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Namibia rejects Germany’s ‘inadequate’ reparations offer

The Government of Namibia has, on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020, turned down a reparation offer made by Germany during a negotiation between representatives of both countries, selected and mandated to resolve issues related to the colonial history of the two countries.

Germany ruled its colony Namibia from 1884 to 1915, a period historians documented to be fraught with brutish treatments from the German Imperial Troops leading to a genocide that saw the death of about 65,000 people of the Bantu ethnic group and at least 10,000 of the Nama people resident in Namibia.

Although the United Nations Conventions treat genocide as a crime punishable by law, the German and Namibian Government then resorted to political settlement; since 2015, the two countries have set-up special envoys to address these issues with the main agendas on the table being, an unreserved apology from the Germans and a follow-up reparation.

The negotiations have since not been smooth due to the refusal of the German party to accept in full, certain terms fronted by the Namibian representatives. A statement released by the presidency stated, “While the Namibian Government agreed to negotiate the issue of redress (reparations), which the German Government consistently referred to as “healing the wounds,” Germany has declined to accept the term “reparations.”

The Namibian Government has as well rejected this offer and referred to the German preferred term as one which is “inadequate” in relation to the grievous crime committed. “The current offer for reparations made by the German government remains an outstanding issue and is not acceptable to the Namibian government,” President Hage Gottfried Geingob stated.

The Namibian party to this negotiation is currently considering the term, “Reconciliation and Reconstruction Programme” as a replacement for the contended term “healing the wounds.” This will be submitted to the Special Political Cabinet Committee on Genocide, Apology and Reparations for assessment. If approved, the negotiation will continue as planned.

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