Germany’s compensation offer for colonial-era genocide not enough: Namibia

2021-06-06 11:12:22
Germany’s compensation offer for colonial-era genocide not enough: Namibia

Germany's offer to invest $1.22 billion in Namibia over 30 years in compensation for its genocide and property seizures in its former African colony is "not enough," says Namibia’s Vice President Nangolo Mbumba.

"No amount of money in any currency can truly compensate the life of a human being," Mbumba told journalists as Windhoek officially briefed the nation on the outcome of six years of negotiations with Germany which concluded last month.

"We need to recognize that the amount of 1.1 billion euros agreed upon between the two governments is not enough and does not adequately address the initial quantum of reparations initially submitted to the German Government," Mbumba added.

"No amount of money in any currency can truly compensate the life of a human being," he added.

On May 28, Germany finally apologized for its role in the slaughter of Herero and Nama tribespeople in Namibia over a century ago and officially described the massacre as genocide for the first time as it agreed to fund projects.

Thousands of Herero and Nama people were killed by German colonial forces between 1904 and 1908 after the tribes rebelled against German rule of the colony, then named German South-West Africa.

The development came after Herero paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro condemned as "an insult" the deal concluded last week by the governments in Berlin and Windhoek since it did not include payment of reparations.

Rukoro also blasted the “agreement” as a "sellout," insisting, "We have a problem with that kind of an agreement, which we feel constitutes a complete sellout on the part of the Namibian government."

Rukoro, who unsuccessfully sued Germany for compensation in the United States, said the purported settlement was not enough for the two Namibian communities which had suffered "irreversible harm" at the hands of the German colonial forces.

European colonial powers have dark history in Africa

Germany is not the only nation to commit genocide in an African nation. Europe, which seeks to establish itself as a civilized and pro-human rights continent, has a long history of human rights abuses in many parts of the world, including Africa.

The massacre of thousands of Algerians after the end of World War II, who fought for Algerian independence, is a clear example of French war crimes.

France also recently acknowledged it had an indirect role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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