Stalemate in //Kharas over 'Genocide Remembrance Day'

05 Aug 2017 18:10pm
BERSEBA, 05 AUG (NAMPA) – Consultations over the date for the proposed national ‘Genocide Remembrance Day’ ended in a deadlock after rural communities in the //Kharas Region decided to wait before settling on a date.
The affected communities said they wished to delay their resolution on a date until the conclusion of genocide negotiations between Namibia and Germany.
This is according to Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Sebastiaan Karupu, who on Friday said his delegation accepted the stance.
Speaking to Nampa after the last consultation in //Kharas at Berseba village, Karupu said the communities felt they could give honour to those who died in the war only after there has been an official apology from Germany.
“They feel if they start commemorating the sad occurrence without a conclusion to the matter, the anger and resentment will return and blot the important day.”
The committee this past week visited a number of villages and historical sites in the region following consultations with urban communities in all 14 regions of the country earlier this year.
The Parliamentary team will also hear from rural communities in Hardap, Otjozondjupa, Erongo and Omaheke on the enactment of 28 May, or another day, as ‘Genocide Remembrance Day’.
The motion for the day of remembrance was tabled by Parliamentarian and Swanu of Namibia leader, Usutuaije Maamberua in April 2016.
The proposed date is said to be the day in 1908 when surviving Herero and Nama victims of the German war of 1904-1908 were set free or released from concentration camps.
/Hau-/Khaua Chief, Johannes Isaack of Berseba said it would be pre-emptive to deliberate on the date, especially in a climate of conflicting views about the genocide among Namibians.
“We should not be hasty. We should wait for a viable, peaceful time in the country to deal with the matter fairly as to avoid problems in future.”
He also said that an engagement with Germany was necessary “for a new page to start”.
Representatives of the Ovaherero and Nama communities early this year filed a complaint in a New York court against Germany demanding reparations and inclusion in the genocide talks.
The Parliamentary committee consists of Karupu, Emilia Nuyoma-Amupewa, Clara //Gowases, Jan van Wyk and Salmon Fleermuys.