German ‘bows before descendants’ of Namibia genocide

In a joint statement, the German and Namibian governments have fleshed out some of the details of the deal they reached over the genocide at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Last week, the German government agreed that the slaughter was a genocide, issued an apology and promised development aid worth more than €1.1bn (£940m; $1.34bn).

But there was no mention of reparations.

German colonisers killed tens of thousands of Ovaherero and Nama people in Namibia between 1904 and 1908. This amounted to some 80% of the Ovaherero and over 40% of the Nama. Their land and livestock were also confiscated.

The German-Namibian statement says:Quote Message: Germany apologises and bows before the descendants of the victims. Today, more than 100 years later, Germany asks for forgiveness for the sins of their forefathers. It is not possible to undo what has been done.

Germany apologises and bows before the descendants of the victims. Today, more than 100 years later, Germany asks for forgiveness for the sins of their forefathers. It is not possible to undo what has been done.

The statement also says some of the development projects will benefit the “descendants of the particularly affected communities, in line with their identified needs” and will be implemented in consultation with them.

The lack of reparations has angered some in the affected communities while others have accepted the proposals.

The statement clearly draws a line under the idea of reparations saying that “both governments share the understanding that these amounts mentioned above settle all financial aspects of the issues relating to the past”.

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