Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970)
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
On 27 October 1966, the General Assembly decided that the Mandate for South West Africa was terminated and that South Africa had no other right to administer the Territory. In 1969 the Security Council called upon South Africa to withdraw its administration from the Territory, and on 30 January 1970 it declared that the continued presence of the South African authorities in Namibia was illegal and that all acts taken by the South African Government on behalf of or concerning Namibia after the termination of the Mandate were illegal and invalid; it further called upon all States to refrain from any dealings with the South African Government that were incompatible with that declaration. On 29 July 1970, the Security Council decided to request of the Court an advisory opinion on the legal consequences for States of the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia. In its Advisory Opinion of 21 June 1971, the Court found that the continued presence of South Africa in Namibia was illegal and that South Africa was under an obligation to withdraw its administration immediately. It found that States Members of the United Nations were under an obligation to recognize the illegality of South Africa’s presence in Namibia and the invalidity of its acts on behalf of or concerning Namibia, and to refrain from any acts implying recognition of the legality of, or lending support or assistance to, such presence and administration. Finally, it stated that it was incumbent upon States which were not Members of the United Nations to give assistance in the action which had been taken by the United Nations with regard to Namibia.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.