'Genocide' the focus of talks

04 January 2018 | International

Namibia and Germany are expected to finally agree this month the detail of form of reparations the former colonial government is willing to pay for the 1904-08 Nama and OvaHerero genocide.

Namibia's special envoy on the reparations negotiations with Germany, Zed Ngavirue, confirmed that the next round of discussions would take place in Windhoek this month.

Referring to the issue of reparations as the “elephant in the room”, Ngavirue emphasised that they have decided on working groups that will hash out critical issues where no agreements have been reached thus far.

The genocide negotiations between the two countries formally kicked off during September 2016 when 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.





“The issue of reparations must be narrowed down to address our differences. We [Namibians] have decided not to agree to anything if we do not agree on everything. We have to find a common wording for 'genocide' without having to deny that the genocide took place. But the Germans always felt that it should not be legally applied,” he told Namibian Sun.

He emphasised that this meeting will have to agree on a choice of words that are mutually acceptable to both parties.



Supposed deadlock

In September last year, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the government was “not happy” with the German government's response to the reparation demands made for the 1904-08 killings of the Nama and Ovaherero people in Namibia.

Namibia had submitted the government's position paper to its German counterpart in July 2016 and Germany responded on 26 June, last year.

At the time, the prime minister also emphasised that Germany had not formally accepted responsibility for the genocide and had not yet rendered an unconditional apology.

According to her, that was where the negotiations were at the time.



Atrocities vs genocide

Meanwhile, the German government insists that the mass killings committed during between 1904 and 1908 must be termed “atrocities” and not genocide.

In June last year, the German ambassador to Namibia, Christian Matthias Schlaga, spoke at a local German school function, and told those in attendance his government believes an amicable solution can only be reached through discussions in a “historical context” and not through a court case.

According to him, the German government's focus will be on the way in which the term “genocide” is used.

Meanwhile, it would appear as if the German government has no keen interest to pay lump sums to Namibia for its historical transgressions, as Schlaga last year made it categorically clear that no money would be channelled directly to the descendants of the genocide victims.

However, Ngavirue yesterday insisted that the German government had not openly declined to pay reparations.

Similar News

 

Genocide negotiations 'too slow'

1 day - 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...

Sudan transition deals sees delays

2 days ago - 15 July 2019 | International

Thousands of Sudanese protesters have poured onto the streets of Khartoum and other cities to mark the 40th day since the deadly dispersal of a...

US 'concentration camps'

2 days ago - 15 July 2019 | International

United States Vice-president Mike Pence visited an overcrowded migrant camp in Texas on Friday, coming face to face with detainees held in horrific conditions, and...

Call for Libyan ceasefire

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

The UN Security Council called on Friday for a ceasefire in Libya as the death toll from a three-month offensive on Tripoli reached 1 000,...

Botswana govt to appeal gay rights ruling

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Botswana's government will appeal a June high court ruling that decriminalised homosexuality, the attorney-general said on Friday.Abraham Keetshabe, the government's chief legal advisor, said he...

New hope for Sudan

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Talks between Sudan's ruling generals and protest leaders, held after weeks of standoff following a deadly crackdown on protesters, entered a second day Thursday with...

Toddler rape sparks protest

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Thousands of protesters marched in Yangon on Saturday as outrage over the rape of a two-year-old spilled onto the streets following a viral online campaign...

Looking for El Chapo's billions

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

Prosecutors on Friday said they were seeking US$12.7 billion from convicted Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, based on a conservative estimate of revenues...

SA govt to review single-use plastic policy

1 week ago - 08 July 2019 | International

The SA government is reviewing its policy on single-use plastics and intends to complete this process by the end of this financial year.In a written...

23% of NDF soldiers women

3 weeks ago - 25 June 2019 | International

With 23% representation, Namibia is amongst the SADC countries with the highest proportion of women in its defence force.This is according to deputy prime minister...

Latest News

Keeping up with the neighbours

3 hours ago | Economics

LuandaYou would need around US$2 535.97 in Windhoek to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with US$7 600 in Luanda, assuming...

88 schoolgirls fall pregnant in...

3 hours ago | Education

Eighty-eight learners, including two girls in Grade 7, fell pregnant in the Oshana Region during the first term of 2019. Oshana governor Elia Irimari...

Stop blaming Aawambo - Kapofi

3 hours ago | Government

Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi has cautioned against tribalism and pointed out that there is a growing perception that only the Aawambo are beneficiaries of...

Mom begs for mercy

3 hours ago | Justice

A mother of three minor children is asking the High Court to reduce her four-year prison sentence, or fine her instead, after she pleaded guilty...

Relevant IFRS themes: Anytime, anywhere

3 hours ago | Business

A good understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is crucial to the financial reporting process of IFRS reporters. Banks and Insurers in particular have...

Standard Bank faces strike vote

3 hours ago | Labour

ELVIRA HATTINGH Members of the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (Bawon) are to vote on whether to strike...

Let us tread carefully

3 hours ago | Opinion

When expectations are not met, citizens wronged in this regard should have channels, means and ways to air their grievances and have them addressed effectively.In...

Big banks target South Africa's...

3 hours ago | Business

Emma Rumney - South Africa's biggest banks are betting cut-price accounts, big mortgages and offers on everything from Adidas backpacks to Xboxes will help them...

Zim inflation almost doubles, stirring...

3 hours ago | Economics

MacDonald Dzirutwe and Karin Strohecker - Prices of cooking oil and other basics soared in Zimbabwe as inflation nearly doubled in June, piling pressure on...

Load More