Germany admitted that the massacre was committed in this country, and the victimized tribes did not accept it.
Thirty-six years after being recognized by the United Nations, the German government finally officially recognized on the 28th that it had committed a genocide that killed about 80,000 people on the land of Namibia in Africa a century ago and promised to assist the country with 1.1 billion euros for development and reconstruction. However, the German government refused to treat the money as compensation, and the leaders of the victimized tribes expressed dissatisfaction, calling it “humiliation.”
CNN reported that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated on the 28th, officially admitting that the crimes committed during the colonial period of Namibia in the early 20th century constituted genocide and seeking understanding.
“Our goal has always been to seek consensus to commemorate the victims and achieve sincere reconciliation. This includes facing up to the events that occurred on the land of Namibia during the colonial period without skipping or modifying. Now we will formally describe it from a contemporary perspective. These events: a genocide.” He said.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas Video screenshot German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas Video screenshot
According to public information, between 1904 and 1908, the German colony of Southwest Africa initiated an uprising against colonial rule, which was dominated by the Herero, with the Nama and Saen people. Still, it was brutally suppressed by the German army, and about 80,000 people were killed. , Including 65,000 Herero and 10,000 Naama. During this period, the Germans also carried out brutal and inhuman abuse, including driving women and children to the desert and allowing them to starve to death.
In 1985, a United Nations report determined that this massacre was aimed at the genocide of the Herero and Nama people in West Africa and was one of the earliest genocide actions in the 20th century. After the uprising was suppressed, the local population of Herero dropped from about 80,000 to about 15,000. It was not until 36 years later that the German government officially admitted to committing the genocide.
The German government has been struggling with the issue of genocide and apology for many years. As early as 2004, the then German Minister of Development Assistance, Heidemary Wizol-Zell, stated for the first time that Germany “has historical and moral responsibility” for the bloody events between 1904 and 1908; in 2015, the then German Bundestag Speaker Norbert Lammert admitted that the killing of the Herero constituted a “genocide” and was part of the “ethnic war.”
But neither of the persons mentioned above represented the official position of the German government and refused to discuss the issue of compensation for victims. Since 2015, the governments of Germany and Namibia have continued to negotiate on “treatment of trauma” and “reconciliation”.
The monument on the streets of Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, on the German massacre of the Herero people, the inscription says, “Use your blood to nourish our freedom”. The monument on the streets of Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, on the road of the German slaughter of the Herero people. The inscription says, “Use Your blood nourishes our freedom.”
Maas said that these colonial crimes have long affected the relations between Germany and Namibia. This time the admission of crimes and the request for an apology have taken an “important step.” He announced that Germany would provide 1.1 billion euros (approximately 8.52 billion yuan) to Namibia and the descendants of the victims for the reconstruction and development of the Xianguan area.
However, the money will be paid in the next 30 years and allocated to existing aid projects involving rural infrastructure, water resources, and vocational training. The most important thing is that the German government refused to use the legally valid words “indemnity” or “compensation money” in its statement, which is only a “gesture of reconciliation”.
According to the “Guardian”, a German Ministry of Foreign Affairs report circulated among German parliamentarians mentioned that the negotiations would not involve indemnities and compensation to individuals because “the number of indemnities in 100 years will be unprecedentedly large.” The German government is also worried that once it relaxes on compensation for genocide, it will trigger Greece, Poland, and other countries to follow suit.
After the yoke of Herero people, the local population dropped sharply to 15,000 after the massacre. The collar of Herero people fell sharply to 15,000 after the slaughter.
A spokesman for Namibian President Haag Geingob said on the 28th that the German government’s recognition of the genocide was “a first step in the right direction.” He hinted that the issue of compensation would be discussed in the future: “This lays the foundation for the second move, that is, a formal apology, followed by compensation.” German media revealed that President Steinmeier planned to visit the Namibian parliament and formally apologized. Both parties are still planning their schedules.
But in Namibia, there are still voices of dissatisfaction with the German government’s stance, including the victims of the Herero people.
According to Reuters, the chief leader and negotiator of the Herero tribe, Vekuii Rukoro, criticized the government for not insisting on asking for compensation and considered the German Foreign Minister’s statement “humiliating.” “In today’s era, no self-respecting African will accept such humiliation from the so-called civilized European countries.”
Namibian media “New Era” reported on the 27th that at least three Herero traditional tribal leaders who had previously supported the negotiations refused to accept the wording in the final declaration. This may make it difficult for President Geingob to sign the final agreement. The German side insisted that the Namibian government represents the entire population, so the signing of the agreement does not depend on Herero or Nama representatives.
A German living in Namibia, Ann Marcus, also questioned that the German government’s election to announce aid payments in Namibia’s financial difficulties is “very opportunistic”. “They know that Namibia may accept any offer that can get it. I can’t fully believe that justice has been claimed.” Hit by the new crown epidemic, Namibia’s economy fell by 8% last year. Last month it received its first funding from the International Monetary Fund.
Njawiru, the negotiator of the Namibian government, recently called for an agreement with Germany as soon as possible and warned that the “window of opportunity is closing” because the far-right “alternative” party may win the German general election in September. However, the party’s support rate is not widely optimistic.