German-speaking Namibians want genocide issue resolved

The Forum of German-speaking Namibians says the genocide issue should be put to rest so that everyone can move on for the sake of political stability and harmony.

20 September 2021 | Politics

NAMPA

WINDHOEK

The Forum of German-speaking Namibians says the genocide debate that has been dragging on for many years needs to be concluded for the sake of peace and political stability between Namibia and Germany.

Harald Hecht, the chairperson of the Forum for German-speaking Namibians, said this on Friday when the group met with President Hage Geingob and cabinet ministers at State House.

Hecht said the group had spoken to representatives of both sides and advised that the topic be finalised and put to rest so that everyone can move on for the sake of political stability and harmony.

“We encourage that this topic be concluded in the interest of political peace and stability in Namibia, and we wish you well when you discuss this in parliament next week.

“We know it is going be an emotional issue, but we are taking notes of the joint declaration and we agree with three key terms, which are the recognition that it was a genocide, that a public apology will be tendered and the financial compensation,” said Hecht.

In response, President Geingob said the genocide was a very sensitive topic and he did not want to talk about it too much because the government had delegated a team to deal with the issue.

He said some of the people involved in the negotiations have since died and it is also a sad topic to discuss because there is lot of misinformation around it, with some prominent people talking about the matter without factual information.

“We need to respect people’s lives and those that have left us, so let us leave it, it is so sudden, it happened at the wrong time of Covid-19 and some of the people who were involved are no more, so let’s leave it because we are still consulting,” said Geingob.

It is estimated that up to 100 000 Ovaherero and 10 000 Nama people died in the 1904-1908 genocide.

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