Govt silent on reparation deal
Namibia is set to put pen on the dotted line over reparations for the Nama-Herero genocide, but the affected communities claim they have been kept in the dark over the landmark deal.
17 May 2021 | Local News
Namibia and Germany have reached an agreement over reparation payments after years of negotiating, German media reported over the weekend.
The deal is being kept under the wraps in Namibia, with no official word yet from government.
At the time of going to print yesterday, Namibian Sun was informed that the international relations ministry might issue a statement in this regard.
According to the agreement, Germany recognises the extermination against the Herero and Nama people as genocide. Namibia’s special envoy on genocide, Dr Zed Ngavirue and former German parliamentarian Ruprecht Polenz, initialled a document jointly in Berlin, German radio Deutschlandfunk reported.
The agreement is now also expected to be signed by Namibia and Germany’s ministers of international relations in two weeks’ time.
Germany’s federal president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is also expected to attend a ceremony to formally ask for an apology in parliament.
Germany is expected to offer financial support for social projects to benefit the settlement areas of the affected ethnic groups.
Reacting to the news of the agreement, politician Ida Hoffman said the German government did not handle the negotiations in good faith.
“The way they handled this, it’s very painful,” she said.
According to her, money alone would also not fix matters.
“We want reconciliation, but in an honest way. Our dignity is still down, which money cannot heal,” she added.
Ngavirue and international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah were both unavailable for comment.
Government previously rejected a settlement proposed by the German government as “unacceptable”.
“All I can say, rather than elaborating on it, the amount is under negotiation and that which was offered was not acceptable,” Ngavirue previously said.
The negotiations have been going on since 2015.