Genocide talks must stop

Include us first, say groups

21 October 2016 | Local News

Paramount chief of the OvaHerero Vekuii Rukoro has acknowledged that the Namibian government is willing to rethink and review its approach to the bilateral genocide negotiations with the German government.

Rukoro said after a recent informal engagement with President Hage Geingob he has every reason to believe that the Namibian government at the highest level is willing to make a turnaround on the manner in which the negotiations are currently taking place.

He claimed that more than 90% of the OvaHerero and Nama communities, the communities directly affected by General Luther von Trotha’s extermination order, want to be directly represented by him, as paramount chief of the OvaHerero, and the Nama Technical Committee.

Rukoro said the current composition of the Namibian government’s negotiating team consists, amongst others, two small groups of OvaHerero and Nama who are “collaborating” with the Namibian government and has accepted government’s terms “of not being able to speak for themselves and participating directly” in the negotiations.

“Those are co-opted traditional leaders belonging to traditional royal houses representing clans, family members, and not the broader tribe. Those people, with all due respect if one wants to be charitable, amongst the OvaHerero might have 5% support; among the Nama 2% to 3% maximally,” said Rukoro at a press briefing in Berlin, Germany at the end of last week.

He added: “The traditional leaders who command overwhelming majority support of their people among the OvaHerero and Nama are leaders who have rejected the position that we are excluded by the two governments who should speak on our behalf without our participation. This is unacceptable.”

Esther Muinjangue said the current negotiating structure – from the “handpicked” lowest to cabinet level - put up by the Namibian government does not in any way represent the affected communities, least of all the affected communities in South Africa, Botswana and elsewhere.

“The best thing for both governments is to stop the [negotiating] process and go back to the drawing board and include the representatives from the Nama and OvaHerero,” said Muinjangue.

She pointed out that the genocide negotiations between the German government and the Jews included 23 non-state organisations.

Ida Hoffmann of the Nama Technical Committee, referring to herself as the “founding mother of Nama genocide discussions”, emphasised that the unanimously adopted 2006 motion tabled in Parliament by the late OvaHerero paramount chief Kuaima Riruako stated that there should be a roundtable between the affected communities and the German government with the Namibian government only playing a mediating role.

Riruako’s motion acknowledges genocide perpetrated by German troops and supports claims made by the affected communities for material reparations from the German state.

“We stand on that point; nothing can be changed. If the government has said ‘yes’ on the resolution then it must be ‘yes’,” said Hoffmann.

Nama traditional leader Moses Kooper added that the current Namibian position on the negotiations has “no integrity” to achieve “appropriate reparation measures”.

The Berlin press conference was organised by the Linke Party who has demanded that the German government install a tripartite dialogue between the descendants of the victims of the genocide and the two governments.

“All questions are to be openly negotiated with the participation of the victims’ associations. This explicitly includes the topic of reparations,” said Niema Movassat of the Linke Party.

APOLOGY NOT ENOUGH

Rukoro at the same press briefing emphasised that an apology for the genocide by the German government is not enough, stressing that reparations, not to individuals but to the affected communities, must be done.

The German government has in the past ruled out the possibility of reparation payments, a position which Rukoro said should be rejected by German taxpayers “because it would seriously constitute a phenomenal insult to the intelligence not only of Namibians and descendants of the victim communities but to Africans and humanity in general.”

“Because we happen to be of a different skin colour, Africans, the German government is saying for us it is only an apology and that’s it and then the rest will be what I call chequebook diplomacy through our government, which is a Third World government to be given development assistance to be topped up with a 5% or thereabouts and then we must shut up. Guess what, the Ovaherero and Nama, the victims of genocide will not ever in another 100 years to come accept that. We shall never declare ceasefire with generations of German governments to come. Our war will continue. Our claims will simply progressively escalate,” Rukoro said.

The two groups said reparations must be part of the negotiated restorative justice because genocide has caused generational impoverishment that continues today.

They say because their numbers have been decimated because of the extermination orders they are now being treated as minorities by the Namibian government.

CATHERINE SASMAN

Similar News

 

Weakened and heavily compromised

7 hours ago | Local News

In the first volume of Mein Kampf, published in 1925, Adolf Hitler wrote that trade unions are critical for the success of any political movement,...

Procurement Board and review panel sworn in

7 hours ago | Local News

The Procurement Board was sworn in by Judge President Petrus Damaseb in the High Court yesterday.Also present at the ceremony was finance minister Calle Schlettwein...

Ngoloneya nale e Ii monkalo ombwiinayi

7 hours ago | Local News

Omunamimvo 92 Leonard Nangolo Mukwiilongo, okwa ponokelwa nokumonithwa iihuna koongangala hamano ndhoka dhe mu ponokele pegumbo lye nokupula iipatululo yoshiketha shokupungula iimaliwa.Pahapu dhomonamati ,...

Omunaskola a monika ondjo moshipotha sheponokelo lyahe

7 hours ago | Local News

Ompangu yamangestrata gwaShakati oshiwike shika oya hanganitha omunamimvo 19 omunaskola pamwe nahe omunamimvo 70, konima sho omukokele ngoka a tulilemo omona oshipotha.Ompangu oya ningi...

Feldmann takes the helm at TransNamib

14 hours ago | Local News

The board of directors of TransNamib Holdings Ltd has announced that Michael Feldmann, former executive at operations, will take the lead at the parastatal as...

Libraries face major challenges

1 day - 27 April 2017 | Local News

Only half the country's population has access to libraries and information and communication technology services.This was announced by Elia Manga, the deputy director at the...

Kalekeni iimuna yeni kokule noondjila-Opolisi

1 day - 27 April 2017 | Local News

Opolisi oya kunkilile aaniimuna opo kaya ethele we iimuna yawo yi kale tayi napa popepi noondjila molwaashoka oyo unene tayi etitha iiponga yomoondjila.Omunamimvo 27...

Omapekaapeko gomaiyuvo goshigwana taga tameke kwa lata

1 day - 27 April 2017 | Local News

Ombelewa yOmuprima Minista ano Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) otayi tameke okuninga omapekaapeko nomapulaapulo moshigwana ombinga yomaiyuvo goshigwana ngetashiya kegandjo lyomayakulo okuza...

Omalelo goondoolopa inaga talika

1 day - 27 April 2017 | Local News

Ongundu yoNational Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) oya popi kutya epangelo itali yambidhidha omalelo goondoolopa shagwana.Omupopiliko gwongundu ndjoka, Joseph Kauandenge okwa popi kutya omalelo goondoolopa oga...

Ooskola odho nadhilundulule ethimbo lyetameko lyootundi

1 day - 27 April 2017 | Local News

Oshikondo shElongo osha pumbwa okupitika ooskola opo dhi vule okulundulula omathimbo gadho gokutameka ootundi nokumanitha ootundi, ngoka ogo omaiyuvo gehangano lyoNamibia Employers’ Federation (NEF). ...

Latest News

Suspended sentence for teen who...

7 hours ago | Justice

ILENI NANDJATOAn emotional scene played out at the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court as a father and son reunited in front of a magistrate following a court...

Be responsible, mining industry urged

7 hours ago | Business

B2Gold Namibia's managing director, Mike Dawe, has advised that the government should not become involved in mining.He made the comment at the just-concluded mining expo...

Shaningua claims self-defence

7 hours ago | Justice

The man accused of the murder of a Finnish national in Windhoek last year maintains that after a revving car raced towards him he shot...

Changes at TransNamib

7 hours ago | Transport

Hippy Tjivikua's reign as acting TransNamib CEO effectively ended on Wednesday, a day before he claimed that he was not responsible for the mess the...

Concern over Lotteries Bill

7 hours ago | Government

A lack of detail on what would be done with the proceeds of a state lottery, and concerns about whether it would fan the growing...

Disability Council urges compliance

7 hours ago | Government

The National Disability Council of Namibia (NDCN) has reminded all public and private entities to complete the annual disability monitoring questionnaires before the end of...

We need a valuable workforce

7 hours ago | Opinion

Muammar Gaddafi said in his Green Book “exploitation is caused by need. Need is an intrinsic problem and conflict is initiated by the control of...

Tjeripo, our beloved clergyman

7 hours ago | Opinion

My good friend Tjeripo – a believer in always trying new things, convinced me to accompany him to a local congregation to hear the word...

Elemotho - the lifetime achiever

7 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMA) 2017 will honour Elemotho Gaalelekwe with the esteemed Lifetime Achiever’s Award. The prestigious tribute will be handed over to...

Load More