On Friday, as the Great Namib Desert exploded into a furious volley of smoke, dust and fire, sending spasms of trembles for kilometres around this vast expanse, hope sprung eternal for the Southern African regional cooperation.
For once, a South African security cluster was back in town - not with the swagger of warmongers, but with the humility to help its western neighbour to heal the scars of a 22-year-old bloody war.
A regional power since its switch to democracy just over 13 years ago, South Africa has since 2005 sent its specialised police force and spent a small fortune on neighbouring countries to help rid them of debris of war - deadly arms caches that still litter the landscape.
On Friday, Operation Mandume, a collaborative effort by South Africa, Namibia and Angola, incinerated vast quantities of arms, including AK-47 assault rifles, mortar bombs, rocket launchers and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
To watch these instruments of death being turned into harmless powder was an awesome experience.
From more than 200metres away, journalists, politicians and police from the three countries shielded themselves behind fortified structures for the mother of all explosions, which lasted no more than two seconds.
So intense was the explosion, the desert shifted under our feet. So powerful was the heat, it turned metal into powder. And so loud was the big bang, had anyone, man or animal, wandered within a hundred metres closer to the explosion site, the sheer sound of the blast would have caused the heart to explode right in its rib cage.
Mandume, named after an ancient Ovambo chief, was clearly a South African competence. The SAPS provided everything from the explosives to vehicles, and even the helicopter which scanned the desert for any form of life - humans and animals - before the explosives were detonated.
Mandume was a repeat of a similar operation in Mozambique in 2005, where thousands of weapons where blown sky-high.
Days before the Namibian excursion, the SAPS had helped the Angolans destroy their own arms cache, remnants of a war between colonialists Portugal and later American and apartheid South African-backed Unita against the MPLA.
The Namibian war of independence, waged by the Marxist South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) lasted from 1966 to 1988 and claimed more than 20000 casualties, about 11000 of them members of the South African Defence Force.
In 1947, as a reward for joining the allied forces against Nazi Germany during the Second World War, South Africa was rewarded with the administration of the then South West Africa by the League of Nations, forerunner to the United Nations.
In 1966, the UN terminated the mandate and called on South Africa to quit the territory, but the apartheid government refused to hand over the country.
It took 24 years of insurrection and warfare for Namibia to gain its independence, with an estimated death toll of between 20000 and 25000.
Namibia is made up of the Namib Desert which dominates the terrain of the country, with a belt of savannah or dry scrub land, followed by the Kalahari Desert.
Although being a barren desert, Namibia is rich in mineral wealth, including diamonds and strategically important minerals such as uranium, vanadium, lithium and tungsten.
It was these mineral deposits that encouraged South Africa to try and hold on to Namibia throughout the many years of insurrection, as well as the idea that by holding onto Namibia, the guerrilla warfare in Angola was kept further away from South Africa.
Now, with President Thabo Mbeki's pet project, the African Renaissance, on full speed, Pretoria is doing its best to salve the wounds of a war that the previous regime started.