Namibia has already committed to genocide deal - Polenz

08 June 2021 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

Ruprect Polenz, Germany’s special envoy on genocide, said Namibia has “committed itself” to the N$18.6 billion package for the 1904-08 genocide, amid slim hopes that there is still room for renegotiating the much-maligned settlement agreement.

Polenz says there is also commitment to ensure the money reaches the affected communities.

He made these remarks in a paper he posted to Mission- Lifeline.

Germany has recently acknowledged that it committed genocide against the Ovaherero and Nama communities and will pay compensation.

“The Namibian government has committed itself to this. The agreed programme will be implemented in seven precisely designated regions, in which a large part of the Herero and Nama live. The local communities are fully involved in the planning and implementation. The programme will be additional and separate from bilateral development cooperation. Germany remains involved in the implementation of the agreement, which is an express wish of the Namibian partners,” he said.

Polenz also disputed claims that the Nama and Ovaherero communities were not represented on the negotiating table between Namibia and Germany for genocide reparations.

He said the Namibian government represents “one Namibia, one nation", and is, therefore, the legitimate representative of all Namibians.

“The Namibian government has therefore attached great importance to conducting the negotiations itself and putting together its own delegation. There is no representation that is generally elected or recognised by all Herero and Nama, but rather numerous different groups. There are also rivalries within these communities,” he said.

Accept our apology

According to him, Germany would like to apologise for the crimes committed in such a way that Namibia accepts apology.

He added that the joint declaration was structured in such a way that there can be no doubt that this request is serious and not mere lip service.

“The request for apology will be made by the federal president at a high level," he said.

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