forces. Because of a coup d'etat and the economic and moral burden which foreign colonies entailed, Portugal hurriedly withdrew from Angola and Mozambique in 1974 and consequently left the former colonies behind in chaos. SWAPO, assisted by the MPLA, established military bases in the south of Angola in order to be able to invade South West Africa/Namibia more effectively. It was therefore only a matter of time before the South African forces encountered not only SWAPO, but also the MPLA and Cuban forces. South Africa, however, did not take an attitude of wait-and-see, but wanted to retain the initiative mainly by means of the so-called pre-emptive operations. The general aim of Operation Savannah (1975- 1976), like that of Operation Askari (1983-1984), was to effectively curtail the infiltration of SWAPO from the south of Angola to South West Africa/Namibia. In this article the role of Regiment Mooirivier in the mentioned operations will be described and analysed with an emphasis on the experiences as remembered by the members of the Regiment themselves.

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/content/hist/49/1/EJC38139
2004-05-01
2016-12-04
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