Genocide is a Namibian issue: Ithete

05 May 2016 12:30pm
ONAMUTAI, 05 MAY (NAMPA) – The racial extermination committed against Namibians by the German colonial troops between 1904 and 1908 should be treated as an issue concerning every Namibian, said Deputy Minister of Finance Natangwe Ithete.
Addressing the community of the Oshana Region’s Ongwediva Constituency at Onamutai community centre on the occasion of Cassinga Day on Wednesday, Ithete suggested Namibians remain a united nation on the issue of genocide.
“Although majority of the said extermination were the Hereros and Namas, other ethnic groups such as Damaras, San and Aawambo were also exterminated by the German troops to a certain extent,” Ithete argued.
He at the same time spoke against the demand by a section of the Namibian society that it should only be the Hereros and Namas involved when the Namibian government negotiates with its German counterpart on the demand for reparations.
The Namibian government has appointed Zed Ngavirue as its special envoy in the Namibia-Germany negotiations for possible compensation for racial extermination committed by the German troops against Namibians during the colonial era.
“Negotiations on the genocide issue should be all Namibians’ concern and not to be viewed as an issue for the Hereros and Namas only.”
Regarding the massacre of about 600 Namibians at Cassinga in southern Angola on the 4th May 1978, Ithete said the troops of the then South African apartheid regime killed innocent civilians displaced during conflict.
“The people killed at Cassinga were civilians in a transit camp; it was not a Swapo military camp as it was assumed by the enemy.”
Ithete wants to see the victims of the Cassinga massacre to be remembered together with all Namibians who died elsewhere whilst fighting for the freedom and independence of their country.
Regional councillor for the Ongwediva Constituency, Andreas Uutoni also attended the commemoration, which was presided by prayers for all those who died during Namibia's liberation struggle.
The main commemoration of Cassinga Day takes place at Cassinga this year.
The occasion also marks the first time that about 300 survivors visit the massacre site there.