- 1977 - 1990 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
No. of Boxes: 290
Name of creator
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
S-1040 contains the records of the civilian branch of United Nations Transitions Assistance Group (UNTAG), which consisted of all mission components not directly overseen by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) or the Force Commander. These components included: the Electoral Division, the Civilian Police, the Division of Administration, the regional offices, and district centres. These units, like the rest of UNTAG, were in Namibia to facilitate the registration of voters during the registration period (3 July–23 September) and the election of the Constituent Assembly from 7-11 November 1989. Upon Namibia’s adoption of the constitution drafted by the Constituent Assembly on 21 March 1990, Namibia became a member of the United Nations with treaty responsibilities as a sovereign member of the international community.
The Electoral Division was responsible for advising the SRSG regarding the election and for the supervision and facilitation of the registration and electoral processes in conjunction with the South African Administrator-General. The Electoral Division also assisted the SRSG in negotiations with the Administrator-General on electoral legislation and its implementation. Records of the Director of the Electoral Division and his staff include: reports to the SRSG regarding the election process; reports from the heads of District Centres; voter registration statistics; and reports on the elections. Also present are: drafts of the Namibian constitution; drafts of legal proclamations; and comments on these drafts.
The UNTAG Civilian Police (CIVPOL) were commanded by the Police Commissioner, who, as Police Adviser, also provided advice to the SRSG and his staff on all police-related matters. Commissioner Steven Fanning was appointed Police Commissioner on 23 March 1989, after having previously advised the SRSG during the period of preparation for the mission. The Police Commissioner was responsible for the organization, deployment and operations of CIVPOL and shared responsibility with UNTAG’s Director of Administration for its administration and logistic support. UNTAG Civilian Police ensured that the South West Africa Police (SWAPOL) fulfilled its duty of maintaining law and order in an efficient, professional and non-partisan way. For administrative purposes, the territory was divided into six (later seven) districts (which differed from the districts established by the Electoral Division) that were responsible for oversight of 49 police stations throughout the country. S-1040 contains records of the Police Commissioner as well as those from the district and station levels.
Records of the Civilian Police consist of: reports from the Civilian Police Commissioner to the SRSG; situation reports from Regional Directors to the SRSG; summaries of Station Commanders’ meetings, including those with SWAPOL; situation reports from Station Commanders to District Commanders; reports on political rallies and meetings; reports on CIVPOL monitoring of voter registration and polling stations and the guarding of ballot boxes; patrol reports; and civilian complaints of intimidation, assault and harassment by CIVPOL, the SWAPOL and other parties. The records of UNTAG’s CIVPOL document subjects including: the training, deployment and conduct of its personnel; the administration of CIVPOL; the activities, membership and platforms of the political parties running candidates in the election; incidents of political intimidation and harassment; and investigations of complaints and incidents.
Division of Administration
The Division of Administration was responsible for the administration and logistical coordination of all elements of UNTAG (except for some aspects of the military component, CIVPOL and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), all of which also had administrative resources independent of the Division of Administration). Records of the Division of Administration include: correspondence; documentation of the activities of the office of the Legal Adviser; logistics directives; summaries of meetings; security survey reports; and administrative reports. Subjects documented in correspondence of the Division of Administration include: personnel matters; the daily operations of the civilian components of UNTAG; financial matters; and the movement of personnel and goods.
UNTAG Regional Offices and District Centres
In order to provide the SRSG accurate and current information about local situations throughout the territory, UNTAG established 10 regions and then divided the regions into 32 districts. The two districts located in Angola—one at the country’s capitol in Luanda and one in Lubango—assisted with the return of Namibian refugees and political exiles and UNTAG’s coordination with the Angolan government. The head of each region was located at the Regional Office, while each district head had his or her offices at the District Centre. Records of these offices include: correspondence; daily and weekly situation reports; weekly reports on the political situation in the areas; daily and consolidated registration reports; election returns; and summaries of meetings. Subjects documented by these records include: the UNHCR; UNTAG’s relationship with non-governmental organizations, churches, and schools; the activities of political parties; the status of political prisoners and detainees; and the impact of drought on the territory.