WINDHOEK, Namibia — Tens of thousands of Namibians took to the streets Wednesday in a riot of pomp, color and pageantry to celebrate their nation's independence.
The world's newest nation, which became the 160th member of the United Nations, launched a massive street party to mark the end of colonial domination, first by imperial Germany and since 1915 by neighboring South Africa.
President Sam Nujoma and his Cabinet were installed by U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar.
At the ornate Tintenpalast (Ink Palace) in Windhoek, the elected delegates who drafted Namibia's liberal constitution voted themselves into power as a National Assembly, dominated by Nujoma's South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). Nujoma's keynote speech concentrated on the country's economy, and he again buried SWAPO's Marxist past with a strong call for a mixed economy and private investment.
President Bush lifted U.S. sanctions, which were extended to Namibia when it was under South African control, and established full diplomatic relations.