Maamberua calls for genocide conference

Home National Maamberua calls for genocide conference

WINDHOEK- Swa n u parliamentarian says time  is now for Namibia to start planning for a genocide conference to iron out existing issues on reparations. Tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people were killed by the so-called
“protective troops” or died in concentration camps in the years a$er the 1904 battle.  The extermination which took
place between 1904 and 1908 has been acknowledged by historians as the #rst genocide of the 20th century.
Although, the Namibian government promised to continue to seek genuine acknowledgement, apology and reparations from Germany over colonial atrocities committed against OvaHerero and Nama people during the 1904-1908 genocide,
Maamberua wants a national conference organised on the matter.

“Now that the second national land conference, albeit its shenanigans is behind us, it is appropriate and timely
for Namibia to start planning for a genocide conference. How do we explain the fact that ours is the #rst genocide
of the 20th century and the #rst in Africa yet we have not had national discussion in broad terms on this issue?”
Maamberua questioned. He said the close linkages of the two issues of the land question and genocide in
the Namibia context make it imperative for such a conference to take place in the a$ermath of the just ended second national land gathering.

Maamberua suggested an academic institution such as the University of Namibia (Unam) in conjunction with other institutions could be commissioned and funded by government to undertake such an exercise. He said a preparatory
process of at least two years is in his view in order to host the genocide conference.

The Vice President Nangolo Mbumba recently assured the nation at the third repatriation of 27 human remains of Namibian origin from Germany at Parliament Gardens that government will continue to seek genuine acknowledgement, apology and reparat ions f rom Germany over colonial a t r o c i t i e s c ommi t t e d against OvaHerero and Nama people during the 1904-1 9 0 8 genoc i d e . “We will not relent from this course of dialogue with the German government, neither do we intend to sacrifice the suffering of our people for any political or economic expediency,”
said the vice president. He expressed appreciation to the a%ected Ovaherero and Nama communities who have
put their con#dence and trust in the government’s e%orts to negotiate an acceptable outcome of restorative
just ice with Germany on reparation matters.

Mbumba also strongly appealed to the members of the affected communities who have not yet joined the dialogue for reparations under the leadership of governments Special Envoy, Zedekia Ngavirue, to do so with no further delays. 
Maamberua said Swanu has noted with appreciation the bold political decision that President Hage Geingob has
shown in the intent to honour late anti-German colonial and anti-apartheid struggle icon Chief Hosea Kutako with declaration of his grave as a national monument and reconstruction of his former residence.

“We are in full support of that move. We would like to unapologetically and comradely express our word of high regard to President Geingob for being a listening President. !is is in the context of many issues of national importance that we as Swanuhave brought to his attention some as recent as a few months ago but which are already finding implementation and specific attention,” he said.

However, Maamberua called government to equally accord the same declaration to most formidable anti-German
colonialism unsung heroes of Kutako’s time to be accorded honours at the same time. He singled out Kaptein
Andreas Lambert who was the first Namibian traditional leader to be executed by the German colonial troops on
March 8, 1894 at Naosanabis (today’s Leonardville) a$er afierce fight.

Another is Jacob Marengo who fight more than 50 battles against German colonial troops and Wieli Wilhem
Maharero who fought battles of Okandjira, Oviombo,  Ohamakari, otjihenda against the German Schutztruppen in
the 1904 war. He also mentioned /Haihab //Guruseb who was beheaded by German troops a$er long skirmishes with the colonial soldiers and Chief Fritz Aribib who was a Haikom leader and was buried at or near Okorusu mine in the Otjiwarongo area. Swanu believe by instructing that various sites be identified for erection of deserving na t i ona l monume nt s , Geingob intends to give more recognition to and in honour of memorialisation of genocide of 1904-08.