German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany had inflicted immense suffering on the people of Herero and Nama, now known as Namibia, in the early twentieth century.
Germany on Friday formally acknowledged the crimes of the “genocide” of the people of Herrero and Nama by its colonial forces in the early twentieth century. Herero and Nama are now known as Namibia.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement that Germany’s acknowledgement of the “immense suffering” would now result in a morally $1.34 billion fund and that affected communities would play a key role in making that decision. How to use this money.
The German Foreign Ministry said the costs of handling legal claims would not be deducted from the fund.
Haiku Maas said talks to resolve the issue had been going on for more than half a decade. The purpose of the talks was to find a common path of true reconciliation in the memory of the victims.
It also included what to call the atrocities that took place during the German colonial period, and especially between 1904 and 1908 (in Namibia). “Now we can officially call these incidents genocide in today’s context,” said Haiku Maas.
It Took More Than Half A Decade
The Foreign Minister said that representatives of the Herero and Nama communities were also fully involved in the talks. The talks lasted for more than five years.
Germany began talks with the Namibian government in 2015. The talks were dubbed “the future determination of the German colonial government.”
Former German Development Minister first apologized for the killings during his visit to Namibia in 2004. He said at the time that in today’s situation these incidents could be seen as genocide.
What Will Happen Now?
Haiku Mas is expected to sign a declaration in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, in early June.
The parliaments of both countries will have to ratify the declaration.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will then formally apologize to the Namibian parliament for Germany’s crimes.
What Crimes Did Germany Commit In Namibia?
Between 1884 and 1915, Southwest Africa was then ruled by the German Empire. During this period, the German army brutally crushed several uprisings in which thousands were killed.
The then-German general Luther van Trouthausen, known for his brutality, was sent to Herrero in 1904 to quell the uprising.
Historians say Herrero’s population at the time was between 65,000 and 80,000, with an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people killed.
Some representatives of the Herero and Nama people have criticized the agreement. He says it is a stunt by Germany to improve its image and an attempt to deceive the Namibian government.
However, the objecting groups, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority and the Nama Traditional Leaders Association, are not considered to be representative of all the Hariri and Nama groups.
Both groups demanded a formal apology and financial compensation from Germany.