WINDHOEK – A programme to welcome and observe respective rituals for the return of 27 human remains of Ovaherero and Nama killed in the Genocide of 1904 - 1908 will be held at Parliament Gardens in Windhoek on August 31, when the delegation that went to fetch the remains in Germany arrive back in Namibia.
According to the statement by Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, “there will be no formal programme at the airport, therefore, the public is discouraged from going to Hosea Kutako International Airport as this will negatively affect traffic flow for the remains to arrive on time for the proceedings at Parliament Gardens.”
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila will receive the delegation at the airport when they return and the delegation will then proceed directly to Parliament Gardens where the programme is scheduled to start at 09:00. Free transport will be provided for the public who want to attend the proceedings at Parliament Gardens.
The delegation left for Germany on August 26 and is expected back in the country on August 31. Hanse-Himarwa is leading the delegation on behalf of the government.
“As the repatriation of these remains is seen to be a sensitive national issue, especially as it is linked to the Genocide of 1904-1908, the notion of greater public awareness is critical. The public is strongly advised to observe their respective rituals at Parliament Gardens during a programme to be presided over by Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba, on 31 August 2018,” the statement said.
The Namibian Police Force and support law enforcement agencies are sensitised to ensure maximum control and security, particularly at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
The statement further said that the Namibian delegation that went to fetch the remains of the victims of genocide committed by imperial Germany, from Germany, consists of people whose trip is funded by both the Namibian and German governments. Namibian churches contributed to the costs of some members of the delegation while some individuals paid from their own pocket.
According to the statement, the delegation is composed of four officials from the Department of Life Long Learning, Arts and Culture, who will carry out the verification of skulls and documentation, one representative of the traditional council, one official from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, one representative from the National Heritage Council of Namibia, a journalist, a videographer and a camera person whose costs are paid for by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
The Namibian government paid for the travel costs of 11 individuals in total. The German government paid for the costs of 25 representatives of traditional authorities and affected communities, while the churches paid for the costs of six delegates “for the foreseen religious rituals and services in Germany”.
The national airline, Air Namibia, paid for the costs of 14 delegates while there are seven individuals who are footing their own costs and five Namibians from the diaspora who are also paying for their own costs.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture says it was informed by the Namibian embassy in the Federal Republic of Germany through the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation that Charite Institute is in possession of 27 human remains of Namibian origin which they want to hand over to the Namibian government. Cabinet granted the approval for the trip in May last year.
“Subsequent to that cabinet approval, the ministry initiated negotiations with key stakeholders, including Air Namibia who offered to transport the consignment from Berlin to Windhoek free of charge and to sponsor a total of 15 return tickets,” the statement said.
The Namibian embassy in Berlin, the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Ministry of Urban and Rural Development as well as Charite Institute are the other key stakeholders involved in this process.
The repatriation was initially planned to take place on June 2 to 9 2017, however, the Namibian embassy in the Republic of Germany requested that the date be postponed in order to allow the embassy to finalise all arrangements on the ground.
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New Era Reporter
2018-08-28 11:08:15 6 months ago