The recent recognition by Germany that the country has caused mass massacres in the former colony of Namibia at the beginning of the last century does not go far enough. Representatives of the two affected populations rejected the agreement between the German and Namibian Governments on this matter, because they consider that the EUR 1.1 billion that the Germans make available over the next 30 years is insufficient.
Between 1904 and 1908, German colonial troops killed tens of thousands of people in Namibia and 80 percent of the Herero and Nama minority were expelled or exterminated. Germany and Namibia negotiated the German recognition of the genocide for six years. Representatives of both minority groups were also present.
A council of Herero and NAMA leaders now writes in a statement that they have been involved in the negotiations too late to consult their constituents properly. The Council still welcomes Germanys genocide recognition, but believes that recovery payments should be renegotiated.
The German Government expressly does not make the EUR 1.1 billion available as compensation, but as a contribution to the development of the African country. According to the Herero and NAMA leaders, the amount is “offensive, unacceptable and an insult to our existence”. They demand that the scheduled ceremony to sign the agreement between the two countries be postponed.
The Namibian government says, in a response, to be surprised at the position of the Council of Herero and NAMA leaders. “The Council was involved in the whole negotiation process,” says the government negotiator to the German press agency DPA. The negotiator does not yet know how it goes. “We need to reconsider the negotiations. I think Germany was aware of the division in this country.”