Genocide talks resume

This week''s negotiating team will include representatives assigned by the descendants of the victims of the 1904 to 1908 genocide.

21 November 2016 | International

Over the next four days Namibia and Germany will resume negotiations in Windhoek around the crimes committed by the German colonial forces against Namibian people during the 1904-1908 genocide.

These talks will mark the fifth round of bilateral negotiations between the two governments to address the genocide, apology and reparations.

A next round of negotiations will be held in Berlin on a date yet to be announced.

The talks will be spearheaded by Namibia''s special envoy Zed Ngavirue, who will lead the Namibian delegation, and his German counterpart, Rupert Polenz.

Foreign affairs permanent secretary Selma Ashipala-Musavyi said in a media statement that the negotiations will be “built on the foundations gradually cemented during previous rounds on the delicate issue of the genocide committed against OvaHerero and Nama people by the German imperial troops during 1904 to 1908.”

Shortly after an agreement on negotiations was reached in November 2015, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah told Namibian Sun that the National Heritage Council of Namibia had suggested that Owambo, Damara and San people were also thought to have been victims of the German-sanctioned genocide.

This week Ngavirue''s negotiating team will include representatives assigned by the descendants of the “direct victims of the 1904 to 1908 genocide, as well as senior government officials, professionals and specialists in the relevant areas of expertise,” Ashipala-Musavyi stated.

The negotiations will be based on the progress made during previous talks “which, as done previously, was achieved around the table rather than through the media,” she added.

The two envoys will visit Swakopmund and Otjunda in the Otjozondjupa Region.

In April, German ambassador to Namibia Christian Schlaga told the media that the talks would be conducted in a manner that is beneficial to both countries.

He said that the two governments were basing the negotiations on a mutually agreed framework endorsed by both parties.

Schlaga underlined that an official apology to the Namibian people would form part of the negotiations.


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