The German compensation/reparations offer for what it admits as Genocide in colonial-era Namibia has been rejected by Namibian traditional rulers.
The traditional leaders of Namibia’s Herero and Nama people say 1.1 billion Euros to support the descendants of the victims is not enough and they want repatriations too.
Not Just Reparations
Chief Tjipene Keja said; “We do not have land. White people are in possession of the land, and the German citizens that are also here are in possession of land.”
In a “gesture to recognise the immense suffering inflicted on the victims”; Germany will support the “reconstruction and the development” of Namibia via a financial programme of 1.1 billion euros ($1.34 billion); Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Mass said on Friday.
The sum will be paid over 30 years, according to sources close to the negotiations; and must primarily benefit the descendants of the Herero and Nama.
Yet Maas stopped short of referring to reparations, saying the payment did not open the way to any; “legal request for compensation”.
“The acceptance on the part of Germany that a genocide was committed is the first step in the right direction,” Namibian President Hage Geingob’s spokesman Alfredo Hengari told AFP.
“It is the basis for the second step, which is an apology, to be followed by reparations,” he added.
Activist groups in both countries also criticised the lack of direct reparations, with the German-based initiative; “Berlin Postkolonial” saying it was “doomed to fail” and “not worth the paper it is written on”.
“That is pathetic. It is very impossible to give such an amount of money. We the descendants, we want the real reparations, restorations,” said protester Anton Alpheurs Kuhlmann.
“In light of the historical and moral responsibility of Germany; we will ask forgiveness from Namibia and the victims’ descendants” for the “atrocities” committed, Maas said.