Former Ovaherero Genocide Foundation president Utjiua Muinjangue has labelled the German government 'a joke' after the European nation reportedly rejected to renegotiate the N$18 billion offer it has promised to aid projects in Namibia over 30 years to atone for its role in genocide and property seizures during 1904-1908.
An agreement was signed last year between Namibia and the German government, about six years after the genocide negotiations started between the two countries.
However, the majority of the affected communities rejected the agreement, with many asking Germany to do more to atone for its sins and calling on the two governments to renegotiate.
Deutsche Welle (DW), the German state-owned international broadcaster, reported on Friday that the German government has now officially rejected the renegotiation demands. “From the German government’s point of view, the negotiations for the joint declaration with Namibia have been finalised, even though talks about specific modalities of its implementation are continuing,” DW reported. The German government said this while responding to questions posed by a member of Germany’s federal parliament from the socialist Left Party, Sevim Dagdelen.
“I am not surprised to hear Germany saying they will not renegotiate the genocide package. But I hope that the German government does realise that does not close the chapter,” said Muinjangue in response to these developments. She stressed that Germany has always been a “joke” on the issue, and that they must not think this will be the end of the matter.
“From the onset, the descendants of the Ovaherero and Nama people were wary of how the process was being run. To say there is no renegotiation and there is nothing that can be done is a joke. Germany can pay whatever they want, but as far as we are concerned, that will not be reparations for the Ovaherero and Nama,” said the parliamentarian, who is also the deputy minister of health. Vice chairperson of the Nama Traditional Leaders Association’s Technical Committee (NTLATC) Sima Luipert-Goeieman said she was also not flustered by Germany’s stance on the matter. “It comes as no surprise to us that Germany would maintain its racist colonial position,” she charged. “Whatever Germany agrees with the Namibian government is between those two parties. We will never cease to seek for justice, and we will hold both governments accountable for violating our human rights as enshrined in the Namibian constitution and several international legal instruments.”
Some Ovaherero/Ovambanderu and Nama traditional authorities welcomed the agreement last year, hailing it as a major accomplishment at the time and praising Namibia’s special envoy, the late Zed Ngavirue, for achieving the “breakthrough” and convincing the German government that they committed genocide.