OvaHerero genocide leaders call for inclusion in reparation talk

09 Sep 2015 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 09 SEP (NAMPA) – The Nama Genocide Technical Committee and the OvaHerero and OvaMbanderu Genocide Foundation (OGF) have called for inclusion in the talks between the Namibian and German governments on issues of genocide and reparations.
The spokesperson of the foundation, Utjiua Muinjangue made the appeal during a media conference here on Wednesday.
Their calls for reparation come as a result of the genocide of an estimated 80 per cent of OvaHerero and 50 per cent Nama people by the German colonial rulers in Namibia between 1904 and 1908.
Muinjangue said the groups are against negotiations without the involvement of the descents of the victims of the 1904-1908 genocide.
An article in local daily the New Era dated 10 August 2015 said talks between the two governments have started.
The newspaper quoted Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah as saying the “official talks regarding the classification as 'genocide' of the 1904-1908 war against the OvaHerero, Nama and San people as well as the issue of reparations, are underway between Namibia and German”.
“If our government is talking about us in these talks, negotiations and classification of words on our behalf, it should have our mandate to do so or at least the decency and respect to consult us, as an in-house affair, so that it is informed of our position as the direct descendants of the victims of this genocide,” Muinjangue stressed.
She advised the government to not give the impression that it is now in partnership with a government “that has committed a crime against its own citizens”.
The spokesperson reminded the two governments about the motion tabled by late OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako in the National Assembly in 2006 on the issue that “dialogue be convened between, on the one hand, the German government and on the other hand, the Namibian government and representatives of the affected parties to try and resolve this matter amicably”.
Muinjangue said the OGF leaders will attempt to engage the Speaker of the German Parliament, Norbert Lammert who is expected to come to Namibia to attend the annual celebration of the Day of German Unity on 03 October.
The OGF believes the OvaHerero, Nama and San are entitled to reparation by the present German Federal Government and the estates of Emperor Wilhelm II and General Lothar von Trotha for atrocities committed more than a hundred years ago.
The OGF has given Germany until 02 October 2015 to answer to their demand for reparation.