Germany will pay in kind

08 July 2016 | International

German diplomats have poured cold water on ideas that lump sums would be paid out to the descendants of communities affected by the 1904-08 genocide.

If a statement by the German authorities is anything to go by, there won’t be any money flowing directly to the descendants of victims of the Nama and OvaHerero genocide of 1904-08.
The genocide against Namibians is considered as one of the first genocides of the 20th century. Affected communities and the German authorities are still battling to find common ground, despite the Namibian government appointing long-serving diplomat Zed Ngavirue as the special envoy to lead negotiations.
German ambassador to Namibia Christian Schlaga told journalists this week that no money would be channelled directly to the descendants of the genocide victims.
“There is this idea floating around that there will be money flowing across the continent, and we clearly say this will not happen,” he said.
“Of course projects cost money. Money is involved, but there will not be a transfer of a lump sum or anything.”
German special envoy Ruprecht Polenz, who visited Namibia this week, said the negotiations would be a political and a moral case that would take the genocide history into consideration.
According to him, all affected communities were presented a framework that would guide the negotiations. Although he insisted that this framework was confidential, Polenz pointed out that reparations might come in the form of development aid and might include an apology. “This includes projects, programmes and future-oriented ideas. We have made proposals already, but we want to keep it confidential until we have the results,” he said.
Polenz encouraged the Namibian government to speed up the negotiations. “If you want a result in 2017, we have to finish negotiations this year. Otherwise if you are not able to do it, it will be very difficult.


“We now have a window of opportunity, because this federal parliament is very much committed to the debate,” he said.
Polenz admitted that the affected communities he visited felt there was nobody to submit their ideas to.
“I recommended that they write a letter and present it to Zed Ngavirue as he is the special envoy and he is in charge of negotiations.
“It is not the German government that must make sure that every useful idea is incorporated into the negotiations. Of course I have got some ideas which he could use,” he said.

‘Led by the nose’

Chief Dawid Frederick of the !Aman clan who, along with OvaHerero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro, met Polenz on Wednesday, said the meeting was of no use to them.
Frederick said they would no longer “be led around by the nose”, and threatened to approach the International Criminal Court in The Hague if they did not get want they want.
He also criticised the fact that reparations might benefit all Namibians regardless of whether they were affected by the genocide.
“They are talking about a foundation, but refused to respond to our questions and concerns that some people were not affected, such as the Zambezi Region where people still have their land. Ours was torn up and given to the white people,” said Frederick.
According to him, they also told Polenz and his delegation that all the development aid given to Namibia by Germany went to the north of the country, while the southern parts of the country remained underdeveloped.
“They just told us that one state cannot interfere in the affairs of another state and that they cannot investigate what Namibia has done with the money Germany has given to the country,” he said.
According to Rukoro’s spokesperson, Bob Kandetu, nothing substantial came out of the meeting with Polenz and his delegation.
“The idea was to implore them to stop hiding behind the Namibian government.
“The chief shared with them that the two groups are envisioning taking Germany to court in New York. We have already signed the power of attorney. We encouraged them to come clean, but they take us for a joke,” said Kandetu.

JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

Covid origin search must continue after WHO report, say...

1 week ago - 15 February 2021 | International

Smriti Mallapaty, Amy Maxmen & Ewen CallawayNATURE.COM Scientists say that the hunt for the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic must continue, after a World...

Tens of thousands rally in growing protests against Myanmar...

2 weeks ago - 08 February 2021 | International

NAMPA/AFP YANGONTens of thousands of anti-coup protesters in Myanmar poured back on to the streets yesterday as an internet blackout failed...

WHO probe team visits Wuhan market

3 weeks ago - 01 February 2021 | International

NAMPA-AFPWUHANA team of World Health Organisation (WHO) experts investigating the origins of Covid-19 visited a market in Wuhan yesterday where one of the first reported...

Navalny, WHO, Thunberg among nominees for Nobel Peace Prize

3 weeks ago - 01 February 2021 | International

Nampa-Reuters OSLORussian dissident Alexei Navalny, the World Health Organisation and climate campaigner Greta Thunberg...

US ambassador to serve Biden in Namibia

1 month - 21 January 2021 | International

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKKey political appointments of staff members at the United States embassy in Namibia, including Ambassador Lisa Johnson, are not expected to be affected by...

Goodbye Trump, hello Joe Biden

1 month - 20 January 2021 | International

MATHIAS HAUFIKUWINDHOEKThe United States of America, one of the oldest democracies in the world, will today welcome Joe Biden as its 46th president at a...

Democrats win first Georgia run-off

1 month - 07 January 2021 | International

Elodie Cuzin and Michael Mathes ATLANTAJoe Biden's Democratic Party took a giant step towards seizing control...

Dutch begin Covid-19 vaccinations, last EU nation to do...

1 month - 07 January 2021 | International

ASSOCIATED PRESS THE HAGUENearly two weeks after most other European Union (EU) nations, the Netherlands yesterday began its Covid-19 vaccination...

Nchindo family may seek compensation

2 months ago - 23 December 2020 | International

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe family of three men killed by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) is contemplating demanding compensation from that government.Family spokesperson George Nchindo made the...

Sudan's PM visits Ethiopia amid refugee crisis

2 months ago - 14 December 2020 | International

NAMPA / AFPAddis AbabaPrime Minister Abiy Ahmed yesterday discussed the conflict in Ethiopia with his Sudanese counterpart Abdalla Hamdok, whose country borders the fighting and...

Latest News

Capricorn: Covid consumes millions in...

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – An increase of more than N$100 million in impairment charges and a N$41-million loss suffered by Cavmont Bank in Zambia shrunk Capricorn...

No gem of a year...

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Covid-19’s “profound impact on global diamond supply and demand” left Nemdeb Holdings with an underlying EBITDA of US$113 million for the 12...

Govt silently files for liquidation

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | Transport

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKGovernment on Monday silently filed for the liquidation of beleaguered national airline Air Namibia despite a massive public outcry over the matter.Documents seen by...

Darkness falls on government buildings

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | Government

MATHIAS HAUFIKUWINDHOEKAffected ministries:· Safety and security: N$34m· Defence: N$5.2m· Agriculture: N$3.8m· ...

All systems go for three-horse...

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKSwapo, the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) and Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) are all bullish ahead of regional and local authority election reruns slated for...

He is moulded by the...

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | People

Michelline NawatisesLeslie Kaxwadi is a computer science graduate from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. He graduated in 2017. As a part of his...

Driven by quality service

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | People

Tunohole Mungoba – OngwedivaBarnabas Shilongo established Shilongo Gravestones and Funeral Services in 2017, but only officially registered his business in 2019.“Shilongo Gravestones and Funeral Services...

South Africa boosts vaccine spending...

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | Economics

Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Mfuneko ToyanaSouth Africa could spend up to R 19.3 billion (US$1.33 billion) over the next three years to vaccinate most of its...

Swapo can’t be left alone,...

2 days ago - 26 February 2021 | Opinion

President Hage Geingob’s assertion that people shouldn’t worry about Swapo’s problems cannot be left unchallenged.The president’s remarks seem to be rooted in misconception that those...

Load More