Germany want 'win-win-situation' on genocide reparation

16 Dec 2015 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 16 DEC (NAMPA) - The German Special Envoy for the negotiations of the reparation to the victims of the genocide during German colonial rule said his Government wants to obtain a 'win-win-situation' with the Namibian Government.
Ruprecht Polenz, who is on a three-day visit in the country to familiarise himself with the atrocities committed by the German colonial troops against OvaHerero and Nama people between 1904 and 1908, told local journalists at a media conference on Wednesday that to achieve a ‘win-win-situation’ the Namibian Government must also do its part.
“Our (German Government) main guideline for the negotiations on the genocide reparation is to obtain a 'win-win-situation' with our Namibian counterparts (Government) on reparation matters. Although these negotiations are mainly between the two (German and Namibian) governments, it is the duty of the Namibian Government to make sure that all the representatives of the affected OvaHerero and Nama communities are being included in these negotiations. We can achieve something good when all the affected communities are being involved in the negotiations. We want to be successful with these negotiations.”
According to Polenz, he held some fruitful consultations with the Namibian Special Envoy on genocide reparation negotiations with Germany, Zed Ngavirue, through which they exchanged thoughts to achieve a mutual understanding of a 'win-win-situation' for the benefit of both countries.
Polenz said he had read a lot about the historical background of the Namibian people as well as the history of the country during his three-day visit in Namibia to get personal contacts and first-hand information.
In addition, Polenz told journalists that repatriation of the remains of Namibians killed during colonial wars also form part of negotiations between the two governments.
The two envoys particularly visited the Ohamakari area in the Otjozondjupa Region where the first battle between OvaHerero and the German colonial troops took place.
History has it that 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 is considered to be the first genocide of the 20th century.
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 OvaHerero people who fled the violence were forced into the Namib Desert.
It is reported that the German colonial army had systematically poisoned all known 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 on the genocide committed against OvaHerero and Nama people.
The late OvaHerero Chief, Kuaima Riruako had tabled the motion in the National Assembly (NA).
Polenz will return to Namibia during February next year (2016).