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Namibian tribes demand for compensation over colonial genocide


Nearly half a century after the genocide in Namibia, the Hereros tribe and NAMA are demanding for justice.For Long, the murderers have remained ignored, both in Europe and Africa but the facts not disputed.

According to historians, in 1904, about 80,000 Hereros children, women men out of a population of 100,000 were massacred, deported and exterminated on the order of General Lothar von Trotha.

“Shark Island” was the name given to a concentration camp in Luderitz used as a tool in Germany’s systematic repression that is today considered by some historians as the first genocide of the 20th century.

The Germans did suffer my grandmother, she had to flee, she grew up abroad, and she was forced to speak another language.

To save their lives, many native people fled to neighboring Botswana. Veronika Kamaakoho Mujazu , is a descendant of Herero survivors.

“The Germans did suffer my grandmother, she had to flee, she grew up abroad, and she was forced to speak another language. We live in poverty, because of what they did to us at the time. We want repairs, we want them to dignify our land,” she said.

Germany, which had for long, denied the accusation has begun to recognize its responsibility. Negotiations are even on course with the Government in order to obtain a formal apology and repairs.

For many years, the bloody episode was little-known, both in Africa and in Europe. Shark Island was transformed into a campsite popular with foreign tourists.

The German position is woefully inadequate for Herero former MP and culture minister Kazenambo Kazenambo, who is calling for the return of all of the land confiscated during the colonial era.

“I expect nothing of these negotiations because they have been questionable since the very beginning: they departed from the principle that all Namibians have been affected. They deny the fact that only the Namas and Hereros were massacred, therefore these negotiations are a scam from the beginning to the end,” he said.

The two tribes have therefore responded by filing a complaint about genocide against Germany before a court in New York. But the authorities have swept this new demand with the back of the hand.

“The Hereros and Namas are not the majority in government, and they would like that the authorities really take it into account. This is already the case,” said Zed Ngavirue, negotiator of the Namibian Government.

The traditional chiefs of Herero and Nama have for months demanding for a seat at the table of negotiations between Windhoek and Berlin, along with the lines of the reparation talks between Germany, Israel, and representatives of the Jewish community following the end of World War II.

But both Germany and Namibia have refused to allow the Hereros and Namas to participate.

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