The protection of the border of 1 450 kilometres until mid 1974 was the joint responsibility of the Republic of South Africa and the Portuguese Security Forces. At border posts information were regularly exchanged during operations. After this the Portuguese were withdrawn from the border posts, and as already mentioned, their places were taken by representatives of the liberation forces, which were often fighting each other. This meant that the protection of the border now became the responsibility of the South African Defence Force.
What made the situation difficult was the fact that the Kuanyama tribe lived on both sides of the border.
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