Germany prepared to apologise: Ngavirue

16 Feb 2018 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 16 FEB (NAMPA) – Germany is prepared to extend an apology at the highest level, Namibia’s special envoy on the genocide, Zed Ngavirue said after a meeting with President Hage Geingob and Vice President Nangolo Mbumba at State House on Friday.
He told the local media the Namibian government has been demanding that Germany acknowledge that they committed genocide on the Namas and Ovaherero people from 1904-1908 and to extend an apology and pay reparations.
He noted that although Germany is prepared to extend an apology, they are still not explicit on admitting to genocide.
“They say from today’s perspective, it’s a genocide and they are prepared to extend an apology. You can see that it’s softening the blow,” said Ngavirue.
They would get Germany to refine their position and be more explicit on acknowledging that they committed genocide.
Ngavirue said the sticky part has always been the question of reparations, a term which Germany avoids to using and rather replaces with “healing the wounds”.
“They felt that our demands are too big to chew so we decided that before the next round [seventh round of discussions] takes place, we should get experts from their side and from our side to get onto this particular point.”
The special envoy also said Germany has to look at the gravity of the situation and the poverty surrounding the affected people before stating that the reparations demand is too high and unrealistic.
“They did not only kill people in great numbers, they deprived us of our land, we suffered slave labour, there was an ethnic cleansing effort which led to a great number of our people to be in exile in the diaspora, some want to come back but who is going to pay for that and resettle them,” he said.
He added that Germany needs to look at the total picture of the Nama and Ovaherero peoples’ needs to reconstruct their society.
The Namibian government will not agree to anything less than what they have demanded from the German government, said Ngavirue.
(NAMPA)
GH/PS/AS