Genocide: Germany to respond soon

26 June 2017 | Local News

Germany's ambassador to Namibia said the country will publicly and in writing respond to Namibia's written and detailed position on the genocide reparation talks plus its demands for an apology in “due course” as agreed to by both countries' chief negotiators last year.

This pledge was made last week by German ambassador to Namibia, Christian Schlaga, in response to a Nampa report on Germany's long-anticipated response to Namibia's genocide case laid out during meetings last year.

In the article, Namibia's special envoy on the genocide, Zed Ngavirue, said the Namibian government was still waiting for an official response from Germany following his submission of a “substantive document setting out the basis of the case on the genocide and demand for apology and reparations” which was submitted in 2016.

Schlaga, in a statement sent to Namibian Sun, said Ngavirue presented a document to Ruprecht Polenz, Germany's chief representative on the genocide negotiations, in July 2016.

The document described the position of the Namibian government on the “German – Namibian negotiations covering the events during the years 1904 – 1907 of German colonial era and the conclusions to be drawn.”

Schlaga said the document formed the basis for extensive deliberations by both special envoys during their respective meetings in early September in Berlin as well as the end of November 2016 in Windhoek.

He said Polenz, during those meetings, responded “by explaining in detail and great clarity the German assessment of the Namibian paper.”

He said subsequently, during those meetings, “both envoys agreed that Germany shall transmit this assessment also in writing to the Namibian Special Envoy. This shall happen in due course.”

Nampa's article last week said Namibia's case is based on three pillars, namely “acknowledgement of genocide, apology and reparation.”

He said the document that was submitted to the German representatives contained “facts based on research mostly conducted by researchers of German origin, and constitute documentary proof to validate such research.”

Ngavirue said to date Germany has not contested the facts “that we put in that document so far” and said Namibia expects the country to “come out and give us an idea of how much will be the quantum that will meet the needs of reconstruction of our society.”

More than 1000 000 Herero and Nama people were exterminated by German troops in what is regarded as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Large swathes of land were also stolen and many suffered displacement.

-Additional reporting Nampa



JANA-MARI SMITH