Namibia: Local Germans Upset About Land-Grabbing Threats

Germany genocide in Namibia (File photo).

THE Forum of German-speaking Namibians (FDN) says the tone of the communities affected by the 1904 to 1908 genocide, specifically their threats hurled at German-speaking Namibians, is unacceptable and unhelpful.

Last week former Cabinet minister Kazenambo Kazenambo warned of a civil war and another genocide if the Namibian government signs an agreement with Germany that includes an apology to the communities and an amount of 1,1 billion euros (about N$18,4 billion) towards reconstruction and reconciliation.

Kazenambo said the new fight would not be with the German government, but with German-speaking Namibians, which could lead to the illegal occupation of farms.

FDN chairperson Harald Hecht says explicit and veiled threats have been made against landowners and German-speaking Namibians.

Namibia and Germany recently concluded genocide negotiations, with Germany admitting to a genocide and offering an apology visit by German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the payment of N$18,4 billion.

The Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama communities have rejected the deal between the two governments, calling it a sell-out agreement which does not consider their needs.

Some communities have threatened to take land from German-speaking Namibians in the country by force if the two governments finalise the deal.

Kazenambo, a member of the Ovaherero community, was once part of the genocide negotiation team.

He made these remarks after announcing he petitioned the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect to intervene in the recently concluded genocide negotiations between Namibia and Germany.

Hecht in a statement yesterday said the forum has taken note of the fact that sections within the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama communities are dissatisfied with the negotiations and with the amount finally agreed upon.

He said some of the community members' reactions, and in particular the tonality used, are "neither acceptable nor helpful".

"These could harm future efforts to reconcile and to find a peaceful way forward. The forum wishes to remind respective discontented individuals that German-speaking Namibians are citizens of this country, equal before the law, and with equal rights and responsibilities," Hecht said.

He said the FDN welcomes the negotiations and feels the pain and suffering endured during what Germany is now willing to call genocide.

"We regard the negotiations as having been conducted in good faith, according to the letter and spirit of the motion in parliament by the late Kuaima Riruako, between the two governments, and with the participation of representatives of the affected communities. We therefore strongly appeal to all Namibian citizens to desist from exploiting the ongoing process to incite violence, thereby destabilising our nation," Hecht said.

He said the forum intends to help promote discussions in the spirit of reconciliation.

Ovaherero Traditional Authority secretary general Mutjinde Katjiua yesterday said the communities affected by the genocide will exhaust all peaceful means to address the recently concluded negotiations, and if that proves to not be impactful, they would take the matter into their own hands.

He said the affected communities are angry and insist on justice.

Katjiua said if all the peaceful attempts to address the concluded negotiations fail, further steps would be taken.

He wanted to know where German-speaking Namibians have been for the past 100 years.

"We have been waiting to engage them. Where have they been hiding all this time, and chose to speak to Ngavirue's people? We are angry. However, we will first go the peaceful route, but if that fails, we have no other choice but to take back our farms and that those Germans go back to their country," Katjiua said.

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