Swanu calls for genocide reparations negotiation fund

14 Apr 2015 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 14 APR (NAMPA) - The president of Swanu of Namibia has called on Government to support the efforts of the victims of the 1904-1908 German genocide by establishing a genocide reparations negotiations fund.
Between 24 000 and 100 000 OvaHerero and 10 000 Nama people died during the genocide of 1904-1908 at the hands of the German colonial forces in Namibia. This was considered to be the first genocide of the 20th century.
Swanu president Usutuaije Maamberua made the call on the Namibian Government in his contributions to the debates of the 2015/2016 National Budget of N.dollars 67 billion that were underway in the National Assembly (NA) here on Tuesday afternoon.
“Resources to enable the Namibian Government and the concerned communities to effectively engage the German authorities should have been budgeted for already in the 2015/2016 National Budget. Negotiations for genocide reparations may prove to be expensive, more especially if one engages with an unwilling partner like Germany,” said Maamberua.
He told his fellow parliamentarians that since the demand for genocide reparations is the State of Namibia's obligation to its citizens, resources and such costs for establishment of the genocide reparations negotiations fund should come from the State Revenue Fund.
Maamberua said provision for the establishment of the fund was not made in the 2015/2016 National Budget, and recommended that the fund be budgeted for in the 2016/2017 National Budget.
He further recommended that the Namibian Government consider the creation of a Genocide Remembrance Day in respect of the victims of the 1904-1908 genocide.
He proposed 02 October as Genocide Remembrance Day and asked his fellow Members of Parliament (MP) from both the opposition political parties and the ruling Swapo-Party to support his two proposals.
The OvaHerero and Nama people gather at the cemetery in Okahandja each year to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the genocide, led by German colonial forces' leader, Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha.
The genocide was characterised by widespread death from starvation and thirst, and the Herero people who fled the violence were prevented from leaving the Namib Desert.
It is reported that the German colonial army had systematically poisoned wells and waterholes in the Namib Desert at the time.
On 19 September 2006, the Namibian Parliament unanimously adopted a motion calling for reparation negotiations with Germany for the genocide committed against the Herero and Nama people.
The late OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako tabled the motion in the NA at the time.