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Genocide negotiation ÔÇ£waste of timeÔÇÖÔÇÖ

Tue, 8 November 2016 15:54
by Aili Iilonga
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member of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) Festus Muundjua has dubbed the ongoing genocide talks between the Namibian and German governments a failure.

This because the talks would not apparently include reparation claim demands by aggrieved parties, the Herero and Nama people of Namibia.

The German colonial government issued an extermination order to annihilate the Herero in 1904 in a quest to violently suppress a rebellion by the ethnic group, and other ethnic groups such as the Namas who joined also suffered similar fates in the war that lasted until 1908.

The genocide amounted to a massive killing of about 100 000 and 24 000 Hereros and Namas respectively, and according to Muundjua this alone serves a sole purpose in descendants of the two ethnic groups now demanding reparation payment from the German government.

However, the OTA member argues that the bases of the arguments of the German and Namibian governments show the dishonesty from their part in owning up for the action committed.

Muundjua made the pronouncements at the non-government congress restorative justice after genocide talks in Berlin, Germany in mid-October. He stated that his conclusion was based on the publication on the prospects of success for the Herero lawsuit against the Deutsche Bank for crimes committed during German colonial times. 

Arguments for the denial of reparation claim were based on a research done by Jan Grofe on the fact that the two states agreed on the establishment of ‘special relationship’ due to their historic ties, for which the German government provides more development aid to Namibia. 

Further claims to substantiate was on the continuation of the German development aid, together with the German Democratic Republic’s support for Swapo during the struggle for independence from South Africa, which added to the reparation claim being null and void.

Muundjua questioned this ‘betrayal agreement’ and wanted to know whether the reparation payment was made null and void because of an agreement on the development aid to Namibia, and the support given to Swapo.  

Muundjua argued against this at the non-government congress restorative justice, saying that the apology made in admission to crimes of genocide and concomitant damage caused, contradicts the refusal to pay reparations to Ovaherero and Nama communities.

He further noted that, this amounts to a criminal telling the judge that he pleads guilty but for punishment he will only offer what he dictates.

Muundjua thus calls for Namibia’s special envoy on the genocide negotiations, Dr. Zed Ngavirue, to shed light on the agreement since he was the director general of the National Planning Commission (NPC), which signed development aid agreements on behalf of the Namibian government directly after independence.

“Perhaps the question at hand is, shouldn’t the German government be accountable for some sort of payable method for the genocide killing with aid going directly to affected people, the Ovaherero and Nama communities, giving employment opportunities or integrating of with private sector to provide affordable housing standard and infastructure aim to their betterment. This is not a direct inclusion of the development aid and support that the Swapo party got from the German government,” Muundjua asserted 

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Muundjua implied that the current genocide negotiations were a waste of time because the outcome should have been predicated. The German government knew of having no intention is giving into the demands of reparation claims from the Namibian government.