Saturday, July 20, 2024

Native Namibians put pressure on Germany to pay war reparations

Ovaherero/Ovambanderu and Nama tribes living in Botswana and Namibia have ratcheted the antennae in their quest to have Germany deliver on its promises to pay reparations as they agreed to fight as a united force.

The Chairman of the Botswana Society for Nama, Herero and Mbanderu Luther Venjonoka Ndjarakana says they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ovaherero/Ovambanderu and Nama Council for the dialogue on the 1904-1908 Genocide (ONCD).

The signing of the MoU means that descendants of genocide from Botswana are now regarded as an equal party and from now on will have joint meetings and press conferences related to the genocide with their Namibian counterparts.  Part of the MoU states that going forward the parties concur “to develop cooperation on the basis of equality, mutual cooperation and mutual benefit.”

According to Ndjarakana, the purpose of the agreement is for the two to join forces in their bid to seek compensation for the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama genocide perpetrated by the Germans between 1904 and 1908. He says by this partnership, they hope to conduct all their endeavours within international legal instruments as well as the framework of the laws governing both Namibia and Botswana.

Although the government of Botswana has been relatively reserved regarding this issue, they have for a long time accommodated Namibian refugees of the Germany genocidal wars and continue to do so. Most of the refugees are Batswana of Namibian descent.

Public relations and international affairs secretary for the Botswana society, Jazenga Uezesa Kahanga, says the MoU is just the first step towards restorative justice and he demanded that the Germans take responsibility for what they did, “extend an apology to us, and thirdly reparations.”

The two groups are suing the Germany Government over colonial genocide. When the Herero (Ovaherero) people of Namibia revolted against the confiscation of their land and cattle by German colonists, more than 80,000 men, women and children were killed. On October 2, 1904 Lieutenant-General Lothar von Trotha publicly issued a written extermination order, Vernichtungsbefehl, of the Herero people in Namibia on behalf of Germany Kaiser Wilhelm II.


Read this week's paper