New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Nujoma: N$18bn genocide deal woefully insignificant

Nujoma: N$18bn genocide deal woefully insignificant

2022-05-12  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Nujoma: N$18bn genocide deal woefully insignificant

Founding President Sam Nujoma has advised government to consider returning to the negotiating table with Germany over the contentious 1904-08 Nama-Ovaherero genocide agreement reached last year.  

Government has been at the receiving end of complaints from descendants of the victims of the genocide as well as some political parties, who have bemoaned the N$18 billion genocide agreement reached with Germany over the mass killing of Namibians more than 100 years ago. 

Namibian and German authorities last year agreed to a genocide reparations pact, which included the European nation committing to fund projects in Namibia amounting to N$18 billion over 30

Speaking to New Era in a wide-ranging interview to mark his 93rd birthday this week, Nujoma also believes the agreed pact is “woefully insignificant”.  

“Namibia must return to the negotiating table with Germany, whose offer of N$18.4 billion for the Nama and Ovaherero genocide is woefully insignificant,” he stated.  

“Thousands of Ovaherero and Nama people were killed by German colonial forces between 1904 and 1908 after the tribes rebelled against German rule, then named German South-West Africa. Survivors were driven into the desert, where many ended up in concentration camps to be used as slave labour, and others dying of cold, malnutrition and exhaustion. It is estimated that nearly 80% of the Ovaherero population and 50% of the Nama population were killed at the time. Descendants of these people continue to suffer and deal with the effects of this atrocity.” Nujoma, who is the country’s first democratically elected head of state, also believes other minority tribes were not spared. 

“It is likely that there was also considerable mortality among San and Damara-speakers caught up in the cataclysm that hit Namibia at this time. For example, there is a good deal of evidence that Germans indiscriminately attacked the Damara in central Namibia. The genocidal acts of the Namibian war did not occur accidentally - they were, to quote from the United Nations definition of genocide, ‘committed with intent’.” 

According to Nujoma, German general Lothar von Trotha had as early as June 1904 issued an order for the shooting of all those fighting the Germans, thus already indicating the brutal and aggressive nature of the campaign that he intended to pursue.  “This created an atmosphere in which many German soldiers perpetrated massacres of civilians and other atrocities, both before and after Ohamakari,” he added. 

“It is clear now that Von Trotha quickly adopted a strategy aimed explicitly at destroying the Ovaherero. Some time after the massacre of 70 captured Ovaherero in the first week of September, he told subordinates that ‘the entire Ovaherero people must be exterminated’, and when Von Estorff protested about the policy of pushing the Africans into the Omaheke (which he was ordered to lead), he was told that Von Trotha ‘wanted their entire destruction [gänzliche Vernichtung].  The Extermination Order of 4 October not only formalised a policy that was already in place, but also ruled out peace negotiations, thus setting the seal on the genocide.” 





2022-05-12  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Share on social media