Namibia: PM Allays Fears Over Genocide Negotiations

25 September 2017

Windhoek — Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has given assurances that negotiations between the Namibian and Germany governments on the unresolved issue of genocide were continuing and that the public at large will be informed about the outcome of the negotiations once completed.

She made the remarks in the National Assembly on Thursday in response to Swanu MP Usutuaije Maamberua, who asked whether government had put in place adequate legal, administrative and institutional frameworks to manage the aftermath of the genocide negotiations and reparation benefits, including money, projects and services, being sought from Germany.

Namibia's negotiation strategy is based on three main principles, namely that Germany takes responsibility for the genocidal campaign against the Namibian people between 1904 and 1908; secondly that Germany tenders an unconditional apology for the genocide and, lastly, pays reparations or damages.

In this regard, the prime minister said Namibia submitted a negotiation position paper to the German government in July 2016. She noted that although the German government responded to that submission on June 26 this year,

the answer provided did not address specific details submitted by Namibia.

"As I stand here, Germany has not formally accepted responsibility for the genocide and has not yet tendered an unconditional apology. This is the stage where we are at the moment," she said. In addition, she noted that a national consultative process would be convened to discuss the disbursement of the reparations, once the process reaches that stage and confirmed that negotiations were indeed continuing.

"As a government, we are leading the negotiations with the government of Germany on behalf of all the people of Namibia, inclusive of the affected communities. Therefore, it follows that the people exercise their rights through the elected government," she stressed.

Thus, she said, during negotiations the government would continue to consult the people of Namibia, including the affected communities, to get their views, so that Namibians can build a consensus and speak with one voice. Therefore, she noted, government would not unilaterally put in place administrative and institutional frameworks to deal with reparation benefits without first consulting the citizenry.

"Therefore, let me take the opportunity to assure the honourable members that once the negotiations are completed, the government will through a comprehensive consultative process invite proposals from all people of Namibia on the best possible strategy to deal with the envisaged reparations from Germany," she said.

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