Lawsuit filed against German-Namibia genocide pact

The reports said firebrand opposition politician Bernadus Swartbooi has partnered with 11 traditional leaders of the Herero and Nama tribes to seek an order declaring the joint declaration by Namibia and Germany on 1904-1908 genocide illegal since it did not provide for direct compensation of descendants of the victims. Germany acknowledged for the…

APA-Windhoek (Namibia) A group of Namibian traditional leaders and a prominent opposition politician have filed a lawsuit against a May 2021 agreement between Windhoek and Berlin over compensation for what has been touted as the 20th century’s first genocide, according to reports monitored on Monday.

The reports said firebrand opposition politician Bernadus Swartbooi has partnered with 11 traditional leaders of the Herero and Nama tribes to seek an order declaring the joint declaration by Namibia and Germany on 1904-1908 genocide illegal since it did not provide for direct compensation of descendants of the victims.

The litigants want an agreement to be in line with a 2006 resolution passed by the Namibian parliament which stated that the descendants of the victims should negotiate directly with Germany and receive compensation.

The lawsuit cites President Hage Geingob, Speaker of Parliament Peter Katjavivi, Attorney General Festus Mbandeka, the government and parliament as defendants in the matter.

Estimates say that up to 100,000 Hereros and Namas were killed under German rule during the genocide.

Germany acknowledged for the first time two years ago that it committed genocide against Namibia’s Herero and Nama indigenous peoples between 1904 and 1908.

It proposed a financial programme of €1.1 billion over 30 years for land acquisition, road construction or water supply.

But some ordinary Namibians, including representatives of the Herero and Nama tribes, have denounced the “cheap deal” compared to the “75 billion Euros in pensions and social benefits paid to Jews” by the Nazi regime since 1949 years after the end of World War II.

They want reparations of at least US$580 million per year paid over 40 years.

JN/APA

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