The German government has officially announced that it is in the process of a supposed reparation deal with the Namibian government. This comes exactly a week after the Namibian government was accused of entering into a controversial deal with Germany. Germany will reportedly formally apologise in Namibia’s parliament in June, a long overdue gesture considering that Germany initially disregarded the unjust deaths of 80 000 indigenous Namibian people. However, no financial reparations will be paid out to the direct descendants of the slain Herero-Nama people. Instead, they will fall under the beneficiaries of Germany’s development projects that will amount to approximately 1.34 billion dollars.
According to The Namibian, the agreed upon compensation amount of 1.34 billion dollars will be processed over a period of 30 years. The deal is admittedly questionable, taking into consideration that the genocide has generational effects that cannot be enumerated and expeditiously need to be socially and economically rectified. In a fight for integrity and true justice Namibia’s traditional authorities, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority and the Nama Traditional Leaders Association, have decried the deal, calling it an “insult”. The compensation agreement between the countries has further exacerbated the wounds of Namibians with a period of 30 years for justice imposed upon them especially considering that Namibians currently, only, own approximately less than 30 percent of the land, most of which belongs to the state.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has, despite the cries of most Namibians, given a blasé response as quoted in DW, “The aim of the negotiations that lasted more than half a decade was to find a common path to genuine reconciliation in memory of the victims”. A genuine reconciliation would be one where Namibia’s indigenous people are reconciled with their land and receive direct economic reparations.
The two countries have been locked in ongoing negotiations for over half a decade regarding the socio-economic consequences of Germany’s colonial-era genocide, which saw approximately 80 000 Herero and Nama people killed. In 2004, Germany’s former development minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, reportedly, made the initial steps towards the official apology for the killings and declared that the country’s actions would be viewed as genocidal in today’s terms.