17 Feb 2016 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 FEB (NAMPA) The Namibian Government is against the reparation demands of the Nama and Ovaherero ethnic groups and is an unauthorised agent between the affected communities and the German Government.
Both these ethnic groups will do what oppressed people do if the German Government and that of Namibia fail to acknowledge their demands of such reparations.
These were the bold remarks made by Paramount Chief of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority, Vekuii Rukoro in the capital on Wednesday during a media briefing on the reparations.
The Namibian Government should be an interested party in any discussions between its nationals and the German Government on the issue of the reparations. It cannot work against the interest of its own people, said Rukoro.
The first genocide of the 20th century took place in Namibia, Southern Africa and was perpetrated against the Herero people of Namibia. The perpetrators of this crime against humanity were the Germans who had colonised Namibia during the 19th century.
On January 12, 1904, the Herero people, led by Chief Samuel Maharero, resisted the German colonial rule.
The then German military leader, Lothar von Trotha, is considered the mastermind of the atrocities committed against the Herero and Nama people. No less than 70 000 people were murdered, according to Rukoro.
He reiterated that the Nama and the Ovaherero people are entitled to reparations from the German Government and a dialogue should convene between both governments and affected parties to resolve the matter, and thereby strengthen the excellent relationship between both countries.
In 2006 the late Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority Kuaima Riruako tabled the genocide issue in the National Assembly, which was then adopted as a resolution to be adopted by the Namibian Government.
Despite the special relationship, tension does exist on both the German and Namibian sides because of this issue. Both sides will benefit very little if this dark chapter of our history is merely closed without any remedial outcome, said Rukoro.
We have seen a nasty and shocking turn of events of late with our government having adopted an approach that is not only alienating the very victims, but which is running against all conceivable instruments it has to rely on, to take on the German government if it were to pursue reparation, he said.