Interview with Legwaila Joseph Legwaila by Jean Krasno
After working as a school teacher in Botswana, Legwaila Joseph Legwaila (Botswana, 1937 – ) started his diplomatic career by working in the Botswana presidency. In 1980, he was appointed as Botswana's Ambassador to the United Nations. Thereafter, he was the Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly for three sessions, 1981, 1987 and 1991. Mr. Legwaila was Botswana's representative in the Security Council and presided in February 1995 and March 1996 as President. From 1981 to 2001, he served as Ambassador to Cuba and was Consul General in Jamaica from 1982 to 2001. From 1989 to 1990, Mr. Legwaila served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Namibia. Additionally, he worked as Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) for South Africa and as Special Envoy of the Chairman of the Frontline States to Lesotho. Prior to his appointment as Special Adviser on Africa in May 2006, Mr. Legwaila served as the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).
Namibia's path to independence has been considered by some as a successful one, although it was not an easy road. In 1989, Mr. Legwaila was appointed by Secretary-General Pérez de Cuéllar to be the Deputy Special Representative in Namibia, in an effort to have a representative from the area and who was familiar with the internal politics of the country. In these interviews, conducted on 10 February 1999 and 11 May 1999, Mr. Legwaila shares his experiences as Deputy Special Representative, delving into the history behind Namibia's independence, his appointment and the tense climate surrounding the elections.
UN Transition Assistance Group - UN. Security Council (33rd year : 1978) - UN. Special Representative for Namibia - SWAPO - SWAPOL - UN. Security Council - African National Congress of South Africa - UNCIVPOL - OAU - Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (South Africa) - UNICEF - UNDP - UNHCR - ELECTIONS - ELECTION VERIFICATION - PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS - NAMIBIA QUESTION - ORAL HISTORY - INDEPENDENCE - TASK FORCES - FRONT-LINE STATES - POLITICAL PARTIES - INTIMIDATION - MILITARY PERSONNEL - NEGOTIATION - NATIONAL LIBERATION MOVEMENTS - Pérez de Cuéllar, Javier - Nujoma, Sam - Ahtisaari, Martti - Pienaar, Louis
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