Botswana genocide victims caucus in Namibia

14 June 2018 | Local News

The Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama Council for Dialogue (ONCD) on the 1904 genocide, which is in support of the government's negotiations for reparations has proposed an agreement to liaise with descendants of the victims living in Botswana.

According to ONCD chairperson Gerson Katjirua the idea behind this agreement is to strengthen and expand relations and cooperation between the two parties on all issues pertaining to the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu, and Nama genocide.

During a press conference Katjirua said their cooperation is influenced by their desire to unite descendants - both in Namibia and the diaspora - and to carry out their activities within the frameworks of their respective governments.

He added that a delegation of traditional leaders and some members of the Technical Committee of the Botswana Society for Nama, Ovaherero and Ovambanderu met with their Namibian counterparts on Monday.

They have also met with the vice-president, Nangolo Mbumba.

“The purpose of our meeting was to impress upon the Namibian government to consider the involvement of representatives of our people in the diaspora in the ongoing bilateral negotiations between the German and Namibian governmentd with the representatives of the descendants of genocide victims,” said Katjirua.



Progress

The genocide negotiations between the two countries formally kicked off during September 2016 when Namibia's special envoy on the reparations negotiations with Germany, Zed Ngavirue, accompanied by his technical team comprising chiefs of affected communities, met with the German negotiators in Berlin.

Namibia's strategy is based on three principles, namely that Germany should take responsibility for the genocide, unconditionally apologise, and pay reparations.

Currently two actions are ongoing: the official government-to-government talks between Namibia and Germany, and a civil suit in New York against Germany by Nama and Ovaherero traditional leaders who accuse the Namibian government of side-lining them.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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