16.5.2021 | Joint Press Statement by the Ovaherero Traditional Authorities (OTA) and Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA)
1. It is clear that Germany has once again, bamboozled the Namibian government into a meaningless and sell-out agreement. It is a monumental shame and a shocking betrayal of trust that a descendant of the Victim Communities, is the one who initialed such an agreement which makes a mockery of the three negotiating Pillars that the SWAPO Government set for itself, namely:
A: that Germany must acknowledge that the mass killings of our ancestors constitute genocide;
B: that Germany must apologize for that genocide;
C: that Germany must pay Reparations for the genocide.
2. The so-called “Reconciliation Agreement” – not REPARATION AGREEMENT, is a Public Relations coup by Germany and an Act of Betrayal by the Namibian Government. It is no more than a mere restatement of the 2004 Ohamakari minimalist position adopted by then German Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, which was even rejected by her own Government! Clearly, Germany still has NO intention to recognize that what Von Trotha did constitutes genocide in terms of international law, therefore, Germany did not commit a crime against humanity and has no intention to apologize for ANY crime of GENOCIDE – especially not to the descendants of the Victim Communities!
It therefore follows that Germany will not pay ANY form of REPARATIONS – especially not to the descendants of the Victim Communities!
3. It is against the backdrop of that principled and inflexible negotiating position that the Namibian Government has been arm twisted into a sell-out agreement in exchange for continuing to receive so-called generous development aid from Germany! The so-called “compensation” to finance “social projects” is nothing but a cover-up for continued German funding of Namibian Government projects under its NDP5 and Vision 2030, as stated by the Prime Minister of Namibia in Parliament on 16 March 2021.
4. Given the above, we reject the initialed 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 1904-07 massacres by Germany as genocide and crimes against humanity.
Paramount Chief Advocate Vekuii Rukoro (OTA)
Gaob Johannes Isaack (NTLA)