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By: Andrew Kathindi

United Democratic Front (UDF) of Namibia President Apius !Auchab says that genocide did not only affect Ovaherero and Namas, and that Damara and San people who were also affected, have been largely cast aside.

“Genocide talks cannot be based on the extermination order alone we cannot

be that heartless to claim that other tribes did not suffer injustice from the German regime brutality honourable members,” !Auchab stated.

He further argued that genocide exterminated about 81% of Hereros, 57% of Damara #Nokhoen, 51% of Namas, San and other black African people in the then German South West Africa.

He further argued that the National assembly should review the genocide period to cover up to 1915 in order to include the mass killing of the San people by the Germans during 1912-1915.

Genocide in Namibia is currently recognised to have occurred between 1904-1908.

“To my historical knowledge, there were no such genocide that had affected only Ovaherero and Namas on the Namibian soil, such talks in this August House is false.

“It is wrong and devoid of all truth, Damaras #Nokhoen and the San, as original indigenous people of this land, that suffered the same fate, if not more than any other tribe are still accommodative.”

!Auchab argued that Damara #Nokhoen and San people have been dispersed into the diaspora specifically in South Africa, Botswana, Togo and Cameroon as a result of genocide of 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1915.

“Germans cannot kill Hereros without affecting Damara #Nokhoen. These two groups were closer than any other and up to date we share mostly the same geographical areas. If not honourable Speaker, the bullets of the Germans must have been so smart to be able to identify only, the Hereros and Namas while Damaras #Nokhoen and other tribes like San were also in their midst.”

He added, “We as Damara #Nokhoen and San people have a strong and unique case on this subject matter. We can start with ancestral land loss displacement and marginalisation, destruction of culture, humiliation and continuous crime against humanity.

“We will take our righteous places as the San and Damara #Nokhoen and be treated as equal. Any genocide talks without San and Damara #Nokhoen is not real.”

In his speech, which started the genocide debate in parliament, defence minister Frans Kapofi stated that for more than a century, “Germany has sought to escape any degree and sense of accepting its responsibility over the genocide committed against our People, namely the Ovaherero and Nama.

“Germany, as I said not without difficulties and persistent fight on the part of our negotiating team of more than five years, accepted and acknowledged responsibility for the acts of genocide committed by German colonial forces against the Ovaherero and Nama.”

Kapofi mentioned that due to Germans’ brutal acts against Namibian communities, a large number of the Damara and San, were also exterminated.

Damara King’s Council Secretary General Abner Xoagub quoted an article titled Hiding in Full View: The ‘Forgotten’ Bushman Genocides of Namibia by anthropologist Robert J Gordon who examines the Bushman genocide of 1912–1915 which, despite overwhelming evidence of its having occurred, has been largely ignored by both scholars and the local population.

Earlier this year, leaders of the Damara and San communities welcomed their inclusion in the genocide agreement pact.

“Bullets don’t discriminate, there is historical evidence our ancestors died in their thousands. So, we definitely welcome the news,” Xoagub said.

Julia Heita

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