Money will not put genocide to bed: Khama

06 Feb 2018 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 06 FEB (NAMPA) – As the Nama and Ovaherero communities seek reparation and restorative justice from Germany, Botswana President Ian Khama said no amount of money will undo the genocide suffered by the two communities at the hands of German imperial forces.
Responding to media questions in Windhoek on Monday, Khama said he was aware that the Hereros and Namas were seeking retribution from Germany.
“You spoke of putting the genocide to bed once and for all. I know they are seeking some kind of retribution from the German government. And even if they succeed, and I don’t know if they will, it will not put it to bed,” said Khama.
Explaining his view, he added: “When that kind of atrocity has happened in history, it has happened and money will not remove it from the books of history.”
Khama believes the 1904-1908 Nama and Ovaherero genocide should rather serve as a lesson to the world.
“If anything, we should just learn a lesson from it to ensure that it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.”
Khama pointed to the 1994 Rwanda genocide and mass killings in Myanmar that continue in the present day as countries that suffered genocide, something he strongly believes ought never to happen.
“The reparation talks has been an initiative by the Herero community in Namibia and we are aware of it. And we are not as a government directly involved in it,” he said.
Some Ovaherero survivors fled to neighbouring Botswana in the aftermath of the genocide and many continue to reside in that country till this day.
Khama advised the affected groups to pursue the genocide case through avenues available in Namibia, particularly Parliament.