Namibia: Ovaherero/Ovambanderu and Nama Council Chiefs Accept Genocide Offer

Tens of thousands of Namibians, mainly the Nama and Ovaherero, were killed in what is called the first genocide of the 20th century.

Chiefs who serve on the Ovaherero/OvaMbanderu and Nama Council this morning announced their acceptance of the offer from the German government to atone for the 1904-1908 genocide.

"This is a major achievement," council chairperson Gerson Katjirua said.

Katjirua, however, admitted that they are not satisfied with the offer and asked for further money to be given after the agreement has been signed.

"We have been part of the negotiating process from the beginning and we will be a signatory to the agreement," he said.

The council further applauded Namibia's special envoy, Zed Ngavirue, for achieving the "breakthrough" and convincing the German government to accept that they committed genocide.

As part of the just-ended negotiations, Germany has offered Namibia 1,1 billion euro (N$18,6 billion at today's exchange rate) to be paid over 30 years, an amount which has been regarded as an insult by the affected communities and their traditional authority leaders.

Traditional chiefs from the Maharero, Kambazembi, Gam and Zeraeua and Mireti royal houses have rejected the German government's offer, saying they want N$8 trillion paid over 40 years and a pension fund for the 1904-1908 genocide.

From the money offered, 1,05 million euro is meant for reconstruction and development support programmes to benefit the descendants of affected communities, while 50 million euro is earmarked for projects on reconciliation, remembrance, research and education.

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