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Ovaherero/Nama remains must be kept in USA – Rukoro

by   Rodney Pienaar
News Flash

The Ovaherero paramount chief, Vekuii Rukoro has proposed that the recently discovered Ovaherero and Nama human remains should be kept in the United States of America (USA) in a statement delivered on his behalf this week.

   These human remains have been a part of the private collection of Lieutenant Felix von Luschans of the Okahandja Battalion during the period of 1904 to 1908. 

  “We are proposing to keep these remain in USA, indeed in New York City and the United Nations Headquarters. The UN is inextricably linked to the history of Ovaherero and Nama people and the independence of Namibia. Further the current mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the skulls already returned to Namibia from Germany leaves us to decide that our ancestor’s skulls are free for the world to see and learn about this tragic part of our history,” the statement read.   

 The Secretary General of Ovaherero Traditional Authority, Professor Mutjinde Katjiua stated that arrangements are being made for the Ovaherero and Nama delegation to view these remains during their time in New York for the court case next month.  

 “The latest ?ndings consist of four skulls of Ovaherero and Nama origin. As soon as we have gathered more information from the museum we will hopefully have more information from the museum after our return from the court proceedings in mid-October” Katjiua said.     He added that in the latest development the two governments are hatching a dubious plan to establish a trust fund that will be used to fund projects in communities with the aim to neutralize genuine demands for repatriation.   

According to Katjiua, the N$ 400 billion claims made that the German Government will pay has not been negotiated involving all affected parties and there are plans to involve all the parties before any decision is taken.      

“We are not agreeing with any of the talks that involve that so call payment, we will have to engage President Hage Geingob to see to it that we form groups. One group that represent the sate and the other that represent the descendants of the genocide then we can decide the way forward,” he said.

He added that their group was left out from the whole process which they started and that the frontline now has people that had no say in the beginning.   

The trust fund is nothing else other than a revamped German Special initiative planned by both German and Namibian governments, said Katjiua.    The Chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation, Utjiua Muinjangua reiterated that it is not clear who will be handling the trust fund.    “Who will be in charge of the Trust fund, is it the German government or the Namibian government?

Why are they saying should we have such a trust fund it should be administered and managed by the German government? That is like the state is deciding on our behalf. So this talk of N$400 billion  does not have a  direction and we will see to it that before we talk about any of this again all the parties affected are involve” she said.    She further added that lawyers will be involved to look into the matter before any decision is taken.