Global Upfront Newspapers
Africa Cover News

Namibia rejects reparations offer from Germany for early 20th century genocide

  • Among other issues, leader says Berlin declined to accept the term ‘reparations,’ as that word was also avoided during country’s negotiations with Israel after the Holocaust

By AFP, August 12, 2020

WINDHOEK, Namibia — Namibia’s President Hage Geingob on Tuesday said reparations offered by Germany for mass killings in its then colony at the start of the twentieth century were “not acceptable” and needed to be “revised.”

German occupiers in Namibia killed tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people in 1904-1908 massacres, which historians have called the first genocide of the 20th century.

In 2015, the two countries started negotiating an agreement that would combine an official apology by Germany as well as development aid.

Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up

Geingob on Tuesday was briefed by his government’s special envoy Zed Ngavirue on the status of negotiations.

Namibian President Hage Geingob arrives to cast his vote in Windhoek, Namibia in the country’s elections Nov. 27, 2019 (AP Photo/Brandon van Wyk)

The briefing took place ahead of a final round of talks for which a date has yet to be set.

“The current offer for reparations made by the German government remains an outstanding issue and is not acceptable to the Namibian government,” Geingob said in a statement after the briefing, adding that Ngavirue had been asked to “continue with negotiations for a revised offer”.

No details were provided on the offer.

The president also noted that Germany had declined to accept the term “reparations,” as that word was also avoided during the country’s negotiations with Israel after the Holocaust.

Ngavirue rejected Germany’s reference to reparations as “healing the wounds” and said the terminology would be subject to further debate, according to the statement.

Berlin was not immediately available for comment on the claims. German Green Party Member of Parliament, Hans-Christian Stroebele, right, at the Berlin Garrison cemetery on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2004, the battle of Waterberg in former German South-West Africa, the today’s Namibia, where on Aug. 11, 1904, German soldiers fought against the Herero tribe (AP Photo/Fritz Reiss)

Germany has acknowledged that atrocities occurred at the hands of its colonial authorities and some officials have even recognized it as a genocide.

But the country has repeatedly refused to pay direct reparations, citing millions of euros in development aid to the Namibian government.

Namibia was called German South West Africa during Germany’s 1884-1915 rule, and then passed under South African rule for 75 years, finally gaining independence in 1990.

Tensions boiled over in 1904 when the Herero rose up, followed by the Nama, in an insurrection crushed by German imperial troops. In this July 4, 1981 file picture women of the Herero tribe show their traditional dress in Windhoek (AP Photo/JJ,file)

In the Battle of Waterberg in August 1904, around 80,000 Herero fled including women and children.

German troops went after them across what is now known as the Kalahari Desert. Only 15,000 Herero survived.

The German government has so far refused to apologize for the killings.

Advertize With Us

See Also:

Guardian Newspapers outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Debo Adesina, 40 others nominated as Ambassadors

Global Upfront

Update: Global COVID-19 figures now 2,848,102 with U.S. recording 52,241 deaths

Global Upfront

At UN summit, Buhari outlines key measures to reverse biodiversity loss in Nigeria

Global Upfront

Some powers deny Nigeria weapons to fight Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, says Lai Mohammed

Global Upfront

Only these 8 players in history have ever won World Cup, Champions League and the Ballon d’Or during their careers, and the last time anyone else did that was in 2002.

Global Upfront

Nigerian Army says Chadian forces not occupying Nigerian territory after decisive victory over Boko Haram/ISWAP

Global Upfront

Edo: Buhari urges, parties, candidates, security agents to behave responsibly, rails against “do-or-die mentality to politics”

Global Upfront

End of strike in sight as FG releases N4.5bn to 31 teaching hospitals for payment of doctors’ hazard, other allowances

Global Upfront

Europe’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault, has lost $30billion during Coronavirus crisis – more than anyone else in the world

Global Upfront

UK Coronavirus tests advised for people who lose taste or smell

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More