German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement on Friday, Germany will support € 1.1 billion ($ 1.3 billion) to Namibia and the descendants of the victims for reconstruction and development and apologize for “crimes of German colonial rule”.
“Our goal was to find a common path to genuine reconciliation in the memory of the victims. This includes naming the events of the German colonial period in what is now Namibia, and especially the period from 1904 to 1908, without the atrocities. But spared or shone. Now we will officially call these events from today’s point of view: a massacre, “said Mass.
The Namibian President’s press secretary, Alfredo Hengri, told CNN on Friday that the Namibian government viewed the formal acceptance of the atrocities as an important step in the process of reconciliation and revaluation.
“These are very positive developments in the light of a very long process that has intensified in the last five years. People will never forget this massacre; they live with it. And it is an important process in terms of healing those wounds,” he said. said. said.
Victim group rejects deal
However the victim groups have rejected the deal. The former head of the Herero people, former Attorney General and Member of Parliament Vecui Rukoro, told CNN that they were not part of the discussion with the German government.
He said, “Should we be excited about this type of compensation? This is just a public relations affair. This is a job sold by the Namibian government. The government has betrayed my people.”
Rukoro said Herrero and Nama victim groups expect monetary compensation. He said that there is no need to go to different people for compensation, but as a collective payment to the descendants of those killed during the massacre.
He said that the German President was not welcome in the South African country.
He said, “The President of Germany is not welcome here as far as the aggrieved communities are concerned. He is personable.”
A bloody struggle
According to historians, the bloody conflict took place when the indigenous people of HERO revolted against the colonial troops over the occupation of the land. Germany, which today provides development assistance to Namibia, offered its first formal apology for the conflict in 2004.
“The offenses of the German colonial rule have long burdened relations with Namibia. The book on the past cannot be closed. However, our request for crime identification and forgiveness has come in the direction of coming together and shaping the crimes. Is an important step in the future. Together, “said Maas.
German media is reporting that an official request for amnesty will be made by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a ceremony in the Namibian Parliament.
A spokesman for the federal president’s office told CNN, “The decision on a possible visit by the federal president will be made after the government’s formal agreement and close consultation with the Namibian side.”
In 1994, approximately 800,000 mainly ethnic Tutsi were killed by the Hutu militia supported by the Rwandan government. Even after the genocide began, France has been accused of failing to stop the massacre and supporting the Hutu regime.