Namibia’s President, Hage Geingob, has said the offer for reparations made by Germany for mass killings in its then colony was “not acceptable”. Germany has agreed to apologise in principle but declines to accept the term “reparations”, while Namibia finds the terminology “healing the wounds” inadequate, the official statement noted.
German troops killed tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people between 1904 to 1908 in response to an anti-colonial uprising. It is believed that 75% of the Herero population and half of the Nama population died. The two countries started negotiations over reparations in 2015 and have so far held eight rounds of talks.
Part of the official president’s statement read: “the German Government citing political and moral responsibility, has agreed to render an unconditional apology to the Namibian Government, her people and in particular the affected communities. Although Genocide is a punishable crime according to the United Nations Convention on Genocide, signed on 9 December 1948 and effective on 12 January 1951, the German and Namibian Government have agreed on a political settlement.”
President Geingob was on Tuesday briefed about the negotiations by the Namibian negotiating team led by special envoy Zed Ngavirue. “The current offer for reparations made by the German Government remains an outstanding issue and is not acceptable to the Namibian Government,” the president said in a statement.
Just last week, Germany handed back the human remains of indigenous people killed during a genocide in colonial Namibia more than 100 years ago. A Namibian government delegation received the skulls at a church service in the capital, Berlin. The bones had been sent to Germany for now-discredited research to prove the racial superiority of white Europeans.