Since the announcement of an agreement on the recognition of the genocide in Namibia by Germany, criticism has increased in Namibia, focusing on the fact that the text does not prescribe compensation without development aid. The head of German diplomacy reacted on Wednesday in parliament.
as reported from Berlin, Pascal Thibaut
A painfully long-forgotten chapter in German history seemed to have ended with the agreement announced two weeks ago between Berlin and Namibia on recognition of genocide was committed in the early 20th century by Germany in its former colony.
However, during the current issues in the Bundestag, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas opposed an end to the impediment to the requests for compensation formulated by Namibian officials. “The agreement entered into is only voluntary and there is no legal basis for payment. It is therefore not comparable to compensation, he said.
The agreement recently reached after five years of negotiations between the two countries stipulates that Berlin must acknowledge its historical responsibility and acknowledge that genocide was committed in the former German colony in the early 20th century against the Herero and Nama minorities.
The text initialed last month, which has not yet been ratified by the two parliaments, stipulates that Germany will pay 1.1 billion in aid over 30 years for the acquisition of land, the construction of roads or the supply of water.
But the Namibian opposition from representatives of the two ethnic groups who are victims of the genocide condemns a “discount agreement”. They want the amount of support to be increased and qualified as compensation. This criticism calls for a trip on the spot by the German Foreign Minister and an apology from President Steinmeier to the Namibian Parliament.