The genocide in Namibia during German colonial rule a century ago was acknowledged for the first time and has pledged one billion euros ($ 1.2 billion) in funding for African national infrastructure projects.
From 1904 to 1908, Herro and aristocrats killed thousands of German settlers. After the tribal uprising against colonial rule in Berlin, Germany became known as Southwest Africa.
Survivors were taken to the desert, many stayed in concentration camps to be used as slave labor, and many died of cold, malnutrition, and exhaustion.
German Foreign Minister Haiko Mas said in a statement on Friday, “We are now looking at these events from an official perspective.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused in Germany and in Namibia and for the generations to come.
He added that Germany would support Namibia’s “reconstruction and development” with a $ 1.1 billion ($ 1.34 billion) financial program as a signal of “recognizing the great suffering of the victims.”
According to sources close to the talks, the money will be paid for more than 30 years, primarily for descendants of Herro and Names.
MAS said the agreed payment, which came after more than five years of negotiations, would not lead to a “legal claim for compensation.”
Foreign Minister Haiko Mas said that in the early part of the 20th century, Germany had caused much suffering to Herro and its people in what is now Namibia.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Germany officially recognized the crimes committed by its colonial forces as genocide.
Foreign Minister Hiko Mas (SPD) said in a statement that it would set up a $ 1.1 billion (the US $ 1.34 billion) fund as a signal of recognition of the suffering that Germany could not afford. The State Department said in a statement that the affected communities would play a key role in determining what the funds were used for and that it would not diminish the legal right to compensation.
The purpose of the talks, which lasted more than half a decade, was to “find a common path to genuine reconciliation in the memory of the victims,” Mas explained.
This includes naming the events of the German colonial era now as Namibia, and especially naming the atrocities of the period 1904 to 1908 as “surviving or unbroken.”
“We now officially call these events from the current point of view – a genocide,” Mas said.
The conclusion is more than half a decade old
The foreign minister said Herero and the representative of the Nama community had been in close contact with Namibia for more than five years.
Germany began talks with the Namibian government in 2015 as a “re-evaluation of the future trend of German colonial rule.”
Former German Development Minister Heidemarie Vicksorek-Seul made her first apology during a visit to Namibia in 2004, saying the country’s actions would be considered genocide today.
What happens now?
The declaration is expected to be signed by MAS in early June in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.
The parliament of both countries must then approve the statement.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to formally apologize for Germany’s crimes before the Namibian parliament.
What crimes did Germany commit in Namibia?
The German Empire was a colonial power from 1884 to 1915 then known as German Southwest Africa.
During that time, its military brutally suppressed several insurgencies, killing tens of thousands.
German general Lothar von Trotta, sent in 1904 to quell a heroic uprising, was especially famous for his brutality.
Historians acknowledge that about 65,000 of the Hero’s 80,000 people in the area at the time, and about 10,000 of the approximately 20,000 nominees died.
How is Namibia’s statement understood?
Herero and some representatives of the Nam people criticized the agreement, saying it was a PR ploy by Germany and an attempt to defraud the Namibian government.
However, none of the protest groups – the Ovahero Conventional Authority and the Nominee Leaders’ Association – can be considered to represent all Herro and name groups.
Members of both groups have demanded an official apology from Germany and financial compensation.