Namibia and Germany agree to negotiate on genocide

28 Apr 2016 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 28 APR (NAMPA) - The Namibian and German governments have decided to redress the wrongs of their historical past and will soon start negotiations on atrocities committed by the German colonial forces against the OvaHerero and Nama people during the 1904-1908 genocide.
Addressing a media briefing in the capital on Thursday, the Ambassador of Germany to Namibia Christian Schlaga said this decision was taken during consultations held over two days this week, between the Special Envoy of Germany Ruprecht Polenz and a delegation from Namibia led by the Special Envoy of Namibia Zed Ngavirue.
“The Governments of Namibia and Germany have decided to embark upon the negotiation process in a manner that is beneficial to both our countries and peoples,” said Schlaga.
He added that during the past three days, both governments developed a framework for such negotiations, which recognises the consultation of all stakeholders.
The framework, he said, will be endorsed by both governments upon which the actual negotiations will commence immediately.
“We are pleased that both governments continue the positive atmosphere which started in December. And as a German government, we do have an ambitious goal aimed at finalising the paper and getting it done by the end of this year.”
He stressed that an official apology to the Namibian government will be part of the negotiations and both governments will undertake efforts to consult all stakeholders in their respective countries.
Through the negotiations, both countries want to achieve a common assessment of the events and the conclusion will focus on the areas of an apology and the issue of redress, particularly to look at the possibility of any kind of special support in this context.
He made it clear that both governments do not want to ignore the past, but will look at ways to accommodate this in future.
Another meeting will be held towards the end of June this year, after which negotiations will start. Schlaga said the two governments want to end the negotiation process by December this year.