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Namibian leader defends land grab on German visit
Posted: Monday, November 28, 2005

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Monday defended his country's controversial land-expropriation policy at the start of a five-day visit to Germany.

Following a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Pohamba said that 15 years after shaking off South African rule, land reform to redistribute land from white farmers to black landless people is essential.

The previous willing-buyer, willing-seller policy was proceeding too slowly, the Namibian president said.

The government has issued expropriation orders to 18 white commercial farmers and says the land will be given to almost 250 000 landless people.

Both sides said they aim to enhance mutual relations, according to a statement released in Berlin after Pohamba held talks with President Horst Koehler.
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