We have Von Trotha's extermination order - Rukoro

16 January 2018 | History

An authentic copy of General Lothar von Trotha's extermination order against the Ovaherero and Nama communities has been discovered, Ovaherero Paramount Chief, Vekuii Rukoro has claimed.

Rukoro made the statement at a mass prayer session held at Okahandja on Saturday.

The session was called in support of a federal class action lawsuit by descendants of victims of the 1904-08 genocide that will be heard in New York later this month.

Addressing a congregation of about 400 people, Rukoro said the proclamation in which Von Trotha ordered the mass killing of indigenous Namibians was in their possession.

He said antagonists had questioned for some time the credibility and existence of Von Trotha's extermination order. To this, Rukoro said: “I have news for you. Last month, through our tireless efforts, we managed to find the signed copy of Von Trotha's extermination order after so many years… even the translated copy in Otjiherero, to actually demonstrate the intention that these people must understand in their own mother tongue the intent to kill and exterminate them… we got it.”

He added: “As we speak, the extermination order is hand delivered to my lawyers; we will file it in court in New York. German government, you are fighting the wrong enemy this time around.”

This further strengthens and substantiates the case that Namas and Ovaherero people suffered genocide at the hands of German imperial forces, according to Rukoro.

Rukoro also said that the German government had instructed lawyers to represent it in the US Federal Court after a “full year of refusing to accept legal papers”.

“After saying that they are a sovereign state and that they will not come to the American court and [that] we are wasting our time, yesterday [Friday] they changed their tune. They are starting to sing a different song and dance to different music. The German government has now instructed lawyers to appear for them on 25 January and to face us in court,” he said.

If Germany fails to appear in the US court, Rukoro threatened to apply for a default judgement.

This means Germany will be found guilty as charged “for genocide against the Hereros and Namas; for expropriating our land; our livestock – all of which should have been our inheritance today,” he said.

The OTA chief added: “This time and because of the arrogance they have displayed all this time against us, we will not be talking of a few hundred millions of dollars. Not even billions. Now we talk trillions.”

The lawsuit was filed in the US Federal Court by Rukoro and the late chairperson of the Nama Traditional Authorities Association, David Frederick.

NAMPA

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