Chiefs want 1904-1908 genocide negotiations concluded

WINDHOEK: Chief Dawid Gertze of the ||Haboben Traditional Authority in the ||Kharas Region said the chiefs of the 1904-1908 genocide-affected communities have sternly directed the negotiating committee to conclude the agreement with Germany, citing that their people are dying.

Speaking at a press conference here on Friday on the outcome of the Chiefs’ Forum, chaired by Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah held on Thursday, Gertze said they in unison directed for the long overdue negotiations process to its logical conclusion in the best interest of the affected community in particular, and the people of Namibia in general.

‘Go back and work and finish the process and come to us. We have been waiting too long… our people are dying, our people are in need, so we cannot continue with this process indefinitely, we must conclude it, and that is a serious request, it’s a command that we are giving the negotiators,’ said the chief.

The forum attended by over 100 chiefs and their senior councillors deliberated on
the Namibia and Germany Joint Declaration of 2021 which encompassed an acknowledgement of the genocide; apology; and payments of reparations where Germany had agreed to pay a total of 1.1 billion euros (N.dollars 18 billion).

The amount was submitted to the National Assembly for debate and was referred back to the government for further negotiations with Germany.

Nandi-Ndaitwah told the chiefs a consensus was reached for the German government to deliver an unconditional apology and pay atonement to the affected communities, including those in the diaspora.

Speaking at the press conference, committee member of the Damara King’s Council, Seth !Nowaseb said the addendum of the joint declaration indicates that Germany has agreed that additional funds are going to be provided, however it was not discussed how much those funds will be at the moment after the 1.1 billion euro is used up.

‘We were thinking of how much and Germany also asked how much. So we have realised the best way is to conduct assessment and i
dentify further needs of the community to at least come up with a better figure that would determine on the additional funding,’ explained Freddy Nguvauva from the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority.

The forum ended on six recommendations – to maintain a regular status report on the ongoing negotiations between the two governments; continue to obtain inputs from traditional leaders of affected communities and reach out to those who are not part of the negotiations to join.

Further, Government through the technical committee and other stakeholders to bring the long overdue negotiation process to its logical conclusion; the forum’s inputs to be considered in the reconstruction and reparations programmes to accommodate all the affected communities – the Nama, Ovaherero, OvaMbanderu, San and Damara.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency