Southern Times Writer
Windhoek – Namibia marked 100 years since the end of the Ovaherero and Nama genocide this week, with traditional chiefs calling on legislators to tackle outstanding issues pertaining to reparations, ancestral land rights and an adequate apology from Germany.
Germany recently agreed to finally accept that the murder of tens of thousands of Namibians starting from the turn of the 20th century was a genocide, said it would make a formal public apology for its crimes, and pledged to extend developmental assistance to the tune of US$1.3 billion to Namibia over the course of the next 30 years.
Not everyone is happy with Germany’s concessions though, saying they are too little too late. But Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said extracting even these concessions had been tall order since formal bilateral engagements started in 2016.
Traditional chiefs this week called for an official commemoration of Genocide Day.
“It is very clear to us that the agreement negotiated is highly skewed and extremely favours the Germany Government rather than the victims and descendants of the 1904 genocide. We, therefore, urge the debating thoroughly of this issue in our parliament who must refer back this issue to that technical committee,” a statement from Ovaherero leaders said.
Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba has previously said no payment could soothe the pain of the genocide.
“No amount of money is ever enough to compensate the loss of life. However, we must understand that the two governments went through long negotiations. We have also formally asked the German government to relook the offer and as we go ahead this is an ongoing process,” he said.
He also said the two governments had agreed on implementation of a reconciliation programme to bridge the gap between the two countries.