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Ovaherero Genocide Foundation

Inclusivity and honesty in all Talks with Germany: “Germany knows who the children of the victims of her murderous policies a century back are and indeed currently where they live, she must therefore soonest cease with her gimmicks of wasting resources on engaging distant and unaffected parties in her so-called genocide negotiations AND in earnest directly engage Ovaherero and Nama leadership to find permanent closure to the horrific chapter of her disastrous colonial expedition South-West Africa which can only be effected through genuine and faithful accession to a legal agreement on reparation settlement, commensurate with her crimes and negotiated only with legitimate Ovaherero and Nama representatives. It is only a fallacy that a settlement for genocide crimes meted out against ethnic groupings in pre-modern southern African states times, can be arrived at without their bonafide voices and settled only with the state of Namibia. Whilst the state of Namibia, as home to the largest share of descendants of victim’s communities remains a key stakeholder in the discussion with the German state, it cannot wholly appropriate the campaign onto itself and preferred splinter Ovaherero and Nama groupings who in the main are extremely under-representative of the broader affected communities and are fully-absorbed into the government structure and as such enjoys no latitude and or leeway to independently speak for the aspirations of our communities. Equally, the “globalization” of descendants of that war principally implies that Ovaherero and Nama people are today global communities transcending territorial boundaries and thus no single state can rationally claim monopoly and full representation over them. Accordingly therefore, only their own leadership can fully and aptly articulate their interests now resident across multiple nation-states and thus any discussion about them is only adequately crafted to the extend it incorporates genuine representative voices from them !!!” Nandiuasora Mazeingo, OGF Chairperson, April, 2021

Germany: Pay reparations to the victims of the genocide not to government

We are Evelyn Mswetsa, Israel Kaunatjike, Deodat Dirkse and Nandiuasora Mazeingo and we are direct descendants of the victims of the German genocide against Ovaherero and Nama. We strongly object to the so called “Reconciliation Agreement” between the German and Namibian governments for the following reasons:

Germany wants to apologize for the “atrocities” of the Ovaherero and Nama in present-day Namibia, but does not want to recognize it as a genocide in legal terms. The German government wants to pay 1.1 billion Euros over 30 years to the Namibian government and not to us, the descendants of the victims, who were completely left out of the negotiations.

We are members and chairpersons of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) and the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA). NTLA and OTA represent over 90% of the Nama and Ovaherero people and are therefore the legitimate representatives of the affected communities. As the descendants of the victim communities of the German genocide, the fact that we were left out of the negotiations is a scandal!

Therefore, we demand the following:

1. Full reparations shall be paid to the descendants of the victim communities of the genocide instead of a government, which does not represent us.

2. We demand that Germany accepts its responsibility towards the genocide also according to international law.

3. We want to get rid of this so-called “Reconciliation Agreement” – not REPARATION AGREEMENT, which we see as a Public Relations coup by Germany and an act of betrayal by the Namibian Government

Our dear friend and Berlin-based Ovaherero descendant Israel Kaunatjike also supports our cause and this petition. He states that “The ‘reconciliation agreement’ – not REPARATION AGREEMENT – is a treason towards my ancestors, who are still lying here in Germany in our museums.  Mr. Steinmeier, with such an agreement, you had better stay home. You should rather take Willy Brandt as an example, who fell to his knees in Poland after the second World War. Just like him you, Mr. Steinmeier, should go to your knees – not in parliament, but at the place where Lothar von Throta ordered the genocide of the Ovaherero and Nama. We demand a legal acceptation of the genocide, an honest apology and real and adequate reparation payments to the descendants of the victim communities“.

It can’t be about us without us, anything about us without us is against us……If you ignore the latter, it means you are not addressing our cause.

Given the above, we reject the initial Reconciliation Agreement negotiated without the participation of the legitimate representatives of the majority of the Victim Communities with the contempt it deserves. It is not worth the paper it’s written on and we urge the United Nations, the African Union, and the rest of the international community to reject this gimmick by Germany and Namibia. We equally call upon the UN and the US Government to recognize the 1904-08 massacres by Germany as genocide and crimes against humanity.