Genocide lawsuit filed in New York

Affected victims want restorative justice

09 January 2017 | Local News

Leaders of the OvaHerero and Nama traditional authorities filed a lawsuit against Germany in the United States last week, demanding their direct inclusion in ongoing joint negotiations for genocide compensation and reparations instead of the two governments leading the talks.

The complainants filed the federal class action lawsuit at a Manhattan Federal Court in New York on Thursday demanding that the lawful representatives of the OvaHerero and Nama people are given a central role in negotiations “in order to assure that their minority, indigenous and human rights are properly protected.”

The complainants further ask that the court grant the request in order to ensure that the “claims against Germany relating to the 1904-1908 Genocide not be compromised or settled without their participation or permission.”

OvaHerero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro and Chief David Frederick, Chairman of the Nama Traditional Authorities Association are listed as the primary complainants, against the Federal Republic of Germany.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Nama and OvaHerero people of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, the United States and elsewhere, a statement issued last week noted.

The lawsuit was made necessary as a result of “having repeatedly petitioned the German government to include them in the ongoing discussions, without success,” the statement explained.

The complainants sued under the Alien Tort Statue, a 1789 United States law that is often invoked in human rights cases and lawyers representing the complainants at McCallion & Associates, LLP, said the particular law leaves the door open for US courts to assert jurisdiction in genocide cases.

The suit chiefly asks that the court demand and restrain Germany from continuing to exclude the complainants from participation in discussions and negotiations regarding the Herero and Nama genocide.

Filed court papers show that the lawsuit is centred on the actions of Germans in Namibia between 1885 and 1908, during which the complainants say more than 100 000 died as a result of German policies and actions, and led to the colonial authorities seizing over 130 000 square kilometres of land without consent.

“The OvaHerero and Nama indigenous people were robbed, during the German colonial occupation period, of virtually all of the rich grazing lands that provided the economic basis for their communities and cultural heritage.”

As a result, the groups were “condemned for generations to perpetual and institutionalised poverty”, a statement issued by the legal representatives from McCallion & Associates, LLP, stated.

Uprisings against German colonial policies and authority eventually led to thousands more casualties, based on the sanctioning of policies aimed at annihilating the OvaHerero and Nama, including the creation of numerous concentration camps and forced labour around the country, the court summary states.

Nevertheless, after “decades of denying that the near destruction and eradication” of the two groups took place, Germany has “refused to include representatives of the OvaHerero and Nama peoples” in the joint-negotiations which began last year.

In July 2016, the Namibian Sun reported that OvaHerero and Nama leaders said government's role in the reparation talks should be restricted to mediator, but that the affected communities should have direct representation during the talks.

In the court documents, the complainants argue that a resolution to the negotiations cannot take place effectively if the relevant people affected by the events are excluded.

Reports published last month in an international newspaper noted that Germany was negotiating according to strict guidelines and that personal reparations would not be considered. Instead, German negotiations had reportedly proposed various funding projects, a proposal that has been slammed by representatives in the OvaHerero and Nama groups who questioned whether such aid would reach the relevant people.

Last week, Namibia's special envoy on German reparations, Zed Ngavirue, told Namibian Sun that he was not aware of such guidelines and that a final agreement would depend on both Namibia and Germany agreeing to the terms of the final agreement.



JANA-MARI SMTIH

Similar News

 

Mwoombola a zi mokalungu

19 hours ago | Local News

Amushanga nale gwUuministeli wUundjolowele okwa undile Ominista Bernhard Haufiku kutya otayi gama ombinga nomahangano gamwe po opo gapewe ootendela kuuministeli, itaku alndulwa omilandu. Andreas...

Osasiyona yoonkondo dholusheno tayi tungwa mOlindili

19 hours ago | Local News

Omahangano lyoUnited Africa Group, Quantam Power oshowo NamPower oshiwike sha piti oga shaina etsokumwe lyuule woomvula 25, ndyoka tali ka utha etungo lyopoloyeka yoonkondo...

Mwoombola a zi mokalungu

19 hours ago | Local News

OMUTOOLINKUNDANA GWOMENIAmushanga nale gwUuministeli wUundjolowele okwa undile Ominista Bernhard Haufiku kutya otayi gama ombinga nomahangano gamwe po opo gapewe ootendela kuuministeli, itaku alndulwa omilandu.Andreas...

NSFAF ta shunwa mepangelo

3 days ago - 15 December 2017 | Local News

Epangelo otali ningi oompangela opo oshiketha shoNamibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) shi shunwe mUuministeli wElongo lyOpombanda. Uuyelele mboka owa hololwa pethimbo lyoshipopiwa sha ningwa...

Geingob a popile Noa

3 days ago - 15 December 2017 | Local News

Geingob okwa popi kutya omuleli gwokomisi ndjoka okwa taalela omanyano molwaashoka oshigwana natango inashi mona omunenentu ta pewa egeelo omolwa uuingilingi.“ACC ota kondemwa ethimbo alihe...

Geingob ina hala okupopya ongeshefa ye

3 days ago - 15 December 2017 | Local News

Omupresidende Hage Geingo okwa lombwele aatoolinkundana kutya itaka yamukula omapulo ge na sha nonkalamwenyo ye yopaumwene kombinga yongeshefa ye, na ina hala woo okuholola kutya...

Mulunga aniwa ina halika

4 days ago - 14 December 2017 | Local News

Elelo lyehangano lyoNational Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) olya hulitha po ookondalaka dhiilonga dhaaniilonga itaya kalele omugoyi, onga oshizemo shomananathano ngoka geli pokati kelelo lyehangano...

Okabinete taka ka tokola koshipangelo shomonooli

4 days ago - 14 December 2017 | Local News

Okabinete koshilongo otaka ka kala newi lya hugunina kombinga yoompangela dhokutunga oshipangelo oshinene monooli yoshilongo. Uuministeli wuundjolowele owa koleke kutya otawu longo waahena oluthuwo opo...

Nantu loses appeal against illegal strike

5 days ago - 13 December 2017 | Local News

The long-standing dispute between employees of the Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (Kayec) Trust, which has been going on for close to a year, was resolved...

Stand up for your rights

5 days ago - 13 December 2017 | Local News

Namibians need to fight against the shackles of gender-based violence (GBV) and child abuse by raising their voices and becoming better listeners who believe the...

Latest News

Namcor suspends Mulunga – report...

6 hours ago | Energy

Namcor has suspended its managing director Imms Mulunga as well as IT executive Bonny Konjore, the state-owned New Era reported this afternoon. The suspension, which...

Military spending remains high

19 hours ago | Government

ELLANIE SMIT Military spending in Namibia has more than doubled in the past decade - from about N$2.8 billion...

Youngest governor humbled by appointment

19 hours ago | Government

At the age of 29, Outjo mayor Marius Sheya has been appointed regional governor of Kunene, making him the youngest person to hold the position...

Players on edge as Warriors...

19 hours ago | Sports

The national football team qualified for the championship for the first time in years after beating Comoros 2-1 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek...

TUN wants NSFAF top brass...

19 hours ago | Education

The Teachers Union of Namibia has welcomed the government's decision to reintegrate the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) into the higher education ministry. ...

Farmers pushed to the brink

19 hours ago | Agriculture

Crop farmers at the Olushandja Dam in the Omusati Region have been forced to shut down their operations, with the majority struggling to repay their...

Easy Christmas shopping at Maerua...

19 hours ago | Business

Maerua Mall has got you covered this summer, with its great mix of retail outlets to suit every taste and pocket, fun and exciting holiday...

Debmarine encourages road safety

19 hours ago | Accidents

Debmarine Namibia embarked upon a long road safety awareness campaign to promote and inculcate road safety consciousness in the country, primarily among its employees, but...

Rugby World Cup qualification fixtures...

19 hours ago | Sports

Namibia will play its first match towards qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup against Uganda on 16 June 2018. The match set for...

Load More