Namibia asks Germany to renegotiate ‘flawed’ genocide payment deal


Namibia has called on Germany to go back to the negotiating table to discuss again and review the genocide agreement reached in May 2021 between the two governments.


“Technical committees of Namibia and Germany discussed the issue and proposed that amendments be made to the joint declaration in the form of an addendum which was submitted to the German government,” Namibia’s Vice President Mbumba told a meeting of traditional leaders in the capital Windhoek, earlier this week. No details of the proposed changes were given, as Namibia now awaits a response from Germany.


Tens of thousands of Namibians, mainly members of the Herero and Nama ethnic groups, were killed by German settlers during the 1904-1908 period in what historians call the first genocide of the 20th century.


Berlin acknowledged in May 2021 that it had committed “genocide” in the southern African territory which it colonized between 1884 and 1915. After over five years of negotiations, Germany offered about a billion dollar in development aid spread over 30 years to benefit descendants of the affected ethnic groups. But the agreement stresses the funds would be paid on a “voluntary basis” and that the agreement was not comparable to “reparations”.


The request to review the deal was made in July following discussions in the Namibian National Assembly after the government came under mounting criticism from the opposition. Many Namibians rejected the agreement, arguing that the descendants of the Herero and Nama had not been sufficiently involved in the talks.

 

(c) North Africa Post 2022

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