Govt denies genocide U-turn

The Namibian government has engaged lawyers in London to pursue a case of violation of human rights, and is said to be demanding reparations of US$30 billion.

20 March 2017 | International

NAMPA/AFP



Namibia is to file a US$30 billion lawsuit against Germany over genocide committed during colonial rule, when tens of thousands of people were killed, according to documents seen by AFP on Friday.

The Namibian government had previously avoided demanding financial compensation, but it changed its stance as two indigenous groups filed a class-action suit in New York against Germany.

Legal documents provided to AFP and The Namibian newspaper show that the government has engaged lawyers in London to pursue a case of violation of human rights and a "consequent apology and reparations process".

More than 65 000 people are believed to have been killed when colonial Germany massacred Namibian tribes such as the Herero and Nama between 1904 and 1908.

Namibian vice-president Nickey Iyambo issued a statement on Friday saying the government had sent a report to Germany last year on the genocide, an official apology and reparations.

In the statement Iyambo emphatically denies the fact that the government may have made a U-turn on the genocide talks and said the guiding policy principle had always been about the genocide, an apology and reparations.

“I affirm that government’s commitment to the current diplomatic negotiations which emanate from our national parliament motion adopted on 26 October 2006,” he said.

"We trust the government of the Federal Republic of Germany is giving serious attention to the position," Iyambo said, giving no details on the level of reparations sought.

Namibia could approach the International Court of Justice in The Hague to advance its case, the documents show.

While some German officials have acknowledged that genocide occurred, the government has refused to pay reparations, saying aid worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 25 years was "for the benefit of all Namibians".

Germany seized the territory of modern-day Namibia in the late 19th century under Otto von Bismarck, as part of the so-called Scramble for Africa by European colonisers.

It was called German South-West Africa during Germany's 1884-1915 rule, and then was under South African rule for 75 years, finally gaining independence in 1990.

The separate US class-action suit was filed by the Herero and Nama people in New York on Thursday, seeking compensation for "incalculable damages".

They are also demanding to be included in negotiations between the two countries.

Tensions boiled over in 1904 when the Herero rose up, followed by the Nama, in an insurrection crushed by German imperial troops.

After the Battle of Waterberg in August 1904, around 80 000 Herero fled, including women and children.

German troops went after them across what is now known as the Kalahari Desert. Only 15 000 Herero survived.

The Namibian government case alleges Germany was guilty of slave labour, mass murder, sexual abuse, human trafficking and theft of land.

The two governments have been in talks about a joint declaration on the massacres for two years.

Iyambo said Namibia wanted an "amicable closure to this sad history".

Similar News

 

Trump man worked for Putin

6 hours ago | International

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairperson, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Vladimir Putin a decade ago and...

No Africans at African summit

1 day - 23 March 2017 | International

An annual African trade summit in California had no African attendees this year after at least 60 people were denied visas, according to event leaders.The...

Dutch appeal for calm amongst Turks

1 day - 23 March 2017 | International

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb appealed for calm on Tuesday among the Dutch city's sizeable Turkish community, amid an international row over a referendum aimed at...

Govt denies genocide U-turn

4 days ago - 20 March 2017 | International

NAMPA/AFP Namibia is to file a US$30 billion lawsuit against Germany over genocide committed during colonial rule, when tens of...

Dutch liberalism triumphs

1 week ago - 17 March 2017 | International

Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, has easily defeated his far-right rival Geert Wilders, partial vote counts show, in elections seen as a measure of...

Secret Mexican mass grave found

1 week ago - 16 March 2017 | International

The top prosecutor in Mexico's Gulf coast state of Veracruz confirmed on Tuesday that more than 250 skulls have been found in what appears to...

Pirates demand ransom

1 week ago - 16 March 2017 | International

Armed pirates off the coast of Somalia who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board are demanding a ransom for the...

‘Netanyahu is a liar’

1 week ago - 15 March 2017 | International

Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu of ignorance about history and the Jewish faith on Tuesday after he said ancient Persian...

US braces for snowstorm

1 week ago - 15 March 2017 | International

Snow began blanketing north-eastern United States on Tuesday as a winter storm packing blizzard conditions rolled into the region, prompting public officials to ask people...

Holland is 'nazi remnant' - Erdogan

1 week ago - 13 March 2017 | International

Turkey told the Netherlands on Sunday that it would retaliate in the “harshest ways” after Turkish ministers were barred from speaking in Rotterdam in a...

Latest News

Determined fishermen fight on

6 hours ago | Labour

OTIS FINCK More than 300 fishermen staged another peaceful protest in Walvis Bay yesterday.The fishermen, who had been dismissed after an illegal strike, marched to...

OTA moves to halt dissent

6 hours ago | Cultural

FRED GOEIEMANThe Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OTA) has approached the High Court to put a halt to the actions of certain individuals who allegedly proclaim villages...

Lawyers dispute evidence in rhino...

6 hours ago | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITH The lawyers of two Chinese nationals arrested for possession of rhino horns in January say their clients should...

Down memory lane with our...

6 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Since its establishment in 1980 by Nic Kruger, Miss Namibia has been one of the most prestigious events in the country. Every year, a young...

Kazenambo pleads not guilty

6 hours ago | Justice

The trial of outspoken politician and former cabinet minister Kazenambo Kazenambo started yesterday in the Gobabis Regional Court, where he pleaded not guilty to several...

Builder's death investigated

6 hours ago | Accidents

A Windhoek construction worker died on Wednesday afternoon when a wall of a flat he was building collapsed and bricks fell on his head.Police spokesperson...

Getting it right

6 hours ago | Health

Today the waiting room at Onandjokwe’s Shanamutango HIV clinic isn’t crowded. Wait times have dropped drastically since the hospital hired additional staff and began making...

Taxi drivers rule the world

6 hours ago | Opinion

You have never lived as a person until you take one of those taxis that ferry people between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. I tell you,...

Govt medical aid mess

6 hours ago | Columns

The precarious state in which the Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) finds itself in was this week exposed by this newspaper. The report,...

Load More