German authorities have finalised arrangements to finance projects in Namibia up to the tune of €1bn as they seek to atone their role in the Namibian genocide which took thousands of lives.
In what’s tagged the first genocide of the 20th century, the German empire hit the Herero and Namaqua people of the German South West Africa between 1904 and 1908. Hundreds of thousands of Hereros and about 10,000 Namaqua people were killed in the genocide.
The genocide came on the back of attempts by Namibians to repel German colonial forces, leading to the killing of some Germans. German forces at the time carried out a genocide on the Herero people, killed thousands and pushing many to the desert of Omakehe where they died from dehydration and starvation. A similar fate was experienced by the people of Namaqua and San before the Germans were eventually driven out in 1915.
Germany took along skulls of dead Namibians to Europe to reinvigorate its diminishing “colonial superiority”. It returned the skulls to the South African nation in 2018. Germany accepted its role in the genocide in 2004 but failed to declare it will mend its old horrors with reparations. The European giant didn’t agree it committed a genocide until 2015 when its foreign minister at the time, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, issued a “political guideline” stating that the massacre should be dubbed “a war crime and a genocide”.
In new developments, according to reports by the Namibia media on Thursday, Germany agreed to fund projects of up to €1.1bn in the country. The Namibian Ministry of Information also said a joint declaration will be made, showing the agreement was reached by special envoys of both countries on May 15, at the end of a ninth round of negotiations over the issue.
Namibian human rights activists have described Germany’s offer as a ‘sellout’ as the Namibian President looks forward to speaking with the Herero and Nam communities who may agree or disagree with the offer.
Germany had proposed to settle Namibia with a ridiculous offer of €10m in 2020, but was rebuffed by the government of the South African nation.
Other than Namibia, Tanzania, which suffered a 29-year rule by the Germans is also keeping tabs with the situation as it seeks a reparation for the horrors faced in the past.
Kenya is also seeking a reparation from Britain for the torture inflicted on its people seeking independence in the 1950s and 60s while DR Congo is also seeking to revisit the activities of Belgium in the country when it ruled as colonial masters.
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