Genocide lawsuit could delay negotiations: Nudo

02 Mar 2017 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 02 MAR (NAMPA) – A lawsuit filed in the United States of America (US) by representatives of the Ovaherero and Nama people against the German Government, could delay the negotiation on reparations.
Representatives, Ovaherero Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro and Chairperson of the Nama Traditional Authorities Association David Frederick, filed a federal class action lawsuit on 05 January in the New York, US Federal Court. They are demanding inclusion in the negotiation process between Namibia and Germany, and financial reparations for the 1904-1908 genocide that had about 100 000 people perish.
Speaking at a media briefing here on Thursday, Secretary General (SG) of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), Meundju Jahanika questioned the lawsuit.
“This is worrisome because it could further delay the negotiation process for something that we think, could have been settled out of court through negotiation, given the political will and sincerity of our government.”
He called on President Hage Geingob to engage with the groups that feel left out to reach common ground on how best the negotiations will be handled, since the actual act of negotiating has not started.
Jahanika also proposed that the issue be reverted back to the National Assembly Resolution of 02 October 2006 and be implemented or it will defy the logic and purpose for its adoption.
“We know there are a number of resolutions but it must be implemented in its entirety and not selectively to suit some groups.”
The Resolution recognised that what happened to the Ovaherero and Nama between 1904 and 1908 be recognised as a genocide in terms of international law and intent of the colonisers through the horrendous acts.
He also advised that Rukoro and Frederick be part of the negotiations without delay.
After concluding its official visit to Germany between 20 and 27 February 2017, the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, called on Germany to recall its history of colonisation, enslavement and genocide and use a reparatory justice approach as a way forward.
The group, who said this in a media statement issued here Wednesday, maintained that the Ovaherero and Nama people must be included in the negotiations between the German and Namibian governments.