Genocide negotiations 'too slow'

The president of the German Bundesrat says the negotiations on genocide reparations should be sped up, but the Namibian vice-president disagrees.

16 July 2019 | International

In Germany there is no doubt about the suffering that imperial Germany caused Namibians, says Daniel Günther, the president of the Bundesrat of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Günther told President Hage Geingob yesterday that negotiations about reparations should be accelerated.

“When it comes to what is now called a genocide, we are also interested in finding a quick resolution for the negotiating, and I know it is has been going for a long time. And especially for your country, for you it is very important that the process speeds up and is concluded in good time,” he said.

However, Vice-president Nangolo Mbumba said the negotiations should not be rushed because there are matters that need to be carefully sorted out.

He added that it was important to properly and carefully ensure the law is correctly interpreted.

“A lot of research was done to make sure we know what we are talking about. Progress is being made, slow as it might have been.

“The elephant in the room is reparations – that of making right which was done wrong.

“The next negotiation session will deal with those exact matters.

“On our side they are preparing the full briefing to the highest authority,” Mbumba said

He added that a political declaration was in the final stages.

He added that the past injustices and subsequent inequalities are highlighted by the citizens of Namibia.

“We also want a clear separation between development assistance as it has been going and the major items we are going to address when doing right in terms of land, water, infrastructure, education or the children of those who survived those injustices,” said Mbumba.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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