German genocide offer 'unacceptable' - Ngavirue

13 August 2020 | History

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



The Namibian government has dismissed a financial offer made by the German government to atone for the 1904-08 Nama and Ovaherero genocide as “unacceptable”.

The German government is also refusing to use the term “reparations” and is referring to “healing [the] wounds” caused by the genocide.

Namibia's special envoy on the genocide, Dr Zed Ngavirue, yesterday also dismissed claims that the German offer stands at N$200 million.





“That must be the statement that our president made which went viral, but that is not the true amount. We do not use that amount because we are still negotiating and I suppose that is why the €10 million sort of popped in. All I can say, rather than elaborating on it, the amount is under negotiation and that which was offered was not acceptable,” he said.

Ngavirue added they are now getting to a point of discussing meaningful projects to be implemented in Namibia.



Rejected

The presidency also announced this week that the German offer had been rejected.

“The current offer for reparations made by the German government remains an outstanding issue and is not acceptable to the Namibian government. The special cabinet committee, held on 5 March 2020, directed the special envoy to continue with negotiations for a revised offer,” the presidency announced.



'Make good again'

Ngavirue has been re-tasked by President Hage Geingob to debate acceptable terms, including reconciliation and reconstruction.

Germany's refusal to use the word “reparations”, as it attempts to atone for its colonial atrocities, goes back as far as 1952 in Luxemburg when it negotiated with the Jews and the State of Israel after the World War Two holocaust.

Instead, Germany wanted to use the term 'Wiedergutmachung', which translates to “make good again”.





Projects

The presidency also announced that government, through the National Planning Commission (NPC), enlisted an expert to help finalise project proposals aimed at uplifting communities affected by the genocide.

Ngavirue told Geingob during a State House briefing on Tuesday that the Namibian and German governments have agreed on a political settlement.

The projects will be considered this month by the special committee, and will then be directed to the technical committee.

They will be implemented in the //Karas, Hardap, Khomas, Kunene, Omaheke, Otjozondjupa and Erongo regions.



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